BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 6)

OVERVIEW: Another cracking week of fantasy football. 71 points added to the total and maintaining 2nd place in the table – only 4 points off the summit.

Kane and Son, as expected, were the bags men. 13 points for Son and 32 for captain Kane as the skipper selection finally hit the target, yielding a lucrative return. Elsewhere, Maguire bagged at Newcastle which was a bonus. I would have taken him out last week had I not needed more pressing changes in other areas.

Looking ahead to game week 6, first thing to point out is the massive silent treatment in motion. We have a Friday night fixture to kick off the round, do my fellow managers know this crucial bit of information? Do they know any changes/transfers must be in place 24 hours early? I hope not, my tactics are set after a positive week of training and any marginal gain is welcome.

Fixture wise, Liverpool at home to Sheffield United has got to be a points fancy along with Spurs away at Burnley. Captain pick could be vital again as we look to climb to the up to top spot.

TEAM SELECTION: For the first time in a while we are starting a game week with no minus points. I’ve only made one transfer but it’s a massive one. Calvert-Lewin, the Premier League’s top scorer, comes in for Rhian Brewster. I didn’t realise I had the funds available to do this so it’s been a big mistake on my part not making this change week’s earlier. It improves my overall squad and I can now make at least one substitute without having to rely on a transfer. Not only that, we are entering wildcard time territory so should it not work out as planned we can revert and overhaul the whole team in the coming weeks. I mentioned last week that it was extremely rare to be 100% happy with your team, well this week I’m content and quite optimistic. That usually means a nightmare of a round incoming.

Ive gone with an adventurous 3 pronged attack, Calvert-Lewin comes in along side Wilson and Kane. My only quandary was who the Everton hitman was replacing. It was going to be Klich of Leeds but it turns out Willian is a slight injury doubt for Arsenal so it’s he who makes way. HOWEVER, big HOWEVER – BENCH BOOST PLAYED, let’s hope Willian is passed fit and we can score all round. It’s actually the first time this season I’ve changed my formation and it feels good to have that extra forward in the side.

Mané is this week’s skipper, with Kane the vice and its 6 weeks in a row for triple toon players despite underwhelming Bruce Ball on Tyneside.

WORK THE CHANNELS LADS.

BLOGIN BETS 17/10/20

This week’s accumulator pick is £10 @12/1

– CHELSEA 1/2 (Home v Southampton. KO 15:00)

CAMBRIDGE UNITED 11/8 (Away v Scunthorpe. KO 15:00)

BRISTOL CITY 13/8 (Away v Barnsley. KO 15:00)

JUVENTUS 4/11 (Away v Crotone. KO 19:45)

CONFIDENCE: 6/10

OVERVIEW: Another week and another accumulator to keep tabs on. This time round all the fixtures are on Saturday (today) Thought process being we could possibly do another daft one tomorrow should we have a winner today.

The main thing to note on this line is the high odds for only 4 selections. I’ve done the extensive research and can’t see any reason why this wouldn’t have a good chance. The slightly lower confidence rating is the fact there must be a something to make this price is so high but I’m yet to find it. Heres hoping nothing has slipped through the net of chance.

Also, look at the range of teams. We go from the elite, elegant end of Serie A to blood and guts league 2 in only four selections. Superb stuff and something for everyone.

PICKS: Chelsea have made an indifferent start to the Premier League season. However this does not include their home form which has been very impressive. The blues have won 9 of their last 10 matches at Stamford bridge with the only failure being against champions Liverpool. Bread and butter matches like these are crucial if they want to be classed as serious title contenders. HOME WIN.

Cambridge United sit pretty in 2nd position of League 2 after 5 matches having scored 10 and only conceding 3 in that time. Opponents Scunthorpe, on the other hand, have only picked up 4 points from their first 5 and languish down in 20th. AWAY WIN.

Bristol City have flown out of the championship blocks winning all their 4 matches so far. What more they play a Barnsley side who have yet to win and have only managed 1 goal in the process. We’re going with form here for sure. AWAY WIN.

Juventus are Juventus, they win matches. Despite being without talisman Christiano Ronaldo, they will have enough to beat bottom side Crotone who have lost all 3 matches in Serie A so far by at least 3 goals. Should be a comfortable one tonight to WRAP UP THE ACCA.

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 5)

OVERVIEW: Everyone’s worst nightmare – The international break. The by-monthly nuisance and proverbial pointless bore fest is finally over. I actually couldn’t remember what happened in the last gameweek it feels that long ago. Years passed, a cold dark world, the longest of winters. Did England win? REALITY = 2 weeks.

Anyway, back to business. I’ve checked, recapped and debriefed. 58 points in gameweek 4 was a decent return but again, the captain selection again cost me huge points. For what feels like the millionth week in a row my skipper has produced only 4 points. Of course, Kane and Wilson had 16 points a piece and neither had the armband. If I can buck this annoying trend, a huge points week is incoming.

This week’s fixtures don’t look too bad, Spurs at home to West Ham looks a point scorer but again, the round doesn’t really suit my team. The wildcard was a tempting proposition but lessons learnt from last season suggest it’s still to early to be making that sort of rash decision. The plan is to ride it out a few weeks/months longer and unleash fury around Christmas time when the double game week’s start to kick in. Par for the course is ok for now, it helps when you’re nicely placed in your respective league and not having to force the issue.

This leads me on to the question I really want to ask this week. Are you ever truly happy with your team? 99 times out of 100 the answer is NO and that’s completely fine. I make my changes on a weekly basis and I always feel initially content. A couple of hours later I’ll look again and begin the question the decisions I’ve made, question myself, question life itself.

On past experience, this uncertainty can lead to car crash chip playing and endless negative transfer points. Before you know you’re -16 before a ball is kicked on Saturday. The stars have truly aligned with a blue moon if all the fixtures fall into place to suit your team, it’s extremely rare. What I’ve discovered over the last year or 2 is to accept this and make the most out of where your team will score points that week rather than try to compensate on areas it probably won’t. Obviously this is through trying to utilise your free weekly transfer and your essential captains pick. There’s nothing worse than looking at the week’s up and coming fixtures and realising 2 of your defenders are both away to Manchester City or Liverpool. This is part and parcel of the season rollercoaster and it happens to everyone at some stage. Yes it’s probably going to mean you don’t gain many points in those positions that particular week but, rather than making knee-jerk changes, I now try to see where the others in the team can make up for the likely deficit. Also remembering, those hypothetical defenders away at city only have to play there once a season and they are probably a usual and decent point source to your team. Why take them out for one week when the likelihood is you’ll need them back in the following? Taking a one week hit isn’t always a bad thing. It saves wasting your season-changing bonus cards or taking a minus x amount of points in often unnecessary transfers. Food for thought.

THIS WEEKS PICKS: As mentioned last time out, my squad isn’t strong enough to make substitutions so it’s another 2 transfers this week meaning a -4.

Out comes Aubameyang who is away at Man City and in comes Son who is home to West Ham, a no brainer. The 2nd change is slightly more forced. Kevin De Bruyne is a slight injury doubt and with Pep’s rotation system it’s not worth taking the risk so Mané comes back in after recovering from COVID.

It was a toss up between Kane and Son for the armband but I’ve gone with the former. On previous week’s captain run, it’ll probably be tails when looking for heads but, we are due a luck change so fingers crossed.

Maguire is lucky to retain his place. Only lack of budget and not wanting more negative transfer points has saved him.

AND STILL, we have 3 toon players in the mix and this makes me happy. I fancy Wilson and Saint-Maximin to cause Man U all sorts of problems this weekend.

FROM THE FIRST WHISTLE LADS.

GAMEWEEK 5 squad

BLOGIN BETS 8/10/20 – £100 Challenge (Stage 4)

STAGE 4

ENGLAND v WALES OVER 2.5 GOALS 13/20

  • STAKE: £33.75
  • RETURNS: £55.69

OVERVIEW: Barcelona and Seville did not disappoint in stage 3 and we role on to 4 tonight, albeit a few days late. I was hoping to have the £100 challenge wrapped up by now but the international break put a dampener on the fixture list and enforced a couple of days break.

Looking ahead to tonight’s stage 4 match, I think we’ve got another corker on our hands and one that should take us to step 5. England host Wales in a friendly and all we require is 3 goals in the game to progress. The shackles should be off the players but the game will still contain that competitive edge given the rivalry between the two sides. Also, given the form or messers Kane, Sterling and potential debutant Dominic Calvert-Lewin, what’s to say this stage won’t be complete by half time.

Despite drawing 0-0 last time out, England have managed 18 goals in their last 5 international matches, an average well over the required amount tonight, not forgetting the potential of the Welsh finding the net which would be just as welcome.

GO FOR GOAL.

BLOGIN BETS 4/10/20 – £100 challenge (Stage 3)

STAGE 3

• BARCELONA v SEVILLA – BOTH TEAMS TO HAVE 1+ CORNERS IN EACH HALF 1/2

  • STAKE: £22.50
  • RETURNS: £33.75

OVERVIEW: Arsenal wrapped up stage 2 with a comfortable victory over Sheffield United. The running total is now up to £22.50 so slowly we make our way toward the magic £100 mark.

Moving onto stage 3 straight away I’ve found a little corker in Spain tonight. Barcelona host Seville and all we are looking for is for each team to be awarded a corner in each half. Barcelona have had 11 corners in their first 2 La Liga matches while Seville have had 9 so this sounds simple enough. These 2 sides are amongst Spain’s most attacking sides and at 1/2 this is exactly what we need to keep this challenge going.

A CORNER A CORNER!

BLOGIN BETS 4/10/20 – £100 Challenge (Stage 2)

STAGE 2

ARSENAL TO WIN 1/2 (Home v Sheffield United KO 14:00)

  • STAKE: £15
  • RETURNS: £22.50

OVERVIEW: As expected we cruised through the first stage, Ipswich managing their goal in the 7th minute, Everton in the 16th. It doesn’t get more resounding than that so we are looking for more of the same today please.

On to stage 2 and despite this being the same odds this selection looks a bit more tricky than the first. That’s not to say I’m not majorly confident because I am. Arsenal have started with 2 wins from 3 games and their only defeat was to last season’s runaway champions Liverpool. Their opponents Sheffield United have lost all their Premier League matches so far and are also winless in their last 7 league away trips. I think the run will continue today and take us to stage 3. GUNNERS!

BLOGIN BETS 3/10/20

This week’s accumulator is £10 @7/1

ROMA 4/6 (Away v Udinese. Saturday KO 19:45)

AJAX 4/11 (Away v Groningen. Sunday KO 11:15)

ARSENAL 8/15 (Home v Sheffield United. Sunday KO 14:00)

RENNES 4/7 (Home v Reims. Sunday KO 16:00)

LIVERPOOL 2/7 (Away v Aston Villa. Sunday KO 19:15)

CONFIDENCE: 7/10

OVERVIEW: The usual carry on again this week. £10 stake on 5 teams, spread over the weekend. The only thing to really note within the selections is there is only one match on Saturday, the dodgy one. If Roma can get through it with a big fat W then this acca will take some beating. Had the odds boosting Italians not been on this line my confidence rating would have been at a lofty 9. Here’s why.

PICKS: Udinese have lost both of their opening 2 matches in Serie A and still haven’t registered a goal. What perfect opportunity for Roma to kick start their season and kick start the acca.

Ajax have made the perfect start in Eredivisie and face a Groningen side who have only scored 1 goal in their first 3 matches. Playmaker Dusan Tadic has scored 6 goals in 8 appearances against the home side and could be key again here. Comfortable away win.

Arsenal will be looking to put last week’s Anfield disappointment behind them and what perfect way to do that with a home match against second bottom Sheffield United. The away side have lost all their games so far and are yet to register a goal. Aubameyang inspired home win.

Rennes have made a flying start to the new Ligue 1 season and sit top of the tree. Unbeaten in 5 that include 4 wins, they face a Reims side who have only picked up 1 point from their opening 5 matches. Both runs to be extended here. Home win.

Who can stop Liverpool at the moment? The champions have picked up where they left off last season by sweeping aside all before them. Despite Villa’s decent start to the season, they will come unstuck here and the scousers will be WRAPPING UP THE ACCA late Sunday night.

BLOGIN BETS 3/10/20 – £100 Challenge (Stage 1)

STAGE 1

– EVERTON & IPSWICH TO SCORE 1 OR MORE GOALS 1/2 (Boosted Paddy Power special)

  • STAKE: £10
  • RETURNS: £15

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.

LET’S GO!

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 4)

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.

KEEP IT TIGHT EARLY DOORS LADS.

GAMEWEEK 4 starting XI

BLOGIN BETS 26/9/20

This week’s accumulator is £10 @5/1

B.DORTMUND 2/5 (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)

CONFIDENCE: 8/10

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.