Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Week 17 - Player Picks

Christmas is here!

As you can imagine, I'm unbelievably busy with it being 2 days to go. I still haven't finished my shopping, I have loads of work to finish before the seasonal break & I'm also undecided on what to do about my fantasy football team this week after Yahoo confirmed it as a triple week.

As well as all this, I suddenly remembered this morning that I write a blog so I needed to get my players picks post done's a stressful time of year!

Firstly lets break down all the fixtures:-

Arsenal (Villa, @Portsmouth, Bolton)
Fulham (Spurs, @Chelsea, @Stoke)
Stoke (@Man City, Birmingham, Fulham)
Bolton (@Burnley, Hull, @Arsenal)

Chelsea (@Birmingham, Fulham)
Man Utd (@Hull, Wigan)
Aston Villa (@Arsenal, Liverpool)
Spurs (@Fulham, West Ham)
Liverpool (Wolves, @Villa)
Birmingham (Chelsea, @Stoke)
Man City (Stoke, @Wolves)
Sunderland (Everton, @Blackburn)
Blackburn (@Wigan, Sunderland)
Burnley (Bolton, @Everton)
Wigan (Blackburn, @Man Utd)
Everton (@Sunderland, Burnley)
Hull (Man Utd, @Bolton)
Wolves (@Liverpool, Man City)
West Ham (Portsmouth, @Spurs)
Portsmouth (@West Ham, Arsenal)

You obviously have to take notice of the triple games, with Arsenal having the pick of the fixtures & Fulham the toughest with 2 away. Stoke's are pretty decent with 2 home & Bolton's are okay until Arsenal.

If you're wanting to focus on the double games then Man Utd & Man City have the best fixtures, followed by Spurs & Everton/Blackburn/Burnley/Sunderland all play each other in games that could go either way. Chelsea's fixtures are quite tough while Liverpool have Wolves at home in the 1st game.

My personal opinion when something like this happens is to get as many triple gamers in your side as you can while remaining sensible. For example, don't load up on Fulham. They don't have very nice fixtures & also play 2 games in 3 days so you have to feel that many of their players will be rested & probably only play 2 out of 3.

For Arsenal I reckon the only players guarenteed to play 3 games are Verm, Gallas, Sagna & Almunia, while Arshavin, Fabregas, Nasri, Eboue, Walcott, Song, Diaby, Denilson Ramsey, Eduardo, Silvestre & Traore will probably be rotated to ensure nobody plays more than 2 out of 3.

Stoke & Bolton have smaller squads so I think we could see some of their players playing all 3, but beware of players like Wilkinson on 4 yellows - he's bound to get booked & miss a game.

You also have to think about the weather - could games be postponed? Well yes, as we saw on Monday, they can. Luckily is appears the freezing cold snap is due to improve in the next couple of days but there is an element of risk involved when picking players from badly affected areas (Wigan, Burnley etc). Because of this I would wait until Boxing Day morning (if you can get to a computer) before finalising your decisions/changes.

Having a back-up plan incase of postponements is always a good idea so you can move quickly, so I've made sure I've given you a huge number of recommendations to pick from this week, to help you keep all your options open...

From the triples I'd say Almunia is the pick, although Sorenson is in the best form. Jussi is a risk & I don't think Schwarzer should be considered given price vs fixtures.

From the doubles Fulop represents good value while Given & Kusczak have great fixtures. If Mancini can sort out the City defence then Given is my pick (as United don't have a defence at the moment).

Cahill (only at discount)
These are all the triples I feel represent value this week. I feel all the others are either too expensive (unless you have big discounts), at risk of rotation (Silvestre/Traore) or 5 yellow cards (Wilkinson). I really like the Faye pick.


De Laet
Pretty much the usual crowd here in the doubles - I'd expect all these players to play both of their team's games & return decent points. Zabaletta could be a risk but he's very cheap & if Richards is moved in to central defence he's City's only right back.

These are the only triple gamers I'm really interested in when in comes to my midfield. I feel all the others are at risk of playing only twice so I think there are far better double gamers to choose from. I'm not saying all of the players above will definitely play 3 games, but I know they'll play 2 & give good points. Of course, watch out for Cesc's fitness.

J Cole

Again, many of the usual suspects. I reckon Gerrard is going to turn it on vs Wolves while Lampard is also a good pick now he's started scoring again. Valencia, Bily, O'Hara, Kranjcar & Reid are all reasonably consistent, represent good value & will play both games barring injury or suspension. You could also risk a cheaper player such as Aquilani or J Cole...even Hoilett or Henderson. 


I'm sure Eduardo will only get 2 games, but the other 3 should play all 3. Tuncay seems to have settled now so he's value at £5m, while Klasnic & Zamora are in great form. I'm avoiding Fuller or Beattie as I'm unsure of either of them will start 2, let alone 3.

Santa Cruz
Rooney has the pick of the fixtures but a yellow card in the first game would mean only 1 games - I'm not sure that's a risk I can take in a triple week when he's taking up £16m. The same goes for Drogba, who could be booked in the 1st or miss the 2nd game due to ACN, we don't seem to have any confirmation.

My top picks for each position are Almunia, Faye, Taylor, Santa Cruz, although I can't necessarily fit them all in!

Regarding Santa Cruz. I picked him for the Xmas period 2 years ago & he grabbed me a hattrick, which led to his Santa's hat celebration. I also picked him for the same period last year only for him to miss both games to return a big fat zero, but at just £4m he's not really a big risk.

So that completes my Week 17 player picks.

This may be my last post for a couple of days so I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas!!! The blog has been running for exactly 6 months now & I'd say it's been pretty successful so far, long may it continue in 2010!  Thank you all so much for reading, contributing & helping make this blog a joy to write. The community is superb & it makes it all worth it.

I'd like to say a special thank you to those of you who have sent in Christmas donations to go towards the end of season prizes or just as a gesture of appreciation (e.g. beer money - cheers bill :)) - it's not at all expected & I've been overwhelmed by it all. Thank you so much!

Good luck to all for Week 17 - what are your teams looking like? Are you going all triple games?



Anonymous said...

what do you think about Arshavin?

Anonymous said...

Milner or Taylor?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

zabaleta how?

Jon said...

Just to add a little more confusion regarding the Arsenal triple game situation. The first two are well spread, so i can see AW playing Arsh and EDS in both. The third game follows the FA cup 3rd round match at WHU. In previous years Wenger has not put a Premier strength side in the FA cup, and i can see him resting players like Cesc, Arsh and EDS specifically so they can play in the EPL.

Anonymous said...

On Drogba and ACN, in one of the Scottish papers Hibs are unhappy that their Ivory Coast player is being asked to join but they seem to suggest that Drogs and Kalou will be allowed to arrive late.


Anonymous said...


Assistant Manager said...

No, Nasri isn't suspended

init said...


Loving your work! Long list and a hard week.
Agree with you that any of the 'triple teams' are likely to rotate players.

Agree with Jon too however, the point must be made that the triples are actually playing 4 games, with the FA Cup in the first week of Jan...

I think Wenger will go with the kids for the cup game, I don't think he has the squad to be able to drop Arshavin for the league games since they are unexpectedly still in the title hunt...

Currently Given, Nelsen, Dunne, Verm; Eth, Bily, Arsh, ?? 10m, Drogs, Roon, Santa Claus
Need to drop Drogba. Can't click on it yet.,..

Anonymous said...

i have anelka at 13 something, and is worth almost 18 now. Do i drop him since he's missing 2 games this holiday week, especially since drogba will be missing games with the african nations cup during january?

imues-syaitan merah v3 said...

my current line up:
handerson,valencia,arshavin,entringhtan, fabregas

still waiting on fabregass news on his fitness..i pick saha since eve will face sunderland n burnley, n he's unlucky not score any goal last week..

Anonymous said...

Vermaelen Baird Wilkinson
Bilyaletdinov Arshavin AbouDiaby Duff
Drogba Defoe SantaCruz

I'm concerned about Wilkinson and Diaby as Wilkinson has 4 YCs and Diaby is bound to be rotated. Baird as well as he has tough fixtures, and will he be rotated?
I'm looking to bring in Etherington and Faye. Need to do some downgrading though

imues-syaitan merah v3 said...

deco is out for the matches again birgham n fulham.. joe cole is a great pick i guess:)

FanKuat said...


Anelka is Out for next 2 games...
Sturridge could be handed 1st team debut according Ancelotti.....

FanKuat said...

I regretted drop bassong = ="
Cameroon squad has dropped him...

Neale said...

Silvestre Collins Steinsson
Taylor Dempsey Etherington O'Hara (3 discount)
Eduardo Zamora Tuncay


init said...

Silvestre/Eduardo not sure about playing 3 games. 2 at most and with that in mind you can look at all the 2 gamers who could be better value. Ohara has tough games.

Ancelotti seems to have said that Sturridge will play alongside Drogba rather than just might play. And then with Drogba likely to miss the next game (either suspended or ACN) and Anelka out, I would say Sturridge is nailed on for 2 starts... Doesn't mean points though!!

Anonymous said...

M. Fülöp
G. Alexander/T. Vermaelen/S. Bassong
D. Bilyaletdinov/M. Taylor/M. Etherington/C. Dempsey
D. Drogba/R. Santa Cruz/B. Zamora

I was very worried about the goalkeeper position. Any suggestion?

FanKuat said...


thoughts guys?

Anonymous said...

Cheers Am - have a merry xmas

Same to all the usual who post and read this excellent blog


Fidan said...

Guys, here is my little problem. I have 8.54$ left to spend on the last defenders spot. Any suggestion. The rest of the team is:


Any suggestion

CH said...

Merry Christmas AM...
Enjoy the festive season....=)

Anonymous said...

Faye seems to be injurd according to the Physio chart...

Anonymous said...

I think Baird is a good option for your team...

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas AM... Happy Holidays..

Fidan said...

I'm considering him but...he has two away games @Chelsea and @Stoke and hosts Tot'ham. I really think there is NO cs in there...!!!

Thnx anyway...I'm still thinking of doing some changes...esp for the fact that EdS is NOT a sure starter, and I can't afford of not having any Arse attacking force in my team...!!!

Good Luck

Anonymous said...

@ Fidan - What do you think of Baird?

My current team is...
Santa Cruz/Eduardo/Tuncay

I want Gallas in my team but that would mean downgrading Gomes to Given and Alexander to Gallas. Awww, I just confirmed team changed and got rid of Gomes and Alexander...bye bye Gomes, bye bye Alexander. Anyways, Given can't be that bad with an italian working their defence.

Good luck to all and happy holidays!
(Honduran-Saul) said...

I wouldn't forget Danny Murphy. He should play 3 games and he takes PKs.

Is Shawcross ruled out? If not, I'm going to look at him.

I think you're right that Arshavin might not start all three games but he'll definitely come on as a sub. So in a sense he'll have 2.5 games, which isn't bad. I have him at 13 so he's not going anywhere.

Fidan said...

@Saul - I was just contemplating some changes and rearranges in my team when I came to see your comment. You want to hear something funny... I had 8.54 spare money for last Df spot and I have Almunia @7.8. Sooo, I swap Almunia for Given and buy back Gallas @10.13. Now, I still didn't save the changes but I think that I like this team. I have Almunia's CS in Gallas and as you said it PERFECTLY...Given@6m+anItalianManager=a REALLY bargain price (imo, of course)...!!!

Good Luck my friend of crazy times...!!!

Stato said...

Great blog AM and comments from your readers.
Have only been reading since November but together with Jeremy/Neal (who I always follow) you've given us all help with the decisions we make.
So, Merry Xmas, Happy New Year and loads of points.
Wigan and Burnley paths and car parks still bad. Councils very poor at gritting etc so wait for news of inspections.
I've decided (I think) to move my defence and midfield around and include many Arsenal and Stoke players with a little bit of help from Fulham and possibly Taylor if Bolton match certain to go ahead.
Not sure what to do in goal and who to play up front.

Anonymous said...

Well Fidan, it would turn out to be a great start to the holidays if Given comes out to be the Given of years past.
Funny our thoughts clashed regarding switching keepers and upgrading to Gallas, I'm rooting for them. By the way, are you still in the Blog Cup? I, myself, didn't know was participating in it and to my surprise I saw my team name (Lion's Gate) in the top 60, I guess I'm advancing to the next round. By the way my overall rank is 10,xxx so I wouldn't recommend you take too much advice from me...I have though, climbed over 5,000 places in the past 3 fixtures and am hoping to continue my run. Not bad for 2 years of playing the game, I guess. Anyway, happy holidays my friends and may Santa bring you lots and lots of goals for Christmas!!!

Anonymous said...

plz dont forget to update us with the weather conditions as well to avoid postponed matches

Mike B said...

I would just like to wish AM and everyone here, and in the chat room an excellent Christmas/Holiday period.

Eat too much...

Drink too much...

And watch too much footy!

I intend to maximise my efforts in all three of those categories this year :)

Now on to this forthcoming week, it's gonna be huge fantasy football-wise. This could really turn my season around. But with so many options in practically every area of the field, the more i think, the more confused i become.

I'm sat here right now, changing between 3 different teams, and i'm thinking about which of the players names i like the best!

It's really got to that stage :P

I've yet to come to a final decision, but i'm liking this alot at the moment.

Verm, Alexander, Hreidarsson
Arsh, Bily, Lampard, Fabregas, Lee
Diamanti, Santa

My worry with this team is a potentially unfit Fabs, and no Stoke or Fulham players.

I may well change lamps/Fabs to Mtay, and Lee to Etherington leaving me a midfield of..... ah what the hell, i have no clue yet, i'm probably gonna wait as long as i can before deciding. I really want Fabregas, so i'll wait for clues on his fitness on Saturday.

One thing is for sure though, i'm getting in a good mix of double and triple gamers. I love the triple game midfield options we have, so i'm going OTT and getting in as many premium middies as i can get my grubby hands on.

I hope Santa brings us a hat-trick, i know i've been good this year, so i hope the rest of you have been too.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Kellz said...

Merry Christmas to AM and everyone!

I am KEEPING DROGBA, and for that matter Rooney as well. The Utd matchups are just too juicy and the Yellow Card rule restarts on the first. Two risks I am willing to take, just means I need to pick a midfielder that can consistently score 10 pts above his price to cover Drogba.


Verm, Wilk, Salgado
Arshavin, MTAY, Ethrington, Greening
Rooney, Drogba, EdS

At this point I am really more concerned with Liverpool rasing their current rank than excelling at Fantasy so I hope I can get a good Christmas of maximum points!

Anonymous said...

Arshavin comes from Russia, this sort of weather is 'great' for him. Moreover arsenal really don't have a lot to rotate. As for Cesc... arsenal's physio room's prediction are always off( i.e. stated too early), looking at RVP, was to come back and play for 1,2 months, now he's out for the whole season. I will not bet on Cesc( may get injuried again as he comes back too fast).

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking of dropping Drogba (@10) and Denilson for Klasnic and Zamora. I know it makes sense but every fibre of my being tells me I'm downgrading. I need some moral support (or advice) lads please!

Anonymous said...

Arggh this triple week is killing me. Feel really awkward with my lineup.

Ivanovic Verms(wanted sagna) Faye
O'hara Matt taylor lampard lee diaby
bellamy???? tuncay

Anonymous said...

@Kellz - you got some cojones(balls) for sticking with Salgado who may not play, and Drogba who will most likely play 1 game only...but It just might work. Any given day Drogba can score you 35 points, which is more than most triple gamers so good luck, and Salgado might turn out to a bargain, if he plays that is. Good luck brotha

Anonymous said...

Read on ESPN that Drogba is leaving for ACN on Sunday and will miss the Fulham game.

"The Italian coach will be without Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou against Fulham on Monday as they are heading off to link up with the Ivory Coast on Sunday."


Anonymous said...

Did J.O'Hara a yellow card in the first game could ban from 2nd game?Pls verify.


Bradley said...

@Ajani: Yes. O'Hara has 4 YCs, and the 5 YC amnesty isn't until 31 Dec (up from 1 Feb in previous seasons). Getting the 5th YC results in an immediate 1-match domestic ban.

For a list of those at risk, see the "Suspension Tightrope" column on the lower right of this page:

That list is long and yet another complication in a week with too many already.

Note that once the amnesty occurs on New Year's getting the 5th YC no longer results in a suspension (just a note in your permanent record :)). The next threshold is getting 10 YCs before the 2nd Sunday in April (the 11th) results in a 2-match suspension.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info is wise now to drop Drogba and get a striker for triple gamers!!

Kellz said...

Salgado is simply an enabler for MTAY, so I expect nothing out of him.


iMunafix said...

bye-bye Drogba (10.68) *sigh

anyone know who is the regular freekick/penalty taker for stoke?

Anonymous said...

D. Murphy or C. Dempsey?
which one is better?

DJ PIGG said...

Merry Christmas, AM!

Over the weekend (and with the Yahoo discount scheme in full effect) I managed to get 10 Arsenal players in my team!

Thanks to your blog, I've trimmed that down to Gallas, Vermaelen, Arshavin, Fabregas, Diaby, Nasri and Eduardo and I've added Faye, Etherington, Tuncay and Fulop because of your suggestions.

I'm still going to hold out until the last possible minute to properly decide on Cesc... but even if he does miss the Villa game, I'm still tempted to keep him for the next two. Time will tell...

Have a good Festive Season everybody and good luck with your team(s)!

Ash said...

Just thought I would drop a line to discuss a thought I have had. What does anybody reckon to going with a cheap filler who is playing 3 games?

I have looked at Whitehead of Stoke for 3.95, or Muamba of Bolton 3.58, to enable me to purchase other more expensive players.

You would have to hope over 3 games that they would more than return their value, however, I am not 100% if these players are definite starters in one game, never mind all 3! Has anybody got any good insight into this situation, and if you would go with one or even both for the upcoming games?

Your feedback would be greatly appreciated! Merry Crimbo everyone!


shadowgex said...

my current team is:

alexander / bassong / X
arsh / kran / mtay / X
rooney / RSC / eduardo

so i'm torn between given (5.96) / sylvinho (5.46) / etherington (8.40)

or duke (1.44) / zabaleta (4.82) / reid (13.55)

I can't decide what's the better combo... etherington has the triple week but not the best matchups (@city, fulham, birm), and given has decent matchups.

On the other hand, duke is a guaranteed 0 (no negative points!), zabaleta will do just about the same as sylvinho, and andy reid has some pretty good matchups despite only a double week.

i'm beginning to lean toward the given combo but i'm just not sure.

Sulldaddy said...

I think the best players to have this "week" are probably Mtay and Etherington. Triple gamers and solid points per game every week. Should meet their value easily. Stoke and Bolton both have solid matchups further enablig the scoring to rack up on your roster. My team:

Fulop (Great Value)

Verm, Alexander, Bassong

Mtay, Ohara,Etherington, Duff

Rooney, Drogs, Benitez

Ive got +3 discounts on ohara and benitez and alexander. Verm is newly bought but the triple is too enticing to not splurge a little. May drop Drogs before Saturday if he in fact will miss the 2nd game. that +8 discount will hurt but somewhere a player around 11 will be of value.

Big crazy week for sure!!

Anonymous said...

I need to make a choice. Baird or Faye? I have Baird at 7.8, while Faye is at 7.73 full price. Baird plays in midfield, but Faye have easier fixtures and higher chance of CS. And most importantly, is either of one likely to be dropped for any of the 3 matches?

And is Steinsson a good pick? I have him as my other defender along with Vermaelen, but I just heard that the Burnley vs Bolton game might be postponed. If he only has 2 games, then I would rather go for someone like Bassong

Anonymous said...

Concerning triple gamers with 4 yellows, specifically Wilkinson, if a player gets a yellow in the second match they can sit out the FA Cup match as their suspension and play the third match.

Kellz said...

@anonymous: I believe it is Ehtrington for Stoke who takes primary free kick duties

Kellz said...

@anonymous: Baird has been playing midfield yes, but for full price Faye is the beter option. Fulham have the toughest of the triple matches, even in a heated derby match, I can't see them keeping more than 1 CS. With Baird you get middie pts too, but without the CS that usually amounts to 2.5-4pts.

re: Steinssen is a good pick if you want a triple gamer without 4YC (wilk), he does get forward and has a better posibility for a CS than Fulham defenders.

Anonymous said...

My line-up before going for a long holiday:
Verma Alexander Faye Heitinga
Arshavin Bily M.Taylor
S.Cruz Zamora Klasnic

Merry X'Mas & Happy New Year!


Kellz said...

@Shadowgex: why does it have to be between those two line ups? Personally I don't like Kranj for this double. If you move him out you could afford to bring in Given and Eth, and still have enough for a good value middie paired with Sylvinho or Steinssen. But if you have to go with anything, I like the Given, Sylvinho, Eth pick because it balances your team instead of relying all on Reid as option 2.

Hope it helps :D

shadowgex said...

thanks for the advice kellz - i have kranj at 11.61 (not sure how as I definitely bought him at 13.XX but then his price magically dropped).

the reason i've kept him is I think tottenham players are a good pick this week as theyve been in good form since destroying man city, and i just don't quite have enough for lennon, who would have been my first choice.

without kranj i've got 11.93M, but the problem is i just don't see any players who i'd rather pick. Lee? Mpet? Bily?

this is definitely one of the toughest weeks yet.

Anonymous said...

Thanks kellz! So I guess I would go for Faye and Steinsson


Anonymous said...

Happy Christmas AM and everyone else out there - hope you all score 300 points on the triple game week!!

Paphos Toffee

greginho said...

shadowgex what about clint dempsey

Anonymous said...

Will only play the 1st match:
(see the guardian/football page on their site)
So to drop or not to drop - that is the question!
Merry Xmas to you all, and many thanks to AM for your great blog; may all your dreams come true in 2010, and all your players be wildly good!

chris m said...

as a gangsta rapper would say, ho, ho, ho you ho's. merry xmas.


just pulled the trigger on selling drogba who I had since day one. Sod the bloody ACN. (I'm trying to be angry like a brit-none of that is swearing in american speak). All reports have him leaving on Sunday so its one game only.

Just got rid of Torres too. All this talk of groin surgery, playing on icey fields where cutting hard is a problem, and that's what pulls groins, did not give me much comfort keeping him. He will soon be done for the year.

So I have just gutted my whole team. Going into the triple week with:

Verm Seabass Heitenga
Duff Nasri Arsahvin O'Hara
Rooney HotRod Tuncay.

Yes boys and girls Tuncay. Stoke has 3 games. And while not scoring much against Villa last time out he was all over the field, playing with passion, he actually looked good. And this is from the person who most ridiculed the whole Tuncay 1 pt fiasco at the start of the year. And Arshavin, again from his most strident critic early on who called him a fat out of shape cossack here.

I am worried about O'Hara and Rooney with 4 yellows getting through the first game. Still might switch O'Hara out. My discount on Rooney is too deep.

By the end of week I think I will have completed the biggest drop in the table in the history of YFF, going from #1 overall after to week one to somewhere far below 10,000. Told you it was all luck at the start.

cheers mates

chris m
velvet underground allstars

Anonymous said...

Number of players at the African Cup of Nations
Six: Portsmouth - Kevin-Prince Boateng, Nadir Belhadj, Hassan Yebda, John Utaka, Nwankwo Kanu, Aruna Dindane
Four: Chelsea - Michael Essien, Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, John Mikel Obi
Three: Man City - Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor, Kelvin Etuhu; Hull City - Kamel Ghilas, Daniel Cousin, Seyi Olofinjana
Two: Arsenal - Alex Song, Emmanuel Eboue; Tottenham - Sebastien Bassong, Benoit Assou-Ekotto; Everton - Joseph Yobo, Ayegbeni Yakubu; Fulham - John Pantsil, Dickson Etuhu
One: Aston Villa - Moustapha Salifou; Sunderland - John Mensah; Stoke - Mamady Sidibe; Bolton - Danny Shittu; Burnley - Andre Bikey; Wigan - Richard Kingson; Wolves - George Elokobi
None: Man Utd, Liverpool, West Ham, Birmingham, Blackburn


Anonymous said...

Kamel Ghilas, Bassong, and Kevin Prince-Boateng will NOT be going to ACON.


Anonymous said...

bassong not going to the anc


Bojan said...

Hardest week ever...

I will decide on my team on Saturday morning with all informations that i could find...

My team for now is:


roger johnoson(at full price 9,47)



no one is safe to stay, but i will go for players without 4 YC and with sure start in first game... I think that few offensive players will play over 200 minutes this week...

Burnley and Wigan games could be postponed due the weather so be patient...

I think that Arsenal-Villa game is the graetest game this season... It would be a game of two teams with so different type of play and with so much to win or lose... Arsenal must change style for this game and go patienet and very hard in defence... On AW place is would go with Gallas on LB to defend Ashley Young and with Senderos on Carew and Vermalen on Gabby, with Sagna the 4th defender... Then Song,Denilson Cesc or Diaby,Arsh,Walcott and EDS... But espect Silvestre or Traore and Nasri... Arsenal must win this game and buy world class forward(Trezeguet + 16 year old Romelu Lukake,13th May 1993,192 height, 88kg from Anderlecht,Belgium) to be able to become champions...

On the start of the season i thought that Chelsea will win title with ease and that Arsenal will be second... And that Man Utd,Liverpool,Aston Villa,City and Tottenham will have a fight for CL spots... Liverpool is out and Chelsea has 5 points less then they need to have(with 3 PK in last 4 games) nad Man Utd has 5 points more then they deserve(but have injuries to blame for that)... Man Utd have to buy 3 players in January, central defender(why did they sell Pique), creative midfielder and world class striker(Villa).

Last year with Scolari Chelsea start 10 2 1 in first 13 games without Drogba and Essien so this year isn't much differnt with last results 1:2 against City,3:3 with Everon and draw with WHU, all without Essien...

Villa won last time they played on Emirates 2:0, with Gabby scoring both goals it think... This year they won against Chelsea at home, and Man Utd and Liverpool away so they can win big games...

Anonymous said...

^to the one above- ' Tottenham - Sebastien Bassong, Benoit Assou-Ekotto'

SeaBass is NOT selected for ANC!!!

p.s. which, btw, tells you how CRAP he is( so much that even cameroon don't trust him to do the job, hohoho) Ole to Rigobert Song!

Bojan said...

After 13 games(10 2 1) Chelsea won just 2 of next 9 gemes with 4 draws and 3 loss... Then Scolari get sacked and Hiddnick came on won in his fist game at Villa Park 0:2...

Anonymous said...

hey AM
who will be a better choice ramsey or hoilet

Dave said...

@ Bojan - Belhadj is headed to the ACN, so will only play the first game it seems.

Also read that Cameroon is not calling up their team until Jan 5, so SOng (ARsenal) should play at least 2 games. Looking for the link...

richy 'liverpool' said...

damn it, i went to a lot of effort to keep anelka at 13.88 for the no-drogba period and he is injured for 2 games!! no!!! in comes zamora for the triple gamer, argh i was seriously considering keeping anelka for the rest of the season at that price :(

Anonymous said...

the deal has been done..drogs is no more. has there ever been a poignant "click" in fantasy history .... releasing the top performer ...aaaaggghh. feel sorry for people like richy (above) who had anelka up their sleeve then he gets inj'd too. my g/f also has him at the cheaper price. rooney is the only non- 3 -gamer i've got. S.P.

richy 'liverpool' said...

thanks, it was my cunning plan, have anelka in a few weeks before drogba left (did very well!!) then dump drogba for anelka.. and typically it all went wrong, now i have zamora instead of drogba. hmmmm.... was that special click (and it was special) that sold drogba a disaster waiting to happen??

Afif said...

Any news on Drogba..should I drop him? or should I hold on to him?

Fidan said...

MY God!!! Just when I think I actually have a team, things like this pops up...What, Drogba leaves on Sunday!!! Aaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!! I OFFICALLY HATE ACN!!!

Now, I have to switch things around and I'll hugely appreciate some help:


Go on, laugh about that Tunch pick. But, he is actually playing quite well (but not so much fantasywise).

Anyway, here are the changes I'm considering:
Given-> Almunia(I have him @7.88)
Gallas -> Either Wilkinson or Sylvinho (which one do you think is better?)
Tuncay -> Etherington

Yes, moving from 3-4-3 to 3-5-2!!!

ANY suggestion would REALLY help...!!!

Good Luck to all for 2010. Let's hope this week makes it a GOOD START for the new year!!!

Kellz said...

@Fidan: Great world history lesson today :D

Your team looks really balanced, but hold the faith in Almunia! Reid has okay matchups but maybe try and get in on an attacking middie from Arsenal? Nasri, Walcott, and if Reid is for 13mil, maybe Denilson for the same price? Good backline, I wouldn't be surprised to see Gallas with a goal and possibly 2 CS.

Good luck my friend! Have a great New Year!

Anonymous said...

i never felt having drogba long term was wise. sold him after man U's game and never look back. you can always get him when you have a hunch he will score truckload full. And more importantly, when he is back to epl. lol. his price will drop, as game by game , team owners will feel the pressure to ditch him if their own group leaders are running away. HoHoHo.

Anonymous said...

I went crazy and just did what I do best, pick risky teams. It is the holidays and I should be spending my time a little more wisely.

Ivanovic Faye Terry
Lee O'hara Diaby Lampard MTAY
Tuncay Robinho

5 Triple gamers

The Chelsea Birmingham Game should be low-scoring, and afterwards with drogsy gone they won't be playing that masterfully, annoying diamond formation that should lead to more control of the midfield , who else is excited deco is out? Good Luck and happy holidays

Kellz said...

@Anonymous: Actually players who aren't playing only fluctuate in price (0.15-0.70mil) based on other players performances. So Drogba's price will not go down continually from week to week in any significant way. If you drop him at 18mil you'll have to pick him up at 17-18 mil.

chris m said...

Why all the love for Santa Cruz????? Other than he is cheap and scored a brace last time out. Seriously,

With Bellamy, Tevez and Robinho and K2 with a game to play before the ACN, why the certainty that RSC starts both games. In my drastically revised lineup I now have HRod but can afford any of the above except K2 who I wouldn't touch anyhow. Bellamy has been playing with such fire I would love to pick him, but with City this week, I just am not sure at all who plays twice. Any clues?????

Kellz said...

@Chris M: I am with you. Robinho and K2 will be an important part of Mancini's plans and even with a RSC brace, could see a forward line of K2 paired with Robinho (hes prefered position). Where this puts Tevez I don't know, support or wing? Mancini will play a formation like Ancelotti? Its all up in the air, but one thing is clear, RSC for 8mil is not a good pick.

Bradley said...

On RSC, two things: a) I'd have no interest in him at 8.18, but at 4.48 I was willing to take a flier. b) I have no certainty RSC will necessarily start both matches. K2 has one start left at most (possibly none depending on his "slight ankle problem") and then will be out for January. Dropping a premium player usually frees up cash, but in Drogba's case, replacing him will likely require extra beyond the 10.76 made available. Having a striker at 4.48 is one way to make up the difference. It's a gamble, but what the heck. Fortune favors the brave. As for what Mancini has in mind, at this point picking any ManCity player is an act of faith.

Anonymous said...

On the RSC topic, I believe Adebayor will be out for this weeks game making RSC the only poacher in the game...although I do agree that he's not worth the full price, but I have him at discount. Robinho would play in the left making Tevez move slightly behind the striker. I'd say Tevez and Bellamy play depending on SWP's slight knock, but I'd lean more towards Tevez...Mancini tends to prefer Brazilian's and Argentina players over Europeans. Gareth Barry might be a good pick though, surely he'll play for sure?

Anonymous said...

Don't Tottenham play? I can't see them in the fixtures you posted... :S

Kellz said...

@Anonymous: AM has listed Tottenham as "Spurs"

Anonymous said...

my bad. saw them now :P

Ferdinand said...

this is quite a surprise, christmas around and i was expectin this blog to turn dead for a while, but look at it, it's blossoming!

lovin the work AM, thank you!

so far sitting on:


verm, alexander, faye

billy, nasri, etherington, taylor, eagles

eduardo, taylor

This is pretty much it. i'm afraid i won't have time to come back here til after christmas. been travelling and didn't even know the bolton game was cancelled... why?

anyway. A very merry christmas to evryone, especially you AM. you've helped me become second in my private group, but evryone else as well. chhers for your great comments. please help me out if you ot any ideas.

as you can tell im tired, my spelling is horrible!

Merry Christmas!


Fidan said...

Which one do you think is better: Walcott, Sturridge or Tuncay


Anonymous said...

Drogba --> Klasnic just feels wrong.... definitely banking on someone buying a decent striker from abroad in january... still havent finalised.

on another note, I have defoe for cheap but is anyone else seeing him getting rested for spurs 2nd game? theyre v.v.close together. Think ill take the gamble myself.


Anonymous said...

RSC at full price is probably not worth it, but at 4.48 I could risk him getting 0. Ade might be injured and will then leave for ACN, so RSC will get more time, at least until Ade comes back.

Joshtottenham: I hold Defoe at 12.9 too. I really think I would drop Drogba now and Defoe at that price might be a replacement. I dont see him being rested, Crouch and Keane might rotate but probably not Defoe

Justin said...

Hi AM, thanks for everything. Can we start a list of good fillers in the midfield?

W.Brown 4.30 Jong 5.03
A.Song 5.00
Scholes 4.92
Rodwell 4.72
R.Delap 4.61

I have Brown at 3.36 but can afford the above replacements. Song and Delap have 3 games possibly.

J. Dunn said...

Well, after all of my arguing that it was a sound move to keep Drogba, I just dumped him. Bad performances 2 of the past 3 weeks plus him being a 1-gamer in a week with 3-game teams made that decision a lot easier. Lineup as of now:

Verm | Alexander | Gallas
O'Hara | Arshavin | Etherington | Dempsey
Rooney | Eduardo | Klasnic

The other variation I've been messing around with is Fabs/Tuncay instead of Dempsey/Klasnic. If I was sure of Fab's fitness to play all 3, I'd do that in a second, but I'm really not. Guess I'll check the news late tomorrow night before bed and see if there's anything new on Fab's hamstring. I could also consider MTay/Tuncay, but I'm not very high on MTay lately and he's still awfully expensive.

Anonymous said...

Which combo is better - Faye/Baird/Klasnic or Gallas/Huth/Eduardo?

Kellz said...

@Anonymous: I think the Klasnic pick the best, I have EdS but I don't know how he will perform given Villa first game and probably rested 1 of the other 2, Klasnic should get all 3 (weather permitting)

Ian Sanderson said...

Christmas Morning.
Just logged on to wish AM and everyone HAPPY CHRISTMAS.

PS Bye Bye Drogs

Ash said...

Just seen on the Faye is injured with a back injury, and no return date. Thought those people who are interested by him like AM might like to know that :)

What does anybody think about Huth instead?

All the best for crimbo!

STM said...

AM is referring to Abdoulaye Faye, the club captain who plays in defence.,,10310~33966,00.html

NOT Amdy Faye who is the injured and playing in midfield.,,10310~24383,00.html

chris m said...

christmas morning up very early have to cook and 18lb monster of a roast beef so HAPPY HOLIDAY All.

@Fidan-funny I was having the same problem with the same players, exactly. Sturridge Walcott and Tuncay. Drogs will play one game so Sturridge will probably sit one game. Walcott has done nothing since he returned. Tuncay looked active as hell against Villa last time out, and is a potential 3 gamer so I went with him. Craziest choice I've made all year.

chris m

Anonymous said...

Bassong / Zabaleta / Heitinga
Arshavin / Bily / Taylor / Grella / de Jong
Defoe / Santa Cruz

I have none of the players on discount, except for Bassong. I'm using Grella and de Jong as fillers, but if anyone can suggest a better set of 2 players for 8.13 units total please tell :D

Anonymous said...

Bolton vs Burnley match, is it postponed due to weather?If yes, I might need to change M.Taylor & Klansic.Pls confirm.


Fidan said...

@ Anon - Try Tuncay in FW and someone for the money left (prob Moko or Mullins or even Grella, I'm not sure)

Anonymous said...

@ Ajani,,10413~1911678,00.html

Im reading this as the game is very likely to happen. Forecast for burnley over next three days is freezing temp but no snow, so they should be able to cope with it.

Anonymous said...

I've sold Drogba! Finally. I knew I would do it, but it was too emotionally hard to drop him until a couple of hours ago. With the way Chelsea are performing right now, and away to Brum, and with only one match... I'll probably pick him up when he's back. I actually dropped all of the strikers I'd had last week, with Tevez and Defoe clearing the way. I must say I'm not as excited about ManC as a lot of others here, because I can't tell who exactly Mancini will pick, and how certain players will respond to his management on the pitch (Given and Bellamy are very important for ManC right now), so I just couldn't pick anyone from them. Defoe can be good for a certain match (see his 18p against Everton WITH a PK miss), but isn't consistent enough for 2 games (see his 18p on the latest DG week). And Spurs have difficult match-ups as well.
For the first time this season, I'm leaving the 3-4-3 formation for a 3-5-2. It's a huge bet, but with many strikers irrelevant and many unstable, I just think a midfielder can bring much more points. And I REALLY like my midfield.

Vermaelen Bassong Heitinga
O'Hara Nasri Arshavin Bily Dempsey
Rooney Klasnic

Well, of course the biggest bet is Robinson. He's playing an away game against unexpected Wigan plus a home game against Sunderland who score 3 against ManC. And Blackburn lost 2 in a row, while Robinson got negative points in these games after a long time he haven't, even when he conceded 4 or 6. But I needed the money, and I really believe he can get a lot from these match-ups. It's surely much safer than Kirkland, and in my opinion even safer than Given of Fulop.
I'm really happy to hear Bassong isn't going to Africa, as I have him at 5.5. Heitinga is also cheap, and might play in midfield again.
I don't usually get players who play against Arsenal, but I just couldn't give up O'Hara at 5.75mil and Klasnic with a hot streak and with 3 games. I hope they'll get a lot of points without doing to much danger for Arsenal on the real world. Arshavin is obvious playing 3 games up front, Bily might be rotated but I have him on discount and he'll enter quickly enough if he doesn't start. Nasri isn't that great right now, but the other option was Etherington and I believe they'll end up with about the same amount of points this week.
Rooney isn't popular with 4 YCs and a poor performance against Fulham, but I can't take the risk of not having him against Wigan and Hull, really. Dempsey was my pick with 3 games instead of Drogba. The other options in my mind which I rejected were Saha (can't really count on him scoring well in 2 back-to-back games, and I don't really want 3 Everton players in my teams), Crouch (inconsistent, only 2 games) and Zamora (his on great form lately, but you must say he's about to lose it; I hate him as a striker, while Dempsey is practically playing as a striker himself, right?). Klasnic also worries me, but I remeber him from his great years at Bremen, and I can't let go.

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Here's my current team - what do you think? I've finally sold Drogba...

Bily--Arshavin--Cohen--M. Brown--M. Taylor
Eduardo--Santa Cruz

Leftover $ = 0.05

Thanks! Love the blog!

Anonymous said...

Final Team I think:

Sylvinio, Verm, Bass
Arshavin, Etherington, Nasri, Bily
Klasnic, Tuncay, Rooney


Afrikan said...

Finally I had the guts to drop Drogba and hope I wouldn't regret if he produces one of those 25+pts.

Please advice on my squad below:


i jus feel like i need to add a Arsenal mid or striker.

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