| WAYNE ROONEY |

When Wayne Rooney announced his retirement from football yesterday I had a strange, overriding feeling I just couldn’t pinpoint or get my head around.

I don’t support Man United and I don’t really care that much about England. So why was I bothered? I began to think and it soon became apparent that Rooney (for all he is or isn’t, was or wasn’t) is my generation, my era in a nutshell. We are of similar age and there’s perhaps a sorry realisation my own amateur football days are coming to an end. Maybe his finish closes the book on everyone our age’s football playing endeavours, I don’t know. Whether that’s it or not I’ve seen Rooney’s entire career unfold, properly. All of it. Start to finish.

ROONEY.

Wayne Rooney finished his career Manchester United’s and England’s all time leading goalscorer and is decorated, winning everything at club level multiple times. It’s an astonishing haul. And yet, he still divides opinion more than any other player.

From the burst onto the scene 16 year old sensation, the prime serial Premier League winner to the winding down questions asked, question marked Rooney. That unfortunate stage they all go through, him more than most. I feel like I’ve been on his journey.

I never made a concerted effort to follow Wayne Rooney’s career, it followed me and you couldn’t escape it. The ravaging, unforgiving English press pack – Overhyping, overexciting and sensationalising. The saviour, the golden boy, the next…………. England get knocked out. Rooney’s fault. Quickly knocked off the perch they have created themselves all in the name of fast newspaper-selling opportunities. And people quick forget. It’s the reason ‘the golden generation’ never won World Cups and the reason England will probably never win anything again. A cultural problem and the Rupert Murdock mentality.

It’s a funny thing to say being English hindered, certainly Rooney’s international career because he’s stereotypical English. Take the English style and mindset away from him and he’d be half the player. It’s his fellow countrymen sat behind a desk who have perhaps cost him a World Cup. Who knows, there are many other factors, a lot of what if’s, but’s and Rooney himself. This of course, is merely an opinion.

What I do know, and what shouldn’t be up for much debate, is that Wayne Rooney was the full package on the football pitch. Strong and quick, powerful and off-the-cuff clever with superb technical ability. He was a brilliant link up player and a master at finding pockets, never afraid to try something different and that’s what made him stand out, he was fearless. Some of the goals were outrageous and there were a lot but that was secondary. Everything centred around the team. He was selfless, unselfish and would run all day with a firery temperament and insatiable desire to win, to be better each game, each season. He was fully committed and always on the edge, a pot that could boil over and often did. A peak Wayne Rooney is as good as the Premier League has seen.

What a player.

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 FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 12)

OVERVIEW: Hello all, welcome.

Where do we start this week? Plenty to discuss. High scoring, lifting the curse, unlucky Ziyech, Bruno Fernandes the sub or maybe the Son faux pas? I think we’ll start positive – It’s got to be LIFTING THE CURSE!

We finally managed to put the armband on the correct arm in game week 11 after what seemed like a million week’s of wrong and costly picks. A Kevin De Bruyne goal, assist and win bonus resulted in 28 glorious points, a relief and a weight lifted from the shoulders like a baron striker ending a goal draught.

That KDB tally helped the team to a very respectable 64 points, which actually brings us nicely on to high scoring. The week’s average was a whopping 62, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a high mean number. I could be way off the mark but I can’t recall the average being in the 60’s too often. Anyone know the record? Anyway, when the mean is high like that, you know the big hitters have had good weeks – Kane, Salah, Son and the afore mentioned De Bruyne all chalking up the numbers. I was initially pleased with my total until I saw the scores of my opponents. Looking deeper at my XI, zero’s for Kilman and Barnes who didn’t play, whilst Ziyech only picked up the 1. Had they contributed a little bit more we would have been looking at a huge week. We can’t dwell.

I had high hopes for Ziyech a couple of weeks ago and it just hasn’t quite happened on a points scoring front, despite his impressive performances for Chelsea. It now looks like he’s picked up another injury which will probably sideline him until after Christmas – that’s 1 forced change this week for sure.

I mentioned last week about how having both Kane and Son in your team at the same time was a risk. This was on the grounds of how costly it could be if Spurs had an off day. Well, on that basis I transferred out Son – how foolish did that turn out to be?! The Tottenham duo scored and assisted each other. Then, to make matters worse, the player I bought in to replace the South Korean, Bruno Fernandes, started on the bench for Man United. You couldn’t make it up especially as I’d been plotting the Bruno move for weeks and had finally manoeuvred my squad around enough to get him in. Luckily enough though, he came on at half time and inspired a Manc comeback salvaging himself a respectable 45 minute, 5 points. Eventful Game week indeed.

Looking ahead to GW12, the fixtures to look out for on the fantasy front have to be Liverpool at Fulham and Tottenham at Crystal Palace. Notable mentions maybe for Leicester home to Brighton and even Arsenal home to Burnley – could this be the week Pierre-Emmerick Aubameyang finally starts his season, I’m not saying put him in but he has too much quality to continue this poor form for much longer. The plight of Arsenal this season shows how much they have relied on their talisman in recent seasons. I suppose the same could be mentioned for Alex Lacazette to an extent too.

Also, it’s worth mentioning to you guys, but not my work office rivals, that we have an early start this week as Leeds take on Aston Villa in the Friday night match. This means any changes to your squad must meet the earlier deadline, 18:30 friday tea time I think it is so there’s your heads up – don’t say I never tell you nowt.

PICKS: For the first time in months I’ve had to take a -4 points hit for transfers. One forced change was the earlier stated Ziyech injury meaning he needed replaced. The bottom line is, I needed to get Hyeung-Min Son back into the team. A good manager can admit when he’s made a mistake, my hands are held up. We learn and move on.

Now the problem we had here was, I didn’t have the funds to get the Premier League’s top scorer straight back in having used the budget on Fernandes. Bit of mixing the pack was required so out came Harvey Barnes and in came the cheaper Daniel Podence of Wolves. It’s worked out quite well to be honest. The reason being that Barnes has been left out of Leicester’s starting eleven a few times recently and we can’t be taking that sort risk – we need players who play week in, week out.

Podence, on the other hand, could potentially play more prominent role in Wolves’ campaign going forward with the unfortunate injury suffered to their main centre forward, Raul Jimenez. It’s a -4 I’m pretty happy to take when you break it down into logic.

So, with those 2 transfers I now have a midfield that contains De Bruyne, Fernandes and Son – STRONG is the only way to describe it.

In terms of captain’s pick this week we hope the curse does not return. Kane takes to arm band with Son accepting the vice role. And we save the best bit of team news for last – One TOON player returns to the lineup, Federico Fernandez comes back into the defence following Newcastle postponement last time out. My team felt bare without a beautiful black and white shirt in it. TOON TOON.

RELAX ON THE BALL LADS.

GAMEWEEK 12 starting XI

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 FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 3)

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.

Gameweek 3 team selection

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 36)

OVERVIEW: It’s great when a good plan comes together. 65 points and up to 4th place, Sterling (captain) bagging 42 of those and, as alluded to in my previous post, the importance of your double point captain pick cannot be underestimated. In fact, had it not been for that captain pick it would have been a very poor round which included a red card. It was a good time to gain ground as the average point score for the week was only 40 points.

Looking into gameweek 36, favourable fixtures for Manchester City and Chelsea could be the key.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS: Two transfers made this week, one of which is enforced. A red card for Söyüncü in Leicester’s surprise defeat at Bournemouth means he is suspended for this game round. A -3 for the red, coupled with the -4 I’m taking for the double transfer shows the impact a red card can have. That being said, I think that may be the first time this season that a player I’ve selected has been giving his marching orders, not bad considering there’s only 3 matches left. Söyüncü has been replaced by Azpilicueta. With Chelsea at home to already relegated Norwich, it’s a good clean sheet chance. That takes the team to the maximum 3 Chelsea players as Barkley and Willian retain their places.

The other change is Gabriel Jesus for Aubameyang. Arsenal v Liverpool pitted against City v Bournemouth there’s only one winner in terms of where the safe points could be. With Sergio Aguero injured, Jesus is basically City’s only recognised forward and has been getting an extended run in Pep’s side. The dilemma I’ve had was whether to keep Sterling as captain or not. Despite him hitting a hattrick in the last match, it would be just like Pep to rest him this time round. I have actually stuck with him so fingers crossed there.

The two TOON boys, Ferdandez and Saint-Maximin keep their places as Newcastle welcome Tottenham. What worth noting is, José Mourinho has never won a league game at St.James’ Park, the only stadium he hasn’t recorded a victory. Quite remarkable and hopefully that run continues this week.

FROM THE FIRST MINUTE, 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 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