The Digest – Gameweek 14

Filed under: The Digest - Posted by: Paul

Tottenham’s on-song Welshman continues to bedazzle top-flight defences. City’s backline proves miserly once more as we approach the festive season, while worries snowball over Rafa Benitez’s tactics as Chelsea’s attacking midfield assets take a tumble…

The Player

Last night’s display against Liverpool had it all from Gareth Bale. A goal, an assist, a yellow card and one of the most bizarre own goals you’re likely to see, courtesy of Aaron Lennon’s panicked goal line clearance rebounding off the Welshman’s face straight into Hugo Lloris’ net. While the own goal garnered the attention, Bale’s 10 point haul saw him climb to the top of the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) standings for midfielders, with 83 points accrued.

With goals in each of his last three, the Welshman has now taken his tally to six in 14 matches, only four less than his tally for the previous campaign. While many of the popular midfield big-hitters are starting to stumble or struggle for a semblance of consistency, Bale goes from strength to strength and is looking impossible to ignore right now. He also seems to be handed the majority of free-kicks, furthering his increasingly appealing potential – a fact that Andre Villas-Boas spoke of post-match:

“Players learn through what they see. With Ronaldo we saw that you can almost hit under the ball and it gains an effect where it drops and changes direction. He (Bale) has the power to do that. He keeps on practising this technique and we are pleased to have it. He is more free, getting more of the ball, the team is creating conditions for him to appear more. He is enjoying himself on the pitch. His physical freshness, his motivation towards playing, what he does offensively and defensively. He takes over the whole of the left wing. He helps the full-back so much. It’s never-ending. His pace, it’s electric.”

With Spurs keen to involve Bale as much as possible in the final third, the upcoming fixture list only serves to cement his place in our Fantasy thinking. Trips to Fulham and Everton will hold little fear for would-be investors, given both sides’ recent poor defensive form, while Bale’s following six fixtures (SWA, STO, avl, sun, RDG, qpr) have the potential for points aplenty. Already, the bandwagon is rolling after last night’s display and with rest or rotation highly unlikely to blight his season, Fantasy managers are now pondering who to sacrifice in order to secure Bale’s place in their side for this weekend’s trip to the Cottage.

The Team

Another game, another clean sheet for the champions as City ultimately saw off a valiant Wigan 2-0 at the DW. Having conceded in seven of their opening right fixtures, Roberto Mancini’s side looked anything but secure at the back in the early part of the season but the defensive solidity that produced a total of 35 clean sheets over the previous two campaigns is apparent once again.

Mancini’s men have now conceded just a single goal in their last six matches – a run that has coincided with a regular role in the heart of defence for Matija Nastasic alongside Vincent Kompany. Joleon Lescott now seems to be firmly behind the summer signing in the pecking order for starts, with City assistant boss David Platt recently admitting Nastasic’s “exceptional” form has made it an easy decision to omit the former Everton man from the City starting XI. With full-back rotation still kicking in – Mancini played Pablo Zabaleta on the left of defence last night, for instance – Nastasic appears secure at the back right now and with a FPL price tag of just 5.5, looks exceptional value.

Champions League football is now off the agenda and depending on results in next week’s final round of group matches, City may also find themselves out of the Europa League, too. Bearing in mind they are already out of the Capital One Cup, Mancini looks set to focus fully on his side’s attempts to regain the title, with his flourishing backline providing the basis to grind out results when necessary. Once again last night, Mancini’s rest and rotation policy up top proved hugely frustrating – it may well be that Fantasy investment at the back could be the way forward when assessing City, though whether Nastasic can rival Vincent Kompany for security of starts is still perhaps debatable.

The Talking Point

Rafa Benitez’s arrival at the Bridge has hardly proven popular with Chelsea supporters and just two matches into his tenure, he’s quickly turning Fantasy managers against him, too. While the Blues early-season form had started to diminish under Roberto Di Matteo, they were at least still managing to find the net – something they have yet to achieve after 180 minutes under their new manager.

The goalless Gameweek 13 home clash against City can perhaps be excused given the champions’ outstanding defensive form but last night’s derby with Fulham offered Benitez the chance to get three points under his belt. Visitors Fulham had, after all, conceded in all of their previous seven away games and have shipped 16 goals on their travels – the second worst away defence in the league. A victory in the derby over Martin Jol’s side would have appeased the home support to some extent but Benitez instead decided to drop Juan Mata, arguably their most consistent player over the past couple of months, as the Blues ground out another goalless stalemate.

With trips to West Ham and Sunderland in addition to a blank Gameweek 17 on their agenda, many have already decided enough is enough and have shipped out Mata and Eden Hazard in significant numbers this week. While Benitez’s installation may now see our targets turn to the Chelsea backline instead, the stats are a real worry for owners of the midfield duo – the London outfit have just three shots on target in two games since Di Matteo’s departure. With a change in tactics supplemented by his penchant for rotation, the former Liverpool boss has instantly raised real fears over the Fantasy potential of two big-hitters amongst our midfield options – with the likes of Arsenal and Spurs set for kind upcoming schedules, the exodus could pick up in pace, as Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale provide us with in-form premium alternatives in flourishing form.

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  1. The final solution of the FPL question

    Cameron > Wisdom/£4.5m defender allows me to do Mata + Tevez > Walcott + Suarez for -4 point hit.

    I own Begovic so I don't need the double up anymore as their fixtures are less favourable.

    Thoughts on these transfers?

    • 2 years, 20 days ago
    1. Wisdom not nailed on. Cud look at other options.

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
      1. He is nailed on IMO. Has only missed matches through injury from what I recall. First choice RB now.

        • 2 years, 20 days ago
    2. Good on paper with big upside. All I would warn is that you then get in two players with high chance of imminently missing a game (Suarez, Walcott). Check your reserves are strong enough.

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
      1. Those are good points. Although Mata and Tevez are being messed about by the management which is even more frustrating. I can deal with Suarez missing one game as it hasn't stopped Fellaini doing what he does best. Theo is a nightmare for getting injured but with his form/fixtures I think it's a gamble worth taking.

        • 2 years, 20 days ago
  2. Heya evening chaps I am in deep sh*te (proud member of the red arrows club:) so please any advice appreciated here:

    Jaaask Ruddy (inj)
    Baines (inj) Showcross Demel Davies Jenkinson (not playin)
    Mata (?) Valencia (inj) Sterling Silva Britton
    Tevez (?) RvP Berb (sh*te atm)

    my thoughts:
    A Ruddy + Baines + Valencia OUT - Bunn + Rafael + Bale IN (-4pts)
    B Baines + Mata + Val OUT - Rafa + Walcot/Fellaini + Bale IN (-4pts)
    C ... ?

    • 2 years, 20 days ago
    1. leave mata alone you have injuries to deal with.

      I would say A but leave Ruddy alone as well and save the 4pts. Maybe JEvans or Enrique instead of Rafael?

      Jussi does well with save points so often gets 3 or 4 points without a CS.

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
    2. Baines + Mata + Val out for Enrique + Walcott + Bale perhaps?

      Jenkinson could play this week I think... there's a tweet about Sagna. Fulham have decent fixtures so I'd hang on to Berbatov.

      Then next week Tevez to Suarez if he's not suspended maybe,

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
      1. so JE vs Rafa ... who to take out of these 2 isnt Rafa better prospect (but maybe gonna be tired...)

        • 2 years, 20 days ago
  3. Credit where it's due. Who would have thought that triple Liverpool would be a bandwagon this year? :lol: :lol:

    • 2 years, 20 days ago
    1. Who'd have thought a few weeks ago that Jose Enrique would be hot property :)

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
      1. Brendan Rodgers 8-)

        • 2 years, 20 days ago
          • 2 years, 20 days ago
    2. Rodgers is FPL gold. Loads of great cheap options at Swansea last season, now there's Sterling and Wisdom from a 4.5m starting price, Enrique playing OOP and Suarez hitting the target.

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
  4. OK, my 42 inch plasma has died (vertical lines down the screen syndrome).
    So I'm looking for a new TV. Less than 500 Euro. Any (intelligent) suggestions or recommendations?

    • 2 years, 20 days ago
    1. Go for a Samsung if your budget reaches it

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
    2. Samsung 6 series is decent (7 series might have come down in price by now).

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
      1. Cheers Spike and 66, the Plasma was a Samsung so very reluctant to give them anymore cash. The warranty was just out when it started acting up so unlikely I will trust them again. (should have said in original post)

        • 2 years, 20 days ago
        1. Are you around for a bit. I can research on my Which membership if you like

          • 2 years, 20 days ago
          1. Ya, sound, gotta walk the dog but will be back in 30 mins, should be on regularly for a few hours after that.
            Sound ok?

            • 2 years, 20 days ago
            1. Yep

              • 2 years, 20 days ago
              1. Cheers, your a good man.

                • 2 years, 20 days ago
  5. page roll repost,

    whom to bench? cameron or cuellar


    • 2 years, 20 days ago
  6. No scoutcast tonight????

    • 2 years, 20 days ago
    1. Boom!

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
        • 2 years, 20 days ago
      1. Haha, excellent!

        • 2 years, 20 days ago
      2. thank u

        • 2 years, 20 days ago
  7. Wilkinson > Which defender 4.9 or less? Thinking Cuellar or Cameron, erring towards Cuellar. Maybe Rangel?

    • 2 years, 20 days ago
    1. Would stay away from SWA defense. STO has poor fixtures. So Cuellar out of those.

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
      1. Wisdom could be worth a punt also if you don't have Enrique.

        • 2 years, 20 days ago
      2. Cheers, seems like the best choice especially with the DGW coming up too!

        • 2 years, 20 days ago

    • 2 years, 20 days ago
  9. baines -) enrique for free transfer


    tevez + baines or ivanovich for rvp and a cheap defender. - for a -4 points hit??


    • 2 years, 20 days ago
    1. rvp could destroy reading

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
  10. I'd love to know what all the fuss is about getting Enrique in? Is it just typical bandwagoners and Enrique playing further up the pitch? As a Liverpool supporter, who watches them week in week out, I fail to see why everybody is jumping on the bandwagon, yes he is playing further forward, but he aint done out and apart from the Wigan game, he has been poor as usual, gets caught out and and gives away the ball to much, the rest of the team cant stand him because he dilly dallies to much, and it was only a few weeks ago, he was sat on the bench with a miserable face, and getting zero gametime....and Rodgers was looking at shipping him out because he didnt fit into this system. (the imaginary tiki taka system that ISNT working)

    If your looking at any Liverpool defensive cover, Glen Johnson is your man! He has been by far our best player, him and Suarez are streets ahead of anybody at the club at the moment and Glen is playing virtually right wing himself, and could have had a few goals this anybody thinking about Gerrard and Enrique, you are foolish. Gerrard is only playing because, well, because he is Steven Gerrard, but he has been by far one of our worst players this season. He was hopeless last night as usual. And has been for the past few seasons. But he remains in the side, because he is Steven Gerrard. Notice how Shelvey came on last night for Henderson, Gerrard looked like an old man, and Rodgers kept him on.

    Well past his sell by date now and is doing more damage, because other teams are spotting him out as a weak link, he looked like an old man up against Bale and co last night. He was all over the place for both of Spurs' goals and has been at error for many goals we have conceded this season.

    Sorry for the longest post on FFS ever. :(

    • 2 years, 20 days ago
    1. a defender palying in attacking position, yep mind boggling why people are getting him

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
    2. tell it like it is, my brother..

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
    3. I watched some of the game last night, he popped up in the CF position a few times, had a couple of long shots that went pretty close, headed down to a team-mate when he could have gone for goal.

      OOP defenders are very valuable.

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
    4. I agree, but Enrique in FFS terms looks good as long as he plays OOP. How long that will last is anyone's guess.

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
      1. He wont be playing left wing come January. Don't be surprised if Rodgers changes it around now, Enrique apart from the Wigan game, has been useless as usual.

        The plan for Rodgers is to push Gerrard further up the pitch, playing right wing/false 9. A front three of Sterling, Suarez and Gerrard. Obviously, Lucas being out has halted that. So effectively, everyone has had to move a place back in midfield. And our midfield has been poor for a few weeks now. Allen is having to play the holding role and Gerrard is left exposed running backwards. So when Lucas comes back into the side, Gerrard will be pushed on, and Allen will be playing in his natural position and influencing things further up the pitch.

        Allen is a massive prospect for me when this happens, because his price has gone down playing where he is in Lucas' absence.

        • 2 years, 20 days ago
        1. +1

          Lucas is a massive miss for us

          • 2 years, 20 days ago
    5. I went to the game yesterday, Enrique got in all sorts of excellent forward positions.

      However, its what Rogers does with Downing. If he's got ANY sense, he should leave Downing out and put Enrique LB. Downing totally lost Lennon for the first goal last night and he looked generally nervous whenever Lennon was running at him.

      I think there could be quite a few unhappy people on here at the wknd when Enrique moves to LB.

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
    6. Thank you for taking the time to write it, I found it very informative. Always better to get facts from someone actually going to the matches.

      • 2 years, 19 days ago
  11. Should I take a 4point hit for hazard -> bale? Before his price rise tonight?

    • 2 years, 20 days ago
    1. Just did it, without the hit. Think it's a good call

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
  12. I wonder will Lescott get given a game against Everton? Old club and all and he doesn't seem to be injured so it's not implausible.

    • 2 years, 20 days ago
    1. Not sure if Mancini cares about much about his players feelings let alone have any sentiment for their previous clubs. Nastasic + Kompany are playing well, forming a good partnership and with City having all kinds of defensive problems I think he will be relieved that they have steadied the ship.

      Cheers for the Stoke downgrade suggestion. I had my blinkers on.

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
      1. No problem mate, glad I could be of assistance. Now let's hope Stoke don't go on a 10 game CS run! :D

        • 2 years, 20 days ago
  13. Not to dampen the Enrique enthusiasm but...with Lucas back, Gerard will surely play further forward. This will surely affect Enrique, and perhaps even Sterling?

    • 2 years, 20 days ago
    1. I'm not sure about Sterling but wonder about Enrique. I'm a L'pool fan and have none of them in my team.

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
      1. You not bothering to get any in with a nice run of fixtures? Not even El Diablo?

        • 2 years, 20 days ago
        1. I really don't see it. I am considering Jose, missed Sterling (foolishly) and will not get Suarez unless he gets his yellow or drops in price.

          I've kinda missed the boat and if L'pool sign a striker in jan....

          • 2 years, 20 days ago
  14. After considering countless different transfers I have decide to save it. Will captain RVP and keep Mata, hoping Suarez picks up a yellow and Walcott scores a blank, too much to ask :?:

    • 2 years, 20 days ago
  15. REPOST


    Baines Rafa Cuellar

    Afro Silva Bale Sterling

    RVP Berb Suarez

    Bego Michu Davies Gunter

    0 FT 0.3 in the kitty

    What do we think?

    • 2 years, 20 days ago
  16. Quick question, if I've decided to play the WC, can I do 10 transfers today and play the WC tomorrow without hits?

    • 2 years, 20 days ago
    1. That's right. Even if you take hits today they will all be cleared if you play your WC later this week before the deadline. Have at it!

      • 2 years, 20 days ago
      1. thanks :)

        • 2 years, 20 days ago
  17. Evening chaps...

    Beg (wba)
    Clarke (qpr) / Rafael (rdg) / Enrique (C) (SOU)
    Caz / Fellaini (mci) / Llalana (liv) / Bale (SWA)
    Long (STO) / Suarez (SOU) / RVP(vc) (rdg)

    Subs - Ruddy SUN / Davies (ars) / Shawcross (wba) / Guthrie(MUN)

    Had 2 free transfers - already done baines > enrique
    Worthwhile doing ruddy > mignolet or get better rotating keeper?

    • 2 years, 20 days ago

    • 2 years, 20 days ago
  19. Would you rather have Wisdom that Dawson or Davies?

    Can't think of any other good defenders for £4.5m or less. Got Cuellar.

    • 2 years, 20 days ago
      • 2 years, 20 days ago
      1. just noticed we have the exact same score! lol

        • 2 years, 20 days ago
        1. and the same gameweek score o_O

          • 2 years, 20 days ago
  20. I might do the unthinkable this week.

    Oh wrong post.

    • 2 years, 20 days ago
  21. 4 hours ago I was convinced I would transfer Baines out for Enrique..

    Now when the time comes, i just couldn't do it... Damn Baines...

    And I thought, I have Szcezny.. so F@%K Bego I dont need you.

    And finally the transfer button has been pressed.

    Bego > Cerny
    Figs > Enrique

    Now I have both Baines and Enrique. Cameron, Nelsen, Gorkss rotating for 3rd DEF.

    Happy days.

    • 2 years, 20 days ago
  22. What's the word on Mr Roboto's teeth?

    • 2 years, 19 days ago
  23. switch hazard to walcott and take a hit or wait a week bench hazard and play fellaini away to city?

    • 2 years, 19 days ago
    1. same dilemma without the fellaini thing, but could really considering walcott for hazard

      • 2 years, 19 days ago
  24. need some expert advice:

    a) hazard > walcott
    b) save transfer

    team is linked. Cheers!

    • 2 years, 19 days ago
  25. Right folks 2 transfers this week, what do I do ???

    Jussi - (Cerny)
    J. Enrique, Clyne, McCauley - (Demel)
    Bale, Silva, Fellaini, Noble - (Gera)
    RVP, Berba, Saurez

    • 2 years, 19 days ago
  26. is tevez goina start dis week??? did he fall out wit mancini or sumtin??

    • 2 years, 19 days ago

Scout Picks

For Gameweek 17

  • Lloris
  • Zabaleta
  • Ivanovic
  • Cresswell
  • Sánchez
  • Eriksen
  • Y Touré
  • Downing
  • Bony
  • van Persie
  • Austin
  • Evans
  • Nasri
  • Carroll

From the Community…


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Fixture Ticker

The Watchlist


Last updated: 19 Dec, 2014 1:25pm
Player Club Factors
Up Hart MCI A, Vs
Up McGregor HUL B, Vs
Up Guzan AVL B, Vs
Up Green QPR B, Vs
Down Pantilimon SUN A
Up De Gea MUN A
No Change Fabianski SWA B
Up Adrián WHM B


Last updated: 19 Dec, 2014 12:51am
Player Club Factors
Up Zabaleta MCI B, Vs, Rest
Down Ivanovic CHE B
Down Baines EVE C
Up Yun QPR C, Vs, £
Up Davies TOT C, Vs, Rest, £
Up Janmaat NEW B, VsX, Inj
No Change Cresswell WHM B
Down Hutton AVL B, Vs, £, Sus
No Change Taylor SWA B
Up Chester HUL C, Vs, VsX
Up Evans MUN B, Vs


Last updated: 17 Dec, 2014 1:40pm
Player Club Factors
Up Hazard CHE A, VsX
Down Sánchez ARS A, VsX, OoP
Up Y Touré MCI B, Vs, Sus
Up Downing WHM A
Up Eriksen TOT A, Vs
Up Nasri MCI A, Vs, Inj
Down Sigurdsson SWA B, Vs
Up Sterling LIV C, Vs
No Change Bolasie CPL A, VsX
Down Oscar CHE B, VsX
Up Fer QPR B, Vs
Up Sissoko NEW B, Vs, VsX


Last updated: 17 Dec, 2014 1:47pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Diego Costa CHE B
No Change Bony SWA A, Vs
Up Austin QPR A, Vs
Up van Persie MUN A
Up Kane TOT B, Vs, Rest, £
No Change Sakho WHM B, Rest, £
Up Giroud ARS B, VsX
Up Benteke AVL B, Vs
Down Rooney MUN B, Inj, OoP
Up Carroll WHM B, Vs
Up Cissé NEW A, Vs
No Change Pellè SOT C

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

The Suspension Tightrope

Player Team YC
Oxlade-Chamberlain ARS 4
Agbonlahor AVL 4
Boyd BRN 4
Marney BRN 4
Chamakh CPL 4
Naismith EVE 4
Chester HUL 4
Livermore HUL 4
Robertson HUL 4
Moore LEI 4
Balotelli LIV 4
Gerrard LIV 4
Skrtel LIV 4
Kompany MCI 4
Mangala MCI 4
Y Touré MCI 4
Tioté NEW 4
Fer QPR 4
Clyne SOT 4
Fonte SOT 4
Mane SOT 4
Mame Biram Diouf STO 4
Shawcross STO 4
Wilson STO 4
Gómez SUN 4
Wickham SUN 4
Ki SWA 4
Williams SWA 4
Mason TOT 4
Dorrans WBA 4
Tomkins WHM 4

“Last year was quite open for me, I was in good positions, but I was quite lucky because I was getting free kicks and some penalties as well.”

Yaya Toure Manchester City midfielder