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Week 30

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Biscuitman
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Week 30

Post by Biscuitman » 03 Mar 2010, 17:10

An interesting week in prospect, with Premiership and/or Cup football on 5 consecutive days, and with 8 flanges for us to negotiate. Note the potential confusion over the Reading/Villa kick off time on Sunday.

This week all teams except Man City are in action, with Burnley, Bolton, Birmingham and Portsmouth all playing twice. Indeed Burnley, Bolton and Birmingham are all due to play 3 times before City's next match, at the Stadium of Light on 14th March. Anyone with the idea in the back of their mind of shedding any Man City players might be advised to act now if at all.

With just over a quarter of the season to go, managers may be taking note of the number of fixtures, and potential (in the case of the FAC) fixtures, remaining. Villa, for example, will certainly end up playing 20% more games than the likes of Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal over the rest of the season - and this could extend to 50% in the not improbable event that they reach the FAC Final. However, it is also the time of the season when managers are likely to be running short on transfers, so not everyone will be rushing to take action here - especially with plenty of news on the injury front. Will managers replace Cech, still owned in 40% of squads, for example? Probably those that did the plausible switch to Hilario immediately will not have seen the funny :wink: side last week. In any case, transfers may best be left until we see if there is any fall-out from the international matches tonight - eg I see McFadden and Fletcher have both withdrawn from the Scotland squad, though both may yet be back for the weekend. Heaven forbid, an injury to Rooney would set several cats among the pigeons.

It's interesting (at least to me...) that events conspired during the middle part of the season in such a way that many of the top squads probably had a front 4 permed from Drogba, Rooney, Defoe, Bent and Tevez (and indeed the first 4 named are still in 40% or more of squads) - but those looking to move up their league tables may start to think more seriously in terms of differentiating themselves from the pack now: cue a few more Bendtners, Sahas, Torreses, Coles and the like maybe.

Don't take this as gospel, but it looks like, injury-wise, we will be without Cech, Cahill, Owen, and Lennon - and the status of Saha, Dunne, Gallas and Murphy is as yet unclear (at least to me at the time of writing). However, we may yet be welcoming back G Johnson, Etherington, Diaby and Konchesky if various reports are right. Ballack and the unfortunate Shawcross are of course suspended.

Anyway, after the long preamble, here we go:

Sat 6 Mar: 12.30 Portsmouth v Birmingham (FAC)

2 of the lesser fancied sides meet in the first FAC QF. Could be an unmanned flange for some, while others may be looking at O'Hara, Larrson or Bowyer - or one of a number of Birmingham defenders who have done themselves proud so far this season - as captaincy material. The 2 sides meet again in the Premiership (again at Fratton Park) 3 days later; I wonder which game the 2 sides will place more emphasis on?

Sat 6 Mar: 3.00 Arsenal v Burnley; West Ham v Bolton

The 57% of us who have Fabregas will surely be tossing the arm-band his way, while 1 or 2 others might fancy Bendtner or an Arsenal defender to try to stand out from the crowd. A look at Burnley's away record suggests only one result here. But should this turn out to be an unexciting 1-0 win, then the brave opting for Cole/Diamanti/Lee/Taylor/Davies, or the like, in the other game may yet have the last laugh.

Sat 6 Mar: 5.20 Fulham v Spurs (FAC); Wolves v Man Utd

Interesting flange with everything to play for for all 4 sides. This season's must have (and 67% of us do), Rooney, is the obvious straight bat choice, but there are several others one could make a case for. I think both matches could be very close.

Sun 7 Mar: 1.45 Reading v Villa (FAC)

Best to check the KO time for this match; both BBC and official FA websites show it as 1.45, but TFFO has it as 1.15. Assuming BBC and FA are correct there is still a danger that TFFO will cut off at 1.15 unless they change it. Villa likely to field a strong team, and with only 1 team to choose from, this will be a straightforward captaincy choice for many given that most will not have more than 2 Villa attacking players. A classic case of divided loyalties here for this Reading fan, but on balance I'd love to see them progress to the Semis.

Sun 7 Mar: 4.00 Chelsea v Stoke (FAC); Everton v Hull

The pre-game odds will favour the home teams, and I expect this will be well placed confidence. However, if Stoke score first, the Chelsea game could be very interesting given Terry-gate and the new man between the sticks for the Blues. Lampard or Drogba for most, I expect, although Everton may have the easier game.

Mon 8 Mar: 8.00 Wigan v Liverpool

Can the Liverpool resurgence gain momentum? With Gerrard regaining confidence (which will have no harm done by the England captaincy) and Torres edging back in, I think it could well do. But the defence has little cover now with Agger, Aurelio, Johnson and Skrtel all either definitely out or quite possibly so for the next game or two. Nevertheless, a clean sheet is not out of the question, although managers will be looking to Gerrard or Torres as captain I expect. The likes of N'Zogbia, Scharner or Rodellega for Wigan may have their advocates too.

Tue 9 Mar: 7.45 Portsmouth v Birmingham; Sunderland v Bolton

Groundhog Day for Portsmouth and Birmingham fans, and a flange which many managers will be a bit light of cover for. 40% of us still have Bent, though - so he is likely to be the Special One for the majority.

Wed 10th Mar: 7.45 Burnley v Stoke

A cliche, maybe, but this looks like a genuine must-win for Burnley. If I had any Burnley player then I would captain him here. But I don't, and many of you won't have either! With Shawcross banned, the most likely alternative open to managers will be Etherington, if he can get through a fitness test.

Best of luck to all FISO-ers as the competitions, both fantasy and reality, start to come to the boil.

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AkNotSpur
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Re: Week 30

Post by AkNotSpur » 03 Mar 2010, 21:06

Excellent 8-) preview, Biscuitman - and a also a good start to Week 31 (much appreciated by those of us who play other games with Sat-Fri weeks :) ).

Suspect that most managers will hold onto Cech if he is going to return next month and, with that in mind, I don't think that Jokerman is the optimum replacement.

Biscuitman
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Re: Week 30

Post by Biscuitman » 03 Mar 2010, 22:10

Ah! First one I've done, so not too sure where the weeks begin and end!

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yoda1680
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Re: Week 30

Post by yoda1680 » 04 Mar 2010, 14:06

thanks Biscuitman - nice preview :)
looks like i will have a couple of un-manned flanges this week with no kpb and shawcross - maybe time for a transfer
also set to be bent's last chance to avoid the chop when he lines up against bolton... surely he's got to score this time
good luck everyone!

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MindVampire
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Re: Week 30

Post by MindVampire » 05 Mar 2010, 21:25

A very comprehensive preview Biscuitman, thanks :D

Fingers crossed it should be a good weekend of footy… although flange three on Saturday could prove frustrating if the question marks over Rooney and Defoe turn out to be true!?

As for the leaderboard… Cold Pigeon will probably churn out another good score considering his impressive flange coverage and his mighty scores of late… IMO it’s starting to look like beating him over the season will mean finishing top…
But… I suppose with a quarter of the season still to go… my view may be a little premature…

Either way... FISO... Be good… And if you can’t be good, be lucky :lol:

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Oddsman
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Re: Week 30

Post by Oddsman » 06 Mar 2010, 18:00

Thanks for the great preview biscuitman.

Good to see MV has written me off :shock: :lol:

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MindVampire
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Re: Week 30

Post by MindVampire » 06 Mar 2010, 20:03

Oddsman wrote:Thanks for the great preview biscuitman.

Good to see MV has written me off :shock: :lol:
Don't for a second think I've written you off Oddsman... far from it ;)

What I meant was... if one of us FISO'ers is to win this year... Cold Pigeon will likely be the team to beat...

Biscuitman
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Re: Week 30

Post by Biscuitman » 06 Mar 2010, 21:18

Scores between 27 and 37 today.

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MindVampire
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Re: Week 30

Post by MindVampire » 06 Mar 2010, 22:06

I think those scores look pretty good today Biscuitman... I can't see many teams bettering 37 pts.

My scores today ranged from about 21 pts - 30 pts.
Mindvampire6 scored 26 pts.

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Oddsman
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Re: Week 30

Post by Oddsman » 07 Mar 2010, 14:03

MindVampire wrote:
Oddsman wrote:Thanks for the great preview biscuitman.

Good to see MV has written me off :shock: :lol:
Don't for a second think I've written you off Oddsman... far from it ;)

What I meant was... if one of us FISO'ers is to win this year... Cold Pigeon will likely be the team to beat...
Glad that's been cleared up MV :wink:

Could be a case of Dick Dastardly's attempt to catch the pigeon but with a twist :lol:

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reds363
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Re: Week 30

Post by reds363 » 07 Mar 2010, 18:53

Yesterday my three teams scored pretty consistently: between 28 and 31. Today was the exact opposite: totals between 3 ( :oops: ) and 33.

Another 11 points back for Lampard against his 'Drogba defecit'...

Biscuitman
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Re: Week 30

Post by Biscuitman » 07 Mar 2010, 19:10

Scores between 17 and 23 for four teams. Fifth team scored 10.

Biscuitman
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Re: Week 30

Post by Biscuitman » 07 Mar 2010, 19:11

Miscalculated - one team scored 31.

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MindVampire
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Re: Week 30

Post by MindVampire » 07 Mar 2010, 20:38

scored between 7 and 33 pts
mindvampire6 scored 26 pts

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reds363
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Re: Week 30

Post by reds363 » 09 Mar 2010, 10:38

Doubt I'd be alone in saying I had a yellow carded starman in every team last night :oops:

Two of my three went backwards :(

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