The Pre-match Preamble – Gameweek 17

Filed under: The Preamble - Posted by: Mark

This is a time for family and feasting. A time to indulge those you love and the treats and temptations around us. For Fantasy managers, however, Christmas offers us a tortuous programme that clashes with such merriment and has us break etiquette and risk the wrath of loved ones. We embrace the fixture frenzy that Christmas brings – it’s all that family and friends nonsense that gets in the way.

Every year I’m amazed by the numbers. While I’m reliably informed that, by January, the typical Fantasy Football player base has dropped off by 50%, on our pages we see no such trend. The Christmas spell is a boom period.

It leads me to ponder that, if Fantasy Football is a drug for the enthusiastic “hardcore” player, then the Christmas period is a pure and relentless hit that renders us giddy with the possibilities and often exhausts us with its outcomes. This is no time to shelve our lineups and pursue the expected Christmas agenda – our time is dictated by deadlines, kick-off times and the live television schedule. We need our fix and it’s never been so plentiful.

And yet, I know full well I will have to make concessions. I know that, come Boxing Day, my excited expectations for my teams will have to be hushed amongst company, limited to a smuggled mobile phone under the dinner table and improbably frequent toilet breaks that will have loved ones concerned about the condition of my bladder.

It’s a painful experience (not the bladder) to maintain the threads of conversation over dinner when the mind is drifting to the chances of Marko Arnautovic notching for Stoke. It’s unnatural, unnecessary and against all that Christmas stands for. And yet, for myself and doubtless other Fantasy managers, it’s become the norm.

Hands up, then. The normal service will be interrupted. Pulls and responsibilities, the magic of seeing my near two-year-old experience all that Christmas brings will distract me and those who help me to fuel your own obsession at this time. But I’ll sneak and cajole, win brownie points and trade them for time to be amongst you. Enjoy the festivities.

About The Author

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


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  1. Without Suarez points, how many points have you got today?

    25 from 3 here.

    1. 9 (-8) from 3

        1. Yeah, not my finest hour.

    2. 44 from seven

      1. Looks like a good score.

        I need some good points from

        Ozil/Ramsey/Haz/Oviedo/Dawson/Coleman/Lukaku haha

  2. Gonna get silva over yaya toure... More of a differential and good stats

  3. So hiw exactly did Rooney played ? Midfield at best?

  4. stupid question but its my first time playing this game. ive seen ppl talk about another wildcard coming soon. do you have to do anything to get it/have certain amount of points or will it just appear suddenly when you login? please dont laugh haha.

    1. it will just appear.

Fixture Ticker



Last updated: 6 May, 2014 9:29am
Player Club Factors
No Change Hart MCI B, Vs
No Change Mannone SUN A, £
No Change De Gea MUN B
No Change Foster WBA B, Vs
Up Lloris TOT B, Vs
No Change Szczesny ARS B
Down Guzan AVL B
Down Stockdale FUL B, £


Last updated: 6 May, 2014 9:30am
Player Club Factors
No Change Demichelis MCI B, Vs
Up Terry CHE A
Up Baines EVE B, Inj
No Change Alonso SUN B, £
Up Dawson TOT B, Vs
No Change Koscielny ARS A
Down Evra MUN B
No Change Skrtel LIV B
Up Ward CPL B, £
Up Wilson STO B, Vs, £
Down Caulker CAR A


Last updated: 6 May, 2014 9:37am
Player Club Factors
Up Y Touré MCI A, Vs
Up Eriksen TOT B, Vs
Up Sterling LIV B, £
No Change Nasri MCI B, Vs
Up Gerrard LIV A
Up Hazard CHE C, £
Up Cazorla ARS A
Down Mata MUN B, Rest
Up Arnautovic STO B
Up Barkley EVE B, Rest
Down Amalfitano WBA B, Vs, £


Last updated: 6 May, 2014 9:41am
Player Club Factors
Up Suárez LIV A
Up Dzeko MCI A, Vs
Up Adebayor TOT B
Up Sturridge LIV B, £
Up van Persie MUN C
Down Bony SWA A
No Change Wickham SUN A, Vs, £
Up Lukaku EVE B
Down Podolski ARS B, Vs

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

“My team this year has been the Fantasy Premier League equivalent of a Morecambe & Wise sketch. I've played all the right players . . . but not necessarily in the right order.”

Fantacity on his 2013/14 season