FPL Season 2020-21 – Gameweek 4 Preview

“On Sunday, Manchester United are hosting Spurs at Old Trafford” (CC by 1.0). Image by: Ank Kumar

The Premier League season for 2020-21 campaign has gone off to even more of a crazy start than normal. After several more and less expected hauls in each of the previous gameweeks, GW3 saw Vardy score a hattrick against Man City for 17 FPL points, midfielder Jarred Bowen bag a brace against Wolves for West Ham, and West Brom’s Callum Robinson score two against Chelsea in just 65 minutes for a very differential 13 FPL points. On top of that, Villa’s Conor Hourihane chipped in with a goal, an assist and a clean sheet for 14 points.

If gameweek 3 is anything to go by in terms of what to expect of coming weekend, then hold on to your hat, because it’s going to be another good one. Gameweek 4 contains a bunch of juicy fixtures from an FPL point of view, with entertaining Leeds hosting a Man City side looking for a return to form, Wolves facing Fulham at Molineux and Spurs rolling up to Old Trafford on Sunday for the clash of the week, just to name a few. There are plenty of interesting fantasy picks out there, in all brackets, so here we go.

Don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 4 is set for 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, October 2nd. Also do check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your transfer(s).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per AM October 2nd, 2020)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKPope (BUR), Ryan (BRI), Pickford (EVE)Martinez (AST), Alisson (LIV), McCarthy (SOU)Two clean sheets out of two for Aston Villa. 
DEFDoherty (TOT), Alexander-Arnold (LIV), Wan-Bissaka (UTD)Castagne (LEI), Lamptey (BRI), Justin (LEI)Premium defenders possibly not worth their investment yet, while other options are performing.
MIDSon (TOT), Aubameyang (ARS), Saint-Maximin (NEW)Rodriguez (EVE), Zaha (CRY), Barnes (LEI)Son and ASM are injured, Arsenal tough fixtures coming up.
FORWerner (CHE), Martial (UTD), Mitrovic (FUL)Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Bamford (LEE), Vardy (LEI)Budget strikers have been performing, Vardy as well, while more expensive options haven’t really yet.

Premium pick

On Saturday, the 12th of September 2020, the Premier League campaign 2020-21 kicked off and now, about three weeks later, it looks like we’re right back where we left the last season a few months ago. Well, at least in terms of Jamie Vardy (£10.0m) that is. Last season’s Golden Boot winner is back where he left off, at the top of the rankings (though sharing the spot with a later pick of ours) with 5 goals from three games. He made up for a slightly disappointing showing at home to Burnley in GW2 by netting thrice at the Etihad last weekend and bagging 17 FPL points in the process. The English striker is a slight injury doubt in the build-up to this weekend’s home game against West Ham, but we feel he could well be up for another goal or two against an admittedly improved Hammers side. They won’t be looking forward to visiting the lion’s (or better said, the Foxes’ den) with the main man up front in such blistering form.

Non-premium picks

Our two non-premium picks for this weekend are strikers as well, starting with Wolves talisman Raul Jimenez (£8.6m). After a blank plus a very unfortunate own goal last weekend versus West Ham, we feel this is just the moment to hold on to the Mexican striker. He is, after all, one of the most consistent FPL performers of the last decade. Jimenez scored a goal in each of the first two gameweeks for a total of 14 FPL points before his surprising 0-point hit last weekend and this weekend it’s Fulham at Molineux for the Wolves. The Cottagers are off to another rocky start in the Premier League this season with 10 conceded goals in the first three games and they are visiting a Wolves side that’ll be aching to set some things straight after their painful 4-0 loss at West Ham in GW3. Unless manager Scott Parker has somehow found a solution to the defensive fragility of his team this week, we can see a few goals being scored here coming weekend and Jimenez being among the scorers.

We already mysteriously mentioned Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.5m) as “the pick currently on top of the Golden Boot rankings” together with Leicester’s Jamie Vardy, which explains why we really couldn’t leave him out of this section. The young Englishman seems to be one of the most under-priced FPL assets of the 2020-21 season, a theory underlined by the fact that he has already risen by £0.5m since the start of the campaign. No player saw his price tag increase by more. DCL has so far returned in every game, with his hattrick and the ensuing 17 FPL points versus West Brom in GW2 as the stand-out performance so far, and he is playing Brighton at home next. The Seagulls have had a decent start to the season in terms of their performances, though home games against Chelsea and United in the first three weeks saw them record just 3 points so far. Still, Carlo Ancelotti’s improving Toffees at Goodison Park will likely be a bit too much for them and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Calvert-Lewin return for a fourth time in a row.

The budget enabler

Burnley haven’t had the best of starts to this season with defeats against Leicester and Southampton, and this season might be one where the Clarets will need to battle more for Premier League survival than they’ve gotten used to over the past few years, but their fixture calendar has cleared up a bit now. They are facing Newcastle and West Brom in the next two weeks, and, albeit away from home, these look like games where they can grab their first points, as well as their first clean sheet. This brings budget enabler Jimmy Dunne (£4.0m) into the mix for those managers looking to free up a bit of budget over the coming international break. Of course, this comes with a major risk, as the young Irish defender filled in for the injured James Tarkowski up until now. The England international has now seemingly recovered and manager Sean Dyche is likely to revert back a central duo consisting of him and Kevin Long, but Dunne has definitely established himself as an FPL asset to watch. He is actually Burnley’s highest-scoring defender at the moment, thanks to his goal in GW2 against Leicester, and considering how highly Dyche rates him, he is definitely now a bad shout as fifth defender in your squad.

A differential pick or two

At Leicester, and as usual, star man Jamie Vardy is the talk of the town, especially after his hattrick away at Man City, but he’s not the only Fox off to a great start. There are, of course, defenders Timothy Castagne and James Justin who’ve been fantastic so far in terms of FPL, but we’re talking about Harvey Barnes (£7.0m). Despite not being amongst the goals or even the FPL returns during the 2-5 thrashing of City, the young forward had a very good game at the Etihad. With James Maddison still working back to fitness and form, Barnes seems to be Leicester’s main attacking outlet behind Vardy, which makes him an appealing fantasy pick. He has a goal and an assist to his name so far, for a total of 18 FPL points, and his price tag sits at a very affordable £7.0m. Combined with a current ownership of just 6.0%, the speedy winger represents quite a lot of differential value in our opinion.

The Leicester midfield looks like a bit of a differential goldmine at the moment, because besides Barnes, Belgian international Youri Tielemans (£6.4m) can represent excellent value as well. With the return to fitness of Maddison, the young midfielder will likely be playing a bit more central, but he will still be involved in plenty of attacking moves. His current price tag in combination with his upcoming fixtures (West Ham and Aston Villa, both at home) allows for a bit of a gamble and he currently sits in just 2.0% of all teams. He played the full 90 minutes in each of Leicester’s first three games and recorded his first attacking return last weekend when he scored against City. He is less attacking than the previously mentioned Barnes, but he also costs £0.6m less and could be a shrewd investment for the coming gameweeks.

The captaincy

As we wrote at the beginning of this piece, gameweek 4 offers us plenty of appealing fixtures and therefore an abundance of good captaincy picks. For our FPL GW4 Captain pick, we have personally gone with Wolves striker Raul Jimenez for his home game against leaky Fulham, but it wasn’t an easy choice. Kevin de Bruyne away at Elland Road was on our minds as well, as well as Jamie Vardy at home to West Ham and Sadio Mané for the away game at Aston Villa.

If you’re looking for a bit more of a risk-reward situation, there are some decent options available as well. We’re not sure Calvert-Lewin can still be considered a “risk” in his current form and with a home game against Brighton coming up, but he is definitely worth considering. Alexander Lacazette has scored in each game of the season so far and is facing a struggling Sheffield United side at the Emirates this weekend, which brings him into the mix as well. Danny Ings against West Brom and even the on-fire Patrick Bamford at home to City (why not?) could see you soar up the rankings as well after coming weekend.

Best Ways to Build Your Fantasy Horse Racing Strategy

Horse racing is the perfect sport for fans of fantasy leagues and their like, with the sport being so rich in history and background for people to explore as they go about trying to develop the most effective race meet plan.

However, because this is a sport dictated by the whims and fancies of naturally wild animals (although it could be argued that football and rugby players are similar in disposition) it is notoriously hard to predict how certain races will pan out, especially the biggest of them all, like the Epsom Derby and the Grand National.

Here are some of the techniques and things to keep in mind when you and your friends are putting together a sure-fire winning strategy.

Horse racing is renowned for being tough to predict

Hold onto the Coattails of Top Tipsters

Starting from scratch in the world of racing can be daunting, with the sport boasting its very own set of vocabulary and lingo that can leave newcomers clutching at straws.

Luckily, there are plenty of quality tipsters out there who make it their business to do all the hard work for their loyal followers, giving out advice on which horses to pick whether it is for a minor race up at Beverly or a grade 1 mega race such as those run at Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Festival.

Of course, there is nothing to stop you shopping around for a tipster who best suits your needs, but sometimes it can be rewarding to find a tipster and then stick with him or her through the thick and the thin of the long nose action.

Study the Form, But with a Critical Eye

Everyone who has been to a racetrack will no doubt have perused the form guide. Unfortunately, for most punters its stats and suggestions are often wrongly applied to race day, as other factors have to be taken into account other than the generic form provided by the race organisers and bookmakers.

Has the horse you want to pick travelled well? Does it look comfortable in the paddock? Is its regular jockey in the saddle? Be sure to keep all these aspects and many more in mind, as they could make a mockery of the standard form guide.

Follow these tips and you should avoid your picks bringing up the rear

Leave it Late to Make Your Picks

Allied to the previous point, it always pays dividends to leave making your fantasy picks until as late as possible, with injuries and mishaps in the stalls often scuppering the best laid plans.

The more information you can garner before the horses set off, the better chance of winning you will have.

Mix it Up Between Favourites and Outsiders

As with any fantasy selection process, be it our very own Last Man Standing golf comp or one of the big footy fantasy leagues, it is never as easy as simply picking the best runners otherwise the game would be too easy and dull as a result.

With this in mind, it makes sense to mix up the selections you choose, perhaps balancing a big favourite with an up and coming horse who may take most observers by surprise.

The key to getting this right is to watch as many races as possible, so you have an inkling of whether an outsider is about to shock the paddock with a form-busting run down the final stretch.

What Will the Going Be Like?

Weather and ground conditions can so often be the difference between a race favourite having things all his own way, or an outside bet coming from nowhere to steal the limelight.

This means that if it looks like being a rainy day you should be looking to select horses who are used to heavy conditions and conversely search for fleet footed steeds when the ground is hard and fast.

This is particularly true of steeplechases, where horses must be comfortable landing and taking off no matter what the going happens to be on race day.

FPL Season 2020-21 – Gameweek 3 Preview

“The clash of the week takes place at Anfield this week as champions Liverpool host Arsenal” (CC by 4.0). Image by: Rodhullandemu

With Man City, Man United, Burnley and Aston Villa also off the mark after their blank gameweek 1, the FPL 2020-20 season is now well and truly underway. Gameweek 2 saw a boat load of goals with no less than six games featuring 4 goals or more and an incredible four games seeing a minimum of 6 goals. As a result, we saw plenty of hauls, with Spurs star Heung-Min Son (24 FPL points), his team mate Harry Kane (21 points) and Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin (17 points) forming the top-3 performers.

Gameweek 3 offers yet another set of juicy fixtures, including top-of-the-table clashes between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield and Man City and Leicester at the Etihad. Spurs could build on their 5 goals at Saint Mary’s with a home game against Newcastle, while from an FPL point of view, the Wolves game at West Ham and the Chelsea game at the Hawthorns offer plenty of potential. Before we move on to our picks for the weekend, don’ forget to check the lineups and results of the mid-week games in the League Cup. We don’t expect them to affect the lineups too much this weekend, but do keep them in mind nonetheless.

Don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 3 is set for 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, September 26th. Also do check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your transfer(s).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per September 24th, 2020)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKMcCarthy (SOU), Ryan (BRI), Pope (BUR)Martinez (AST), Ryan (BRI), Guaita (CRY)Disappointing Saints and Clarets, defensively at least.
DEFAlexander-Arnold (LIV), Doherty (TOT), Egan (SHE)James (CHE), Mitchell (CRY), Castagne (LEI)Replacement of premium defenders for more budget-friendly picks after few clean sheets in the first gameweeks.
MIDAubameyang (ARS), Saint-Maximin (NEW), Son (TOT)Son (TOT), Rodriguez (EVE), De Bruyne (CIT)Looks largely fixture-based, with form included as well.
FORWerner (CHE), Ings (SOU), Mitrovic (FUL)Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Bamford (LEE), Kane (TOT)Performing budget-friendly options

Premium pick

Just two gameweeks is not a large sample to base trend predictions on, but with one home game and one away game played for Liverpool, Mo Salah (£12.1m) seems to be continuing his habit of saving his best performances for the home crowd. The Egyptian scored a hat trick and 20 FPL points at Anfield in GW1 and then blanked last weekend away to Chelsea. Last season, he scored 19 Premier League goals and 15 of those came at Anfield. This weekend, the Reds are hosting an Arsenal side that has conceded just a single goal so far, but their opponents have been of quite another calibre than Liverpool, namely Fulham away (0-3) and West Ham at the Emirates (2-1). The Gunners did not look particularly impressive against the Hammers last weekend, and there could be goals in this encounter on Monday. Finally, it doesn’t say that much, but last season, this fixture took place in GW3 as well and saw Salah scoring a brace.

Non-premium picks

Another player who seems to be continuing where he left off last season is Wolves striker Raul Jimenez (£8.5m). The Mexican netted 17 times and provided 7 assists over the 2019-20 campaign, and already has 2 goals to his name this season. He scored in the opener at Bramall Lane and then repeated that feat against Man City at Molineux last weekend. Simply said, there are very few FPL assets as reliable as Jimenez, though he is not generally the go-to man for a big haul. He usually bags a goal plus a bonus point or two. This weekend, Wolverhampton are visiting a West Ham side that has started the campaign with two defeats. In total, the Hammers conceded 4 goals against Newcastle and Arsenal, and to make matters worse, regular starting centre back Issa Diop will be missing on Sunday due to a positive Covid-19 test. Sounds like a good moment to bring in Jimenez if you haven’t yet.

One player we have been following closely since gameweek 1 is Everton’s new star James Rodriguez (£7.6m). The Colombian is a world class operator, there is no doubt about it, but we just wanted to see how fit he was after a few slow years and to what extent he would immediately fit into Carlo Ancelotti’s side. Well, he seems quite fit and the Italian manager seems to consider him as a key piece of his Toffees puzzle. James started with a modest 3-pointer against Spurs in gameweek 1, but followed that one up with a 12-point haul last weekend, courtesy of a goal, an assist and 2 bonus points against West Brom at Goodison Park. He seems to have quickly established himself as Everton’s main creative force and only Salah has attempted more assists than his 7 over the first two gameweeks. He also created more big chances than any other player bar Harry Kane since the start. Up next is an in-form Crystal Palace side, but Everton are showing good form as well and we feel they could make it 9 points out of 9 at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

The budget enabler

In the budget category, Wolves forward Daniel Podence (£5.6m) has been making some waves in the first two weeks of this season. With the acquisition of Nelson Semedo, the club may have found a definite replacement for Matt Doherty at right-back , meaning that Adama Traoré is freed up a bit more to be deployed up field in place of Podence, but the ex-Olympiakos looks safe for now. He has started the season in more than decent form with 2 assists in two games and a total of 11 FPL points. The Portuguese dynamo is classified as a midfielder in the game, which means he gets an extra point per clean sheet, and is up against West Ham on Monday. In our opinion, this is one of the most favourable fixtures in gameweek 3 and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him add a third assist to his total this round. Or who knows, maybe even a goal.

A differential pick or two

A bit to our surprise, considering the many new recruits arriving at Stamford Bridge this summer, academy graduate Mason Mount (£6.9m) has played every single Premier League minute so far for Chelsea. Manager Frank Lampard tends to start him as a left winger from where he has the freedom to either stay out on the wing to provide width or to come inside and combine with the likes of Werner and Havertz. The young Englishman hasn’t yet returned in terms of the FPL, but an away game against an out-of-sorts West Brom side is as good a fixture as any for him to get off the mark. The Baggies have so far played against Leicester and Everton this season, and conceded a worrying 8 goals in the process. At Chelsea, the new pieces will probably still need a bit more time to glue together nicely, but this encounter with West Brom could definitely boost the confidence. At £6.9m and with an ownership of just 6.2%, Mount could be a great punt for gameweek 3.

After just very narrowingly escaping relegation last season, Aston Villa started off their 2020-21 campaign with a good 1-0 win over Sheffield United. Remember, the Villains blanked in gameweek 1. Up next for them are Fulham at Craven Cottage and considering the Cottagers’ first two displays this season, Villa could be making it a very nice 6 points out of six this coming Monday. That is also why we are recommending their talisman Jack Grealish (£7.0m) to those looking for a differential with potential for gameweek 3. The English midfielder did not manage to get any attacking returns against Sheffield United, He did have two shots from inside the box in that game and we think he’ll have at least as many against a Fulham side that has conceded 7 goals in the first two games of the season. On top of that, Grealish is on most of Villa’s set-pieces. The game on Monday looks like the perfect opportunity for him to record the first returns of the season after scoring 8 goals and providing 7 assists last season.

The captaincy

Gameweek 3 offers a few very interesting fixtures from a fantasy football point of view and with them, a few appealing GW3 FPL captaincy candidates as well. We have gone with Momo Salah for this one as he faces an Arsenal defence we still consider a bit leaky, but there are good alternatives for the Egyptian as well. Kevin de Bruyne as playmaker at number 10 at home to Leicester is never a bad pick, while Salah’s team mate Sadio Mané is just coming off a brace against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. We also think Raul Jimenez’ right arm is a good spot to place the armband this round.

For those managers looking for a bit more of a punt, in order to play early-season catch-up for example, Spurs stars Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son are very good options at home to Newcastle after their dynamic duo display against Southampton. With Chelsea facing West Bram at the Hawthorns, there could also be a first goal for Timo Werner and/or Kai Havertz as the Blues are working hard to make the many new faces form a solid unit. 

Preakness Stakes Horse Betting: 5 Tips In Securing Successful Bets

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After Authentic nailed a surprising victory in the Kentucky Derby, fans can look forward to the Preakness Stakes that will start in a few weeks. On October 3, 2020, the Pimlico Park will highlight thirteen all three-year-old colts competing for the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes. Like the Derby, the Preakness will not allow any fans to see the live racing show.

This year, the horse racing community was cheering for Tiz The Law to win the Derby, but Authentic’s fate seems to look clearer than his. Hence, there is no Triple Crown winner this year. Although we won’t see any Triple Crown titleholder, the Preakness Stakes will conclude the series featuring million-dollar pot money.

As the race for the Black-Eyed Susans comes soon, the betting games will surely thrill every fan and bettor. Since the Preakness Stakes will close the Triple Crown this year, picking a winning horse is challenging because each of them brings excellent accomplishments. To ease your pain of picking the right horse to bet, here are some helpful tips to take heed on how to bet on the Preakness Stakes.

Kentucky Derby Winners

Preceded by the Derby this year, some of the Preakness Stakes entrants are coming from this event. Today, Authentic leads the odds ranking and the biggest favorite for the Black-Eyed Susans. You must consider this colt as one of your bets. Regardless if you wager on simple or challenging categories, this horse can surely place or win.

Aside from Authentic, there are also other Derby winners taking shape at the Preakness Stakes. Make sure to consider picking them for your next Preakness Stakes betting game. It helps to pick Derby winners since they have saddled in longer racecourses and might effortlessly complete the Preakness, which has a shorter running-distance.

Belmont Stakes Accomplishers

This year, Tiz the Law won the Belmont Stakes and only second in the Kentucky Derby. According to his owner, he will not run for the Preakness Stakes as he prepares for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. However, bettors should not worry since his runners-up are heading to the Preakness Stakes and can win big time.

Some of the Belmont Stakes placers who’ll run in the Black-Eyed Susans are Max Player and Pneumatic. Remember that the Belmont Stakes has the longest race course out of the three Triple Crown jewels. If these horses have made a significant placement in a longer course, the Preakness might be a no-sweat for them.

Preakness Field Condition

The Preakness Stakes this year will happen during the wet season. For the past years, it settled in mid-summer, so horses can quickly saddle up in a dry field. In a few weeks, fans and bettors can expect that it might be rainy, and horses will run on a muddy surface. It can greatly affect the colt’s speed, so get guided with the field condition.

Although the Preakness Stakes has the shortest course, if the horse can’t sustain an excellent speed in a muddy track, he might not get successful. So, when you pick for your Preakness Stakes bets, look for an entry that can saddle up well in a dry or wet racecourse. In this way, you can ensure that they can win all the way regardless of how the weather looks like on race day.

Non-Triple Crown Achievements

The Preakness Stakes entries did not only work out for the Triple Crown this year. Do know that there are various notable horse racing shows happening all over the world. If a horse has garnered huge accomplishments other than the Triple Crown jewels, they are more likely a good Preakness bet to consider.

Some of the Preakness Stakes participants this year had competed in Derby trails. These racing games have the same field as the Preakness Stakes. So, if a horse has ended a successful stint in these trails, they are most likely to do the same at Pimlico Park. Take time to review each entries’ non-Triple Crown achievements to compare and contrast.

Jockeys And Trainers

Jockeys and trainers play the biggest role in honing the horses’ talents and skills. No matter how tough the horse can look, he won’t be able to develop his skills without the help of these people. Looking back, most Preakness winners are trained and ridden by familiar jockeys and trainers, so you can do the same strategy this Preakness season.

A racehorse trainer who has accomplished many Triple Crown awards come out successful. The same goes for the jockey. If he has built a strong connection with the horse and can control the right speed during the race, they might end up successful.

Takeaway

The Preakness Stakes is not going anywhere, as it will start in less than ten days. Although the fans won’t get the chance to see the live racing show at the venue, the betting games are still settling on your most trusted online bookie. Hence, if you aim to pick a successful Preakness Stakes to bet this year, don’t forget to apply the tips above to earn considerably.

FanTeam’s €1,000,000 Seasonal Premier League game still open!

With only 16,244 teams entered in time for the start of Gameweek 1 there is still a big opportunity for late entrants (who will be given 46 bonus points for missing GW1 – being 70% of the average GW1 score) in challenging for the huge amount of guaranteed prize money on offer (including €200,000 for 1st) with FanTeam. Entrants now whilst starting slightly behind the average score do have an advantage in that they can pick their team having seen the opening matches and will still get to use their 1st wildcard later on.

Currently (17th September) there are just over 18,000 teams entered so we can see that about 2,000 teams have already taken advantage of the opportunity. Prizes are paid all the way down to 5,659th position.

For news and help on your FanTeam entry visit FISO’s FanTeam forum.

Fantasy Premier League 2020/21 – Games & Resources

List of the main season-long games & summary of rules:

FanTeam – €25 to play per team with a huge €1 million prize pot (including a life-changing €200,000 for 1st) and a maximum 75,000 entrants allowed (only 5,500 entries so far). Pick 15 players with 4 on the subs bench. 1 free transfer per gameweek and 2 wildcards for the season. Pick a captain for each gameweek, prior to the transfer deadline 90 minutes before the 1st kick-off of that gameweek. Player prices change during the season depending on transfers/form. Late registration possible up to gameweek 5 and receive 70% of average score in the previous gameweeks.

Fantasy Premier League (FPL) – Free to play – the official game from the Premier League and already over 3 million people have entered (1 team per person). 1st prize is a UK holiday with VIP tickets to 2 EPL matches. Pick 15 players with 4 on the subs bench and a captain each gameweek. Player prices do change during the season due to transfers made – keep an eye on FISO’s Crack the Code price change prediction page. 1 free transfer per gameweek (deadline 90 minutes before 1st kick-off of that gameweek) and 2 wildcards for the season. Extra ‘chips’ such as triple captain, bench boost and free hit also available.

Telegraph Fantasy Football (TFF) – Free to play (max 5 teams per person) with approx. £10k of prizes. Pick 11 players with 40 transfers for the season (max 5 per week).

Sun DreamTeam (SDT) – Free to play (max 10 teams per person) with a £100k prize pot. Pick 11 players and max 3 transfers per month.

SkySports Fantasy Football – Free to play (max 2 teams per person) with approx. £60k prize pot. Select 11 players and a captain each gameday. 40 transfers for the season.

Hopefully there is at least one game to suit everyone to increase your enjoyment of watching the English Premier League (EPL) in 20/21.

List of Resources to Help you

FISO’s Forum – FISO was started over 20 years ago and has a discussion forum for each game. Topics from FISO’s FPL forum include the extremely useful STC Shared Rate My Team topic started by one of the top ranked FPL managers (which itself has a long list of useful resources in the 1st post).

Predicted Line-ups – FanTeam’s prediction for which 11 players will start for each EPL Club.

Club Preview articles for FPL – an article on each EPL club with a focus for FPL.

Fantasy Football Hub – Many useful resources for most games including How to Win at FPL article.

Fantasy Football Scout – A wide variety of FPL advice, tips and tools.

Injury News Table – a summary of the FPL injury status changes for EPL players.

How to Join a Football Club in England

The English Premier League is the world-known football league every player dreams of playing in. If you are one of those passionate amateurs, who wants to build a professional career, you need to find the optimal way to join a promising football club in England. In fact, there are two main ways to get started, either by becoming a member of a local football club or by joining an English football academy. Irrespective of your choice, it is inevitable to combine sport with a college education, as it is the only way to achieve the desired result. Using the assistance of online statistics homework help, it will be much easier to succeed in both directions, gaining the necessary degree and building a professional career.

Striving to improve your skills and get to the leading football clubs, you need to be an exceptionally good player. Generally, it takes a long time to advance professional skills and become a top tier player. It means nothing else, but the fact that it is inevitable to start a career at a very young age, especially if you want to be a real pro.

Once you realize all the challenges and problems you will have to face like a football player, you need to decide whether you really want to join a football club in England. While passion and desire are not enough, determination, hard work, and diligence may also be needed. Be ready to pay to do homework if you want to stay successful at school, but still do not want to miss a single training. Once you are 100% confident in your desire to become a member of a team, you need to take maximum effort either to get discovered by Scouts or be accepted by the Football Academy.

Top 10 Steps to a Career of a Football Player

Football is an exceptionally progressive game, especially when it comes to England. The vast majority of local and international students strive to enter the industry and gain an opportunity to join a football club. Entering a Football Academy is one of the simplest and most beneficial ways to make a dream come true. A range of top-notch clubs have academies, where young and amateur players learn to play like real stars. Keep in mind that football academy is a combination of professional training and secondary education. Therefore, at some points, you will have to accomplish tons of homework, buy cheap essay, and cope with challenging assignments. However, you will still have enough time to focus on the basics of football and use theoretical knowledge in practice. Are you ready to start? Take simple steps to make your passion your profession.

  • Attend an Open Day and show your skills in a trial match.
  • Get an official offer, fill in numerous forms, and pay initial fees.
  • International students should check out the requirements necessary for the visa and IELTS test.
  • Join the academy.
  • Use your chance to join a football club and develop a desired career. 

FPL Season 2020-21 – Gameweek 2 Preview

“After a 16-year absence, Premier League football returns to Elland Road this weekend” (CC by 4.0). Image by: Boxingfan1995

And we’re back! After a simply crazy 2019-20 campaign, the 2020-21 campaign was set into motion last weekend and it’s promising to be an amazing year once again. It didn’t take long for English football to remind us of the roller-coaster kind of league it truly is, with new boys Leeds almost matching Liverpool in a goal-scoring spectacle; Arsenal showing some serious promise against Fulham and Everton immediately setting the tone under Ancelotti with a 0-1 away win at Spurs, just to mention a few encounters. From an FPL point of view, we hope you had Momo Salah (as captain).

For this season, we have adapted our gameweek preview format just a little bit. We will recommend player picks in the build-up each week, as usual, and we’ll do so based on four categories instead of the previous three. We will pick a premium player each week (meaning priced £9.5m or higher, which at the moment are 9 players), two non-premium picks, 1 budget pick (the price to be included in this category can vary a bit based on position, but needs to be considerable as a budget enabler), and two differentials (because what’s more satisfying, really, than hauling with a player owned by 0.1% of all managers?). To end each piece, we’ll also quickly go over our captaincy thoughts.

Gameweek 2 offers a few juicy fixtures, so let’s get started! Welcome back!

Don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 2 is set for 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, September 19th. Also do check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your transfer(s).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per September 17th, 2020)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKMcCarthy (Sou), Alisson (Liv), Ryan (Bri)Pickford (Eve), Leno (Ars), McCarthy (Sou)Could be fixtures, plus improved clean sheet potential after GW1
DEFAlexander-Arnold (Liv), Doherty (Tot), Egan (She)Gabriel (Ars), Justin (Lei), Mitchel (Cry)Shift to budget defenders who performed well in GW1
MIDSon (Tot), Mané (Liv), Aubameyang (Ars)Fernandes (Utd), De Bruyne (MC), Willian (Ars)The return to action of United and City premium options, Willian’s haul against Fulham
FORWerner (Che), Ings (Sou), Mitrovic (Ful)Bamford (Lee), Martial (Utd), Calvert-Lewin (Eve)Shift to scoring budget strikers, United’ return to action

Premium pick

Obviously, after starting the season with a hattrick, Mo Salah is an excellent premium pick for gameweek 2, despite his away fixture against Chelsea. We’ve gone with another “midfielder” though, one who is, strangely being dumped by a lot of managers this week. Arsenal got off to a good start, beating Fulham 0-3 away from home and star man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£12.0m) notched one of those goals for a total of 7 FPL points. It’s true that he is expensive this season, but it’s also true that he is classified out-of-position as a midfielder, when in reality he will be the most dangerous Gunner most of the time. His yellow card was a shame, but he did get an extra point for his goal in comparison to a forward and another one for the clean sheet. In GW2, the Gabonese attacker is combining what looks like decent form with a strong home fixture against West Ham and he’s on penalties as well. Auba is not only our premium pick for gameweek 2, but our captain pick for as well.

Non-premium picks

Traditionally, we’re a bit wary of going big on Everton at the start of the season, as the Toffees can be deceitful at times. They usually boast plenty of talent and promise, but their performances are not always on par. This season though, we’ve got some hopes for them. It’s the first full season under seasoned manager Carlo Ancelotti and he seems to have wasted no time on moulding the team to his wishes. One player who could definitely benefit from the fresh Italian breeze at Goodison Park is striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.1m). The young Englishman got off the mark just after the break, scoring the only goal with a majestic header against Spurs to bring the three points back home. As you can see, he has already risen by £0.1m and we wouldn’t be surprised to see that trend continue for a while to come, especially if he delivers again versus West Brom this weekend. The Baggies didn’t look quite ready for the Premier League yet in GW1 against Leicester, and with the likes of James Rodriguez, Richarlison and Allan feeding the Everton attack, DCL might hurt them this Saturday as well.

Leicester’s Harvey Barnes (£7.0m) is another more than affordable player who could become a very appealing FPL asset. Out of all the players who didn’t get an attacking return last weekend, the young winger is probably the one who should have. The Foxes overwhelmed West Brom and Barnes could’ve netted a couple had he been a bit more clinical in front of goal. He got 8 touches in the penalty box, a joint third-best of all players, and he fired 5 shots in the box, a total bettered only by hattrick hero Salah. These are some very promising offensive stats, though worthless when not converted in returns. Barnes passed the eye test with flying colours nevertheless and despite coming weekend’s Burnley not being a fragile opponent by any chance, we feel he could be a good pick for GW2.

The budget enabler

In gameweek 1, there were a few serious budget picks that delivered points. The likes of Jeff Hendrick and Jorginho hauled at bargain prices, as did Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford (£5.6m). Thanks to his goal against Liverpool, after good pressing and a subsequent mistake by Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, his price has already risen by £0.1m. In the crazy 4-3 encounter, Bamford managed to snatch a single bonus point for a total of 7 FPL points. Up next for Leeds is fellow newly-promoted club Fulham and the West Yorkshire side will feel that this weekend presents a good opportunity for the first three points of the season. The club brought in Spanish international Rodrigo to bolster the forward line and Bamford’s starting spot might come under pressure at some point, but for the moment we can’t imagine manager Marcelo Bielsa dropping the Englishman. With a price tag of £5.6, he represents a huge potential bargain.

A differential pick or two

Newcastle had an excellent opening of the 2020-21 season by booking a 0-2 victory at the London Stadium against West Ham. The Magpies started the game with a four-men defence and it was former Norwich defender Jamal Lewis (£4.5m) who impressed on the left side. Against the Hammers, the talented Englishman created three chances for his team mates, which ranks him amongst the top three for defenders in gameweek 1. Next up for Newcastle are Brighton at home and based on last season’s defensive performances at Saint James’ Park, a second consecutive clean sheet is definitely a possibility. Last season, the club booked seven clean sheets at home, on par with Manchester United and Liverpool. Lewis currently sits in 3.1% of all FPL teams, which makes him an attractive differential and budget-enabling pick for GW2.

Gameweek 2 might also very well be the last time to see our second differential pick in this category. Manchester United’s top scorer Marcus Rashford (£9.5m) was re-classified as a premium midfielder for this season and that offers possibilities for FPL managers. The English superstar scored 17 goals and provided 8 assists last season, and he is facing Crystal Palace at Old Trafford for his first Premier League game of the season this weekend. Rashford is currently selected by just 6.0% of FPL managers, in big part due to the fact that United had a blank in gameweek 1, which creates a huge differential asset. We absolutely expect him to start against the Eagles and he will get some chances, coming in from the left side as part of a forward line containing Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood, and possibly new star Donny van de Beek. He has a great set of fixtures coming up, so get him while still a differential.

The captaincy

As we wrote earlier, our FPL captaincy pick for gameweek 2 is Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gunner talisman combines a favourable fixture (home vs West Ham), a decent opening form coming off a goal in his first match of the season, and an out-of-position classification that we find too hard to ignore.

Of course, he is quite expensive, but fortunately, there are plenty of appealing alternatives this weekend. Martial and Rashford could explode against Palace in their first PL game of the season, while Salah could very well build on his hattrick with a good return at Stamford Bridge. Jamie Vardy is facing Burnley at home and is a pretty dependable pick for the captaincy as well. For those managers looking for an early-season punt, Calvert-Lewin (at home against West Brom), Bamford (at home versus Fulham) and whoever plays as left winger for Chelsea against Liverpool could represent fantastic differential value.

FPL 2020/21 – Pre-season Club Previews – West Ham & Wolves

“Is it going to be another tough season of top-tier football at the London Stadium this year?” (CC by 4.0). Image by: Hammersfan.

After last season and what was very probably the most unusual Premier League campaign any of us ever witnessed, the new 2020/21 season is now upon us. In the build-up to the season opener on Saturday, September 12th, at 12h30 (UK time), we will be taking an in-depth look at each of the 20 squads competing in the Premier League with a special focus on their FPL potential to help you select your FPL team.

The EPL club previews could also be useful if you’re entering FanTeam’s massive €1 million prize fund Fantasy Premier League game for 20/21.

In this tenth and final instalment, a West Ham side in turmoil before we’ve even started and Nuno Espirito Santo’s impressive Wolves.

WEST HAM – The team

From the outside, things are not looking optimal at West Ham at the moment, in terms of the transfer window, team harmony and preparation for the coming season. This all came to the surface on September 4th, when the club announced the sale of talented winger Diangana Grady to West Brom, much to the discontent of captain and living Hammers legend Mark Noble. While public posts are usually not the way to communicate disappointment for contract players, this incident feels like a final straw kind of situation, especially when the likes of Declan Rice and Jack Wilshere openly voiced their support of the captain’s statement.

This all adds to the disappointment that was the 2019-20 campaign. Yes, West Ham secured Premier League status for yet another season, but the Hammers rarely played to what many still feel is their more than decent potential. They were underwhelming for most part of the season, though a decent run towards the end of the campaign saw them finish in in sixteenth place, five points above the drop zone. A resurgent Michail Antonio played a bit part in that (anyone picked him for his quadruple strike against Norwich back in July?).

Apart from the powerful English midfielder-converted-into-striker, there were more positive points for manager David Moyes. Jarrod Bowen emerged as an exciting prospect for the future on the wings, while Slavia Prague loanee Tomas Soucek turned out to be an excellent addition to the Hammers midfield, where he has started forming a promising partnership with Declan Rice in the middle. As a matter of fact, the attack is not a real issue for Moyes (particularly if Haller & Antonio stay fit!): only nine teams scored more than West Ham’s 49 goals last season.

The Scottish coach will be more worried about his defence. Only the four teams below West Ham conceded more than their 62 goals last season. The Ogbonna-Diop partnership at the centre of their defensive setup looked promising at first, but has been faltering too often. The wing-backs, though technically capable, are too frail at times and leave the backline too exposed, especially against the quicker teams in the league. Just recently though, the Hammers conceded five against relegated Bournemouth in a friendly game, which seems like a worrying omen for things to come.

On top of that, years of big spending have left the club with little budget to work with this summer. In that sense, the sale of Diangana did make sense. The likes of Manuel Lanzini, Felipe Anderson and Jack Wilshere weigh heavily, while they do not necessarily perform accordingly. The club has reported interest in Burnley defender James Tarkowski, but the arrival of the England international seems like an illusion for now, however much of a game changer it would.

Having said that, the squad boasts plenty of talent. Big transfer Sebastian Haller suffered from injuries last season, but looks posed for a return in style as the main man up front, while the likes of Antonio, Fornals, Bowen, and even Lanzini and Anderson can provide him with plenty service. As we wrote before, the Rice-Soucek partnership in the middle looks very promising as well. The goalkeeper is a mainstay as well, as Fabianski is regularly one of the best Hammers on the pitch. What the club needs most of all is some defensive reinforcement, either by first offloading some other players or by being creative on the transfer market. If they manage to do that, they could have a decent season. If not, it might be another year of looking back over their shoulders for most of the time.

WEST HAM – The FPL potential

It’s important to know that West Ham have probably the most difficult set of opening fixtures of all teams this season. Considering their pre-season and the wealth of alternatives in other teams, we would only possibly seriously start considering Hammers assets from around gameweek 8 onwards. Having said that, individually West Ham do seem to offer some potential value, forward Sebastien Haller (£6.5m) being one of them. For a first season in the Premier League, the French striker did not do too badly with 7 goals and 3 assists, especially considering his injury issues. For the 2020-21 campaign, he is expected to be the starting number nine for the Hammers, with Antonio playing behind/around him. Once the calendar clears up, he could be worth considering.

With Michail Antonio (£6.5m), we have immediately mentioned another Hammer that could get some returns for a good price. The English forward was classified as a midfielder last season and scored 10 goals (plus 4 assists) for a total of 111 FPL points, the highest of Hammers. He is a forward in the official fantasy game this season, but that shouldn’t hurt his potential too much (due to the lack of clean sheets West Ham get anyway). He could be an interesting differential for your gameweek 1 squad, especially considering his good form at the end of last season, but we think he should really start being on your watchlist from gameweek 8 onwards, when West Ham welcome Fulham to the London Stadium.

The best value though, is probably found in midfield. Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek (£5.0m) played for West Ham on loan last season and the club’s management knew that they hit the bull’s eye. They paid Slavia Prague around €16 million to make the deal permanent this summer and the player looks like he will be a big part of Moyes’ plans this summer. In half a season last year, the tireless Soucek managed 3 goals for a total of 41 FPL points, in big part thanks to his talent for connecting with the attack at the right moments. There seems to be a good understanding with the intelligent Declan Rice in the middle and with a price tag of just £5.0m, the Czech Republic international is perhaps the only Hammer we would seriously consider for our gameweek 1 squad. He is reportedly available for the opening match after a period of isolation. Do check the predicted starting line-ups for before finalising your team and due to the 20/21 fixtures if you think playing at Home will be an advantage, consider rotating a West Ham player with one from Newcastle.

GAMEWEEKOPPONENT
1Newcastle (H)
2Arsenal (A)
3Wolves (H)
4Leicester (A)
5Spurs (A)
6Manchester City (H)
7Liverpool (A)
West Ham’s opening EPL fixtures for September & October

WOLVES – The team

The Wolves story of the past few years is remarkable. Fuelled by Chinese investment and the seemingly endless connections of Portuguese super agent Jorge Mendes, the club rose from the Championship two years ago to establish themselves as a consistent challenger of the Premier League’s top seven. Manager Nuno Espirito Santo has managed to create and nurture a kind of hard-working, no-complaining culture at the club that has resulted in very good performances. Last season’s seventh place finish is a very present reminder of that.

What impresses most about Wolverhampton Wanderers is their performances against the top sides, along with decent consistency. Sure, they have their relative ups and downs, and at times things don’t go their way, but that’s football. Overall, and especially from an FPL perspective, the club offers a kind of stability that has become rare in modern football. Practically the only thing that is a potential worry in regard to Wolves is their rather tight squad. Compared to other clubs in the top ten of the league, their squad depth is limited, even for a manager like Espirito Santo who likes to stick to a certain team.

There have nonetheless been some transformations within the Wolves roster this summer. The relatively cheap departure of club and FPL hero Matt Doherty was a surprise to most fans and followers, but apart from that, no regular players left. On the incoming side, the signing of 18-year old Porto talent Fabio Silva for a whopping €40 million, which made him the most expensive player younger than 20 years old in history, was a big moment, while left-back Marçal was signed for a modest fee from Lyon. The loan of Porto attacking midfielder Vitinha and the return of Ryan Bennett from Leicester have also bolstered the squad.

Wolves once again look like a strong unit and with no Europa League games to distract them from a strong start, we can see them once again finishing comfortably within the top eight. A challenge for a Champions League spot is a bridge too far, but Europa League qualification isn’t, nor is a good performance in one of the domestic cups. They could maybe do with a strong rival for superstar striker Raul Jimenez, who hopefully stays at the club this summer, but for the rest, Espirito Santo’s outfit looks ready to go.

WOLVES – The FPL potential

For anyone considering Wolves assets, forward Raul Jimenez (£8.5m) is probably the first name on their list. The Mexican striker is one of the most consistent performers in the league and practically fixture-proof. Last season, he was the highest-scoring Wolf of all, scoring 17 goals and providing 7 assists for a total of 194 FPL points. From players outside of the top four teams, only Ings, Aubameyang and Vardy beat that score, and the latter two did so carrying a much higher price tag. Jimenez is not cheap for the coming season, but the adds undeniable fantasy potential to your squad. He is as nailed-on as they come, he is involved is almost all of Wolves’ attacking moves (as he is their striker) and he plays in a genuinely good team.

The Wolves squad also boasts an interesting out-of-position pick this season in the person of Diogo Jota (£6.5m). The winger/forward is classified as a midfielder this season and an affordable at that. The most annoying thing about the Portuguese player as an FPL asset is that he rarely make it past the 80-minute mark, though this also means that he starts most of the matches. Last season, Jota recorded 7 goals and 3 assists for a total of 105 FPL points. A similar output this season would make him very good value, considering his relatively low price tag. From gameweek 3 onwards, he could be an excellent pick as fourth or even fifth midfielder.

The Wolves backline might also pack some serious FPL potential this season, as it has done since the club returned to the Premier League. Where last season Romain Saiss offered great value, it’s left-back Ruben Vinagre (£4.5m) who could represent the cheap way into one of the league’s best defences. First-choice left-back Jonny is still injured for the coming months and Vinagre looks like his replacement until then. Wolves did bring in Olympique Lyon’s Marçal, but he will probably serve as a back-up for the Portuguese defender. Vinagre could be the kind of fantasy pick that makes the difference this season, with FPL squad depth looking more important than ever. Due to the 20/21 fixtures if you think playing at Home will be an advantage, consider rotating a Wolves defender with one from WBA.

Do check the predicted starting line-ups for before finalising your team.

GAMEWEEKOPPONENT
1Sheffield United (A)
2Manchester City (H)
3West Ham (A)
4Fulham (H)
5Leeds (A)
6Newcastle (H)
7Crystal Palace (H)
Wolves’ opening EPL fixtures in September & October

Fantasy Sports: NFL Strategy Guide You Should Use

view of fifty yard line from sideline of football field

Fantasy sports season is always an exciting time for enthusiasts. One of the keenly competed fantasy sports is the NFL, as expected from its legions of fans. A key motivation for competing is having the bragging rights of being a league winner and getting the predetermined prices.

A fantasy league team consists of 12 players and a host of substitutes. Every league winner needs a corresponding winning strategy. Hence, aspiring participants of the daily fantasy football league must adopt the right method from the very beginning. Since many unverifiable systems abound, here’s an ultimate strategy guide to use for aspiring winners.

  1. Draft Players Based On Their Skills And Queue Multiple Players

Leaving multiple potential players in a queue is a great strategy to do. It protects you from making desperate picks if your priority choices are unavailable during early picks. Having this kind of queue prepares you for the worst possible situation—that everyone has already been taken during the drafting.

Also, individuals who own NFL fantasy leagues have their favourite teams, and their love for the team remains unwavering even when the current team line-up is weak. However, there’s no place for sentimentality in a fantasy league because you want the best real-world players on your imaginary team to boost your winning chances.

  1. Use The Right Strategy And Make Instant Changes

Your drafting strategy must be written down properly or mentally recorded before proceeding with drafting. The importance of each position should be a primary guide to which ones come first. Conventionally, kickers and defence players should be left for the later rounds while the running back (RB) and wide receivers (WR) are given maximum attention. Tight ends and quarterbacks can fall within the middle rounds of the drafts.

Also, you must note that there’s a degree of probability involved in the fantasy league. Even though you have a strategy, you mustn’t pass over unexpected opportunities to draft top tier players. Such opportunities may completely disrupt your prepared strategy, but it shouldn’t bother you so much. After all, the ultimate goal is to get the best players out of the lot.

  1. Set A Preliminary Line-up On Monday Night

Drafting players on Monday nights allows you to know which players have bye weeks, reducing your risk of not updating your roster before starting another week. This should be after the final NFL matchup so that you can take a look at the most favourable and unfavourable ones.

For leagues with flex positions, you can start with a wide receiver or a running back. For Superflex leagues, you can start a second quarterback in that flex position.

  1. Pay Attention To Injury Reports

It’s essential to know the physical strength of your team. You can effectively do this by keeping up to date on injury reports. This knowledge gives informed league owners a considerable edge over the competition.

Make sure not to bet on uncertain players reported to have shown the slightest signs of injury. Midgame injuries do occur, but your best way to minimise risk is by knowing the latest on player injuries.

  1. Trade Carefully

Trading requires careful consideration and adherence to some basic rules. It’s not a strategic decision to switch one best player for two who are less than optimum. Neither is it reasonable to place your card on a player who has had a bye week over one who hasn’t. 

Thus, always consider team depth and strength while considering a trade. The best strategy is to sell off average level players for better-performing ones based on stats. Some of the key weighing factors to consider are points per reception (PPR) scoring systems and fantasy football calculators. Both are available online.

Ultimately, you’ll need to learn to trade without sentiments and emotion-driven judgements. When needed, let go of a player to avoid jeopardising your winning chances.

  1. Minimise The Effect Of Player Risks On Your Team

Each player row and position have peculiarities that put them at risk of injuries. Hyperactive RBs and WRs are some of the most injury-prone players. Hence, it’s important to have backups and rookies for such positions.

Also, ensure to up your team’s ceilings when they’re low. You can do this by drafting players with high upsides. Minimise risks per position and ensure to keep a tab of player performances.

Conclusion

The NFL fantasy league is indeed a high-intensity game that requires key strategies and keen attention throughout the season. But preparing a good strategy guide from the onset would prove useful throughout the games. 

Remember, your choices should never be emotion-driven but based on player skills and stats. By following the rest of these tips here, you’re all set to start.