The do say that pride comes before a fall. I think I heard that again on Eastenders earlier in the week – so often a hotbed of philosophical thinking.
The phrase has me somewhat concerned as this is typed as, gazing on my Gameweek 5 collection of players, I find myself fighting back the smugness in anticipation of good things to come.
Fantasy managers can often get these Saturday morning waves of emotion. They can arrive with the same frequency of that feeling of panic when you look on your squad and fail to see where the points are coming from. The thing is, it’s so often the case that the eventual reality is far different to the morning’s expectation.
So when I look at my frontline of Carlos Tevez, Robin Van Persie and Dimitar Berbatov with some expectation – perhaps I should fight that back and prepare for the worst. On paper the trio look to have such class and pedigree that Fantasy returns seem almost guaranteed. And yet, I know, deep down, what that paper is worth and how individuals like Sir Alex Ferguson can wipe their posterior on it. Have I forgotten last weekend’s Old Trafford teamsheets already?
I can put my Saturday morning optimism down to the fact that, for once, I’ve reached a state of calm when it comes to my transfer dealings. I’ve gambled big time for the previous two Gameweeks, shedding 8 points by recruiting Michu, Leighton Baines, Jussi Jaaskalenen and Berbatov for Younes Kaboul, Gareth Bale, David De Gea and Danny Graham.
With Graham emerging as a doubt in midweek and De Gea a candidate for bench duty again, I can at least take comfort that my dealings appear to have come good – at least before a ball is kicked. Between them, Jaaskaleinen and Berbatov have risen by 0.5, while De Gea has fallen. So a 0.6 swing in squad value cost me 4 points and also gave me two certain starters. That seems like good business and a rare endorsement from me for the early transfer policy, in a volatile Fantasy Premier League market place.
I’m almost whistling a tune, then, whilst scanning the morning papers to assess their teamsheet thinking and, in keeping with my mood, I find few surprises to concern me.
The Sun perhaps offer the bravest outlook – offering full debuts to Swansea’s Pablo Hernandez and Ki Sung-Yeung, Villa’s Christian Benteke, Southampton’s Gadston Ramirez and West Brom’s Romelu Lukaku. Others are more conservative, with the Independent again closest to our thinking when it comes to predicted lineups.
All our papers see a start for Sergio Aguero up with Tevez when Arsenal arrive in Manchester, but on the red half, Ferguson’s lineup remains more difficult to anticipate. Some go with Shinji Kagawa up in support of Robin Van Persie, with Antonio Valencia and Nani operating wide – that’s certainly my thinking. However, Danny Welbeck is the missing ingredient and the likes of The Times, The Sun and the Telegraph all predict a start for the striker in an apparent 4-4-2 with Nani the main man to miss out. No doubt for the prize for “do they know something we don’t” award here, the Telegraph have no place for Valencia in their United lineup – that’s surely unlikely.
For those on injury watch, Kyle Naughton takes his place in all seven of our predicted lineups this morning – seemingly shrugging off the foot problem sustained against Lazio in the week. Meanwhile, only the Guardian give Adam Johnson a chance of making the Black Cats’ trip to West Ham – the winger is struggling with a thigh injury.
Most of our papers have the regular Swansea lineup intact, despite knocks to Ashley Williams, Jonathan De Guzman and Danny Graham. Pablo Hernandez is preferred to Wayne Routledge in the Independent, the Sun and the Daily Mail, Luke Moore also gets the nod over Graham in those last two sources.
Having spent points on shifting Graham from my squad, that particular tweak to Michael Laudrup’s teamsheet would be a welcome sight. As it is, Graham will likely start, score a brace to ruin Baines’ clean sheet and remind me again why I shouldn’t make early transfers. Like they say on Eastenders, pride before a fall.
Commenting is now closed for this post.
For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
Next Six Ticker
|No Change||Hart||MCI||B, Vs|
|Up||Robles||WIG||C, Vs, £|
|No Change||Lloris||TOT||C, Vs|
|No Change||Foster||WBA||C, Vs|
|No Change||Vorm||SWA||C, Vs|
|No Change||Mignolet||SUN||B, Vs|
|No Change||De Gea||MUN||A|
|Up||Boruc||SOT||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Kompany||MCI||B, Vs, Rest|
|No Change||Vertonghen||TOT||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Luiz||CHE||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Boyce||WIG||C, Vs, OoP|
|No Change||Cuéllar||SUN||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Rangel||SWA||C, Vs|
|Up||Clyne||SOT||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Mata||CHE||C, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Hazard||CHE||B, Vs, Rest, Inj|
|Up||Maloney||WIG||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Y Touré||MCI||B, Vs|
|No Change||Silva||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Tevez||MCI||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Koné||WIG||B, Vs, £|
|Down||van Persie||MUN||A, Vs|
|Up||Lukaku||WBA||B, Vs, Rest|
|Down||Aguero||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Rodriguez||SOT||A, Vs, £|
|Up||Defoe||TOT||B, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Ba||CHE||C, Vs, Rest|
|A, B, C||Current Form|
|Inj||Injured/Returning from Injury|
|OoP||Out of Position|
“I love to attack and I love to go up front...It is a little more difficult than when you are playing centre-back. If you play the way that I want to play, I think my influence is better as a left-back. For the team, it is best that I play as a centre-back. I like to bring the ball out. You need to move the game quickly, and that is one of my qualities as well.”Jan Vertonghen outlines what he feels is his best position for Andre Villas-Boas