As the Brazil 2014 World Cup edges towards its conclusion, our focus shifts towards domestic matters once again. With just over a month left until the 2014/15 season gets underway on Saturday August 16, Fantasy managers have already begun to analyse the schedule in order to ascertain the most efficient, cheap rotation options on offer.

While we’re aware that most of our community are already familiar with such a concept – Portsmouth Bubblejet’s excellent Home and Away Rotation article in our community section offers further insight – we nevertheless begin our series of articles on fixture rotation with a look at the basics involved and cast an eye back over the previous campaign as means of illustration.

The Concept

Fixture rotation only applies to squad-based Fantasy games and is utilised best with goalkeepers and defenders. At its most basic level, the principle is simply finding a pair of cut-price players whose home and away matches dovetail perfectly, allowing us to select the home option each time and benching the other player. Our rotation policies normally have us searching for budget pairings – mainly because most will baulk at the idea of benching an asset in or above the mid-price value bracket.

Stoke’s first season under Mark Hughes is a fine example of just why rotation is key. The Potters conceded just 17 times at the Britannia, the fourth best home defence in 2013/14 behind Chelsea, Arsenal and City – three of the top four in the league. On the road, however, it’s a different matter altogether – 35 goals conceded was the fourth worst backline on their travels, with only relegated trio Cardiff, Norwich and Fulham shipping more.

Those playing starting XI games such as Sky Sports or The Sun need not worry about such strategies but for Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers or the Ultimate FPL game, fixture rotation can be a significant part of our preparation and one of the keys to success. Shuffling resources at the back and selecting cut-price regulars with guaranteed game time allows us to free up cash to splash further up the field.

The Security of Keepers

In some cases, geographical proximity plays a part in two teams’ ability to rotate. Arsenal/Tottenham and Man United/Man City, for example, alternate from one home game to the next but their goalkeeper assets are anything but budget friendly – Joe Hart and David De Gea started at 6.5 and 6.0 in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) game last term and few, if any, Fantasy managers will be willing to bench such a costly asset for 19 of the 38 Gameweeks. Finding cheap backline partnerships is vital to a successful rotation pairing and, as last season showed, there’s plenty of value on offer between the sticks – Palace’s Julian Speroni and Sunderland’s Vito Mannone were the top two players for value in the FPL game.

A fundamental reason for this is the FPL rule set. While clean sheets are the bread and butter of goalkeepers in most games, the FPL decision to award an extra point for every three saves is crucial to our thinking when assessing our preferred stoppers. Mannone’s heroics between the posts for the Black Cats are a case in point – he earned a total of 33 extra points from saves alone and delivered at least one save point in 22 of his 29 league appearances.

Assured game time is another factor in goalkeepers’ favour. Three of the four players to feature in every minute of the 2013/14 season were stoppers – Brad Guzan, Simon Mignolet and John Ruddy – with Steven Caulker the only outfield player to make the cut. The risk of rest and rotation is significantly reduced, while the chances of a keeper being subbed off due to a tactical tweak are more or less non-existent.

The Case for the Defence

In any given season, though, there will always be cut-price defenders who perform way beyond their initial valuation. Southampton’s Jose Fonte started with a 4.5 price tag in FPL last term and proceeded to serve up three goals, 15 clean sheets and 21 bonus points – rising to a high of 5.5, the centre-half was second only to Laurent Koscielny amongst outfield players for value over the season and finished 25 points ahead of team-mate Artur Boruc between the sticks. Similarly, Palace’s Joel Ward began at 4.0 and racked up 123 points – a season value of 27.3 is just behind Fonte’s 27.6.

When forming our goalkeeper pairings, it’s vital to also consider what’s on offer from their respective defences. Take West Ham, for example. Big Sam’s side served up 14 clean sheets last season – only Chelsea, Arsenal, City, Everton and Southampton managed more – and with the Upton Park club quick to splash the cash and strengthen over the summer, their chances of maintaining that resilience looks strong. Whilst Spanish stopper Adrian will offer save points (23 from 20 starts in the campaign gone by), new left-back Aaron Cresswell looks one to monitor – handed set-pieces and corners by former club Ipswich, he served up two goals and 14 assists in the Championship last season.

While our 15 man FPL squads comprise of five defenders, the vast majority of Fantasy managers favour a three-man backline. Some prefer to plan a little more elaborately – utilising a variety of approaches including two, three and even four-way rotation in accordance with each team’s schedule. Initially, though, selecting the correct defensive options beyond a two-man rotation plan carries a degree of risk as Premier League managers fine-tune their preferred set-ups.

In Jose Mourinho’s first season back at the Bridge, for example, Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta played just 29 minutes of the opening 10 Gameweeks – a run which delivered just three clean sheets. Dropping from 6.0 to 5.3 in price, the Spaniard then went on to start 26 of the remaining 28 league matches as the Blues served up a further 15 shut-outs and hand Fantasy managers a steady source of defensive returns.

Steven Caulker began the campaign as a 5.0 option at Tottenham but with question marks raised over his likely game time under Andre Villas-Boas, few gave his a second thought. As mentioned above, a late summer move to Cardiff cemented a security of game time greater than any outfield player and, with five goals to his name, he ended on 122 points – Ben Turner was the nearest Bluebirds defender on 69 points.

Crystal Palace looked dead and buried under former boss Ian Holloway – they’d conceded at least twice in eight of the first 10 league matches and had failed to produce a single clean sheet. The installation of Tony Pulis in Gameweek 13 sparked a dramatic turnaround which persuaded many to invest in the Eagles’ main men at the back – Palace conceded just 27 goals from that point onwards, the fourth most resilient record in the league.

Whether it’s a change of manager, a late move in the transfer window, an unfortunate injury to a first-team rival or a shift in the pecking order, then, all our best-laid plans can be quickly undone – there is always one or two budget defensive options that take us by surprise and emerge as favourites to disrupt our initial squads. An early wildcard, once first choice line-ups are clearer, may afford more security and lessen the likelihood of unnecessary mistakes for those intent on three or even four way rotation in defence.

Attacking Rotation

Typically, midfield or forward rotation is far trickier to achieve as we look to balance the books. The player list rarely affords us the option of a genuine Fantasy midfield force under 5.0 in FPL – Cardiff’s Jordan Mutch and Everton’s Ross Barkley were the two exceptions last term with 123 points and 112 points respectively, though with just five minutes’ game time in the first five fixture, Mutch was slow to stake a claim for our consideration.

For those favouring a 3-5-2 over a 3-4-3 formation, alternating two midfielders and a cheap third striker – picking two of the trio from one week to the next – may also be an option. Predicting attacking returns can prove far more frustrating and makes the idea of benching these assets a riskier tactic, though – Mutch scored in only two of the Bluebirds’ home fixtures all season and found the net away to Chelsea and Liverpool; matches that many owners would have happily benched him for.

Last season, Cardiff’s Fraizer Campbell was the only striker with a starting price of less than 6.0 to manage more than 100 points. Initially costing 5.5, he delivered 108 points for the relegated Welsh outfit but, when you consider that as many as 24 sub-6.0 defenders produced 100+ points, there is clearly far more margin for error when relying on cheap attackers. At times, rotating a third striker with a fifth midfielder can be a thankless task but, even so, if you can get attacking rotation working for you, the funds liberated by two or three effective budget options can make the difference when it comes to heavy-hitter selections up front.

Using the Season Ticker

As most of you will have noticed by now, we’ve implemented the brand new season tickers in light of the newly-released schedules. The first six fixtures for all clubs are listed in the sidebar, though members can expand or restrict this by using the plus or minus buttons at the top right of the ticker. They can also view this in accordance with each team’s overall potential as well as by clean sheet and attacking prospects, sorting by difficulty as you go along.

Another of the useful features offered by the members version is the ability to drag and drop rows, moving teams up and down the ticker to help identify rotation pairings – already, there are some noticeable couples over the first few matches that appear to offer potential.

Looking at the schedules, both Southampton and Stoke have six excellent home fixtures to kick off their respective campaigns, whilst all but one of Swansea’s first seven at the Liberty looks enticing. Palace, Hull, Newcastle and QPR have three strong home games in the first four in front of their own fans and finding a rotation partner for these sides looks key.

Pairing up Swansea and Stoke, for example, would give you a run of 13 very favourable home fixtures in the first 14 Gameweeks (AVL, BUR, WBA, LEI, SOT, NEW, NEW, SWA, LEI, WHM, BUR, CPL, QPR) to kick off the season. A Palace and QPR partnership would result in eight eye-catching home fixtures in the first 10 (HUL, WHM, SUN, BUR, STO, LEI, AVL, SUN), while West Ham and Southampton give us nine home games in the opening 11 Gameweeks (TOT, WBA, SOT, NEW, QPR, QPR, SUN, STO, LEI).

Obviously, these are just a trio of brief examples – as always, you can expect us to delve into the data in far more depth in our forthcoming articles.

About The Author

paul

> See all posts by this author

  1. Just logged on for first time in a while. People getting way over excited about Sanchez and herd mentality kicking in. Good to see things haven't changed over the summer.

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
      • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. People talking about a big money signing on a footy forum & supporters of that club getting excited...

      Disgraceful!!!

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. Seems everyone, their mums and dogs are pulling out the wank socks.

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
        1. Nothing wrong with a tug every now & then!

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
    2. Still Wally for me. Just means more ammunition for him.

      Rotation is a worry though. Lots of competition.

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. Yeah.. There are Cazorla and Poldi in the mix also.

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
      2. Yeah walcott for me too, but can't see him being fit for start of season.

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
    3. but we also can a step back and judge things logically

      we are just a bit excited! :)

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. Dont worry about him.

        He is just a jealous, grumpy old man.

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
  2. Is a Chelsea defender a must?

    Posted this a few hours ago, interested in some more opinions...

    Is a Chelsea defender a must?

    In the first half of last season, excluding matches against the top 4, Chelsea failed to get clean sheets against: Villa, Everton, Spurs, Norwich, Cardiff, Newcastle, WBA, Southampton, Sunderland, Stoke and Palace.

    So, clean sheets against the 'weaker' teams in the league aren't certain, and with tough away trips to Everton (they lost the corresponding match 0-1 last season) and City, as well as a home clash with a reinforced Arsenal, ALL in the first 7 weeks of the season, is it best to hold off on a Chelsea defender and monitor their early season defensive form? 7m is a hefty price tag for one defender.

    It is worth noticing that the arrival of players such as Matic in the January transfer window solidified their defence, so their early season struggles last year may have been due to a lack of a commanding CDM like Matic, who they obviously have now. The attacking threat of Ivanovic, Cahill and Terry is a big plus too. Mourinho has also shown that he'll play defensive against the bigger sides, which resulted in clean sheets against both Manchester sides, Liverpool and Arsenal last season. We may have a rare case of a team that is more likely to get clean sheets against the bigger sides.

    I'll likely end up with a Chelsea defender in my GW1 team, but I'm just interested to hear other peoples thoughts on this.

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. Ivanovic is a must!

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. I wonder how Chelsea will manage him, Azpi and Luis (if he comes). Could be some rotation there...

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
        1. Azpi/Ivan & Ivan/Terry rotation looks likely! He is fresh after much needed break and would be first player on Mou's team sheet unless injured!

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
          1. Hmm I'm not sure. Personally I think Cahill will be the best option FPL wise.

            • 2 months, 7 days ago
            1. I agree, no rotation risk. Ivan could be the differential (crosses, shoots etc) if everyone opts for Cahill.

              • 2 months, 7 days ago
              1. Maybe Chelsea back will be Azpi (he had no mistakes last season and Mou loves him),Ivanovic,Cahill,Luis :)

                • 2 months, 7 days ago
    2. All depends on pricing, but certainly a Chelsea def will be on a lot of people's first drafts

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
    3. Didn't Mourinho say that he tried to develope a new brand of football at Chelsea last year but the team turned out to not be ready for it, so because they were doing well in the CL and in the league, he adopted a much more defensive and results-orientated approach, thus increasing clean sheets..

      If he goes back to trying to develop an expansive new brand of attacking play then the clean sheets could go missing again.

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. Yep, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
    4. It's been shown over several seasons that the bigger clubs tend to tighten up in the second half of the season. Chelsea was an extreme example last season and might have been for special reasons.

      But I'd expect the trend to hold again. Cheapies (ish) in the first half of the season when cash is tight and the top teams go for goals, big hitters in the Jan WC when they start tightening up.

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. That pretty much sums up my thinking too Rosco.

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
        1. I did it that way last season and it was pretty effective for my defence. Shame I screwed everything else up :lol:

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
          1. :lol: Still in with a chance of top 10 in McDs?

            • 2 months, 7 days ago
            1. 14th so very much on the cards (but the car is probably out of reach) :)

              Fox has gone completely to pot though - 52nd now, which is very disappointing after being 5th so recently.

              • 2 months, 7 days ago
              1. Wow that's awesome, the other prizes still look pretty good! Your experience with Team Chile must've helped get you up that high ;)

                Don't mention that F word around me, I've dropped to 170th or so now :lol:

                • 2 months, 7 days ago
                1. You're laughing but it absolutely was Team Chile that helped me get up there. Couldn't possibly have got this far without all your advice (but probably yours in particular). Big thanks.

                  The prizes look great, they'd make a brilliant memento :)

                  • 2 months, 7 days ago
                  1. No worries, it was great to have you in the team. Good luck winning a prize, all of the Chileans (and people of FFS) are behind you! :D

                    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    5. So who will be the cheapest regular starter in their defence?

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. They're all likely to be 7m, Azpi could come in at 6.5 if we're lucky. Sadly he offers no attacking threat and doesn't get many baps though.

        • 2 months, 6 days ago
  3. Manchester City FC ‏@MCFC
    Alexis Sanchez had announced that he is looking forward to joining Manchester City for the 2015/16 Premier League campaign

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. Where did you see that? I knew they had met with his reps, but Arsenal confirmed it.

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
        • 2 months, 7 days ago
        1. you can see where he is coming from though. you expect jokes to be funny

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
        • 2 months, 7 days ago
        1. Oh yeah I missed that, how embarrassing.

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
    2. oo many people are upset ;)

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. nah AR! we are not upset about your signings/wealth ;)

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
          • 2 months, 7 days ago
    3. How the table has turned for arsenal in two years time

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
  4. What we reckon?

    Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria has agreed personal terms worth £150,000-a-week with Manchester United. The two clubs just need to agree a fee for the  Argentina international who also received offers from PSG & Monaco.

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. i think it depends on RM signing JRod.

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. What's the likely of that happening Siva? I hear quite high

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
        1. They sold Morata and planning to sell ADM to PSG. I think they will sign JRod once they announce Kroos signing.

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
          1. I could live with losing Morata and ADM for Kroos and JRod :shock:

            • 2 months, 7 days ago
            1. you will see them @ RM in August! :cool:

              • 2 months, 7 days ago
    2. Holy moly. He's had a poor world cup but his creativity for Real last season was absolutely out of this world. I would LOVE to see him in the prem. Key Pass monster.

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
        • 2 months, 7 days ago
        1. Your loss would be our gain ;)

          (by we, I mean we who enjoy Premier League football, I'm not a United fan)

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
          1. I thoroughly enjoy Premier League football... but please don't take Di Maria :(

            Take Bale or Ronaldo, seriously, just leave us with Di Maria, Alonso and Ramos.. :(

            • 2 months, 7 days ago
            1. it appears you don't speak galactico

              • 2 months, 7 days ago
              1. That word is poisonous to a football team..

                • 2 months, 7 days ago
    3. Top 4 next season (Chelsea, City, Utd and Arsenal) gonna be well strong.

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. They are my top four Sess definitely.... Truly will be an incredible battle for those places

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
      • 2 months, 7 days ago
        • 2 months, 7 days ago
        1. Hmm, although they are Real Madrid unofficial mouthpiece they're about as unreliable as the Metro or Goal.com, we'll have to see about this one!

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
            • 2 months, 7 days ago
    4. Would be great, that boy was borned to play in the PL

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
  5. Who's reffing the final?

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. Blatter

      $$$$

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. Wouldn't he have a job keeping up with play?

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
        1. Yes, but I'd love to see him try.

          I mean he has paid the ref already.

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
        2. This would be amazing to watch, imagine if the FIFA president/chairman (whatever he is) had to referee the final EVERY world cup....

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
          1. Bookies might be nervous.

            • 2 months, 7 days ago
      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. Cha.

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
  6. i hope this "arsenal will not make top 4" nonsense is over

    but no arsenal are not good enough, city and chelsea will walk it

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. you think? chelsea could still struggle for goals. if costa takes time to adapt/settle then they could struggle. not like he is the most clinical finisher at the best of times

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. yeah i think we have a good shot :)

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
    2. - I'm guessing 3rd / 4th place in the league..
      - Last 16 of CL.
      - Quarters of FA Cup
      - Semis of Carling Cup, beaten by Birmingham.

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
    3. 4th position is Patented by Arsenal...so Don't worry you guys will at least finish 4th

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
    4. They've only signed one player, need much more steel in midfield, Arteta and Wilshere aren't good enough for what is actually needed. Strong squad, I don't think strong enough to win it but I still think top four could be difficult simply down to Wengers arrogance as a manager.

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. oh dear...

        yes we need a cdm, hopefully that happens...

        we actually arent that far away...just a bit more depth and we look good

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
        1. I'm not saying you aren't but depth and a proper CDM are needed, and I think that and as previously stated, Wengers arrogance as a manager (especially against the other top teams) could cost you.

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
          1. yeah we should get that depth in

            i agree wenger's tactics were appalling last season in big games, but hopefully some knew personnel will allow him to change tactics

            • 2 months, 7 days ago
    5. Keep Calm, 4th place is all yours, nobody can steal it ;)

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
    6. i should stick to the DZ, when the arsenal bashers aren't around ;)

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. :lol:
        I do respect Wenger and you have Ozil, so I cant hate Arsenal at all ;)
        Is there any problem with ur fitness/training staff? Players keep on getting injured one after other

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
  7. Alexis Sanchez will wear the number 17 shirt for Arsenal with the name ‘Alexis’ on the back.

    The Chilean, who signed yesterday from Barcelona, takes the number from Nacho Monreal who, it appears, will wear the number 18 this season.

    Further changes include Kieran Gibbs getting hold of the number 3 shirt after the departure of Bacary Sagna, while Mathieu Debuchy is expected to take the number 2 when his signing is made official.

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
      • 2 months, 7 days ago
        • 2 months, 7 days ago
  8. This page needs bookmarking. There's plenty of wild rumours about the place.

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. Henrik Larsson to come out of retirement to challenge Diego Costa for the strikers spot at Chelsea!

      Seems that after the raging success that was Samuel Eto'o, Mourinho has convinced yet another former world class player to sign over the age of 40 :)

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. I heard Chelsea are planning 199m pounds cash signing bonus for Bendtner..if he joins them

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
        1. are we fighting with AVilla for his signing? :shock:

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
    2. You a Bowie fan?

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. Yep :)

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
  9. Brazil 2-2 Holland

    Germany 2-1 Argentina

    Sound reasonable for my score predictions (work thing)?

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. 2-1 Brazil
      3-0 Germany

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. I think people will get carried away by the big scoreline against a weak Brazil team.

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
        1. People will get carried away but German Players won't ;)

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
          1. I was set on my predictions.

            Damn u!!!

            • 2 months, 7 days ago
      2. Depends who you think has the best second team; Holland or Brazil?

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
  10. Vlaar's pelanty was actually a goal!!! :shock:
    Watch till the end
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=43-EtYWhhAc

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
      • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. You mean besides the fact Vlaar touched it again?

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. Isn't the Metro terrible at transfer rumours/news? Not saying it won't happen but that paper is an unreliable rag.

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. KoL
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member

        theres a question mark in that so cant be real ;)

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
  11. Hull to sign Rooney?

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. KoL
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member

      Adam ? ;)

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
  12. Markovic didn´t train yesterday which indicates he could be on the verge of signing for Liverpool.

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. I think he is, just a medical and such to sort out.

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
  13. Benteke to Arsenal?

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. :shock: Where did u find that??

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
  14. Should I dump Luiz or Garay in FOX?

    Bringing in Lahm, and thinking Luiz ATM.

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. Garay IMO

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
        • 2 months, 7 days ago
    2. probably luiz...garay has a goal threat and who knows luiz may not play

      id wait though

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
        • 2 months, 7 days ago
  15. All these rumors make me wonder if there will be an abundance of midfield options fantasy wise!And with the probable high prices this time around i don't think there will be a midfield template...

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. I wonder if they will class Rose as a midfielder again this season...

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. Doubt it, he played virtually all of last season at LB.

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
        1. No different to the season before when he was at Sunderland...

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
            • 2 months, 7 days ago
          1. Yeah but him moving back from Sunderland to Tottenham (where he previously played as a mid when he came on as a sub) probably helped make up their mind. This year he's staying at the same club as last season where his position in the club is more obvious.

            • 2 months, 7 days ago
        2. ... and the season before...

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
  16. Can anyone help me here. I'm running a sun dream team mini-league for the World Cup. What's the rules if 1st & 2nd finish on the same points???
    Any help would be appreciated !!

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
  17. I'm being serious here when I say that I cannot wait to play with some of these "new" teams in FIFA 15.. So much has changed in the last 12 months, players that used to be the best are now no longer (Xavi/Iniesta, Ribery, Gerrard, Casillas) and even teams play differently now (ManU, Liverpool, Bayern)..

    Plus lots of players have been introduced to the world via the world cup (Enner Valencia for example).

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. Yep looking forward to it! :)

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
    2. My favorite player in Fifa 14 is Bruma.. He is top notch in it.Hope he remains the same in 15.

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. Bakkali was better ;)

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
        1. My RW and LW. ;)

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
            • 2 months, 7 days ago
            • 2 months, 7 days ago
      2. Incredibly quick, I bought him from Real Madrid in 2019 when he was 85 :D

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
        1. But i sold Zouma after a season full of bad performances. He is now 90 ovr and costs more than 64 m to get back! :(

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
          1. ...that was silly of you ;)

            • 2 months, 7 days ago
    3. but its not fun cos all you do is sprint down the touchdown cross it and head it in :(

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. touchdown wtf??

        *touchline

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
        1. I understand....I love scoring volleyed goals via crosses.

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
      2. OR you could try to play a more expansive style of football and start getting properly used to the skills in it to dribble past players ;)

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
        1. This. Play on legendary or ultimate and you won't be able to do that, it's a lot more rewarding scoring a good team goal than those boring tap ins from 6 yards out.

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
        2. i dont play it these days, but i heard headers are all that happen online

          i guess i must be different online

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
            • 2 months, 7 days ago
          1. Yeah headers are overpowered in FIFA 14.

            • 2 months, 7 days ago
          2. Oh yeah FIFA 14 was shockingly easy to score from corners and headers, far too easy.. As Innsie said though, the real fun in the game is building up a team of young players, making them better, taking on the best teams on legendary, and beating them with 3 very good goals from outside the box scored by the 3 players you've had for 6 years since they were 16...

            It's beautiful dammit.

            God I can't wait to be a student again next year.

            • 2 months, 7 days ago
            1. I am not a student and i still play it. ;)

              • 2 months, 7 days ago
            2. Do you play all your games or sim some IM? I usually play every one and get bored after a season or two.

              • 2 months, 7 days ago
              1. I don't sim at all. but i never get bored! :)

                • 2 months, 7 days ago
              2. I play FIFA differently...

                I swap all 4 star teams in the prem for 5 star teams from around the world, creating a superleague of the 19 best teams in the world, and me.

                My team is some random team (Irish league normally) with a load of young 17 year olds, but they have loads of potential, so i start off trying to survive the super league, playing every game, and then my team get better and better and I start to dominate the league eventually and then I'd sim the odd match.

                I hate simming though as its completely random (or so it seems) and your players can lose all of their form in a simmed match.

                • 2 months, 7 days ago
                1. Interesting, I might try that sometime...

                  Yeah I find when I sim that I almost always get atleast one injury, and as you said form loss usually results.

                  • 2 months, 7 days ago
            3. you're going back to school? :shock:

              • 2 months, 7 days ago
              1. Yup, in my 3rd year of college now, on an internship for the summer till september, back into final year of college in september!

                • 2 months, 7 days ago
                1. wow cool! good luck with it all mate :)

                  • 2 months, 7 days ago
                2. im a married 31 year old social worker and i still play it..........

                  • 2 months, 7 days ago
                  1. Oh I know, I fully expect to continue playing it for years, but I wish I could put the time into it that I used to and get like 6 years into a career..

                    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    4. Another thing i hate about FIFA 14 is that players are over priced!

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. The trick is to do player swaps as your transfers, swap your in form players if you can for players that are cheap and out of form, they'll be crap at the very start but if you can "turn their season around" by scoring a goal or two with them then their value goes up and you now have a better player in form worth more than the original form player :)

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
        1. I normally do this.Just went wrong with Zouma.

          • 2 months, 7 days ago
    5. You'll still have the usual EA underrating young or non attacking players though.

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
        • 2 months, 7 days ago
  18. Can we now buy membership without Paypal? Just using credit card. Heard this was an issue that was being looked at but not sure if this is now possible.

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. Create an account in Paypal...it doesn't cost

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. Yeah, guess that's they easiest method.

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
    2. You don't need to be a Paypal member... there is an option below on the 'sign in' screen that allows you just to pay by card...

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. Seems you do?

        "All payments are currently handled via Paypal although new payment methods will be added in the coming weeks – we’ll keep you posted on that."

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
  19. Sanchez home shirt or Ozil home shirt...

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. Özil that infinite number on his back cuts it.

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
        • 2 months, 7 days ago
    2. alexis! ozil was so 2013

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. True, but I prefer the number 11

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
  20. Morning all, first time back since end of last season. Fresh as a daisy.

    So when can we expect FPL to open. Next 2 weeks? Prob been asked a million times. Apologies.

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. were you hibernating in between? you need a shave man (referring by your Grav)

      14th July at 5pm (BST)

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. thanks all. just needed a break from it all. tough battle last 2 seasons (fpl wise)

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
    2. A day or two after the WC final seems likely.

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
    3. Some time next week

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
  21. NEW ARTICLE POSTED
  22. I do wonder where Wenger plans to play Sanchez in a full strength Arsenal squad... I can't see it being as the lone striker, possible but unlikely.. Only really leaves the LW position as Ozil and Walcott are nailed on when fit.. Has Sanchez played here very often before? Likely to suit him? I've only ever really seen him player on the right.

    • 2 months, 7 days ago
    1. walcott wont be fit for the start of the season so alexis will play on the right

      • 2 months, 7 days ago
      1. Alexis marked as a forward will be expensive. Marked as a mid a really good choice.

        • 2 months, 7 days ago
  23. I need help, I've never used a rotation system before for FPL and I think I need to go back to the drawing board with my strategy this year if I want to do decently.

    What basics should I follow? (Assume I know nothing)

    • 2 months, 5 days ago

Scout Picks

For Gameweek 4

  • Begovic
  • Ivanovic
  • Lovren
  • Clyne
  • Zaha
  • Fábregas
  • Di María
  • Sterling
  • Pellè
  • Diego Costa
  • Balotelli
  • Moreno
  • Chadli
  • Naismith

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Fixture Ticker

The Watchlist

Goalkeepers

Last updated: 16 Sep, 2014 6:43pm
Player Club Factors
Up Forster SOT B, Vs
Down Mignolet LIV C, Vs
Up De Gea MUN B
No Change Begovic STO B, Vs
Up Mannone SUN C, £
Up Szczesny ARS C, Vs
Up Fabianski SWA B, Vs
Up Heaton BRN B, Vs, £
Up Speroni CPL B
Up Lloris TOT B

Defenders

Last updated: 16 Sep, 2014 6:44pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Ivanovic CHE A, VsX
Up Bertrand SOT A, Vs
Up Shawcross STO B, Vs
Down Lovren LIV C, Vs
No Change Trippier BRN C, Vs
No Change Van Aanholt SUN C, Vs, £
Up Taylor SWA B, £
No Change Evans MUN B, Vs
Up Chambers ARS C, £
Up Morgan LEI B, Vs, £
Up Baines EVE B, VsX
No Change Dier TOT B
No Change Ward CPL C
Down Caulker QPR C

Midfielders

Last updated: 16 Sep, 2014 6:44pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Sterling LIV A, Vs
No Change Sigurdsson SWA A
No Change Ramsey ARS A
No Change Fábregas CHE A, VsX
No Change Tadic SOT A, Vs
Up Di María MUN A, Vs
Up Chadli TOT A, £
Down Hazard CHE C, VsX
Up Sánchez ARS A
Up Mirallas EVE A
Up Eriksen TOT B
No Change Silva MCI B
No Change Zaha CPL C, £
No Change Larsson SUN A, Vs, £
No Change Boyd BRN C, Vs, £
Up Downing WHM A

Forwards

Last updated: 16 Sep, 2014 6:56pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Diego Costa CHE A, VsX
No Change Rooney MUN C, Vs
No Change Aguero MCI A
Up Pellè SOT A, Vs
No Change Balotelli LIV C, Vs
No Change Welbeck ARS B
No Change Adebayor TOT A
Up Ulloa LEI A, £
No Change Naismith EVE A, £
Up Lukaku EVE B
No Change Bony SWA C
Up Wickham SUN C, 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

“Petr is an amazing goalkeeper, but the difference between them is ten years and we think we have to make a decision about the future of the club and to give the goal to Courtois”

Jose Mourinho Chelsea Manager