FanTeam 2020-21: €250K Champions League Group Stage

In about 24 hours, it’s that time again. On Tuesday, October 20th, at 17h55 (UK time), Zenit Saint Petersburg and Dynamo Kiev are kicking off the 2020-21 Champions League, at home against Club Brugge and Juventus, respectively. Of course, this calls for a serious FanTeam tournament and we were not disappointed – FanTeam’s huge €250K Champions League Group Stage tournament has a buy-in of just €25 a pop. Naturally, we have created a team again for this one, but before we go over our selection, we’ll list the tournament’s most important specifics here below.

  • Scoring is as standard on FanTeam.
  • Max 3 players per club.
  • 15 players including 4 subs.
  • As the title suggests, the tournament spans gameweeks, in accordance with the 6 group games.
  • You receive 2 free transfers in the build-up to each gameweek.
  • You can save one week’s worth of transfers in order to have a maximum of 4 free transfers the next week.
  • Too late? Has the Champions League already started? No problem, the FanTeam 250K Champions League Group Stage tournament has a “Join late” option, as long as you join before gameweek 2 has started. You will also get compensated for missing the first gameweek with points worth a very generous 90% of the average score in gameweek 1.

OUR GENERAL APPROACH

In order to get started on FanTeam’s 250K Champions League Group Stage tournament, we needed to create a team of 15 players (includes 4 subs), consisting of 2 goalkeepers, 5 defenders, 5 midfielders and 3 forwards inside a budget $100 million. We have tried to build in a bit of balance in the team and the plan, at this moment, would be to use the team below to compete in the first two gameweeks saving our GW2 transfers so we can execute an overhaul in the build-up to gameweek 3 with 4 free transfers.

GOALKEEPERS

For the goalkeepers, our focus has been on budget-enabling starters and as a result, we found both of them in the Bundesliga. Despite Roman Bürki’s availability, Borussia Dortmund’s Marwin Hitz has started the last two league games for the German side and kept a clean sheet in each of those games. He has left a very decent impression so far and it looks like the 33-year old will be in goal for the opener at Lazio Roma as well. After that, it’s Zenit at home, followed by a double face-off with Belgian champions Club Brugge.

Should Bürki regain his starting spot on Tuesday, then Hitz will be replaced by RB Leipzig goalie Peter Gulásci in our team. The Hungarian shot stopper is available at a bargain price on FanTeam and is a sure starter for the current Bundesliga leaders. On top of that, Leipzig start with a home game against Istanbul Basaksehir, followed by an away game at Old Trafford against a hot-and-cold Manchester United side. Gulásci will be in goal for gameweek 1, Hitz will most likely be our starter in gameweek 2.

DEFENDERS

We’ll be starting gameweek 1 of the 2020-21 Champions League with a 3-men defence. First in line is Inter Milan right-back Achraf Hakimi who will be facing Borussia Mönchengladbach at the Guiseppe Meazza on Wednesday. The Spanish-Morrocan defender is a key part of manager Antonio Conte’s defensive and attacking plans, as dynamo on the right-most side of a 5-men defence. He gets plenty of freedom to bomb forward to join in attack, in part because the Inter centre is guarded by one of the best defences in Europe. As a result, he already has a goal and 2 assists to his name after just 4 Serie A games.

He is joined by a fellow Serie A star in the person of Juventus mainstay Leonardo Bonucci. The Old Lady will once again be approaching this Champions League campaign as one of the favourites and the Italian veteran plays a key part in those plans. He missed the clash with Napoli on October 4th, but he played for 90 minutes in the other three league games so far and we expect him to start against Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday as well. After that, it’s Barcelona at home followed by a double meeting with Hungarian side Ferencvaros.

Hakimi and Bonucci are joined in defence this week by Bayern München defender Benjamin Pavard. The French left-back started 3 of the four Bundesliga games played so far this season and he got 25 minutes as a substitute in the one game he didn’t start. Pavard was also part of the starting line up for both the European Super Cup and the German Super Cup, both of which were won by Bayern. The Germans are heavy favourites in a group with Atletico Madrid, Lokomotiv Moscow and Salzburg, and the Frenchman should get the nod for the majority if not all of the games in the group stage.

Our two defenders starting on the bench this week are both budget-enablers with excellent perspectives of a starting spot in the coming games. RB Leipzig defender Lukas Klostermann started all but one game for last year’s Champions League semi-finalists this season and he is facing Istanbul Basaksehir this week, followed by Manchester United away the next. We don’t expect to call him for these games, but he’s excellent back-up in case of a last-minute issue.

Speaking of Manchester United, their Deadline Day purchse of Porto left-back Alex Telles has opened up a spot in the Portuguese starting lineup for Zaidu Sanusi. While the former was still part of the Porto roster, the latter replaced him twice in the league. After Telles left, it was Sanusi who immediately got his first 90 minutes in the 2-2 draw with Sporting Lisbon. The 23-year old Nigerian made a good impression with an assist and he looks set as Porto’s left-back for the foreseeable future. After Man City in gameweek 1, it’s two consecutive home games for Porto, against Olympiakos and Marseille.

MIDFIELDERS

For our midfield selection, we have gone for direct goal involvement more than pure goalscoring power, though Mo Salah is the exception. The Liverpool star is our joint-most expensive pick for FanTeam’s 250K Champions League Group Stage tournament, because he is simply that good. The injury of Virgil van Dijk has cast some shadow over the Reds’ defensive reliability, but we feel their attack will still be going at full speed. With Salah as the main man up front and on penalties, and with attacking sides Ajax, Atalanta and Midtjylland in their group, Salah is probably one of the wisest investments you can make at this point.

Though we stated earlier that our focus for the midfield has been on goal involvement more than goalscoring, the truth is that Thomas Muller offers both. Last season, the German superstar provided no less than 26 assists in 50 games for Bayern Munich, and this year his total already sits at 4 assists after four Bundesliga games. On top of that, Muller has 3 league goals to his name already. Bayern are up against Atletico Madrid in gameweek 1 before it’s Lokomotiv Moscow away and a double clash with Salzburg in the next three for the reigning European champions.

Up next is Ivan Rakitic, who we felt was available at quite a bargain price considering his quality and his key role in an excellent side like Sevilla FC. He returned to the Andalusians this summer after nine years at Schalke and then Barcelona, and he has slotted right back into the starting eleven. He has so far started all five of Sevilla’s games, and he managed to score 1 goal and provide 1 assists (in the European Super Cup against Bayern). Group E looks like a group with potential for goals and Rakitic could be among a few of them. Sevilla start with an away game at defensively fragile Chelsea before hosting French side Rennes at home and then playing two games against Krasnodar.

Attacking midfielder Dani Olmo is the third RB Leipzig fantasy asset in our FanTeam 250K Champions League Group Stage squad. The Spaniard has started all five of his team’s games so far and he has been good for 4 assists over that run. We feel he could improve on that tally in the home game against Istanbul Basaksehir in gameweek 1 of the Champions League, which is why he will be in our starting lineup this week. After that it’s Man United away and a double clash with Paris Saint Germain, the team that eliminated them in the quarter-finals of the Champions League last year.

Our midfield five is completed by Ajax all-rounder Davy Klaassen, who came to the club where it all started for him years ago just before the end of the transfer window. The 27-year old Dutchman was brought in to add some experience to the very talented, but young Ajax midfield and we expect him to start most if not all of the group stage games. Last season, as key player at Bundesliga side Werder Bremen, Klaassen scored 9 goals and provided 7 assists in 39 games, while this season he scored a penalty in his first game back at Ajax last weekend.

FORWARDS

For gameweek 1 of the FanTeam 250K Champions League Group Stage tournament, we are opting for a front three led by Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland. With 44 goals and 10 assists in 40 official games last season, the Norwegian international was one of the most in-form players on the continent and it doesn’t look like he’s going to slow down this year. After 6 games, he has already recorded 5 goals and 3 assists. With the away game against Lazio Roma, followed by a home game versus Zenit and then a double encounter with Club Brugge, Haalands looks like a bit of a must-have.

Similar words could be used for Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian forward has played 4 Serie A games so far this season and he is leading the league’s topscorer ranking with 4 goals. After scoring a record 13 games  in a row in the Europa League, the final of which Inter lost to Sevilla, Lukaku will now have his eyes set on scoring goals in the Champions League and a home game against Gladbach looks like a good fixture for him to get off the mark this season. After that it’s Shaktar away, which means that we might well see a couple of goals behind his name by the time we start planning for our four free transfers in the build-up to gameweek 3.

Finally, we reserved a decent part of our budget for Barcelona starlet Ansu Fati. The still only 17-year old winger has already become a major part of Ronald Koeman’s new project at Barça and with reason. After four La Liga games, of which he started three, Fati already has 3 goals and an assist to his name. We would be surprised not to see him start at home to Ferencvaros in the club’s first game of the 2020-21 Champions League. After that, it’s Juventus away, followed by a double encounter with Dynamo Kiev. We’re seeing chances for the youngster in this group.

FanTeam 2020-21: €100K Weekly Monster – GW5 – Sat 17 Oct 2020

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. This series will focus on FanTeam’s Premier League Classic Event, a daily fantasy league based on the EPL games using classic fantasy football rules. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for this weekly tournament to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€100k prize pool) Main Event, which has a maximum entry limit of 6,332 participants. Every week, we’ll report back on how our team performed in the previous week. A finish in the top 1,264 would see us win part of the prize pool of which the winner takes home a cool €10,000. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool (of which the winner should get about €1,300) for those who prefer to play with lower stakes.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Our early team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 5

Formation: 3-4-3

General approach

Gameweek 5 is a particularly hard one to predict in terms of results and potential star performers. The teams that would usually be considered clear favourites (Chelsea, Man City, Spurs, Leicester etc) are all either facing in-form opposition or have shown us over the past four weeks that their form is far from consistent at the moment. As a result, we are left with an abundance of expensive to very premium options carrying a relatively large risk of blanking. The question, most of all, was to what extent we wanted to stretch the very tight budget this weekend in order to bring in risky favourites and then compensating with very low-priced, no-expectation picks to fill out our 11-men squad.

One thing we do know this season is that goals are being scored and penalties are way up compared to previous seasons. Match of the Day even dedicated a short segment to it in one of their last episodes. Goals have been scored for fun this campaign and clean sheets have been rare, so we decided to try and pick a FanTeam squad based on these trends. The core of our team consists of Sheffield United and Manchester City picks, combined with a Spurs premium ace and a cheap goalkeeper as budget enabler. The rest of the squad is built up of picks based on individual (goal-scoring) ability and penalty duties. In other words, players who might not see 3 points coming their way this weekend, but who are likely to be involved in the goals should their teams score.

MANCHESTER CITY – The favourites

One of the main talking points in the FPL world in the build-up to gameweek 5 is the fitness of Man City star Kevin de Bruyne. The midfielder was withdrawn in the 73rd minute on Sunday in the Nations League encounter with England and then sent back to Manchester for further examination. Whilst several sources, including Belgian national team coach Roberto Martinez, confirmed that these were precautionary measures more than anything and recent reports have stated that the player has been suffering from muscle stiffness, Pep has today said that KDB will miss the Arsenal match. With KDB not fit for the game, then we’ve gone with Raheem Sterling. Should Sterling not start either, then Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva are next in line.

Our second Man City pick is winger Riyad Mahrez, this round’s fourth-most expensive FanTeam asset. The Algerian wizard started in the last two Premier League games for Pep Guardiola’s team and looks set for another start against the Gunner with injuries and fitness doubts surrounding a number of attacking City assets. Besides that, the former Leicester star is simply a very good player who deserves a starting spot. He has a goal and an assist to this name so far, which both came against Leicester in gameweek 2, for a total of 12 FT points. Mahrez played two games and 180 minutes for Algeria over the break, and scored against Mexico, but both games took place in Northern Europe and he looked fit for his return to England.

SHEFFIELD UNITED – The defence

The 2020-21 campaign is looking like a tough one for Sheffield United, one of potential consolidation or suffering after a stellar return to the Premier League last season. The Blades were perhaps too hesitant this summer to bring new faces into the already rather stretched squad, though they did secure Rhyan Brewster’s signature towards the end of the window. In any case, it’s zero points from four games for them so far, with just a single goal scored and five conceded. Despite the disappointing start to the season, we find it hard to believe that all of last season’s qualities have just disappeared overnight and this weekend’s home game against Fulham presents a good opportunity for them to book the first points of the season.

The Cottagers are last at the moment, without points and a negative goal difference of -8, result of conceding 11 goals and scoring just 3. All three of those goals were scored in the 4-3 away loss against Leeds, by the way. That’s why we feel Sheffield United has one of the best chances on a clean sheet this weekend, and why we have doubled up on their defence: George Baldock and Jack Robinson. The former already has an assist to his name and ranks third amongst all defenders for touches in the penalty area, while the latter is the cheapest starting defender for the Blades. In case of a clean sheet, the Stacking Penalty will be applied, but a Sheffield United defensive double-up looks like a wise use of limited funds.

SOUTHAMPTON – The bargains

Besides Manchester City and Sheffield United, our FanTeam fantasy selection for gameweek 5 contains a third double-up, but for different reasons. Southampton are facing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and despite being the clear underdogs in this one, the Saints roster does offer some potential, not in the last place due to the budget price tags of their players.

First off is goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, who’s been very good so far this season. Apart from the 5 goals conceded against Spurs in gameweek 2, the Southampton defence have conceded just 1 goal in three games. Their last two games ended with clean sheets and as a result, McCarthy currently sits on 18 FT points. Just three goalies have recorded more this season. Even though a clean sheet away at Chelsea would be considered a major surprise and a super achievement, it’s not completely out of the question. We have picked him for the combination of his low price tag, good individual quality and considerable saves potential. He has, so far, recorded 8 saves and even in the very possible absence of a clean sheet against Chelsea, we do count on a few save points from the Scot.

The story for our selection of Danny Ings is a bit similar, though instead of save points, we’re hoping for a goal. As we wrote earlier, Chelsea are the favourites here, but that doesn’t mean that the Saints don’t provide any potential for points. Where the Blues have already conceded 6 goals in four games, Southampton have scored 5 goals in four games. In other words, this encounter could end up being a high-scoring one and in that case, we want Ings on our team, especially at his current bargain price. He played 90 minutes over the international break and scored against Wales, while he already has 3 goals to his name in the Prem. With penalty duties in his pocket as well, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the score sheet against Chelsea.

THE INDIVIDUAL GUNS

As we said in our introduction, for various reasons, our team for gameweek 5 also contains a few picks based on individual qualities and the (offensive) importance of each of these players to their respective teams.

We’re starting with our captain for this round, Tottenham’s very own Harry Kane. Spurs have had a pretty spectacular start to the season with 2-5 and 1-6 victories away at Newcastle and Manchester United, combined with rather underwhelming home results against Everton in GW1 (0-1 loss) and Newcastle (1-1) in GW3. The consensus seems to be that Mourinho’s men thrive against teams playing a high defensive line, but suffer more against teams setting up a deeper-lying defensive block. This weekend’s visitors West Ham are in good form and expected to rely on a tight defensive set-up at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, so we definitely don’t expect this one to be a walk in the park for the home team. Still, Harry Kane is Harry Kane and in his current form, he seems hard to stop. He already has a whopping 3 goals and 6 assists to his name from just four games, and he has created more chances than any other player in the league so far. On top of that, No other player in the league has a higher expected goal involvement than the English international.

Our decision to go for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this weekend is very similar to the one justifying picking Danny Ings. The Gunners are the underdogs in Saturday’s away game against Man City, but it’s not like the home team has been so incredibly invincible so far this season. Guardiola’s men have taken just 4 points from their first three games and perhaps even more worrying, they have conceded 7 goals in the process. As a result, they currently boast a very uncharacteristic -1 goal difference. That’s also why we feel that, while City work on their defensive stability, the Gunners might be able to sneak in a goal or two this weekend and if they do, Auba is likely to be involved, especially because he takes the pens as well. Like Chelsea versus Southampton, this could end up being another high-scoring affair.

Next up is Matheus Pereira, the orchestrator of almost all of West Bromwich Albion’s attacking moves. The Brazilian is a bit of an outfield pick, especially at a relatively expensive 9.0m, but that has more to do with the team he’s part of than his individual qualities. The Baggies have had a tough start to the season with just 1 point from four games, but Pereira has been one of their positive talking points. After registering an incredible 16 assists in the Championship last season, he currently sits on 2 assists and 1 goal, giving him a direct goal involvement in no less than 60% of all of West Brom’s goals. There won’t be a lot of games this season in which the Baggies won’t be the underdogs, but this weekend’s home game against struggling Burnley might be one of them. The Clarets have taken just 1 point from the first three games and they have conceded 8 goals in the process. Again, this one could go both ways with two teams in dire need of points facing each other, and West Brom’s playmaker could be the one to mark the difference.

Picking Leandro Trossard to complete our midfield set-up has gone pretty much along the same lines, with the major difference being that Brighton are a better team than West Brom. The Seagulls are showing clear signs of improvement in comparison to last year and they were unlucky not to get more than their current 3 points from four games. Against the Man United back in GW3 alone, they hit the woodwork an incredible five times. Three of those attempts were launched by Trossard. The Belgian is generally positioned very high up the pitch, at times even higher than Brighton striker Maupay, and he is on several set-pieces as well. He has delivered returns in three of this season’s four games for a total of 21 FT points already and this weekend it’s Crystal Palace away for the Belgian. The Eagles have come off two back-to-back defeats against Everton and Chelsea, and even though there is no clear favourite for this encounter, an attacking return from Trossard is far from off the cards.

FINAL PICK

After selecting the above ten players, we still had one defensive spot left to fill and 6.1m to make it work. We ended up going with Wolves’ new acquisition Marçal, who is expected to return from injury and slot right back in at left-wingback. The team has had a bit of an underwhelming start to the 2020-21 campaign, but that is mainly due to their hampering attacking output. Defensively, they have conceded 7 goals, but all of those goals came in two games, namely the 4-0 defeat at West Ham and the 1-3 home loss versus Man City. The games against Sheffield United in GW1 and Fulham in GW4 ended with clean sheets. This weekend, the Wolves are up against Leeds at Elland Road. The Whites have been one of the revelations so far this season and they could very well end up putting a few past Wolves keeper Patricio, but with the remaining budget, Marçal is probably the pick with the highest points ceiling. Apart from the chance of a clean sheet as part of a pretty sound defensive set-up, he could also be involved in some attacking moves, as Leeds do leave spaces to exploit in every game.

Do check out FanTeam’s Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs before finalising your team. You will only be able to see the starting line-ups for the 1st fixture of the GW – Chelsea v Southampton.

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.

FanTeam’s €1 million prize 2020/21 Fantasy Premier League game

The dust hasn’t yet settled on the extended 2019/20 Premier League season and FanTeam have already launched their truly massive 2020/21 Fantasy Premier League game. This is open to enter now via FanTeam’s very user-friendly website and app, with the first matches starting 12 Sep 2020. A guaranteed prize pool of €1 million, with a life-changing €200,000 to the winner, grabs the attention. Here are the prizes at the very top (prizes are paid out to the top 5,659 places):

The game rules look the same as in their 250k game for 2019/20 which was won by Aleksandar Antonov with his single entry who also incredibly won FPL in 2019/20 as well. Below is a copy of his final team line-up for 2019/20 GW38:

And here is a copy of the main FanTeam rules for the 2020/21 season:

Not surprisingly the usual suspects head the player price list for 2020/21:

The game allows up to 75,000 entrants at €25 per entry. It is possible that the number of teams entered will be closer to the 40,000 mark (€25 x 40,000 = €1,000,000) but if it exceeds that then the prize fund will grow. In 2019/20 the guaranteed prize fund was €250,000 rather than €1 million and the number of entrants at €25 each was 8,825 which equates to €220,625 in entry fees.

The launch of FanTeam’s Fantasy Premier League game for 2020/21 has given Fantasy Football in the UK a huge boost. It will prove to be a popular option for Fantasy Premier League fans (aged 18+ only) and will provide some enormous rewards to the most skilled/lucky entrants with everyone in the top 50 winning at least €1,000.

FanTeam €100K Champions League Friday, August 7th

The Premier League 2019-20 season might be over, but that doesn’t mean the FanTeam fun is. On the contrary, with the Europa League and Champions League resuming over the coming days, FanTeam is offering a whole range of tournaments. The first one we’ll be covering is the €100K Champions League tournament involving the two games  to be played on Friday, August 7th (see table below). The deadline for these games is set at 20h00 (UK time) that day.

Our FISO team below will be entered Friday’s €20 entry (€100,000 prize pool) Champions League event, which has a maximum entry limit of 7,000 participants. A finish in the top 1,111 would see us win part of the prize pool of which the winner takes home a cool €20,000. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry with a lower prize pool (of which the winner gets €1,000) for those who prefer to play with lower stakes.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to this competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to FPL.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Finally, the Pursuit format is being applied to this FanTeam tournament. In this game mode, you get more bonus points the cheaper your players are (you gain 1 point for every 2.5 million euros underspent). Your captain will get double points, but he will also cost twice as much. Your vice-captain will get 150% more points, but he will also cost 150% more. You can read about Pursuit in more detail on the FanTeam website.

Don’t forget, the deadline for this tournament is set at 20h00 (UK time) tomorrow. You can enter a team earlier and make changes right up to the deadline. This means you have an hour to check the starting line-ups for the matches.

Champions League Matches for the 100k Tournament

General approach

For our 5-man selection, we’ve gone with two big hitters from Juventus as the Old Lady needs to make up for a surprising 1-0 loss to Olympique Lyon in the first leg, as well as two Real Madrid aces and a Lyon joker. Los Blancos lost at home to City in the first leg, but we feel that if there is one team who can turn this kind of result around in Europe’s elite competition, it’s them. They’ve got the Champions League in their DNA, so to say, while picking two of their players also gives our selection much-needed differential edge. As far as Lyon goes, we don’t see them passing this round despite their more than comfortable 1-0 advantage, but should they complete their surprise against Juventus, one man is very likely to be at the centre of it all.

HOME TEAMAWAY TEAMRESULT FROM FIRST LEG
JuventusOlympique Lyon1-0 to Lyon
Manchester CityReal Madrid2-1 to Man City

JUVENTUS

One thing is clear in regard to the encounter in Turin: the home team need to score. Juventus were recently crowned champions of Italy for a record ninth time in a row and the fact that they finished their domestic season about two weeks before the re-start of the Champions League might prove to be determining on Friday. That’s because Lyon have only played one official competitive game since their 1-5 semi-final loss to PSG in the French Cup on March 4th of this year, namely the final of the Coupe de la Ligue, which they lost against PSG after penalties. This could be seen as an advantage as well, as it has allowed star man Memphis Depay to fully recover from his serious knee injury, but they´ll certain be worried about Juve’s championship flow. On top of that, the Italians simply can’t afford to be eliminated this early in the tournament.

As a result, we’ve gone with Juve’s two big men up front, Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese all-time Champions League top scorer is having yet another top class season with 31 goals and 5 assists from 33 Serie A games, as well as 2 goals in the ongoing edition of the CL. He’s used to having (much) more of an impact in Europe though, and “knowing” him, he’ll be more than fired up work on his numbers against l’OL. The player most affected by Ronaldo’s hunger for goals has been Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain. He scored 8 and assisted 4 goals in 32 Serie A games this season, and managed to net twice in the Champions League so far, which are tallies well below his usual. Still, he is their striker and a lethal one at that. He knows what it’s like to be counted on to score an important goal or two and we have a feeling that he might well be on the scoreboard by the time the game in Turin has finished on Friday night.

REAL MADRID

Real Madrid have got their work cut out for them on Friday. The Merengues manoeuvred themselves into a more than complicated position after losing 1-2 to Man City at home just before the corona crisis temporarily shut down European football, which means they now need to face one of Europe’s most prolific attacking machines away from home. As we said before though, if there is one team in Europe capable of turning such a result around in such circumstances, it’s Real Madrid. The newly-crowned La Liga champions live and breathe Champions League football, conquering the cup a record 13 times throughout their history and an unprecedented three times in a row between 2015 and 2018. Elimination would not only be a footballing and financial disaster for the club, but an embarrassment as well, even against a side as good as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

To be clear, we don’t consider Madrid favourites here, but we do feel confident enough in their resilience, form and overall quality to cause an upset here. It’s far from unlikely that Madrid will score against an at times wobbly City defence, while the probability of a City goal at some point is quite high as well. In other words, there could be goals in this one, which is why we’ve gone with Madrid striker Karim Benzema and his record-signing team mate Eden Hazard. The French forward is having one of his most productive seasons ever with 21 goals and 8 assists in 37 La Liga games, as well as 4 goals and 2 assists in the ongoing Champions League campaign. He’s a nailed-on starter for coach Zinedine Zidane and a key cog in Real’s attacking play. His Belgian team mate saw the 2019-20 football season largely ruined by injury, but he is fit again and expected to start against City. As most Premier League fans will know, on a good day, Hazard is simply unplayable and the hope is that he’ll be having one of those days on Friday. Should he not start, the active Safety Net feature will automatically select Vinicius Junior for our team, who was in contention for selection from the start any way.

THE JOKER

Seeing as the FanTeam €100K Champions League tournament is offering a small pool of players and no budget restrictions, chances are that many teams of five will contain the same big names. In an attempt to counter this prediction, we have added a joker to our team in the person of Lyon talisman Memphis Depay. Before a knee injury caused him to miss most of the season pre-corona, the Dutch forward was on fire with 9 goals and 2 assists in just 13 Ligue 1 games, as well as an impressive 5 goals in five Champions League encounters. Despite not scoring in the Coupe de la Ligue final against PSG, he caused the Parisian defence plenty of trouble as he was at the heart of most of Lyon’s attacking intentions. It’ll be a tough game against Juventus and chances might be scarce for him in Turin, but with a home side in need of goals, Memphis might get a chance or two. On top of that, he is their man when it comes to both direct free-kicks and penalties. In other words, he probably won’t be part of the winning side, but he might just get his backers some FanTeam points.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Champions League 100k Main Event and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 100,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum.

FanTeam €100K Premier League Finale Gameweek 38+

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. This series will focus on FanTeam’s Premier League Main Event, a daily fantasy league based on the Premier League games. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for this weekly tournament to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€100,000 prize pool) Main Event, which has a maximum entry limit of 7,000 participants. Every week, we’ll report back on how our team performed in the previous week. A finish in the top 1,111 would see us win part of the prize pool of which the winner takes home a cool €20,000. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool (of which the winner gets €1,000) for those who prefer to play with lower stakes.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Finally, the Pursuit format is being applied to the upcoming FanTeam Weekly Monster. In this game mode, you get more bonus points the cheaper your players are (you gain 1 point for every 2.5 million euros underspent). Your captain will get double points, but he will also cost twice as much. Your vice-captain will get 150% more points, but he will also cost 150% more. You can read about Pursuit in more detail on the FanTeam website.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 38 FanTeam’s Main Event is set at 16h00 (UK time) tomorrow Sunday, July 26th, 2020. You can enter a team earlier and make changes right up to the deadline. This means you have an hour to check the starting line-ups for the matches.

Gameweek 38 Main Event matches

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 38+

Formation: 3-5-2

General approach

To make the crazy 2019-20 season’s ending even more intense, FanTeam have created The 100K Premier League finale, a max 7,000-player tournament with Pursuit Mode, the Stacking Penalty and the Safety Net activated, and a total prize pool of a whopping €100,000. Our picks for the final match day are largely concentrated on three teams, with a few additional joker picks to reach a full eleven. Of course, all games will start at the same time on Sunday (16:00 UK time), so you will have a full hour to check out starting lineups for each club and tweak your FanTeam selection accordingly.

To help you navigate one of the season’s notoriously most difficult-to-predict gameweeks, we’ve placed a simple table below listing the teams that still have something to play for on the final match day.

Team / PlayerWhat‘s still to play for?Opponent in GW38+
Manchester United1 of the 2 remaining CL spotsLeicester (away)
Chelsea1 of the 2 remaining CL spotsWolves (home)
Leicester City1 of the 2 remaining CL spotsMan United (home)
Wolves1 remaining EL spotChelsea (away)
Spurs1 remaining EL spotCrystal Palace (away)
“7th place”** 
Aston VillaAvoiding relegationWest Ham (away)
WatfordAvoiding relegationArsenal (away)
BournemouthAvoiding relegationEverton (away)
   
Jamie Vardy (LEI)Golden Boot (currently 23 goals)Man United (home)
Danny Ings (SOU)Golden Boot (currently 21 goals)Sheffield Utd (home)
P-E Aubameyang (ARS)Golden Boot (currently 20 goals)Watford (home)
Mo Salah (LIV)Golden Boot (currently 19 goals)Newcastle (away)
Raheem Sterling (MC)Golden Boot (currently 19 goals)Norwich (home)
Nick Pope (BUR)Golden Glove (currently 15 CS)Brighton (home)
Ederson (MC)Golden Glove (currently 15 CS)Norwich (home)

*CL = Champions League; EL = Europa League; CS = clean sheet.

** If Chelsea win the FA Cup against Arsenal, 7th place will also give access to the EL.

MANCHESTER CITY

With 16 goals scored over the past four games and a home game against Norwich coming up, Manchester City’s final game of the season looks like it’s going to be a goal bonanza. As a result, it’s no surprise that sky blue assets form the backbone of our FanTeam 100K Premier League Finale selection. Neither team has particularly much to play for left as City are guaranteed second place and will be eyeing the Champions League return against Real Madrid, while Norwich were officially relegated a few weeks ago already. We don’t think the upcoming CL encounter won’t have too impact though, as it’s planned for August 7th, in more than two weeks time. Our provisional three City picks are based on the strongest possible eleven, including the living legend David Silva.

Gameweek 38+ will be the Spaniard’s last game in English football after 433 games, 77 goals and 140 assists for the sky blues from Manchester. It’s just hard to imagine him not being the centre of attention before, during and after the Norwich game. On top of that, he’s simply in great form, as usual. Silva was rested in gameweek 37+, but he recorded a lovely 30 FanTeam points over the period GW34+ to GW36+, courtesy of 2 goals and 3 assists. Do keep in mind though, that he might be honoured with a substitution in the second half to say goodbye to the City faithful in style.

At the moment of writing, our other two City picks are the unavoidable Kevin de Bruyne and man-in-form Raheem Sterling. The Belgian playmaker has been one of, if not the best, player this season. With 243 FT points, he is ranked second overall, just 6 points behind Salah, and the home game against Norwich looks like the perfect opportunity for him to overtake the Egyptian Premier League champion at the very last minute. Raheem Sterling then, is the highest-scoring player over the past six rounds, scoring 7 goals, giving 4 assists and taken an incredible 60 FT points from that period. If he starts, you should probably get him and captain. We will.

SPURS

If after the first weeks of Project Restart you would have bet us that we would be selecting two Spurs players for our gameweek 38+ dream team, we would’ve probably taken that bet and lost. After a last-ditch surge in form, or at least results, José Mourinho’s team boasts one of the go-to rosters for the final week. The Spurs have taken 13 points from the last five games and the final encounter is with a Crystal Palace side in holiday mode. The Eagles have been uncharacteristically leaky in defence since football returned, conceding a worrying 17 goals in the last seven games. To add to the worries, they netted just twice over that same period.

As a result, Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min are part of our GW38+ fantasy selection. The England number nine has had a so-so season and injuries had a lot to do with that, but it looks like he’s back to his devastating best just in time for Spurs to nick an admittedly unexpected European spot. He collected 22 FT points over the past two games, courtesy of 4 goals. Son’s impact has been a bit less influential, but nevertheless more than worth considering, especially considering the opposition’s form. The South Korean international is a nailed-on part of Mourinho’s starting setup and it’s not hard to see why. In the last three games, Son scored twice and gave 2 assists for a total of 27 FT points.

The match-up with Crystal Palace also warrants a Spurs defender, though. The chance of a clean sheet is simply too likely to pass up. The reason we’ve gone with Ben Davies instead of the more popular Aurier is that the Ivorian right-back will be facing one of the division’s most direct and adept dribblers in Wilfried Zaha. It’s hard to see Palace put one past Lloris, but it’s not at all hard to see Zaha cause Aurier some serious trouble over 90 minutes. If that were to happen, right central defender Sanchez will need to step in most of the times, which discards him for us as well. Ben Davies is a bit cheaper than Toby Alderweireld and on some set-pieces as well, and whilst his left-back position makes him more susceptible to a substitution later on in the game as long as he plays at least 60 minutes he won’t lose a point unlike midfielders and attackers.

BURNLEY

Up until the last moment, our defensive setup for gameweek 38+ actually contained three Burnley assets, including the current leader in the Golden Glove ranking, Nick Pope. He is currently one clean sheet ahead of Liverpool’s Alisson, so a shut-out against Brighton at home would seal the award, no matter what Liverpool do in Newcastle. Several Clarets have already declared that they will do anything they can to get Pope (and therefore the team) the Golden Glove, so Burnley vs Brighton is likely to become a low-scoring affair. Due to the activated Stacking Penalty though, we eventually decided to limit ourselves to two Burnley assets, leaving Pope himself out of the team as he’ll probably have little to do against a group of Seagulls already planning their holidays.

This means we did stick with two starting Burnley defenders, Erik Pieters and Kevin Long. Both have benefited from some injury issues in the Clarets’ backline, though Pieters has recently been employed as a left midfielder as well. This allowed the Dutchman to whip in some nice crosses and make a few attempts for an attacking return. He was successful last weekend against Norwich with 1 assist to bring his total to 4 for the season. His defensive partner Long came into the team in gameweek 32+ and he hasn’t missed a minute since then. He was part of two clean sheets over that period and we’re confident he’ll be adding a third to his tally on Sunday when Brighton visit Turf Moor.

ARSENAL

The times are strange when a gameweek dream team boasts an Arsenal defender, let alone an Arsenal keeper, but yet here we are. Things seem to be taking a turn for the better under Arteta though, as the Gunners actually kept the nil on four occasions over the last seven gameweeks. On top of that, as replacement of the injured Bernd Leno, Emiliano Martinez has left a generally very good impression since coming into the squad back in gameweek 30+. The Argentinian goalie made 27 saves over the past seven games, which equals 13.5 extra FT points. On Sunday, he is facing Watford at the Emirates and with the Hornets having scored just a single goal in their last five away matches, the Arsenal goalkeeper could be an excellent addition at a reasonable price.

But what about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then? Are we selecting Arsenal’s reserve goalie for the FanTeam 100K Premier League Finale, and not their main man and outside contender for the Golden Boot? Obviously not. Besides their lack of productivity on the road, Watford have also conceded 15 goals in the last six games overall. With the Gabonese striker still chasing the Golden Boot, we can see him net one or two here. Do keep in mind that Watford are fighting for a last chance of survival, so even without Nigel Pearson, they won’t make it easy for the Gunners.

THE JOKER

West Ham’s Michail Antonio is our joker for the FanTeam 100K Premier League Finale event. As an out-of-position midfielder and the top scorer of Project Restart, he fills the eleventh and final spot of our selection. The Englishman has been more essential than ever for the Hammers by scoring 8 goals and providing 1 assist, collecting 61 FT points in the process. His goal from the penalty spot against Man United in gameweek 37+ assured West Ham of another year of Premier League football, so it remains to be seen how the Hammers will turn up at home against a poised Aston Villa side. The home team might not take the three points here, but the Villans will need to attack if they want to avoid relegation. In his current form, we’d want nobody else than Antonio there to exploit the spaces that will undoubtedly start appearing at some point. Even if his team doesn’t win, he might help a few fantasy managers finish their seasons with a bang.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Premier League 100k Main Event and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 100,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 38+ Preview

“Once again, congratulations to Liverpool and we will be back for more analysis next season!” (CC by 4.0). Image by Yurificacion

And so the most unusual season in Premier League history is coming to and end. After an unprecedented global lock-down temporarily halted Liverpool’s rampant run towards a much-deserved first title in 30 years, a huge combined effort resulted in Project Restart and the eventual reaching of this final gameweek 38+ of the 2019-20 Premier League campaign. One that none of us will ever forget and that each one of us can be proud of. Because in the midst of everything, football fans and fantasy managers en masse have shown their love for the game. In turn, if this season’s crisis has shown us anything, it’s how integral fans and followers are to the game. Not just to the entertainment side of it, but to the in-game experience and team performance as well. 

Like an enormous bright red cherry on top, plenty of teams still have plenty to play for this gameweek. Man United, Chelsea and Leicester are all within a point of each other with two Champions League spots for grabs. Spurs can still grab sixth place IF Wolves lose at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and José Mourinho’s men beat Palace at Selhurst Park. At the other end of the table, Aston Villa, Watford and Bournemouth are fighting to be that one club to secure Premier League football next season on the season’s very last day. On top of that, with GW38+ encounters such as Chelsea vs Wolves, Leicester vs Man United and West Ham vs Villa, it’s promising to become an exciting, exhilarating and, unfortunately for some, heartbreaking end to a crazy season.

It’s been a pleasure writing these FPL previews for and with you, and we already can’t wait to be back next season! By the way, if you’re one of the many that have a Free Hit left then check out the fiso forum topic on taking a Free Hit for GW38+.

Don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 38+ has been set at 15h00 (UK time) on Sunday, July 26th.

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

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKSchmeichel (LEI), Henderson (SHU), Patricio (WOL)Pope (BUR), Martinez (ARS), Ederson (CIT)Likely clean sheets for Burnley and City, Martinez is a cheap starter with a good fixture.
DEFSöyüncü (LEI), Doherty (WOL), Wan-Bissaka (UTD)Tarkowski (BUR), Pieters (BUR), Aurier (TOT)Likely clean sheet for Burnley, Aurier is facing Palace.
MIDDe Bruyne (CIT), Fernandes (UTD), Willian (CHE)Sterling (CIT), David Silva (CIT), Antonio (WHU)The possibility of a massacre at the Etihad, Antonio’s excellent form coinciding with a good fixture.
FORVardy (LEI), Jimenez (WOL), Rashford (UTD)Kane (TOT), Aubameyang (ARS), Jesus (CIT)All incoming assets have favourable fixtures in this final gameweek.

Premium fantasy picks

When you think about it, it’s kind of strange that a forward of Harry Kane‘s (£10.9m) calibre is only turning up as one of our premium fantasy picks for practically the first time this season in the final gameweek. It’s an indicator of the tough season the England striker has had, mainly due to injury issues earlier on in the season. A performance and managerial crisis earlier in the season following their Champions League final defeat did not help either, but it looks like Kane’s back in form just in time to help his Spurs grab a European spot. With 4 goals and a resulting 25 FPL points from the last two games, he looks determined to finish the season on a high and upcoming opponent Crystal Palace won’t be delighted about it. The Eagles have been in torrid shape since the restart and the fact that they have conceded 12 goals in the last five games will be music to Kane’s ears as he visits Selhurst Park on Sunday.

Our second premium fantasy pick is a striker as well and at the same price, namely Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.9m). The Arsenal striker was in pretty clinical form for the FA Cup semi-final encounter with Man City last weekend, scoring 2 goals to put Arteta’s men through to the final, but he’s been underwhelming for FPL managers over the past few weeks. From his last three outings, the Gabonese forward took just 6 FPL points, which is unjustifiable for a £10m+ striker. He is nevertheless still an outside candidate for the Golden Boot as he currently trails leader Jamie Vardy by three. As an FPL manager, just knowing that he’ll be eyeing that outside chance when the Gunners welcome a Watford side in turmoil to the Emirates on Sunday should make your heart skip a beat. Of course, Arsenal and Auba are also experts in breaking that same heart, as we’ve seen so many times over the years, but we’re going with him. Last time we did, he hauled big against Norwich, so fingers crossed for a repeat.

Non-premium fantasy picks

Like for our premium fantasy picks, our first non-premium pick is also a Spurs forward, Lucas Moura (£7.0m) in this case. The Brazilian winger is a good player and an excellent technician, but we admit that his FPL output has been limited this season. Up until gameweek 37+, he had just 4 goals and 3 assists to his, but courtesy of 2 assists and 2 bonus points against Leicester in the last game, he recorded the highest haul of the campaign (10 FPL points). What makes him an interesting pick, besides the hope that he’ll build on some end-of-season form, is his low price tage in combination with regular minutes and the fact that an improved Spurs side are taking on Palace on Sunday. The Eagles have been planning their holidays since the restart and on top of that, Moura’s suspected direct opponent at left-back, Patrick van Aanholt, is injured for Palace. José Mourinho’s men are fighting for a Europa League spot and we feel Moura could play a determining role in the final game.

Our second non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 38+ is a Brazilian winger as well. Since the restart, Everton have disappointed in an attacking sense, scoring just 6 goals in 7 games, but half of those goals were scored by Richarlison (£8.2m). Everton have nothing left to play for and they are hosting a Bournemouth side on the brink of relegation who absolutely need to win so may take more risks late on in the match if not ahead. It’s hard to see where this game will go exactly, but we shouldn’t forget that the Cherries simply haven’t been very good of late. Over the 8 games since the restart, they took just 4 points, scoring just 8 goals (but spread out over only 4 of those games) and conceding a worrying 17 goals. Everton are not a high-scoring unit at the moment, but they are stable and Richarlion is their main man up front. He already has 13 goals and 5 assists to his name, and we’re hoping for an improvement of those tallies when Bournemouth come to Goodison Park on Sunday.

A differential fantasy pick or two

As if gameweek 38+ didn’t have enough to offer already, this campaign’s final game also marks the final game in English football of a Manchester City legend. In no less than 433 games for the sky blues from Manchester, David Silva (rose to £7.5m last night) scored 77 goals and provided an incredible 140 assists. What’s more though, he formed a key cog of the Man City sides that stormed English football since the take-over in 2008. Few players have had such an impact on a club’s history than David Silva. In gameweek 38+, City are hosting Norwich for what could become a goal-ridden encounter and it seems unlikely that coach Pep Guardiola won’t let Silva start for his last game at the Etihad. The risk of rotation is nevertheless always present and even if he starts, a second-half substitution as a goodbye to the fans is a possibility as well. Still, the Spaniard is in great form. He did not get any minutes in gameweek 37+, but he recorded 2 goals and 3 assists in the three rounds prior to that, good for 31 FPL points. What better way for Silva to leave City behind with a victory against Norwich and a couple of goals behind his name?

Our final fantasy pick for gameweek 38+ and indeed for the 2019-20 Premier League campaign is THE man of Project Restart, Michail Antonio (£7.1m). With 8 goals and an assist since gameweek 30+, the English midfielder-turned-striker has played a major role in what looks like West Ham’s very last-minute avoidance of relegation. In his last three games, Antonio recorded 6 goals, including the quadruple haul against Norwich in GW35+ and up next is Aston Villa at the London Stadium. The Villans are fighting for their very last chance of survival and their form has been alright lately, but so has West Ham’s and not to speak of Antonio’s. The 4.9%-owned midfielder represents a bit of a punt, but we think it could pay off handsomely. Even if the Hammers don’t keep the points at home, Antonio might get a decent return.

The captaincy

With Man City hosting Norwich, Arsenal welcoming Watford to the Emirates, Liverpool going to Newcastle, and Spurs rolling up to Selhurst Park, gameweek 38+ is offering an immediate abundance of potential candidates for the captaincy. Our armband is going on Kevin “Mr. Reliable” de Bruyne, but the likes of Jesus, Sterling and David Silva are equally attractive options. Their match-up with Norwich simply looks the juiciest on paper.

If for whatever reason you’re not feeling the City vibe or your trust in Pep Guardiola’s starting lineups has been irreparably damaged over the years, the likes of Aubameyang chasing the Golden Boot against Watford, Salah doing the same against Newcastle, or Kane and Son eyeing a European spot against a Palace side woefully out of form are excellent alternatives. There are some appealing differential options as well, though. Jack Grealish fighting for survival against West Ham, Hammers striker Antonio against Grealish’s Villans, or Danny Ings at home to Sheffield United can all deliver this week.

Whoever you choose, good luck! We’ll be back for the new FPL season in about a couple of months and meanwhile we’ll be providing some coverage for the upcoming Champions League and Europa League tournaments. Enjoy!

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for large prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s Premier League 100,000 euro guaranteed prize Main Event for GW38 on Sunday with a 20 euro entry or they have a 7k game for a 2 euro entry and see discussions on the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants organised by FanTeam who will have another massive season-long Premier League comp for 20/21. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee.

FanTeam Premier League – GW36 €50K Main Event – Wednesday 15th July

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. This series will focus on FanTeam’s Premier League Main Event, a daily fantasy league based on the Premier League games. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for this weekly tournament to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) Main Event, which has a maximum entry limit of 3,334 participants. Every week, we’ll report back on how our team performed in the previous week. A finish in the top 556 would see us win part of the prize pool of which the winner takes home a cool €7,500. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool (of which the winner should get about €1,000) for those who prefer to play with lower stakes.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Finally, the Pursuit format is being applied to the upcoming FanTeam Weekly Monster. In this game mode, you get more bonus points the cheaper your players are (you gain 1 point for every 2.5 million euros underspent). Your captain will get double points, but he will also cost twice as much. Your vice-captain will get 150% more points, but he will also cost 150% more. You can read about Pursuit in more detail on the FanTeam website.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 36 FanTeam’s Main Event is set at 18h00 (UK time) tomorrow Wednesday, July 15th, 2020. You can enter a team earlier and make changes right up to the deadline. This means you have an hour to check the starting line-ups for the matches.

Gameweek 36 Weekly Main Event matches

How did our team fare in gameweek 34+?*

NAME (club) (opponent)RETURNSPOINTS
C De Bruyne (CIT) v Newcastle (H)1 assist, clean sheet, Impact+116
Mahrez (CIT) v Newcastle (H)1 goal, clean sheet, Impact+19
Foden (CIT) v Newcastle (H)Clean sheet, Impact+14
Traoré (WOL) v Sheffield Utd (a)Clean sheet3

*There was no FanTeam Main Event in GW35+.

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 36+

Formation: 2-3-1

General approach

For gameweek 36+, FanTeam are offering us another €50K Main Event, this time based on team selections of six players in Pursuit mode. Seeing as the tournament revolves around just three matches, namely those starting at 18h00 (UK time) on Wednesday, standing out this week will likely be quite a task. For this week, we decided to go big on two teams with four fantasy picks from match day favourites Manchester City and two Newcastle assets as the Magpies welcome Spurs to Saint James’ Park. The Cityzens are facing Bournemouth at the Etihad for which we hope will be another Man City goalscoring bonanza, while we have differential hopes for Newcastle’s defensive assets against a largely toothless Spurs side.

Manchester City

Raheem Sterling, David Slva, Phil Foden & Gabriel Jesus

So, Manchester City have won their last two Premier League games by five goals to nil, first against Newcastle at the Etihad and after that at the AmEx in Brighton, and up next is a home game against relegation-threatened Bournemouth. It’s true that the Cherries surprised most of the football world by being the instigators of a game-changing Leicester collapse in gameweek 35+, but their next encounter looks a bit like a match made in hell (for them, that is). Since football returned and before last weekend’s game, Bournemouth had taken just 1 point from five games, a run over which they conceded 12 goals and scored just 3 (and 2 of those goals came in the 5-2 defeat against Man United).

It’s been a different story for City since the return. The Cityzens played seven games already from which they have taken 15 points. In order to give you a bit of a better idea of City’s performances since the coronabreak ended, we created a simple table:

HOME gamesAWAY games
Arsenal (3-0) 
Burnley (5-0) 
 Chelsea (2-1)
Liverpool (4-0) 
 Southampton (1-0)
Newcastle (5-0) 
 Brighton (0-5)

We don’t know yet if this is a big enough sample to extrapolate a kind of “away game complex” from (we don’t think so, to be honest), but what we do know is that the home record of Pep Guardiola’s men over the past four games is 17 to nothing. It feels almost surreal to say, but another 4 or 5 nil victory is not only possible here, but likely as well.

As a result, we’ve gone with four City players for gameweek 36+, the maximum number of players allowed to be selected for a single team. Of course, with the FA semi-finals on the agenda for the coming weekend, in which City roll up to the Emirates on Saturday, rotation once again looms over our City picks. Fortunately though, we will know City’s starting lineup about an hour before the FanTeam GW36+ €50K Main Event deadline is up, which removes this risk (but also the accompanied potential differential factor) completely. We picked Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus (Silva & Foden only getting less than 30 minutes run out in their last match) for our team this week, but they are absolutely subject to change particularly if KDB and Marhez start. We strongly recommend to check out the Man City lineup from around 17h00 (UK time) on Wednesday in order to adjust your FanTeam fantasy selection accordingly.

On top of that, coach Pep Guardiola has actually hinted at increased rotation over the coming weeks as the FA Cup continues and preparations for the Champions League start as well. At the moment, one might expect David Silva and Phil Foden to start (after coming on just after the hour mark in the last match) and that their only ‘striker’ Jesus (who was withdrawn again just after the hour mark) will also start against Bournemouth, with Raheem Sterling seemingly too in-form to drop (see table below). Then again, “undroppable” is definitely not part of Pep’s vocabulary. Mahrez is most likely to sit out the coming encounter as he has had 90 minutes and 75 minutes of Premier League football under his belt from the past two games, respectively. Considering Phil Foden’s little playing time in recent games, the talented Englishman could be a worthy replacement for KDB, just like David Silva.

PlayerLast 4 gamesGoalsAssistsBonus pointsTotal FPL points
R. Sterling255 minutes53648

Raheem Sterling’s returns since GW32+

Newcastle

Federico Fernandez, Danny Rose

Our Manchester City foursome is complemented by a defensive duo from Newcastle United, Federico Fernandez and Emil Krafth. We were considering whether to have a Newcastle duo or a Wolves duo, but in the end we went with a couple of Magpies, partly due to their budget-friendly prices and partly with the lack of attacking threat at Spurs in mind. Of course, we don’t mean the lack of attacking talent, as the likes of Son, Kane, Moura and Bergwijn possess enough of it to worry any and every defence in the world, but the lack of effective attacking moves produced by José Mourinho’s men. After a horrid display with no shots on goal against Bournemouth in GW34+, Spurs slightly improved versus in Arsenal a gameweek later. Still, their first goal was the result of a bad back-pass latched onto by Son, while the second goal was a corner. Having watched the entire game, we feel that by looking at the score alone alone, some FanTeam and fantasy managers might be fooled into thinking that Spurs do score goals. They absolutely have the players for it, but for the moment their attacking creativity and output is considerably below par.

Now, it’s not like Newcastle have been so tight in the back of late, but we know that Steve Bruce’s men can defend. Their 11 clean sheets this season are witness to this, though the last clean sheet came back in gameweek 30+, when Newcastle were still playing for early safety from relegation. The
fact that they are no longer playing for anything but honour now, basically, is also the main caveat to our decision to go with the Magpie defence. At the same time, Spurs are chasing a Europa League spot, especially after the 2-1 victory over Arsenal a few days ago. It’s a bit of a risky punt to put our
money on the Newcastle defence in this scenario, but we think there is a possibility for a very frustrating night at Saint James’ Park for Mourinho on Wednesday.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Premier League 50k Main Event and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 50,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum.

FanTeam Premier League – GW34 €50K Main Event – Wednesday 8th July

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. This series will focus on FanTeam’s Premier League Main Event, a daily fantasy league based on the Premier League games. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for this weekly tournament to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) Main Event, which has a maximum entry limit of 3,500 participants. Every week, we’ll report back on how our team performed in the previous week. A finish in the top 556 would see us win part of the prize pool of which the winner takes home a cool €7,500. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool (of which the winner should get about €1,000) for those who prefer to play with lower stakes.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Finally, the Pursuit format is being applied to the upcoming FanTeam Weekly Monster. In this game mode, you get more bonus points the cheaper your players are (you gain 1 point for every 2.5 million euros underspent). Your captain will get double points, but he will also cost twice as much. Your vice-captain will get 150% more points, but he will also cost 150% more. You can read about Pursuit in more detail on the FanTeam website.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 34 FanTeam’s Main Event is set at 18h00 (UK time) tomorrow Wednesday, July 8th, 2020. You can enter a team earlier and make changes right up to the deadline. This means you have an hour to check the starting line-ups for the early match.

Gameweek 34 Weekly Main Event matches

How did our team fare in gameweek 33+?*

*Finished 332nd out of 2432 players (and in the prizes for the 2nd consecutive week).
NAME (club) (opponent)RETURNSPOINTS
Pope (BUR) vs Sheffield United (H)2 saves3
Gomez (LIV) vs Aston Villa (H)Clean sheet, Impact+17
Tarkowski (BUR) vs Sheffield United (H)1 goal8
C SalahAssist, clean sheet, Impact+116

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 34+

Formation: 2-5-0 |  Budget used: 100.0m

General approach

There is a relatively big disparity in player prices for FanTeam’s GW34+ €50K Main Event this week. On the one hand, we have Man City’s and Liverpool’s assets facing favourable opposition (Newcastle at home and Brighton away, respectively). On the other hand, the likes of Sheffield United, Wolves, Burnley and West Ham are playing each other in relatively even match-ups, in the sense that it would not be a big surprise to see those four teams end up in low-scoring affairs on Wednesday.

Seeing as Brighton have actually conceded fewer big chances per game than any other side in the division since Project Restart, we’ve shied away from Liverpool picks and went all in on a Man City side in redemption mode with three players from their roster. Surprisingly, Sheffield United are the team conceding most big chances per game (2.6) since the return of football and they are not exactly scoring for fun either, so with Pursuit mode in mind, our team boasts 3 Wolves assets as well. Finally, with West Ham looking good going forward of late, our seventh and final pick is a Hammer playing out of position.

Manchester City

Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden

Last gameweek, Pep Guardiola decided to rain on the parade of more than a few fantasy managers by benching De Bruyne against Southampton and then bringing him on in the 59th minute for what ended up being the grand total of 1 point on FanTeam. They say though, that after rain comes sunshine, and after De Bruyne’s benching against Southampton comes De Bruyne’s return to the starting lineup against Newcastle at home. Despite having lost the title already, the general consensus in the fantasy football world seems to be that City will be wanting to make up this week for their slip-up against the Saints. The Magpies will almost certainly try and park a bus or two at the Etihad, especially with coach Steve Bruce hinting at a rest for man-in-form Allan Saint-Maximin, so we see a one-sided affair here, and one in which City hopefully will be less wasteful than they were last game.

As you can imagine, Kevin de Bruyne was the first name on our team sheet and he is also the captain of our team. The Belgian midfielder has been nothing short of spectacular this season, currently sitting on 11 goals and 20 assists and actually equalling Thierry Henry’s historic record of 20 assists in a single season back in 2002-03. As mentioned earlier, he was benched in gameweek 33+, so we are not worried about his prospects of starting this week. The Magpies are in decent form after taking 8 points from four games since the return of football, but they also let in 4 goals over that run, including versus Bournemouth and Villa, some of the least prolific outfits at this moment. After sitting out the major part of GW33+, we think De Bruyne can do some damage on Wednesday.

As we’re going all in on Cityzens this week, the Belgian is joined in the middle of our team by team mates Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden. Like the rest of his team, Sterling disappointed against the Saints, but he did look like one of their most dangerous men going forward and wasting all those chances. Foden then, like De Bruyne, was benched in GW33+, but the young Englishman is expected to start at home versus Newcastle after recording 14 and 13 FanTeam points in his last two home games against Burnley and Liverpool, respectively. Should any of our Man City picks not start, then we can change them based on the starting line-up plus the Safety Net would come into play if we missed doing this, seeing as our picks are more expensive then the likes of Mahrez, David Silva and Bernardo Silva this week.

Wolves

Joao Moutinho, Matt Doherty, Romain Saiss

With Pursuit mode in mind, we decided to complement our very expensive Manchester City trio with three more affordable picks from a Wolves side facing Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. While Wolves have not been particularly spectacular since Project Restart, they did manage to largely maintain their stability in terms of results, winning their first three games 0-2, 1-0 and 0-1. The GW33+ loss at home against Arsenal was a bit of a surprise, but with European football still being a very realistic goal for coach Nuno Espirito Santo’s men, we’re hoping for a decent response against Sheffield United on Wednesday. The Blades haven’t been very prolific in front of goal since Project Restart got under way (4 goals in 5 games) while they did concede at the same time, both in terms of goals (8 conceded in 5 games) and big chances per game (2.6).

As a result, we included two Wolves defenders with offensive tendencies in our GW34+ €50K Main Event team, namely right-back Matt Doherty and central defender Romain Saiss. Doherty is actually the highest-scoring defender after the Liverpool trio of Van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold and Robertson, thanks to an impressive 10 clean sheets, 4 goals and 6 assists. Having Aubameyang as his direct opponent in GW33+ kind of stifled his attacking potential, but we’re expecting more involvement up the pitch from him on Wednesday. For exactly a million less, Saiss offers a lot of potential as well with him being among the defenders with most attempts on target this season. We’re hoping he will get a few opportunities to improve on one or more of his current tallies (9 clean sheets, 2 goals, 2 assists) when the Wolves visit the Blades.

In order to avoid a too harsh of a Stacking Penalty in case of a Wolves clean sheet, we opted to add a midfielder instead of a third defender. We currently have Joao Moutinho in our team due to the injury/fatigue concerns surrounding Adama Traoré, but fortunately we will know the starting lineup before the Main Event’s deadline. We are covering Moutinho here, but in case Adama starts on Wednesday, we will probably replace the Portuguese midfielder with the Spanish winger, based on the latter’s higher goal threat. Moutinho, though, isn’t a bad pick either. As he is on many set-pieces for Wolves, he has racked up 7 assists already this season, as well as a goal. He hasn’t recorded an attacking return yet since Project Restart got underway, but we’re hoping this could change when he faces an uncharacteristically obliging Sheffield United defence on Wednesday.

West Ham

Michail Antonio

Finally, our joker to fill the seventh and final spot of our selection for FanTeam’s GW34+ €50K Main Event, Michail Antonio. With 2 goals and 1 assist from his last two games, the West Ham forward looks to be in good form, but there is more. Since football returned, no single midfielder in the Premier League has registered more shots in the box than him, and only Martial and Mané have had more than his three big chances. Even when looking at expected goals and expected assists, Antonio comes out on top. Much of this has to do with the fact that he is registered as a midfielder on FanTeam, but deployed as a striker by coach David Moyes in real life. This will again be the case when a resilient Burnley side visit the Hammers on Wednesday. It won’t be easy for them, but if they get anything out of this one, Antonio will most likely be involved.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Premier League 50k Main Event and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 50,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum.

FanTeam Premier League – GW33 €50K Main Event – Sunday 5th July

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. This series will focus on FanTeam’s Premier League Main Event, a daily fantasy league based on the Premier League games. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for this weekly tournament to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) Main Event, which has a maximum entry limit of 3,500 participants. Every week, we’ll report back on how our team performed in the previous week. A finish in the top 556 would see us win part of the prize pool of which the winner takes home a cool €7,500. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool (of which the winner should get about €1,100) for those who prefer to play with lower stakes.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Finally, the Pursuit format is being applied to the upcoming FanTeam Weekly Monster. In this game mode, you get more bonus points the cheaper your players are (you gain 1 point for every 2.5 million euros underspent). Your captain will get double points, but he will also cost twice as much. Your vice-captain will get 150% more points, but he will also cost 150% more. You can read about Pursuit in more detail on the FanTeam website.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 33+ FanTeam’s Main Event is set at 12h00 (UK time) on Sunday, July 5th, 2020. You can enter a team earlier and make changes right up to the deadline. This means you have an hour to check the starting line-ups for the early match.

Gameweek 33 Weekly Main Event matches

How did our Weekly Monster team fare in gameweek 32+?*

NAME (club) (opponent)RETURNSPOINTS
Holgate (Everton) vs Leicester (H)Impact +13
Richarlison (Everton) vs Leicester (H)1 goal, Impact +17
Lascelles (Newcastle) vs Bournemouth (a)Impact +13
Saint-Maximin (Newcastle) vs B’mouth (a)3 assists, clean sheet, Impact +113
VC Bellerín (Arsenal) vs Norwich (H)Clean sheet, Impact +110.5
C Aubameyang (Arsenal) vs Norwich (H)2 goals, 1 assist, Impact +128

*Finished 37th out of 2,432 players.

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 33+

General approach

The FanTeam GW33+ €50K Main Event has presented us with four interesting matches. Liverpool and Man City are obviously the hot favourites for big victories on Sunday, against Aston Villa at home and Southampton away, respectively, but their most-promising assets are also priced accordingly. As a result, we have decided to opt for a bit more differential approach this week by selecting just 2 Liverpool players, complemented with 3 Newcastle assets as they take on West Ham at home and 2 Burnley defensive picks as they host Sheffield United. At the same time, this has left us with 17.48 bonus points in Pursuit mode, which hopefully will prove to be valuable in trying to break into the Main Event’s top 100 for a second consecutive time.

Newcastle

Allan Saint-Maximin, Matt Ritchie, Jamaal Lascelles

Not Liverpool or Man City, but Newcastle United are the most represented club in our fantasy selection for FanTeam’s GW33 €50K Main Event Sunday. The Magpies passed the 40-point mark in the Premier League with their emphatic 1-4 victory over Bournemouth, but they don’t seem to be suffering from premature holiday symptoms at all. Their current unbeaten run of five games is their longest since the 2015-16 season and, believe it or not, since the return of football, only Man City have scored more goals than Newcastle (8 goals in 3 games). Over that same run, they conceded just twice. As a matter of fact, and to put things in perspective a bit for Steve Bruce’s men: with six games to go, including three against current bottom-six opponents, the Magpies are just three points away from equalling their points tally under the immensely popular Rafa Benitez last season.

With 25 FanTeam points since Project Restart got going, courtesy of 1 goal, 3 assists, 2 clean sheets and 3 impact points, forward Allan Saint-Maximin (who is classified as a midfielder on FanTeam) has played a huge role in Newcastle’s outstanding recent performances. In the last game against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, the Frenchman was spared after 61 minutes and an impressive 3 assists, so we’re fairly certain he will start in the upcoming home game against West Ham. The Hammers booked a great victory over London rivals Chelsea in their fight to avoid relegation, but the game at Saint James’ Park is going to be a different affair. Not only are Newcastle much more stable defensively than the Blues, but they have also seriously cranked up their goalscoring average at home since football returned.

That’s also why we opted for a season-first Newcastle triple for gameweek 33+, with defender-turned-midfielder Matt Ritchie and defender Jamaal Lascelles joining ASM in our team. The former had a spectacular restart of the season with a goal, an assist, 2 clean sheets and an impact point from gameweek 30+ and 31+ before being rested during Newcastle’s last game. The latter practically immediately became a nailed-on starter again in Steve’s Bruce defensive set-up after returning from injury. Lascelles recorded a clean sheet and 1 impact point over the past three weeks for a total of 10 FanTeam points. At home against a West Ham side involved in a full-on relegation battle, we can see returns for both of these players.

Liverpool

Mo Salah, Joe Gomez

With their recent and long-awaited Premier League title followed by a kind of surprising 4-0 drubbing against Man City at the Etihad, Liverpool have suddenly become a bit of a hard-to-gauge provider of fantasy assets. Are they going to keep performing? Is coach Jurgen Klopp going to increase rotation? It remains to be seen, but we do believe there are still a few certainties in regard to the Reds. One of them is the fact that forward Mo Salah is still in the midst of a tense battle for the 2019-20 Golden Boot (as is Sadio Mané, to a slightly lesser extent) and another is that the injuries of central defenders Lovren and Matip have enormously increased Joe Gomez’ already high chances of starting games. That’s also why these two are part of our GW33 €50K Main Event selection. Mo Salah failed to return anything for his backers in gameweek 32+, but he was one of the more threatening Reds. Who knows how the match would’ve gone down if his early attempt on the post had gone in? The Egyptian talisman is two goals behind Aubameyang in the Golden Boot ranking and against Villa, who boast the division’s joint-worst defensive record, he will be looking to close that gap. Also, Villa’s first-choice left-back Matt Targett is out injured for this one.

Joe Gomez then, is our way of getting a piece of the Liverpool defence against the Villans. On FanTeam, he is the least expensive of the expected starting defenders and a clean sheet looks more than possible here. Villa have actually scored just 2 goals in their four games since football returned. Against a Liverpool side undoubtedly motivated to redeem themselves after the City disappointment, we find it hard to see the Villans add to their current tally.

Burnley

Nick Pope, James Tarkowski

The final spots in our fantasy selection for GW33+ are filled by defensive Burnley assets, starting with one of this season’s outstanding goalkeepers all around, Nick Pope. With 153 points, he is actually the highest-scoring goalie on FanTeam at this moment. The 5-0 loss at the Etihad upon the return of football in gameweek 30+ was painful, but Pope and the rest of the Clarets didn’t let it affect them. In the two games between then and now, the English shot stopper recorded 17.5 points, courtesy of 2 clean sheets, 7 saves and 2 impact points. Sunday’s opponent Sheffield United are resilient, but they haven’t scored on the road since February, which must be music to the ears of the Golden-Glove-chasing Nick Pope.

The Blades’ shyness in front of goal on the road combined with Burley’s joint-best defensive record in the division convinced us to add James Tarkowski to our team as well. After a -1 in gameweek 30+ against Man City, the English international helped his side to two clean sheets and himself to a decent 13 FanTeam points. As a matter of fact, Burnley are unbeaten in five home games (3 victories, 2 draws) and a victory against Sheffield Utd would see them equal the club’s historic record of 14 victories in a single Premier League season. On top of that, a victory on Sunday would move them within a few points of a European spot with five games still to go. A lot will depend on their defensive stability and Tarkowski could be one of the main fantasy benefactors of this.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Premier League 50k Main Event and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 50,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum.