The Digest – Gameweek 30

Filed under: The Digest - Posted by: Ricardo355

Our final look back at Gameweek 30 considers the consistency and form of the Liverpool and England captain and examines the contrasting fortunes for both the blue and red halves of Manchester ahead of some favourable upcoming schedules:


Steven Gerrard stepped up and delivered a brace of penalties and a kiss for the camera on Sunday to take his tally to ten goals for the season. The Liverpool skipper also has ten assists and 19 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) bonus points, ranking him behind only Eden Hazard and Yaya Toure in the midfield rankings, yet still sits in less than 12% of Fantasy teams due to the overwhelming popularity of team-mates Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge up front.

Since the South American returned from suspension in Gameweek 6, his captain has served up a series of consistent performances that have been unparalleled amongst midfielders, with a goal or assist in 16 of his subsequent 19 starts.

As we saw on Sunday at Old Trafford, spot-kick duties have played a major part in his rise up the rankings. Liverpool have been awarded nine penalties this season; a remarkable statistic, considering that no other team has been given more than four. The penalty-box mayhem being wreaked by their attacking players may well continue to benefit Gerrard during the final quarter of the season – the Reds’ captain is firmly in the box seat for penalties and is unlikely to relinquish the responsibility again to his goal-hungry strikers; Daniel Sturridge having missed last time he did so.

With a double Gameweek visit to Cardiff and home game against Sunderland, Gerrard’s bandwagon is on the rise. Over 42,000 FPL managers have already snapped him up since Sunday’s mauling of United, with a price of 9.2 in FPL making him an ideal, heavy-hitting midfield choice for Fantasy managers choosing not to go into the weekend with both Suarez and Sturridge up front. Holding all three of these players looks a viable strategy in light of the Reds’ current form, but may stretch the budget a little too far given that premium assets from other popular sides are also in high demand for the run-in.


Recent defeats to Wigan and Barcelona ended hopes of an unlikely quadruple of trophies and has simplified Manchester City’s season in terms of both fixtures and targets. Those exits from the FA Cup and Champions League have allowed the Premier League fixture list to be finalised and City now face 11 remaining games, including three double Gameweeks, as they re-focus solely on the title race.

Manuel Pellegrini’s deep squad has experienced considerable rotation, injury and disciplinary issues in recent weeks, making second-guessing their starting line up something of a lottery. Recent events may have helped to clear the fog, however, and point to a number of safer options for starts and even some value options.

At the back, Vincent Kompany’s weekend dismissal is frustrating for the Belgian’s would-be suitors and, whilst he’ll only miss the first match of double Gameweek 31, reports suggest he could face further sanction after an alleged gesture to the Hull crowd. This makes Pablo Zabaleta the safest selection in a defence boasting three consecutive clean sheets going into the weekend, with continued doubt over the left back position between Aleksandar Kolarov and Gael Clichy, much to the chagrin of those eyeing up the Serbian as a differential punt.

Further up the pitch, David Silva hinted at a return to form with a spectacular strike at Hull and offers a viable alternative to Yaya Toure or even a double-up option in midfield. Owned by only 5% of Fantasy managers, the little Spaniard looks poised to afford us a real differential over the run-in, whilst Toure’s move to the role in “the hole” against Hull strengthens his appeal should Pellegrini persist with a lone forward formation.

Even Edin Dzeko comes into consideration, albeit as a more short-term option. Priced at a mere 6.7, a strike at the KC took his tally to four goals in his last seven appearances and, given Alvaro Negredo has found the net once in his previous seven, the Bosnian looks the likeliest to benefit as Sergio Aguero continues to struggle with fitness and availability. Indeed, even if Aguero returns to action soon, Dzeko’s form suggests he may have done enough to nail down a regular run if Pellegrini reverts to 4-4-2 in his attempt to chase down Chelsea at the summit.


A convincing Gameweek 29 win at West Brom had suggested United were on the road to recovery but Sunday’s demolition at the hands of Liverpool has given Fantasy managers cause to think again and consider whether we can afford to hold any of Old Trafford’s finest for much longer.

Despite their double Gameweek 31, a collective loss of faith has already seen plenty of transfers out for the likes of Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie since the weekend. Mata started brightly at Old Trafford with three assists and four bonus points in his first three starts but has not delivered returns for four consecutive matches. As the likes of Gerrard, Toure and Silva blink brightly on our radars, the 9.5-priced Spaniard is being sacrificed as our patience finally snaps.

Up front, Robin van Persie looks disinterested, despite public claims to the contrary and with Wayne Rooney describing Sunday’s events as one of his worst times in football, confidence could barely be lower. If United fail to overturn their Champions League deficit against Olympiacos this week, their morale will be rock-bottom ahead of a trip to West Ham and home game against City.

As the subject of the Digest’s ‘The Team’ section only last week, we highlighted United’s upturn in form and kind run of fixtures from Gameweek 32 onwards – urging Fantasy managers to exercise caution before parting with their assets ahead of the double Gameweek. Now, Moyes’ side are leaving us with a real “form versus fixtures” dilemma.

It’s a situation United fans and Fantasy mangers are not accustomed to. Typically, their final four Old Trafford matches against Aston Villa, Norwich and a double home Gameweek 37, hosting Sunderland and Hull, would fill us with hope and expectation but this time around, we’re struggling. The fact that the Red Devils have only scored 18 goals at home all season – the same number as third-bottom Fulham – somewhat tempers the potential returns that can be expected from those matches; a situation far from ideal, given the premium price tags of Mata, Rooney and Van Persie.

Many will perhaps choose to hold their United assets for the immediate double and hope for an upturn in form before reassessing the situation. For those wielding late wildcards or looking to finalise their Gameweek 31 acquisitions, however, it’s becoming more apparent there is clearly greater value and points potential to be found elsewhere.

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  1. I just realised when i write the letter "z" with a dot after it on this site, I can barely see it.


    • 1 year, 10 months ago
      • 1 year, 10 months ago
      • 1 year, 10 months ago
    1. zzzzz.

      • 1 year, 10 months ago
  2. Anyone know how to sack the assistant manager in UCL?

    The faceless twat is advising that I should substitute Sam (and his tidy 7 points) out of my team for tonight's games as he "has been eliminated from the game".


    • 1 year, 10 months ago
    1. He only appears when on transfers page right? If so, he is suggesting for next round and he is right.

      • 1 year, 10 months ago
      1. aah just checked, sack him 😀

        • 1 year, 10 months ago
        1. He's been a grade A sap all season, but this is his best one yet! Giving Moyes a run for his money this season

          • 1 year, 10 months ago
    2. I put a post-it-note with a smiley drawn on it over him and pretend he isn't there.

      • 1 year, 10 months ago
      1. One of those grinning Moyes smiley faces? If so, should look just about right!

        • 1 year, 10 months ago
          • 1 year, 10 months ago
    3. Sherwood has something to do with this.

      • 1 year, 10 months ago
  3. Would it be slightly mad to (C) Jese tonight instead of Ronaldo? :)

    • 1 year, 10 months ago
    1. I would if I had him.

      • 1 year, 10 months ago
  4. A. Flanagan and Adam Johnson


    B. Bardsley and Sterling?

    Already have Mannone.

    • 1 year, 10 months ago
      • 1 year, 10 months ago
    1. Don't like either, but B.

      • 1 year, 10 months ago
  5. Predictions for tonight's games?

    • 1 year, 10 months ago
    1. Che 3-1 Gala
      RMadrid 5 - 0 Schalke

      • 1 year, 10 months ago
  6. Gyan is the best player in Asia now (It was Diamanti 2 hours ago)

    • 1 year, 10 months ago
    1. 86 goals from 81 appearances...

      Not the highest level of football but I'd say he's enjoying it something fierce. Always thought he had a bit of a future at Sunderland.

      • 1 year, 10 months ago
      1. Yeah, I thought he did too, but he went for the large payday and the god-like status that comes with being any kind of footballer in the Middle-East...

        A bit of a waste though :(

        • 1 year, 10 months ago
        1. Hard to blame him in some ways I suppose. Probably a much better life for himself.

          But I agree completely, was stunned when they loaned him out and more so when he never came back!

          • 1 year, 10 months ago
  7. 341 people own Diaby in FPL. Why?

    • 1 year, 10 months ago
    1. I'm hoping he'll be fit for the DGW 😮

      • 1 year, 10 months ago
      1. I understand Bale as people might have made the team and left it.

        But Diaby has been injured since the dawn of time itself.

        • 1 year, 10 months ago
        1. I still have him as well.

          • 1 year, 10 months ago
          1. How's his rehab from injury coming along?

            • 1 year, 10 months ago

    Anyone care to RMDGWWCT?

    Coleman / Zabaleta / Williamson
    Gerrard(VC) / Yaya / Hazard / AJohnson
    Suarez(C) / Sturridge / Carroll

    Subs: Mannone / Bardsley / Chester / Delph

    • 1 year, 10 months ago
    1. Quite a few DGW players there.. Might be a bit of heartbreak involved with that.

      Seems the best 11 though.

      • 1 year, 10 months ago
    2. I feel sorry for your rival this week...

      • 1 year, 10 months ago
      1. I feel sorry for him to have to choose.

        • 1 year, 10 months ago
    3. Like the Carroll punt. Might get him in my WC team

      • 1 year, 10 months ago
  9. Currently on 8 DGW it worth to add McGregor for -8? I have Boruc and Speroni,and I dont think they gonna make a clean sheet.

    And choose 1 of this to start:Azpi,Smalling,Ward.

    • 1 year, 10 months ago
    1. Why not Mannone or Adrian instead of Speroni?

      • 1 year, 10 months ago
      1. McGregor have better fixtures in DGW and in next..Mannone going to Liverpool,and Adrian host Utd and not so good next matches..

        • 1 year, 10 months ago
    2. Probably Azpi, unless you knew Smalling was gonna start both games

      • 1 year, 10 months ago
  10. Is Bruce/Chambres -> Chester or Ward -> Flanagan worth a -4?

    • 1 year, 10 months ago
      • 1 year, 10 months ago
    1. I'm currently considering the 1st one........for -8!!!

      • 1 year, 10 months ago
    2. Keep Ward, has a DGW coming, ditch Bruce & Chambers.


      • 1 year, 10 months ago
    3. Flanagan yes, or maybe Bardsley.

      • 1 year, 10 months ago
  11. Already have Rooney. So,

    Rooney, Yaya and Nolan for -8


    Sturridge, Yaya and Nasri for -12 ???

    • 1 year, 10 months ago
      • 1 year, 10 months ago
  12. anyone consideredd Demichelis?
    I know he has a rep for being bad but looking at his stats he looks nailed, a good differential and takes 0.6 shots a game to Zabs 0.5

    • 1 year, 10 months ago
    1. His ppg is really good. A good shout.

      • 1 year, 10 months ago
      1. I dont think he gonna be nailed when Nastasic is back.(Btw,thats gonna be good City def option)

        • 1 year, 10 months ago
  13. UCL Marcelo: anyone from Spain or know if hes starting?

    saw a Preview which showed Nacho - tamos - varane - coentrao

    • 1 year, 10 months ago
  14. Play McGregor (WBA, whu) or Adrian (MUN, HUL)?

    I'm playing Demel if that makes any difference.

    • 1 year, 10 months ago
    1. Mcgregor

      • 1 year, 10 months ago
  15. Januzaj and Mata to Gerrard/nasri and silva for a -8????

    Yay or nay

    • 1 year, 10 months ago
  16. After 2 weks of rankings free-fall from 100k to 213k im asking for suggestions on my DGW team....feel free to ignore... any suggestions much appreciated


    *Distin *Zabaleta *Cahill

    *Yaya Hazard *Gerrard *Sterling

    *Lukaka *Suarez *Rooney

    Marshall *Colback Baker Fonte 0.5itb -4hit done.

    • 1 year, 10 months ago

Scout Picks

Gameweek 25

  • Forster
  • Janmaat
  • Williams
  • Alderweireld
  • Wijnaldum
  • André Ayew
  • Dele Alli
  • Roberto Firmino
  • Sánchez
  • Aguero
  • Kane
  • Moreno
  • Arnautovic
  • Giroud

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Last updated: 26 Jan, 2016 10:34pm
Player Club Factors
Up Hennessey CPL C, Vs, £
Down Butland STO C, Vs
Up Schmeichel LEI A
Up Forster SOT A
Up Courtois CHE B, Vs
Up Fabianski SWA A
No Change Boruc BOU B
No Change De Gea MUN B
No Change Cech ARS B, VsX
Up Foster WBA C, VsX


Last updated: 3 Feb, 2016 9:04am
Player Club Factors
Up Ivanovic CHE A, Vs
Up van Dijk SOT A
Down Baines EVE B, Vs
Up Dann CPL C, Vs
Up Cresswell WHM B, Vs
Up Williams SWA A
No Change Dawson WBA C
Down Alderweireld TOT B
No Change Daniels BOU A, £
No Change Fuchs LEI A
No Change Van Aanholt SUN A, VsX
Down Bellerín ARS C, VsX
Down Smalling MUN C
Down Moreno LIV C, Vs
Down Johnson STO B
Down Kolarov MCI B, Rest, Inj


Last updated: 3 Feb, 2016 11:14pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Payet WHM B, Vs
Up Roberto Firmino LIV A, Vs, OoP
Up Dele Alli TOT A, Inj
Up Barkley EVE C, Vs
Up André Ayew SWA A, OoP
Up Eriksen TOT A
Down Ozil ARS C, VsX
No Change Mahrez LEI C, VsX
Up Sánchez ARS C, VsX, Inj
Up Antonio WHM A, Vs, Rest, £
No Change Willian CHE B, Vs, Inj
No Change Wijnaldum NEW B
Down Arnautovic STO C, Vs, Inj
Up Silva MCI C
No Change Johnson SUN B, VsX


Last updated: 3 Feb, 2016 11:14pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Aguero MCI A
No Change Kane TOT B
Up Vardy LEI C
Up Diego Costa CHE A, Vs, Inj
No Change Ighalo WAT C, VsX
Up Rooney MUN A
Down Lukaku EVE C, Vs
No Change Giroud ARS B, VsX, Rest
Up Afobe BOU A, £
Down Austin SOT 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
Player Team YC
Colback NEW 9
Lucas LIV 8
Jones SUN 8
Yacob WBA 8
Byram WHM 8
Westwood AVL 7
Diego Costa CHE 7
Huth LEI 7
Can LIV 7
Mangala MCI 7
Shelvey NEW 7
Pieters STO 7
Dele Alli TOT 7
Dier TOT 7
Noble WHM 7

“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