Posts Tagged ‘Evra’

World Cup Roundup


So suggesting a bet on Holland in the final meant the bet of the day running total ended 0.77 units down, which isn’t awful considering two-thirds of the group stage were missed. In better punditry many of the pre-tournament tips came off. Of the more impressive ideas, I suggested Germany to reach the semi-finals @ 12/5, Argentina to get nine points in their group @ 12/5, Uruguay and Mexico to go through in group A @ 13/1 and Uruguay as an each way bet @ 66/1.

I wrote that England could well suffer a second round knock-out, while tipping Holland @ 9/1 almost came off. The goalscorer tips were a touch unlucky too with each way suggestions Klose (33/1) and Suarez (100/1) just missing out on the top four.  Enough gloating (there were plenty of dud tips too after all) and time for a few highlights and lowlights.


Best Game: England vs Germany had controversy, some great football, good goals and it dispelled the hype surrounding so many of England’s stars.

Worst Game: Most of the ones in the first week.

Best Goal: Tshabalala’s in the opening match was great for the moment and Van Bronckhorst in the semi-final was great for the pureness of the strike but I think Villa’s first against Honduras tops both.

Worst Miss: Yakubu vs South Korea. Dear oh dear.

Most Dramatic 5 Minutes: Spain vs Paraguay gave it a good try, with three penalties in the space of a few minutes, but you can’t beat the end of extra-time in the Uruguay vs Ghana match. Goalmouth scramble, handball on the line and red card, missed penalty with a semi-final place up for grabs, undignified celebrations by the man sent off and then a penalty shoot-out shortly after. Wow.

Best Pundit: Clarence Seedorf. There weren’t many to choose from but he was insightful and refreshing. Some good features too.

Hero: Paul the psychic octopus.

Villain: Take your pick from Suarez, the Jabulani ball or the French team going on strike. Oh and James Corden too.

Best XI Of The Tournament: Casillas; Lahm, Puyol, Lugano, Coentrao; Schweinsteiger, Xavi, Sneijder; Mueller, Forlan, Villa.

Worst XI Of The Tournament: Green; Otamendi, Terry, Cannavaro, Evra; Melo, Kaka, Ribery; Anelka, Rooney, Torres.



World Cup Bet Of The Day – Day 1


A feature I’m going to try and do every day, at least until I go on holiday. I’ll keep a running total and see how it ends up at the end of the tournament.

Today’s pick is Uruguay to beat France in the evening game. I wrote earlier about how I thought France were a decent shout to get knocked out in the group stages and thus I think the price on Uruguay is far too high.

The French have been experimenting with a new formation and a 1-0 warm-up defeat to China suggests it’s not quite settled.

Uruguay have a great strike partnership in Forlan and Suarez (almost 80 goals between them this season) and I think the two of them can cause some serious problems for the French defence.

Bet of the day:
Uruguay to beat France @ 14/5.



Fantasy Premier League – Gameweek 22 Preview


Gameweek 22 is shaping up to be a big one for fantasy managers. After snow decimated the fixture list last weekend, we were left with just three games played meaning many managers only had a few players at most scoring them points.

In one of my leagues my nearest rival scored just six points while in my main league with the other Sportboy, the Football Guy and a few others, the story was similar. Nearly everyone had Carlos Tevez so the scores weren’t terrible but me picking him as captain meant I got 55 points and extended my lead to 37 points over 2nd place (now taken by Amer who was once upon a time sixth in the world). The week couldn’t have gone better really, and going for Tevez instead of Rooney as captain really made a difference.


Gameweek 21 Top Gun (aka Tom Cruise Approves):

Carlos Tevez Top Gun Goose Man City

Maverick got stuck in the snow this week so Goose is here to approve of Tevez's hat-trick and his 2nd Top Gun.

Yes, in case you hadn’t realised Carlos Tevez was easily the top scorer last week – a hat-trick against Blackburn getting him three bonus points for a grand total of 17, or 34 if you made him captain like I did. Even though the game was initially in doubt I thought it was worth the risk as if it did get called off it would automatically go to my second choice Rooney.

Anyway, I digress. Benjani grabbed three assists in the same match for 13 points in what was his first appearance of the season. Not bad for someone who’s best has passed. Elsewhere Pienaar and Richards both got nine, as did Cameron Jerome.


Gameweek 22 Picks:

With all the postponed games last week, many clubs have tried to rearrange them as quickly as possible. It means this week we have six teams playing twice: Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, Bolton and Hull. Plenty of good teams to pick from and I’d say you’d want at least six players playing twice, if not more. Just be aware that Man Utd and Hull don’t play in gameweek 23 so don’t pick too many of their players for this week.


Three Captain Choices:

1. Fabregas/Arsenal – A quirk in the fixtures means both of Arsenal’s games this week are against Bolton; first away, then at home. Fabregas is confirmed fit again so I would think that he’ll definitely play in both games. He’s been a stud this season and there have been just two (and a half) games where he’s failed to anything. Bolton away will be tricky what with Owen Coyle providing the new manager lift in performance, but the match at the Emirates should be a comfortable win. In any case, you’d be wise to pick him as captain this week. Arshavin would be my next Arsenal choice.

2. Rooney/Man Utd – The fiery striker has arguably easier games than Fabregas, with two home games against Burnley and Hull but I’m wary of a couple of things. Firstly, Utd haven’t been overly impressive of late and the FA Cup tie against Leeds showed they are still vulnerable in defence without Rio, Vidic and VDS. Secondly, Rooney can be a bit hot and cold, either having a massive game or doing nothing. He scored 15 against Hull recently but only got one point against Burnley away in August. A confident, but not surefire pick. Valencia would be the Man Utd alternative.

3. Defoe/Spurs – With all of Liverpool’s good players injured, it leaves us looking at Tottenham as the third team to provide a potential captain. Hull at home should be easy pickings for Defoe and he might just do something at Anfield too. Modric is back fit again and could get some good points if you don’t have the midget up front.

fabregas fantasy football captain

Gets a Captain's tick.


Three Potential Transfers In:

1. Bolton players – This gameweek is admittedly difficult to envisage a Bolton player scoring heavily but even two sets of two points would be useful and Arsenal are not super solid defensively. I think Owen Coyle will give them a boost and hopefully make them a more expansive, attractive side. This could mean players like Matt Taylor are worth watching. They also have play twice in gameweek 26 meaning seven matches in the next five weeks.

2. Donovan/Everton – The American loanee made his debut for the Toffees last week and by all accounts played pretty well against Arsenal (he got an assist). I’ve always thought he’s overrated, and his previous record in Germany suggests that he’s not quite good enough at the top level. That said, maybe the Premier League will suit him. Plenty of US players have succeeded so maybe he will be the next (if only for a couple of months). It will cost you £6m to find out.

3. N’Gog/Liverpool – The young Frenchman is an interesting one. He has only played 412 minutes this season but has grabbed four goals and two assists, which is twice as many as a certain M. Owen. With Torres injured for six weeks, he should get a consistent run in the side. Liverpool are woeful this season but at £5.2m he may be worth a speculative punt as a third striker.

matt taylor bolton

Might be worth a pick.


Three To Avoid:

1. Vieira/Man City – I think Vieira is a legend and as an Arsenal fan he gave me nine glorious years of midfield dominance but I can’t help thinking this move back to the Premier League is a bad idea. He’s only £5m but I don’t think he’s going to do much. Granted, he’ll probably have a big game against a team which doesn’t possess much pace and people will think he’s still great but I reckon it’ll will be a one-off. Not worth the bother.

2. Sorensen/Stoke – With David James about to join on loan, it seems Sorensen may be on his way out. With the World Cup coming up I can’t think that James would be moving somewhere where he isn’t guaranteed a first team place and rumours of the Dane going abroad have not been denied. Time to find a new penalty saving king.

3. Liverpool players – The good ones like Torres, Johnson, Gerrard and Benayoun are all injured for varying lengths of time. The others like Aquilani, Kuyt, Riera and Carragher have been useless for varying lengths of time.

Patrick Vieira Man City

Are you taking the mick?!



Fantasy Premier League – Gameweek 14 Preview


Gameweek 14 reaches us as we start the middle third of the season. Week 13 saw few surprises though we did get the highest ever individual score. I made the error of having Fabregas as captain which I didn’t especially feel comfortable with but didn’t have many other options with Lampard and Drogba out injured, and Rooney out of form.

I did have David Dunn but didn’t fancy him due to two away games. In the event he proved me wrong. I regret not bringing in Bullard or Dempsey as I was looking at both pre-deadline. Sometimes it’s better to take the four point hit for the rewards it can bring. Don’t even get me started on having Thomas Sorensen’s 14 points left on the bench…


Gameweek 13 Top Gun (aka Tom Cruise Approves):

When I was looking back over the top scores from last week, I had a moment of panic when I thought there was a three-way 18 point tie for 1st and I’d have to find another Top Gun character to join Maverick and Goose.

Then I remembered that someone called Jermain Defoe scored five goals against Wigan. Yes, the pint-sized striker scored a full handful of goals and picked up three bonus points. It might just be me but it almost feels like 25 points isn’t enough reward for such a feat. I guess that’s what happens with just four points for a striker’s goal. I’m sure the people who had him as captain weren’t complaining – 50 points was only two off my whole total for the week. Anyway, it’s the highest score ever from one game, even Ronaldo never got that.

As mentioned previously, following Defoe you had Dempsey Hunt and Lennon all with 18 points. The former two took advantage of playing twice while Lennon was the provider of three Defoe goals as well as getting one for himself in that 9-1 victory. A mention too for Michael Essien who scored 16 via two goals and his third man of the match award of the season.

Jermain Defoe five goals Wigan Spurs

Maverick should really be using all five hand digits to approve of Defoe's performance.


Three Captain Choices:

1. Adebayor/Man City – Every run has to come to an end and I think Man City might finally stop their run of six consecutive draws and beat Hull at home. Hull have picked up since Bullard’s return with two wins and a draw but they’re still leaky at the back while Adebayor scored his first goal in two months against Liverpool. He tends to feast on weaker defences, get bonus points when City play well and thus is a good shout for captain this weekend.

2. Drogba/Chelsea – The best defence faces the best attack this weekend as Chelsea face Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday. Normally I wouldn’t suggest picking someone from this fixture but Drogba loves playing Arsenal and has terrorised them down the years. What scares me even more is that due to Gallas being doubtful, there’s a tiny, tiny chance we might see Big Phil Senderos make an appearance. I’m shuddering at the thought, Drogba owns him.

3. Rooney/Man Utd – Portsmouth at Fratton Park. Slightly trickier now that Pompey have Avram Grant newly installed but Rooney and Man Utd should still have more than enough to beat Portsmouth.

Gets a Captain's tick.


Three suggested transfers in:

1. Evra/Man Utd – The French left back has been putting together a good season and in his last few games has picked up and assist and three bonus points. Man Utd should be good for a clean sheet against Portsmouth and after that Man Utd face West Ham, Villa, Wolves and Fulham which should provide a few more opportunities.

2. Johnson or Dann/Birmingham – I’m sure many of you already Joe Hart in your team but why not add Roger Johnson or Scott Dann to your side too? The two centre backs were a newly formed partnership at the start of the season having both been signed from Championship clubs but have adapted to the Premier League well. Johnson is the pricier of the two and more likely to get bonus points but Dann is just £3.9m leaving you plenty of case for elsewhere.

3. Hunt/Hull – Some people’s form rating is skewed by one massive week whereas others are a bit more consistent. If Bullard is out of your price range then Stephen Hunt is a good option having scored five points or more in four of the last five gameweeks.

Evra Man Utd

Might be worth a pick.


Three to avoid:

1. Everton players – They were woeful against Hull and have generally struggled this season. There have been bright spots like Baines and Saha but they have a tough three games (Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea) coming up and then no fixture in week 17. Avoid for now.

2. Gibbs/Arsenal – Just as soon as he was becoming a cheap option while Clichy was out, he breaks a metatarsal and is now out for three months.

3. Owen/Man Utd – Just 24 points so far. The goal against Man City is literally the single good thing he’s done this season. Diouf, N’Gog and Ghilas all have more points. Having said that, what better opponent than Portsmouth to prove me wrong.

Are you taking the mick?



Fantasy Football – Gameweek 21


After the Christmas double header of Gameweeks 19 & 20, we had a bit of a break for the FA Cup last week. Our suggested captain choice Steven Gerrard was on fire and scored twice, had three assists and five bonus points over the festive period.

I'm so hot right now

I'm so hot right now

The transfer window has opened meaning previously unconsidered players may get renewed relevance at a new club. Defoe and Bridge aside, there haven’t been too many moves as yet but I’m sure that will change in the next couple of weeks. This week we also have the first instance of a team playing twice in a gameweek with the lucky two being Man Utd and Wigan. They finally fulfil their game from back in the autumn so if you have any of their players, bring them in. On to this week’s picks.



Top 3 alternatives to Ronaldo as Captain:

1. Evra/Man Utd – To be frank you need a damn good reason not go with Ronaldo as captain this week considering Man Utd play twice. Even though he’s out of form he’s their most likely goalscorer. That said, Utd’s defence has been better than their attack recently and the back four are on a run of seven straight clean sheets. After a four game ban, Patrice Evra should come back in at left back and is a decent bet to keep a clean sheet against Chelsea or Wigan. The way Utd’s attack has been playing I’m sure he’ll be encouraged to push forward too.

2. Zaki/Wigan – Back in form with two goals in his last two games. Normally I wouldn’t back him to do anything against Man Utd but Rio is maybe still out and Jonny Evans looked a bit shaky midweek. His other game is against Spurs at home. Even if Ledley King and his Paul McGrath knees play I’d still fancy Zaki to score.

3. Defoe/Spurs – Going by Defoe’s history, where he has scored on his debut for West Ham; Bournemouth; Spurs; Portsmouth and England, you’d have to fancy him again. But is it a debut if he’s played for them before?





Suggested Transfers In:

1. Defoe/Spurs – Even if he doesn’t score tomorrow I envisage him doing pretty well for Spurs, early on at least. He will instantly assume the position of first choice striker and he’ll probably take any penalties too.

2. Man United defenders – It might be a bit late as they’re probably bound to concede some goals after their great run of seven clean sheets. However, with the various injuries they’ve had at the back there are some short term bargains to be found in the likes of Jonny Evans, John O’Shea and even the Neviller (when he plays).

3. Arteta/Everton – Best player on the pitch in three of his last four games. Clean sheets in all of them too.





Players to avoid:

1. Anelka/Chelsea: Big Phil says he can’t play Drogba and Anelka together if Malouda is unfit. If it comes down to one striker against Man Utd, I don’t see it being Anelka. With his price having fallen by 0.3 in two weeks it’s time to get rid before his value drops any further.

2. Alex/Chelsea – With Terry and Carvalho both finally available at the same time, Alex’s little run of games looks to have come to an end.

3. Bent/Spurs – The odd man out in the trio of Spurs strikers.





Fantasy Football – Gameweek 17


Don’t you love that Sunday feeling?

Only available at 4pm every Sunday.

The one where it’s comes to the 4pm game and you are the only one of your rivals to have any players involved. I have great memories of the 2006/07 season where it felt like every other Sunday Arteta would cross to Lescott and I would get super points. I did eventually lose to The Football Guy but it was fun while it lasted. Last week was going relatively well, when up stepped Ashley Young on Sunday evening and grabbed me an extra 15 points. It was a nice end to the gameweek  – let’s be honest no one is stupid enough to have any West Ham or  Spurs players so that Monday game didn’t count. I only wish I had made him captain.

Ronaldo did nothing for the third week in a row so we can now permanently rename the captain choice section to:


Top 3 Alternatives to the standard choice of Ronaldo as Captain:

1. Young/Aston Villa – After a great start to the season where he got goals or assists in five of the first six games, Young had a relatively quiet October and November. However his two goals last week will hopefully see him start scoring good points again. He faces Bolton at home this weekend so is good value to do something.

2. Kuyt/Liverpool – This will be the first and only time I will ever suggest picking Dirk Kuyt as

2a. Gerrard/Liverpool – Nope sorry I just can’t do it, you’ll just have to go with Gerrard instead. We’ve touched before on Torres being out and Keane being as good as out which leaves Liverpool’s midfielders as the go to guys for points. Hull won’t be a easy game but it could be a high scoring one. 

3. Bosingwa/Chelsea – The first time we’ve gone with a defender as a potential captain but Bosingwa is the highest scoring player in the game and has risen in value by £1.4 million from his bargain initial price of £6M (I can’t believe people were unsure between him and Ferreira). Anyway, three assists and a goal in his last five plus a home game against West Ham mean he’s a good shout to not only keep a clean but also provide something going forward.




Suggested Transfers In:

1. Benjani/Man City – While Robinho has sparkled this season, the other Man City striking position has seen Mark Hughes try Jo, Evans, Sturridge and Vassell with varying degrees of success. That level varies from not bad for a young player (Sturridge/Evans) to pretty rubbish for a £19 million striker (Jo). These troubles have been mainly due to Benjani being injured. He had a career year last season but was injured until a few weeks ago. He’s fit now though and scored his first goal of the season last week. He’s started the last five games so appears to be Robinho’s partner of choice. 

2. Geovanni/Hull City – Hull are still flying high in sixth place while in his last six games Geovanni has nine bonus points, two goals and an assist. Still cheap at £6.3million too.

3. Crouch/Porstmouth –Three goals in three games. 




Players to avoid.

1. Evra/Man Utd – Through a combination of United being away for the Intercontinental Cup  World Club Championship, Evra has played his last league game of the year. His next match will be against Chelsea on January 11th.

2. Any Blackburn player – They have been rubbish and haven’t won in eleven. But the main reason not to pick them is that they don’ actually do anything in games. Not a single Blackburn player has scored over 40 points this season. That is pretty poor. They have three guys stuck on 38. Even West Brom who are bottom have Greening and Carson who have scored 50+. 

3. Eboue/Arsenal  – Well 60,000 Arsenal fans said so





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