FPL Season 2018/19 – Gameweek 16 Preview

“Brighton’s Glenn Murray scored his 8th goal of the campaign last Saturday against Palace” (CC by 2.0) by James Boyes

With gameweek 15 behind us, we have now officially entered the Premier League’s action-packed festive period, with six gameweeks taking place over the coming three weeks. The general fear of rotation among FPL managers proved to be grounded, as several coaches mixed it up for gameweek 15. Popular (captain) picks such as Raheem Sterling, Mo Salah and Sadio Mané, just to name a few, were all either starting on the bench or out of the matchday squad completely. Thanks to some in-form differentials (Mahrez, Snodgrass) and strong performances from a few of the big FPL names (Kane, Wilson), gameweek’s average score still stood at 45 points.

Rotation risk is still a big risk for FPL managers because, as well as the crowded December programme, the final Champions League group matches take place on Tuesday and Wednesday 11 and 12 December. Spurs have to win at the Nou Camp in Barcelona and Liverpool have to beat Napoli at home. One of the big Champions League matches on Wednesday is between two of the favourites who have already qualified, Ajax at home to Bayern Munich. The champions league winner odds will give you an insight into which team might be the ultimate winner. The game between Ajax and Bayern could go either way according to the betting odds. Bayern Munich last won the Champions League in 2012/13.

Our picks for gameweek 15

PICK – PLAYER – PERFORMANCE
Premium pick – Christian Eriksen (Spurs) 6
Premium pick – Marko Arnautovic (West Ham) 0 (injury after 39min)
Premium pick – Jamie Vardy (Leicester) 0 (Injury, as warned)
Differential – Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton) 2
Differential – Glenn Murray (Brighton) 7
Captain – Harry Kane (Spurs) 12
Captain – Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) 12

Some observations ahead of gameweek 16

Gameweek 15’s average score of 45 was relatively high considering not just the amount of popular players that were left out of the starting line-ups or the matchday squads altogether, but the fact that it was the first round this season in which no clean sheets were recorded. As a result, premium defenders such as Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso, Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and City’s Kyle Walker ended up with disappointing hauls for their owners. Though no reason to start downgrading your defensive assets, the defensive organisation and stability of some teams might be affected as the fixtures pile up and Premier League managers keep mixing up their starting eleven selections these weeks.

With 12 points each, Bournemouth duo Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser both reserved a place in gameweek 15’s Team of the Week. As a matter of fact, this was the second time both were among the eleven best-performing players in the same round. While the English forward and the Scottish winger are having a great season so far, the Cherries are also boasting exceptional quality and form on other parts of the pitch. Asmir Begovic is a more-than-decent goalie, Nathan Aké is one of the most complete and promising young centre backs in the league, and new man Lerma is proving to be the much-needed lock on the door for the Bournemouth defence. Despite their tough upcoming fixtures (Liverpool home, Wolves away, Spurs away and United away over the next five), Bournemouth’s in-form assets remain interesting (budget-enabling) options.

Marko Arnautovic wasn’t just a popular transfer target in the run-up to gameweek 15, but a popular candidate for the captaincy as well. The striker’s night ended with an anti-climax though, as he picked up a hamstring injury and was replaced just before the half-time whistle. The Austrian forward is expected to miss about a month of football as a result, which means it will be up to another West Ham striker to fill the sizeable gap up front. Lucas Perez did great against Cardiff by scoring two goals, while Chicharito scored a brace a week earlier. On top of that, Andy Carroll has been declared fit again. It’s probably wise to keep an eye on developments surrounding the replacement of Arnautovic, because each of the three options mentioned earlier could represent great value over West Ham’s coming favourable run of fixtures.

Two gameweeks ago, Chelsea‘s Maurizio Sarri became the first manager in Premier League history without a defeat in his first fourteen games and Chelsea looked like they were capable of challenging Man City for the title. Then Spurs came along and handed the Blues their first defeat of the season, which was followed by this season’s second defeat in gameweek 15, versus a Wolverhampton side that had been struggling themselves of late (although arguably perform better as a side against the top sides). As a result, Chelsea now suddenly find themselves in fourth place, ten points behind leaders City and eight points behind number two Liverpool. Star man Eden Hazard has failed to make his mark for several gameweeks in row now, and other players such as Marcos Alonso and Willian have been performing below par. Add to that the ongoing striker discussion and it’s clear Sarri has some work to do if he wishes to fight for the title until the very end.

Premium picks

After starting on the bench versus Man United, replacing Iwobi in the 65th minute, and rather luckily putting Arsenal in the lead just three minutes later, Alexandre Lacazette (£9.6m) is expected to start when the Gunners host Huddersfield on Saturday. The Frenchman has been dealing with an ongoing injury issue since gameweek 13, which explains the 70 minutes of game time he’s had over the past three gameweeks. He still managed to bag one goal in that period, bringing his season totals to 6 goals and 5 assists in 965 minutes of Premier League football. With the Gunners attack in good shape at home (16 goals in 8 games) and the Huddersfield defence pretty porous on the road (16 goals conceded in 7 games), it looks like Lacazette is a prime candidate for attacking returns this weekend.

An “advantage” of key players being rotated from time to time is that the player in question is at least fairly certain to return in the starting line-up the next game. Though “certainty” in this context is pretty much non-existent when it comes to Man City, winger/forward Raheem Sterling (£11.5m) is a player to whom the previously-described situation applies. The young Englishman is currently FPL’s highest-scoring player (104 points) and with reason, because he’s been outstanding throughout the first months of the 2018-19 campaign. In a star-studded squad, Sterling played 1,021 minutes out of a possible 1,350 minutes so far, bagging 8 goals and providing 7 assists in the process. He spent 90 minutes on the bench versus Watford on Tuesday and is expected to slot right into the starting eleven against Chelsea on Saturday. Visiting Stamford Bridge is never easy, but both Sterling and Man City as a whole are more than capable of delivering big against top-shelf opposition.

Our final premium pick for this gameweek is Arsenal’s starting right-back Hector Bellerin (£5.4m). Despite just two clean sheets so far this season and the fact that the Spanish defender hasn’t provided an attacking return for his owners since his two assists versus Leicester in week 9, a home encounter with a Huddersfield team that has scored just 7 goals in 7 away games is hard to ignore. Especially considering Arsenal’s fixture calendar after that, which includes away games against Southampton and Brighton as well as home games versus Burnley and Fulham between gameweeks 17 and 21. The pacey wing-back seems pretty much a nailed-on starter for Unai Emery, even during the festive period, although wing-backs do generally get rested more than centre-backs so we do recommend to follow the Arsenal team news in the build-up to gameweek 16’s deadline.

A differential or two

Our first differential pick of the week is somewhat of a punt, albeit one inspired by some strong points in favour. With Marko Arnautovic out for about a month, West Ham will have to get through the month of December without their most important offensive player and the question is who will be replacing him. Considering Andy Carroll has only just returned from a long-term injury and Lucas Perez (£6.2m) scored a brace after replacing Arnautovic on Tuesday, the diminutive Spaniard might be lining up from the start this weekend to form the Hammers attack with Chicharito. His two goals in mid-week represent his only attacking returns of the season, but his total of 157 Premier League minutes played so far put that output somewhat in perspective. With a home game against Palace this weekend and an away game versus Fulham after that, Lucas might well be adding to both his minutes on the pitch and his goal tally. Of course, Chicharito is available at the same price and he’s been called upon much more often by Hammers coach Pellegrini, so the choice is yours.

After recommending Hector Bellerin as a premium pick for this weekend’s home encounter with Huddersfield, we’re recommending his counterpart on the left as this week’s second differential pick. Bosnian international Sead Kolasinac (£4.9m) was given a chance after starting left-back Nacho Monreal got injured in the build-up to gameweek 9. Kolasinac played five full Premier League games since then, providing two assists in the process, in gameweek 13 versus Bournemouth. The Gunners defence is definitely not the tightest in the league, so we wouldn’t recommend doubling up on Bellerin and Kolasinac, but if you can’t afford Bellerin or want to take a punt on a real differential (1.1% ownership), the Bosnian is your man.

For further ideas have a look at the FISO forum FPL gameweek 16 transfers topic.

The captaincy

An away game against Leicester is rarely a walk in the park, but when a player like Harry Kane (£12.5m) is in form, anything can happen. The Spurs striker has brought his FPL owners attacking returns every week since gameweek 11, racking up 4 goals and 2 assists in the process, as well as 36 FPL points. In gameweek 15, Kane scored a goal and provided an assist for Son as Spurs beat the Saints 3-1, a welcome result after the disappointing London derby loss against Arsenal the round before. Overall, the prolific forward has already netted 9 times this season, while he has also set up a teammate on three occasions, with 85 FPL points as a result after 15 games. Leicester have conceded just 6 goals in 7 home games so far this season, but Kane’s visit to the King Power will be making them nervous nonetheless.

Every now and then, it happens that we are more or less obliged to repeat an earlier suggestion in the captaincy candidate section, and this is one of those times. The reason we’re recommending Alexandre Lacazette (£9.6m) again is three-fold: Arsenal are playing Huddersfield at home, Lacazette is very likely to start considering his 70 minutes of playing time over the past 3 weeks and Aubameyang playing every Premier League minute since gameweek 11 plus the Gunners are in fine (goalscoring) form. The Frenchman already has 6 goals and 5 assists to his name this season, from 14 games, and with Huddersfield (home), Southampton (away) and Burnley (home) up next, you can rely on him providing more attacking returns in the coming weeks.

Looking at the FISO forum GW16 FPL Captain topic, the votes are currently 44% for Aubameyang, 24% for Harry Kane and 18% for Salah with 14% for other players.

Premier League Betting Tips

According to UEFA statistics, the English Premier League is the second biggest European championship and one of the greatest sporting competitions worldwide. With 20 prominent teams in the league, it provides a great spectacle for football fans at the grounds and from the armchair. Think of Mo Salah, Jorginho, Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku to name but a few of the world stars that are in the Premier League. The coaches and the clubs are very popular around the planet. Looking at the EPL betting angles, are you aware of the best trends to look out for?

What are the Best Bookies for EPL Betting?
Most football bets today are placed on English Premier League matches. There are more than 200 live platforms for different matches offered by EPL bookmakers. The bookies compete in the provision of the highest odds to entice customers. When searching for the best bookmaker, go for a platform that regularly provides the best odds backed up with a price promise. Also, check for free bets and special promotions such as Bet Credits which are exclusive to bet365 players. Normally, all bookies provide enhanced odds on a regular basis plus other specials on premier league betting markets. Always check their betting tips page for the best insights.

Find the Best Tipsters
The EPL is a tough league to successfully bet on as evident in the number of recent title winners. Every week there are surprising results. Betting on the teams that are considered weak will give you bigger odds but the more successful teams often have extra matches and are then susceptible to an upset. Home advantage is a big factor. Betting tipsters can help you to figure out the right direction in this case.

Expert Predictions
As you bet on the EPL, you involve yourself more in the action and the goals scored. For instance, Manchester City’s coach, Pep Guardiola set a record by hitting a significant mark of 106 team goals last season. Liverpool, on the other hand, slammed 84 goals. These are big numbers but can they repeat themselves in the current season?

In the last 10 years, the EPL is where you’ll find world-class strikers. Last season, Aguero (Manchester City) scored 21 goals; Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) had 16 goals; Salah (Liverpool) scored 32 goals and Kane (Tottenham) reached 30 goals. These statistics can help you when betting. Be aware when the team’s main goalscorer is on form or not.

Betting on Matches
Considering the statistics above, there are several principles that should guide you when making predictions. First, consider the form of EPL teams and their star players. It is important that you judge the history of a sides meeting. Before you place your bet, examine closely the rankings from the official pages of the Premier League and the form over the past 5 matches.

Most importantly, compare the odds before placing a bet on EPL. Use the best bookies and see which one provides bets of your own choice. If you think Manchester United will beat Tottenham, it would be wise to register with Bet365 that gives a rating of 1/3. After all, it is your pounds that are at stake.

Betting on Top Scorer
Harry Kane shined in the 2018 World Cup as England made it to the semi-finals. There’s a high probability he’ll be a top scorer in the EPL this season even though he once again has gotten off to a slow start (maybe due to fatigue from the World Cup). Mohammed Salah, who was unfortunately plagued with injury, could shine again for Liverpool but surely won’t reach the same heights as last season. Next is Aubameyang (Arsenal) followed by Aguero (Man City). These scorers are favoured everywhere by bookmakers.

Are you looking for the best sign-up offer from a leading bookmaker? Get bet365 Bet Credits during registration! Perhaps you are used to bookies that give a welcome bonus after joining their platform. However, bet365 offers ‘Bet Credits’ as a new customer offer. Bet Credits are similar to free bets in that you cannot cash them out. What you need to do is deposit at least £5 to your account and they will match it up in Bet Credits if you stake qualifying bets to the same value and settle the bet. You may qualify for up to £100 Bet Credits. Don’t forget to use a bonus code (SPORT100) when registering your account.

FPL Season 2018/19 – Gameweek 15 Preview

19 Merci Arsène - Celebrating Iwobi's goal

“Celebrating a goal by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, gameweek 14’s top performer” (CC by 2.0) by Ronnie Macdonald

December has arrived, and the games are going to be coming in thick and fast in the Premier League for about a month. Counting gameweek 14, there are going to be eight Premier League gameweeks between November 30th, 2018, and January 3rd, 2019, which means 8 games in 34 days. Gameweek 15’s deadline is tomorrow evening, while the next deadline is just 4 days later. As usual, the festive period is the busiest, with gameweeks 18 to 21 taking place in a space of just 13 days (December 21st to January 3rd). The bad news? Fatigue, injuries, (extreme) rotation. The good news? All of your FPL rivals face the same issue. Our advice? Invest in nailed-on starters and have a bench you can count on. And if you’re still hanging on to your wildcard, use it!

Looking back at the outcome from our Gameweek 14 preview:

PICK  – PLAYER  – PERFORMANCE
Premium pick – Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 6
Premium pick – Raheem Sterling (Man City) 9
Premium pick – Mo Salah (Liverpool) 3
Differential – Leroy Sané (Man City) 5
Differential – Patrick van Aanholt (Palace) 7
Captain – Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) 6
Captain – David Silva (Man City) 1

Some observations ahead of gameweek 15

After Leicester’s historical title-winning season, we all knew it was a question of time before Riyad Mahrez would be joining one of football’s elite outfits. The Algerian technician ended up staying for one more year before joining reigning champions Man City, which begged the question: “How are the Foxes going to compensate for the loss of creativity, creation, goals, and assists caused by his transfer?”. The answer? James Maddison. The now 22-year old attacking midfielder has the age, the qualities, and the mentality to make it big, not just at Leicester, but in European football. You just need to check out his goal versus Burnley last weekend as proof, especially considering he had just served a one-match ban for diving. The English youngster apologised publicly and subsequently rewarded his FPL owners with 8 points. He let his feet do the talking and his owners will get a lot more out of him this season (4 goals and 2 assists currently).

Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola started FPL’s mass rotation anxiety off in style by leaving both the in-form David Silva and the slightly muscular issued Kun Aguero out of the starting line-up against Bournemouth on Saturday. Aguero’s omission in particular has had a profound effect on FPL scores, considering his ownership currently stands at 46.7%. On top of the coming crowded Premier League schedule, Man City still have a Champions League group game to go (Hoffenheim on December 12th), as well as a League Cup quarter final (Leicester on December 18th). Despite the number of injuries the Cityzens are dealing with at the moment (De Bruyne, Aguero and Mendy among them), they still have enough squad depth to drive FPL managers crazy. We’re not saying not to invest in City assets (you really, really should), but just be ready for that all-too-familiar feeling of rotation-related disappointment here and there, from time to time.

At the bottom of the league, things have been shifting a lot over the past few weeks, with most of this season’s initial ugly ducklings improving on their performances and scraping points to get away from the drop zone. One team going in the other direction though, is Burnley. Sean Dyche’s men have had a pretty disappointing season from the start, but the Clarets have officially dropped into the relegation zone after last weekend’s defeat against Crystal Palace. The Eagles hadn’t won a home game up until that point, in part due to their seeming inability to score goals. Burnley conceded two though, including a fantastic one by Andros Townsend, making it an unacceptable 2 points from the last 7 games (4 goals scored, 19 conceded). It looks like Sean Dyche has the difficult task of preventing his team from becoming the Premier League’s next whipping boys and with Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton coming up in the next five gameweeks, few managers will be envying him at the moment.

Premium picks

Between gameweeks 1 and 6, Christian Eriksen (£9.2m) produced just two assists and 19 FPL points for his owners as he shared in Tottenham’s overall underwhelming start to the 2018-19 campaign. Then, between gameweeks 7 and 12, the Danish playmaker played just 41 minutes of Premier League football due to an annoying stomach injury, but it looks like he has returned in full form. After providing two assists in the home game against Chelsea and scoring the only and thus winning goal in the crucial home encounter with Inter Milan last Wednesday, Eriksen gave another assist in gameweek 14’s away defeat to Arsenal. With a relatively comfortable fixture schedule for Spurs over the coming months, now could be a good moment to start considering snapping up the Dane at his current price. He’s got the fixtures, the form and the starting berth in the first eleven, so without trying to sound too bandwagon-y, you should probably get onto this one.

With 21 points from the last four gameweeks and a current ownership percentage of 22.2%, it’s hard to call Marko Arnautovic (£7.1m) a differential, which means we’re including him as one of our premium picks this week. The Austrian hitman simply looks excellent value in a team with a lot of potential. True, the Hammers have been somewhat inconsistent over the opening months of the 18-19 season, but Arnie’s role as supplier of goals and team talisman hasn’t changed once. He’s got 5 goals and 3 assists to his name already, with a total of 59 FPL points to show for it. Combine this with West Ham’s scrumptious-looking upcoming fixture schedule, including Cardiff, Palace and Watford at home in the coming 4 gameweeks, and the Austrian’s current price tag kind of looks like one of the bargains of the moment.

Our final premium pick this week is another striker, namely Leicester’s Jamie Vardy (£8.9m). It’s true that Vardy is something of a personal FPL favourite, but the case for him is more compelling than his current ownership percentage might suggest. Between gameweeks 8 and 12, the English striker went through a very unproductive period, FPL-wise, due to a 3-match ban, some injury worries, and an apparent spat with his coach. All that seems to be water under the bridge now though, as Vardy has scored in both gameweek 13 and 14, with 16 FPL points as a result. When fit, he is a guaranteed starter for Leicester, something we don’t feel will change much over the festive period, and with (away) games versus Fulham and Palace coming up in the next three, he looks set to bring more joy to his owners (current ownership of 4.5%), assuming he gets over the slight muscle injury he currently has.

A differential or two

It sounds almost too good to be true to hear talk about an attacking midfielder in FPL who is currently the fifth-highest scoring midfielder in the game while boasting a £7.4m price tag and an ownership of just 8.1%. Well, that’s Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.4m) for you. The Icelandic playmaker has been quietly going on about his business under Marco Silva, cementing a central attacking role in a constantly improving Everton side. He scored twice and assisted once over the past five gameweeks, raking in 29 points in the process, while his current season totals stand at 6 goals scored, 2 assists provided, and 74 FPL points brought home for his owners. From Everton’s last 9 games, the Toffees have only lost three (against Liverpool, Man United, and Arsenal), while winning five and drawing 0-0 at Stamford Bridge. With home games against Newcastle and Watford coming up in gameweeks 15 and 16 respectively, both Everton in general and Sigurdsson in particular could be thriving.

Our second differential pick of the week has a story that is somewhat similar to Sigurdsson’s. Brighton’s Glenn Murray (£6.7m) was surprisingly left out of the starting eleven against Huddersfield on Saturday, but he’s expected to start against Palace at home this week on Tuesday. The 35-year old poacher is the eight-highest scoring forward in the game, currently outscoring Arnautovic, Firmino and Lukaku, just to name a few, while Raul Jimenez and Aleksandr Mitrovic are the only forwards in the top ten with a lower price tag. He has scored two goals in his last five games, and seven in total this season, with 60 FPL points as a result. That leads to a points per million (of his price) ratio of 9, which is amongst the highest PPM ratios in the game. Brighton are facing arch rivals Palace at home next before travelling to Burnley in gameweek 16 and Murray could net in both, to be honest.

For further ideas about transfers into your squad for gameweek 15 have a look at that topic on the fiso forum.

The captaincy

For a long time this season, Harry Kane (£12.4m) has seemed affected by his excellent World Cup exertions, like much of the Spurs squad perhaps, making his hefty price tag seems a little too hefty. Over the past month or so though, Tottenham’s very own has been on a roll again, scoring 3 goals and providing 1 assist in his last four Premier League games, including two strikes against Arsenal and Chelsea. Kane has scored 29 times in each of his last two seasons in the Prem, and 25 in the season before that, so the FPL pedigree is definitely present, we all know that. Now that he’s started to justify his £12.4m price tag and with a favourable run of fixtures coming up for Spurs, starting with a mid-week game at home to managerless Southampton, he should be on top of your transfer list as well as your captaincy list for this week.

It would make for somewhat more surprising reading if we would say that our second captaincy pick of the week is an exciting differential or a risky punt with huge points potential, but Callum Wilson (£6.8m) is neither of those things. What he is, is one of this season’s best players, one of the most consistent performer, and a player who has grown into a realistic candidate for the captaincy on an almost-weekly basis. The Bournemouth striker has an impressive 7 goals and 7 assists to his name so far, in just 14 gameweeks, which has resulted in a total of 80 FPL points. Only Aubameyang (91) and Aguero (82) have more points among forwards, but Wilson is £4.2m and £4.6m cheaper respectively. That’s incredible value right there. He’s facing Huddersfield at home this week and despite the Terriers recent mini resurgence, you’d bet on Wilson bagging a goal or two in front of his own fans.

Don’t like our suggestions? Then head over the fiso forum GW15 Captain Poll. Not surprisingly, Kane is currently leading the way with 48% of the vote, followed by Salah with 23% and then both Arnautovic and Sterling on 10% each.

Everton form continues in the Premier League

The Premier league campaign has shown a positive start for the club, as they continue to pick up important points, with European football the main aim for next season. Before this campaign begun, many Premier League tipsters out there were backing Everton to have a solid season under new manager Marco Silva. One football prediction we saw recently was tipping up the Toffees to challenge the top 6 places in the Premier League – and these predictions are now looking strong, as Everton are one of the in-form sides in the league at present. Everton are currently sitting in sixth, ahead of Manchester United and just six points off the top four.

This start just shows the incredible job that Marco Silva is doing as the blue’s boss. He has pushed his attacking philosophy on to the squad, in which they now play very exciting football. Richarlison is continuing to show why he could be the future of the club, in pushing them back into challenging for the Champions League spots. He is already showing that it is money well spent following the big move, which at the time raised some eyebrows.

Everton are coming off the back of picking up 16 of the last 21 available points in the League prior to the Liverpool fixture. This includes comprehensive victories over the likes of Fulham, Crystal Palace and Brighton. The Blues also picked up a very important point away at Chelsea, who themselves have been in stunning form this season, despite the recent poor showing against Tottenham. This is just another indication of the run of form the side has been on.

Everton now have a very difficult run of fixtures up to Christmas, which could define their season. This starts with the local derby away to Liverpool and then two home fixtures against resurgent Newcastle and Watford, with the latter likely to be a big test. Watford themselves have kicked off the season very impressively and sit just two points behind the blues in ninth, following the opening thirteen fixtures.

Everton then travel to Manchester City, who ominously look to have improved further this season. This is a game that any points picked up will be seen as a big bonus for them. The final game of this difficult run before Christmas is a home clash against Tottenham on the 23rd of December. This will be another fixture, in which Everton will start as the underdogs. Everton have struggled against Tottenham in recent years, in what is set to be one of the toughest tests for them over the season. If Everton can pick up seven or more points over these next difficult five fixtures, it could be massive to their European hopes come the end of the season.

FPL Season 2018/19 – Gameweek 14 Preview

Eden Hazard / Эден Азар

“After a few disappointing gameweeks, is Eden Hazard delivering at home to Fulham this weekend?” (CC by 2.0) by Aleksandr Osipov

Now that the Champions League group stage has reached the decisive and final round and with only Man City and Man United sure of qualification for the knockout stages, the words on the minds of many FPL managers this weekend will be “rotation risk”. Nonetheless, the coming weekend offers plenty of attractive fixtures as Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City all play home games that could end up being full of goals. Arsenal are also playing at home, but they are hosting an improving Spurs side for a derby match that could go either way. We’ll take a look at some interesting facts from last weekend and the mid-week Champions League games before moving on to our picks for gameweek 14.

Some observations ahead of gameweek 14

First of all, the Champions League. Pep Guardiola’s love for player rotation could drive any FPL manager crazy on any regular Saturday afternoon, so the fact that Man City turned up in their strongest formation versus Olympique Lyon yesterday could have devastating consequences. Or not. What we know is that Sterling (90 minutes), Sané (71 min), David Silva (90 min), Mahrez (90 min) and Aguero (90 min) started, with especially the first three having been in exceptionally good form these past few weeks. So will Pep rest some of these players? As usual, it’s hard to say, though rotation risk is slightly reduced by the current injury worries surrounding Bernardo Silva and Gundogan. It’ll come down to your own assessment of form, fixtures, fitness, and Pep’s thoughts , so good luck with that.

The Reds from Manchester also played in Europe last weekend, hosting Swiss minnows Young Boys. José Mourinho opted to start without Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku, while the seemingly discarded Alexis Sanchez wasn’t even on the bench. In the 65th minute, Lingard and Fred made way for Lukaku and Pogba, and seven minutes later yet another injury to right-back Valencia meant he was replaced by Juan Mata when perhaps Fellaini was about to be taken off. Luckily Man United forced a 90th-minute winner through Fellaini (assist Lukaku), which sent the Red Devils through to the next round. In the light of this weekend’s game at Saint Mary’s, FPL managers with United assets won’t have to worry too much about rotation risk. It should be taken into account that in-form Anthony Martial played the full 90 minutes against Young Boys, but that’s about it.

Meanwhile, a new wind is blowing through Craven Cottage and it could have an impact on FPL management all over. Manager Slavisa Jokanovic was replaced by none other then miracle man and fan favourite Claudio Ranieri after losing 7 in a row, conceding a whopping 31 goals in just 12 games. The Cottagers promptly beat Southampton. Over the first few months of the 2018-19 Premier League campaign, a tendency to bet big on teams facing Fulham has developed, but this could be over soon. Ranieri is aiming to bring better tactical discipline and awareness to the team, as well as more defensive solidity. Sure, it will take some time for the Italian coach to mould his new team into a coherent unit, but it looks like Fulham won’t be the league’s whipping boys any more.

The position in which Fulham find themselves at the moment, which is last, is one that had become all too familiar for David Wagner and his Huddersfield Town. Currently though, the Terriers are in 15th place with 10 points after starting an unbeaten streak in gameweek 11 that has extended to three matches after last weekend’s emphatic win over Wolves (0-2). The 1-1 draw at West Ham the week before and the 1-0 victory over Fulham the week before that have put Huddersfield two points above the drop zone. They’ll be hoping to remain unbeaten for a fourth consecutive time against Brighton at home this weekend. To say we should all flock to Huddersfield assets ASAP now would be exaggerated, but the likes of playmaker Aaron Mooy (highlighted by us as a potential differential captain pick in gameweek 11) who scored a double in his last match, central defender Zanka, and midfielder Billing could be interesting budget-enabling differentials.

Do also keep an eye on the fiso forum gameweek 14 transfers topic for more ideas.

Premium picks

We have just said that Fulham will soon no longer be the Premier League’s whipping boys, but this doesn’t mean that their away game against Chelsea this weekend isn’t looking like an extremely plum fixture for Eden Hazard (£11.1m). The Belgian Blues star has had a few inconsistent weeks of late as a result of a nagging ankle injury, so the home game versus Fulham could be the perfect opportunity for him to show the world that he’s still the best in the Prem. Chelsea have won 4 out of their first 7 home games this season, scoring 15 goals in the process. Of those 15 goals, Hazard was directly involved in 7 (5 goals and 2 assists) despite not playing more than half an hour in two of those home games. Possibly more interesting though, is the fact that all of Hazard’s goals were scored when Olivier Giroud was on the pitch, who the Belgian recently described as “the best target man in the world”. From an FPL perspective, Hazard is obviously more much decisive when playing with Giroud than with Morata, so keep an eye on the starting line-up for the Thursday game against PAOK.

As mentioned earlier, Man City’s starting line-up for this weekend’s home game against Bournemouth is hard to predict, but we still feel one of this week’s premium picks should be a Cityzen. From Aguero, Sané, D. Silva, and Raheem Sterling (£11.3m) we’ve eventually chosen to go with the latter. The young Englishman is back on fire, scoring 3 goals and providing 5 assists over the past four Premier League games, with 45 FPL points as a result. The current highest-scoring player in the official fantasy game (95 points) played the full 90 minutes against Lyon yesterday, so rotation is rearing its ugly head here, but can Pep really leave out a Sterling in such form? Additionally, the injury doubts for B. Silva and Gundogan (both given a 75% of playing by FPL) should reduce the rotation risk somewhat.

Our final premium pick of the week will be starring in the Merseyside Derby coming Sunday afternoon, as Liverpool host Everton for what surely will be entertaining encounter. The rivalry between the Reds and the Toffees, as well as the importance of this derby, are common knowledge for FPL managers, and Liverpool are expected to line up in their strongest formation. That means Momo Salah (£13.0m) will be starting at Anfield, which also makes him a captaincy option. The Egyptian forward has scored 4 goals and given 2 assists in his last five Premier League games, totalling 41 FPL points over that period. Salah started for the Reds in Paris against PSG on Wednesday night for an all-important clash in a Champions League group, but Salah looks set to start versus Everton.

A differential or two

Our first differential pick of the week is Leroy Sané (£9.3m), whose price tag might not make him affordable for everyone, but whose current ownership (6.1%) could make a huge difference for you. Over the past three gameweeks, the German youngster played the full 90 minutes twice and recorded an impressive 34 FPL points over that period (3 goals and 3 assists). With Mendy out for the foreseeable future, his spot will be covered by the less offensive Delph or Zinchenko. This means that Sané will be taking up much of the attacking responsibilities in that time, as Guardiola has asked from him in the past. He was taken off after 70 minutes mid-week versus Olympique Lyon, so we expect him to start on Saturday at home versus Bournemouth, especially considering his current purple patch.

Dutch wing-back Patrick van Aanholt (£5.4m) is our other differential pick this week. Like Sané, the Crystal Palace defender is not the most budget-friendly option, but his ownership of just 3.7% makes him a tempting option in the run-up to the home game against struggling Burnley this weekend. Palace are far from playing free-flowing football and booking comfortable victories themselves, which is illustrated by their current 16th place in the league, but this should be seen in the right context: the Eagles faced Everton, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, and United in their last five Premier League games. Roy Hodgson’s men are not a bad outfit, but they are lacking some confidence and a serious goal threat apart from talisman Wilfried Zaha. Against a Burnley side who have taken a meagre 2 points from their last 5 games (in which they scored just 4 goals), Palace have the chance to get back to winning ways. In total, Burnley have scored 6 goals in 7 away games, so a clean sheet is definitely possible, and in the case of Van Aanholt, some attacking returns are as well.

The captaincy

Thanks to the fixture calendar, each of our three premium picks this week, as well as differential pick Leroy Sané, has serious captaincy potential. Considering Hazard’s slight injury worry and the fact that we’ve mentioned him as a stand-out premium pick already, we’re recommending a team mate of his here instead: Marcos Alonso (£7.1m). The Chelsea wing-back is the official fantasy game’s highest-scoring defender and the game’s second-highest scorer overall (87 points), with only Raheem Sterling earning more FPL points over this season’s first 13 games. Alonso brought home 36 points over the past four gameweeks, courtesy of 2 assists and 2 clean sheets in that period. Those performances also earned him 5 bonus points. The Spaniard will have space and time to bomb forward at home to Fulham this weekend, while a Blues clean sheet isn’t unthinkable either.

When it comes to Man City, we’ve covered Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sané already in this piece. Seeing as a Man City attacker should be involved in this section with a home game versus Bournemouth on the cards, we’re highlighting David Silva (£8.6m) this time. The Spanish playmaker has been excellent so far this season and he’s been exceptionally prolific over the past month or so, as well. The original Silva has scored a goal in each of his last three Premier League games (Southampton home, United home, and West Ham away), bagging a decent 3 bonus points and 25 points overall in that period. He did play the full 90 minutes against Lyon on Tuesday, but Pep is likely to start him on Saturday after three days of recovery. What adds to David Silva’s FPL appeal is the fact that his ownership currently stands at just 10.8%, making him somewhat of a differential.

 

Top Three FPL Goalkeeper Picks

It’s often the case that people overlook goalkeepers as a lesser priority when putting together their Fantasy Premier League teams, although their potential to help add important points cannot be understated.

A safe pair of hands between the posts is priceless for most teams, as is the added bonus of helping their team secure three points with a clean sheet. Of course, any savvy FPL manager will probably check upcoming fixtures before deciding who to choose, although these three shot-stoppers have proven to be the most reliable options so far this season.

Ederson – Manchester City – 68 Points

The most expensive FPL goalkeeping option at £5.8 million, choosing the agile Brazilian may require you to shuffle things around with your outfield selections, but Ederson well worth both the investment and confidence. Particularly given he also has one of the tightest defences playing ahead of him.

Still unbeaten after GW13 and having only conceded five goals, it’s with good reason that Manchester City remain outright Premier League betting favourites. Having also kept eight clean sheets, which is more than any other goalkeeper, choosing Ederson in the number one spot is pretty much a no-brainer for most FPL managers, with 26.7% having opted for the 25-year-old.

Alisson Becker – Liverpool – 63 Points

If one Brazilian wasn’t enough to help prevent conceding goals, another one is doing a fine job at Liverpool this season. Jurgen Klopp didn’t bat an eyelid at the £67 million fee the club paid, although thankfully, Alisson Becker is much more of a bargain at £5.7 million for FPL managers, with 20.2% having put their faith in the 26-year-old and his abilities.

Second only to his Brazilian compatriot Ederson, with seven clean sheets Alisson has brought a greater level of certainty between the posts at Liverpool, helping them remain the only unbeaten side along with Manchester City, pushing the reigning Premier League champions in a tight race for the title this season.

Jordan Pickford – Everton – 61 Points

After heroics and fine performances with England at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the praise continues for Jordan Pickford, who has proven to be a vital last line of defence for Everton during their 2018-19 Premier League campaign, with the team now a serious contender to finish amongst the European positions.

Pickford has certainly helped the Toffees get out of more than one or two sticky situations, pulling off some fine flying saves to help his team secure valuable points, and at just £4.9 million to FPL managers, his selection can genuinely be viewed as an absolute bargain. 15.5% of FPL managers have the 24-year-old in their team, indicating he is a very popular choice.

Solid Alternative Options

If the thought of spending more on goalkeepers than outfield players makes you twitch with uncertainty, then there are a couple of very good alternative options to consider. Wayne Hennessey at Crystal Palace has racked up 55 points in the FPL charts, and though his team have often struggled this season, the 31-year-old has been in excellent form individually.

Meanwhile, with his Manchester City nightmare and England World Cup squad omission seemingly now behind him, Joe Hart appears to be rediscovering the best of his form at Burnley, scoring a highly creditable 52 FPL points so far this season. He’s also quite the bargain at £4.5 million, therefore worth keeping in mind when shuffling your team selections around.

The First Team Squad of Football Players with Gambling Issues

While kind of sad, it would indeed be possible to make an entire football team (and a pretty good one for that matter) made up entirely out of football players that have or had a gambling addiction. Maybe it’s because of how much football players get paid, maybe it’s because they are famous people, but for some reason many football players don’t know their limits and have developed a real problem playing casino slots and other casino games.


This is the team we imagined and their positions on the field:

 Gigi Buffon G
 Phil Bardsley D
 Dominic Matteo D
 Kenny Sansom D
 Scott Davies D
 Paul Merson M
 Joey Barton M
 David Bentley M
 Keith Gillespie M
 Wayne Rooney A
 Michael Chopra A


By Doha Stadium Plus Qatar from Doha, Qatar – Gianluigi Buffon, CC BY 2.0, Link

These are all really famous players that have had some interesting careers. The most famous of them all are Gigi Buffon, Wayne Rooney and Scott Davies. While Buffon is most famous for his skill rather than his gambling, he was involved in some scandals involved in match-fixing and corruption in gambling, he had illegal gambling allegations in two separate instances, but all changes was dropped and he was found innocent. Wayne Rooney is one of Manchester United’s most famous players, but he also had a gambling debt of £700,000 in 2006. He got there by betting on football, horses and dogs.



Source: www.skysports.com

Unfortunately, Scott Davies is more famous for his problems with gambling than he is for his passion and talent for football. He struggled quite a lot, lost his career and more than £200k, but now he’s been through rehab, has completely gotten rid of his addiction and is trying his hardest to help others.

The good part is that the football players’ age was legal so they weren’t breaking any laws.

If they would have practiced responsible gambling instead when playing casino games they probably wouldn’t have had a problem. Gambling can be fun and safe if you know when to stop and how to take control over your finances and your life.

For example, on Jetbull you could play casino slots and games online in a safe environment where you could impose limits on yourself. You can also self-exclude yourself at any time or seek help if you feel like you’re not having fun any more and things are getting out of hand. Gambling can be a good thing in online casinos that are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and that has players’ mental health and well-being at heart.

If you want to play, make sure to play responsibly!

FPL Season 2018/19 – Gameweek 13 Preview


“After scoring the only goal for his country in the friendly encounter with Cameroon, Richarlison will be hoping to net again versus Cardiff this weekend” (CC by 2.0) by Archivo Medios Públicos EP

That was the last international break until the middle of March 2019. That’s right, no more week-long Premier League interruptions for four months. Instead, the festive period is now almost upon us, which means that between tomorrow’s first match and gameweek 21’s final match on January 3rd, 2019, there are just 34 days. That’s a gameweek every 4 days on average. This football fiesta is kicked off in Brighton on Saturday, where the local FC are hosting Leicester City in a gameweek that sees four of the traditional top six playing away (Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal). As if the Gods were messing around with our FPL planning, the two top-six teams with a home game are also the two most unreliable big names so far this FPL season (Man United and Spurs). It’s going to be an interesting return to Premier League action and might be worth the gamble of doing something different with your captain.

Some observations ahead of gameweek 13
For a team in 13th place, a point away from home in the Premier League will generally be considered a decent result, but this wasn’t the case for West Ham United on Saturday. Their opponents for the occasion, Huddersfield, are a hard-working outfit, but also one that seems destined to bid farewell to the Premier League after this season. The Terries, up until gameweek 12, had scored just once at home, while the Hammers just came off a comprehensive 4-2 win over Burnley. Manuel Pellegrini’s men had something of an off-day against Huddersfield and a point was more than they deserved, which confirms a worrying trend for FPL managers. The Hammers offer lots of potential in terms of FPL assets (Anderson, Fabianski and, of course, Arnautovic, for example), but they can’t seem to keep their team’s form from fluctuating considerably on a weekly basis.

Twelve games into the season and suffering a seventh consecutive defeat in gameweek 12, that was the result of Fulham‘s away loss to Liverpool in gameweek 12. Despite the game not ending up being the massacre many people expected and a fine Mitrovic goal being disallowed just before the opening goal from Salah, manager Jokanovic was dismissed and replaced by none other than Claudio Ranieri. With 31 conceded goals from just 12 games, Fulham has been this year’s defensive joke of the league, but expect these numbers to start improving soon. Ranieri has had the international break to ponder his tactics and while he might not be able to turn the Fulham shambles into a solid unit right away, you can assume that he’ll be making some considerable changes in the coming gameweeks.

We’re sticking with the same game for a moment, because Liverpool have become a bit of an FPL issue for many managers. They obviously offer enormous potential all over the pitch as they tend to score lots of goals and keep regular clean sheets, but the Reds seem to have lost some of their mojo over the past weeks. Of course, the 2-0 away loss to Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League can be considered an incidental collective failure, but the following game against Fulham at home wasn’t great either. Sure, it brought them a 2-0 victory, in part thanks to an opener from talisman Momo Salah, but are they showing enough to warrant the premium price tags of some of their players at the moment? Liverpool’s first game after the international break, away versus Watford, will likely shed more light on this topic.

Speaking of form, further up north Newcastle seem to have found their groove just in time. After a narrow loss at Old Trafford in gameweek 8 and the subsequent unnecessary home loss versus Brighton, the Magpies recorded an away draw (Southampton 0-0) and two impressive home wins, against Watford and Bournemouth (1-0 and 2-1). As a result, Rafa Benitez now finds his team in 14th place, though just 1 point above the drop zone. With games against Burnley, West Ham, Wolves, Huddersfield and Fulham coming up over the coming 6 gameweeks, things could be looking up even more as Christmas approaches.

Premium picks
As mentioned earlier, gameweek 13 sees Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal all playing away games, which will certainly have an impact on FPL manager decisions. When it comes to premium players in the official game, now is the time to prove their expensive price tags. That’s why our first pick is also the FPL’s most expensive player, Momo Salah (£13.0m). With 6 goals and 4 assists in 12 Premier League games, the Egyptian winger has had a good start to the 2018-19 campaign, though possibly a bit overshadowed by the ghosts of last season’s extra-terrestrial performances. Watford are hosting the Reds this weekend and Salah scored (and provided an assist) in this same fixture last year. Of course, the home encounter with the Hornets that year saw him score 5 and bring home 29 FPL points. It’s also interesting to know that Egypt’s friendly game versus the United Arab Emirates was cancelled, which gave Salah an unexpected eight extra days of rest in the run-up to this weekend’s game.

Our second pick is also up there among the most expensive assets in the official game. Sergio Aguero (£11.4m) is the current Premier League top scorer, with 8 goals, while also co-leading the assist ranking, with 6 assists. Add to that the incredible goal production of his team as a whole (15 goals in the last 4 games alone, 36 goals in total) and the fact that Saturday’s opponents West Ham have conceded seven in six, and Kun’s appeal is clear, we believe. The only possible worry about this match-up is that Aguero has scored just once away from home this season, without any assists to his name. It’s a transfer decision many FPL managers will be pondering in the build-up to the gameweek 13 deadline.

We’re staying in the segment of the premium prices, though pointing at a slightly lower-priced attacking asset this time: Manchester United’s Anthony Martial (£7.6m). We were sure that Martial had to be included in this week’s preview article, but we were doubting whether to list him among the premium picks, the differentials, or the captaincy options. Price-wise he could still be considered a differential, even based on his ownership he could be categorised somewhat of a differential, but when looking at his recent performances, it’s clear he needs to be listed among the premium picks. The Frenchman notched 6 goals and a single assist in the past 5 gameweeks, as part of a Manchester United team that currently finds itself in 8th position in the league. As a matter of fact, Martial doesn’t only have the form, but the fixture as well, as one of the few star players this weekend. A home game against Palace, who have conceded 9 goals in 6 away games so far and who haven’t kept a clean sheet since gameweek 6, will have Martial looking to keep his purple patch intact.

A differential or two
It could be a sign of overeagerness to join a new bandwagon in the very initial stages, but we feel Newcastle’s Salomon Rondón (£5.7m) could become a real differential over the coming weeks. Of course, the Venezuelan striker won’t be scoring braces like he did against Bournemouth every weekend, but he showed potential. With a winnable run of fixtures on the horizon, including encounters with Burnley, West Ham, Wolves, Huddersfield and Fulham over the next six gameweeks, the Magpies will be looking to Rondón to supply them with goals. He is a differential both in terms of price (just £5.7m for a starting striker with good fixtures) and ownership (just 1% of FPL teams contain Rondón), and he could be big for you as a third striker option.

Funnily enough, our other differential pick this week is just about the only other forward in Rondón’s price bracket under £6m that is truly worth considering for your team, namely Wolves striker Raul Jimenez (£5.8m). He’s much less of a differential in terms of ownership than Rondón is (11.8% vs 1%), but the Mexican’s track record this season has been much better as well: 3 goals, 5 assists, and a total of 56 FPL points. In the past two games versus Spurs (home) and Arsenal (away), the versatile forward produced 2 goals and an assist, which means he’ll be in outstanding form when welcoming Huddersfield to the Molineux on Sunday. The Terriers have conceded 14 goals in just 5 away games so far and Jimenez will be looking to add to that worrying total.

Also keep your eye on the FISO Forum Gameweek 13 transfers topic for more ideas.

The captaincy
We mentioned him before, but if you have Anthony Martial (£7.6m) in your team already, or if you can bring him without too much team surgery and a points hit, then you should probably captain him this weekend. The Frenchman left the French national team at the start of the international break due to injury, but he’s expected to slot right back into United’s starting eleven on Saturday. The Red Devils are playing Crystal Palace, who are expected to lean back and count on the speed of their front men at Old Trafford, haven’t kept a clean sheet since gameweek 6 and it seems like a good punt to assume Martial is getting on the score sheet. He has scored an impressive 6 goals in his last 5 domestic league games, he didn’t play for France over the break, and his expected direct opponent on the pitch (Wan-Bissaka) is currently still nurturing an injury. In other words, captain material.

The other stand-out captaincy option for us this week is Everton’s Richarlison (£6.9m). Yes, there have been some lingering injury doubts surrounding the Brazilian star, but his goal for Brazil against Cameroon a few days ago (the game’s only goal) should put those worries to rest. He recorded 15 points in gameweek 11, courtesy of 2 goals and maximum bonus points, followed by a more or less expected blank at Stamford Bridge. As we all know by now, manager Marco Silva deploys Richarlison as a striker, which only further increases his appeal as the home game against Cardiff approaches. The Bluebirds’ away record this season is abysmal, with just 1 point taken from 5 games. They conceded 11 goals in that period, while Everton are placed fifth in the table for home results (4 victories, 13 points, and 12 goals scored in 6 games so far). On paper, Richarlison should be running riot at Goodison Park this weekend.

The FISO Forum Gameweek 13 Captain Poll currently has Salah and Aguero leading the way with 38% and 35% of the vote, followed by Richarlison (13%), Sterling (8%) and Martial (3%).

Football on the continent. Which clubs will win the other major European leagues in 2019?

Napoli Verona 12
“An image from Napoli’s crackling Stadio San Paolo” (CC by 2.0) by MJwho

With the Premier League being the thrilling, though sometimes extremely frustrating roller coaster that it is every season, we would almost forget that great football is played all over Europe. Of course, we get a taste of what European football has to offer every two weeks, when the Champions League and the Europa League pitch the Premier League’s best against Europe’s finest, but the major European leagues have a lot more to offer. What to think of La Liga, where Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid are always underdogs in the title fight with giants Real Madrid and Barcelona? Or the Bundesliga, where teams like Dortmund and Leverkusen are seemingly unable to keep up with Bayern Munich’s dominance? In this article, we’re going to take a quick, closer look at three major leagues from the continent and the favourites for each respective title in 2019. And try this if you want to find your favourite best new casinos 2019.

La Liga (Spain)
After winning the Champions League an impressive and unprecedented three times in a row with a squad core that remained mostly unchanged during that period, the 2018-2019 campaign was always going to be a challenge for Real Madrid. World class players and Madrid icons like captain Sergio Ramos, engine Luka Modric and living legend Cristiano Ronaldo turned 32, 33, and 33 years old respectively in 2018, and the transfer of all-time topscorer Ronaldo to Juventus and the resignation of successful coach Zinedine Zidane marked the beginning of a new era for Los Merengues. Unfortunately for them though, the current season looks more and more like a transition moment for the club. After 12 games in La Liga, Real Madrid find themselves in a very disappointing sixth place, but one positive is that leaders Barcelona are somewhat struggling themselves this season and are just 4 points ahead.

The big moment for the pride of Catalonia this season was the 5-1 hammering of their arch rivals from the capital, Real Madrid. Soon after that, Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui was fired and youth coach Santiago Solari was appointed as caretaker manager until the end of the season. Barça was expected to leave this year’s occasional early-season hiccups, like the loss against modest CD Leganès and the home draw versus Girona, behind them after thrashing Real, but this wasn’t the case. A hard-fought away victory against newly-promoted Rayo Vallecano followed, but the game after that saw the La Liga giants lose 3-4 at home to Real Betis, who are currently in 14th place.

Meanwhile, challenger Atletico Madrid has kept up with the two traditional La Liga powerhouses and currently sits in third place, with 23 points from 12 games. The Colchoneros had a slow start to the season, but Diego Simeone’s fighting machine has reached cruising speed. With just 8 goals conceded so far, Atletico is proving as hard to beat as usual, especially at home, while an attack consisting of players like Diego Costa, Antoine Griezmann, and Thomas Lemar can create danger against any opponent. There are still 24 games to go in La Liga, so plenty can happen still and Real and/or Barça are bound to get back their mojo at some point, but if the two big names keep struggling to find consistency much longer, the 2019 title might be there to grab for Atletico. And try this if you want to grab yourself a casino bonus 2019.

Prediction: 1. FC Barcelona 2. Real Madrid 3. Atletico Madrid

Bundesliga (Germany)
The complete Bayern Munich dominance in the Bundesliga over the past decade or so, and indeed throughout most of German football’s history, is often a reason for heated discussion in Germany. By just looking at the estimated team values in the league, it’s easy to see why Bayern has won the title in the past five consecutive seasons, and seven times in the last ten years.

CLUB TOTAL MARKET VALUE
Bayern Munich – €807,80 million
Borussia Dortmund – €472,30 million
Bayer Leverkusen – €404,20 million
(Source: Transfermarkt.com)

Of course, club market values don’t paint the whole picture, just look at Leicester in 2016-17, but it does shed a light on what are realistic expectations for each club in terms of results. From the above table, for example, the obvious conclusion is that Bayern almost has an obligation to become champions, considering they’re worth almost twice as much as the Bundesliga’s number two, Dortmund.

Still, like Real Madrid in La Liga this year, the Bavarian giants are having an abysmal start to the 2018-19 campaign. At the time of writing, Bayern are in fifth place in the Bundesliga, with 20 points from 11 games, and behind teams like Monchengladbach and Eintracht Frankfurt. Much like Real, Bayern seems to be experiencing something of a transition year as the core of the current squad has been together for many years and at least two of their marquee players are approaching retirement age (Robben and Ribery). From the last seven games, the Germans took just 8 points, a run that included defeats against Hertha Berlin, Monchengladbach (0-3 in Munich!), and title rivals Dortmund. For now, new coach Niko Kovac is backed by the club and it doesn’t seem likely that they will fire him any time soon, but the Croatian manager needs to find a way to turn around things in the domestic competition.

Borussia Dortmund, on the other hand, are having a great start to the season, both in terms of the football they play and the results they book. They are currently leading the Bundesliga with an impressive 27 points from 11 games and they are four points ahead of number two Monchengladbach. On top of that, the last game before the current international break was a 1-0 home victory against Bayern, which is always a bit more special than other victories.

What makes Dortmund’s 2018-2019 season even more exciting though, is the fact that they are boasting one of the youngest squads (average age of 24.8 years) at the elite European level and coach Lucien Favre is managing to make his team play an attacking, attractive brand of football. Under his reign, exciting talents like US international Christian Pulisic (20 years old), Spanish goalgetter Paco Alcacer (25) and England’s very own future-Neymar Jadon Sancho (18) have glued together and formed a serious title contender.

With Bayern off to a more than disappointing start to the season and other traditional title contenders like Wolfsburg, Schalke 04, and Leverkusen nowhere near the top of the league for the moment, the title looks like a real possibility for Dortmund. We do expect Bayern to get back to a consistent and victorious rhythm again at some point, but that point does have to come soon, considering the current 7-point gap. At the same time, the pitfall of inconsistency always exists when teams boasting a lot of young players are concerned. Bayern are Bayern and they won’t give up the title until it’s lost, but if Favre can keep his enthusiastic youngsters on the rails, the Bundesliga title for 2019 might end up in Dortmund.

Prediction: 1 Borussia Dortmund 2. Bayern Munich 3. RB Leipzig

Serie A (Italy)
As is the case for most elite competitions in Europe, and indeed anywhere, the Italian Serie A boasts a select group of traditional heavyweights, in the form of Juventus, AC Milan, and Napoli, for example. Over the past decade though, one club has clearly dominated the landscape of Italian football: Juventus. The bianconeri from Turin have been crowned champions of the Serie A a record 34 times since the club’s foundation in 1897 and they also own the record for most consecutive league titles: seven, between the seasons 2011-2012 and last season. As it stands at the moment, with Juve leading the Serie A after taking an impressive 34 points from the campaign’s first 12 games, it looks like the giants from Turin are going to extend their record-breaking run of 7 Serie A titles in a row by at least one more year.

Juventus finished each of the past three seasons in the Serie A with more than 90 points from 38 games, which is outstanding, but it wasn’t enough. The club wants to compete with the world’s elite, the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City, so €257 million was spent on fresh blood in the build-up to the 2018-2019 season. The wave of (permanently) incoming players included Portugal’s Joao Cancelo, Bayern’s Douglas Costa, and Italy legend Leonardo Bonucci, but the stand-out name was Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who by himself represented €117 million of Juve’s total transfer expenditures.

Like last season, it looks like this season only Napoli will be able to keep up with Juventus, more or less. The Partenopei finished second last year with an incredible 91 points, which would’ve normally brought them the title some weeks before the end of the season, were it not for Juve’s 95 points. As it stands at the moment, Napoli is again in second place, currently 6 points behind the leader. The club saw their successful manager Maurizio Sarri leave for an adventure in south-west London, and replaced him with former Champions League winner and multiple Serie A champion Carlo Ancelotti. Furthermore, about €62 million was spent on new players, making Juve’s Ronaldo by himself twice as expensive as the entire group of new players that joined Napoli last summer. While Napoli play top class football and can threaten any team in Europe when having a good day, it seems to much to ask from them to keep up with Juventus over an entire Serie A season.

Prediction: 1. Juventus 2. AS Napoli 3. Inter Milano

Potential FPL stars for 2019

Championship Playoff Final, 2018
“Fulham’s 18-year old diamond Ryan Sessegnon at last season’s Championship Playoff Final” (CC by 2.0) by Nick

One of the big differences between being a decent FPL manager and one who really competes for the top spots is often the manager’s ability to anticipate player purple patches. In other words, a manager’s ability to spot signs of a player’s improving points potential before other managers do. Sometimes a look at the fixture calendar can provide some hints as to which players might start bringing home the points soon, but most of the time, it comes down to general knowledge and a good bit of luck. By watching games, following team reports and staying up to date with the latest news, you can gather the information you need in order to identify this season’s Momo Salah before the rest of the Fantasy community does. With this article, we want to help you on your way a bit already by highlighting a few Premier League players who might not be starting for the first team all the time at the moment, but who might be breaking through in 2019 just like newcasino2019.co.uk.

Diogo Dalot – £5.3m
When Mourinho so discretely asked for defensive reinforcements for his Manchester United squad last summer, young Portuguese right-back Diogo Dalot was bought from Porto for £19 million. His first season at United has been a nightmare so far due to a bad injury (he hasn’t been able to play a single minute in the Premier League), but great things are expected from him. Upon his arrival at Old Trafford, Mourinho said that the 19-year old is “the best full-back in his age group in Europe”, which will have had a motivating effect on his recovery from injury. Dalot is both physically and tactically strong, and coming from the Porto academy he knows the kind of game his coach wants to play. With previously nailed-on right-back Antonio Valencia having completed the 90 minutes just four times this season due to injury and a lack of confidence in him from his coach, Dalot could come into the 1st team squad in 2019. And if you lack confidence in online casinos then try free spins 2019.

Laurent Koscielny – £5.4m
Unai Emery’s Arsenal are flying at the moment, enjoying an unbeaten run of 16 consecutive matches and counting. The manager’s hand is becoming more and more visible as the Gunners have started to once again play an exciting brand of football, something that was somewhat absent during the final years of Arsène Wenger at the club. Among all those positives though, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the Londoners have also conceded 15 goals in 12 Premier League games so far this season, and Laurent Koscielny’s long-term injury is largely responsible for that. In form, the French international is Arsenal’s best central defender and the back-line’s undisputed leader, which puts Arsenal’s defensive fragility in a somewhat less harsh light. Koscielny ruptured his Achilles tendon during the Europa League semi-final encounter with Atletico Madrid last season and has been working on his return since. He’s said to have recovered and to be working towards match fitness at the moment. Don’t expect him in the starting line-up any time soon, but the Arsenal captain is likely to slot right back into his spot at the heart of the defense around the start of 2019.

Fabian Delph – £5.3m
Including Man City’s converted left-back in this list is an act of opportunism more than anything else. Panic broke out among more or less 18.5% of FPL managers when the news of Benjamin Mendy’s latest injury and subsequent surgery at a Barcelona hospital became public. The starting left-back has what seems like a serious injury to his right knee and is not expected to return for Man City again this calendar year. In times of the injury-prone Mendy’s absence last season, it was often Fabian Delph who was chosen to replace the Frenchman at left-back. In that role, the Englishman played more than 1,700 minutes in the Premier League last season, resulting in a total of 55 FPL points (1 goal, 2 assists, and 6 clean sheets). These are no “Mendy-like” stats, but Delph might be a relatively cheap way into the league’s best defense (5 goal conceded, as many as Liverpool). Keep an eye out on developments around City’s left-back position, because the Blues from Manchester might just be going into 2019 with Delph as their starter.

Ademola Lookman – £5.1m

After an impressive second half of the season last year in the shirt of RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga, where he was on loan, Everton’s Ademola Lookman has yet to get the first-team opportunities that many were expecting for him this season. The young attacking midfielder’s abilities are unmistakable, which is also illustrated by his performances at Leipzig (5 goals and 3 assists in just 11 games), but manager Marco Silva has an abundance of offensive talent at his disposal. With the likes of winger-turned-striker Richarlison, midfield creator Sigurdsson, and new boy magician Bernard, just to name a few, competition is stiff for Lookman. He’s been coming on for about half an hour in each of Everton’s last 3 games in the Premier League and despite returning just a single assist so far this season, the 20-year old Englishman showed that he’s fighting for a spot. The Toffees had the chance to sell him on a permanent basis to Leipzig at the end of last season, but they firmly stated that Lookman is an Evertonian and that he’ll stay at the club. It would be surprising to see him conquer a nailed-on starting spot in Marco Silva’s first eleven this season already, but the youngster is likely to get more minutes on the pitch in 2019.

Isaac Success – £4.6m
In the absence of main man up front, Troy Deeney, Watford coach Javi Gracia has opted to start with Nigerian striker Isaac Success in the number-nine role for the past few gameweeks. He scored his first goal against Huddersfield in gameweek 9 and has kept his place in the first eleven since then. After two difficult seasons, the powerful forward who was bought from Granada back in 2016 (for £12.5 million, a club record at the time) is finally looking like justifying that price tag somewhat. While Deeney seems like an assured starter for the Hornets, the other striker position (when Gracia plays with two strikers) goes between Success, Stefano Okaka (13 minutes this season) and André Gray, who doesn’t seem to have convinced his manager so far. For the moment, Success is leaving a good impression on the pitch and if he can increase his direct goal involvement a bit, there is no reason for not expecting the 22-year old to get more minutes in 2019. At the ridiculously low price of £4.6m in FPL he could become a major differential as well as a serious budget-enhancer.