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

    • 9 months, 26 days ago
    1. Not me. I hope that Mirallas comes on at 2-0 down and scores a hat trick so they win 3-2

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
      1. I see that the pre-match dream world predictions have arrived.

        • 9 months, 26 days ago
          • 9 months, 26 days ago
      2. Actually, no I don't, I have Baines

        • 9 months, 26 days ago
    1. story of my life

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
    2. What passes for models these days...

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
    3. He's got a shoulder injury, needed the massage ;)

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
    4. No class. Not drinking Crystal ... ;-)

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
      1. I thought you smoked that?

        • 9 months, 26 days 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

    • 9 months, 26 days ago
    1. Not many options there though...

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
      1. Mata ?..mmm..hardly pulling any trees up..

        • 9 months, 26 days ago
        1. Sadly I have both him and Mirallas already

          • 9 months, 26 days 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.

            • 9 months, 26 days ago
    2. Possibly. Dem fixtures though...

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
    3. I wouldn't use Palace' DGW as a reason to invest, it might be quite a few weeks off

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
  3. Who has broken the most legs in the prem? Adam?

    • 9 months, 26 days ago
    1. That's why I bought him this week

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
      • 9 months, 26 days ago
        • 9 months, 26 days ago
  4. Do gws 28/29 feel like a giant dgw to anyone else?

    • 9 months, 26 days ago
    1. It is when your rivals obviously don't look ahead in the fixtures

      • 9 months, 26 days 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.

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
  5. Az
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member

    Ready for you in the cup Tony Hibberts!

    Bring it ooooooon =)

    • 9 months, 26 days ago
    1. What's your side I've 9 men haha

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
      1. Az
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member

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

        • 9 months, 26 days ago
  6. so is that it now, deflouflou and miralas rotation headaxhe :?

    • 9 months, 26 days ago
    1. Looks it. :(

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
      1. boooooooooooooourns

        • 9 months, 26 days ago
    2. Deflouflou? Is Martinez playing a Poodle??? :-D

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
      1. i was thinkin Comte de Frou Frou from blackadder ;)

        • 9 months, 26 days ago
          • 9 months, 26 days ago
  7. I wonder how many times Ramsey will be mentioned during the Stoke vs Arsenal game?

    • 9 months, 26 days ago
    1. ShawX first

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
      • 9 months, 26 days ago
  8. Mirallas officially enters the category of "Never Again!"

    • 9 months, 26 days ago
    1. With Kolarov *ducks*

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
  9. JWF

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

    • 9 months, 26 days ago
    1. I need to do the same next GW 5-4-1 :(

      Got 4-3-3 this GW

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
  10. Which game should I watch

    • 9 months, 26 days 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?

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
      1. Thinking Chelsea and hoping oscar bags a hatty.

        #wishful thinking

        • 9 months, 26 days ago
  11. Feeling good for an upset in the cup Evs :D

    • 9 months, 26 days ago
  12. @DEMI


    So chester plays you dont have to quit posting


    • 9 months, 26 days ago
    1. +42!


      • 9 months, 26 days ago
      1. lets get the #demistays bandwagon rolling!!

        • 9 months, 26 days ago
    2. :lol: madness that harmless banter has come to this, but Moyes still has a job

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
      1. #moyesoutdemiin!!

        • 9 months, 26 days ago
  13. Brought in Mirallas 8-)

    • 9 months, 26 days ago
    1. May sell him next week now haha

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
    2. Mirallas ---> Nolan for a hit after his 3-pointer last week.

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
      1. He'll come off the bench and score 2

        • 9 months, 26 days ago
  14. Mirallas.. grrrrrrrr

    Looks like I won't be holding him then!

    • 9 months, 26 days ago
  15. Dammit started Chester over Noone.

    1 point cameo incoming :(

    • 9 months, 26 days ago
    1. chester is key to my 31 plans so i hope he starts gw30

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
    2. Evs
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights

      Yep, didn't see that one coming.

      Noones gonna score too :-P

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
    3. Az
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member


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

      • 9 months, 26 days ago
  16. C'mon Bruce, prove those doubters wrong!

    • 9 months, 26 days 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.

    • 9 months, 26 days ago
  18. ades rise over the last 2 days :shock:

    • 9 months, 26 days ago
  19. yaya hopefully around 9.7 by gw30 :D

    • 9 months, 26 days ago
  20. Feeling a bit better about Chester being benched now :D

    • 9 months, 26 days ago
  21. chester has scored!!!! 1-0 v nuneton

    • 9 months, 26 days ago

Scout Picks

For Gameweek 17

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

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: 20 Dec, 2014 10:12am
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
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
Cazorla ARS 4
Oxlade-Chamberlain ARS 4
Agbonlahor AVL 4
Boyd BRN 4
Marney BRN 4
Chamakh CPL 4
Besic EVE 4
Naismith EVE 4
Chester HUL 4
Robertson HUL 4
Moore LEI 4
Vardy LEI 4
Balotelli LIV 4
Gerrard LIV 4
Skrtel LIV 4
Kompany MCI 4
Mangala MCI 4
Y Touré MCI 4
Fer QPR 4
Clyne SOT 4
Mane SOT 4
Mame Biram Diouf STO 4
Shawcross STO 4
Wilson STO 4
Gómez SUN 4
O'Shea 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