– EVERTON & IPSWICH TO SCORE 1 OR MORE GOALS 1/2 (Boosted Paddy Power special)
OVERVIEW: Something a bit different to accompany the usual accumulator this week.
The plan is to start with a stake of £10 and try and turn it into £100 in the space or 5 or 6 bets. Each bet will be in the region of between 1/2 and evens unless there’s a boost or something too good to turn down that’s higher.
The aim is to get nailed on single bankers or specials and roll the winnings of each onto the next stage until the rolling total hits the one hundred pound mark or beyond. I’m going to try and complete one stage per day but if there’s nothing to go at on any given day we can wait. The key thing is to reach £100.
STAGE 1 PICK: Great little boosted special to start the challenge, both Everton and Ipswich have started their respective seasons with a 100% win record from their first 3 matches. All we need here is for both sides to score in their next. Simple stuff which should get the ball rolling slowly.
OVERVIEW: It’s gameweek 4 and this is where the season really begins. We’ve had a look at the early point scorers, who’s in form, whos not, who’s looking likely to be in contention for titles, European spots and relegation places. The league is starting to take it’s shape.
The average point score for game week 3 was 43. I scored 44. Would I have taken that before hand? Absolutely. I said the fixtures were a nightmare and that I would snap the hand off anyone that offered an unscathed week. What’s more pleasing is that I managed that score with 10 men, Saint-Maximin not fit and none of my bench players played.
This brings me on to an important point, do you use your budget on a wide range of players so that you have a stronger bench and squad? Or do you blast it on the best players, have a strong XI and risk a player not playing for whatever reason? Unintentionally, my team is looking that way, meaning if I need to make a change it has to be a transfer rather than a substitution. This usually results in going down the -4 and beyond route. It’s all well and good if your best starting eleven play every week but as has happened in game week 3, I ended up playing with 10 men. Did it matter? Turns out not but in other weeks it’s a weak point that could be costly. Going forward it’s something I will be considering when the time comes to play my wildcard. Not just yet.
THIS WEEK’S PICKS: One forced transfer this week. Aubameyang replaces Mané who has tested positive for COVID-19. The original plan was to go unchanged and create an extra transfer for game week 5 but of course availability is a manager’s biggest headache and you just have to deal with these situations head on. Here’s hoping the late announcement of Mané’s absence has gone unnoticed by my fellow gaffers. This week’s silent treatment.
I’m again banking on the fitness of Allan Saint-Maximin at home to Burnley. He is still part of the 3 toon player trio in the side despite their patchy form. Thinking about it, I may be closer to the wildcard than I had anticipated, I’ve snookered myself a bit with weak subs and 3 dodgy magpies.
Aubamaueng will be captain at home to Sheffield United, while Kane will be vice away to another United located in Manchester. Let’s hope we get the luck of the captain’s pick draw this week as this has been a costly swing either way recently.
• B.DORTMUND2/5 (Away v Augsburg. Saturday KO 14:30)
• CHELSEA 1/3 (Away v West Brom. Saturday KO 17:30)
• MARSEILLE 4/7 (Home v Metz. Saturday KO 20:00)
• PORTO 4/11 (Away v Boavista. Saturday KO 21:00)
• AC MILAN 4/9 (Away v Crotone. Sunday KO 17:00)
OVERVIEW: On paper this week’s line up looks an excellent one. 5 teams, all historic European elite sides pitted against lesser opposition. What could possibly go wrong?!
In terms of a viewing perspective, no supporters permitted in stadiums has seen more televised action than ever with the kick off times far more spread out to accommodate this. Quite frankly, it’s ideal for being able to watch your selections unfold. This line is no different as the matches are spread over Saturday and Sunday, no kick off time the same.
I reiterate the strength of these picks again but quite often the ones you are most confident about are the ones that come unstuck. Here’s hoping not this one.
PICKS: Dortmund got their league campaign off to a great start with a 3-0 success last week, Erling Haaland bagging a brace. Their opponents Augsburg have never won their first home game of a Bundesliga season and that bizarre streak should continue here. Away win.
West Brom have lost both of their opening 2 Premier League matches and conceded 8 goals in the process. Chelsea will be looking to capitalise with their plethora of new stars. It should be a routine win for the blues if they are to have any aspirations of a serious title challenge this year. Another away win.
Both Marseille and their opponents Metz have been involved in relatively low scoring affairs at the start of the season. You would expect the extra quality of the home side to shine through in these situations with Florian Thauvin a possible key to the door. The skilful winger has already bagged a winner in le classique in previous weeks. Home win.
Porto were pretty much unstoppable in the Primeira Liga last year and have started this campaign in similar vein. They have won 8 of their last 9 games and I expect them to make it 9 in 10. Boavista have been a very mixed bag in recent times. Away win.
Milan are unbeaten in 16 matches, their best run since 2008. The Italian giants should extend that sequence against Crotone who were drubbed 4-1 on the opening weekend. Milan will be without Zlatan who tested positive in the week but should still have more than enough fire power to WRAP UP THE ACCA Sunday tea time.
OVERVIEW: 64 points and up to 2nd in the office league is a decent return from Gameweek 2 but doesn’t really tell the whole story.
It was another case of what could have been had my captain selection been correct. Last week I’d called for Mané and Kane to come to the party and produce the goods, well they arrived with a fully loaded credit card for a free bar and naturally, I’d captained neither. 21 points for Kane, 16 points for Mané. Sod’s law.
Having said all that, I can’t grumble too much. To get 64 points after 2 of my players scored zero and another 2 only scoring 1 a piece it is pretty pleasing. The REAL disappointment was the poor scoring of my Newcastle players but we’ll try and deal with that issue later.
Looking ahead to game week 3, the fixtures look a total nightmare and it’s a week I’m not looking forward to. Not only are they tough fixtures but the timings of the matches aren’t great either. Not that this matters too much but psychologically you like to get your points on the board early in the weekend rather than playing pressurised catch up late Sunday going into Monday. Damage limitation, digging deep and asking my players to go that extra yard will be the message this week. If we can get through it par for the course I’ll be over the moon with better weekends ahead.
PICKS: The first thing to note is we only have one player playing in Saturday’s round of fixtures so a super Sunday or mad Monday is required. like I touched on before psychologically it’s not great when you don’t have many players playing in the early games of the round and your competitors can steal a march. A clean sheet for Maguire wouldn’t go a miss but going off his performance last week, i’m not expecting much. In fact he would have been out had I not needed more important changes else where.
There are two transfers again this week and with it another -4. Out comes Hernandez of Leeds and in comes his team mate Klich. This is simply because the Spaniard is an injury doubt so it’s pretty enforced. Klich has made a flying start to the season so I’m relatively happy with this one anyway.
The second change is De Bruyne for Aubameyang. This is a big change but pretty necessary because of the fixtures, Arsenal away to Liverpool is as tough as it gets for Auba whilst City at home to Leicester should be a bit more forgiving for KDB. Ideally the 2 players will be in same side in the coming weeks.
Kane, at home to Newcastle, will be captain whilst the afore mentioned De Bruyne will be Vice. Speaking of Newcastle, my 3 toon lads all retain their places but I must say not by choice, it was simply the fact I had to prioritise changes elsewhere. They were all shambolic last week so I’m looking for a big reaction from them at Spurs and whilst Saint-Maximin has a slight injury, he is expected to play. SEE THIS ONE THROUGH LADS.
• ARSENAL 4/9 (Home v West Ham. Saturday KO 20:00)
• NEWCASTLE 13/8 (Home v Brighton. Sunday KO 14:00)
• LEICESTER 4/7 (Home v Burnley. Sunday KO 19:00)
• REAL MADRID 4/6 (Away v Real Sociedad. Sunday KO 20:00)
OVERVIEW: Another straight forward weekend for the accumulator. 4 teams, all to win with the matches spread over Saturday and Sunday. The bonus this week being that this is the refunded free £10 bet from last week’s line. The result of only one selection letting down the lads.
In terms of the picks, there’s a couple of question marks and teams I wouldn’t have usually selected but looking at the broader fixture list it was a very tough game week overall and not a great deal stood out. Also not forgetting we are so early in the season with teams still finding their feet, match sharpness etc. These teams were as good as was available in my opinion.
Having said all that, at 9/1, this line is cracking value and I’m quietly confident.
PICKS: Arsenal flew out the traps last week pretty emphatically. They’ll be looking to build on that start at home to a poor West Ham side. The away team were comfortably beaten at home against Newcastle last weekend and offered very little to suggest they’ll trouble the gunners this time round. Easy home win.
Newcastle will looking to make it 3 wins in a week at home to Brighton. The new signings at St.James’ park have all made an immediate and positive impact which should see the magpies have a relatively comfortable season. The seagulls on the other hand lost their opener albeit against title hopefuls Chelsea. This is a slightly risky selection but at 13/8 boosts the line price significantly. Allan Saint-Maximin the one to watch here. Home win.
Leicester have made another positive start to the season. I fancy them strongly at home to Burnley, who get their campaign under way at the King Power. That extra weeks match fitness could be pivotal for the foxes and should yield the win we need. Home win.
Spanish champions Real Madrid get their league season underway at Real Sociedad. Los Blancos are unbeaten in their last 5 away La Liga matches and will be looking to extend that run. Karim Benzema was in red hot form last term and I fancy him to get the goals the WRAP UP THE ACCA.
OVERVIEW: The age old dilemma of the captain selection is usually crucial and in gameweek 1 it turned out to be the difference between an excellent point scoring week and just a decent one. There were two factors that cost me a big total actually. The first being the intial choice between picking Sadio Mané and Mo Salah, the latter bagging a hattrick and with it over forty points when given the armband. Of course I went for Mané on the grounds he provides a more all round scoring chance and captained him….. A lowly 4 points. About as bad an outcome as you can get for your captain short of him not playing.
Anyway, out with the negative and in with the positive. Aubameyang, Willian and Wilson made excellent starts. Fernandez, as predicted, claimed his clean sheet and, other than the Mané captain debacle, it was a pretty productive week all round with 53 points, about par for the coarse.
As always there will be a little bit of tinkering going into gameweek 2. I was surprised that Chelsea club captain Azpilicueta didn’t start. Is that a changing of the guard at the London club? It looks like the youngster Reece James may have secured that right back birth for the blues. In fantasy football, you don’t have the time to find out, it’s cut throat, ANY DOUBT, GET HIM OUT.
PICKS: Two transfers this week and the first -4 of the season. Out comes Azpilicueta for reasons stated earlier and in comes Harry Maguire. With Manchester United at home to Crystal Palace it’s a clean sheet chance and the big headed defender is always a threat at the other end from set plays. The other change is Leicester’s new signing Castagne comes in for Serge Auriér. It was a school boy error on my part last week picking the Frenchman but forgetting Spurs had signed Matt Doherty from Wolves over the summer. I’d like to think it’s the sign of a good manager when he can admit his mistakes and rectify them.
Aubameyang is this week’s captain as Arsenal take on a piss poor West Ham team at the Emirates. I’ll be looking for usual big hitters Mané and Kane to offer more this time around and of course, there’s the toon players. All 3 retain their place as the magpies take on Brighton. YEEEEE-HAAAAAA.
•BRENTFORD 4/5 (Away v Birmingham. Saturday KO 12:30)
•NORWICH 11/10 (Away v Huddersfield. Saturday KO 15:00)
•LEICESTER 10/11 (Away v West Brom. Sunday KO 14:00)
OVERVIEW: The new football season kicks off in England today and with it the weekly ACCA is back. The last accumulator was a winner so I’m hoping to get a little run together.
The first day of the season is always a betting minefield and it usually takes a few weeks to work out which teams are going to be continued favourites week in week out. The flip side to this is that the bookies are also unsure which usually means slightly increased odds.
The 4 selections are over Saturday and Sunday with 10/1 looking excellent value, this despite each team picked being away from home. Another couple of things to note is that 3 of the 4 matches on the slip include teams that have either been relegated or promoted from last season and 2 of 4 matches are the early kick off’s on Saturday which is something I’d usually avoid. Again with it being first day of the season anything can happen and as the stadiums are still empty it makes for a bigger lottery. It’s for these reasons the confidence rating is slightly down but I’m happy with the choices none the less.
PICKS: Despite just winning just 4 away Premier League games all season last year, you’d still fancy Arsenal at newly promoted Fulham who scraped back into the elite league via the championship playoffs. The gunners have impressively added free transfer Willian during the off season and that could make a big difference for them this season, as well as the retention of star man Pierre-Emmerick Aubameyang. Away win.
Brentford were one of the teams of the Championship last year and just fell short of promotion in the playoffs. They have lost key player Ollie Watkins during the summer but have added league one top goalscorer Ivan Toney as replacement. Birmingham haven’t won in their last 8 home league games and I reckon it will be extended in this one.
Norwich will be looking to bounce straight back to the big time at the first attempt and they have managed to keep the majority of their squad together over the summer. The Cannaries away form last season was terrible albeit in the Premier League. They should fair better in the lower division and will be sure to be up there amongst the promotion favourites. Their opponents, Huddersfield, have lost 9 of their last 10 games on opening day, another one please.
LEICESTER were very impressive last season and looked certain for a champions league spot until they were curtailed by lockdown and their form dipped. Last season’s Premier League top goalscorer Jamie Vardy will be looking to carry on where he left off and it’s a good chance for a fast start against freshly promoted West Brom. Leicester have won on their last 4 visits to the Hawthorns. Make it 5 on Sunday and WRAP UP THE ACCA.
OVERVIEW: It’s back!! The Premier League fantasy football season returns and with it, the office league. Like last year, it’s £10 entry, winner takes all as well as the forfeit for last place (yet to be decided)
Of the lineups, one team has folded from the 19/20 league. The manager in question went on six month sick, found a new job and did not tell anyone including management he was leaving. That’s the lengths some people will go to to not cough up a couple of forfeit sausage sandwiches.
As one team folds another is formed. A new but experienced fantasy football manager returns after a year out. Solid in stats, numbers and general knowledge, he claims he’s already tinkered with his team hundreds of times – one to be wary of.
Ok, that’s the formalities over. As I mull over that all important first week team, the first thing to note in the 20/21 roster is where are all the TOP STRIKERS?!? And why is Aubameyang listed as a midfielder?!? There seems to be an abundance of first class midfield players but a lack of forwards you’d be confident of bagging serious continued points. That makes me think its going to be a 3-5-2 formation kind of season or even 4-5-1. I’m putting it down to the strange times of 2020 that I’m actually considering one upfront in fantasy football.
Another point that may turn out to be crucial early on is that the two Manchester clubs don’t start their season until later because of various extended European competition jaunts. This means selection in the first week could be very interesting. Picking Kevin De Bruyne is all well and good but picking him in game week 1 will only result in a big fat 0. Do my fellow competitors know or remember this fact? First SILENT TREATMENT of the season early doors.
As ever I’ll always try and sneak in a beloved Newcastle United player but the way the club is being run, being serial relegation favourites year in year out and the general lack of scoring options in the squad, it makes that enjoyable bonus harder by the season and even the week.
If I can utilise the bonus cards better this year, start how i ended last and not get envolved too much in the office trash talk and mind games, THE CASH IS MINE and I’m excited.
THIS WEEK’S PICKS: Hold me for a moment, I’ve managed to get three, yes 3 Newcastle players into the first pick of the season. Whether that’s a good thing or not, who knows? It’s probably edging on the wrong side of risk to be honest but Fernandez in defence could be a clean sheet chance at West Ham. Saint Maximin was a consistent performer and point scorer last season and new signing Callum Wilson goes in up top, mainly due to the budget being spent up in midfield. All set up for a Steve Bruce masterclass of 0 points.
Elsewhere, Mané at home to newly promoted Leeds is a fantastic chance of early points and for that reason he is captain with Aubameyang away to Fulham in a highly questionable central midfield role, the vice.
And finally, a special mention for Willian who was brilliant for Chelsea at the end of last season. Transferred to Arsenal on a free, I think he will make a big impact at the Emirates this year. It could be a one Frank Lampard lives to regret.
• SPARTAK MOSCOW 1/2 (Home v Arsenal Tula. KO 16:00)
• RANGERS 1/8 (Away v Hamilton. KO 17:30)
• NICE & DRAW8/13 (Away v Strasbourg. KO 20:00)
OVERVIEW: With next to no decent fixtures in and around Europe at the minute, this week’s accumulator is just a little bit of fun. No science, no stats and no explanations just a daft, gut feeling 4 team line and something to keep an eye on. The picks are solely based on either the teams being historic favourites or rough team form from the end of last season. On that basis, I wouldn’t put your house on it.
If by chance any of you get a chance to see any of the action, Nice Striker Kasper Dolberg may worth a watch. Once hailed as the next big thing at Ajax, it’ll be interesting to see how he’s getting on. I hear he’s bagged himself a few in France and hopefully a few more today. ALLEZ LE NICE.
This week’s pick is £10 @5/1 bet builder special. (INTER V SEVILLA. KO 20:00)
• ROMELU LUKAKU – TO SCORE ANYTIME 7/5
• ROMELU LUKAKU – TO HAVE 2+ SHOTS ON TARGET 13/5
• OVER 1.5 MATCH GOALS 2/7
• OVER 8.5 MATCH CORNERS 9/20
OVERVIEW: Hello all, I haven’t posted any bets for a few weeks. This is basically because I haven’t made any, either due to the difficulty of fixtures or the general lack of them. Tonight though, it’s the Europa League final and I tell you what, it looks a cracker and one not to be missed. With that in mind, I’ve gone for a little bet builder special with the main focus on one of Europe’s inform strikers.
Romelu Lukaku has scored in his last 10 Europa League matches and I fancy that streak to continue tonight. Often criticised during his time at Manchester United, he has looked fitter, sharper and a lot leaner since moving to Inter and has managed to bag himself 33 goals in all competitions this season, a very lucrative return. He also takes Inter’s penalties so a goal and 2+ shots on target for the big man looks a decent shout.
I can’t separate the 2 teams in terms of a result, Inter probably slight favourites but I definitely think there will be goals and plenty of corners. The bet looks really good value at 5/1 and, from a neutral standpoint, adds a little extra kick to what already should be a quality fixture.
Other notable players who could be worth a punt on if Lukaku isn’t to your fancy are 2 Argentinian players, Lukaku’s Inter strike parter Lautaro Martinez or Lucas Ocampos, the tricky winger for Seville.