Posts Tagged ‘south africa 2010’

Fantasy Premier League – Gameweek 21 Preview

08/01/2010

So, a busy Christmas schedule has finally passed and we once again get a little more time to think about transfers and the like rather than having a deadline what seems like every other day. Gameweek 19 was my best of the season in both points scored (83) and weekly placing (14,432). Rooney and Fabregas had particularly big weeks while Birmingham defenders once again topped things up. It allowed me to take over the lead in our mini league too, for the first time this season I think.

I thought I was all set going into week 20, with five players (not counting an injured Fabregas) playing twice and Arshavin as captain for two quite easy games. It all went a bit belly up. Sorensen conceded and got himself injured in his first match, Cahill lost against Hull while Arshavin and Diaby did nothing against Portsmouth. No trouble I thought, Arshavin will hopefully do something, anything against Bolton and perhaps Diaby will help too. One postponed match later my captain has four points and the five between them have just 17 (eight of those by Faye). Not impressed. Thankfully Rooney had played well again and Bent scored too giving me a respectable score of 58.

With the African Cup of Nations putting paid to Drogba and the like, and severe weather still being a threat, careful decisions will be needed for gameweek 21.

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Gameweek 19 Top Gun (aka Tom Cruise Approves):

Wayne Rooney top gun

Maverick keeps approving, Rooney keeps scoring.

I had Rooney as my captain and he scored, assisted twice and got three bonus (yet again) for 15 points – his second highest score of the season. He really has been Man Utd’s key player this season and jointly leads the bonus point total with 26 so far. Closely behind that week (and level for season bonus) was Arsenal’s Fabregas. I was at the game against Aston Villa and was resigned to no points when he was named on the bench. He came on in the second half however and scored two quickfire goals, grabbed the three bonus and then went off injured. Quite the 27 minute impact. Credit to Hart and Jiminez with 11 each.

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Gameweek 20 Top Gun (aka Tom Cruise Approves):

Antonio Valencia Man Utd

Maverick approves of Valencia's steady point scoring this year.

Last week saw Antonio Valencia confirm his position as Man Utd’s top midfielder this season (and indeed top six overall) with a 17 point haul against his old club Wigan. He scored, assisted twice, got three bonus and kept a clean sheet for good measure. He now has 92 points and is quite cheap at £8.2m having seen his value dip. Closely behind him with 16 was team-mate Rafael, while Steven Hunt got 15. There were five other double figure scores floating around too.

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Gameweek 21 Picks:

Some tricky decisions this week as the weather may still play a part and there aren’t too many one sided looking fixtures.

Three Captain Choices:

1. Tevez/Man City – We suggested him last time (week 19) and he got nine points followed by another 12 last week. With Adebayor in Angola, Bellamy on the bench and Robinho out of form, the little Argentinian is leading the line under new boss Mancini. He has seven goals in his last six games and while that run is bound to stop, his all round play is always a good shout for assists and bonus. Blackburn at home is a fairly straightforward match so back him to deliver once again.

2. Dempsey/Fulham – Dempsey is a player I had for most of last year and is on my radar this season (have always had a more important transfer to do). He’s been in good form and is the 4th top midfielder with 96 points. Always a threat for a clean sheet and/or goal, he plays Portsmouth at home this weekend. With Zamora injured he’ll get pushed up front with Johnson which = more potential points.

*UPDATE* Fulham’s game has been called off due to bad weather. Maybe an Arsenal player as an alternative – Arshavin perhaps.

3. Lampard/Chelsea – With Drogba off in the African Cup of Nations, Lampard should get some more opportunity to be the focus of the team once more. In my book he’s underperformed this season but with a game against Hull he could be in line for big score.

Carlos Tevez Man City

Gets a Captain's tick.

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Three Suggested Transfers In:

Some potential replacements for your players who have gone to Africa.

1. Sturridge/Chelsea – I like this option as a low risk third striker option while spending the Drogba money on a midfield upgrade. He’s only £5.5m and while still very raw, upcoming games against Hull, Sunderland and Birmingham (the latter two at home) should provide some opportunity for reward. He had a couple of assists over Christmas and is worth a gamble at least for a week or two.

2. Ramsey/Arsenal – With Alex Song away, a spot becomes open in the Arsenal midfield. Ramsey isn’t going to fill it, but with Fabregas still out and Wenger often rotating his third midfield spot (i.e. not the one not filled by Song & Fabregas) Ramsey is worth watching. He is only £4.8m yet has come on as sub 12 times. His two starts have proved rewarding and last week he scored 13 points against Portsmouth. That postponed game against Bolton will be replayed soon and he’s worth stashing on your bench at least.

3. Zabaleta/Man City – Yes he is a Man City defender but they have kept two straight clean sheets!

Daniel Sturridge Chelsea

Might be worth a pick.

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Three To Avoid:

1. Zamora/Fulham – Injured himself against Stoke and is now out for up to eight weeks. I bet he stops scoring once he’s back.

2. Portsmouth players – Half the squad has gone to the African Nations and any remaining good players are for sale to clear their mammoth debts.

3. Davies and Fellaini – Amongst several players on seven bookings already. Minus points are not cool.

Bobby Zamora Fulham

Are you taking the mick?!

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T.

Weekly Photoshop – Thierry Henry

24/11/2009

Haven’t you heard? Tuesday is the new Thursday in terms of weekly Photoshopping. I didn’t realise last week but from now we’ll be doing this on Tuesdays. This week the theme was Stephen Ireland. Then Thierry Henry decided to handball his way to becoming the worst human being in the history of mankind and thus the theme was changed by The Guardian.

 

I personally think it’s all a big much ado about nothing. Yes he cheated, but it hardly tarnishes a whole 16 year career. There’s been a distinct lack of perspective, and too many people in the media forgot that it was hardly a given that Ireland were going to World Cup. It was 1-1 on aggregate at the time after all. 

 

Also, as has been pointed out in many places, weren’t Ireland the beneficiaries of their own ridiculous handball decision in World Cup qualifying? Swings and roundabouts. Anyway, my internetless woes at home continue somewhat so it’s another simple entry this week.

 

Thierry Henry handball France Ireland

What's all the fuss? Does no-one else remember Thierry winning the Golden Glove awards while at Arsenal?

The rest of this week’s gallery can be found here (some very funny stuff, especially the winner).

 

T.

 

Archive.

 

 

Weekly Photoshop – England’s Internet Broadcast

15/10/2009

Quick one this week as this is being written on Tuesday night before heading to Paris. How very glamorous. After Setanta’s collapse, the rights to England’s away game against Ukraine were up for grabs once more. As the BBC, ITV, Sky nor ESPN wanted any part of paying £3m to broadcast a meaningless match it was left to Perform to pick up the game and stream it.

Now as a regular user of somewhat legally dubious streams to Arsenal games which aren’t on Sky or ESPN I know how frustrating the experience can be. Small picture, buffering issues, foreign commentary – it can be pointless at times. It can be good on other occasions but I think ultimately both of us at The Sportboys would much rather be down the pub with the Football Guy and others. Anyway, it was quite a fun topic for which there are a couple of entries.

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After their shenanigans last week, Australia once again try to hijack England's World Cup bid with some crafty internet hacking.

After their shenanigans last week, Australia once again try to hijack England's World Cup bid with some crafty internet hacking.

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There was certainly one key which got a good workout during Ukraine v England.

There was certainly one key which got a good workout during Ukraine v England.

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More can be found here.

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T.

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Archive.

Weekly Photoshop – England 2018 World Cup Bid

28/05/2009

As the title suggests, this week the theme is England’s battle to be the hosts of the 2018 World Cup. I didn’t have time to do an entry before the deadline but here’s what I would have sent in. More of a take on the lack of competition coming through for Mr James than the bid itself, but there’s a Beckham based entry which has a similar thought. 

 

Whether England get it or not, David James will no doubt still be goalkeeper.

Whether England get it or not, David James will no doubt still be goalkeeper.

 

The rest of this week’s gallery can be found here:

 

T.

 

Previous entries here.

In A Bit Of A Pickle – World Cup Qualifying…

30/03/2009

Following the initial set of qualifiers on Saturday and with a second round to come on Wednesday, I took a look at the standings in the World Cup qualifying groups this morning and was quite surprised to see a number of good sides struggling to get going. Here’s the top five countries in a bit of a sticky situation.

Mmm, pickle.

Mmm, pickle.

 

1. Portugal & Sweden/Group 1/Currently 3rd & 4th, both 4 points off top.

Cristiano Ronaldo and his merry men were seeded first for this group but have struggled to break down teams and have drawn three of their five games. A goalless draw on Saturday against Sweden helped neither side and with no game on Wednesday the Portuguese and indeed Sweden could find themselves seven points off qualification come the next round of games in June. The Swedes were in pot two originally but with Ljungberg retired and Larsson very, very old, have struggled up front and have scored just twice in four games. Everyone’s favourite overrated player Zlatan Ibrahimovic has neither of those two goals despite playing every game so far. Sweden have a game in hand on C-Ron’s men but it is against surprise package Denmark who top the group having played just four games. I would imagine both teams will get it together enough to overtake Hungary (a good young side, currently second) but I think Denmark will comfortably hold on to keep one of them out of the top two spots.

As disappointed as you are.

As disappointed as you are.

 

2. Bulgaria/Group 8/Currently 3rd and 7 points off 2nd.

This is perhaps not a huge shock but at the same time when the draw was made, ex-Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov and his Bulgarian merry men were seeded higher than ex-Spurs striker Robbie Keane and his Irish merry men. Bulgaria’s problem is that have drawn all four of the games while Italy and Ireland have won a few games and built up nice leads. Italy will finish top without too much trouble and Bulgaria will hope the Azzuri can beat Ireland on Wednesday while they beat Cyprus. If that happens, it all looks rosier with just a four point deficit, a game in hand plus Ireland at home next. If it doesn’t it may start to be too much of a gap to overcome.

 

3. Poland/Group 3/Currently 5th and 3 points off top.

Poland are  a very workmanlike side who are definitely greater than the sum of their parts. There are no stars in their team, just lots of grafting midfielders, an overrated goalkeeper and a Brazilian. This random motley crew have qualified easily for Euro 2008 and the last two World Cups. The trouble being that they have stunk out each tournament and got knocked out in the group stages each time. This time round they find themselves fifth in a very tight group full of neighbours like Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Though only three points off Northern Ireland who are top, it just feels like one of those groups where no one team is good enough to dominate. They have a banker against San Marino on Wednesday but will need to avenge defeat to Northern Ireland in June to properly get back on the road to qualifying.

Give me Fabianski any day.

Give me Fabianski any day.

 

4. France/Group 7/Currently 3rd and 5 points off top.

Somehow France decided to stick with Raymond Domenech after their dismal showing at Euro 2008. He seems like a very ‘unique’ coach who is influenced by astrology and proposed to his girlfriend on live TV after they got knocked out of the Euros. Considering the talent the French have at their disposal, they should be dominating the group they’re in. Instead Serbia have made the best start and Les Bleus find themselves in third with some work to do. A big game against Lithuania on Wednesday will go some way to deciding their fate. A win sees them overtake Lithuania into second whilst keeping their game in hand. A tough away game in Serbia still awaits but the final two games are at home so they should be safe. Eventually.

 

5. Romania/Group 7/Currently 5th and 5 points off 2nd.

If France are in slight trouble, it’s nothing like the pickle Romania find themselves in. Marooned in fifth place they are five off Lithuania in second and a mighty eight off table toppers Serbia. One of several second seeds who have struggled to match their ranking (past performance is no indication of future as finance people would say) they have a problem in that they are probably fighting France for a spot. They can’t catch Serbia but already have a three point deficit on France. While home defeat against Serbia was not especially helpful, they will probably look back and see that the opening 3-0 thrashing by Lithuania in Bucharest was where their campaign started and finished.

 

T.


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