The Pre-Match Preamble – Gameweek 32

Filed under: The Preamble - Posted by: Mark

So the gamble on the Wayne Rooney armband went slightly awry. Typically, Luis Suarez rained on my parade and punished my punt with another hat-trick on his way to a 25-point haul. To compound matters, Yaya Toure topped the Uruguayan, applying ample salt to my wounds as my rank drifted into further obscurity.

While this week’s ScoutCast was aptly titled – filled with moans and awkward attempts at justifying mistakes – I’ve only got myself to blame: dare to turn your back on this season’s limited number of true heavy-hitters and there’s every chance you’ll come out licking wounds. Quite simply, the supporting cast of Fantasy talent have failed to keep pace.

I’ve used this article before to focus on the midfield landscape and it’s pretty clear that this has hardly been resolved in recent weeks: Toure and Eden Hazard still dominate, with Adam Lallana occasionally flirting with double figures and Steven Gerrard exploiting set-pieces to join him.

Up front, however, the situation has become similarly settled – perhaps more so. The Liverpool strikers are currently monopolising our thinking and it’s likely that if you don’t own both Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, you’ve been forced to consider it very seriously or risk falling further adrift.

Again, the options are failing to run them close. Rooney, for all his efforts, is playing in a side devoid of confidence and lacking the fluidity to feed him the opportunity to rival the Merseyside hitmen. Romelu Lukaku, for his gradual grind towards a respectable goal tally, has lacked the potential to explode. Beyond that, we’re left looking at a cast of differentials, destined to fail in their attempts to outscore the Liverpool pair – Jay Rodriguez, Wilfried Bony, Olivier Giroud, Christian Benteke. I certainly hope that one of those names can emerge and genuinely turn in an end of season run. I won’t be alone.

Anyone looking above them in their mini-league will be wondering how they make up ground if, each time they differentiate their team from those above, they seem to slip further behind. From my experience last weekend, switching the captaincy from Suarez isn’t the answer.

So, inevitably, this can, again, come across as bitterness from a struggling Fantasy manager but my views on how the season has progressed are not totally tainted by my own plight. I had similar opinions on template teams last season on my way to a far more respectable rank.

For my money, it’s difficult to deny that injuries and United’s decline have exacerbated matters – we’ve been robbed of Theo Walcott, Michu, Robin van Persie and Sergio Aguero. Meanwhile Mesut Ozil has failed to live up to his billing and Santi Cazorla has struggled alongside him. This group of players could have been expected to offer viable alternatives to the current crop of names that dominate the ranks and offer mid-table Fantasy managers options. Without them, the season has settled into an all-too-familiar pattern of scoring, disrupted occasionally by the odd breakout performance from an unexpected source.

Regardless of rank and my ability to exploit how this season has developed, I’d be left hoping for a shake-up next term. Clearly the likes of Toure, Hazard and Liverpool’s “SAS” will enjoy price hikes going into the next campaign. Despite that, they’ll be established as hugely popular picks from the off. However, there will likely be another group of Fantasy managers who take a few risks – who back Van Persie, Walcott and Michu again in hope they can find the fitness and form to re-establish themselves as big factors in these games we play.

I really hope that the next campaign offers some reward for looking beyond this season’s big scorers. That’s not sour grapes, that’s just me craving more options when it comes to my Saturday morning decision-making.

About The Author

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


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  1. When i aguero likely to be fit?

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. As soon as you get a grav

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. Lol, i can't be arsed to go to the grav website

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
        1. It will change your life.

          • 1 year, 8 months ago
  2. this moyes out plane flag flying over the stadium is so hilarious 😆 cant wait to see it!

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. Is Fergie on board??

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
  3. My team looks strong for next week 😎

    A bit worried about this week though.

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. I'm 1 point ahead of you OR ranking, good luck mate

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. Cheers :)

        I hope you get 2 points less than me 😆

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
        1. I'll take that as long as you get 98 this week :grin;

          • 1 year, 8 months ago
      2. Mine, too. :)

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
    2. i'm worries for both :)

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. worried

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
  4. 2009/10 2312 15665
    2010/11 2147 3951
    2011/12 2148 17336
    2012/13 2197 13591

    points/rank for the last four years...fairly consistent on points the last 3! :)

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  5. Anyone got a link to the suspension tightrope?
    Are 9YC players like Gerrard on the brink of a 2 game ban for the rest of the season?

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. yes, 2 game ban until April 13 i believe

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. So just the next 3 GWs, then the threat of a 2 game ban disappears?

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
        1. Yup. Needs to get past Man City.

          • 1 year, 8 months ago
        2. not sure what happens with it...think it increases

          • 1 year, 8 months ago
    2. look > way

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. Handy.

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
    3. It's right there >>>>

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
  6. What? Evra out? Why?!

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. Trying out the Buttner mask

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. So what happens if Buttner gets injured? And who's going to play left back against Bayern?

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
        1. Moyes himself.

          • 1 year, 8 months ago
        2. To be fair, it hardly matters...

          • 1 year, 8 months ago
          1. It matters as long as United is still in the UCL, regardless if our opponent is the best team in the world.

            • 1 year, 8 months ago
          2. He'll just make Raphi wear a Fabio jersey 😉

            • 1 year, 8 months ago
    2. C'mon guys seriously, Buttner was a sure thing - has to get match fit for Bayern

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. I don't agree. He had his full game against West Ham and this should be utilised tactically and not physically.

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
      2. Nonsense. Stupid to risk him getting injured when he's the only available LB in the squad

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
      3. Never agreed with that theory.

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
    3. Evra is gone in the summer.

      Testing out Butt for next season.

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. Knowing Moyes, he will be chasing after Baines again or maybe look into the market for a new left back.

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
    4. Motes WILL be sacked. Question is how soon...

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. I actually don't think they will, with the caveat that they will if he loses 6 of the next 8 , otherwise he stays and gets the transfer window

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
        1. To be fair he is where he normally is with Everton. 7th is all United should have expected thus season.

          • 1 year, 8 months ago
        • 1 year, 8 months ago
        1. iPad fail...

          • 1 year, 8 months ago
    5. He's ruined Utd's season so now Moyes is trying to ruin a few peoples' FPL seasons too.

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. Goddammit Moyes.

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
      2. Did we learn nothing about him from Barkley or even Royston Drenthe??

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
    6. PKB

      United testing their Butt out! 😀

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
  7. Let us reflect.

    Steven Gerard for 8.7M.

    How good is that....

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. Just my opinion, but I reckon his points tallies could well dry up. I am hoping so, anyway z;)

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. 157 points. He has already justified his price tag.

        I think there is more to come from captain fantastic as Liverpool push for this title.

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
      2. Thats what they said about yaya

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
        1. To be fair he only scored 31 points last GW

          • 1 year, 8 months ago
    2. Jax

      with 9 yellows pass.

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. When does that risk go away?

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
  8. There's a Plane Coming

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. Really?

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. to Old Trafford

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
    2. So am I

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
    3. 20+ years of bragging, one bad season and start hiring planes to humiliate their manager.

      Pure class

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
  9. Dgw players for gw34

    I will have:

    3 x city
    3 x Everton
    2 x Sunderland
    1 x palace

    Seem ok?

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  10. Which teams have a blank in GW34?

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. Utd and Hull

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. cheers.

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
  11. Benteke taka... will destroy that CB pairing

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  12. Leicesters frenchy is a really good player

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. Lester Frenchy... I like it

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
  13. Everyone will just stop playing to admire the "Moyes Out" banner...

    Might have a natural, mid-game, moment of silence

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. The sacked one?

      The second best one?

      The clueless one?


      • 1 year, 8 months ago
  14. Come on Villa!

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  15. BET NOW!!!!

    Give me your money!!

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  16. So here's the A & B...

    A) Boruc, Baines, Ivanovic, Mutch, Lukaku + 33pts
    B) Adrian, Shaw, Cahill, Lallana, Dzeko

    Any chance of A being toppled by B this GW?

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. highly unlikely

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. Trying to ride out the next couple of GWs with 4 expensive DFs until after the next DGW, weakens my midfield quite a bit.

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
    2. Not a hope B will come close to A

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
    3. There will be about 33 Points separating it at the end.

      Unless baines or Ivanovic scores, then it will be more.

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
  17. I have just come across this site, and have to say some great banter and comments about the game we love. Just listened to the southcast very surprised that some players still don't have Yaya etc etc. Lucky for me I have had yaya, hazard coleman ramsey and Lala from game week 1 SS bought in after ban and injuries.Had Aguero briefly also when he was fit these players provided huge points for us all during the 1st half of the season. probably stating the obvious but it is difficult to catch up but not impossible if you did not start with em. Anyway I hope you all have a good game week!
    Current team Monno
    Coleman Baines Terry
    Yaya Haz Gerry Lala
    SS and Willy Bony > (has been a good punt)
    Bench Hart chester chambers mutch
    2.3 in bank 2 trans for next week

    How many points u looking for? id be happy with 80ish trying to break into top 1k very difficult tho.

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
    1. "southcast" Get out, sir! We do not suffer mistakes in spelling and grammar here

      • 1 year, 8 months ago
      1. Get out?? you own this do ya??? lol

        • 1 year, 8 months ago
  18. i've just come out the good side of a bad night where my own brother done called cops on my ass. explaining my shortcomings as being due to my insurmountable taste for tweed was not the best idea. but yo. shit worked. ish

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  19. oh dear....

    • 1 year, 8 months ago
  20. Been hovering the rank of 70k - 100k! Frustrating!

    Ivanovic Cahill Chester
    Hazard Yaya Silva Gerrard
    Saurez Sturridge Lukaku

    Boruc Distin Ward-Powrse Koscienly

    1 FT 0.8 ITB. What do you guys think my next move should be?

    Cheers guys! :)

    • 1 year, 8 months ago

Scout Picks

Gameweek 14

  • Butland
  • Dann
  • Cresswell
  • Moreno
  • Walters
  • De Bruyne
  • Ozil
  • Roberto Firmino
  • Ighalo
  • Kane
  • Lukaku
  • Bellerín
  • King
  • Vardy

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The Watchlist


Last updated: 30 Nov, 2015 8:39pm
Player Club Factors
No Change De Gea MUN A
Up Mignolet LIV C, Vs
Up Butland STO A, VsX
No Change Hennessey CPL B, Vs, Rest, £
Up Gomes WAT B
Up Lloris TOT B, Vs
Up Pantilimon SUN C, VsX
Up Adrián WHM C, Vs
No Change Cech ARS B
No Change Myhill WBA B
No Change Stekelenburg SOT B
No Change Howard EVE C
No Change Hart MCI B
Up Schmeichel LEI C, Vs


Last updated: 24 Nov, 2015 6:55pm
Player Club Factors
Up Moreno LIV B, Vs
Up Dier TOT B, Vs, OoP
Down Bellerín ARS B, Vs
Up Coleman EVE B, Vs
No Change Smalling MUN A
Down Otamendi MCI B, Rest
Up Zouma CHE B, Vs
Down Dann CPL B
Down van Dijk SOT B, VsX
Up Cresswell WHM C, Vs
No Change Janmaat NEW C
Up Simpson LEI B, £
Up Wollscheid STO A, VsX
No Change Dawson WBA C, VsX


Last updated: 27 Nov, 2015 2:34pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Ozil ARS A, Vs
Up Coutinho LIV A, Vs
Down De Bruyne MCI B
Down Sánchez ARS C, Vs
No Change Mahrez LEI A, VsX
Up Eriksen TOT B, Vs
Up Barkley EVE A, Vs
Down Mane SOT B, VsX
No Change André Ayew SWA B
Up Deulofeu EVE A, Vs
Down Wijnaldum NEW A
No Change Lanzini WHM B, £
Up Bolasie CPL B
No Change Willian CHE B
No Change Tadic SOT B, VsX


Last updated: 24 Nov, 2015 6:53pm
Player Club Factors
Up Lukaku EVE A, Vs
Up Kane TOT A, Vs
Up Aguero MCI C, Inj
No Change Vardy LEI A, VsX
Up Ighalo WAT A
Up Diego Costa CHE C, Vs
Down Pellè SOT C, VsX, Sus
No Change Giroud ARS A, Rest
No Change Martial MUN C, Inj
Down Benteke LIV B, Rest

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
Gosling BOU 4
Ritchie BOU 4
Cabaye CPL 4
McCarthy EVE 4
Huth LEI 4
Can LIV 4
Clyne LIV 4
Mangala MCI 4
Tioté NEW 4
Bassong NOR 4
Romeu SOT 4
Adam STO 4
Whelan STO 4
Williams SWA 4
Vertonghen TOT 4
Walker TOT 4
Capoue WAT 4
Nyom WAT 4

“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