The Pre-Match Preamble – Gameweek 28

Filed under: The Preamble - Posted by: Mark

I’ve tried to fight it but it’s hard to deny that I’ve spent a lot of this season seeking out an explanation for my struggles. I’m heading for my worst ever Fantasy Premier League campaign and I’m not going to settle for that without finding a scapegoat. It can’t all be Edin Dzeko’s fault and it’s certainly not mine.

If you’ve read these ambling words before or, indeed, been unfortunate enough to listen to my nasal whines via the ScoutCast, you’ll know that my favourite target is the “midfield”. Not one midfielder, not a few – the whole damn lot of ’em.

The midfield has been broken this year. At the start of the campaign I decided to put emphasis on playing five across the middle, set my side up to accommodate the tactic and paid for it ever since.

Of course I’m overlooking one small detail: my reluctance to sign Yaya Toure and Aaron Ramsey and my stubborn refusal to admit my mistake. Having said that, my theory that the midfield has been a cruel master this term has some substance. Typically, I plundered the data to support my case.

Toure has almost been the exception to the rule. He currently sits on 13 goals having never previously suggested he could achieve such a strike rate. Having said that, four of those goals of come from direct free-kicks, and three more came via penalties with first-choice takers off the pitch. That’s another argument for another day, though.

My main point is that, aside from Eden Hazard sitting just one goal behind the Ivorian, no other midfielder has been able to keep pace. Quite simply, if you didn’t get on Toure early or swallowed pride and brought him in since, you’re left clinging to Hazard and cursing every goal that comes the City man’s way – via a dead-ball or otherwise.

Is this really different from last season? In a word, yes. On the eve of Gameweek 28 last term, we had Gareth Bale sitting on 15 goals along with Michu. More significantly, there were five other midfielders on double figures for goals at this stage. In a nutshell, then, there was a much larger spread of goals across the midfield area with several “heavy-hitters” to align with – not just a couple.

While Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez blazed a trail up front with 19 and 18 goals respectively, our midfields were a selection box of treats with the likes of Theo Walcott, Marounne Fellaini and Juan Mata all contributing goals and assists with regularity. This season the best we’ve currently got is Adam Lallana and the seemingly unappealing consistency of Steven Gerrard who appears to rumble on as a Fantasy asset – churning points but never really establishing himself back amongst the elite Fantasy midfielders.

Ironically, then, I’m thinking that, along with Yohan Cabaye’s departure and Michu’s failing legs, the injury to Aaron Ramsey was pretty much disastrous for my one-man campaign for midfield variety. The removal of these three players from our game, compounded further by injuries to Walcott and Mata’s inability to get a place in Jose Mourinho’s lineup, has killed the chance for diversity in this area of our squads.

Even now, it’s almost unthinkable to shed Toure and Hazard – unless of course you can afford to fetch the Ivorian back after City’s blanks. Elsewhere, you’re left to grab the skippers at St Mary’s and Anfield, whilst hoping that Adam Jonhnson can come back to form or that Kevin Nolan or Charlie Adam can continue to maintain matters. Charlie Adam. It’s got that bad.

The knock-on is that we’ve had the money for the heavyweights up front – that’s helped kill variety in that area of the pitch and, low and behold, we’re left waiting for Sergio Aguero to return so we can spend the cash we don’t need to invest elsewhere.

It’s all the midfield’s fault. All of them. They built the template. They made Dzeko miss those sitters. They’ve ruined my season. I’m blameless.

About The Author

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


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  1. Martinez drops Mirallas. Hope they lose

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
    1. Not me. I hope that Mirallas comes on at 2-0 down and scores a hat trick so they win 3-2

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
      1. I see that the pre-match dream world predictions have arrived.

        • 1 year, 1 day ago
          • 1 year, 1 day ago
      2. Actually, no I don't, I have Baines

        • 1 year, 1 day ago
    1. story of my life

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
    2. What passes for models these days...

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
    3. He's got a shoulder injury, needed the massage ;)

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
    4. No class. Not drinking Crystal ... ;-)

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
      1. I thought you smoked that?

        • 1 year, 1 day ago
  2. If you've got Mirallas, isn't it best to go with someone who has a GW29 game and a DGW on the way?

    I.e. United, Palace

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
    1. Not many options there though...

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
      1. Mata ?..mmm..hardly pulling any trees up..

        • 1 year, 1 day ago
        1. Sadly I have both him and Mirallas already

          • 1 year, 1 day ago
          1. Really don't like Mata as a long term pick Moyes has no clue where to play him and he just ends up looking like a fish out of water..Great player, bad signing.

            • 1 year, 1 day ago
    2. Possibly. Dem fixtures though...

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
    3. I wouldn't use Palace' DGW as a reason to invest, it might be quite a few weeks off

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
  3. Who has broken the most legs in the prem? Adam?

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
    1. That's why I bought him this week

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
      • 1 year, 1 day ago
        • 1 year, 1 day ago
  4. Do gws 28/29 feel like a giant dgw to anyone else?

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
    1. It is when your rivals obviously don't look ahead in the fixtures

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
    2. Blink and you miss GW 29. If you get one game that's 0-0 and a shower of bonus points people seem like they'll be happy with 40pts.

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
  5. Az
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member

    Ready for you in the cup Tony Hibberts!

    Bring it ooooooon =)

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
    1. What's your side I've 9 men haha

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
      1. Az
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member

        Haha check my name dude, have chester out.... :( sturridge (c) to your suarez!

        • 1 year, 1 day ago
  6. so is that it now, deflouflou and miralas rotation headaxhe :?

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
    1. Looks it. :(

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
      1. boooooooooooooourns

        • 1 year, 1 day ago
    2. Deflouflou? Is Martinez playing a Poodle??? :-D

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
      1. i was thinkin Comte de Frou Frou from blackadder ;)

        • 1 year, 1 day ago
  7. I wonder how many times Ramsey will be mentioned during the Stoke vs Arsenal game?

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
    1. ShawX first

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
      • 1 year, 1 day ago
  8. Mirallas officially enters the category of "Never Again!"

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
    1. With Kolarov *ducks*

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
  9. JWF

    Playing 5 at the back this week... 4 of them away from home. Will end in tears.

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
    1. I need to do the same next GW 5-4-1 :(

      Got 4-3-3 this GW

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
  10. Which game should I watch

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
    1. Hmm, Stoke v Arsenal? Won't be many goals, but will be an interesting chess-like game... actually, scratch that, who wants to watch chess?

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
      1. Thinking Chelsea and hoping oscar bags a hatty.

        #wishful thinking

        • 1 year, 1 day ago
  11. Feeling good for an upset in the cup Evs :D

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
  12. @DEMI


    So chester plays you dont have to quit posting


    • 1 year, 1 day ago
    1. +42!


      • 1 year, 1 day ago
      1. lets get the #demistays bandwagon rolling!!

        • 1 year, 1 day ago
    2. :lol: madness that harmless banter has come to this, but Moyes still has a job

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
      1. #moyesoutdemiin!!

        • 1 year, 1 day ago
  13. Brought in Mirallas 8-)

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
    1. May sell him next week now haha

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
    2. Mirallas ---> Nolan for a hit after his 3-pointer last week.

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
      1. He'll come off the bench and score 2

        • 1 year, 1 day ago
  14. Mirallas.. grrrrrrrr

    Looks like I won't be holding him then!

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
  15. Dammit started Chester over Noone.

    1 point cameo incoming :(

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
    1. chester is key to my 31 plans so i hope he starts gw30

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
    2. Evs
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights

      Yep, didn't see that one coming.

      Noones gonna score too :-P

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
    3. Az
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member


      but noone will get 2 points so not a huge loss!

      • 1 year, 1 day ago
  16. Ed
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member

    C'mon Bruce, prove those doubters wrong!

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
  17. My main rival has 11 playing and me with 10 this week. But he took a -8 to do it and the 3 players that came in aren't playing next week. Advantage me I think.

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
  18. ades rise over the last 2 days :shock:

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
  19. yaya hopefully around 9.7 by gw30 :D

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
  20. Feeling a bit better about Chester being benched now :D

    • 1 year, 1 day ago
  21. chester has scored!!!! 1-0 v nuneton

    • 1 year, 1 day ago

Scout Picks

For Gameweek 27

  • De Gea
  • Koscielny
  • Bertrand
  • Janmaat
  • Sánchez
  • Di María
  • Walters
  • Mane
  • Sakho
  • Rooney
  • Aguero
  • Cresswell
  • Moses
  • Gomis

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Last updated: 2 Mar, 2015 11:08am
Player Club Factors
Up Foster WBA A, Vs
Down Pantilimon SUN B, Vs
No Change Ospina ARS B
Up Lloris TOT C, Vs
Down Hart MCI C, Vs
Up Green QPR C, Vs
Down Guzan AVL C, Vs
Up Speroni CPL C


Last updated: 2 Mar, 2015 2:23pm
Player Club Factors
Up Ivanovic CHE A
No Change Bellerín ARS A, Rest, £
Up Dawson WBA A, Vs, £
Up Rose TOT B, Vs, Rest, £
Up Naughton SWA B, Vs, £
Up Yun QPR C, Vs, £
Down Bertrand SOT C
Down Réveillere SUN B, Vs, £
Down Kompany MCI C, Vs
Down Wollscheid STO C
Down Skrtel LIV B
Down Cresswell WHM C, VsX
Up Dann CPL C, Vs
Down Vlaar AVL C, Vs, Inj


Last updated: 2 Mar, 2015 11:33am
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Up Hazard CHE A
No Change Silva MCI A, Vs
Up Eriksen TOT C, Vs
Up Ozil ARS A, Vs
Up Sterling LIV B, VsX
Down Sánchez ARS C, Vs
Up Phillips QPR B, Vs
Up Puncheon CPL B, VsX
Down Mane SOT C, Vs
No Change Sinclair AVL B, Vs, £
Down Walters STO B
Down Di María MUN B
Down Downing WHM C
Up Ki SWA B, Vs


Last updated: 2 Mar, 2015 11:43am
Player Club Factors
No Change Aguero MCI A, Vs
Up Kane TOT A, Vs
Up Austin QPR B, Vs
Down Giroud ARS B, Vs
Up Rooney MUN B
Down Diego Costa CHE C
Down N'Doye HUL B, £
Up Cissé NEW B, Vs, £
Up Gomis SWA C, Vs
Down Sturridge LIV C, VsX, Rest
Down Lukaku EVE C
No Change Defoe SUN C
Up Benteke AVL C, Vs
Down Berahino WBA B, Inj

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
Hutton AVL 9
Barry EVE 9
Bardsley STO 9
Cattermole SUN 9
Taylor SWA 9
Clark AVL 8
Cleverley AVL 8
Diego Costa CHE 8
Fábregas CHE 8
Besic EVE 8
Livermore HUL 8
Gerrard LIV 8
Barton QPR 8
Pellè SOT 8
Wanyama SOT 8
Larsson SUN 8
Reid WHM 8
Chambers ARS 7
Agbonlahor AVL 7
Okore AVL 7
Matic CHE 7
Henderson LIV 7
Skrtel LIV 7
Kompany MCI 7
Fernandinho MCI 7
Janmaat NEW 7
Dunne QPR 7
Fonte SOT 7
Schneiderlin SOT 7
Shelvey SWA 7
Mason TOT 7

“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