Friday, 25 February 2011

Week 28 - Update

Before starting on the Premier League team & injury news, I realised I'd failed to mention anything about the Carling Cup final in my player picks post this week, so I'll do so now. Arsenal face Birmingham at Wembley on Sunday, where the first silverware of the season will be won and lost. The Carling Cup is often ridiculed, but with only 3 domestic trophies available each season it's a fantastic opportunity for the players to seal some genuine glory for their club and their fans. Being at Wembley for Spurs' victory over Chelsea in 2008 is in my top 3 football experiences ever, so it is not to be sniffed at in my opinion.

Team news for the occasion? Well, Arsenal are without Theo Walcott after it was confirmed his ankle sprain will keep him out for "2-3 weeks", and it appears their captain Cesc Fabregas will also miss out, although it's not straightforward. Wenger says the hamstring injury will keep him out for 1 or 2 games, but Cesc (and his fitness trainer in particualr) still think he has a chance. I doubt it, but it'll be interesting to see how that one plays out over the next 48 hours. Birmingham have slight doubts over Jerome, Jiranek, Ridgewell & Hleb, but are confident they'll all be available. 

Now back to the league, and of course it's a double-week for Manchester United, so their news is the most important to fantasy players. Ferguson revealed this morning that Ryan Giggs is available and back in the squad after missing Marseille, but Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Park Ji-Sung and Anderson are all sidelined. Rio should be fit for Chelsea but seeing as Smalling has been outstanding in his absence, I don't think it would be a disaster if the England captain didn't make it. I think Giggs will start twice & Berbatov once, but feel free to disagree. By the way, I heard a great stat earlier; since Wigan returned to the top flight they have met Manchester United 12 times (11 league & 1 cup), lost all 12 matches, with an aggregate score 39-4 to United!

Manchester City look likely to continue with the Balotelli, Dzeko, Tevez three pronged attack as they face Fulham at Eastlands. There are clear signs that Dzeko is starting to settle in England, and he's at an incredibly tempting price under £7m for this match. Vincent Kompany is rated a slight doubt, but Milner is after tight hamstring kept him out on Thursday. Not a lot of news on Fulham other than Bobby Zamora - he could make his first start since his leg break last year.

Liverpool have a few worries ahead of their trip to West Ham. Carroll remains unavailable, Gerrard is only 50-50, while Martin Kelly, Glen Johnson & Daniel Agger are all doubts, but Luis Suarez will lead the line for the reds. For West Ham, Upson could return but Obinna, Dyer, Keane, Stanislas and Collison stay out. The Hammers should hand a league debut to Thomas Hitzlsperger after his impressive performance in the FA Cup.

Since I mentioned him in my player picks on Wednesday & showed he was in my team, I see a number of readers in the comment section picking him in their own teams while asking "Who is Hitzlsperger?" or "Why do you think Hizlsperger will play?". He's a player with a monster shot and he should be on some set pieces, but it is a slight risk/hunch as it's a tough game. If you don't know anything about him or have doubts then please don't pick him just because I have, I don't want him to let you down!

Aston Villa will be without Collins, Cueller & the suspended Makoun while Blackburn are missing Hoilett and have a doubt over Chris Samba. Ryan Nelsen will captain the side despite the tragedy of the earthquake in Christchurch - his home town.

Moyes has told the press conference that Cahill, Fellaini, Anichebe, Saha and Rodwell are all struggling to be fit for the game vs Sunderland. With Everton in a relegation fight I imagine some of them will play through the pain, but we have no idea who, so it's probably best avoiding them all. Craig Gordon is the only new injury doubt for Sunderland.

The best of the rest: Steven & Ryan Taylor are back for Newcastle but Lovenkrands is a doubt leaving Nile Ranger as the only fully fit striker - Bolton have no new injury worries - Kevin Doyle is fit but Stephen Hunt remains out for Wolves - As we all know (but to reiterate) Charlie Adam starts a 2 game suspension - Matty Etherington is a doubt which increases Pennant's value.

That's pretty much it. I still haven't clicked save, but I'm almost certain to drop Van Persie, so it could very well be this

Van Der Sar, Kolarov, Smalling, Evra, Hitzlsperger, Silva, Giggs, Nani, Carew, Suarez, Rooney

Still can't decided over Suarez or Dzeko - I may flip a coin.

Please remember Week 28 is the semi-finals of The Blog Cup, 50 teams reduced to 20 for the final in Week 32 - good luck if you're still in it!

Not long to go - how's your team looking?


p.s. Sorry if you're having trouble with Chatroll. It's been shit for weeks now but there is no decent alternative that doesn't require an admin at all times, so we're stuck with it I'm afraid. I'm in contact with them & they say they're expanding their load handling/bandwidth, but we shall see.


Assistant Manager said...

first - ha!

Anonymous said...


ha ha.......

Anonymous said...

3rd !!

Anonymous said...

big score game of wol vs bpool. not a single wol player am?

Anonymous said...

carew or suarez ??

comments ?


Assistant Manager said...

It's hard to get excited about Wolves with them being bottom of the league. O'Hara is the only player that would tempt me.

Assistant Manager said...

Shan - If you can afford either than Suarez

Anonymous said...


my current team is :

Kolarov Smalling Walker
Silva Pennant Hitzlsperger Giggs
Carew Rooney Berbatov

any comments/suggestions, overall ??


Anonymous said...

Giggs or Vidic??

Linesman said...


I would like to say I hope your decision to drop RvP won't come back to haunt you, but because I'm keeping him I have to keep my fingers crossed for him to continue performing ;)

Team for the week looks a lot like the one you had a few days ago:

Kol Evra Smalling
Nani Silva Pennant Hitz
RvP Rooney Suarez

The only change I might make is to change Hitz to O'Hara or Walker which means I'll have to trade Suarez/Friedel with Dzeko/Howard.

City's 3 forward attack also puts doubts in my mind about picking Silva, but I don't think there are better options at his price range.

Good luck to everyone and GO ARSENAL!!

Anonymous said...


both will be good choice bt vidic is sllightly bttr than giggs who is nt sure to start both games..

Anonymous said...

9th, yessssssssssssssssss.

Anonymous said...

hey AM

I have some trouble choosing..

do u think i should get Dzeko or sturridge?


chels.fc said...

Hi guys!!
I really need advice,which is better option
Silva or Fletcher

Anonymous said...


dzeko / SUAREZ ?


Anonymous said...


silva on form now..fletcher i don't think silva is the pick..

Tayo said...

@chels.fc + Anonymous,

I'm almost certain that Fletcher over two games is way better than a one-game Silva...
You make the final decision though.

Goodluck to Arsenal. Hope they finally win a silverware after a 5-year drought!!!

Anonymous said...


Kinda like the balance of this team. 4 potential DGs - not convinced how high scoring MU players will be this week plus very few are likely to get 2 games so it's not totally straight forward for me. Can't see Berbs playing 2 games in 4 days so Rooney it is.

The big play this week is dropping RVP - I'm still smarting from doing so...but needs must.


Ken said...

Switch of the week:

Dropped: Hitzlsperger (whoever that is)

Added: K. Foley.

I feel so grown up making my own choices.

As my late father always said.

You prove one of two things when you open your mouth.

How much you know...
How much you don't know...

Anonymous said...

I haven't yet decided between Suarez and Dzeko and i don't know if I'll pick Yaya Toure or Hitzlsperger (what a name). Or maybe onone of them, just to fit Evra in my team. Any ideas folks? My unsaved team is:

Van der Sar
Kolarov, Smalling, David Luiz
Hitzlsperger, Nani, Silva, Giggs
Carew, Suarez, Rooney

-Vangelis #14-

Anonymous said...

Yeah tough call between Silva & Fletcher but they have similar average so that makes Fletcher the better choice unless you have a hunch Silva will have a really good game.


Anonymous said...

I am a fool to have Tevez in my team @ 21.05? I just have a strong feeling he will put a few past Fulham tomorrow.

Backcountry Dave said...

While I realize that news coming out of Old Trafford can often be taken with a grain of salt, this article seems unequivocal about Rio being absent for both Wigan and Chelsea.

Backcountry Dave

Anonymous said...

Ken; youre still here?! You really shouldn't be playing this game you know, not if you dont know who hitzlsperger is! ;-)

Anonymous said...


If you've got a hunch go with it, but i think u can spend about that money and get nani for 2 games, or spread that money out. I mean tevez can come out and score a hat trick any game tho.


zen balls said...

gotta be suarez for certain pitch time over dzeko and suarez has looked consistent and will be their main threat.

either dzeko, tevez or balotelli could go huge for city but lottery to who.

hitzlburger for next week but not this week IMO

Anonymous said...

If you don't know who Hitzlburgler is then dropping him or not picking him is not the answer. Quitting YFF is! :)

No more who is Hitzl"the hammer"perger please.


Anonymous said...

It's finally at that point where I'm giving up some big discounts. Still can't drop VDV or RVP at this early though. Having those two at a combined cost of 15.22 is just far too good to give up with so many weeks left. I probably made more changes to my team this week than I have since the very beginning of the year, bringing in 6 new players. Currently on:

Coleman, Kolarov, Vidic, Evra
VDV, O'Hara, Meierales
RVP, Dzeko, Rooney

I think it's the first 4-3-3 formation of the year for my squad as well. With two road games, I just have a lot more trust in the defensive players to tally up some points and play both games for Man U. Changed to Meierales/Dzeko this morning after trying out a bunch of different options.

Cech's Mates

Anonymous said...

AM, do you have any concerns with Silva's starting status if City stick with the three headed monster of Tevez, Balotelli, and Dzeko? Would Silva still be a starter in that scenario?


Anonymous said...

Great picks this week AM, and the guidance and help is as always, much appreciated. I think Ken was joking, Anonymous 5:53, with the continued comments regarding Hitzlsperger, but seriously, for all of you would don't know about the midfield maestro, please go to your nearest internet search page, type in his last name, hit search, and do some reading!

Good luck everyone, and lets go Gunners!!


SfSS said...

vidic/suarez or smalling/rooney?

Anonymous said...

Right, i reckon i've got it now. 90% sure this will be my line-up:

Kolarov Evra Smalling
Nani Fletcher Hitz O'Hara
Carew Rooney Berbs

My latest changes being Silva and Walker --> Fletcher and O'Hara. After much thinking i've come round to the idea of Fletcher over Silva, and O'Hara i slightly prefer to Walker.


LC said...

If i remember correctly, Hitzelsperger used to play for Villa and did well on fantasy football.

Im stuck between Balotelli or Suarez.
Not big on Dzeko yet.


Anonymous said...

Looking at how my teams going to look for week 29...

Kolarov R.Johnson Ridgewell Coleman
Cahill Bentley Gardner
Carew Martins Saha(@18.43!)

3.14 spare. 9 DGers. I love it!


Staffer said...

I made it...dropped Van Persie at 9.27 or so and loaded all in on Man United players...I hope they don't make me regret.


Let's see cause it's the biggest gamble I've ever done but I've been waiting for this for a while since I love Man United.

Wish you all fantastic scores this week.


SfSS said...


Good luck, though i hope your gamble does not pay off, i invested heavy into man u defence, but would not be to depressed if they failed. Arsenal is my no. 1 team, and i hope all RVP droppers will regret the move

Linesman said...


I'm in the same boat as you. I'm sure keeping RvP is the best move as long as he stays fit.

I just did this:

Kol Evra Smalling
Nani Silva Pennant Hitz
RvP Rooney Suarez

changed to

Kol Evra Smalling
Nani Penant Hitz Young Scholes
RvP Rooney

I have a feeling Silva won't get many pts this week and I'm sure Scholes will get more than 3 pts. Silva on the other hand is a very big gamble for me and I don't trust Suarez yet. That being said Young has never paid off for me, but I have a feeling that game will be high scoring.

Big change pretty late, but I may press save and live with it.

Any thoughts?

SfSS said...


I agree on silva, but still have him on my team, i just need somebody from City's front together with Kolarov, Would also get Dzeko, but for that i need to drop Carew @1,97 vs. Westbrom at home, or Suarez and i dont want to do any of that. So far my team:

Kolarov Evra Vidic Smalling
VDV Nani Silva
RVP Carew Suarez

kendo said...

What do you have Vdv@ linesman is he worth holding on to?


kendo said...

Oops sfss has Vdv ! Eyesight not good on the iPhone. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Ashley Young or Barton??

kwyjibo said...

My internet is not working at home, and the technician won't be in until morning. Aah!

I have to make my final decision within the next hour, while I'm still at work! Help!





Ken said...


Nani/Silva/A. Young

This is many hours of labor and the only one I am (sure) of is Nani. Still believe I am making a mistake not having Meireles, now I have to question Silva/Kelly/Foley..oh my!

At least I don't have to worry anymore about keeping Snicklefritz or whatever that person's name is we cannot mention anymore.

Good luck to all

Guess I will go back and change it all again..maybe.

SfSS said...


Vdv is @6,14 so surely a keeper at least for now

SfSS said...


I think 2nd lineup will score more this week, but overall 1st one is the one to keep. So depends on your future plans :)

Anonymous said...

You're an idiot if you think i should stop playing yff because i don't know the hammer. Played in some mediocre teams and achieved nothing. Maybe he was a good fantasy player like Lampard and a few others, still not enough reason to know him or pick him.

Assistant Manager said...

Erm, who said that you should stop playing if you don't know who Hitzlsperger is? If someone said that it was probably a joke. If they were serious then that's just plain stoopid!

Anyway, I'm now considering going with 8 Man Utd players: Van Der Sar, Kolarov, Smalling, Evra, Vidic, Scholes, Fletcher, Nani, Carew, Dzeko, Rooney.

No Hitz, no Silva, no Giggs, no Suarez - Vidic, Scholes, Fletcher & Dzeko come in.


Anonymous said...

Yaya or O'Hara??


Miecio said...

I'm still in the Cup, but I think that it is my last round. I just cant drop van Persie @9.08 and Adam @5.96.
I'm not sure if 9 players can make me through. We will see..

kwyjibo said...

@SfSS - Thanks...I came up with a 3rd option, and hit 'save'. I looked at Giggs' average and noticed that it's low. For someone that costs 10+, he's only really had one great scoring week.

I ended up with:

My big worry is no Rooney. I think he's finally getting some confidence back, and could score big in a double.

But, as you said SfSS, long-term it's better to keep RvP, and I'm counting on some points from Suárez, Dzeko, Hitzlwhatever before their prices jump.

Now, RvP better not get hurt again before the next match, or it would be all for nothing!

Linesman said...

I'd say that's pretty mental, but it's a biased opinion of an anti-ManU fan. Good luck if you do end up saving that team! I'll be hoping for a Chelsea win on Tuesday ;)

Still undecided on my midfield (besides Nani)...





Pennant/Hitz/Scholes/Young (Remove Suarez)

What should I do? Maybe get Barton instead of Young?

Anonymous said...

AM any thoughts on who will you be getting in on the barn door tomorrow? Also, random question - who came up with the phrase "barn door" for fantasy football?

Anonymous said...

Just saved my team. After much thought have gone with this:

Nani/Yaya Toure/Hitzlsperger

Looking for Tevez to deliver!!

Mell 10-11 said...

A 80% of United players this week are pretty mental I guess...Both are away, Wigan are known as a boogie team for the top four while Chelsea in particular Torres will be fired up to punish them inside their own turf. You will have a problem there next week though with Brums & Everton proposed double, but I might go for Giggs for a one week wonder though. BTW I reckon Brums to beat Gunners, underdog rules :D

Andy said...

Hi folks Hi AM well noticed that everything was all over this place this week So Okay I picked my team with a touch of Madness this week. At least you all will think I am:

Here Goes

S. Harper
C. Clark, C.Smalling, S.Coleman, K.Walker
J.Barton, K.Richardson, C.N'Zogbia, Yaya Toure
D. Campbell, L.Best

Ok No one mentioned S. Harper as Goalie he scored 27 points in week 27 so heck maybe this is some kinda lucky omen. So I went with him Value 8.11
I sorta went with players from lots of different teams as you see even went against MU with N'Zogbia of Wigan what the heck maybe he will do good. Anyhow that it. Thanks for the challenge.

Anonymous said...

Hi AM,
I have followed nearly all of your posts since the blog Chose'em or Lose'em disappeared. And I highly appreciate your contribution to Fantasy community including me. Your news, updates are obviously important for us to make decision. But I dont think that posting your squad along with your analysis is a good idea. Lots of players here might choose build their team just by copy from your team rather having than any analysis. The evidence is that some people choose a player while still asking why should he is chosen. That doesnt make sense. So, in my view you shouldnot public your team as lots of people would try to be similar to you.


Anonymous said...

I did some final changes just now and my team look as follows:

Van der Sar
Vidic / Evra / Smalling / Shawcross
Nani / O'hara / K.Henry (filler)
Rooney / Suarez / Carew

Good luck to all managers.


Anonymous said...

Vidic/Giggs or Berbatov/Rafael?

Of the 4, I think the only one safe for 2 games is Vidic

Anonymous said...

Oh you young'uns. Probably don't even know about Hitzelsperger's poor dress sense and love of David Hasselhoff. Well - he is German so it may be a given.


GK Reina(discount and L'pool fan)
D Kolarov(Disc.)
D Smalling
D S.Coleman
M D.Fletcher
M YoYo Toure
M Giggs
M Nani
F Rooney
F Dzeko
F Suarez....the Reds bite back.

Dropped to 238th :-(

Anonymous said...

Thomas Hitzlsperger has 52 caps for Germany and played in all their knockout games in Euro 2008, including the final, and was a key player for Stuttgart when they won the German League (Bundesliga) in 2007, it's not like he is just some random youth player picked out of obscurity from the lower leagues in Africa or South America lol. West Ham did well to sign him as many clubs were interested, hopefully his injury troubles are behind him now.

Anonymous said...

Here's a few interesting facts about Hitzlsperger:

* Many people are not sure who he is or what he looks like.

* He was born in Germany.

* Has a hammer shot (probably why he is nicknamed "der hammer").

* He is a bit of a hunk and a great lover.

* @5.54 he is an absolute steal - especially against those useless scouse twats


Anonymous said...

I've got 5.54 mil left to spend. Does anyone know a good midfielder to buy? Preferably German


Dave2 said...

Hitzlsperger also likes long walks on the beach, candle lit dinners, and cozying up by the fireplace.

Anonymous said...

Hitzlsperger doesn't go swimming, water just surrounds him. He doesn't battle, he just allows you to lose. Sharks dedicated week to him.

Cheers, marco

Staffer said...

Man United line-ups IMO:


VDS,Rafael,Smalling,Vidic,Evra,Fletcher,Carrick,Scholes,Nani,Rooney,Berbatov - 4-5-1 with Rooney on the left wing and it depends on the HT result whether Giggs will enter the game in order to switch it to 4-4-2


VDS,OShea(height),Smalling,Vidic,Evra,Fletcher,Scholes,Giggs,Nani,Rooney,Berbatov - It depends on the Wigan game result - if Berbatov can win the game with the 4-5-1 and Rooney performs at left wing I believe SAF will give it another try since Giggs has not recovered fully yet. Man United will play 4-5-1 in the upcoming 4-5 fixtures. Giggs and Hernandez are better of the bench cause both of them are great impact players and able to close a tough game. If Berbatov doesn't perform at Wigan then he will be benched for the Chelsea game and probably used in the last 30 minutes but I really believe he will start since Chelsea are the only opposition out of the top 6 where he performs consistently and has scored many times against them. It's only a lucky guess though...


wan said...

what about j. henderson? is he a good pick for this week?

Anonymous said...


giggs or fletcher ?? really confused..


Anonymous said...

kolarov or vidic ??

Anonymous said...

O'hara good or NOT?

my team





any player can i change?

please commant.


Anonymous said...

is my squad good:If not the write back quickly :D

szczesny(5m) vidic smalling caldwell luiz giggs nani palacios( i know spurs don't play but he's a filler!) RVP(11m) odemwingie/anelka dzeko

Anonymous said...

giggs + suarez or barba + scholes?

please commant

Anonymous said...

A or B ???...

Team A (short term):
kolarov, walker, smalling, evra
nani, silva, fletcher
rooney, carew, suarez

Team B (long term):
kolarov, walker, smalling
nani, silva, fletcher, henry(filler)
rooney, carew, RvP

suarez+evra VS RvP+henry
short term VS long term

pls comments...
still can't decide if I want to drop RvP for this week or not.

Anonymous said...

Hello anyone picking M.Bradley from Aston?
Will he play as starter? info please Thx

Anonymous said...

Hitzlsperger is suspended from too many yellow cards.

Anonymous said...

Just last decision to make, please help!




I actually like the second combo better, but I have O'Hara on a discount so I can't go back after I change it, and I would like to read some advice before I do anything. Mind you, I'll drop O'Hara @5.9mil after the deadline anyway, as Wolves' next fixture is Spurs, so he won't play.



kendo said...

No one fancy eve v Sun ?

Cahill and Coleman worth including coleman is listed as a defender


Anonymous said...

who IS MEGA Score ? Rooney? NANI? Berbatov?

or Other except Man Utd Player?


Anonymous said...

Scholes & K.Walker


Hitzlsperger & M.Wilson

Any help???


Ian Sanderson said...

Anon @ 8.04 - why play Palacios as a filler knowing he won't play, pick a filler that might play - scholes/henry etc

Anon @ 10.02 - Coleman is a slight doubt

Bertie said...

I really am stuck.

Suarez or Dzeko??????

Anonymous said...


i suggest you to pick Suarez. he absolutely play againts west ham, more than dzeko.


roonaldo said...

guys any idea on he long term injured???

Bertie said...

reports that VdV is back in 10 days

Anonymous said...

really torn between Berbatov and Rooney. Wazza is less of a risk to start both games but with being played out wide and chelsea being a potential banana skin, could Berba have more point scoring potential in the Wigan game alone playing more centrally. Heart says wazza, head says Berba.

Also, any love for Balotelli? He seems to be Mancini's blue eyed boy so I'd always expect him to feature if fit.

Anonymous said...

really torn between Berbatov and Rooney. Wazza is less of a risk to start both games but with being played out wide and chelsea being a potential banana skin, could Berba have more point scoring potential in the Wigan game alone playing more centrally. Heart says wazza, head says Berba.

Also, any love for Balotelli? He seems to be Mancini's blue eyed boy so I'd always expect him to feature if fit.

Anonymous said...

really torn between Berbatov and Rooney. Wazza is less of a risk to start both games but with being played out wide and chelsea being a potential banana skin, could Berba have more point scoring potential in the Wigan game alone playing more centrally. Heart says wazza, head says Berba.

Also, any love for Balotelli? He seems to be Mancini's blue eyed boy so I'd always expect him to feature if fit.

Anonymous said...

Kolarov Kelly Walker
Ohara Meireles Pennant Downing
RVP Saurez Dzeko

Last minute changes Sturridge => Dzeko and Barton => Pennant


Don't understand the buzz around Hitzlberger. He failed to live up to expectations in his previous spells in the premiership. Big kick but no imagination.

Anonymous said...

Motty, you don't know what you are talking about mate. He has only played for 1 premiership club before (aston villa), and there were not many expectations as he was a young player. He left Villa as a fan's favourite, and went on to become German national captain.

Oh, and he also loves to eat Bouillabaisse, with a nice glass of Bandol Rosé.


Anonymous said...

To the ANON at 0100 above, the reason I follow this blog and like to play is because of AM's openess and sharing. He imparts good judgement and fun. Every week, he might change a player or two from his "almost final" team because of time constraints or last minute news. This is the best kind of blog. It's a rare thing.

Your approach asking him NOT to PUBLISH his team is the opposite--- selfish and narrow. I just don't think you understand sharing-

We all make decisions on on our own team which differ from AM-- I am in 3700th place versus his almost top 50 place (I guess).

Guess that shows you can't really "copy" him, but you can do better than most in this 210,000 player game by following his ideas and learning the game from most of the great posters here.

Maybe you are just looking out for AM's best interest, however you define it- if that's the case, fine, but it would ruin a very good blog. My take on this blog is that it's fun, educational and shares the passions of football openly.

I'm at 84 points with 10 to play and I kept VDV, for some obscure reason.

Anonymous said...

I'm 56th!!!

6 Everton players 0 Birmingham.

138.5 for the week

Post a Comment