May
11

The Pre-Match Preamble – Gameweek 37

Filed under: The Preamble - Posted by: Mark

It’s like we’re being prepared for the inevitable: slowly eased into a life without football and the spills from our Fantasy lineups. Okay, there’s the small matter of an FA Cup final but, without the sight of Norman Whiteside playing poker on the coach, helicopter arrivals and Question of Sport special, that lost it’s magic long ago.

We’re left with just the early kick-off at Villa Park– a scenario that could well turn sour on us, should Rafa deliver on his promise and shuffle his pack with wild abandon ahead of the midweek Europa League final.

We know Rafa loves a bit of silverware; he wants to depart his troubled tenure at the Bridge with another CV boosting trophy. Ultimately, that will surely influence his teamsheet for the clash with a Villa side that look to have almost casually eased their way out of the relegation quicksand in recent weeks. With a point likely to satisfy both managers, today’s match could be short on fireworks, big on disappointment.

This morning’s press are torn on the Benitez teamsheet. While we’re largely resigned to the fact that Eden Hazard will be rested following his recent calf injury, Juan Mata is our main concern heading into the morning deadline. The Spaniard figures in the majority of this morning’s predicted lineups: only The Times omit the playmaker from their teamsheet, prompting starts for both Yossi Benayoun and Oscar.

While we’re far from confident, Mata was handed a rest in the second leg of the semi-final with Basel and Benitez may consider that enough for his compatriot to come through today’s clash and remain fresh the Benfica meeting. The risk of injury is, of course, the prime concern but, from a Fantasy perspective, if you hold Mata, you surely start him and let the auto subs do the rest.

That’s easier said than done when you consider that we’ve also had the Michu injury to contend with. Having consigned him to the beach for the rest of the season, a Friday twist saw Michael Laudrup declare that his leading scorer could yet make Sunday’s Old Trafford trip…

“Michu was in training yesterday. We will have to see because I don’t want to force anything but everyone wants to play at old Trafford. I will talk to him and Chico and see how they are. I thought a hamstring injury would be that for the season, but it has not torn and it has gone well so he is a possibility. If not, then for the last game against Fulham.”

Four of this morning’s papers go with Michu in their lineups and we’ve followed suit, convinced that, if there’s a chance for Laudrup to reward Michu with a start on such an occasion, he’ll take it. Whether he’ll profit against a United side surely determined to see off Sir Alex with a routine win is another matter. It would almost be impolite for Michu to score on Sunday.

As for United, it appears that Sunday calls for strength and the “old guard”. The press boys are tipping both Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs to be handed invites to the party, while Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are paired in defence. Robin Van Persie starts in every lineup, of course, while Wayne Rooney is handed a bench role by The Sun, The Guardian and The Mail. That would be the latest and greatest insult in a tumultuous season.

On the other side of Manchester, the City lineup for the midweek trip to Reading is pure guesswork. We find no guidance from the press who turn attentions to today’s final with Wigan. The overwhelming opinion is that both Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero will be thrown in against the Latics, leaving Scout Pick Edin Dzeko seemingly primed to face the Royals on Tuesday. Aside from that, we expect the usual shuffle at the back with the entire Wembley rearguard at risk and names like Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott and dear old Aleks Kolarov back in the frame.

Personally I could without such curveballs. While I don’t wish the season to end, these final two Gameweeks look problematic and, as Dave Gahan would say, “can only do harm”.

Content with my lot, I’d be happy to “stick” pick up my ball and head home. Instead, I’ve this horrible feeling that this Gameweek, coupled with the unpredictable climax on Sunday week, has me nervously perched at the top of a greasy poll. I’m not sure how far I’ll drop but, with under an hour to go, I’m a little uncertain how I’m going to cushion the fall. I can’t see Kolarov catching me.

About The Author

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

Mark

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  1. Right, I'm off to my son's football tournament. Enjoy the games!

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. Enjoy the migration.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. I even can't remember the last time... 😉

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
          • 2 years, 1 month ago
    2. Ooh..good luck at the tourney. Don't get too wound up 😉

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    3. 'Like that day I hit the referee with a whiskey bottle. Remember that, when daddy hit the referee?'

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
  2. Starting to question getting Anichebe in for a hit...

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. for who?

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    2. Funny things happen at this point in the season.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. It did fund getting RVP but still...

        Berba & Aguero -> RVP(c) & Anichebe (4 points)

        The more I look at it the worse it gets!!

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
      2. He missed telling you it was to free funds for RVP 😉

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
    3. Had to be done.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    4. No wonder. For a hit?
      You must have had injuries surely?

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    5. must have

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
  3. Who wins outta me and my cash H2H opponent? 9 different players so very different teams...

    Me - Hart, Luiz(STaylor), Clichy(Wilson), Walcott (c), Cazorla, Mata, Benteke, Kone, Tevez + 8 points

    Him - De Gea, Vidic, Clyne, RobsonKanu, Coutinho, Walters, Weimann, Defoe, RVP (c)

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. Hits taken?

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. He's on a -8, I'm starting fresh

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
        1. Then you'll win however beware of RVP

          • 2 years, 1 month ago
    2. anyone could win...

      I'd wait until its a couple of players left and then compare

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    3. He may need a few autosubs.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    4. he is solely reliant on rvp I think.
      You should win.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
  4. All we need is Tevez and Aguero to start V Reading now

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. Why wouldn't they start? One might get rested, but not both.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. You just answered your question

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
    2. Harsh, but an upgrade.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. reply fail to mancini sacking posr below

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
  5. I can't wait to see him popping. Sturridge(C)

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. Right here with you 😎

      Stand out option next week too

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. India have 2 Kolarov's

        Good luck, you'll need it.

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
      2. Next week i am thinking Big Dog Carroll. 😎

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
  6. With mata starting today and will almost definitely start wednesday due to the magnitude of the game. If they win today, he surely won't play Sunday will he as top four will be confirmed?

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. Wait a day or 2.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    2. What will they be resting him for? Next season?

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. Yeah. They will give others a go and stop him from burning out and injuring himself

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
          • 2 years, 1 month ago
        1. This makes little to no sense. Last game of the season at home. You want to end it on a high. + a win on last day of season guarantees us third rather than fourth.

          • 2 years, 1 month ago
          1. Yes it doesn't make much sense. But Rafa's rotation policy doesn't often make much sense. He won't care about coming 3rd or 4th. Mata will start Wednesday and will then have started the last 4, looking at Rafa's policy; he won't start 5 on the bounce.

            Don't get me wrong he's in my team and I hope he does start, am just sceptical

            • 2 years, 1 month ago
        • 2 years, 1 month ago
    3. Last game of the season. Why not?

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. More to the point, why?

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
    4. What would he save him for?

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. he will have played a stupid amount of games by Wednesday

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
    5. He'll surely start. Top 4 can't be wrapped up today. Everton are a good team. Absolutely nothing to rest him for..

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. My bad it can. But still, there's no reason to rest him.

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
        1. No player under Rafa often plays 5 on the bounce, that's the reason to rest him.

          • 2 years, 1 month ago
      2. GD stops Spurs passing them.

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
      3. Top 4 is wrapped up with a win today - check the goal difference

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
      4. It can be wrapped up today, look at the goal difference

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
  7. Apparently Pellegrini (Malaga coach) to take over Manchester City 😯

    Mancini to be sacked 😆

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. Incredibly harsh.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. Relatively no the Champions Leauge performances have been awful and the League was decided weeks ago.

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
        1. He's made mistakes this season, no doubt about that, but, he has earned the opportunity to make amends. If they win today, that will be 3 trophies in 3 seasons. Also, 1 of the teams from their CL group were semi finalists, the other are finalists.

          • 2 years, 1 month ago
    2. that would be madness

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    3. mancini to wigan after martinez takes over at everton?

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. City (along with Chelsea) are jokeshop clubs.

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
        1. The Redknapp saga was a little odd too... Though I reckon AVB will stay for a long time.

          • 2 years, 1 month ago
    4. And still nobody has told me about his taste in left backs....

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. Well he managed Real Madrid so must like attacking ones...

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
    5. When will they learn.

      What was Fergie's first two seasons like?

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. Potentially 2 FA Cups and a PL title. Hardly sacking material is it.

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
        1. Oh ok, I wont make any sweeping statements about sticking with your manager after a rough start then.

          • 2 years, 1 month ago
          1. 😯

            I was agreeing with you.

            • 2 years, 1 month ago
            1. Well true Mancini has done well with City.

              • 2 years, 1 month ago
              1. I know. 2 FA Cups and a PL title is a great start imo. CL hasn't gone to plan but you can't have it all.

                • 2 years, 1 month ago
                1. Been very tough groups in the CL, a year in europa would do their coefficient a lot of good.

                  • 2 years, 1 month ago
    6. Not been a good season for them

      Not progressing in CL both years is the reason for the sacking

      Hopefully Pellegrini doesn't like rotating

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    7. Crazy this has all come out the night before the cup final.. Embarassing for the club in my opinion!

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    8. Very strange if true

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    9. it would be harsh, but poetic given that Ferguson's just retired after 26 years and handed over to a carefully-chosen successor who embodies many of the same values/techniques.

      The "noisy neighbours" stumble from one manager to the next, spending grotesque sums of money on players like Scott Sinclair in the hope of matching Man United's success. Do they not learn lessons from others?

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
  8. I am playing Mertesaker and Sagna am I mad or genius??

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. Probably mad.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    2. mother fooking genius

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    3. I think Wigan will score.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    4. Well it's not mad but I wouldn't call you a genius

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    5. A mad genius. I think they might concede to be honest.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
  9. Anyone else on a -20?

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. *cancels the genius post

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
        • 2 years, 1 month ago
      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    2. -8 is the largest hit I've taken this season. -4 this week

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
  10. So glad I never did Mata to Lampard for a hit.

    Shouldn't come on here before the deadline.

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. What happens if Lampard outscores him by 5?

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. He won't. Too fat.

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
        1. I'm glad you weren't here pre deadline with that logic 😉

          • 2 years, 1 month ago
  11. Would love a big score fest in the Chelsea game. Not got any defenders and have Mata & Benteke.

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
  12. Aston Villa have players and fans have voted Brad Guzan club player of the year over Benteke 😯

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. as important to their season, deserves it

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    2. He did keep them in contention during the first half of the season.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    3. Probably are illiterate and didn't know what they were doing.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    4. he has been excellent

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
  13. Juan Mata, this is your chance to shine! :)

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
  14. It's Mata time 😀

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. Hopefully

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    2. It's Hazard time because I sold him :(

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    3. Lets go :)

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
  15. Got a 57 point lead and most of my team is the same as 2nd place. This week the differentials are my baines, Martin, Maloney v his ridge well, Clyne, lambert. I've captained theo he has done RVP but he both have both players. Is it in the bag?

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. yeah 57 is a HUGE lead at this stage. no chance of losing it.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. I was kind if thinking it was pretty safe, unless RVP and lambert grab hat ricks of course!

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
  16. whats going on with my 2 money league rivals
    one has mata 3rd sub behind maloney and davies
    the other has lampard benched playing clyne and demel 😯

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. They aren't rivals......

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    2. they don't like money

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
        • 2 years, 1 month ago
  17. Anyone have Ba in their team on here?

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
  18. Not sure what i'm missing this week. Why has bale not been as popular a captain choice as RVP and Walcott?

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. Because Stoke are in form.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    2. Can see the Arsenal game being very open as both teams need to win.

      RVP is RVP

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    3. Spurs seem to be running out of steam and Utd and Ars have better fixtures. He could work out but I think RvP is a better choice this week.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
  19. So? Hazard or Mata to be subbed at half time then?

    😀

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. Depends on the score.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
  20. Places, places!

    Good luck everyone :)

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
  21. Got 5p on Ba to score first

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. The last of the big spenders 😎

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
    2. Too sheepish.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
  22. Entertaining 1-1 coming up.

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
  23. Wow Villa are playing well. This is going to be a long match for Chelsea.

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
  24. LEAVE MATA ALONE!!!!!!!

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
  25. Dirty Baker.

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
  26. Mata could've been killed 😯

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. Checking Hey

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. TEXT_HERE

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
  27. I still think Terry is Chelsea's best defender.

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
      • 2 years, 1 month ago
  28. Lampard (h) to Everton

    Bale (h) to Sunderland

    Maloney (h) to Villa

    Coutinho (h) to QPR

    Walcott @ Newcastle

    ----------------------------------

    Tevez (h) to Norwich

    Lukaku (h) to United

    RVP @ WBA

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. Looking at this would you play a 3-5-2 or a 3-4-3?

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. Think you will be forced into 352 at best.

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
      2. If you didn't make a transfer 352 with Lukaku benched.

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
  29. New post btw....

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
  30. Lampard (h) to Everton

    Bale (h) to Sunderland

    Maloney (h) to Villa

    Coutinho (h) to QPR

    Walcott @ Newcastle

    ———————————-

    Tevez (h) to Norwich

    Lukaku (h) to United

    RVP @ WBA

    ————————————

    a) Play a 3-5-2, bench Lukaku and do RVP > Sturridge (FT)

    or

    b) Play a 3-4-3, bench Lampard and do RVP + Lukaku > Sturridge + Agbonlahor/Carroll (-4)

    • 2 years, 1 month ago

Scout Picks

2014/15 Team of the Season

  • Forster
  • Clyne
  • Ivanovic
  • Terry
  • Bertrand
  • Sánchez
  • Silva
  • Hazard
  • Aguero
  • Austin
  • Kane
  • Cresswell
  • Sigurdsson
  • Giroud

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Fixture Ticker

“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