Interview

View From The Top – An Interview with Chris McGurn

With only a few days left of the 2010/11 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) season, our build-up to this Sunday’s final round of matches has been boosted thanks to an interview with current Fantasy Football Scout and World Number 1, Chris McGurn.

We’ve been tracking the progress of Chris’ team for a number of weeks now in our “Follow the Leader” articles and as the days draw closer to the season’s climax, Chris looked back over what has been a pressure-filled Fantasy campaign.

FFScout: You’ve been inside the top 1,000 since gameweek 3, then subsequently been in and around the top 100 since gameweek 5. Have you been able to enjoy this Fantasy season or, with so much success so early on, has it been one filled with tension? Would you rather have made a late surge up the rankings?

Chris: It was great at first as I had never been so high before and didn’t think I would stay there for long, so was enjoying it while it lasted. However the longer I stayed near the top, and especially when I got in the top 2, it seemed to become more stressful than enjoyable, knowing that one bad decision could make such a difference. Given the choice, yes, I would much rather have been in the pack and made a late surge, but I can’t complain with the way things have gone.

FFScout: You’ve played two seasons previously, comfortably ending both inside the top 10,000. Do you adhere to any particular tactics as a rule and if so, did you alter or keep to your gameplan this season?

Chris: I have generally taken a fairly conservative approach with few risks, preferring to go with the more reliable ‘big four’ players where possible with some cheap guaranteed starters to make up the numbers. Also two cheap keepers to rotate; this usually works well with Foster getting good points this year and Hart and Schwarzer in previous seasons. I have probably been a bit more aggressive this year and not been afraid to sell players who have scored well if there is a better option elsewhere, and this seems to have paid off.

FFScout: How long do you typically spend on team selection each gameweek? Are you pretty certain in your choices or do you find yourself sometimes switching the captain’s armband from player to player at 11.29am on a Saturday morning?

Chris: I find team selections are generally ok as I tend to have a few cheap players so the bench often picks itself and it has been 3-5-2 all the way for most of the season. I have had a lot more trouble deciding on my captains though, especially this year as there generally hasn’t been an obvious choice with little to choose between the big players. I often think I have gone with the wrong one. Recently I have made a point of setting my team/captain on the Friday and not changing it. There is nothing worse than making a change at 11.29 and seeing it backfire.

FFScout: It’s been a very open Fantasy season this time round, with injuries or loss of form meaning there’s no real stand-out player this season. Any players you gravitate towards handing the armband regardless of fixtures? Also, are there any particular players you have taken a punt on that have proved a surprising source of points?

Chris: Marlon Harewood’s 15 points in week 1 was a very pleasant surprise (did I really have Harewood?), especially as the guys in my league gave me a lot of stick beforehand for getting him. Other than that most of my points have been from the usual suspects (Drogba, Tevez, Nani, VDV, RVP etc), albeit they have hit form at different stages of the season. The key has been getting them in and out at the right time. My captaincy picks are usually pretty safe, generally being the big attacking player with the easiest home game, although I did tend to favour Drogba early on, Tevez more mid-season and RVP more towards the end.

FFScout: What have you made of the extra winter wildcard this season? Do it alter how you approached the beginning of the season or how/when you played your initial wildcard? Also on rule changes, any you would personally like to see introduced for next season that would make the game better?

Chris: I don’t really like the extra wildcard. It makes it too easy to get all the top performing players and people can end up with very similar teams, especially in the early weeks. Generally speaking I am happy with the rules and scoring although there is some scope for improvement. As well as getting rid of the extra wildcard, there should be a selected (not automatic) vice captain with no captain if neither play. I reckon they should also look at the cut off time for appearances and clean sheets as 60 minutes is often the time that subs are made and so one defender can play 59 mins for 1 point whilst another can play an extra minute and get 6 (maybe make it 45 mins?). Bonus points are a bit of a lottery but at least they give us all something to whinge about on the message boards so I am ok with these.

FFScout: Has there been any particular gameweek that stands out in the memory this season? Any huge captaincy score or players come off the bench with big scores to give you an unexpected boost?

Chris: No gameweeks particularly stand out for me. I have had some good captain picks but nothing like a 40+ and I rarely get much off the bench. I did have a stand out spell though from GW 25 to 28 which put me into contention and nearly won me the monthly prize for February (I was gutted when Vidic’s red card in the last game of the month pushed me down to 2nd in the month)

FFScout: Last season’s winner was a big West Ham and admitted having a slight anti-Spurs bias as a result. Are you a fan of any Premier League team and if so, does it ever affect your decision-making?

Chris: I support Crewe Alexandra. One of the few benefits of supporting a rubbish team is that it doesn’t influence my FPL decisions which I imagine supporting a Premier League team might. There are a few teams I tend to steer clear of though; I don’t recall ever having an outfield player from Blackburn, for instance.

FFScout: Points hits. Are you a fan or do you avoid them as much as possible?

Chris: I have mixed views on taking points hits. I didn’t used to like doing them as I was never confident enough that I would gain at least 4 extra points to cover the hit, except perhaps for some double gameweeks or when struggling to raise a team. This season however I have started to take a longer term view on points hits and more often decided they are worth it, particularly when you have a number of transfers you want to make, as you are not just benefiting from the extra points that week but also from the extra transfer it frees up for the next week.

FFScout: What’s your policy on double gameweeks? Load up or be prudent?

Chris: I guess it depends on the circumstances. Whilst they can be extremely lucrative they are just as likely to be a major let down. When looking at the DGW, I would always plan a few weeks ahead. I would generally only load up on DGW players if I was happy to keep them for more than just that week eg. if they played for one of the top teams or a team with a good run of fixtures. Otherwise I tend to avoid as, after the DGW is over, I wouldn’t want my team full of players I wouldn’t normally consider. That said, I’m in no position to comment on DGW strategy after captaining Jamie O’Hara during the last one.

FFScout: Finally, you’re thirteen points ahead of the FPL pack going into the last gameweek of the season. Sleeping much, Chris?

Chris: Not too bad but I will certainly be relieved when it is all over. 13 points is a decent gap but it could disappear with one good/bad captaincy choice. I would be more confident if I was happier with my team but I don’t think it is looking too good for this week. I guess many people are thinking the same about their teams but those chasing have little to lose so will probably take some risks that may pay off, which I can’t really do in my position.

Paul Is certain he won't make the same mistakes next season. Follow them on Twitter

1,550 Comments Post a Comment
  1. nimbin_headers
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 13 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    sorry trying again with correct format:
    gomes
    jones walker ward
    silva nzog lamps adam
    suarez rvp berbato (c)
    subs: toure zabaleta luis

    4 point hit so far should I do another was thinking nani for lamps
    any comments suggestions

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    1. Horizontal
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      You got some good advice on the previous page, Nimbin.

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  2. ManofKent
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 13 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    Playing catch up, lamps better than yaya to start?:

    Lamps, O’Hara, NZog, Adam (Yaya)
    RVP, Suarez, Berbs

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    1. Louis Van Balls
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      Yeah, I'm putting Yaya on my bench.

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    2. Scoredelario
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      depends who you're catching and whether he has lamps/ yaya?

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      1. ManofKent
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 13 Years
        12 years, 9 months ago

        He had neither:

        His was:

        Silva, Modric, dempsey, kuyt, kalou
        RVP, suarez, Fletcher

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        1. Scoredelario
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 13 Years
          12 years, 9 months ago

          i guess start lampard then. He might be a waste of 13 million but he is definitely favourite to outscore yaya

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          1. ManofKent
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 13 Years
            12 years, 9 months ago

            Cheers. I'm just hoping I've got the right differentials to make up 23 pts...

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    3. nimbin_headers
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      depends who your rival has- do different to him- both players about same points i reckon- tevez back means yaya less likely to get goals as he will be hogging and shhoting form everywhere

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  3. Perthite
    • 13 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    Would you put Nani, Fletcher or Kuyt as 1st sub?

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    1. Scoredelario
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      kuyt. If carroll plays kuyt isnt anywhere near as useful, and if nani doesnt start, hopefully he isnt subbed on either.

      Fletcher would be one of the first players in your lineup if you have him (Wolves fletcher, right?!)

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      1. Perthite
        • 13 Years
        12 years, 9 months ago

        Thanks. Yeah Wolves Fletcher. I currently have Nani on the bench. Have Adam, Lampard, N'Zogbia and RvP as the other mids/fwds as definite starters.

        Anyway - good luck all! I am off to watch the West Coast Eagles v Western Bulldogs and will be back after lockout but before the games.

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        1. Scoredelario
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 13 Years
          12 years, 9 months ago

          start nani mate - he is the one who could be left on your bench with 18 points or something! Cant see kuyt going wild but can definitely see nani doing all sorts counter attacking a desperate blackpool

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          1. Perthite
            • 13 Years
            12 years, 9 months ago

            Done - thanks for the advice. I better go now or otherwise I will be late. Probably good I will be away from the internet to stop me taking the 4 point hit! I just hope there is no late news.

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            1. Scoredelario
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 13 Years
              12 years, 9 months ago

              haha gd luck and enjoy watching the game between 2 teams i've never heard of!

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  4. Louis Van Balls
    • 13 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    Who's getting excited about the relegation battle later on? Should be a trying day for supporters of those clubs.

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    1. Scoredelario
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      me - thats actually one reason i chose berbatov as my transfer... I want to watch the united blackpool game, and root for a 4-3 win to blackpool with a berbatov hat trick and adam haul!

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      1. ManofKent
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 13 Years
        12 years, 9 months ago

        That would be great - I almost went DJ in for suarez...

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        1. Scoredelario
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 13 Years
          12 years, 9 months ago

          my biggest mistake was leaving plenty of money in the bank... The last 2 weeks were ideal for bringing in the likes of nzogbia and fletcher, but i feel silly leaving so much money behind!

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  5. jimski
    • 13 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    Currently I have VDV on the bench (i.e. nobody to come on). Is it worth a 4 pt hit to do VDV -> Modric, and then bench Yaya - gives me some bench cover as well as Modric?

    What do people think?

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    1. jimski
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      Anybody? (please help me decide!)

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    2. @FuzzyWarbles
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      i wouldnt bench yaya for a hit personally. Although its hard to ignore how little fantasy output one can expect fro anyone for city other than tevez when tevez is in form. And im starting TWO city mids. And frankly ima little worried im in for a couple of 2 pointers.

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      1. da Beeeez
        • 14 Years
        12 years, 9 months ago

        +1.

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        1. jimski
          • 13 Years
          12 years, 9 months ago

          Thanks, guys

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  6. The ghost of a Pug's g…
    • 12 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    Right silva to adam or o'hara?

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    1. Evil Greg
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      mornin mr b, and i would go with adam myself

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    2. Scoredelario
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      ohara, i think, since i see wolves as big favourites and blackpool as slight underdogs.

      But either would be good shouts... Do you have nzogbia?

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      1. The ghost of a Pug's g…
        • 12 Years
        12 years, 9 months ago

        not yet. got a 76 point lead and no chance of any milestones so thinking of throwing in:

        Berba, tevez, nzog, nani, adam/o'hara for ****s and giggles

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  7. Edgar
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    Scored and Da Beeeez, thanks for your earlier help. I think I am going to go with the following (again, in my league only goals, assists and clean sheets count):

    Cudicini
    Vermaelen, Zabaleta, Skrtel (Ivanovic)
    Adam, Yaya Toure, Lampard, N’Zogbia, O’Hara (Maxi)
    Van Persie, Fletcher (Carroll)

    I am chasing my brother (15 points ahead) whose line-up is:

    Hart
    Hughes, Coleman, Baines (Shawcross)
    Malouda, Essien, Valencia, Johnson (ManCity), S. Downing (Fabregas - don't tell him that he is done for the season)
    Bent, DJ Campbell

    What do you think?

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    1. Scoredelario
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      i think you should win comfortably...

      But that we all know about that form book and that window in gw38!

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      1. Scoredelario
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 13 Years
        12 years, 9 months ago

        ps oh - you need to win by 15 points - so actually maybe not comfortably! But your team is a lot better

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      2. Edgar
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 12 Years
        12 years, 9 months ago

        Thanks. Best of luck to everybody on the board. I love this community and will be paying my money next season (even though the league in which I participate uses a pretty different scoring system).

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        1. Horizontal
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 13 Years
          12 years, 9 months ago

          Edgar, you know that Zabaleta is a major doubt due to his head injury and stitches, yes?

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          1. Edgar
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 12 Years
            12 years, 9 months ago

            Yes, if he doesn't play then I get points for my sub. (Ivanovic). In the league I am playing in, subs don't score unless the "starter" doesn't play. If Zab plays, I want the points. If he doesn't then Ivanovic is a good sub....

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  8. @FuzzyWarbles
    • 13 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    before i pass out in a drunken stupor, just a genuine thank you to all this season for giving advice here in my inaugural campaign. Seems like every week Im kicking myself for making the wrong transfer or armband choice. but i got a shot at finishing top 10,000 and I suppose I should chalk it up as a decent success. But I have you lot to thank for it :). When next season rolls around I will do my part to help the new boys, and pass on whatever knowledge I can. Been loads of fun and heartache. I wouldn't have it any other way. Good luck this afternoon, may your arrows be green, and may you top your tables!!!

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    1. Scoredelario
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      thoughts echoed. Very useful site if you can keep yourself disciplined and not take ALL the advice!

      Not sure I've helped you at all, but I'll accept it as all my work 😀

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    2. jimski
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      Indeed, I have improved markedly this season since discovering this site. Thank you all.

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    3. Scoredelario
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      PS you're 3 points behind me! FIGHT!

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  9. jimski
    • 13 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    What do people make of these tips from another site? A few left-field ones in there...

    http://fantasypremierleaguetransfers.com/fantasy-premier-league-gameweek-38-tips-including-captain-tips/

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    1. Scoredelario
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      pretty good except the defenders but i guess it's hard to pick defenders we'll like the look of!

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  10. Pi
    • 14 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    Since VDV is yellow flagged and Odem is clear, why ppl keep selling them?

    Why don't they are red flagged?

    Someone please reply me.

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    1. RogerC
      • 14 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      VDV had declared himself unfit while Roy Hodgson had ruled Odemwingie out of the clash with an ankle injury. Clear?

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      1. Pi
        • 14 Years
        12 years, 9 months ago

        Cheers RC

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  11. Edgar
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    Who is starting Gomes or Cudicini?

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  12. Torres76
    • 14 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    Morning all

    I lead my work lead by 50 points and player in 2nd place has team below - Diffentials in CAPS:

    Kuyt, Adam, VDV, NANI (Ferguson)
    Rvp, BENT, Odem

    My midfield is

    Adam, Kuyt, LAMPS, SILVA (Maxi)
    RVP, SUAREZ, Odem

    With Odem not playing im thinking:

    1. Odem > Tevez
    2. Lamps > Nzogbia (or is there anyone else I can pick - maybe Modric)

    3. Suarez > Berba (extra idea)

    Total 8 point hit.

    What do you all of my transfers?

    Or do I buy Bent and Nani and just match up differentials hoping he hasnt bought any of the big hitters?

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    1. EL TANO
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 14 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      1.

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  13. EL TANO
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 14 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    begovic (foster) (?)
    luiz HANGELAND WALKER (huth rjohnson)
    NZOG modric LAMPARD VDV (wilshere)
    SUAREZ rvp sturridge

    chasing 13 points (capitals are my differentials with dirtbag I'm chasing)

    got one transfer

    he has drog and vdv to swap out with two free transfers (plus adam, barton and silva)
    I think he will bring in tevez or berba + ?

    I'm willing to make two swaps (unless advised not to)
    Stick with my frontline?
    I can do sturridge > berbs + vdv > adam or other combos like baines dawson or RTaylor in for huth + adam or yaya in for vdv

    what to do lads...

    need something to win this league after 6 years in it!!!

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    1. EL TANO
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 14 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      ps - my rank is 2205 (woohoo!)

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    2. EL TANO
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 14 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      cmon dudes

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      1. Horizontal
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 13 Years
        12 years, 9 months ago

        You should use your single transfer to get VDV out for the mid of your choice. Don't know how much cash you have but if none then Adam is a prime candidate.

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    3. Torres76
      • 14 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      VDV + Sturridge for Adam + Tevez (or Berba)

      and then Lamps for Nani maybe?

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      1. RedSnowDonkey
        • 13 Years
        12 years, 9 months ago

        +1

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  14. da Beeeez
    • 14 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    Looking at the Scout Picks, how does everyone rank N'Zogbia, O'Hara, and Adam?

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    1. EL TANO
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 14 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      zog and adam have to go for it and ohara might not have to if things are going wolves way by 60 mins
      equal backing for adam and zog then

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    2. jimski
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      1. N'Zog
      2. Adam
      3. O'Hara

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      1. Boom!!!
        • 13 Years
        12 years, 9 months ago

        +1

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    3. Scoredelario
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      1. nzog
      2. ohara
      3. adam

      (I think people are underestimating united at home even with a weakened team.)

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      1. The ghost of a Pug's g…
        • 12 Years
        12 years, 9 months ago

        +1

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  15. jimski
    • 13 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    Is VDV definitely 100% out - most sources still just rate him as doubtful. I know he put he was definitely out on twitter, but perhaps he was being pessimistic - is there a late fitness test or anything?

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    1. Edgar
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      I have the exact same question. I cannot find anything definitive....

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    2. Scoredelario
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      he tweeted saying (something like:) "I am unfit for the birmingham game. I hope we win."

      Go back through this site's articles for the source.

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  16. Syd.
    • 14 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    Good interview Chris...

    All the best for today...

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  17. EL TANO
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 14 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    help...

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    1. Horizontal
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      See above, Ramon.

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  18. The ghost of a Pug's g…
    • 12 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    Anyone think nani will play?

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    1. Scoredelario
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      yes. Difficult to name a lineup without him in it. United reserves played 2 days ago with a few of the possible names starting, ruling them out for this game (Obertan and that homeless guy included)

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      1. Horizontal
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 13 Years
        12 years, 9 months ago

        So why didn't SAF name Nani in his list of starters, but named Anderson?

        I think Nani will be on the bench. SAF doesn't need to play headgames for this match, IMHO.

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      2. The ghost of a Pug's g…
        • 12 Years
        12 years, 9 months ago

        lol that homeless guy? the one that watches dirty dancing?

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        1. Evil Greg
          • 13 Years
          12 years, 9 months ago

          bebe hahahaaha

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  19. Pi
    • 14 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    just one to bench out of

    Yaya, Drog @ Lamps. Any opinion appreciated.

    Rivals having Ya Ya and Drogs and I am defending.

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    1. Syd.
      • 14 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      IMO Drogba will not start

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  20. living the dream
    • 13 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    New post

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  21. db
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 14 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    who to bench out of:

    lampard dempsey nzogbia adam silva

    berba rvp k.jones

    ?

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    1. RedSnowDonkey
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      Jones

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      1. jimski
        • 13 Years
        12 years, 9 months ago

        +1

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  22. daZed
    • 13 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    Silva or Jones

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    1. RedSnowDonkey
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      silva

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  23. RedSnowDonkey
    • 13 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    Hart (Foster)
    Baines. Dawson. Enrique.
    O'hara. Modric. N'zogbia. Adam.
    Bebatov (C). Tevez. RVP.
    Subs: Kuyt. Simpson. Barley.

    Anyone with any tips, please? Thanks in advance!

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    1. RedSnowDonkey
      • 13 Years
      12 years, 9 months ago

      Sorry "Barley" is meant to be "Bardsley".
      Darned predictive text!

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  24. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
    • 14 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    Anyone else go nuts with transfers for the last day?

    I did the following for a 12 pt hit... end of term madness!

    Rooney>Berb[c]
    RVP>Tevez
    Odem>Fletcher
    Mulumbu>N'Zog
    Silva>Nani

    Really need Nani&Tevez to start/Rooney benched + RVP & Odem to do nothing...not sure how likely that all is but oh well.

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  25. Ancelotti's Eyebrow
    • 12 Years
    12 years, 9 months ago

    Guys, Nani or Nzog for a hit? I am taking the hit for VDV and benching Yaya. Yay or Nay?

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