The Digest – Gameweek Thirty One

Filed under: The Digest - Posted by: Mark

The Digest returns to discuss a goal machine in overdrive, the return of a North East revival and why we could do without forensic video analysis in our Fantasy football…

The Player

Papiss Cisse is a rare commodity – a footballing talent that has been able to take his form from another European league and immediately translate it into returns in England’s top flight. Perhaps the reason for Cisse’s easy transition is that his key skill – the ability to find goalscoring positions and finish the job – is unreliant on adapting to a change in pace, style or aggression. Natural goalscorers can ply their trade regardless of those factors if self-belief is high. Right now, as Alan Pardew remarked earlier this week, the confidence is oozing from Cisse and he looks well capable of maintaining his goal per game average.

Liverpool’s defence was the latest to feel Cisse’s force – once regarded as one of the top three rearguards in the league, the absence of Dan Agger has disrupted matters and left them exposed. None more so that Jamie Carragher, although the uncertainty has also crept into those around him – Martin Skrtel and Jose Enrique look shadows of the players we saw a month ago.

Cisse gleefully accepted the space afforded to him to convert his second consecutive brace. The triumvirate he forms with Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa continued on from their outstanding form at the Hawthorns in the Magpies’ previous match, cutting through the Liverpool defence with a swashbuckling ease.

Right now, with Cisse in bloom and his two attacking colleagues combining with such effect, Newcastle look a devastating attacking force. Fantasy managers will be taking note, gladly accepting Cisse and Ben Arfa into their squads, whilst wondering how long Ba will go on playing a cameo role in the recent ascendency.

While Ba sheds his concerned Fantasy owners at pace, Cisse has enjoyed a double Fantasy Premier League (FPL) price rise in the Gameweek already, fetching over 50,000 new owners in 48 hours. The switch seems irresistible, at 7.2 he remains a clear bargain – although the trip to the Liberty Stadium this weekend will surely provide a stern test of Pardew’s slick attacking trio.

The Team

We’d almost forgotten about Sunderland. A miserable run of one win in five had seem them slip from the radar as, without the pace and trickery of the suspended Stephane Sessegnon, they struggled to threaten opponents, whilst failing to keep goals at bay at the other end. We presumed that Martin O’Neill’s North East honeymoon was over. Now it seems things are back on track – the marriage is in bloom and the smiles are back.

The importance of Sessegnon’s return cannot be understated. Whilst Seb Larsson and James McClean always offered assured service from the flanks, Nicklas Bendtner needed the spark of Sessegnon buzzing around him to help put defences on the back foot. At City, Sessegnon was electric, providing two assists and tormenting a shell-shocked home defence which never expected the Black Cats to show their claws.

Bendtner has now scored four in five games – whatever your view on his seemingly inflated self-worth – his rate of goals has us taking notice. Sessegnon is now an obvious target once again, James McClean is the budget alternative. At the back, Simon Mignolet continues to offer value in goal, while Michael Turner a cheap and resolute barrier in front of him.

Sunderland’s assets are back on our shopping list with fixtures falling nicely and a Gameweek 34 match in place. While double Gameweek distractions are seductive, there looks to be good value on offer amongst O’Neill’s troops once more.

The Talking Point

Here we are again. When we found ourselves painstakingly examining Danny Welbeck’s studs back in Gameweek 21, it was clear that we’d found ourselves backed into an uncomfortable corner by a ruling that demanded such precision. On Sunday we were left looking for the merest of touches from Ben Arfa’s boot, shorts or limbs, desperately examining angles to decipher whether Demba Ba’s pass deviated in its path before being dispatched so effectively by Papiss Cisse. The smart teamwork and clinical finish was lost on us within seconds – all we cared about was whether Ben Arfa had, unintentionally, earned an assist.

It’s not a great place to be. As it is, we are again at the mercy of the Press Association verdict. Like it or not, the assist remained with Ben Arfa and we move on. That’s not the discussion here. Once again though, we have to question why there is such a debate, such a thorough examination of footage, when any touch by the Frenchman surely played little part in Cisse’s goal.

A mini-league, or worse still, the FPL crown, could depend on a brush of the studs and the camera angles available to make it out. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that and, when the season is over, let’s hope the FPL re-examine their definition to see if we can avoid such scenarios.

About The Author

“Mark created the beast. He's now looking to tame it.”


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  1. That is so sweet. Messi is my (c) and I bet on him to score next 30 seconds before they win the pen!

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
  2. Olic(C)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
    1. I was gonna say...

      Nice choice

      I didn't even do UCL FF this year... missing out :(

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
    2. Well played mate :)

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
    3. Bit silly really when Messi's playing :;

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
      1. I'll take that back then, shall I? :)

        • 3 years, 10 months ago
    4. Messi (c) better

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
      1. 1 point Extra.

        • 3 years, 10 months ago
          • 3 years, 10 months ago
  3. Someone (c) Olic on here!!

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
      • 3 years, 10 months ago
  4. Ribery assist

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
    1. nice start for my c

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
  5. The FPL league standings are still apparently being recalculated, is this correct? I don't understand in what way they need updating, they look to be up-to-date...?

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
    1. Some of my minileagues aren't

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
  6. Hi folks,
    Am I right in saying the Leagues havent been fully updated yet? And if so is there a reason why not?

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
    1. because they are useless!!

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
    2. Heh... do you have Manager of the Month money at stake too? 😉

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
      1. Sure do!!

        • 3 years, 10 months ago
    3. Seem to be taking longer the last couple of weeks. Don't know why.

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
    • 3 years, 10 months ago
    1. Evening, Zlat. Great season-high rank by the way! Feeling the pressure?!

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
      1. Cheers Tom. Delighted to be inside top 1k. However it will be hard to stay there. All about (c) choice.

        • 3 years, 10 months ago
        1. Great rank u also have Tom.

          • 3 years, 10 months ago
          1. Cheers - just pushing to join yourself in that top 1k now. GWs 34 and 36 will be make or break it I reckon.

            • 3 years, 10 months ago
            1. Def mate. How many players u planning on for gw34?

              • 3 years, 10 months ago
              1. Hoping to get 11 out (without any hits).

                I'll then be left with 2 free transfers in GW 35, and then 1 free transfer in GW 36, which'll leave me with 5 DGW players.

                What are your DGW plans?

                • 3 years, 10 months ago
          2. super zlatan..mcclean or siggy this gw? btw nice assist 4 nocerino

            • 3 years, 10 months ago
    2. Zlatan needs to get his skates on ...

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
        • 3 years, 10 months ago
  7. Good Night. :)

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
  8. Ashley Young nailed on to start this weekend?
    He's fresh and has just reminded SAF that he can get a goal...

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
  9. Valencia out for next gameweek would be one massive blessing for me. please fergie, rest him. ty

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
      • 3 years, 10 months ago
    1. Ferguson likes Valencia with Rafael - he reinforces the right flank and protects Rafael who can be caught out at times. The problem here - Rafael is flying - I really can't see him being dropped even though Jones is fit and therefore Valencia is very likely to play in front. On top of that of course, Valencia is a match winner right now.

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
      1. Agree. Valencia is nailed on at the moment.

        • 3 years, 10 months ago
  10. I asked this question last night. Looking for a few extra opinions.
    Is it worth shipping Suarez this gw for Cisse Or ade?
    Or do I keep for one more gw?

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
    1. I think it's worth keeping him for one more week personally, Villa are easy targets at the moment.

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
      1. Personally I'd ship him out - Liverpool are in a real rut at the moment. Much better to move to a player who is on form for a team who is on form.

        Liverpool Villa has 0-0 written all over it, and if that happens that means Suarez won't be getting many points. Even a 2-1 loss is better if your guy gets the goal/assist

        • 3 years, 10 months ago
      2. Lots of teams he's played have been easy targets. It's just not happening.

        • 3 years, 10 months ago
      • 3 years, 10 months ago
    2. If money isn't an issue, I'd wait one more week.

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
    3. Im wondering the same. On paper he has a good run but it awfully inconsistant. I am considering bendy because of GW 34, bring Ade in 53.

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
        • 3 years, 10 months ago
        1. He could do well against villa. But Liverpool are piss at the mo. dunno what to do.

          • 3 years, 10 months ago
    4. I'm a die hard Villa fan and am keeping Suarez and Skrtle 1 more week as i get to watch our defence week in week out, absolute shit.

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
    5. Really depends whether you think Liverpool will continue to play so badly. The fixtures are scheeweet, and the dooblie in 36 could be a good earner. I'd find it hard to bin him personally, but I still probably would. For Ade. After this week tho.

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
      1. Cheers for responses. May keep him for one more week then.

        • 3 years, 10 months ago
  11. So Messi dives to get the penalty, what a surprise. Barcelona are a disgrace to football

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
    1. +1000

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
    2. How on earth was that a dive? Standing leg got taken away.

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
      1. Got taken away? It might have been gently touched when Messi decides to bellyflop on the ground and Barcelona swarm the ref like flies to a shit

        • 3 years, 10 months ago
    3. +1. Busquets as well. David Villa nasty character too. Ya dont see Bendnter diving like that. :-)

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
      1. Bendtner is class unlike Messi

        • 3 years, 10 months ago
    4. Jealous much?

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
  12. I know the right time to ship Silva out was ages ago, but even if I do it before next GW, I probably wouldn't be able to pick this player ahead of my other attackers (team linked).

    Should I wait yet another GW and play him at home to WBA on GW33 or ship now and get:
    - Sess,
    - Walcott
    or another City mid?

    I know there're other interesting players, but I'd like to pick the one who actually plays on GW34.

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
      • 3 years, 10 months ago
    1. I'm in exactly the same boat! Already lost a lot of value on him but I'll probably keep him: all the DGW potential (VDV, Mata etc) have blanks in GW 34, whereas Silva has a half-decent fixture at Norwich.

      I know he's out of form, but I think I'll stick with him.

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
    2. I am shipping him this week as well but not for walcott and he is next weeks trasnsfer.
      I considered either Sess or Sigs?!

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
      1. Ventura, why not tempted by Walcott? Nice fixtures and on form ...

        • 3 years, 10 months ago
        1. He is next weeks transfer. I am bringing him in after the City game.

          • 3 years, 10 months ago
          1. For Dempsey?

            • 3 years, 10 months ago
    3. I'm looking at that question too - I've had Silva since the start and I'm finally out of patience. I think the choice has to be Sess, Walcott or Mata surely? (Toure is as tired as Silva, and the other midfielders are struggling for points - lets not get Milner/Barry!)

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
      1. I thought the lack of City coverage could harm me over the past weeks, but was proven wrong. I think Sess is the best prospect. Plays in an advanced position, rotates with Dempsey and has Wolves at home (GW34). Getting Walcott would mean I have two attacking players from Arsenal.

        • 3 years, 10 months ago
  13. What are the Collectives thoughts on Bolton's Wheater?
    With two double game weeks coming up he has potential for a reasonable haul.
    Then again it could be four points or worse.
    Just wondering?

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
  14. Nice to see my 2pt hit for Olic has paid off :) And captain Messi doing quite well too. If only I could do so well in the EPL!

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
  15. ok so what are Pool defensive owners doing? Are we holding for DGW or ahipping. I think I am dropping Skrtel for one of Distin or Jags and going double on Everton.

    Liverpool players have caused me nothing but trouble this season.

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
    1. I've had Enrique since the start of the season, and I'm keeping him.

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
  16. Ac Milan. Yessssssssssssssssssssss

    • 3 years, 10 months ago

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
      • 3 years, 10 months ago
  18. Do you know it is so nice to follow football without worrying if somebody has a bloomin' shot off target

    A shot should be rewarded not punished!

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
    • 3 years, 10 months ago
  19. Olic again

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
  20. Europa League 2nd Round Preview

    Dynamo Kyiv(JohnD) vs Tottenham Hotspur(megatron x)

    Group A winners Tottenham travel to Ukraine to face JohnD’s Dynamo Kyiv after Kyiv survived a late scare to book their place in the second round after The Parmtree’s Stoke failed to beat group winners Besiktas. Spurs had a slightly easier passage to the last 32 as they booked their place via a 20 point away win at bottom of the table Shamrock Rovers. The two teams have a similar style with JohnD already making one change ahead of GW32.

    Predicted Line-Ups:

    Dynamo Kyiv: Vorm; Evans, Skrtel, Caulker/Vermaelen; Bale, Valencia, Walcott, Sigurdsson; RVP, Rooney, Suarez.

    Tottenham: Krul; Evans, Skrtel, Caulker; Bale, Valencia, Walcott, Sigurdsson, Dempsey; RVP, Rooney.

    Key Battles: Vorm vs Krul and Dempsey vs Suarez

    Prediction: A narrow home win.

    AC Milan(4vetti) vs Standard Liege(Duffman91)

    Champions League dropout AC Milan, managed by 4vetti are in unfamiliar territory as they host Duffman’s Belgian side Standard Liege. 4vetti has taken a more aggressive approach to management and has been likened to Swindon manager Paulo Di Canio by the media for his on and off field antics, compared to the calm and cautious Duffman91. An away defeat to Viktoria Plzen ended AC Milan’s Champions League campaign and sparked to life another European adventure. Duffman’s Standard Liege topped group B with 15 points from a possible 18 with their only defeat at the hands of Milanista’s FC Kobenhavn.With only 381 places between the sides it’s anybody’s game. Standard Liege have made one change from the side that faced Kobenhavn, possibly Dempsey to Bale.

    Predicted Line-Ups:

    AC Milan: Vorm; Evans, Skrtel, Riise; Bale, Walcott, Valencia, Sigurdsson; RVP, Rooney, Adebayor.

    Standard Liege: Schwarzer; Evans, Enrique, Caulker; Valencia, Bale, Sigurdsson, Walcott; Cisse, RVP, Rooney.

    Key battles: Riise vs Caulker and Cisse vs Adebayor.

    Prediction: Home win

    More to Follow!!!!!!!!

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
    1. Nice one Parm :)

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
    2. 😀

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
  21. Woohoo! Feeling quite good about the last minute Gomez->Olic move :)

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
  22. NEw rule for Barça! if they reach 5 corners , another penalty will be!! Yeah!!

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
  23. would you banch dempsey or sess this week?

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
    1. bench

      • 3 years, 10 months ago
  24. Hey everyone i'm thinking about upgrading fergurson to sessgnon and Suarez down to bendtner for gameweek 34. should i do that for GW 33 to save on price rises or keep suarez to play Blackburn?

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
  25. Europa League 2nd Round Previews

    For Kyiv vs Spurs & AC Milan vs Liege click here: http://www.fantasyfootballscou.....nt-2977418

    For Hannover vs Hapoel & Wisła vs Lisbon: http://www.fantasyfootballscou.....nt-2978473


    Vaslui(Coriswrasse) vs Besiktas(Jack(off)Attack)

    After the group stage draw Jack(off)Attack was confident of topping Group E, and he did just the beating The Parmtree 71-65 in Matchday Six to secure top spot ahead of rival JohnD and his Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv. In the second round Besiktas face a tough 1st leg away to Romanian representatives Vaslui managed by Coriswrasse. Vaslui finished runner-up in Group D ahead of Yossi- The Jewish Iniesta and his Zurich side. Underdogs Vaslui have already used their free transfer yet Jack(off)Attack has used two and already has a 4 point deficit before the tie has even began.

    Predicted Line-Ups:

    Vaslui: Vorm; Evans, BAE, Enrique; Valencia, Walcott, Dempsey, Sigurdsson; RVP, Rooney, Cisse

    Besiktas: Krul; Evans, Baines, Caulker, Valencia, Walcott, Bale, Sigurdsson, RVP, Rooney, Cisse

    Key Battles: BAE vs Baines and Dempsey vs Bale

    Prediction: Narrow Away Win


    Lokomotiv Moskva(thobe230) vs Slovan Bratislava(SSK Ginkvan)

    SSK’s Slovan Bratislava shocked the competition by running out as Group F winner and finish above seconded seeded King Eric and only suffering one defeat during the group stage, at the hands of Drinking Red Bull’s Red Bull Salzburg. Thobe230 and his Russian side Lokomotiv Moskva managed to overcome both Mac’s Anderlecht and Doosra’s AEK Athens and finish runners-up in Group L. Slovan’s SSK has already used his free transfer, possibly bringing in the reliable Antonio Valencia for Manchester City’s Yaya Toure. Lokomotiv manager Thobe is content on saving his free transfer with Davide Santon the only outstanding trouble.

    Predicted Line-Ups

    Lokomotiv Moskva: Krul; Evans, BAE, Skrtel; Bale, Dempsey, Valencia, Walcott; RVP, Rooney, Cisse.

    Slovan Bratislava: Krul; Evans, Baines, Cahill; Walcott, Dempsey, Valencia, Andrews; RVP, Rooney, Yakubu.

    Key battles: BAE vs Baines and Cisse vs Yakubu

    Prediction: Home Win


    • 3 years, 10 months ago
  26. Think flash in the pan cisse will be over from now, some disapointment for those shipping in now me thinks

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
  27. help!! mata or gerrard?

    • 3 years, 10 months ago
      • 3 years, 10 months ago

Scout Picks

Gameweek 25

  • Forster
  • Janmaat
  • Williams
  • Alderweireld
  • Wijnaldum
  • André Ayew
  • Dele Alli
  • Roberto Firmino
  • Sánchez
  • Aguero
  • Kane
  • Moreno
  • Arnautovic
  • Giroud

From the Community…


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The Watchlist


Last updated: 10 Feb, 2016 1:01pm
Player Club Factors
Up Forster SOT A, Vs
Down Butland STO C, Vs
Up Schmeichel LEI A, Vs
Up Courtois CHE B, Vs
No Change Boruc BOU B, Vs
Up Hennessey CPL C, £
No Change Cech ARS A, VsX
Up Fabianski SWA B
No Change De Gea MUN B
No Change Adrián WHM B


Last updated: 10 Feb, 2016 1:08pm
Player Club Factors
Up Fuchs LEI A, Vs, £
Up van Dijk SOT A, Vs
Up Daniels BOU A, Vs, £
Up Dann CPL A
No Change Ivanovic CHE B, Vs
No Change Alderweireld TOT B
No Change Bellerín ARS B, VsX
Up Johnson STO C, Vs
No Change Cresswell WHM B
Up Van Aanholt SUN A
No Change Williams SWA B, £
Up Smalling MUN C
Up Coleman EVE B, Vs
Down Dawson WBA C
Down Moreno LIV C, Vs
Down Kolarov MCI B, Rest, Inj


Last updated: 10 Feb, 2016 1:17pm
Player Club Factors
Up Mahrez LEI A, Vs
No Change Payet WHM B, Vs
No Change Dele Alli TOT A, Inj
Up Arnautovic STO C, Vs, Inj
No Change Ozil ARS C, VsX
Up Eriksen TOT A
Up Antonio WHM A, Vs, Rest, £
Up Sigurdsson SWA A, OoP
Down Barkley EVE B, Vs
Down Roberto Firmino LIV A, VsX, OoP
Down Sánchez ARS C, VsX
Up Lingard MUN B, Rest, £
Up Khazri SUN B
Up Oscar CHE B, Vs
No Change Wijnaldum NEW B


Last updated: 10 Feb, 2016 1:44pm
Player Club Factors
Up Vardy LEI B, Vs
No Change Kane TOT A
Down Aguero MCI A
Up Diego Costa CHE A, Vs, Inj
Up Rooney MUN A
Down Ighalo WAT C, VsX
Down Lukaku EVE C
Up Afobe BOU A, Vs
No Change Giroud ARS B, VsX, Rest
No Change Defoe SUN A

Selection Factors

A, B, C Current Form
Vs Favourable Fixtures
VsX Unfavourable Fixtures
Rest Rotation Risk
Inj Injured/Returning from Injury
OoP Out of Position
£ Potential Bargain
Sus Suspended/Near Suspension
Player Team YC
Colback NEW 9
Byram WHM 9
Lucas LIV 8
Jones SUN 8
Yacob WBA 8
Westwood AVL 7
Diego Costa CHE 7
Huth LEI 7
Can LIV 7
Mangala MCI 7
Shelvey NEW 7
Pieters STO 7
Dele Alli TOT 7
Dier TOT 7
Noble WHM 7

“All players will blank a few times during the season. When almost all do it in the same Gameweek, it is tough to take, but that's just the dark side of probability.”

Abreu 42 Community regular