TO BEGIN, AN apology.
In the absence of Paul, I have taken it on myself to be your fantasy football guru this week. There is, however, a slight but very important problem.
I’m not very good.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not terrible — although my total of 215 after four weeks of the game might suggest otherwise. It’s more that I don’t have the necessary patience for all of the forward planning and tinkering that is part and parcel of any well-run fantasy side.
So, ahead of this weekend’s action, allow me to impart some hastily assembled pearls of wisdom. And rest assured, if you completely ignore them, I won’t be offended in the slightest.
Normal service — featuring somebody who actually knows what they’re talking about — is scheduled to resume next week.
Two players to pick this week
Ivan Klasnic (Bolton): Klasnic seems to be a fairly shrewd signing. He’s not quite racking up the points at the same rate as Rooney, but at £6.2m, he’ll do nicely as a third striker. The Croatian has three goals in four games, as well as three bonus points, and with Bolton at home to struggling Norwich tomorrow, he could be about to improve on that.
Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal): This comes straight from the school of thought that there’s value to be found in Blackburn Rovers’ opponents all season. Arsenal are the lucky party this weekend and, with plenty of doubts still lingering, I find it very hard to believe that they’ll slip up at Ewood Park. Clean sheet for Kos? I think so.
Two players to avoid this week
Sergio Aguero / Edin Dzeko (Manchester City): I’m not suggesting that you completely avoid the City pair, but encouraging you to be wary when selecting them — particularly as captain. I know of many (two) fantasy players who handed Dzeko the captain’s armband last week and then watched in horror as he was left on the bench while Kun ran riot. Mancini is unlikely to play both at Craven Cottage on Sunday, so choose wisely.
Charles Nzogbia (Aston Villa): Aside from City (who have yet to concede a goal), Newcastle are the league’s stingiest defence on current form, so there is reason to believe that Nzogbia could be kept quiet at Villa Park tomorrow. While he might not rack up the points this weekend, current owners might be better off benching rather than selling — games against QPR and Wigan are just around the corner.
Predictions for the week
Blackburn 1-3 Arsenal
Aston Villa 0-0 Newcastle
Bolton 2-1 Norwich
Everton 1-0 Wigan
Swansea 2-2 West Brom
Wolves 2-0 QPR
Tottenham 1-1 Liverpool
Fulham 0-3 Man City
Sunderland 1-2 Stoke City
Man United 3-1 Chelsea
How Fenno’s team got on last gameweek: 78 points for the main man last week, well above the league average of 57 but far short of the weekly high of 120. Mr Fennessy has Messrs Nani and Rooney to thank for that one.
Who’s leading TheScore.ie’s league: Paddy McKenna’s Ride Me Sideways are our new leaders, topping the pile on 308pts. There’s not much in it though, with Mark Kilgallon (305) and Daniel O’Brien (304) rounding off a tightly-packed top three.
Who do you think will perform well/badly this week? Let us know in the comments section below.