Sunday, 1 August 2010

Week 1 - Fixtures

Those of you who were readers of the blog last season will know I usually begin my analysis of the forthcoming fantasy week by listing the Premier League fixtures (often within my Player Picks post). Unfortunately a new ruling means that if I want to list the fixtures on this blog I have to pay a licence fee to the Premier League (I'm sure they really need the money) which would add up to hundreds of pounds per season. I can't afford to do this, so I thought I'd give this brief explanation - they won't be appearing on the blog this year as I don't want to be sued for breach of Copyright.

However, I can link to them, so click here to view Week 1's fixtures. They also appear in the bottom right of the Yahoo Fantasy Football webpages, which is useful as you can refer to them as you select your players. As you will see, unlike the first week of last season, it's a single week for all teams.

So you know how this works - before looking at any of the players I look at the stand-out fixtures for the week. It's difficult to know what's going to happen on the first weekend as we don't have any form to refer to, but I reckon we have a couple of good bets to get our season started....Chelsea at home to West Brom is the pick of the bunch, followed by Manchester United at home to Newcastle. The top two clubs in the league against two of the newly promoted clubs, at home, looking to put on a show for their fans - I'd be looking to get as many Chelsea & Man U players in your team as you can afford.

We then have Wigan at home to the final promoted side, Blackpool. Wigan are wonderfully inconsistent, but I think it's been generally agreed by all observers that Blackpool are set to "do a Derby" in their first Premier League season, with few plans to strengthen a weak squad, instead choosing to keep the extra revenue generated to secure the club's financial future. Wigan should win this one comfortably. I also fancy Aston Villa to beat West Ham at home, so may be looking to get a couple of Villa players in.

Tottenham v Man City and Liverpool v Arsenal are two fixtures that are extremely tough to call. Spurs are excellent at home but Man City have bought big this summer, so I could see a score draw in the opening game. I wouldn't be surprised to see a similar result at Anfield with Liverpool lifted by Roy's arrival, although I think we'll see goals in both matches so perhaps some attacking players may be of interest.

I slightly favour Everton, who travel to Ewood Park to face Blackburn, but Sam Allardyce's teams have a habit of making it difficult for better teams at home, so it's another game that could easily end in a draw, probably low scoring. Bolton host a Fulham side who lost their manager this summer and may be feeling slightly unsettled, so I make the home side slight favourites. Owen Coyle has bought well this summer and is definitely looking to change their playing style, which can only be positive for the fans and the league.

We can't be sure if Birmingham's success last season was a one-off, so it's difficult to predict the outcome of their opening fixture away at Sunderland, but it's another I could see ending in a draw. Add Wolves vs Stoke to that list, although again I think there will be some attacking players who could be of interest.

So those are my opinions on the Week 1 Fixtures, and I'll be able to work with this to assemble my Week 1 Player Picks post towards the end of next week. You can probably tell already that it's likely to be dominated by Chelsea & Man United, with some Wigan, Villa, Everton & Bolton players thrown in, and I won't ignore some of the great value new signings from other teams (already analysed by The Fantasist over on the Official Blog). I'm sure we'll see additional new signings before August 14th, with these players likely to cost no more than 6.00 - although there's always a chance Yahoo will fail to add them to the game before the first deadline.

That's it for now, but I'd like your opinions on the fixtures for Week 1, and any players you're considering bringing in. Which of the new signings have caught your eye? Are you taking any gambles? If it's confirmed Didier Drogba will be fit for the West Brom game, will you be breaking the bank to get him in to your XI? Remember he started last season with two goals and 30+ points...


p.s. I've been overwhelmed by the response to the Blog Leagues, with 500 teams joining in just over 3 days and the 6th filling up fast - thanks for your fantastic support. Once League 6 is full I'm going to wait until next week before opening Leagues 7 and 8 (the final two), just in case we have some regulars who haven't had the chance to check the blog  (holidays etc) and get in to a league.


Birty said...

The fixture thing sucks but its just typical of the money grabbing bar-stewards that are ruining our game.

Maybe you should revert to the Sensible Soccer naming convention - Manchester Reds, Highbury etc.

Naning said...

Chelsea is a nobrainer. They will win, and they will do it with ease. Man U should win and should do it with ease, but Newcastle might not be the easiest nut to crack. Still, I agree that those two are the stand out fixtures.

I also agree with you on Wigan having the third best fixture. Which is why I am currently holding two of their players in my team.

Tottenham, Liverpool, Villa, Everton, Birmingham and Stoke are slight favourites in my opinion, but I would be far from surprised if any of those games went the other way. The closest game is probably Sunderland - Birmingham, and I won't even be looking at any players from those two teams, Roger Johnson excluded as he will rack up points as usual.

cfcboss said...

drog is a must-have, expect big things from him.

new players for week 1, i think i'll go with kolorov, can get some shots on target, maybe crosses, i think best value city defender.
i want chamakh, but against liverpool in anfield, kind of risky need to adjust PL, but will go or barndoor i think.

sadly fantasy-wise, but a relief as a fan, cech should be playing against west brom, so hilario pick is out.

question for spurs fan, does bale play as a left midfielder this season again? last year he was phenomal in there and in fantasy terms gold.

Anonymous said...



donut said...

Mate, is there anything to stop a member of the public (ie me!) posting the fixtures in here after your week one post? Surely they can't stop me doing that, or is there some rule about you having to take down such a post?

Crazylegs said...

How do the Premier league have copyright on the written word, that just astounds me!
Absolute joke in my opinion.

Chelsea fixture I like very much, but Man u have failed to impress me pre season, I will only be taking either Rooney or Evans if Rio is still out.

All the best

Anonymous said...

Copyright is a property right which subsists in virtually every kind of work (written, printed, electronic), as well as in the typographical arrangement of published editions, and in sound recordings, films, broadcasts or cable programmes

Skippy11 said...

Crazy.. Looks like it is a UK thing, I think it would be hard to uphold such a thing in the US..


Skippy11 said...

Forgot to add the link..


greginho said...

petrov was my first choice at home versus fulham. very few games, that petrov played in that he didn't get a goal, assist, crosses and shots. it is a shame that city, never were satisfied with his positive contributions for the team and for fantasy. bolton will let him shine and he will want to do well to shrug off his critics.
malouda was my second choice due to his incredible run the second half of the season. i think that he will take over most valuable attacking player this year for chelsea, because he can score and get assists. him at home to west brom makes him a must.
wigan's game versus blackpool makes them more attractive to me than manures. wigan scores at home every time and rodallega, usually gets it. they will win 2-0. i am banking on boselli. i think having two forwards against blackpool is not a mistake. nzogbia and anyone else in the midfield just are not consistent enough to warrant selection. they don't get a lot of crosses nor shots for me. boselli was my pick because i have seen him play 2 years in a row against my team sao paulo in the copa libertadores, plus some league action, as well. he scores in every important game. he is dominating in the box and just outside. he likes to play to one side of the box and force defenders to play him, then he lays the ball off for shots or cuts the ball back for assists or powers it in himself. i think he will finish with higher points than rodallega, becasue he is a complete forward, not just a scorer.
i picked him above chamakh, from my arsenal team, because i am waiting for him to start and produce. i am afraid that he will be pushed wide and not produce fantasy wise.
my fifth choice was goalie, trevor carson at home to fulham. this game has 1-0 written all over it with fulham, just getting 4 long range shots from dempsey.
i have bale, want him for the season, but am loathe to pay that much for a defender. i didn't pick him till last because i filled in my whole team and happened to have 13.92 left over. i may switch to a chelsea or manure defender. if david silva produces, i may have enough to keep bale.
i have david silva and am not expecting him to be like cesc. he scores occasional goals and get plenty of assists, but his main contribution will be crosses and corners won, he might be the new ryan giggs, fantasy wise. if he were the same price as the other midfielders of his level, i would not pay $11 or more for him, but he will return 5.40 easily. i want to repeat for eveyone who thinks that david silva will be like cesc, he is not the same type of player.

Anonymous said...

Anyone interested in joining a league on yahoo fantasy football:




greginho said...

my hunch player will be walcott. i actually chose him first, but knew his matchup is difficult. there are two players that have a lot to prove, at arsenal, because they were among the last to be cut for the world cup and that is nasri, and walcott. nasri is not a sure starter. i don't understand al the criticism about walcott. most criticism has some validity, which his did too, but to say that he has no idea how to play and that his spacing is immature. i watched lennon, wright phillips have zero influence on the games, for having no idea where to play and looking out of class. walcott was a big plus for arsenal, right at the end of the season because his team was decimated by injuries. he was the only spark and often provided the only goal or assist for bendtner. he is young and will learn better places to pass and when, as well. remember nani for manure. he was a wretched passer, getting no assists or goals for club or country, at least walcott is getting assists and goals. nani could beat any defender, but had no idea what to do after. sir alex had faith in him and finally it clicked and he became almost as influential to his team as malouda.
i like tevez to repeat this year, with city getting better and better passers around him. i just don't like his matchup. i have him now but will drop him for anelka if drogba is out.
i picked kosciely and boetang. i will stay with kosciely, unless arsenal pick a much better cb. boateng is just filling the spot until kolarov gets in the system.
i am not interested in paying for cesc or lampard.

Mike B said...

That is incredicble. So incredible i actually just laughed out loud when i read that the fixture list is copyrited!

Anyway, i'll be definately picking up Wigan, Chelsea and Man U players, with 1 or 2 Sunderland players thrown in.

The new boys to the league may throw up a few surprises, but it's unlikely, and Birmingham have replaced Joe Hart, with Ben Foster.

I'm hoping for a few developements in the Chelsea defense, so we can pick players like Boswinga and Zhirkov.

Mike B said...

Nice article by the way AM :)

kwyjibo said...

Rooney or Drogba...that is the question. Currently my front line is: Tevez Rooney Boselli, but if Drogba is cleared to play, a change may be in order.

The other option is to drop Tevez, and pick him up on the BD after the Spurs match, since that will be a tough one. But, overall, I think he's going to have a good year.

I also have high hopes for Malouda, and have a feeling he will be the better pick than trying to fit in a 20+ Lampard.

Decisions, decisions...

Anonymous said...

will mucha from everton start as goalkeeper for the 1st week?

Anonymous said...

who wld start in defence for chelsea cole terry ? ?

Dave said...

I will be picking Drogba in week 1, unless he looks really unfit in the Shield match next week. He's the type of player that will want to feast on their promoted opposition and knows that a couple of goals in week 1 will be the good start he needs towards the golden boot. And he was in form at the Wold Cup.

Bosingwa is still nursing an injury and rumours have Cole agitating for a move, so watch this space...Maybe Zhirkov plays LB??

I'm intrigued my Boselli, and he's had a good preseason (3 goals I think). But as it always happens with me - whichever striker I pick, the other will do well LOL So H-Rod will score LOL.

AdmiraLord Nelson said...

provisional B team week 1:

Cole Salgado Zhirkov
Park N'Zogbia Moses Essien Dunn
Rooney Carew

greginho said...

then dave tell us which striker you are omitting so that i can pick him up.

AdmiraLord Nelson said...

provisional C team:

Cole Mouyokolo Koscielny Bale
N'Zogbia Moses Mikel Petrov
Rooney Agbonlahor

AdmiraLord Nelson said...

provisional D team:

Bale Evra Cole Zhirkov
N'Zogbia Moses Diame
Boselli Davies Rooney

bean said...

good old Carlo Ancelotti (from

We play Hamburg on Wednesday and as a precursor to this weekend's Community Shield, Ancelotti will put out the same side he hopes to field against Manchester United.

'We want to give more minutes to our players to prepare them for the game on Sunday. So I don't want to change the team, I want to use the team that will play on Sunday against Manchester United.'


So I would guess we will have a very good idea of Chelsea's starting lineup after wednesday's match. And a better idea of Chelsea and ManU's lineups after the community shield.

bean said...

if i had to guess on the lineups for the community shield, I would guess:

but that's a quick guess.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nik / AM !

Been away for holidays, and haven`t thought of fantasy football this summer. All my focus been to the world cup !

Hoping to catch a spot in blog league 6. Glad you`re keeping open slots for regulars :)

See you in the chat room.

The Jackal

Assistant Manager said...

Hi Jackal - good to see you back! League 6 details here mate...

Anonymous said...

Damn, no Bosingwa on the match report for Chelsea's friendly today, although physioroom has him returning by today. Was hoping to catch a glimpse of him as I think he could be fantastic value at 6+.

Petrov is on my team too. I think his price at 9 will be worth it. I think Matt Taylor will be pushed in a more center role b/c of Petrov? Regardless, I hope they both start and play 90 mins.

Walcott could be a good hunch pick, and mine is Bilyaletdinov who is similarly priced at 8+. Tim Cahill is having a good pre-season, but is priced at 10.

I think my strategy the first week will have me play 4 DF who will start for sure and a reliable GK, plus 1 elite striker, and then go from there. I have rooney currently.


AdmiraLord Nelson said...

four great defenders: Bale Cole Verm and Evra!

Anonymous said...

I would love to get Bale but he's too pricey--same price as malouda!

I was thinking Evans since Rio is out, Dunne (good value under 10?), a wolves defender (Foley @ 6?), and John Terry (9+) or Ferreira (6 cheap!) if Bosingwa is definitely gonna be out.

Wigan defense also attracts me vs Blackpool but I don't trust them since their clean sheet record was horrible. Wolves defense were much better in that regard. But I know, last year's performance is not a good judge of this year...


Anonymous said...

Hilario is a disaster. Really, at this stage, I would like to see a certain keeper from the Faroe Islands. Yossi looked really good and his pace could set chelsea up with more goals than last year, which would be a treat. I imagine chelsea's satrting lineup to look something like this:
Bosingwa Carvalho Terry Cole
Benayoun lampard essien malouda
the elk drogba.

bean said...

@saitofall - hasn't chelsea been playing a 4-3-3? It looked from the match report that this was the lineup today against eintracht frankfurt:
ferreira bruma terry cole
benayoun mikel zhirkov
kalou anelka malouda
i don't think bosingwa was even on the bench.

kwyjibo said...

Besides Bale, I'm wary on spending too much in the back. Look at last year, for example.

Forwards: Top score 540 points, 3 players 400+, 7 300+, 20 200+.
Midfield: Top score 515 points, 6 players 300+, 23 200+.
Defenders: Top score 338, 1 player 300+, 18 200+.
Goalkeepers: Top score 293, only 10 200+.

As you move back, it drops considerably. So, I find it hard to spend too much on defenders and goalkeepers, the return on investment is much lower than midfielders and forwards. Bale isn't really a defender, so I can justify his price. But, after that, I use fillers and spend more up front.

Of course, one problem is that this year so far there seems to be a real lack of insanely cheap more Mokoena or Tuncay. So far, not a single player under 2 this year, so filling in is more of a challenge.

AdmiraLord Nelson said...

i think you can get away with picking Ashley Cole Gareth Bale and Patrice Evra this week, they should all do well! I'm picking all three of them!

AdmiraLord Nelson said...

and as a matter of fact i think i have already sorted out my A team for week 1, 12 days in advance! take a look at this:

Cole Bale Evra Koscielny
N'Zogbia Yaya Toure Essien Benayoun
Rooney Boselli


Kellz said...

@Everyone on copyright Law: I personally think its even more bizzare and sad that certain bio-chemical companies (Monsanto) have copy rights to sequences of amino acids. Basically copy right to life.

Okay on to football:

Drogba back means I will have to decide whether or not hes fit enough to score big, or go with the ever consistent Lampard, both same value. This means NO Anelka who really didn't seem to shine with Drogba on the pitch. If I go with Drogba I think he has to partner Malouda in my midfield, taking corners and being a left side bully. I also considered Fererria who must be in contention with Bosingwa still needing fitness (said so by the manager) and Ashley Cole possibly moving (but Ancelotti says "no"), otherwise we can't expect Hilario anymore, so back to Kirkland.

On the other midfield front I think C. Adam will have his fair share of chances in free kick directed at goal, and you can check youtube for his stunner to bring Blackpool to the premiership.

Other include Boselli who impressed and scored, something Wigan really needed.

I think Boateng as a fullback will bomb the flan adding some forward bonus even in a possible loss/No CS, and for 5mil why not?

Rooney or not to Rooney? He didn't impress in the WC, but he was a stud last season. Will he have enough rest to combat Newcastle which I think will stay up this year? I might avoid him for now and check to see if Hernandez will start and go for the cheaper option.

Good luck guys, its soooooo close I can't hardly wait! Now I need to get my own apartment order FSC in time for kickoff Aug 14th!

PS: Pls Mr. Huang, buy out Liverpool and give us money to buy players in the x-fer market! Sorry chaps :D

AdmiraLord Nelson said...

@ saitofall
by the way which keeper are you talking about from the Faeroe Islands? it says on Wikipedia that Rhys Taylor and Ross Turnbull are Welsh and English respectively

Anonymous said...

Interested in joining a fantasy league team on yahoo:

ID# 266


Don't hesitate.....

Anonymous said...

Currently toying with the line-up

Captain K
Bale Boetang Evra A.Cole
Nani Silva Malouda Watson
Berbs Boselli

I would say this is an adventurous team as well as sensible one. What say?(I have a feeling that Berbs will pop up with a brace)


AdmiraLord Nelson said...

@ Keshari...

nice team! Boateng seems as if he could be a better pick than Koscielny. and Silva I have overlooked but other wise our teams are very similar.

SLASH said...

Why doesn't anyone mention Ivanovic? Injured or something?

@Keshari, my team is very similar with yours, excluding the MFs

AdmiraLord Nelson said...

sleepers of the week: David Dunn and Stephen Hunt.

Alex Darlo said...

Hunt may well be sleeping, he's out until the Autumn/Winter.

TwoFace said...

it's good to be back! looking forward for another prosper year especially Chelsea retaining the title but with Man City big spenders and Liv under new regime, it will be another spectacular season of football!!

here we go and AM: keep up the good work!!

Anonymous said...

Week 1
J.Boateng Koscielny Bale
JCole M.Petrov N'Zogbia D.Silva
Drogba Rodallega Kevin Davies

Any comments please?


Anonymous said...

is it bale worth for 13++ ??

AdmiraLord Nelson said...

@ Darlo

physioroom needs to update their Wolves info, yeah Hunt is set to miss the first few games I see...

@ Jace, think Cole can do well against Arsenal?
I'm glad you notice the Davies pick too! he's cheap and solid, and with a decent match-up..

AdmiraLord Nelson said...

of course Bale is expensive but he scores points like a striker!

Dave said...

@ Jace - I think you're missing out on the ManU match-up. Do you have enough $$ to turn Zog into Nani? Or maybe H-Rod + Davies into Boselli + Berba ?

Anonymous said...

Deciding between Malouda/Vermalen or Petrov/Bale. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

benayoun has looked sharp this preseason. as opening day approaches, if it looks like he will start I will find a place for him.
I was alluding to the Man City fiasco with the keeper from the faroe islands he would probably perform better than hilario.

greginho said...

do both anonymous.

i have bale, petrov and malouda.

Anonymous said...

week 1 temporary team :

koscielny, bale, boateng
nasri, malouda, A.johnson, petrov, moses
chamack, rooney

Nasri's my hunch pick and johnson will probably go.But I haven't decided on that yet

any comments guys?


Anonymous said...

is drogba fit now????


Anonymous said...

Currently with:
Week 1
Boateng Koscielny van Damme
Silva Nani Lampard Park
Boselli Chamakh Drogba

Need input please.
Water Boy

FLScott said...

@Water Boy - Louisiana needs you... ma.. ma... mama says "Drop the Drogs, he's not playing (maybe a little), and his price will likely drop after the first round O' matches."


Anonymous said...

There are still open spots if you are interested in joining a fantasy league group on yahoo.

ID# 266


Feel free

Gareth Keenan said...

Greginho, great analysis.

Out of curiosity, what was your world rank last year?

Gareth Keenan said...

Just re-read my brief comment and realised it may have sounded a little sarcastic.. certainly not meant to be the case.

Anonymous said...

but i think bale for 13+ is not worth.. i have not confidence that he ll score at least 13 in every game..imo

AdmiraLord Nelson said...

squad with Roon and Drogs:

Cole Zhirkov Boyce
Essien Moses Mikel Yaya
Rooney Boselli Drogba

AdmiraLord Nelson said...

I bet I could make a good team with Rooney Drogba Cole and Evra all in it

bean said...

o'shea ferreira foley
j.cole fletch lamps petrov drog chicharito
lots of questions marks, but would like that if all were set to start, all at home.

GunnerArt said...

What does everyone think about Nasri v. Walcott? Nasri has looked really sharp and motivated after the French national team snub. Cesc hasn't even returned to team yet and may not even play against Liverpool. Nasri will most likely be on set piece / corner duty. He's got a good shot in him + assists.

Walcott on the other hand appears to be healthy and in good physical form. He'll score decent from cross(s), assist, SOT, and even a goal.

I've picked Walcott to replace Valencia but now I am having doubts if I should go with Nasri.

donut said...

We tend to talk about scoring a point per unit as a good average, so I've done a simple spreadsheet showing the average value of the players over the course of last season. I have discounted players who played less than 10 games and of course this doesn't include new teams but here is the top 20 anyway in order...

Player data Value
C. GardnerBirminghamMidfielder 0.89
B. EmertonBlackburnMidfielder 0.85
C. BairdFulhamDefender 0.82
D. DrogbaChelseaForward 0.80
Adam JohnsonMan CityMidfielder 0.80
J. O'HaraTottenhamMidfielder 0.80
G. BaleTottenhamDefender 0.80
C. TévezMan CityForward 0.80
A. DiamantiWest HamForward 0.80
S. HuntWolvesMidfielder 0.79
P. RobinsonBlackburnGoalkeeper 0.78
G. GivetBlackburnDefender 0.78
G. NevilleMan UtdDefender 0.78
D. KitsonStokeForward 0.78
D. NgogLiverpoolForward 0.78
J. RodwellEvertonMidfielder 0.78
NaniMan UtdMidfielder 0.78
M. EtheringtonStokeMidfielder 0.77
T. VermaelenArsenalDefender 0.77
F. CampbellSunderlandForward 0.77

Anonymous said...

Boateng Koscielny Evans
Silva Malouda Petrov Toure
Drogba Berbatov Rodallega

Left- 0.45

Not too sure of having bothe Silva and Toure, but atm cant think of another filler

Anonymous said...

My Team at the moment is

Boateng, Koscielny, Bale
Silva, Malouda, Nani, Holden
Boselli, Drogba, Chamack

I have 2.32 left but dont want J.Cole.
Im Fairly happy with this except for Chamack and Holden.

I could do with Santa Cruz and Ireland going from City to Fulham. That would make my selections easier. Any Ideas?

@ Anonymous - You could try C.Adam from Blackpool. He's a good bet against Wigan.

I suppose i could use my own advice instead of Holden????


HarU said...

who is the best striker for 6.40 ? - Chamakh?? or Boselli? or Hernandez!? or somebody else?!?

Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...

i'd go with boselli for gameweek 1

FLScott said...


I'm picking up both Chamakh and Boselli, after all, why not spend 12.80 on two strikers? Oh yeah, and I've got Rooney up front. Seems like (unless you're wanting to go midfield heavy the first week) it'd be a safe, and cheap, bet.

Maxer said...

just a quick question.. how's fulop in everyone's eyes?.. i can see most of u are loading captain kirk in but i got a feeling blackpool is not that much a pushover.. anyone?..


Dave said...

@ Maxer - Fulop will not play for Sunderland, he is being frozen out and expressed a desire to leave for first team football elsewhere. They will likely have Treor Carson start, but no chance for Fulop. So what to I think of him? Not much LOL ;)

Maxer said...

yeah.. i just read that news dave.. thanks.. :).. how bout Agbonlahor?.. villa has an easy matchup with west ham.. but seems like nobody is picking him up..


Dave said...

@ Maxer - Yeah, Villa at home to a West Ham side that will feature a new-look line-up (esp in the mid) is a decent match-up. Problem with Agbon is that he is so feast-or-famine: he could score 2 goals and a tidy 25 points, or lay an egg with 4 points - that has been his pattern the last few years. Personally, I think there are better striker options in week 1, though he or Carew might be decent darkhorses. But if you love the Villa game, perhaps Ash Young is a better YFF bet?

GTR34 said...

You've done a great job here, so congratulations on your deserved success.

Anonymous said...

evra will not play against newcastle right?

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