All posts by sampuddephatt

24/7’s FPL Update – GW4

Another round of football has passed, and after an electrifying weekend of fixtures, we take a look at the players you should be adding to your fantasy team for game-week 4.

The football started on Friday with Everton travelling to Villa Park, where the Merseyside team showed a lacklustre defensive performance and succumbed to a 2-0 defeat. Saturday got underway with Norwich battling against Chelsea, a 5-goal thriller saw rising star Teemu Pukki getting a goal and assist for the home side. Chelsea however ended up on top, following a hattrick of goals split between England youngsters Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount, Abraham netting the brace and scoring a round high 15 FPL points. Mohammed Salah managed to match Abrahams game-week tally, scoring a brace of his own against Arsenal, who travelled back to London ashamed after their 3-1 defeat. Embarrassed is the only way Man United and Spurs would have felt, with both members of the big six losing at home to bottom of the table sides Crystal Palace and Newcastle respectively.

So, after such a nail-biting weekend you’re probably wondering which players you should add to your fantasy line-up?

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) – £12m

Guardiola’s side have remained unbeaten since the start of the 19-20 season, amassing a huge 10 goals in their first three outings. Bad news struck in training however, when Brazilian second-string striker Gabriel Jesus injured his hamstring. This leaves City with only one out and out striker, fellow South American Sergio Aguero. Aguero will definitely have a regular place on the team sheet, and with their next 8 games coming against teams that finished in the lower half of the table last season, he is expected to add to his goal tally. One more hattrick and the Argentine matches Alan Shearers hattrick record; do you think he will be able to do it in the next few months?

Joel Matip (Liverpool) – £5.4m

When looking at The Reds’ defence, you typically think of Virgil Van Dijk (unsurprisingly too, given he’s been voted as the world’s best defender). But what if you found out that another player in the Liverpool backline is just 1 point behind him in FPL, and for over £1m cheaper? Joel Matip has had an equally influential part in the set-up, furthermore he sits on 11 points with favourable upcoming games against Burnley and Newcastle. Only owned by 1.9% of all FPL players, could Matip be the difference in this week’s FPL side?

Wesley Moraes (Aston Villa) – £6m

The 22 year old bagged his first Premier League goal at the weekend, beating the Everton offside trap and calmly slotting the ball home with a first time finish. Before transferring to Aston Villa this season, the prolific Brazilian striker was named Belgian young player of the year while playing for Club Brugge. Although relatively unknown, his low price of £6m could be worth a punt, especially if he’s to even come slightly close to replicating his Belgian performances. His time in Europe saw him getting on the score-sheet once every three games! Can he bring such finesse to the Premier League?

Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) – £8.9m

A relatively slow start to the season shouldn’t mean you discount the Foxes frontman. Vardy was the first on the scoresheet when Leicester travelled to Sheffield after counterattacking and smashing the ball into Dean Henderson’s goal. The striker then found himself trending on twitter, after he got himself in some bother with the Sheffield United fans, showing the home crowd his best owl impression given his love for their local rivals Sheffield Wednesday. Their next game invites Bournemouth to the King Power Stadium, and with The Cherries struggling in defence, can the Englishman make the headlines again?

Joelinton (Newcastle United) – £5.9m

One of the surprises at the weekend was when Newcastle made the long trip down the country to London, most likely anticipating a tough game in their first appearance at Spurs’ new stadium. Not even half an hour into the game, The Magpies surprisingly found the lead, thanks to the new Brazilian signing Joelinton, and managed to park the bus and grind out a tough victory. At less than £6m, the striker is a good option for your FPL team. Securing 8 points against Tottenham, and facing Watford at home in their next game. Could Joelinton be the addition your team needs for those extra points?

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24/7’s FPL Update – GW3

After another great week of Premier League Football, we take a look at the players who have scored highly in the FPL, and players you should aim to add to your line-up this week. There are several winnable games for the Big Six too; with Chelsea finding themselves away to Norwich in the early kick off on Saturday, and Man United at home to Crystal Palace. Furthermore, City and Spurs will both be trying to improve on their 2-2 draw, with games against Bournemouth and Newcastle respectively.

Teemu Pukki (Norwich) – £6.8m

Norwich’s Teemu Pukki was the star of the weekend, bagging a brilliant hattrick against Newcastle and securing 17 points for his FPL owners. Only Man City’s Sterling has the same amount of goals (4) as Pukki so far. The top scorer of last season’s championship has certainly turned some heads, with a whopping 720,000 people opting to transfer him in this week. But will he be a one hit wonder, with games against Chelsea and Manchester City in the next 2 weeks?

John Lundstram (Sheffield United) – £4.1m

A big shock to the FPL community this weekend was John Lundstram of Sheffield United. The Blades’ defender secured a huge 14 points in his game against Crystal Palace, coming from a well taken goal, a clean sheet and 3 bonus points. His form is up at 8.5, the seventh highest in the FPL statistics. With a bargain price tag of just £4.1m, surely it’s worth considering him for an early transfer? The Blades have upcoming games against Leicester and Chelsea however, so Lundstram will have to perform well to maintain his recent form.

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) – £12.2m

The Manchester City winger has been in brilliant form since the season started, tying with Pukki for most goals scored. Sterling’s progress as an all-round player has been staggering under the guidance of Pep Guadiola and he really has developed into one of the world’s best wingers. Sterling has the most points in the FPL, and with upcoming games against Bournemouth, Brighton and Norwich, you’d expect him to add to his points tally. If you’ve not done already, give him the captain’s armband!

Che Adams (Southampton) – £5.9m

The Southampton forward has proved himself to be The Saints first choice striker this season. He was Birmingham City’s top scorer last season, netting 22 times in just 46 appearances. With fixtures against Brighton and Sheffield United coming up, could he be the player to get a breakthrough this week?

Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton) – £8.0m

The Icelandic midfielder has had a relatively lacklustre start to the season, gaining just 6 points in the FPL. Being owned by 10% of managers and being a regular starter for Everton however, he could be the man to give you a points boost. Everton face two winnable games in the next few weeks, coming up against Aston Villa, and Bournemouth respectively. He could be a budget option in your midfield to bolster your team, but if his subdued performances continue, he could hinder you. Will you take the risk?

24/7’s FPL Update – GW2

The long-awaited new season of the Premier League kicked off on Friday when Liverpool took on Norwich City. The weekend that followed didn’t fail to live up to expectations (apart from VAR, maybe) … The opening 10 games saw a bucketload of goals fly in, 14 of which coming from just three games, as Sterling bagged a hattrick against West Ham, and Rashford hit a brace against Chelsea.

Your fantasy team will be looking in good shape if you owned these two, with Sterling gaining a massive 20 points on the opening weekend, and Rashford with 13 from his two goals, both players earning maximum bonus points. A shock for most FPL players and Manchester City fans came when Bernado Silva was omitted for Riyad Mahrez, who was only selected by 3.7% of people, yet he managed to secure a hattrick of assists to earn himself 14 points. Burnley’s Erik Pieters matched Mahrez’s points tally, assisting two goals in his game against Southampton and earning a clean sheet, tying the second-place rank on the points tally. But which players should you look to draft into your team for GW2?

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) – £11m

Scoring the only goal in the away win at Newcastle last weekend, Aubameyang has a good form of 6.0. This weekend Arsenal face Burnley at home, a game which should be an easy result for The Gunners with plenty of goals for the Gabonese striker. His hefty price tag may be risky though, considering he has games against Liverpool and Tottenham in the weeks after. Despite this Aubameyang is certainly a prolific option, especially considering he tied for last seasons golden boot award with Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane, only being at Arsenal since January.

Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) – £9.5m

Jesus was an unlikely starter in City’s 5-0 domination of West Ham, as Guardiola opted to leave Aguero on the bench. Scoring in the game, his form matches Aubameyang’s of 6.0, a solid start to the season for Jesus. This weekend he faces Tottenham, a tough game considering their recent transfer investment, but a game that promises goals too. If he is chosen over Aguero again, he will be expected to add to his 6 FPL points, and with Bournemouth and Brighton in the next two games, the City strikers will be hungry for goals.

Sebastien Haller (West Ham) – £7.5m

On the receiving end of City’s goal fest was West Ham’s summer signing, striker Sebastien Haller. Don’t let the poor result from Saturday fool you, Haller was a prolific striker for Frankfurt before his transfer and is bound to get on the scoresheet soon. With upcoming games against Brighton, Watford and Norwich, you’d expect the goals to be just around the corner.

Pedro (Chelsea) – £7.0m

Another player at the receiving end of a thumping was Chelsea winger Pedro, who despite playing the full 90 minutes, struggled to test De Gea when they faced on Sunday. Frank Lampard has started his managerial tenure at his former club relatively uneasily, but he has several winnable games coming up, with Leicester, Norwich and Sheffield United all before the end of the month. Pedro is a safe choice for points, and at only £7m, he could be the difference in your FPL team. But will his midweek trip to Istanbul affect the teams fitness against Leicester?

Theo Walcott (Everton) – £6.5m

A budget option for your FPL team, and an option you can rely on for the coming weeks is Everton’s Theo Walcott. At a bargain price of just £6.5m, and upcoming games against Watford, Aston Villa and Wolves, he’s bound to get some game time and not break the bank. Despite a dull, goalless draw against Crystal Palace in their opening game, Everton have a strong side, and depth in every position allowing rotation.

Tom Heaton (Aston Villa) – £4.5m

Villa’s first game following their promotion into the Premier League saw them away at Tottenham’s new stadium, a tough game where they took no points back home, despite the heroic efforts from keeper Tom Heaton. Heaton had a great game and has since unsurprisingly been transferred in by over 26,000 FPL players, especially when Villa face Bournemouth, Everton, Crystal Palace and West Ham in their next 4 games. With Liverpool’s Alisson being absent following a calf injury he acquired against Norwich, Heaton may be a strong choice for a budget short term replacement.

Have Manchester United got the perfect signings?

Sunday’s encounter at Old Trafford saw two familiar managers go head to head. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and newly appointed Frank Lampard launched their 2019/20 Premier League campaign, as Manchester United welcomed Chelsea. Headlines pointed out whether Solskjaer’s team had sufficient investment to challenge at the top of the table, following a somewhat poor 6th place finish last season. In the other dugout however stood the familiar face of Frank Lampard, taking charge of his first competitive game managing his former club, since taking Derby County to the Championship play-off’s last season.

Chelsea started the game strong, and despite a converted penalty from Marcus Rashford, they remained strong. But with United maintaining good possession, and closing down Chelsea attacks with ease, they held on to the 1-0 lead at half time. The second half showed a different story however, with United being quick and snappy on the counterattack, seeing Martial get on the score sheet and Rashford grab his second in quick succession. The game seemed to be heading United’s way with ease, and to top it off, debutant Daniel James sealed the victory, converting a deflected effort past Kepa.

During the summer transfer window, lots of eyes focused on United, all begging the question as to whether they could sustainably develop their team into getting results and avoid embarrassments, such as last seasons 4-0 loss to Everton. In their bid to do this they have opted to recruit young English talent from fellow English teams, spending a whopping £145 million in their pursuit to bring back success.

Harry Maguire

The football world seemed shocked when Maguire joined for a huge £80 million this summer, leaving his former club Leicester City, where he played a fundamental part in the defence during his two seasons at the club. Providing he maintains his performance from Sunday, his price tag will definitely be justified. In the past season, Solskjaer’s defence was poor and lacked structure, commonly leaving De Gea heavily exposed. Maguire made the United defence look completely different, commonly making tackles and interceptions, he fit right into the squad and seemed well respected by all of his teammates. We feel that he deserves a high rating of 8.5/10.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Crystal Palace massively increased their transfer budget, with the sale of their homegrown right back Aaron Wan-Bissaka to the Red Devils for £50 million. 21-year-old Wan-Bissaka had been a part of the Palace set up since 2009, proving an important part of their team and winning the clubs player of the year award in his last season. His highly anticipated move to United proved to be positive in pre-season and earnt him a place on the starting sheet against Chelsea. Nicknamed ‘The Spider’, due to his long legs allowing for his effective lunge-tackle, Wan-Bissaka is the right back United have been searching for. He provides security down the right side of the pitch and shows his pace on the counterattack too. It seems like he’ll fit into the United team well, and we feel as though his performance on Sunday was a strong 7/10.

Daniel James

James’s move from Swansea raised some eyebrows, especially because of his young age and high price tag of £15.3 million. James had only made 33 senior appearances for Swansea since 2016, all of which coming last season following their relegation to the Championship. In spite of this, and his relatively un-matured statistics, he gained lots of praise from the United faithful during pre-season. His raw pace and enthusiasm was something United had been lacking, and when he came off the bench on Sunday, he brought energy to the attack. It was clear he couldn’t contain his excitement when his (albeit lucky) shot snuck past Kepa. But his determination to get himself into goalscoring positions is something United need to grind out results this season. His short but successful debut earns him a rating of 7.5/10.

UEFA Nations League – The Final Four

Following Europe’s success at last years FIFA World Cup, the continent has been captivated by the new UEFA Nations League. The new competition allows European teams to compete with one another in a league format; with teams of a similar ranking being matched in groups with each other, to level the playing field. 

As the inaugural competition draws to a close, we take a look at the semi-finalists and assess how they’ve managed to get this far in the ‘league’. The finals of this tournament are in Portugal, suiting the nation themselves, as they take on Switzerland in the first semi-final game on June 5th. Southgate’s England find themselves in yet another international semi-final, as they take on Holland on the following day. The winners of each game go head to head in the final on June 9th. 

Portugal

Portugal started in a group with Italy and Poland and finished the group stage in first place and undefeated; with a win and draw against each team. Fernando Santos’ team were relatively poor in last years FIFA World Cup, after finishing second in their group and being knocked by Uruguay in the Round of 16. However, two years prior to this they conquered Europe, winning their first international trophy at Euro 2016. They clearly have European dominance, and with players like Ronaldo, Quaresma and Bernado Silva, you’d expect them to overcome Switzerland on Wednesday.

Switzerland

It goes without saying that Switzerland are a surprise entry in the Semi’s, especially that their group consisted of The Belgian Red Devils, and Euro 2016 wonder-team Iceland. Only making the Round of 16 in the 2018 and 2014 FIFA World Cup, their international achievements have been limited. They do however have a good set of players, with recent UCL winning Xherdan Shaqiri, and Arsenal duo Granit Xhaka, and Stephan Lichsteiner. They will need to be on top form if they are to overcome Portugal in front of their fans, but a win would be a massive achievement for the nation. In the group stage, they spectacularly came back from 2-0 down, to win 5-2 against Belgium. Will they be able to bring the same fireworks to Porto?

Holland

Somewhat surprisingly after not making the qualification for the previous World Cup, The Netherlands found themselves in group A1, the toughest group in the new competition. Consisting of both of the previous World Cup winners France and Germany, it would be a tough challenge to make the semi-finals. After losing their first game to France, they bounced back to triumph over Germany and win the game 3-0. Koeman’s side went on to defeat the world champions the second time of asking, and a high scoring draw against Germany sent The Dutch through on goal difference. Holland have a strong, well-drilled side, with Premier League player of the year Virgil Van Dijk, and Ajax’s star midfielder Frenkiede Jong. Known for their possession based, tactical gameplay; will The Flying Dutchmen spoil Southgate’s party?

England

The speculation as to whether The Three Lions could replicate their 2018 World Cup success looked to be subdued, following the loss to Spain in the first game of the Nations League. With the following game against none other than Croatia (we all know what happened the last time), would Southgate be able to turn the tables, and avenge last summers eventual disappointment? The game finished as a disappointing 0-0 draw, and England’s Nations League campaign would be over unless they took all 6 points from their remaining two fixtures.  Two outstanding performances followed, with a 3-2 victory against The Spaniards, and a 2-1 triumph against new rivals Croatia; England had made another International Semi-Final. The other semi-finalists will struggle to match England’s squad depth; with Maguire, Alexander-Arnold and Stones in defence, Lingard, Henderson and young prodigy Jadon Sancho in midfield, and an attacking force of Sterling, Rashford and Golden Boot winner Harry Kane. With such talent from both of the teams, it should be a cracking game.