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!

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
    1. Enjoy the migration.

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
      1. I even can't remember the last time... ;)

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
          • 11 months, 11 days ago
    2. Ooh..good luck at the tourney. Don't get too wound up ;-)

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    3. 'Like that day I hit the referee with a whiskey bottle. Remember that, when daddy hit the referee?'

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
  2. Starting to question getting Anichebe in for a hit...

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
    1. for who?

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    2. Funny things happen at this point in the season.

      • 11 months, 11 days 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!!

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
      2. He missed telling you it was to free funds for RVP ;)

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
    3. Had to be done.

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    4. No wonder. For a hit?
      You must have had injuries surely?

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    5. must have

      • 11 months, 11 days 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)

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
    1. Hits taken?

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
      1. He's on a -8, I'm starting fresh

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
        1. Then you'll win however beware of RVP

          • 11 months, 11 days ago
    2. anyone could win...

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

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    3. He may need a few autosubs.

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    4. he is solely reliant on rvp I think.
      You should win.

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
  4. All we need is Tevez and Aguero to start V Reading now

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
    1. Why wouldn't they start? One might get rested, but not both.

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
      1. You just answered your question

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
    2. Harsh, but an upgrade.

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
      1. reply fail to mancini sacking posr below

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
  5. I can't wait to see him popping. Sturridge(C)

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
    1. Right here with you 8-)

      Stand out option next week too

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
      1. India have 2 Kolarov's

        Good luck, you'll need it.

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
      2. Next week i am thinking Big Dog Carroll. 8-)

        • 11 months, 11 days 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?

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
    1. Wait a day or 2.

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    2. What will they be resting him for? Next season?

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
      1. Yeah. They will give others a go and stop him from burning out and injuring himself

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
          • 11 months, 11 days 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.

          • 11 months, 11 days 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

            • 11 months, 11 days ago
        • 11 months, 11 days ago
    3. Last game of the season. Why not?

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
      1. More to the point, why?

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
    4. What would he save him for?

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
      1. he will have played a stupid amount of games by Wednesday

        • 11 months, 11 days 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..

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
      1. My bad it can. But still, there's no reason to rest him.

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
        1. No player under Rafa often plays 5 on the bounce, that's the reason to rest him.

          • 11 months, 11 days ago
      2. GD stops Spurs passing them.

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
      3. Top 4 is wrapped up with a win today - check the goal difference

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
      4. It can be wrapped up today, look at the goal difference

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
  7. Apparently Pellegrini (Malaga coach) to take over Manchester City 8O

    Mancini to be sacked :lol:

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
    1. Incredibly harsh.

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
      1. Relatively no the Champions Leauge performances have been awful and the League was decided weeks ago.

        • 11 months, 11 days 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.

          • 11 months, 11 days ago
    2. that would be madness

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    3. mancini to wigan after martinez takes over at everton?

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
      1. City (along with Chelsea) are jokeshop clubs.

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
        1. The Redknapp saga was a little odd too... Though I reckon AVB will stay for a long time.

          • 11 months, 11 days ago
    4. And still nobody has told me about his taste in left backs....

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
      1. Well he managed Real Madrid so must like attacking ones...

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
    5. When will they learn.

      What was Fergie's first two seasons like?

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
      1. Potentially 2 FA Cups and a PL title. Hardly sacking material is it.

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
        1. Oh ok, I wont make any sweeping statements about sticking with your manager after a rough start then.

          • 11 months, 11 days ago
          1. :shock:

            I was agreeing with you.

            • 11 months, 11 days ago
            1. Well true Mancini has done well with City.

              • 11 months, 11 days 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.

                • 11 months, 11 days ago
                1. Been very tough groups in the CL, a year in europa would do their coefficient a lot of good.

                  • 11 months, 11 days 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

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    7. Crazy this has all come out the night before the cup final.. Embarassing for the club in my opinion!

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    8. Very strange if true

      • 11 months, 11 days 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?

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
  8. I am playing Mertesaker and Sagna am I mad or genius??

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
    1. Probably mad.

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    2. mother fooking genius

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    3. I think Wigan will score.

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    4. Well it's not mad but I wouldn't call you a genius

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    5. A mad genius. I think they might concede to be honest.

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
  9. Anyone else on a -20?

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    1. *cancels the genius post

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
        • 11 months, 11 days ago
      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    2. -8 is the largest hit I've taken this season. -4 this week

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
  10. So glad I never did Mata to Lampard for a hit.

    Shouldn't come on here before the deadline.

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
    1. What happens if Lampard outscores him by 5?

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
      1. He won't. Too fat.

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
        1. I'm glad you weren't here pre deadline with that logic ;)

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

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
  12. Aston Villa have players and fans have voted Brad Guzan club player of the year over Benteke 8O

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
    1. as important to their season, deserves it

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    2. He did keep them in contention during the first half of the season.

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    3. Probably are illiterate and didn't know what they were doing.

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    4. he has been excellent

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
  13. Juan Mata, this is your chance to shine! :)

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
  14. It's Mata time :D

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
    1. Hopefully

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    2. It's Hazard time because I sold him :(

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
      • 11 months, 11 days 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?

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
    1. yeah 57 is a HUGE lead at this stage. no chance of losing it.

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
      1. I was kind if thinking it was pretty safe, unless RVP and lambert grab hat ricks of course!

        • 11 months, 11 days 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 :shock:

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
    1. They aren't rivals......

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    2. they don't like money

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
        • 11 months, 11 days ago
  17. Anyone have Ba in their team on here?

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
  18. Not sure what i'm missing this week. Why has bale not been as popular a captain choice as RVP and Walcott?

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
    1. Because Stoke are in form.

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    2. Can see the Arsenal game being very open as both teams need to win.

      RVP is RVP

      • 11 months, 11 days 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.

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
  19. So? Hazard or Mata to be subbed at half time then?

    :-D

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
    1. Depends on the score.

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
  20. Places, places!

    Good luck everyone :)

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
  21. Got 5p on Ba to score first

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
    1. The last of the big spenders :cool:

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
    2. Too sheepish.

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
  22. Entertaining 1-1 coming up.

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
  23. Wow Villa are playing well. This is going to be a long match for Chelsea.

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
  24. LEAVE MATA ALONE!!!!!!!

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
  25. Dirty Baker.

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
  26. Mata could've been killed 8O

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
      • 11 months, 10 days ago
        • 11 months, 10 days ago
  27. I still think Terry is Chelsea's best defender.

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
      • 11 months, 11 days 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

    • 11 months, 11 days ago
    1. Looking at this would you play a 3-5-2 or a 3-4-3?

      • 11 months, 11 days ago
      1. Think you will be forced into 352 at best.

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
      2. If you didn't make a transfer 352 with Lukaku benched.

        • 11 months, 11 days ago
  29. New post btw....

    • 11 months, 11 days 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)

    • 11 months, 11 days ago

Scout Picks

For Gameweek 34

  • Speroni
  • Zabaleta
  • Coleman
  • Shawcross
  • Mirallas
  • Eriksen
  • Y Touré
  • Lallana
  • Suárez
  • Lukaku
  • Aguero
  • Fonte
  • Puncheon
  • Lambert

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Next Six Ticker

Watchlist

Goalkeepers

Last updated: 15 Apr, 2014 5:24pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Hart MCI B, Vs
Up De Gea MUN C
No Change Cech CHE A, Vs
No Change Szczesny ARS B
No Change Mannone SUN B, £
Up Foster WBA B
No Change Guzan AVL B
Up Stockdale FUL B, £

Defenders

Last updated: 15 Apr, 2014 7:35pm
Player Club Factors
Up Terry CHE A
No Change Zabaleta MCI B, Vs
Up Koscielny ARS B, Vs, Inj
Up Skrtel LIV A
Up Evra MUN B
Up Kaboul TOT B, Vs
No Change Alonso SUN C, OoP, £
Down Coleman EVE B, VsX
No Change Vlaar AVL C, Vs, £
Up Ridgewell WBA C, OoP, £
Up Caulker CAR A
Up Heitinga FUL B, £

Midfielders

Last updated: 16 Apr, 2014 11:06am
Player Club Factors
No Change Silva MCI A, Vs
Up Eriksen TOT A, Vs
Up Mata MUN A
Up Gerrard LIV A
Up Lallana SOT B
Up Sterling LIV A, £
Up Ramsey ARS B, Vs
Down Hazard CHE C, Vs, Inj
No Change Johnson SUN C
Up Amalfitano WBA A, £

Forwards

Last updated: 14 Apr, 2014 1:03pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Suárez LIV A
Up Aguero MCI C, Vs, Inj
Up Adebayor TOT B, Vs
No Change Dzeko MCI B, Vs, Rest, £
Down Lukaku EVE B, VsX
Up Giroud ARS C, Vs
No Change Lambert SOT B
Down Sturridge LIV B, Inj
No Change Rooney MUN A, Inj
Up Rodallega FUL 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

“A hit a week every week and finish in the top 50k is just fine and dandy for me. I play the game for the fun and how it improves watching Stoke vs Cardiff on a Monday night in November.”

Wakey on his fantasy management style