– MILLWALL & DONCASTER EACH TO SCORE 1+ GOALS 8/13
OVERVIEW: I’ve had a few messages about when the £100 challenge would continue, it’s been a while since we completed stage 4. As we are now so close to the target I’ve been agonising over the right bet to take us forward but I think I’ve finally found that bet.
This bet won’t take us to exactly £100 but will leave us pretty darn close so one more stage will be required to get to the magic target. However £89.96 is nothing to be sniffed at considering we started with a measly £10. Pulling out that point is perfectly fine if people so wish.
So, Stage 5. All we require is for Millwall and Doncaster to score a goal each in their respective matches this afternoon. Millwall, who is sit in the Championship playoff spots, are home to relegation candidates Barnsley and have amassed 10 goals in their last 6 league matches. Doncaster entertain Crewe who sit just below mid table in league 1. Tellingly, Doncaster have also managed 10 goals in their last 6 league matches. I expect both teams to win never mind get 1 goal each.
Remember, that’s all we need, a goal from each side. What a chance to complete this stage and be within touching distance of £100 mark. GOALS GOALS GOALS.
OVERVIEW: Before we get into the nitty gritty of breaking down this week’s accumulator, I actually can’t believe how high the odds for this line is. 11/1 is a superb price and I don’t see any reason why this one wouldn’t have a decent chance.
As usual, we have the same carry on, £10 on 5 teams all to win spread right across Saturday, with no two fixtures having the same kick off time. The key fixture for me is meat of the sandwich, the middle game, Marseille away at Lorient. That’s the banana skin here but again, and i will go into more depth later, I see no reason to suggest they can’t pick up the 3 points and the green tick we need.
Obviously another thing to note is there’s an early kick off on the line as well which is usually a no go, but I think it’s a strong enough favourite not to be a worry. So here we go.
PICKS:Man City have actually made an indifferent start to the season by their imperious standards but an early marker away at West Ham is exactly what they need. Talisman Sergio Aguero is now back fit and could be the key in putting together a run of form. AWAY WIN.
Cambridge United are flying in League 2. 4 wins in a row and top of the table, they host a Bolton side who haven’t won in 5 and sit 5 from the bottom of England’s professional pyramid. HOME WIN.
As mentioned earlier, this is the big game of the line in my opinion. A quick glance on paper suggests both Marseille and opponents Lorient aren’t in great form, however on closer inspection, Marseille haven’t been losing games with draws being the order of the day as well as playing some of the top sides along the way. They haven’t lost in 6 league matches and were very impressive against Bordeaux last time out picking up a nice 3-1. What’s more, LesOlympiens have only lost twice in 13 in this fixture so the omens are good. AWAY WIN.
Inter will be looking for a routine win at Genoa. If they are to have serious title aspirations, this is the type of bread and butter fixture they need to be winning. Conte’s side have good reason to be confident, they have won the last 4 matches against their hosts all to nil amassing an average of 4 goals. Genoa haven’t scored a goal since the opening day and the firepower of Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez should be too much for them at the other end. AWAY WIN.
Liverpool actually haven’t won for 3 Premier League games. They have the perfect chance at home to Sheff United who sit second bottom of table and are yet to win in 5 matches played – losing 4. I have no doubts that this match will WRAP UP THE ACCA should we make it this far.
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.
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 WEEK’S 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.
– 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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
OVERVIEW: What a final few weeks of the season it’s been. A massive 90 points in gameweek 37 has all but guaranteed a 4th place office finish. A tremendous effort considering we were second bottom before lockdown and staring sausage sandwich forfeit right between the eyes – An unthinkable outcome. Title winning form since the restart has seen the team safe, form that was a million miles away in early part of the season. Rotation of selection has been key to the turnaround I’ve got to say.
On the pitch, Captain Sterling banged another 34 points while Kane and Laporte both chipped in with 12 a piece. The bonus to come from the round was Burnley keeping a clean sheet and risky selection Pieters bagging a tasty 12. When your luck’s in.
Most teams will be on holiday so there’s bound to be some silly results on the final day. In terms of importance, the last couple of relegation spots, as well as champions league places, are still to be confirmed but looking at the fixture list, there’s not a great deal that stands out other than City home to Norwich. That has to be the place to cash in. Will Pep pick Sterling though? Who bloody knows.
THIS WEEK’S PICKS: All being said, I’m going to do something unprecedented in these unprecedented of times….. I going to stick with the same side as Gameweek 37. Hold me, someone.
Sterling will remain as captain and we finish with two Toon boys in the side – Things you love to see. Home to Liverpool is a tough one for the mighty mags but hopefully Liverpool are still in the pub celebrating their title success and Messrs, Saint-Maximin and Fernandez can sneak a few points.