FA Cup Betting: The Top Tips

With the FA cup having reached the Quarter Final stages, the stage is set to predict the winners. Clearly, the favourites would have to be Manchester City and Manchester United. The draws for the Quarters are as follows:

QF1: Swansea vs Manchester City

QF2: Watford vs Crystal Palace

QF3: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Manchester United

QF4: Millwall vs Brighton & Hove Albion

If you are into FA Cup football betting with Betway, we are sure you have a good many questions. Don’t worry – we can help you out with them. Read on!

The Top Tips to Help You Make the Right Predictions

Let us look at each of these fixtures in detail:

For the first quarter final, one would easily assume that Man City are clear favourites to win this match given their exemplary form. They have dominated from the first minute in most of the matches they have played through this season and may see this match as a regular fixture. The odds fare heavily stacked against Swansea but Man City’s recent loss against Newcastle exposed a chip in their armour and Swansea will be hoping to capitalize on it.  With Betway, you can bet on all of these matches. 

The second quarterfinal would be an interesting match with the head to heads between the teams being pretty close. Watford have been in much better form this season and will also have an upper hand having won the last 2 matches when these teams met in the last 6 months. That said, Crystal Palace has thrown us some surprises in the last couple of years so one can expect a close match.

Quarter Final 3 is another result that most people may predict in favour of Man U given their current run under new Manager Solskjær. The 1-1 draw in the previous encounter between the two teams will also be playing on the minds of Man U players.  They have picked themselves up from the stunning defeats from early season to comeback and salvage their pride. That said, they are gullible to upsets by lower ranking teams so will this match be a no-brainer or a debacle? One will have to wait and watch. With Betway, it is time to win big!

The fourth quarter final could see some interesting developments as Millwall are in good form and have played well in the Championship and FA earlier rounds. They would be looking to continue their good run and secure a place in the Semi-Finals. Brighton will also look to dominate from the beginning of the match and an early goal will put them on the front foot.

Once the quarter finals are through, gauging the winners of the semi- finals would be much easier. But regardless of who is favorite or which team is in-form, a quick start or a slight miss is all that is needed to tip the scales and before one realises, the whole game changes as we have seen in many of the last few matches of the cup.

Think right and root for your favorite team… or the underdog maybe?

FPL Season 2018/19 – Gameweek 28 Preview

“Watford’s Gerard Deulefeu, pictured in action for his childhood club FC Barçelona, recorded this season’s highest FPL score by a single player, with 23 points” (CC by 3.0) by Clément Bucco-Lechat

After what the great majority of FPL managers could rightly call a disaster of a gameweek, we have less than 48 hours to process our disappointment/anger/sadness/all of the above and prepare for gameweek 28. With eight of the ten most-selected captains, including Aubameyang, Pogba and Salah, blanking, the average score for gameweek 27 stood at just 33 points. The week’s best performers were mostly differential players, like Watford’s Deulofeu (23 points, owned by 2.4%) and Deeney (15 points, 4.6%), and Arsenal’s Mhkitaryan (14 points, 4.1%).

Before we list our picks of the week, we want to remind everyone that the deadline for the upcoming gameweek 28 expires on Tuesday February 26th, at 18h45 (GMT+0).

Some observations ahead of gameweek 28

While Liverpool’s much-lauded attacking play seems to be going through a bit of a rough patch the past few weeks, their goalless draw at Old Trafford was as much up to their own failure to truly create as it was up to the home team’s defensive resolve. The post-Mourinho era has been largely marked by much-improved attacking performances, embodied by the likes of Pogba, Rashford and Martial, but the Red Devils have quietly built a pretty impressive defensive foundation as well. In terms of the Premier League, under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the Mancunians have conceded just 6 goals in 10 games, with only Burnley managing to score more than once in a single game (a 2-2 draw in gameweek 24). To illustrate their latest defensive form: United have kept clean sheets in their last three Premier League games (Leicester away, Fulham away and Liverpool home).

More towards the end of the table, it’s becoming clearer and clearer which teams are likely to be battling relegation until the end of the season. One of the clubs that seems to be avoiding the relegation scrap by a hair, despite what many, including their own manager, had expected, is Newcastle. The Magpies have taken 10 out of 15 points over the last five Premier League games, a run that includes victories over Cardiff, Man City and Huddersfield, as well as a draw at Molineux. Attack leader Salomon Rondón is currently finding himself in a nice stretch of good form, central defender Florian Lejeune is back from a long-term injury, homegrown midfielder Sean Longstaff has cemented a starting berth, fellow central midfielder Isaac Hayden is proving his capacity to be decisive, and new signing Miguel Almirón showed against Newcastle that he could have a huge impact on a sometimes toothless Newcastle attack playing in close support to
Rondón. You never know how long it lasts on Tyneside, but things are looking well for Rafa Benitez and his men and the fixture list looks welcoming.

A few months ago, we wrote a paragraph about Burnley’s then-current horrible form and how manager Sean Dyche had his work cut out for him if they wanted to stay in the Premier League. Fast-forward to last weekend and we can conclude that Dyche has once again shown what an incredible manager he is for Burnley. The Clarets have definitely left their long early-season slump behind and they haven’t lost a game since their disheartening 1-5 loss against Everton in gameweek 19. Over that stretch of eight games, Burnley booked five victories, including last weekend’s 2-1 home win over Spurs. An acceptable run of upcoming fixtures in combination with the fact that they will not have any blank gameweeks this season should see the FPL popularity of their players rise over the coming weeks.

Gameweek 27 was a weekend of surprise results and Palace’s 1-4 away victory over Leicester belongs to that category. Not that Roy Hodgson’s men are incapable of booking impressive results, because they definitely aren’t, but booking such a big victory over Leicester at the King Power is no mean feat. The Eagles were simply better than the Foxes, who especially had problems with keeping Wilfried Zaha in check. The Ivory Coast international put in a bright display and crowned it with two goals, making it three consecutive games with at least one goal, but it was an overall concentrated display that brought Palace the victory. Where last weekend proved to be Claude Puel’s last game in charge of Leicester, Palace took a big step towards securing another year of Premier League football.

Premium picks

Perhaps a sign of Mohammed Salah‘s (£13.6m) enormous quality and potential, we’re recommending  the Egyptian forward as our first premium pick despite a recent run of disappointing performances. Salah scored one goal in his last four Premier League and brought his owners just 15 FPL points over that period, which really is too little considering his price tag. In the eight games before that, though, Mo scored 9 goals, provided 3 assists and recorded an incredible 87 points. Liverpool are hosting an in-form Watford outfit on Wednesday, and despite the fact that the visitors have conceded just four goals in the last six games, they did allow 14 big chances. Only Brighton and Championship-bound Huddersfield allowed more (15 each). Salah scored a goal in the reverse fixture when Liverpool booked a comfortable 0-3 away victory and a similar outcome could be the result in gameweek 28.

Our second premium pick is one that comes with some rotation risk, which is basically the only reason we’re not recommending him as a candidate for the captaincy. Man City’s Kun Aguero (£11.6m) played the full 120 minutes plus the penalty shoot-out in the League Cup final versus Chelsea on Sunday, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Pep utilise his favourite trick coming Wednesday: rotation. This scenario becomes more likely when considering his main rival for the number nine position, Gabriel Jesus, was left out of the match day squad against Chelsea. The Brazilian is marked as having a 75% chance of playing though, due to a slight hamstring injury, so Kun might just as well get another full 90 minutes against West Ham at home. And that’s the reason we’re recommending him here, because City at the Etihad versus the Hammers points at a goalscoring bonanza. West Ham have conceded 20 goals in 13 away games, while Kun alone has scored 14 goals in 12 home games. Let that record sink in for a moment and then make a move for the Argentinian.

Our third premium pick for this gameweek is Wolverhampton’s Matt Doherty (£5.6m), the marauding right-back who was mentioned in this section of our articles more than once during the first half of the 2018-19 campaign. The Irish defender’s spectacular form may have simmered down somewhat, but don’t doubt for a second that he’s still a player of superior quality. He’s an integral part of a very solid Wolves side who are facing Huddersfield away in gameweek 28. The Terriers have scored just 6 (six!) goals in 14 home games this season, while conceding no less than 22 goals. Wolves are heavy favourites to win this one and there could be points on the cards at both ends of the pitch for Doherty.

A differential pick or two

Maybe recommending a player facing Fulham has become a bit of a habit, but if it has, then with good reason: the Cottagers have conceded an unacceptable 61 goals in 27 goals, 35 of which were conceded in 14 away games. Southampton will be hoping to add to Fulham’s defensive misery at Saint Mary’s on Wednesday and if they do, we believe James Ward-Prowse (£5.1m) will be involved. The attacking midfielder hasn’t recorded an attacking return in his last three Premier League games, but he did score in three consecutive games before that. What adds to JWP’s appeal is that he takes charge of most of Southampton’ set-pieces, which raises his potential for assists. With an FPL ownership of just 2.2% and a nailed-on spot in Ralph Hasenhüttl’s starting eleven, he could prove to be a real short-term differential, as well as a very decent longer-term budget enabler.

Leicester’s Jamie Vardy (£8.8m) is our second differential pick of the week. With the club in a bit of turmoil after a disappointing run of results that culminated in Claude Puel’s sacking as manager last weekend, even more people will be looking to the club’s figurehead for a response. It seems that Vardy wasn’t always on the best terms with Puel, illustrated by him being left out of the starting eleven on a couple of occasions, but it’s hard to imagine caretaker managers Mike Stowell and Adam Sadler not going with the English striker. The Foxes have a more than decent squad and should be capable of a more attacking approach than shown under Puel. Vardy scored 2 goals and provided 1 assist in his last seven Premier League games, so his goalscoring form isn’t exactly red-hot at the moment, but with an excellent run of fixtures coming up, this could be a good moment to bring him in. You don’t want to arrive late to a Vardy party.

For more ideas of transfers into your gameweek 28 squad, have a look at discussions on this fiso forum GW28 topic.

The captaincy

With Man City hosting West Ham on Wednesday, recommending a City player for the captain’s armband is more or less inevitable. For reasons explained earlier we haven’t gone with Kun Aguero, but with his team mate Leroy Sané (£9.5m). The German winger has seen his Premier League cut considerably since a few weeks ago, but he played just 34 minutes in the League Cup final against Chelsea. Kun and Raheem Sterling completed the 120 minutes on Sunday, as did Bernardo Silva, so it seems likely that Sané will be starting against West Ham. On the other hand, what does “likely” really mean when it comes to Pep Guardiola’s starting eleven? Sané hasn’t brought the 10.2% of FPL managers that own him any attacking returns since gameweek 24, which was the last game in which he played at least 70 minutes in the Premier League. His gameweek offers several good options for the captaincy, but if you own Sané, you should probably captain him.

Probably the biggest disappointment of gameweek 27 was the benching of Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.1m), despite the early warnings regarding this possibility. The Gunners will be looking to consolidate their fourth spot in the League with a home victory over Bournemouth. The Cherries are having a great season overall, but their defense in away games is still a source of some worry. They have conceded 30 goals in 13 away games, meaning only Fulham have conceded more goals on the road. Arsenal, on the other hand, have no problem scoring at home, illustrated by their 30 goals in 14 home games. After some extra days of rest and just 15 minutes of game time against Southampton last Sunday, it’s hard not to see Aubameyang amongst the goals coming Wednesday. Forget gameweek 27 and put the armband on the Gabonese striker if you can.

To see what the fiso crowd are choosing as their GW28 Captain, have a look at this fiso forum GW28 Captain Poll.

FPL Season 2018/19 -Gameweek 27 Preview

19 Merci Arsène - Celebrating Iwobi's goal
“Aubameyang and his Arsenal team mates are very likely to be popular picks in the build-up to gameweek 27” (CC by 2.0) by Ronnie Macdonald

After this season’s first (mini-) double gameweek in round 25, in which Man City and Everton had two fixtures, we’re now building up to the season’s first FPL blank gameweek. This weekend, four teams are blanking, namely: Man City, Everton, Chelsea and Brighton. This means a total of only eight Premier League games for gameweek 27. The absence of City especially will have an impact on both the FPL transfer activity in the build-up to the weekend and the point averages for the gameweek, with highly-owned players like Sergio Aguero (32%), Ederson (20.1%) and Leroy Sané (11.6%) not featuring. A surge in chip activation, the Free Hit chip in particular, is also likely to take place.

Also be aware that the transfer deadline for gameweek 27 is set at 18h45 (GMT+0) on Friday the 22nd of February (i.e. tomorrow), and not the usual Saturday noon deadline.

What does blank gameweek 27 look like?

Just 16 teams will be competing in gameweek 27, with Man City, Everton, Chelsea and Brighton missing out:

Cardiff Watford Friday, February 22nd
West Ham Fulham Friday, February 22nd
Burnley Spurs Saturday, February 23rd
Bournemouth Wolves Saturday, February 23rd
Newcastle Huddersfield Saturday, February 23rd
Leicester Crystal Palace Saturday, February 23rd
Arsenal Southampton Sunday, February 24th
Man United Liverpool Sunday, February 24th

Seeing as we published an article yesterday on the experiences of the Premier League clubs in the fifth round of the FA Cup, which took place over the past week or so, we will skip the usual observations ahead of the gameweek this time and continue directly with our players picks of the week.

Premium picks

With the Manchester giants facing each other and Spurs playing an away game against an improved and much more defensively stable Burnley side, the stand-out premium pick for gameweek 27 is probably Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.1m). The Gunners are facing a Southampton side at the Emirates who haven’t kept a clean sheet in five gameweeks. It should be noted though, that over that period of time, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men also conceded more than one goal in a game on just a single occasion (last gameweek versus Cardiff). Still, since the Austrian took over in gameweek 16, the Saints have kept just one clean sheet. On the other hand, Arsenal have scored 28 goals in 13 home games so far and Aubameyang scored 13 of his current 15 goals against opposition outside the top six.  In other words, there could be an abundance of goals in this fixture and PEA could (and should) be at the centre of it. Probably the only (slight) risk concerning the Babonese striker is that he’s more than likely to lead the line during Arsenal’s Europa League clash against BATE Borisov on Thursday evening, as Lacazette will be suspended. The relatively calm past week and a half plus the three days of rest between the BATE game and the Southampton game (both at home) should put your potential worries to rest, though.

The stand-out game of gameweek 27 is the clash between Man United and Liverpool at Old Trafford. With the Mancunians still on a roll despite their loss against PSG in the Champions League and with Liverpool seemingly having left their little “start-of-the-new-year slump” behind them, this game could be fireworks. The Red Devils are still unbeaten in the Premier League, and considering their good form and the fact that this is a home game, our second premium pick of the week is United’s Paul Pogba (£8.8m). If you’re amongst the 57% of FPL managers who do not own Pogba, you just have one simple two-word question to ask yourself: “Why not?”. The Frenchman has scored 4 goals and given 2 assists in his last five Premier League games, and he was also the best player on the pitch in the FA Cup fifth round encounter with Chelsea. He was the foundation for their 2-0 victory over the Blues, providing an assist and scoring a goal himself. After the cracker against Liverpool this weekend, Pogba will be facing Palace away and Southampton at home, so the coming fixtures are also in his favour. His price tag has already grown to £8.8m, but in his current form, he’s still a bargain.

Our final premium pick ahead of gameweek 27 is Tottenham’s creator-in-chief Christian Eriksen (£9.3m). After two rounds of FPL disappointment (5 points from two home games against Watford and Newcastle), the Danish attacking midfielder showed his pedigree in gameweek 26 by scoring a wonderful strike and providing one assist, resulting in a 13-point haul. Still owned by just 7% of managers, he could be quite a differential force away to Burnley this weekend. True, the Clarets have improved dramatically over the past months, especially from a defensive point of view, but Spurs have scored 30 goals 13 away games so far. Eriksen is involved in most of Tottenham’s attacking moves and the return of Mo Sissoko has allowed Pocchetino to play Eriksen a bit higher up the pitch. He is a bit pricey, especially considering the available alternatives (his team mate is Son is £0.4m cheaper, for example), but the Dane is worth it and Kane’s possible return may help his assists.

A differential pick or two

With just eight games in gameweek 27 and blanks for some of the game’s most popular players, a few less-owned players from teams outside the top six gain some prominence. One of these players is Wolverhampton’s Diogo Jota (£6.1m). Despite a slightly unlucky performance against Newcastle at home last gameweek, the Portuguese offensive midfielder has tapped into a decent vein of form, scoring 3 goals and providing 2 assists in his last four Premier League games. It should be noted that all of those goals came in gameweek 23 versus Leicester, but that doesn’t play down the fact that Jota gets involved up front for Wolves. He missed out on Wolves FA Cup fifth round clash with Bristol City due to a knock, but is expected to be in the starting line-up for his team when they take on Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium coming Saturday. Jota is deployed high up front by his coach Nuno Espirito Santo, in a sort of second-striker role next to outstanding performer Raul Jimenez. After the Cherries, Wolves are taking on Huddersfield (away) and Cardiff (home), so now is a good time to consider bringing in Jota.

With an on ownership of 4.4%, Newcastle’s Salomon Rondón (£5.7m) is just slightly more present in FPL teams than Diogo Jota (3.7%). The Venezuelan striker has been phenomenal for Rafa Benitez’ Toon outfit, scoring six goals and providing 3 assists in a team that has scored just 22 goals so far this season. That means Rondón has been involved in 41% of Newcastle’s goals. Coming Sunday, Newcastle are hosting Huddersfield Town, who have conceded 26 goals in 12 away games and who haven’t kept a clean sheet since German coach Jan Siewert took over from David Wagner three weeks ago. Rondón blanked in the last two Premier League games against Spurs and Wolves (both away), but he did score against Man City in gameweek 24 and provided an assist against Cardiff a week earlier. In the four games after after Huddersfield, Newcastle are hosting Burnley and Everton, and visiting West Ham and Bournemouth, so Rondón could be a major differential, budget enabler, and source of points for some weeks to come.

The captaincy

As stated earlier, the most attractive fixture in gameweek 27 from an FPL perspective is probably Arsenal against Southampton. We’ve recommended Aubameyang as a premium pick and our first suggestion for the captain’s armband this weekend is his team mate Alexandre Lacazette (£9.5m). The reason we’ve gone with the French striker is that he was sent off with a red card against BATE Borisov in the Europa League last week, meaning that he’ll have to sit out the return next week. This makes it very likely that he’ll be starting up top on Saturday, against a Saints outfit that has conceded 23 goals in 13 away games. At the same time, Laca has scored 4 goals in his last six Premier League games. On top of that, he has completed the 90 minutes in four of those games, while he got 67 and 74 minutes in the other two games. When Arsenal faced Southampton at Saint Mary’s in gameweek 17, the French striker got just 45 minutes of game time, but this was enough for him to record an assist and earn 4 FPL points. This time around, it looks like there is more than a single assist on the cards for him.

Our final suggestion and second captaincy pick of the week is West Ham’s Felipe Anderson (£7.2m). Admittedly it’s something of a punt, especially given the Brazilian’s recent returns (2 goals and a single assist in the last 8 gameweeks), but his lack of returns came hand-in-hand with a dip in form for the Hammers after a magnificent December month. West Ham will be hosting Fulham coming Friday evening and if there’s one team against which an attack-minded player can get back into form, it’s the Cottagers. As a result of allowing 15 shots per game on average, Fulham has already conceded 58 goals this season, which boils down to an average of 2.2 goals per game. While Anderson has been limiting his shot count in recent games (3 attempts in the last 4 games), he did show his assist potential (7 key passes in the last 3 games). He is an explosive type of player, as is illustrated by the five double-figure hauls he’s already recorded this season, four of which came against teams from outside the top six. The game against Fulham is the perfect opportunity to make it six double-figure FPL scores. An added plus for Felipe Anderson is that West Ham will not be blanking this season.

For further ideas on who to captain in GW27, have a look at our forum Poll on the FPL GW27 Captain.

FA Cup 2018-19 Fifth round review

Crabble

“The FA Cup fifth round saw six Premier League clubs qualify for the quarter finals” (CC by 2.0) by Richard Fisher

Whilst FPL managers have had a well-deserved break since gameweek 26 ended on February 11th, a majority of Premier League clubs had the fifth round of the FA Cup to deal with. The stakes: a spot in the quarter finals of one of the football world’s most historic club tournaments. We’ll take a quick look at how the teams fared and what the Monday night quarter final draw has brought us. The 6th round draw may again throw up some betting opportunities for a lower ranked team to provide an upset against their heavily backed opponent who may also have priorities in the EPL or Champions League and if you’re looking to take advantage of these betting odds then consider the types of bet that you can use online.

We’ll also cover how the FA Cup could impact on FPL planning. The deadline for gameweek 27, which is a blank gameweek for many clubs (we’ll cover this in tomorrow’s article), is set at 18h45 (GMT+0) on Friday the 22nd of February.

FA Cup fifth round results: How did the Premier League clubs do?

QPR Watford 0 – 1
Brighton Derby 2 – 1
Newport Manchester City 1 – 4
Bristol City Wolves 0 – 1
Doncaster Crystal Palace 0 – 2
Chelsea Manchester United 0 – 2

FA Cup quarter final draw: what’s ahead for the remaining Premier League clubs?

Millwall Brighton March 16th
Swansea Manchester City March 16th
Watford Crystal Palace March 16th
Wolves Manchester United March 16th

Brighton

The Seagulls booked a relatively comfortable victory over Frank Lampard’s Derby County last Saturday.  Considering Brighton are having a blank in gameweek 27, manager Chris Hughton sent out a strong starting eleven, including regulars like Jurgen Locadia, Dale Stephens, and Shane Duffy. The home team, who have won just one of their last eleven Premier League matches, were far from impressive in the first half, but fortunately for them, Derby didn’t do much better. Probably the most interesting take-away from this game was the fact that Brighton’s Yves Bissouma again showed both great quality and promise of more. The Mali midfielder started off the attack that led to the first goal, while his shot against the inside of the post allowed Locadia to make it two in the rebound. For those FPL managers considering Brighton assets based on their favourable run of fixtures, such as Gross, Ryan or Murray, this game didn’t provide that much new information, but the victory could improve the confidence amongst the Seagulls.

Crystal Palace

Palace’s Roy Hodgson faced Doncaster Rovers with a pretty strong line-up, including regular starters like Townsend, Milivojevic and Van Aanholt. Doncaster put up a good fight, but this Palace are disciplined and know how to play a result-based game. By half-time, the Eagles were 0-2 up and this would end up being the final result as well. As a result, Palace have qualified for the quarter finals of the FA Cup for a second time in the last four seasons, which is a more than decent record. An away game against Watford is up next, and while this will certainly prove to be more of a challenge than their fifth round tie, a berth in the semi-finals is definitely within the options. If Hodgson’s comments are anything to go by, his men won’t lose focus in the Premier League despite their FA Cup success, so with a good run of fixtures coming up, popular FPL assets like Wan-Bissaka, Milivojevic and Zaha should remain secure starters.

Manchester City

Man City were the Premier League team with the, on paper, easiest encounter this week, as the men in sky blue visited League Two outfit Newport City. On a pitch that at times looked more like a swamp than a football field, the home team put up a brave fight, but eventually had to give in to Man City’s logical superiority. As a matter of fact, before this encounter, only four other teams managed to keep City from scoring in the first half. Despite the 82-place difference in league positions and the difference in starting eleven value (£320 million vs £50 thousand, guess who’s who), it took the Cityzens just under an hour to break the deadlock. At 0-2, (Phil Foden strike), Newport did the impossible and got back into the game, courtesy of a Padraig Amond lob. Another Phil Foden strike a minute later and an extra-time Mahrez goal ended up putting the game beyond doubt for Guardiola’s men. City have no fixture in gameweek 27, so FPL managers can postpone worrying about the impossibility of predicting a Pep Guardiola line-up.

Manchester United

Man United facing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge was the FA Cup’s fifth round stand-out fixture and the Red Devils made it theirs. As you would expect, both teams started with most of their regular starting line-ups intact, and, I guess as you would expect as well by now, United’s Paul Pogba ended up being the difference. The French midfielder has never been better, which his goal and assist against Chelsea illustrated. If you haven’t got him yet in FPL… Seriously, why not? United deserved the win and despite Chelsea’s Maurizio Sarri claiming he’s not worried about his position at the club, he’ll be worried about his team’s lack of teeth, both up front and in the back. The Blues are now out of all domestic cup competitions, meaning they will not have any blank gameweeks this season, but they do have a leg and a half in the Europa League’s next round after a 1-2 away win at Malmö. Players like Eden Hazard, Gonzalo Higuain and Pedro could be sources of points in the coming Premier League games, though the combination of a good run of coming fixtures and a lack of consistent form could prove to be a real FPL trap.

Watford

That Watford is taking the FA Cup seriously was illustrated by their starting line-up against QPR last Friday. Regular Premier League starters like Troy Deeney, José Holebas and Etienne Capoué were present, and it was the latter of the three who scored the only goal of the game in the 45th minute. Tom Cleverley provided the assist for what would end up being the Hornets’ only on target, which is not a very impressive statistic, and neither is the fact that Watford goalie Heurelho Gomes was one of the best Hornets on the pitch. What is impressive though, is that at the end of the game, the score line was 0-1 to Watford. Javi Gracia’s men kept the clean sheet (their third in the FA Cup this season and their sixth in their last eight games in all competitions), they are placed 8th in the Premier League, and with a home game against Palace coming up in the FA Cup quarter final they have real chances of qualifying for the semis, and who knows… maybe all the way. Watford are blanking in gameweek 31 though, and in their next seven Premier League games they are facing Liverpool, Man City, and Man United away, as well as Arsenal at home. Not very appealing in FPL terms, but their quality and form nonetheless make them an outfit FPL managers should keep an eye on.

Wolves

The reason we didn’t want to name Watford things like “the season’s surprise package” or “probably one of this season’s best performers” is that, despite those terms being more than applicable to the Hornets as well, we still have to cover Wolves’ 0-1 victory over Bristol City in this article. Nuno Espirito Santo’s men were promoted to the Premier League at the end of last season, but they’ve been playing like they’ve been playing there for years. Their current seventh place is proof of that. What makes it all  even more impressive is that Wolves have also made it to the FA Cup quarter finals by beating Bristol City away. The only changes to the starting line-up for Wolves were the spots for Ivan Cavaleiro (for the slightly injured Jota) and Romain Saiss (for Ruben Neves), which might indicate that they are aiming to go all the way in the FA Cup this season. A Cavaleiro strike just before the half hour mark was enough for a Wolves victory and the general passage of play over 90 minutes will only have added to their confidence. With Bournemouth (away), Huddersfield (away), and Cardiff (home) up next in the Premier League, and Espirito Santo’s preference to stick to a fixed starting line-up, Wolves assets like Matt Doherty, Raul Jïmenez and Joao Moutinho remain investments with great points potential.

TFF Matches in the FA Cup 15 to 18 February 2019

It’s that time again when Telegraph Fantasy Football (TFF) managers at the top of the leaderboard hope that their players won’t be rested when the Premier League clubs take to the field in the FA Cup. For the managers hoping to rise up the leaderboard it’s an opportunity to buy players with the potential to score big against lower division opposition. David Parker’s team ‘ENABLE’ currently leads TFF on 1,659 points closely followed by David Burch’s ‘Apostis’ on 1,650. Well known fantasy football managers such as Bruce Baer, Andy Luckhurst and David Browne lurk close by in the top 10.

From 2019, FA Cup Fifth Round ties will be decided on the day. Any match drawn after 90 minutes will be settled by extra time and penalties. In the TFF game, points are not awarded for FA Cup penalty shoot-outs but extra time action does count. If you’re out of the running for the season prize then don’t forget about the monthly (£1,000) or weekly (£100) prizes which could boost your income. Another way to raise money is to sell clothes online.

FRIDAY 15TH FEBRUARY

FIFTH ROUND

QPR 19:45 Watford

This weekend’s 6 FA Cup ties start tonight because it’s a Friday night fixture featuring Queen’s Park Rangers of the Championship against the Premier League’s Watford. QPR have been on a poor run since Christmas and are currently lower mid table so shouldn’t pose much of a threat to a Watford team even if they rest the majority of their first teamers. Watford’s popular defender Holebas has a 2 match ban so won’t be appearing and popular midfielder Pereyra is an injury doubt so probably will be rested.

SATURDAY 16TH FEBRUARY

FIFTH ROUND

Brighton 12:30 Derby

Just two matches with any TFF involvement on Saturday, the first of which is the early kick-off between Brighton and Frank Lampard’s Derby County. A month ago Brighton would have probably considered prioritising the FA Cup but a dip in their league form and table position means Premiership survival should be their main focus so maybe their top scorer Glenn Murray will be in the bench. Derby are in good form and might cause an upset today with Brighton’s focus perhaps elsewhere. 

Newport 17:30 Man City

The second fixture is the late match where Manchester City must travel to the Welsh side of the bridge to take on Newport County of League 2. Expectations will be for another one-sided game but the League Two style of play might surprise City. Expect Jesus & Mahrez to start and their top TFF scorers Sterling and Aguero to be rested.

SUNDAY 17TH FEBRUARY

FIFTH ROUND

Bristol City 13:00 Wolves

Two more games on Sunday, the earlier of which gets underway at 1pm and has Bristol City hosting Wolverhampton Wanderers. Bristol City are another Championship side who are still in the Cup. They are sat in the play-off positions at the moment so may see the Cup as an unwanted distraction. Wolves however should treat this competition as their best chance of silverware. They fielded a strong defensive line-up in the last round and their wing-backs Doherty and Jonny are usually a threat with central defender Boly providing aerial power in the penalty box.

Doncaster 16:00 Crystal Palace

At 4pm the second match gets underway and features Crystal Palace versus Doncaster who are occupying a play off spot in League One so might not put up too much of a fight. Crystal Palace will be torn between keeping their Cup run going and the possibility of being sucked into a Premier League relegation battle. A rotated Palace side (without the banned Zaha) should still be strong enough to get through and earn them a place in the next round, just like Shopify could earn you or your business extra money.

MONDAY 18TH FEBRUARY

FIFTH ROUND

Chelsea 19:30 Man Utd

Here we come to the weekend’s big match – Chelsea versus Manchester United. Both teams come into this match off of the back of a high profile loss. OGS lost his first match as United manager in mid-week but more importantly lost Lingard and Martial to injury. Chelsea were drubbed by Man City 6-0 last time out but bounced back last night with a 2-1 away win in the Europa League thanks to goals from Barkley and Giroud (despite resting Hazard). The FA Cup might be considered a lesser competition by these two but the winner here will receive a huge morale boost. VAR is in operation for this match.

For more TFF discussion check out the FISO TFF Forum.

FPL Season 2018/19 – Gameweek 26 Preview


“After just 1 assist in 5 gameweeks, Eden Hazard rewarded his most loyal believers with 15 points in gameweek 25” (CC by 2.0) by Aleksandr Osipov

Now that the dust has settled after this season’s very first double gameweek, it’s time for us to congratulate those captaining Aguero or Laporte, to console those who went with Richarlison and Sané, and to give a disapproving shake of the head to those who bet on Everton’s defensive assets. With more or less expected results from Man City and Everton, the only two teams with a double  gameweek, the results were a mixed bag for FPL managers. There was a small surge in activated Free Hit chips, but unless you also captained Aguero (or Laporte), it probably wasn’t the ideal moment to do so. There are still some blank and double gameweeks coming up that will be harder to navigate without a Free hit. These weeks will more or less take place in the period between gameweek 31 and gameweek 35, and the blanks for gameweek 31 will be announced in the build-up to gameweek 27.

Some observations ahead of gameweek 26

It looks like Man United have uncovered a match made in heaven, so to say, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decided to reinstate Paul Pogba as the team’s big man in the middle while at the same time giving Marcus Rashford a chance to prove himself as their starting number nine. Not only have they each scored six goals since Solskjaer arrived in gameweek 18, they have also provided 6 and 2 assists respectively. What’s more, last Sunday’s only and this winning goal against Leicester was created by Pogba and finished by Rashford. Next up is leaky Fulham at Craven Cottage so if you’re a betting man (or woman) then, as bet brain uk will tell you, the odds are in favour of goals and a win for Man United.

Around a week ago, Chelsea were blown away by Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium and Blues manager Maurizio Sarri publicly criticized his men for seeming “impossible to motivate”, so last weekend’s 5-0 drubbing of Championship-bound Huddersfield should be placed into perspective. Of course, it’s an excellent result, and Blues fans and FPL managers alike will have enjoyed Gonzalo Higuain’s first two goals in a Chelsea shirt as well as his seemingly great understanding with star man Eden Hazard (who also scored twice, by the way, his first goals since gameweek 19), but don’t immediately forget Chelsea’s run prior to last weekend: last five games played, 2 victories (Palace and Newcastle), 1 draw (Southampton), 2 defeats (Arsenal and Bournemouth), 3 goals scored, and 7 goals conceded. The real tests for Sarri’s men come quick and fast this month, with games against City and Spurs in the league, and against United in the FA Cup’s fifth round.

In a direct battle for the title of “Best of the Rest”, Wolverhampton have shown once more, this time at Goodison Park, that they are in the Premier League to stay. Nuno Espirito Santo’s team displayed their, by now, trademark defensive stability and disciplined attacking patterns, which stood in quite a sharp contrast to Everton’s largely toothless performance. It’s no coincidence that Wolves assets like Matt Doherty, Raul Jimenez, and Rui Patricio have emerged as major bargains, because in reality, the newly-promoted side are playing like they’ve been competing for a top-10 spot in the Prem for years. With a nice run of fixtures coming up, count on Wolves assets to rise further in both price and popularity.

At the bottom of the table, Huddersfield are not the only team that has seen the gap between relegation and safety grow over the past weeks. Claudio Ranieri’s Fulham is down there with them, though still six points above the Terriers, in 19th place. The gap to the safe 17th spot is currently seven points wide, and the Cottagers are about to embark on a run of fixtures that provides very little hope for improvement: In the coming 7 gameweeks, they are facing United, Chelsea, Liverpool and City at home and West Ham, Southampton and Leicester away. The outlook is grim for Ranieri and his players.

Premium picks

When Liverpool visited the Vitality Stadium back in December 2018, the Reds swept the locals aside, largely courtesy of a Mo Salah hat-trick. This week, the reverse fixture is on the calendar, but seeing as we’re recommending the Egyptian for the captaincy later on, we’re going with team mate Sadio Mané (£9.5m). The Senegalese winger is in blistering form of late, which has seen him score once in each of his last three Premier League games and bring home a total of 24 FPL points. In the last six games, only number 19 Fulham and number 20 Huddersfield (12 each) have conceded more goals than Bournemouth (11), making it hard to not see the home team working on their goal tally on Saturday. If they end up doing so, Mané should be a good source for points.

Our second premium pick of the week is in-form Manchester United midfield maestro Paul Pogba (£8.6m). We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, simply because the Frenchman’s form makes it unavoidable: since the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in gameweek 18, Pogba has scored 6 goals and provided 6 assists. Over that period, he amassed an impressive 76 FPL points. Despite not recording a single shot on goal against Leicester last weekend (he did provide the assist for the only goal of the game), it looks like the French midfielder will get his opportunities against Fulham coming Saturday. Between gameweeks 21 and 24, Pogba took 23 shots in direction of the goal and 10 of those were on target, while the Cottagers concede an average of 15 shots per game. It’s no surprise they still have the Premier League’s worst defense (25 games played, 55 goals conceded).

A few months ago, there was a considerable amount of (mostly rotation-related) doubt when talking about Man City’s Kun Aguero (£11.4m), but it looks like the Argentinian killer has secured the starting spot up front for yet another season at the Etihad. Despite blanking against Everton on Wednesday in what was the second game of his double gameweek, he is our third premium pick of the week, largely thanks to his great performances prior to the Everton game. Kun has scored 6 goals and given 2 assists in his last 8 games in the Premier League, resulting in a total of 49 FPL points. This run includes a 14-minute cameo in gameweek 22 versus Wolves, but also a hat-trick against Arsenal last weekend. Rotation is always a risk in Pep’s Manchester City and Aguero is facing formidable competition in the form of Gabriel Jesus, but Kun looks like the first choice striker. Do keep in mind that City are blanking in gameweek 27 and that the Champions League will be getting underway again next week.

A differential pick or two

Brighton has one of the most favourable fixture calendars for the coming weeks and after not booking a victory in any of the last five Premier League games, the Seagulls are an interesting source of potential differential assets. For an 11-game run in which Brighton will only face one team from the top six (Spurs away in gameweek 33), we’ve gone with attacking midfielder Pascal Gross (£6.7m). The German creator has scored a goal and provided an assist in his last last three games, and he created an unbelievable 10 chances versus Watford last weekend. Five of those came from set-pieces, which Gross more or less always takes for the Seagulls, and he also made three attempts at goal (all of them off-target). With his current price and his upcoming run of fixtures (he blanks next week, though!), Pascal Gross has the makings of a real differential and budget enabler.

Speaking of budget enablers that can make a real difference: Wolverhampton’s Joao Moutinho (£5.3m). The Portuguese veteran midfielder is a whole £1.4 million cheaper than Gross and in arguably much better form. Moutinho has brought his FPL owners a more than decent 27 points over the past three gameweeks, courtesy of 5 assists and 5 bonus points. He’s a guaranteed starter under Nuno Espirito Santo and we know how little the Portuguese manager likes to tinker with his starting line-ups, so that’s another one in Moutinho’s favour. With games against Newcastle (home), Bournemouth (away), Huddersfield (away), and Cardiff (home) coming up, it might be a good time to move the playmaker towards the top of your transfer lists.

For further transfer ideas in GW26 check out this fiso forum topic.

The captaincy

Both Liverpool’s Mo Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.2m) will be amongst the most-selected captains for gameweek 26 as borne out by the FISO Forum GW26 Captain Poll, thanks to their favourable match-ups against Bournemouth (home) and Huddersfield (away). We’re starting with the Gabonese striker, who has already scored 15 goals this season and is currently Arsenal’s highest-scoring player in FPL (150 points). PEA has been excellent of late, though a bit inconsistent in terms of FPL returns if anything. Since gameweek 18, he has scored 5 goals and provided 2 assists, resulting in a total of 50 FPL points, or an average of just over 6 points per game. If we ignore potential bonus points, that’s the equivalent of a striker scoring every game. Huddersfield have conceded 20 goals in 13 home games this season and the Terriers haven’t won a game at the John Smith’s since the start of November. You should probably trust Aubameyang with the armband if you can.

Mo Salah (£13.6m) is having a bit of a dip in form lately, illustrated by his first two consecutive blanks since gameweeks 7 and 8, which is frustrating for his owners, considering his absolute premium price tag. Still, for a game versus Bournemouth at Anfield, few FPL managers with the Egyptian in their teams will decide against captaining the Egyptian this weekend. Just to remind the doubters: between gameweek 16 and 23, Salah scored 9 goals, provided 3 assists, and recorded 87 FPL points. His average per game against sides from outside the top six this season: 8.7 points. Bournemouth are far from the league’s most stable defensive unit, having allowed three big chances and no less than 12 attempts on goal (of which 9 came from inside the area) versus Cardiff last Saturday. Even during the shock 4-0 home victory over Chelsea a week earlier, the Cherries still conceded 11 efforts on goal of which 7 came from inside the area. Eddie Howe’s men haven’t taken a single point from an away game since gameweek 10 (a 0-3 victory at Craven Cottage) and despite Liverpool’s slight struggles over the past weeks, we foresee the possibility of an abundance of goals in favour of the home side this coming Saturday.

FPL – Players to Watch in the Second Half of the Season

That’s it, done, the January transfer window is shut. We’ve seen a few gems sneak into the FPL list in recent weeks, but who are the must-haves for the second half of the season as everyone battles to move up the FPL table to mini-league or fantasy cup glory? With gameweek 25 well underway, let’s take a look, starting with those between the sticks.

Goalkeepers

Many FPL veterans argue that you need two £4.5m goalkeepers at the beginning of the season that rotate well so that your bench boost can be effective later on in the season, as well as keeping funds free for the rest of the squad. It’s difficult to argue with that tactic as it tends to work well, but Alisson leads the way in the rankings at £6.0m. However, as good as he’s been, Neil Etheridge is hot on his heels at just £4.6m.

Ederson is another one who you’d expect, along with Alisson, to pick up a fair few clean sheets in the second half of the season, and he’s slightly cheaper than the Liverpool ‘keeper at £5.6m. Do not overlook the likes of Lukas Fabianski or Patricio either, as they’ve picked up a fair amount of save points and bonus points so far.

Our advice? Pick two keepers that play at around £4.5m-£5.5m who are with clubs in the top half of the table, as you’ll accumulate enough points for it not to really make a lot of difference between that and a £6.0m Alisson for example.

Defenders

Andrew Robertson is a must have if you can afford him, although he’s closing in on the £7.0m mark, so, if you’re heavy up top, you might not be able to bring him in.

New Fulham signing and ex West Ham player Havard Nordtveit has been added as a defender at £4.5m. We’d expect him to probably play in the centre of midfield if Fulham watched his centre-back displays for West Ham. He’s a bit of a liability at the back. Don’t expect him to score many, but as a defender potentially playing in Midfield, like Declan Rice for the Hammers, it might be worth having him at such a cheap price to pick up the odd clean sheet.

Cardiff’s new signing, Leandro Bacuna, has also been priced up at £4.5m as a defender. It’s tough to see Cardiff picking up many more clean sheets this season so he might be worth avoiding as there is better value elsewhere.

Where is the value?

Looking beyond the likes of Robertson, Van Dijk, and Alonso, who are expensive, you should really be considering the likes of Chilwell (£5.0m), Holebas (£4.8m), Wan-Bissaka (£4.5m) and possibly even Wolves’ Jonny at a tempting £4.3m.

Midfielders

Arguably the most important choices you’re going to make in FPL this season is in your midfield. It’s simply because there are so many goalscorers to choose from, you need to either make sure you have them all or choose a couple and offset it with a decent striker or two.

If you can afford Mo Salah, get him. He’s only going to keep scoring, and as a midfielder, that equals a crazy amount of points, especially with bonuses added on. Let’s not forget he’s on penalties too.

Salah actually leads the way in the scoring charts at the time of writing, and he’ll take some stopping. If you’ve got a bet on him to be top scorer this season, the bookies now have him at around 4/5 to win the golden boot. Aubameyang, Aguero, Hazard and Sterling are hot on his heels, and it could be worth backing one of the outsiders for a bit more value if you think the likes of Arsenal, City, and Chelsea are going to have a stronger second half to the season than Liverpool. The Reds might start feeling the pressure soon.

If you’ve not got an account with a bookie to place a Premier League Top Goalscorer bet and you’re considering signing up, finding licensed sportsbooks is important, so it’s best to use one of the big betting firms you hear about all the time in the UK. You know they’re safe and secure.

Hazard and Sterling are the other two leading the way in the FPL midfielder charts, and it’ll definitely pay to have at least one of these in your side for the rest of the season. They’re just going to keep scoring and assisting heavily, so don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Another player worth considering is Son Heung-min. With Harry Kane and Dele Alli out for a while, the responsibility will fall on his shoulders to produce the goods and keep Spurs in the hunt for the title in the next few weeks and months.

Newcastle’s record signing, Miguel Almiron, loved a goal in the MLS with Atlanta, so who’s to say he can’t bag a few in the Premier League? He might be worth considering in your midfield at an appealing £6.0m. Over January signings include Fulham’s Lazar Markovic (£5.0m) and Leicester’s Youri Tielemans (£6.0m), although he might not be as much of a goal threat as Almiron and Markovic.

Attackers

Harry Kane posted a video of his rehab recently which has given Spurs fans a lift. He might be back sooner than anticipated, and he’s probably a must have once he returns to action. Another injury casualty at the moment is Callum Wilson, who’s out for a few weeks.

In the meantime, there are a lot of options in your front three. Aubameyang, Firmino, Aguero, Jimenez, Lacazette, Rashford, Mitrovic. The list goes on. If you insist on having Salah and at least one other big gun in the midfield, affording the likes of Kane and Aguero is going to be difficult. But the cheap options are not disappointing this year. Josh King (£6.4m) and Glenn Murray (6.3m) are definitely worth considering as your third striker as both have hit a bit of form recently.

Crystal Palace’s new signing, Michy Batshuayi might be worth a punt at £6.5m, as too Peter Crouch, who moved to Burnley. If he gets a regular starting berth, his £4.5m cost could prove to be an absolute bargain.

If you’ve still got your wildcard, you might like this final section. Here’s our squad of 15 we think will do wonders in the second half of the season. If you choose to go with it, you might just leapfrog a few mates in the league table.

GK – Ederson & Fabianski

DEF – Trippier, Chilwell, Holebas, Zouma, Wan-Bissaka

MID – Salah, Sane, Pogba, Brooks (currently injured), Markovic

ATT – Aguero, Jimenez, Mitrovic

Reasons to Watch Rugby League

The game of rugby might be focused on highly contested scrums. But to some of us, the game of rugby must be all about thrilling tries, big breaks, big hits and exciting movements with a lot of energy and passion. If you pay a closer look at some rugby challenge cup matches they are too tactical.

However, if you don’t want to get bored with rugby consider watching rugby league. Below we are going to showcase some of the reasons why you should do so.

Rugby League’s Excellent Skills

Rugby League being a simpler game means it is less tactical. Watching rugby league will let you witness some brilliant and world class moves. Passing, tackles, offloads and strong, fast running all in one plate. That is surely something that can put you on the edge of your seat like playing online slots at good real money casinos. This is simply because the level of rugby in Rugby League is incredible.

Witness the Drama at Rugby League

This sport will leave you with more questions than answers. A lot of drama comes from the rugby league world cup itself. In Australia, history was made in the grand final between Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys. The fascinating encounter convinced every Tom, Jack and Harry it was going to end 16-12 in favour of the Brisbane Broncos.

But the turn of event was heartbreaking. North Queensland came up with a last minute try accompanied by wonderful football and scoring at the same time as the clock hit 80 minutes which saw some world bookies officials left stunned. It was indeed heartbreaking for the side that was leading but that’s what rugby league is all about.

Tiger Woods Continues to Amaze

Some people feel as if golf has been one of those sports that has been sidelined. But then is that really the case? The history of golf is rather interesting. This sport was not a sport for the public but restricted to the upper classes back in the 15th century.

But let’s not get into that and instead, talk about the great men and women in the game of golf. According to reports found at newzealandbetting, the game has developed over the past years and it is anyone and everyone’s sport.

Tiger Woods

There is no way that we were going to talk about golf and not mention Tiger Woods. One of the greatest men in golf of all time. Have you ever just looked at someone whether in person or on the telly and asked yourself if they have golf blood running in their body?

For us, the person who makes us feel like that is Tiger Woods. Despite having a lot of problems and making the unwelcome news headlines he has been the greatest golfer. So even after the whole issue of being arrested, being in rehab etc he managed to come back better than before.

Betting on Tiger Woods has been very lucrative for people. When he is playing in a tournament the odds of the winner are influenced greatly. He is known to close out tournaments so as soon as he gets into the lead the odds on him winning are very low. Probably you are not a betting type of person then go for real money online slots that have golf themes.

If you disagree then answer this question for us. Who have you heard in the history of golf, who’s been a champion for over 13 years? And when we say champion we are talking about a person occupying the number one spot.

Justin Rose: Undisputed No. 1 Golf Player

Justin Rose had a two-shot victory over Adam Scott on Sunday week at the Famers Insurance Open held at Torrey Pines in California. This was his third win in the last year. Rose continued a run of consistency that has seen the player post 16 top-10 finishes in his past 24 worldwide events.

Scott said that Rose was the number one golf player in the world. According to this sports betting site https://www.cansportsbetting.ca/, Scott had a 19-under-par effort and would have won the past 9 Farmers’ tournaments. Scott went on to say that even though he was a little bit off, he kept it together. He then closed with 5 birdies in the last 12 holes. He said that it was hard to beat when you are 3 back around this golf course.

Rose has been on the top of his game for the better part of the past 18 months. In fact, he has a slew of high finishes dotting his resume.

Rose holds off Scott to win at Torrey Pines

Rose had a few nervous moments, worse than waiting for the jackpot winning symbol on online slots but he soon overcame them. He holed enough key putts down the stretch for a 3-under 69 as well as a two-stroke victory over Scott on Sunday.

After a frustrating tournament, Tiger Woods finally got something over his final 9 holes. He made 5 birdies to finish with a 5-under-par 67 at Torrey Pines. So Woods has started this year with a good showing in California. Soon, he will take a few weeks off. Woods had a chance to get to a win in September at the BMW Championship but lost out to Keegan Bradley.

Rose did not hold the number one spot at the start of 2019 but has moved back to the top. This was after Koepka had failed to finish high enough when he played at a tournament in Hawaii 2 weeks ago. Now, it does seem like he is going to stay there for a while. Rose spent most of the past 8 years among the top 20 in the world.