BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 18 – Part 2)

I’m back again. 24 hours after I posted about Gameweek 18, I feel compelled to update on proceedings. Things are changing minute by minute and emotions are running high in the office.

The Premier League have thrown another curve ball into, what was already, the game week 18 madness. They have, as excepted, called off Tottenham’s match at Aston Villa due to Corona virus. But, it gets interesting. Spurs will now be at home to Fulham instead, a match that was knocked on the head a few weeks ago causing one of the worst gameweek’s in our history. What does that mean for us? A chance to make amends from that disastrous gameweek 16 episode for a start. It’s a more favourable fixture than Villa away and takes away some of the selection doubts regarding Son and Kane. They’ll both be in the side now that’s for sure and both will be potential Captain material.

I mentioned yesterday that should the Spurs game go ahead the free hit would still be an option but wouldn’t be a total necessity. However, I want a full starting 11 competing in the 6 matches of gameweek 18 and a strong lineup at that. Dominic Calvert-Lewin was red flagged this morning, supposed hamstring injury with an unknown return date – We need a striker. Our goalkeeper doesn’t have a fixture this week, nor does one of our centre backs. The list keeps growing and we are being pointed down that road.👇🏻

FREE HIT ACTIVATED – let’s do this.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS.

I’m just about there, I think. I’ve used the free hit and it is a new look side, for one week only of course. Now, as I write this (21:00 Monday night) the XI I’m about to reveal is still subject to a sleepless night of change. The free hit will allow me to make as many transfers as I want all the way up to the 16:30 deadline tomorrow (today in reader time.) A plethora of chopping and changing. What I have learned in fantasy Premier League though – never leave it too late to make changes. The site often goes down due to the amount of traffic. I’ve never been caught up in this but I’ve seen hapless colleagues who have and it’s a tough watch. Grown men having a full blown meltdown when they can’t change their captain. Not pretty.

Anyway, where was I? Yeah, the team itself is self explanatory. All the players in it should be involved in game week 18, maximising our scoring capacity despite it not being a full fixture list. In terms of captain I’ve gone with Kane over Bruno simply because Spurs are at home, not an easy decision and one I hope doesn’t cost me.

The final thing to note, and most important, is, another Toon player edges his way back into the squad. GET IN.😌🖤🤍

GET INTO THEM EARLY.

GW18 team – will probably change.

BLOGIN BETS 5/12/20

This week’s accumulator selection is £10 @11/1

• TRANMERE 5/4 (Home v Walsall – KO 15:00)

• JUVENTUS 4/11 (Home v Torino – KO 17:00)

MAN. UTD 1/1 (Away v West Ham – KO 17:30)

INTER 2/5 (Home v Bologna – KO 19:45)

BARCELONA 3/10 (Away v. Cadiz – KO 20:00)

CONFIDENCE: 8/10

OVERVIEW: Another week, another accumulator and a great looking one at that. But before we get into the details, I wanted to go over some funny news which emerged out of Italy this week. Who remembers Sinisa Mihajlovic? The former Lazio and Inter nutcase defender with one of the deadliest free kicks in the game. How could anyone forget him. Well, he is now manager of Bologna, who incidentally face one of our acca picks, Inter. In the pre-match press conference, the mental Serb was asked why he tested a new tactical pattern in training and would he be applying it in the match at the San Siro. His response…

‘No, it was just a feint to know which players gave the news to the journalists. If I find out the player who spoke, I stick him to the wall and he won’t play football again. When I find the player who switched, it’s going to be his f**king problem. If he does this to get a better score on other teams you never know anything. On ours, everyone knows everything. I swear if I find him, I don’t know what I’m gunna do, but I’ll find it’

GOOD OLD SINISA. – Let’s hope he finds the culprit and it sends their match preparations into meltdown.

Anyway, now for more pressing matters. I Love the look of this week’s accumulator pick. 5 teams all bang in form and all playing on Saturday at varying times. I’m hoping this maybe the gem we’ve been crying out for all season, 11/1 represents great value. The plan was to deliberately select kick off times that stagger right across Saturday giving the avid viewer the chance to watch and have the extra vested interest. What’s also worth noting is that there aren’t any early starts which usually catches us with our pants down. It’s all set up for a couple of Saturday night beers watching Messi put on a show to wrap up the acca. Imagine that, bloody lovely.

PICKS: You may be raising an eyebrow at Tranmere being first up for the line and although they only sit mid-table in League 2 they have recorded 8 victories in a row in all competitions and are the leagues form side. 5/4 represents unbelievable value. HOME WIN.

Juventus go into the Derby Della Mole unbeaten in 7 and they would expect to beat their city rivals who are situated in Serie A’s relegation zone. Ronaldo is still scoring goals. Routine HOME WIN.

Since defeat at home to Arsenal earlier in the season, Man United have gone about their business relatively quietly winning each of their last 3 Premier League matches. This is in part due to the form of Bruno Fernandes, the Portuguese playmaker has been flying. Opponents West Ham have been going along nicely this season themselves but the Manc’s should be too strong here. I fancy Cavani to bag another goal. AWAY WIN.

Inter have really started to put a run together in Serie A. 4 wins in a row to be precise which has seen them rise to 2nd place in the table. We’ve already heard from the Bologna camp. Utter Chaos. HOME WIN.

There’s a running theme here, teams finally putting runs together and Barcelona are no different. 3 on the bounce for them and maybe Koeman is starting to get a grip at the Camp Nou. Messi to STAMP THE SLIP Saturday night.

MOVE THE BALL QUICKLY, DOWN AND PLAY

BLOGIN BETS 21/11/20 (League 2 Special)

This week’s accumulator is £10 @10/1

CHELTENHAM 8/11 (Home v Walsall – KO 15:00)

EXETER 4/6 (Home v Oldham – KO 15:00)

CAMBRIDGE UNITED 4/6 (Away v Southend – KO 15:00)

NEWPORT COUNTY 1/1 (Home v Port Vale – KO 15:00)

CONFIDENCE: 7/10

OVERVIEW: I’ve scowled the usual leagues across Europe in search of something to get excited about and it’s either shortest of short odds or risky risky. Quite often you get weekends where the fixture list is not worth wiping your backside with. It’s a shame seeing as we finally made to the arse end of the naff international break.

Anyway, I had a little look at the lower leagues and realised most of the top teams are playing sides quite low down. Delving a bit deeper into form, odds etc I’ve managed to get a canny looking line from League 2. So here we have it, a League 2 special. Yes I know, there’s nowt special about it, same carry on, £10, 4 teams, all to win. 10/1 is cracking odds in my opinion and here’s why.

PICKS: Cheltenham sit 3rd in the league and have only lost once at home in their last 8 games which includes 6 wins. They entertain a 13th placed Walsall side who have lost their last 3 matches including a defeat to bottom side Southend. HOME WIN.

Exeter are now 13 games unbeaten and sit nicely in the playoff places. They welcome an Oldham side who have to make 500 mile round trip and sit perilously above the professional football relegation zone. HOME WIN.

Newport County are top of the tree and have won their last 6 league matches at home. Although opponents Port Vale sit just outside the playoffs, they are leaking as many goals as they are scoring. 7 home wins in a row incoming for County.

although Southend won their last match against Walsall, they hadn’t won for the previous 16. They sit rock bottom of the table, an ideal fixture for Cambridge who are flying high in 2nd. They have amassed 25 goals in their 12 matches so far only conceding 9. Go on you university toffs, WRAP UP THE ACCA FOR US.

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 9)

OVERVIEW: It’s tight at the top, joint top in fact with a real title race beginning to develop in the office. It was 60 points for the boys in black and white in game week 8 which is another decent return, the average being 55. Captain Kane once again came up with the goods bagging a tasty 18 points but it was a player I focused on last time round which gave the most satisfaction. Hakim Ziyech supplied 11 points and I noted that his return from injury could be massive for Chelsea, a wicked left foot and the taker of most of the blues’ set pieces. It’s a great feeling when you spot a little opening and it comes off. I think I was the only manager in our league to bring him in but the problem we have now is that others may now sit up and take notice. They don’t stay hidden gems for long.

Looking ahead to game week 9, it’s going to be one of those weeks. The type of week you deliberate, change, re-change and then change again. The type of week you look at the fixture list and wonder what to do for the best. Even at this time of writing, I’m still not quite sure if my line up will remain as it is. What’s worse, we are coming off the back of the international break, hoping and praying star players have returned unscathed. The flip side of this of course is that sometimes injuries do actually help your thought process. They force your hand when it comes to changes and take you away from the limbo you can find yourself in of not knowing what strategy to play. Fortunately, but Unfortunately for me, there doesn’t appear to be any serious injury doubts so we have the full roster to choose from, this is where selection dilemma/headache comes in, Do we stick with what we’ve got or twist a transfer or two? The questions to be asked are..

Why fix something that isn’t broken? Or try and change things to match it up with more favourable fixtures?

Admittedly, there have been little doubts creeping in. Is this the pressure of a title race? Or just a bad fixture week? The way I see it, a slight the element of doubt isn’t a bad quality to have as manager as long as it doesn’t consume his or her thought process. It shows they’ve accounted for every eventuality but ultimately, the manager will be judged on his convictions and I have made a bold decision this week, one which I will allude to in more detail later.

Fixture wise, Tottenham playing Man City doesn’t help things in terms of my squad. Liverpool – Leicester is just as bad. In fact, If someone offered me the average points total for the week right now I’d snap their hand off, knowing there’s better weeks ahead.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS.

Somebody hold me. I’ve done what I never thought I would. I have not, I repeat, HAVE NOT made any transfers this week. For the first time this season I haven’t brought in a new player. Hey, I mean that’s not a bad thing, some of us managers are just Tinker-men. Look at Pep, just last month he named a unchanged team……. for the first time in 3 years and who’s going to argue with his success. Anyway, there’s a good reason for no transfers this week and it’s to make an extra free change next week. Looking ahead, Man City’s fixtures after this week look quite favourable so being able to bring in a couple of their lads for nowt would be decent.

Ideally though, I wanted to bring Bruno Fernandez this week with Man United at home to West Brom but firstly, I didn’t have the funds available. Secondly, I would have had to seriously rejig the pack, taking various minus points to do so. And thirdly, I didn’t know who to replace. In the end, not worth it and we move on. UNCHANGED SQUAD.

In terms of team news, I’ve brought in Harvey Barnes off the bench for Callum Wilson. Sounds like a weird move but, here me out, Wilson is carrying a slight injury and faces a fitness test whereas Barnes, although away to Liverpool, could have a good point scoring chance. Liverpool are without all their senior defensive line so there maybe goals to be had. This also changes the shape for the first time in months from 3-4-3 to 3-5-2 but look, we are a well drilled side and the lads know their roles, after all we are settled side now.

Mané is captain with Ziyech as vice. And what seems like a week full of firsts, it has dawned on me that with Wilson’s exclusion, it’s the first time this season I haven’t named 3 TOON players in the starting line up, Bruce ball really is taking its toll.

FIRST TACKLE, HIT THEM HARD LADS.

BLOGIN BETS 24/10/20 – £100 Challenge (Stage 5)

STAGE 5

MILLWALL & DONCASTER EACH TO SCORE 1+ GOALS 8/13

  • STAKE: £55.69
  • RETURNS: £89.96

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.

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 37)

OVERVIEW: Our friend Pep Guardiola has done it again. Sterling hattrick one week and selected as captain for the next……DROPPED. A measly 2 points for his cameo appearance and stuff of fantasy football nightmares. It could be worse I suppose, one player in our league used his triple captain card on him. Shouldn’t laugh.

Overall though, it was another decent week, 56 points despite the lack of captain input. Good returns from front 3: Kane, Rashford and Jesus. Looking ahead to the penultimate gameweek, I’m not too confident looking at the fixtures but if I can maintain 4th position going into the final day, I will be pleased. A week of consolidation I think.

Also, the added inconvenience of the FA Cup gives an extra selection headache as managers rotate around that this game week.

THIS WEEKS PICKS: Another 2 transfers this time round meaning another -4 hit. It’s been a worthwhile tactic in recent weeks so I’m happy to carry it on. Chelsea being away at Liverpool means I’ve taken out Azpilicueta and Barkley and replaced them with Pieters of Burnley and Zaha of palace. Not ideal if I’m honest, I wanted to bring in Man United’s Fernandez with them being at home to West Ham but available funds would allow.

I’ve risked Sterling as captain again, Rashford will be vice and still we have 2 TOON boys in. There’s a question mark over Saint-Maximin’s fitness but I think/hope he’ll play. BALLS INTO THE BOX, LADS

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 35)

OVERVIEW: Gameweek 34 bought a half respectable yield of 44 points. Not bad considering there were two 1’s and a zero on the team sheet – Willian, Sterling and Aubameyang making up for that. My Captain pick turned out to be crucial as Kane disappointingly scored, had I picking Sterling we would have been looking at 60+ point week, once again that is Pep’s selection minefield playing tricks on the fantasy gaffa.

Looking ahead to gameweek 35 the fixture set doesn’t really seem to suit my team sheet but let’s see if we can produce a rabbit from the Tony Pulis cap.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS: There’s a buzz around the dressing room this week, in comes a TOON player Federico Fernandez. He replaces Brandon Williams in the back 3 who I’ve been trying to get out for weeks. Williams has featured sparingly for Man United despite their good form but, because of his low transfer value, he’s been hard to replace with quality. I think Fernandez can do a job there as Newcastle look to bounce back from a battering when they travel to struggling Watford.

I’ve also rolled the dice and taken yet another -4 to make another transfer. Out comes Phil Foden who is replaced by Ross Barkley. Reason being, firstly and once again, Pep’s team selection. Foden played last time out for Man City which means there’s a chance he could drop down to the bench for this one. He has been in and out of the side this season as Guardiola rotates. Secondly, Chelsea’s form has been good and, despite Sheffield United’s excellent season, I expect the Londoners to travel up to Yorkshire and get a win to maintain their Champions League push. Providing Barkley plays, there’s good chance for him to bag points – along with teammate, Willian.

Sterling will be captain this week away at Brighton which is another Pep risk but hopefully it’s a gamble that will pay off. Rashford, home to Southampton will be vice.

Leicester travelling to Bournemouth is a good clean sheet chance for Schmeichel and Söyüncü and hopefully Saint-Maximin will be fit enough to have a double whammy of Newcastle players in the side, always a Steve Brucey bonus!

BALLS INTO THE BOX, lads.

BLOGIN BETS 4/7/20

This week’s accumulator pick is £10 @5/1

• MANCHESTER UNITED 1/6 (Home v Bournemouth. Saturday KO 15:00)

• BRENTFORD 8/15 (Home v Wigan. Saturday KO 15:00)

• JUVENTUS 2/7 (Home v Torino. Saturday KO 16:15)

• CHELSEA 2/5 (Home v Watford. Saturday KO 20:00)

• MANCHESTER CITY 3/10 (Away v Southampton. Sunday KO 19:00)

• FC PORTO 2/11 (Home v Belenenses. Sunday KO 21:30)

CONFIDENCE: 8/10

OVERVIEW: Straight forward this week. 6 teams, all big favourites spread over Saturday and Sunday. I’ll admit, there was a temptation to add Atletico Madrid who played Friday night. They won incidentally, but previous Friday night failures and the subsequent scuppering of the weekend fun made me think twice, never mind.

Anyway, with 5 of the 6 selections being home sides confidence is pretty high, only Chelsea adding a slight hint of doubt in my mind and when I say slight, I mean very slight. Let’s do this.

PICKS: Man United are unbeaten since January and have won their last 3 Premier League games. Home to a Bournemouth side who have lost 4 in a row and haven’t won in 8 games. Eddie howe’s side lookshot of confidence and easy pickings at the moment. Comfortable HOME WIN.

Brentford still have a faint chance of going up to the Premier League automatically and have won 4 games in row, playing some excellent stuff along the way. Their opponents Wigan are also in pretty decent form but having been placed into administration in the week there’s bound be a lot of uncertainty around the club. Brentford to take full advantage, HOME WIN.

Juventus are on course for yet another Serie A title and at home to city rivals Torino I expect them to stay on track. The away side have only picked up 1 victory from 11 in all competitions which includes 5 straight away defeats. The old lady take this one.

It’s becoming very tight in the race for Champions League places in the Premier League. Chelsea will looking to maintain their spot with Man U breathing down their necks and it’s a good opportunity at home to Watford. The away side haven’t won since lockdown and are hovering perilously above the drop zone. It may be tight but The Blues will be come out on top here.

Manchester City may have lost out on the Premier League title but manager Pep Guardiola won’t let them take their foot off the gas. Outstanding against Liverpool in the week, I expect them to keep up the momentum ahead of crucial FA Cup and Champions League matches. Southampton have lost 10 of their 16 home games this season conceding an average of over 2 goals in those matches. AWAY WIN with De Bruyne again instrumental.

Porto are 6 points clear at the top of the Primeira Liga and, at home to 5th bottom Belenenses, you’ve got to fancy them preserving that cushion. The away side have only won once in 7 games – That will surely become 8 as Porto push towards the title and, more importantly, WRAP UP THE ACCA.

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 33)

OVERVIEW: GET UP THERE! 97 points in gameweek 32 and up 3 positions into 5th in the office table – Proof of the importance of using the fixtures to your advantage. The gamble in taking a -4 for an extra transfer because of some favourable matchups paid lucrative dividends. If only I’d heeded my own advice earlier in the season rather than simply picking players I liked. It’s a rare thing (especially as a Newcastle fan) to be able to get your favourite players in your fantasy football team but the 3 Toon boys have been excellent since they came in a few weeks ago, I’m a happy gaffa right now.

Also, bringing in Aubameyang and making him captain brought in a 26 point yield alone and helped no end. To all that did that with me, I doth my cap.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS: One transfer and a tough decision made for game week 33. I’ve taken out the Premier League’s joint top goal scorer Jamie Vardy and replaced him with Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford. Reason being – Leicester’s form as well as Vardy’s. They’ve been very scratchy since the end of lockdown and with Man U at home to lowly Bournemouth, it’s a good chance for Young Marcus to fill his boots. Bournemouth looked like a team without any hope or direction against Newcastle in midweek, for this reason Rashford is also captain.

Speaking of The Toon, my magpie men retain their places for a 3rd straight week. With Premier League safety assured and home to relegation threatened West Ham you’ve got to fancy them adding more points with the shackles off – especially the attacking players Almiron and Saint Maximin. More of the same hopefully.

FIRST AND SECOND BALLS, LADS

GAMEWEEK 33 TEAM SELECTION