Fantasy Sports Action Continues! Courtesy of FanTeam.

Whilst all major sport is paused, FanTeam are sourcing sports action from around the world in order to bring entertainment to Fantasy Sports fans. Their offering of Daily Fantasy Sports tournaments for April currently includes Football from the Belarus Premier League and Basketball all the way from Taiwan. In the second half of March, FanTeam brought us Fantasy Football from Australia, Hong Kong, Turkey and Venezuela so are continually sourcing sports action for us to enjoy during the lockdowns. FanTeam do provide some stats information on each club to aid your choices. All tournaments have a guarantee prize level with payouts to the top 20% and have entry fees set at only 1 euro or 5 euros to help keep the boredom away.

The Fantasy Football action challenges you to choose just 4 players. This can be from just one match (i.e. 2 clubs) or from a few matches taking place that day. There are no budget constraints (meaning you have a choice of any 4 players) but so that everyone doesn’t pick the better-rated players for every €2 million less spent on a player you gain 1 point. Those managers selecting the lower priced players will thus start ahead of the managers who have selected the higher priced players – hence this entertaining format of Fantasy Football is called ‘Pursuit’. Here is an example of one of our selected teams for the Fantasy Belarusian Premier League where you can see that because we have chosen quite expensive players (from the team favourite to win) and have captained the most expensive player in the tournament (both the striker’s points and cost count double) we start with only 2.4 bonus points – unless the striker gets a goal or assist then we’re unlikely to finish in the top 20% because other managers captaining a much cheaper player will have scored more points than us due to the Pursuit bonus points system.

FanTeam’s ‘Safety Net’ and ‘Stacking Penalty’ systems are also in place menaing that a) if you were not available to check the starting line-up in the hour before kick-off and your selected player did not play then he would be substituted with the next lowest priced starting-player in the same position from the same team (assuming there is such a player) and b) if you selected more than one defensive player (Goalkeeper/Defender) from the same team then you get 1 penalty point for each extra player meaning picking a block defense is not the easy option that it would be otherwise.

FanTeam have also launched Fantasy FIFA eSports (Premier League and Champions League) on their sportsbook offering.

And launching later today FanTeam will have a new fantasy game for eEuro2020.

Fanteam Weekly Monster Early Entry Team – GW29

FISO are starting a new series of weekly articles on Fanteam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider (and entering the team that we write about!). This series will focus on Fanteam’s Weekly Monster, a weekly fantasy league based on the Premier League games that kick-off on or after Saturday 3pm UK time with €50,000 worth of guaranteed prize money. That’s every gameweek, in case you were wondering. Our article will focus on a Early Entry for this weekly tournament which will help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek so you can win some of that large prize money. Every gameweek, we will choose a team of eleven players from the selected Premier League matches within a virtual budget of €100 million. In that sense, the Weekly Monster is quite similar to the official Fantasy Premier League game we all know and love.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) Weekly Monster, which has a maximum entry limit of 3,000. Every week, we’ll report back on how our team performed in the previous week. A finish in the top 20% of a given week would see us win part of the prize pool of which the winner normally takes home about €4,000. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool (of which the winner normally gets about €500) 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. By ‘next’ lowest we mean if our player (who doesn’t start) is priced at 7m and two players priced less than him at 6.8m and 6.5m start then our replacement will be the 6.8m player. The automatic replacement is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule means people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster need not 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.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 29’s FanTeam Weekly Monster is set at 3PM (UK time) on Saturday, March 7th, 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 3PM games (the 1st 5 fixtures listed below), so you can change your selections accordingly up until the 3PM deadline, but not after.

Gameweek 29 Weekly Monster matches

07/03/20 Arsenal West Ham
07/03/20 Crystal Palace Watford
07/03/20 Sheffield United Norwich
07/03/20 Southampton Newcastle
07/03/20 Wolves Brighton
07/03/20 Burnley Spurs
08/03/20 Chelsea Everton
08/03/20 Manchester United Manchester Cheaty
09/03/20 Leicester Aston Villa

How did our Weekly Monster team fare in gameweek 28?

Formation: 3-4-3|  Budget used:  98.6m|  GW28 finish: 1472/2248|  Prize pool: ///

NAME (club) (opponent) RETURNS POINTS
Pope (BUR) vs. Newcastle (a) Clean sheet, 4 saves 8
Alexander-Arnold (LIV) vs. Watford (a) Goals conceded -1, Impact -1 0
Saiss (WOL) vs. Spurs (a) Goals conceded -1, Impact +1 2
Tarkowski (BUR) vs. Newcastle (a) Clean sheet, yellow card, stack penalty -1 4
C Mané (LIV) vs. Watford (a) Impact -1 4
VC Salah (LIV) vs Watford (a) Impact -1 2
Ward-Prowse (SOU) vs. West Ham (a) 1 assist, Impact -1 5
McNeil (BUR) vs. Newcastle (a) Clean sheet 4
Giroud (CHE) vs. Bournemouth (a) 1 assist, Impact -1 4
Long (SOU) vs. West Ham (a) Impact -1 2
Jimenez (WOL) vs Spurs (a) 1 goal, Impact +1 7

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 29

Formation: 3-4-3|  Budget used: 99.9m

FISO’s FanTeam Weekly Monster entry for GW29

General approach

Gameweek 29 looks to be one of those gameweeks in which the Weekly Monster budget just seems too tight to really bring in all the players you ideally want. With several favourable fixture match-ups on the calendar, plenty of fantasy Premier League assets carry (very) premium price tags this weekend. Here’s an example to illustrate the situation: the likes of Vardy (injury doubt), Maddison (last attacking return in GW21), Raheem Sterling (no returns since GW19) and Wilfried Ndidi all set you back 12% or more of your total budget. Of course, historial performance is not or barely taken into account for the Weekly Monster prices, but it gives you a bit of an idea of the budgetary situation in which we find ourselves this weekend.

For our team selection for gameweek 29, we have focused on Wolves, Sheffield United and Arsenal as our team’s backbone, and Everton as this week’s punt. The remaining two spots in the starting eleven are taken up by a Burnley and a Crystal Palace asset, respectively, partly based on their fixture and partly on each player’s capacity to put down an excellent individual performance without necessarily needing a good team performance or even victory from their respective teams.

Goalkeeper

We are starting our overview with the previously mentioned Burnley asset, goalkeeper Nick Pope. In FPL, the young Englishman is the highest-scoring goalkeeper, while on FanTeam, he is the second-best goalie after Schmeichel (133 vs 134.5 points). The Clarets’ league-high 11 clean sheets have more than a little to do with these outstanding rankings. He is one of the league’s most in-form shot stoppers at this moment, which is underlined by the fact that, on FanTeam, he has recorded 50.5 points over the past six gameweeks. That’s an average of almost 8,5 points per game. If he can maintain this average on Saturday evening at home to Spurs, we’ll be more than happy.

Defenders

Our most expensive defender this weekend is Sheffield United left wing-back Enda Stevens. The Blades are facing the Premier League’s most goal-shy travellers in Norwich this weekend. The Canaries have managed to score just 6 goals in 14 away games so far, and just 1 goal in their last 5 games away from home. Sheffield United, on the other hand, boast the league’s second-sturdiest defence overall (25 goals conceded vs. Liverpool’s 20) and the league’s fifth-best defence in home games (13 goals conceded in 14 games). As far as Stevens goes, he already has 2 goals and 2 assists to his name, but he is currently flagged as having a 75% chance of playing. We feel confident he will start on Saturday, but if he doesn’t, we’re more than covered by the Safety Net. Besides that, you will know Sheffield’s starting lineup an hour before this week’s Weekly Monster deadline.

Our second defender is the first Wolves asset in our team selection for gameweek 29. Romain Saiss has been a shrewd investment of late, both in FPL and on FanTeam. The Moroccan national team captain is a mainstay in Nuno Espirito Santo’s starting lineup, but in both games, he has remained in the relative bargain basket. Despite a home game against Brighton this Saturday, playing the full 90 minutes in 13 of the last 14 PL games, and recording no less than 24 points on FanTeam over the past four gameweeks, his price this week was still set at just 7.0M. When it comes to away games only, Brighton share a relegation spot with Bournemouth and Watford as a result of taking just 10 points from 14 games. Over that run, the Seagulls managed to score just 15 goals. A Wolves victory is expected, hopefully with a clean sheet.

The final component of our 3-men defence is Dutch defender Patrick van Aanholt, who is facing Watford at Selhurst Park on Saturday. Palace manager Roy Hodgson has managed to turn his team into a very solid defensive unit, with Sheffield United the only team currently outside of the top five that has conceded less than Palace’s 32 goals in 28 games. When looking at home games exclusively, Newcastle are the only outfit outside of the current top four that has conceded less than Palace’s 13 goals. Van Aanholt is not just a defensive pick though, because he tends to bomb forward quite often as well. His 3 goals this Premier League campaign illustrate the freedom he gets to join in attack when possible. On FanTeam, he has recorded 20 points over the past two weeks, courtesy of 2 clean sheets and a goal. Saturday’s opponent Watford will be buoyant after thrashing Liverpool 3-0 last weekend, but the Hornets have their work cut out for them against a stubborn Eagles side and it wouldn’t surprise us to see them come crashing back down to earth.

Midfielders

The most expensive pick on our midfield this week is also a first-timer in our team selection this season. Arsenal’s Nicolas Pépé has had a bit of a anonymous start to his first Premier League season, but under manager Mikel Arteta, he seems to be finding his place in the team and in the league. Back in gameweeks 16 and 17, Arsenal played West Ham and City back-to-back, just like they will now for their double gameweek. The DGW is of no concern to Weekly Monster players, but it’s worth mentioning that in the previously mentioned gameweeks, Pépé started both games, scored a goal and an assist (away to West Ham) and recorded a total of 14 points on FPL. In terms of his more recent form, the Ivory Coast international has been on fire: over the past 2 gameweeks, he has scored a goal and given 2 assists for a total of 23 points on FanTeam. Despite his hefty price tag for the Weekly Monster (12.2M), we expect Pépé to be the second-most selected Gunner this week, after Aubameyang.

Out of the three Sheffield United midfielders that seem to have nailed down a spot in manager Chris Wilder’s starting eleven, we have gone with John Fleck, who is United’s most expensive midfielder this week. When looking at the Blades midfield though, besides Lundstram’s early-season antics, there is no abundance of goal-scoring potential there. Fleck is the main man on their midfield, at least when it comes to direct goal involvement. In 24 games this season, the Englishman has scored 5 goals and provided 2 assists, which represents an attacking return every 3.4 games. This weekend, Norwich are rolling up to Bramall Lane, and we find it hard to imagine that Chris Wilder would lose this opportunity to add another three points to United’s already impressive points total. Canary confidence will have been boosted considerably by last Friday’s victory over Leicester, but the home team should win this one, in theory. Norwich have conceded 25 goals in 14 away games, and Fleck might well add a bit to their defensive misery this weekend.

The case for our third midfield pick this week is a bit similar to that of Fleck, in the sense that Joao Moutinho, despite being an excellent midfielder and a sure starter for Wolves, is not the most prolific fantasy asset. He has played 2344 out of 2520 Premier League minutes so far this season, and scored a goal and provided 7 assists over that run. The assists, in particular, are of interest, because they reveal Moutinho’s very frequent set-piece duties. The Portuguese playmaker has not returned since his back-to-back assists in gameweeks 21 and 22, so we hope that the upcoming home game against Brighton finally sees him directly involved in a goal once again. The 25 goals that the Seagulls have conceded in their 14 away games this season show us that there will be opportunities for players of Moutinho’s mould and quality.

Our 4-man midfield is completed by one of our two Everton picks this week, Richarlison. At a price of just 6.9M, the Brazilian winger/striker could be a bit of a bargain, considering the Toffees are visiting Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Chelsea have been far from comfortable in front of their own fans this season, which is underlined by the fact that, when looking at results from home game only, the Blues are actually in tenth place in the Premier League. A total of 21 points from 14 games is just not good enough for a team with Champions League ambitions. Since Carlo Ancelotti took over at Goodison, Everton have scored in every Premier League game. Over that period, Richarlison scored 4 goals and provided 2 assists for a total of 49 points in FPL and 53 points on FanTeam. It should also be noted that he missed gameweeks 23 and 24 completely due to injury. In other words, it’s a bit of a punt, but we can see Richarlison score or assist at Chelsea.

Forwards

Just like last week, we are playing with three forwards this weekend, starting with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, our most expensive pick overall. From an FPL point of view, the Gabonese Gunner is probably the best fantasy asset from Mikel Arteta’s team and he could be in for a nice haul this Saturday at home against West Ham. Auba has played the full 90 minutes in the last three Premier League games and it’s not hard to see why: 2 goals (both at home to Everton and Newcastle, respectively) and 23 points on FanTeam for an average of almost 8 points per game over that period. Arsenal have a double gameweek, but we’re confident their star man will start both games, especially considering the fact that he was rested for Arsenal’s FA Cup tie with Portsmouth last Monday. The Hammers have conceded a worrying 15 goals in their last 6 Premier League games overall and they will be more than nervous about facing the current Premier League joint-topscorer this weekend. Auba is also our captain for GW29.

Our second forward pick of the week has become somewhat of a familiar face in our weekly selection. Wolves are playing at home against Brighton coming Sunday and we’re betting on Raul Jimenez to do what he does best once again: record a modest, but sweet single-digit return over 90 minutes of Premier League football. The Mexican striker has returned in 16 different games already this season and even though that includes just three double-digit returns, this makes him one of the most consistent top performers this campaign. And consistency, especially of this kind, usually means value in fantasy football. From their last 5 away games, this weekend’s opponent Brighton have taken just 2 points, conceding 10 and scoring 6 goals in the process. We think Wolves will better them this weekend and if they do, we certainly see a key role for Jimenez. He is also our vice-captain this round.

Our final fantasy pick for gameweek 29 is partly budget-based, partly form-based and partly based on our wish to include what, hopefully, will turn out to be a meaningful differential pick. Everton are playing away at Chelsea this weekend and with the Blues’ disappointing home form in mind, we have selected Dominic Calvert-Lewin as our third striker. After 3 goals in 4 PL games between gameweeks 23 and 26, many fantasy managers expected the young Englishman to drift off the radar a bit, due to an unfavourable swing of fixtures. From GW27 onwards, the Toffees played Arsenal away, United at home, this weekend Chelsea away and Liverpool at home in GW30, but DCL didn’t mind. Two weeks into this tough run of games and the Everton forward sits on 2 goals from 2 games (1 at Arsenal, 1 against United). With a FanTeam price tag of just 6.8M this weekend and our hope that some players will overlook him, he made it into our starting eleven for GW29 along with his team mate Richarlison and we hope they link up for a goal.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Weekly Monster 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. FISO members could win free ‘Weekly Monster’ entries (worth 20 euros) via the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee. FanTeam have also just launched a 500,000 euro Fantasy Premier League game.

Fanteam Weekly Monster Early Entry Team – GW28

FISO are starting a new series of weekly articles on Fanteam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider (and entering the team that we write about!). This series will focus on Fanteam’s Weekly Monster, a weekly fantasy league based on the Premier League games that kick-off on or after Saturday 3pm UK time with €50,000 worth of guaranteed prize money. That’s every gameweek, in case you were wondering. Our article will focus on a Early Entry for this weekly tournament which will help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek so you can win some of that large prize money. Every gameweek, we will choose a team of eleven players from the selected Premier League matches within a virtual budget of €100 million. In that sense, the Weekly Monster is quite similar to the official Fantasy Premier League game we all know and love.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) Weekly Monster, which has a maximum entry limit of 3,000. Every week, we’ll report back on how our team performed in the previous week. A finish in the top 20% of a given week would see us win part of the prize pool of which the winner normally takes home about €4,000. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool (of which the winner normally gets about €500) 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. By ‘next’ lowest we mean if our player (who doesn’t start) is priced at 7m and two players priced less than him at 6.8m and 6.5m start then our replacement will be the 6.8m player. The automatic replacement is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule means people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster need not 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.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 28’s FanTeam Weekly Monster is set at 3PM (UK time) on Saturday, February 29th, 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 3PM games, so you can change your selections accordingly up until the 3PM deadline, but not after.

Gameweek 28 Weekly Monster matches

29/02/20 Bournemouth Chelsea
29/02/20 Newcastle Burnley
29/02/20 West Ham Southampton
29/02/20 Watford Liverpool
01/03/20 Everton Manchester United
01/03/20 Spurs Wolves

How did our Weekly Monster team fare in gameweek 27?

Formation: 4-4-2|  Budget used:  100m|  GW28 finish: 774/2248|  Prize pool: ///

NAME (club) (opponent) RETURNS POINTS
Schmeichel (LEI) vs Man City (home) Clean sheet, Penalty stopped, 5 saves 8.5
Van Dijk (LIV) vs West Ham (home) Impact +1, Goals conceded -1 2
Taylor (BUR) vs Bournemouth (home) Clean sheet, Impact +1 7
Fernandez (NEW) vs Palace (away) Impact -1 1
Saiss (WOL) vs Norwich (home) Clean sheet, 1 assist, Impact +1 10
Salah (LIV) vs West Ham (home) 1 goal, Impact +1 9
Wijnaldum (LIV) vs West Ham (home) 1 goal, Impact +1 9
Moutinho (WOL) vs Norwich (home) Clean sheet, Impact +1 5
Grealish (AST) vs Southampton (away) 1 yellow, Impact -1 1
Ings (SOU) vs Aston Villa (home) Impact +1 3
Jimenez (WOL) vs Norwich (home) 1 goal, 1 yellow, Impact +1 6

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 28

Formation: 3-4-3|  Budget used: 98.6m

General approach

As a result of Manchester City, Aston Villa, Sheffield United and Arsenal blanking this gameweek, and the Norwich vs Leicester Friday night game not being included in this week’s Weekly Monster selection, pickings were considerably slimmer than usual for gameweek 28. Even though this has a negative impact on the number of available potential game-winners, we did find it slightly easier this week to navigate the budget and build our team selection around the teams we consider to have the most favourable fixtures. Having said that, the fixture list for GW28 overall is not great from a fantasy football point of view, with very few clear favourites at first glance.

For our 11-man team selection this week, we have focused on four teams, namely Liverpool (away vs Watford), Wolves (away vs Spurs), Southampton (away vs West Ham), and Burnley (away vs Newcastle). As you can see, all of these teams are travelling this weekend, which is in part what we were referring to earlier when discussing gameweek 28’s hard-to-predict set of fixtures. Let’s move on to our picks for FanTeam’s Weekly Monster in GW28.

Goalkeeper

Our defensive set-up contains two Burnley players and the first of those two is our goalkeeper, Nick Pope. After last weekend’s sort of fortunate clean sheet against Bournemouth, the young Englishman is now the highest-scoring goalkeeper in FPL and on Fanteam. As a matter of fact, when looking at points earned per million of his price tag (or Points per million), Pope is the most valuable player in the entire official Fantasy Premier League game. Burnley have booked three clean sheets in their last four games and next up is Newcastle, with 12 goals in 13 home games the second-least prolific team in front of their own fans. The Magpies haven’t scored in three PL games and we see a chance for that number to increase by one this weekend.

Defenders

Seeing as we started with Burnley’s goalkeeper, we’ll cover James Tarkowski as our first defender for this week’s Weekly Monster. The budget allowed us to go for Burnley’s most expensive defender this week, which means we have certain coverage from the Safety Net should the Englishman not start on Saturday. Chances of that are extremely slim though, as he has literally not missed a single minute of Premier League action yet this campaign. He went through a productive phase in gameweeks 12 and 13, scoring a goal and providing 2 assists, but he has had no other attacking returns. He did record 10 clean sheets and we’re hoping for an eleventh against Newcastle this weekend. In case of a clean sheet, the Stacking Penalty will apply with just a 1 point deduction.

Our second defender is a repeat from last weekend, when Wolves defender Romain Saiss brought us a victory, a clean sheet and an assist. The remaining 1.4m of our budget allowed us to pick any Wolves defender we want for our current set-up, but we chose to stick with the Moroccan international after his fine displays of late. From his last three Premier League encounters, he has taken 3 clean sheets, 1 assist and 2 bonus points for a total of 23 FPL points over that period. Considering his budget price tag in FPL and on FanTeam, this average of 7.6 points per game is nothing short of fantastic. Up next is an away game against a depleted and largely uninspired Spurs side. Normally, this fixture would not tempt many fantasy managers to pick a Wolves defender, but as things stand currently for both teams, we feel Saiss and Wolves could get away with something here.

With Trent Alexander-Arnold, we have saved the best for last in the coverage of our defensive picks. By now, it starting to feel kind of pointless to go over TAA’s weekly improving stats, simply because the young right-back can’t stop performing, both for his FPL managers and his real-life manager. With 2 goals and 14 assists to his name after 27 games, he is not only this season’s most prolific defender, but one of the most productive defenders in Premier League history. Add to that his 11 clean sheets and 18 bonus points in FPL, and it’s clear why he is the third-best performing FPL asset overall this season. Our budget allowed us to bring him in for this weekend and we all know what he can do, so we hope that he’ll be doing just that against Watford on Saturday evening.

Midfielders

Especially in weekly tournaments like FanTeam’s Weekly Monster, but even in season-long games such as FPL, one of the most relevant returning questions is “Which of the two should I pick?”. The fact that both of the players in question boast similar price tags, similar positions in the team, and similar stats in the Premier League this season does not make the decision any easier. We are, of course, talking about Liverpool’s African attackers, Mo Salah and Sadio Mané. Sometimes, like against West Ham in GW27, both return points, but sometimes Salah outperforms Mané, and sometimes Mané outperforms Salah. Due to their heavy price tags, the key is picking the right one at the right moment. Or is it?

For this week’s Weekly Monster, we decided that it is not and that we’re not going to play this guessing game. Instead, we started our team selection by selecting both Salah and Mané for their away game at Vicarage Road. Salah has been in great form of late, scoring 4 goals, providing 1 assist and being part of 3 clean sheets in his last four games, but Mané did not take long to re-join the race for the Golden Boot after missing gameweeks 24 and 25 through injury. Both in GW26 and GW27, the Senegalese winger scored, which has resulted in 14 points on Fanteam over that period. In other words, both forwards are coming into Saturday’s game in very good form, so the decision we need to make now is who of the two to captain. We’ve gone with Mané for this one, but as it stands now, you can’t go wrong with either one.

Though far away from the Liverpool duo’s respective price tags, our third midfield pick is a premium one this week as well. Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse is the most expensive Saints midfielder for their encounter with West Ham on Saturday afternoon, which means that we are covered by the Safety Net for this one. The English playmaker is in charge of almost every kind of set-piece imaginable for the Saints, which automatically raises is appeal as a fantasy asset. Add to that the fact that West Ham have conceded more goals (14) and more shots inside the box (63) than any other PL outfit over the past four weeks, and you can see why we have pinned some of our hopes on JWP. His stats this season are not out of this world (4 goals, 3 assists, 6 clean sheets), but not bad for a budget pick (in FPL) either and we can definitely see him improve on these figures this weekend.

Our fourth and final midfielder is also the third Burnley player in our team for gameweek 28, midfielder slash singer Dwight McNeil. To begin with, the young Englishman is a mainstay in Sean Dyche’s starting eleven, having started every single Premier League game so far this season. In a team that is not known for its offensive creativity, McNeil is often looked at to provide the creative spark and not without reason. He has scored 2 goals and provided 6 assists already, which represents a direct involvement in just under 25% of Burnley’s goals. He racked up the best fantasy score of his season last weekend (14 points in FPL, 15 points on FanTeam), courtesy of a goal and an assist, and we’re hoping that he can continue this fine form into coming weekend’s away game at Saint James Park.

Forwards

Due to the scarcity of really convincing premium picks on FanTeam this weekend, and thanks to Southampton’s decent current form and upcoming fixture, our forward line contains not one but two Saints. The first of the two is the inevitable Danny Ings, who, despite blanking last weekend at home to Aston Villa, is still in the thick of the Golden Boot race at the moment. His 15 goals (and 1 assist) are nothing short of impressive and West Ham will want to keep him on a tight leash on Saturday. Unfortunately for the Hammers, that is just the thing at which they have seemed largely incapable this campaign, which is illustrated by the 48 goals they have already conceded so far. Only Norwich and Villa have fared worse. Funnily enough, when Ings went on a rampage during a few months between gameweeks 12 and 22, scoring 10 goals in 11 games, the only two teams against which he did not find the net over that run were Chelsea at the Bridge and… West Ham at home! It’s true that the Hammers have potential and have bee  performing way below it this season, but we see Ings returning points in this one.

Joining Ings in attack is fellow Saint Shane Long, who seems to have conquered a spot in Ralph Hasenhüttl’s starting eleven. In the past six Premier League games, the Irish striker has scored 2 goals and provided 1 assist, and all of his FPL bonus points this season (4) were collected over that period as well. On top of that, he played a minimum of 69 minutes in each of these games, which increases his FanTeam Weekly Monster appeal. As we have already mentioned in the previous paragraph about Danny Ings, up next is a West Ham side with performance issues in front of their own fans. Here is to hoping that our duo of Saints forwards can do some damage.

Our final pick for gameweek 28’s Weekly Monster is a personal favourite, a more than steady FPL performer, and one of the finest additions to the Premier League in recent years. Wolves striker Raul Jimenez has been one of the season’s most consistent performers so far, with his 12 goals and 6 assists spread over 15 different games. What we find more interesting though, is the fact that he has so far returned against Burnley at home, Villa at home and Norwich away, to name a few of the easier fixtures, but also against City at home and away, Liverpool at home and Everton away, for example. At a relatively low price (in FPL, at least), Jimenez offers valuable consistency combined with a kind of fixture-proof quality. He is an extremely skilled player who can score against anyone in the league, including away to a toothless Spurs side coming Sunday.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Weekly Monster 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. FISO members could win free ‘Weekly Monster’ entries (worth 20 euros) via the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee. FanTeam have also just launched a 500,000 euro Fantasy Premier League game.

Fanteam Weekly Monster Early Entry Team – GW27

FISO are starting a new series of weekly articles on Fanteam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider (and entering the team that we write about!). This series will focus on Fanteam’s Weekly Monster, a weekly fantasy league based on the Premier League games that kick-off on or after Saturday 3pm UK time with €50,000 worth of guaranteed prize money. That’s every gameweek, in case you were wondering. Our article will focus on a Early Entry for this weekly tournament which will help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek so you can win some of that large prize money. Every gameweek, we will choose a team of eleven players from the selected Premier League matches within a virtual budget of €100 million. In that sense, the Weekly Monster is quite similar to the official Fantasy Premier League game we all know and love.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) Weekly Monster, which has a maximum entry limit of 3,000. Every week, we’ll report back on how our team performed in the previous week. A finish in the top 20% of a given week would see us win part of the prize pool of which the winner normally takes home about €4,000. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool (of which the winner normally gets about €500) 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. By ‘next’ lowest we mean if our player (who doesn’t start) is priced at 7m and two players priced less than him at 6.8m and 6.5m start then our replacement will be the 6.8m player. The automatic replacement is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule means people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster need not 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.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 27’s Fanteam MidWeek Monster is set at 3PM (UK time) on Saturday, February 22nd, 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 3PM games, so you can change your selections accordingly up until the 3PM deadline, but not after.

Gameweek 27 Weekly Monster matches

22/02/20 Sheffield United Brighton
22/02/20 Burnley Bournemouth
22/02/20 Crystal Palace Newcastle
22/02/20 Southampton Aston Villa
22/02/20 Leicester Manchester City
23/02/20 Manchester United Watford
23/02/20 Wolves Norwich
23/02/20 Arsenal Everton
24/02/20 Liverpool West Ham

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 27

Formation: 4-4-2 |  Budget used: €100m

General approach

It seems like fitting a decent 11-man selection within Fanteam’s Weekly Monster budget is becoming harder every week. For gameweek 27, Liverpool, Wolves and Southampton assets are particularly pricey as they are all playing at home against West Ham, Norwich and Aston Villa, respectively. Besides that, other teams with relatively favourable (home) fixtures don’t provide much budget-enabling fun either, with plenty of Burnley (at home to Bournemouth), Palace (at home to Newcastle) and Man United (at home to Watford) assets priced way above average as well.

As a result of the above, we have chosen to go big on the two teams we feel are the clearest favourites for a victory this weekend (Liverpool and Wolves), spending more than 65% of our budget on 6 players from these two outfits. A good result also seems to be on the cards for Southampton this weekend, but a double or triple-up on Saints assets was stretching the budget too much. Instead, we’ve gone for quality over quantity by selecting their star man for another 11.8% of our total budget. That left us with around 20m for our remaining 4 picks. Selection of these 4 players was based on their certainty of being in the starting eleven this weekend in combination with a decent potential to put down a good individual performance, seeing as these players inevitably had to come from teams who are not favourites to win this gameweek, in theory.

Goalkeeper

One of these 4 players is our goalkeeper this week, Kasper Schmeichel. Due to Leicester’s home game against Manchester Cheaty, the Danish shot stopper is one of the cheapest options in goal this weekend, but when looking at total points in Fanteam’s Weekly Monster this season, he is actually the highest-scoring goalie. He has recorded 9 clean sheets this season, conceding a total of 26 goals in 26 games so far. On Fanteam, this has put him on an average of 5.6 points per game. Against City, we’re not expecting a clean sheet, but we do count on a few save points from this budget-enabler.

Defenders

As a result of our approach this weekend and the general budget restrictions, we have opted for a 4-men defence, consisting of 2 premium picks and 2 budget picks. The big man in our backline is Liverpool’s big man and captain, Virgil van Dijk. The Reds booked a disappointing result mid-week against Atletico in Madrid, but confidence is still high and they will be looking to get back to winning ways against West Ham at Anfield coming Monday. The Hammers have scored just 10 goals in 13 games away from home (only Norwich have scored less on the road), while Liverpool have conceded just 9 goals in front of their own fans (the least of all teams in the league), so if there was ever a moment to bet on a clean sheet, this is it. As far as Van Dijk goes, over the past five games, he recorded an impressive 37 points on Fanteam, which comes down to 7.4 points per game on average.

Our second premium defender is Wolves man Romain Saiss, who is welcoming Norwich to Molineux on Sunday. The Moroccan international has become a nailed-on feature of manager Nuno Espirito Santo’s starting lineup and not just because of his defensive solidity. Besides being part of 4 clean sheets, he also has 2 goals to his name this season and no other defender has had more attempts on target than him (5) over the past 2 gameweeks. This weekend’s opponent Norwich has scored just 6 goals on the road so far this season, while conceding 22 goals in those 13 away games. In other words, chances for returns at both ends of the pitch for Saiss.

Due to a home game against Bournemouth this weekend, Burnley players carry relatively heavy price tags in gameweek 27, but we identified Clarets defender Charlie Taylor as one of the most promising Weekly Monster picks priced at 6m or lower. The English left-back started and completed the 90 minutes for Sean Dyche’s team in the last 9 Premier League games, a run in which they recorded 3 clean sheets, and we see no reason for him not starting against Bournemouth on Saturday. The Cherries are one of the most goal-shy sides when away from the comforts of their own stadium, with only Norwich and West Ham scoring less in away games than their 11 goals in 13 encounters. We didn’t pick Taylor for his attacking potential (he has no goals or assists this season), but we do feel he represents a decent chance of a clean sheet.

Our fourth and final defender, and absolute budget-enabler, is the only player in our backline to have an away game this weekend, namely Newcastle’s Federico Fernandez. The Magpies are visiting Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon in a game that has all the makings of a very low-scoring affair. Palace is the overall lowest-scoring team in the league (23 goals), while Newcastle have scored just one more goal than the Eagles. When looking at home games only, Palace is the least prolific team as well (10 goals in 13 home games), while in away games, just 4 teams have scored less than Newcastle’s 12 goals. Goalless draws don’t occur a lot in the Premier League, but we wouldn’t be surprised if this encounter turns out to be one.

Midfielders

Our midfield is rather Liverpool-heavy, with both Mo Salah and Gini Wijnaldum featuring. With their home encounter versus West Ham in mind, the Egyptian dribbler was one of the first names on our team sheet, while the Dutch all-rounder represented a considerably less expensive option than Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain or Mané. Fabinho cost a bit less, but we figured we choose Wijnaldum and count on Fabinho in case the Safety Net needs to be applied when the Dutchman doesn’t start. In the past six Premier League games, Wijnaldum started every one and completed the 90 minutes on four occasions (he got 81 and 60 minutes in the other two games). Considering he has netted just twice so far in the Premier League this season (no assists), we are not counting on attacking returns here, but we do hope for a clean sheet, the full 3 points for playing 90 minutes and hopefully an impact point for an acceptable 5 points.

That’s not what we’re hoping for from Mo Salah, though! Both on Fanteam and in FPL, we expect the Reds star to be one of this gameweek’s most popular captaincy picks and with good reason. When looking at his stats on Fanteam, he has only recorded a score of less than 4 points once in the past 10 gameweeks. What’s more, over that run, he scored 10+ points on no less than 4 occasions and 9 points in 2 games. His points average from the past 10 games: 9.8 points per game. With the previously discussed leaky Hammers defence up next for the Egyptian, that’s the kind of return we’re hoping for from him. Salah is also our captain for gameweek 27.

Besides these two Liverpool aces, we have further stacked our midfield with Wolves playmaker Joao Moutinho. At 11m, he is extremely expensive this weekend, but there were not many other ways into the Wolves midfield for their home game against Norwich. Traoré was an option, but also 0.6m more expensive, and Ruben Neves was considered as well, but we gave preference to Moutinho’s regular set-piece duties. The Portuguese midfielder has scored just a single goal this season, but he does have 7 assists to his name as well. On paper, Sunday’s game looks perfect for him, as Wolves will surely dominate against a team that has scored just 6 goals and conceded 22 goals in 13 away games.

Our fourth midfielder is a single pick based on form and importance to his team. Jack Grealish is not only Aston Villa’s captain, but their most influential and important attacking asset. The 24-year old already sits on 7 goals and 7 assists this season, which represents a direct involvement in more than 41% of Villa’s goals. The Villans are not favourites in their away game at Saint Mary’s this Saturday, but that doesn’t mean that Grealish can’t perform for us on Fanteam. They have been pretty awful on their travels so far (only Norwich has won less than their 8 points), but that’s mainly due to their defensive fragility. In an attacking sense, actually only 7 teams in the entire league have scored more away goals than Villa’s 16 successful attempts. Southampton are probably winning this one, but we can see Grealish doing something for Villa nonetheless.

Forwards

For our forward line, we have gone with a double-up of premiums from Wolves and Southampton. First up is Wolves number nine Raul Jimenez, who is facing a wobbly Norwich defence at Molineux on Sunday. Where our other striker, Danny Ings, has been surrounded by a certain level of (very well-deserved) hype this season, it has been relatively quiet in regard to Jimenez. Maybe that’s because he is not one for huge hauls or simply because we’re so used already to him performing like a world-class striker on a weekly basis, but the reality is that he has actually been directly involved in more goals than Ings. The Southampton star has scored 15 goals and provided 1 assist, while the Wolves ace has 11 goals and 6 assists to his name. Together with Mo Salah, he was the first name on our team sheet for gameweek 27 and he is also our vice-captain this weekend.

As we wrote at the start of this article, we went big on Liverpool and Wolves, which meant that we could not incorporate another three players from Southampton as they prepare for their home encounter with Aston Villa. Instead, we went for quality over quantity and brought in striker Danny Ings. After scoring 10 goals in 11 games between gameweeks 12 and 22, the Englishman went through a bit of a goalscoring dip between gameweeks 23 and 25 before getting himself back on the score sheet last weekend against Burnley. Up next is the league second-leakiest defence in away games, as Saturday’s rival Aston Villa have already taken 26 goals in 13 encounters. The last thing the Villans will want now is to face a Danny Ings working up to another purple scoring patch.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Weekly Monster 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. FISO members could win free ‘Weekly Monster’ entries (worth 20 euros) via the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee. FanTeam have also just launched a 500,000 euro Fantasy Premier League game.

Fanteam Champions League Knockout Freeze 100K – FISO’s Team 2

As expected, with the Champions League knockout phase finally kicking off coming Tuesday, Fanteam has created another big-money tournament called the Champions League Knockout Freeze 100K. Yes, in case you were wondering, that “100K” refers to the total prize pool for this one, with the number one player taking home a whopping €25,000 at the end of this year’s Champions League season. We will briefly go over some of the game’s key characteristics before picking our 15-man squad. Currently there are only less than 600 teams entered (with a maximum 7,500 allowed).

First of all, this tournament is called a “Freeze”, because you will not be able to change anything about your team, once the deadline (set at 20h00 on Tuesday, February 18th) has passed. That means no more transfers, no more captain changes, no more changes to your bench, nothing. Each team consists of 15 players from the 16 teams still active in the Champions League, 11 of which are starters while the remaining 4 players form your bench. Like in FPL, the order of your bench matters when one or more of your players don’t start. Do keep this in mind, because in an ideal scenario, you are selecting players for 7 games (Round of 16 to the Final), spread over a few months time and it’s likely some of your players won’t start every game.

So, in that sense, it’s similar to the FPL approach, but without the possibility of interventions. As far as comparisons to Fanteam’s Weekly Monster go, it is very important to note that neither the Stacking Penalty (when points are deducted from clean sheet returns if you own more than one player from the team in question) nor the Safety Net (which automatically changes a player of yours that doesn’t start for the next-cheapest player in the same position bracket of the same team) are active. Here is a summary of the tournament rules:

As part of the preparation for the Champions League Knockout Freeze 100K, we will be publishing two pieces with recommended picks for a 15-man squad of which this article is the second. For the first piece, we decided to take the odds* of qualifying for the next round of each team as a foundation for our team selection. After all, you want to have as many players that stay in the tournament as long as possible. For this second piece, we will be taking the odds into account as well, but we will be leaning more towards our own predictions and aiming at including more differential picks. To give an example: for the Real Madrid-Manchester City game, the bookies give odds of 17/10 and 5/9, respectively, but in our opinion, in current form, Real Madrid might actually be the slight favourite here. This type of perceptional differences will be reflected in the differences between this article’s team selection and the one elaborated on in the previous article.

*We have used the compounded odds for this market provided by oddschecker.com.

Current odds to qualify for the quarter finals

Team Odds to qualify   Team Odds to qualify
Atletico Madrid 28/11   Liverpool 1/3
Dortmund 14/5   PSG 2/5
Atalanta 11/13   Valencia 21/20
Spurs 21/20   RB Leipzig 5/6
Chelsea 16/5   Bayern 2/7
Napoli 38/11   Barcelona 2/7
Lyon 57/10   Juventus 03/19
Real Madrid 17/10   Manchester City 05/09

This means that the 5 teams most likely to qualify for the quarter finals are, from most to least likely: Juventus, Bayern, Barcelona, Liverpool and PSG. These are relatively closely followed by Manchester City, RB Leipzig and Atalanta. In comparison to our first article for the Fanteam Champions League Freeze, our second selection features 6 repeated picks: goalkeeper Ospina, midfielders Pjanic, Henderson, and Busquets, and forwards Messi and Ronaldo. Much of the team focus has remained the same (i.e. picks from Liverpool, Juventus, Bayern and Barça), but we have also included 2 Real Madrid picks as we feel they could end up eliminating Man City, plus a couple of real differentials that help us cover a potential unexpected Round of 16 upset.

FORWARDS

As we did for our first article, we are again starting this piece with our forward picks, due to the simple reason that just over 32% of our total budget was spent on filling the three forward slots. Two of these picks were no-brainers in our opinion, as Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo  have been so dominant in the Champions League over the past decade or so that it sounds like madness to not include them in this or any CL Freeze team selection. Our third forward pick is Real Madrid number nine Karim Benzema, whose replaces Lewandowski in comparison to our first selection and frees up an additional 3.5m in the process. Seeing as we already covered some of our main reasons for picking Messi and Ronaldo in our first Champions League Freeze article, based on a few irrefutable stats regarding the Champions League and its knockout stages in particular, we will give you another opportunity here to let them sink in.

Both Messi and Ronaldo have been relatively quiet during this campaign’s group stages with two goals a piece, but that doesn’t necessarily say much. They are two of the best, if not the very best, players world football has ever seen and the knockout stages of the Champions League are what they live for. In the history of the Champions League, for example, they occupy positions 1 and 2 when it comes to goals scored in the Round of 16 (Messi with 26 goals and Ronaldo with 23). What’s more, when looking at the most goals scored in the CL knockout stages overall in history, Ronaldo is first (65 goals in 126 games) and Messi is second (41 goals in 112 games). Benzema is actually eight, with 15 goals from 47 games. As a matter of fact, these three living legends take up three of the five spots in the all-time list of UEFA Champions League goalscorers (Ronaldo first with 128 goals, Messi second with 114 goals and Benzema fourth with 64 goals).

As far as Benzema goes, his start to this season’s Champions League campaign has been decent with 4 goals and 2 assists from 5 group stage games in which he played 90 minutes and one game, the final one, in which he featured just 13 minutes. The French striker is manager Zinedine Zidane´s absolute preferred option up front and any new success in the CL will see plenty of involvement from his side. It wasn’t easy to drop Lewandowski for him, especially not when you consider Benz is playing City and Lewa is playing Chelsea, but it did free up plenty of funds to distribute elsewhere in the team. Plus, we have a feeling that, in part due to the bookies marking City as favourites to win this tie, Benzema might end up with a bit of a differential status in Fanteam’s CL Freeze tournament.

Cristiano Ronaldo is our captain and Lionel Messi our vice-captain.

MIDFIELDERS

The big difference between our midfield in this article and the midfield we selected for our first Champions League Freeze 100K tournament is the presence of a big name and premium asset in this one, namely Liverpool’s Mo Salah. Like Benzema, he sits on 4 goals and 2 assists from 6 group stage game, the main difference being that the Egyptian only missed a single minute of the group games. That’s just one goal short of his total production last season, when the Reds took home club football’s most prestigious prize for the sixth time in their history. The Round of 16 encounter with Atletico is going to be a very tough one as manager Diego Simeone has once again moulded his team into one of the most solid defensive units in the top-5 European competitions. With 15 goals conceded in 23 La Liga games, they are right behind arch rivals Real Madrid (14 in 23) and Premier League leaders Liverpool (15 in 25). We believe the Reds will overcome this hurdle though, especially considering their 22-point domestic lead, and we can only see Salah’s role in the Champions League grow from here.

Our second midfield asset is a repeat from our previous, bookmaker odds-based article, so we will repeat our motivation behind this pick. Miralem Pjanic, has missed just 3 minutes of Champions League group stage football for Juventus and averages 5.2 points on Fanteam this season. He has not scored or assisted yet in Europe this season, but the double encounter with Lyon might be a good chance for him to get off the mark. The Bosnian technician is a crucial key in coach Maurizio Sarri’s midfield, he is on plenty of set-pieces, and he will be instrumental in their push for European glory this season.

The second of our three repeated picks in midfield is Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, who has been in outstanding form domestically of late. Over the past three games (not counting this weekend’s encounter with Norwich), the Englishman scored 2 goals, provided 2 assists, helped the Reds get 2 clean sheets, and brought the few FPL managers who own him an impressive 29 points. Like with his team mate Salah, Liverpool currently being 22 points ahead of number two Manchester City in the Premier League has us thinking that Henderson will be starting and completing every single Champions League game until they either get eliminated or consolidate their status as Champions League winners a second year in a row.

As our fourth midfielder, we have gone with Bayern youngster Leon Goretzka. The German attacking midfielder missed out on the first half of the group stage this season due to an ankle injury and he was left out of the starting eleven for Bayern’s last group game (when they had already qualified for the Round of 16). That’s why, when solely looking at his stats this campaign, he might not grab your attention. Goretzka is a part of Bayern coach Hansi Flick’s starting eleven though, and in the two games that he did play during the CL group stage, he scored a goal and was part of 2 clean sheets. In Fanteam, this plus his three minutes in the final group game has resulted in 15 points, which is not bad at all.

Finally, our fifth midfielder is Barça veteran Sergio Busquets, and for the same reasons as those justifying his selection in our previous article. The combination of being a regular starter for one of the favourites in not just this Round of 16 tie, but in the tournament overall, and his absolute bargain price tag makes him the ultimate budget enabler in this Champions League Freeze tournament. True, his performances in the Champions League have not been phenomenal so far this season, with an average of 70 minutes played and just 1.8 points recorded on Fanteam over this campaign’s six group stage games, but as a fifth midfielder on our bench, we could do much worse.

DEFENDERS

In defence, we have gone for a similar structure as in our first article, namely two premium picks, one player from the category just below, and two budget/differential picks.

Starting with the premiums, we have gone with Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson and Bayern left-back Benjamin Pavard, who are facing Atletico Madrid and Chelsea, respectively. The former is a nailed-on starter for Jurgen Klopp, but he did miss playing minutes in games 3 and 4 of the group stage as he was rested a few times in that period. He played 63 minutes and 16 minutes in those games, respectively, but he completed the 90 minutes in the other four group games. Despite missing out on some playing time, Robertson still sits on an average of 3.5 points per game in Fanteam, in part due to 1 goal and 2 clean sheets. Pavard, on the other hand, could not be more nailed-on as part of a starting eleven, having missed not a single minute of Champions League action so far this season. Not only did he help his team bring home 3 clean sheets from 6 games, but he also contributed offensively with 2 assists over that run of games. Up next is Chelsea, and even though we don’t necessarily expect clean sheets for the Frenchman here, we do feel confident that Bayern will qualify. If Pavard can take advantage of Chelsea’s occasional shaky defending, all the better.

Should the Blues surprise and eliminate Bayern instead, Chelsea budget defender Kurt Zouma remains in our team for at least another round of the knockout stages. The French central defender currently finds himself just outside the top-10 highest-scoring defender in Fanteam’s Champions League tournament, which is in big part thanks to his 2 clean sheets and 2 goals. What increases his appeal from a CL Freeze point of view is that he has so far missed just 17 minutes of the 2019-2020 Champions League campaign, in the first group game against Valencia. The harsh reality is that in our current set-up, either Zouma or Pavard will be out of the Champions League after the Round of 16, but the good thing is that one of them will for sure be in quarter finals. We felt this is a calculated risk, considering the fact that we have 5 defenders to fill 3 slots.

In our team, Real Madrid’s Dani Carvajal is just in front of Zouma in the picking order though, forming our starting defensive line-up together with Robertson and Pavard. The Spanish defender is Zinedine Zidane’s preferred (and in reality possibly only real) option at right-back and we expect him to start every game in Europe. From a defensive point of view, it’s unlikely that Carvajal will be getting much joy from the Round of 16 encounter with Manchester City, but he is part of our strategy involving the scenario in which Real eliminate City from European football in the coming weeks. During the group stage, he completed the 90 minutes in all but the last game, for which he was rested, and he currently boasts a Fanteam points average of just under 4 points per game. The Spaniard was part of 2 clean sheets and he also provided an assist in the 6-0 home victory over Galatasaray.

Finally, another budget pick and with this one, we wanted to go differential for real. In our opinion, the Spurs versus Leipzig game is probably one of the most difficult to predict in this Round of 16. The combination of Spurs’ so-so form and equal playing style, and Leipzig’s status as serious challenger for the Bundesliga title this year (they are actually leaders at this moment) make this a very interesting game. We can see more than a few scenarios in which the Red Bull team overwhelms Spurs with their energetic, offensive play and probably not many CL Freeze player will be rooting for the Germans to pass this round. This is why Leipzig right-back Lukas Klostermann makes our bench. The young German defender is a mainstay in manager Julian Nagelsmann starting eleven, which is why he has not missed a single minute of 5 out of 6 group games this season. On top of that, he also has a clean sheet and an assist to his name, giving him an average of 3 points per game on Fanteam.

GOALKEEPERS

Finally, our goalkeepers. Due to extreme budget restrictions in this Champions League Freeze tournament, we decided to go with one nailed-on starter, which meant a relatively expensive pick, and one budget-enabling bench fodder kind of pick. Following this approach, we came up with a combination of Juventus shot stopper Wojciech Szczesny and Napoli’s reserve goalie, David Ospina. In our first article, we took a similar approach and ended up with Alisson and Ospina.

On paper, Juventus has one of the easier match-ups in this Round of 16 with a double encounter against French side Olympique Lyon. In the group stages, only PSG conceded less goals than Juventus (2 vs. 4) and only three teams matched Juve’s defensive performance (Man City, Barcelona and Napoli). Domestically, where Szczesny is rested in favour of living legend Gianluigi Buffon from time to time, only Inter and Lazio have so far conceded less than Juve’s 23 goals in 23 games. The Polish goalie played the full 90 minutes in all but one group game (the sixth and last game) and over that run, he recorded a more than decent 28 points on Fanteam, courtesy of 2 clean sheets, 14 saves and 4 impact points. If he can keep up his current average of 5.6 points per game until very late in the tournament, we’ll be more than happy.

Our second goalkeeper Ospina is not expected to play a single minute in this Champions League Freeze 100k tournament. He was the cheapest available keeper and allowed us to save another million or so to spend elsewhere in our team.

This team has been entered into the 25 euro FanTeam Champions League Freeze 100k and we hope to report back that we’ve shared in the 100,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum. FISO members could win free ‘Weekly Monster’ entries (worth 20 euros) via the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee. FanTeam have also just launched a 500,000 euro Fantasy Premier League game.

Fanteam Champions League Knockout Freeze 100K – FISO’s Team 1

As expected, with the Champions League knockout phase finally kicking off coming Tuesday, Fanteam has created another big-money tournament called the Champions League Knockout Freeze 100K. Yes, in case you were wondering, that “100K” refers to the total prize pool for this one, with the number one player taking home a whopping €25,000 at the end of this year’s Champions League season. We will briefly go over some of the game’s key characteristics before picking our 15-man squad.

First of all, this tournament is called a “Freeze”, because you will not be able to change anything about your team, once the deadline (set at 20h00 on Tuesday, February 18th) has passed. That means no more transfers, no more captain changes, no more changes to your bench, nothing. Each team consists of 15 players from the 16 teams still active in the Champions League, 11 of which are starters while the remaining 4 players form your bench. Like in FPL, the order of your bench matters when one or more of your players don’t start. Do keep this in mind, because in an ideal scenario, you are selecting players for 7 games (Round of 16 to the Final), spread over a few months time and it’s likely some of your players won’t start every game.

So, in that sense, it’s similar to the FPL approach, but without the possibility of interventions. As far as comparisons to Fanteam’s Weekly Monster go, it is very important to note that neither the Stacking Penalty (when points are deducted from clean sheet returns if you own more than one player from the team in question) nor the Safety Net (which automatically changes a player of yours that doesn’t start for the next-cheapest player in the same position bracket of the same team) are active. Here is a summary of the tournament rules:

As part of the preparation for the Champions League Knockout Freeze 100K, we will be publishing two pieces with recommended picks for a 15-man squad of which this article is the first and here is a link to the 2nd. For this piece, we have decided to take the odds* of qualifying for the next round of each team as a foundation for our team selection. After all, you want to have as many players that stay in the tournament as long as possible. For the second piece, we will be taking the odds into account as well, but we will be leaning more towards our own predictions and aiming at including more differential picks. To give an example: for the Real Madrid-Manchester City game, the bookies give odds of 17/10 and 5/9, respectively, but in our opinion, in current form, Real Madrid might actually be the slight favourite here. This type of perceptional differences will be reflected in the differences between this article’s team selection and the one for the next article.

*We have used the compounded odds for this market provided by oddschecker.com.

Current odds to qualify for the quarter finals

Team Odds to qualify   Team Odds to qualify
Atletico Madrid 28/11   Liverpool 1/3
Dortmund 14/5   PSG 2/5
Atalanta 11/13   Valencia 21/20
Spurs 21/20   RB Leipzig 5/6
Chelsea 16/5   Bayern 2/7
Napoli 38/11   Barcelona 2/7
Lyon 57/10   Juventus 03/19
Real Madrid 17/10   Manchester City 05/09

This means that the 5 teams most likely to qualify for the quarter finals are, from most to least likely, Juventus, Bayern, Barcelona, Liverpool and PSG. Staying true to our chosen approach for our first team selection for the Champions League Freeze, we managed to squeeze in 12 players from these teams. Seeing as the favourites for qualification generally also boost the most expensive players, we have based our choices largely on two parameters, namely that the player needs to be a sure starter on a team that is heavy favourite to go through. In combination with our choice to go all-in on forwards, this approach can give you a more than decent 11, 12 players, but a relatively more fodder-like selection on the bench.

FORWARDS

We usually start with our goalkeeper pick and work our way up the pitch, so to say, but seeing as just under 35% of our total 108m budget was spent on this line, we are starting with it this time. By picking Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo and Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski, we have gone with proven track records, to put it mildly. As a matter of fact, these three living legends take up three of the five spots in the all-time list of UEFA Champions League goalscorers (Ronaldo first with 128 goals, Messi second with 114 goals and Lewandowski fifth with 63 goals).

As far as this Champions League season goes, Lewandowski is top of the list with 10 goals in 6 games. Just like last year, he has the most goals behind his name after the tournament’s group stage. His next opponent is Chelsea, who have been generally good this season, but lacking defensive solidity from time to time. To give you an idea of their current situation: the Blues are placed fourth in the Premier League, but they have already conceded 34 goals in 25 games. Only one team in the top half of the table has conceded more so far (Everton, 38 goals).

Both Messi and Ronaldo have been relatively quiet during this campaign’s group stages with two goals a piece, but basically, that doesn’t necessarily say much. They are two of the best, if not the very best, players world football has ever seen and the knockout stages of the Champions League are what they live for. In the history of the Champions League, for example, they occupy positions 1 and 2 when it comes to goals scored in the Round of 16 (Messi with 26 goals and Ronaldo with 23). What’s more, when looking at the most goals scored in the CL knockout stages overall in history, Ronaldo is first (65 goals in 126 games) and Messi is second (41 goals in 112 games). Lewandowski is actually fourth, with 19 goals in 53 games.

What we are trying to say is that this is the type of player teams look to in the biggest games, because they know how to deliver and usually do so. With Messi facing Napoli, Ronaldo facing Lyon and Lewa facing Chelsea, we are not only hoping that they will return big for our team during the Round of 16, but until (much) later in the tournament as well.

Cristiano Ronaldo is our captain and Lewandowski our vice-captain.

DEFENDERS

It might feel a bit strange to start with our forwards and then continue with our defensive picks, but there is (some) logic to the madness. Picking Messi, Ronaldo and Lewandowski put some serious pressure on our budget, as it has left us with 70.5m to bring in 12 more players, with as many of those picks as possible coming from the previously mentioned bookies’ favourites. That’s an average of 5.8m  budget per pick, which is not a lot.

Considering the relatively lower prices of defenders, we figured it would be necessary to pick a few defenders first, before moving on the midfield and the goalkeepers. We were planning to play with a 3-men defence, consisting of 2 premium picks, 2 from the category just below, and 1 cheap, but starting defender on the bench.

As premiums, we have gone with Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich, who are facing Atletico Madrid and Chelsea, respectively. The former is the reigning European champion’s captain and as nailed-on as they come, while the latter is versatile nailed-on starter who generally plays right-back, but is also posted on the midfield at times. In addition to that, he gets some set-piece duties as well. Atletico Madrid are struggling more than a bit in front of goal, which is underlined by the fact that only seven teams in the entire Spanish Primera Division have scored less than their 25 goals so far this season. Bayern opponent Chelsea finds the net a lot easier, but they also leave the back a lot more open and we expect Bayern to eliminate Lampard’s men over two games. Both Van Dijk and Kimmich should bring in some points this round and qualify for the quarter finals as well.

We were pleasantly surprised about Leonardo Bonucci‘s price tag, which placed him in the category just under the premium picks. In the long-term absence of Chiellini, the Italian veteran leads the Old Lady’s defensive line, which assures him of starts and usually 90 minutes of playing time. He was only left out of one group stage game, the last one against Leverkusen when Juve had already qualified for the knockout stages, and he played 90 minutes in the other five games. In those games, he recorded 2 clean sheets and received 1 yellow card, bringing him to 20 points on Fanteam and an average of 4 points per game played. Juventus are facing Lyon in the Round of 16 and we are hoping for another shut-out (or two!) for the reigning Italian champions.

Our final two defensive picks are PSG’s Marquinhos, who also plays in midfield at times, and our budget pick, Napoli defender Manolas. The former only missed 20 minutes of the group stage this season as he was taken off after 70 minutes in the first group game, while the latter missed 2 group games due to fitness issues, but played the full 90 minutes in the other 4 games. In other words, they are both nailed-on starters for their teams. Both are facing teams, Dortmund and Barcelona respectively, that on a good day can score a bunch of goals against any team in Europe, but the bookmakers feel PSG are favourites against Dortmund. They don’t in the case of Manolas and Napoli versus Barcelona, but when he was playing for AS Roma during the 2017/2018 season, it was the Greek’s header that sealed a historic comeback for the Italians and a dramatic exit for the Catalans. Who knows, maybe Napoli surprises the bookies and Manolas scores another winner. In any case, he is our fifth defender.

MIDFIELDERS

As a result of our approach so far, we needed to make some important concessions in midfield in order to make the budget fit. This has given us a very decent lineup consisting of starting eleven players from the favourites to qualify for the quarter finals, but not all of them are directly involved in their teams’ goals on a regular basis. Most of them are playmaking central midfielders, some of them with set-piece duties.

We’re starting with Miralem Pjanic, who missed just 3 minutes of Champions League group stage football for Juventus and averages 5.2 points on Fanteam this season. He has not scored or assisted yet in Europe this season, but the double encounter with Lyon might be a good chance for him to get off the mark. He is a crucial key in coach Maurizio Sarri’s midfield, he is on plenty of set-pieces, and he will be instrumental in their push for European glory this season.

From FC Barcelona, we have chosen two midfielders who should be assured of a starting spot in the games of the CL knockout stages. In a season full of turmoil for Barcelona at an executive level, to such an extent that the performances on the pitch seem to have suffered at times, new arrival Frenkie de Jong is a regular ray of light. The ex-Ajax man needed little to no time to convince everyone at the club that he is the present and future of their first team, but the question remains when the coach (first Valverde, now Sétien) stops moving him throughout the team and installs him in his preferred central midfield position. He has probably been Barcelona’s best player so far this season, behind Messi of course, and his protagonism in the team will only keep growing. Frenkie is mostly the playmaking midfielder, the man providing the pre-assist, but with the likes of Messi and Griezmann in front of you, he could be directly involved in a goal at any moment. Just check out his recent goal against Real Betis after a combination with Messi.

Our second Barça midfielder is Sergio Busquets, due to the combination of being a starting player at one of the favourites for not just their Round of 16 tie, but for the final victory, and his absolute bargain price tag. True, his performances in the Champions League have not been phenomenal so far this season, with an average of 70 minutes played and just 1.8 points recorded on Fanteam over this campaign’s six group stage games, but as a fifth midfielder on our bench, we could do much worse.

The remaining two spots in our midfield are being occupied by PSG’s Marco Verratti and Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson. With the Italian midfielder, we have selected another player who played 90 minutes in all but one group game (the last one, when PSG was already qualified). He has no direct goal involvements to his name so far, but he did record 4 clean sheets and an average of 3.7 points on Fanteam over 6 games. With Henderson then, we have gone for another team captain and one who has been in extraordinary form domestically of late. In FPL, he has scored an incredible 29 points over the past three gameweeks, courtesy of a probably unprecedented 2 goals, 2 assists and 2 clean sheets in three games. With the Reds currently 22 points ahead of number two Man City in the Premier League, we can see Henderson starting and completing every single Champions League game until they either get eliminated or consolidate their status as Champions League winners a second year in a row.

GOALKEEPERS

Finally, our goalkeepers. Due to extreme budget restrictions, we decided to go with one nailed-on starter, which meant an expensive pick, and one budget-enabling bench fodder kind of pick. Following this approach, we came up with a combination of Liverpool’s Alisson and Napoli’s reserve goalie, David Ospina.

The reasoning behind Alisson’s selection is very similar to that of Virgil van Dijk, in the sense that the Reds are facing an Atletico side with very little attacking threat in them. Besides that, he is the unchallenged number one between the posts and in case a situation occurs in this second half of the season in which Jurgen Klopp needs to pick a game to rest the Brazilian, the 22-point lead in the Premier League should lead to that game being a domestic one, not a European one. In other words, the Premier League’s best goalkeeper and one of the best goalkeepers in the world overall should be starting every CL knockout stage game as part of one of the most solid defensive units in European football.

As a result of that certainty (though nothing is ever completely sure in football), our second goalkeeper Ospina is not expected to play a single minute in this Champions League Freeze 100k tournament. He was the cheapest available keeper and allowed us to save another million or so to spend elsewhere in our team.

This team has been entered into the 25 euro FanTeam Champions League Freeze 100k and we hope to report back that we’ve shared in the 100,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum. FISO members could win free ‘Weekly Monster’ entries (worth 20 euros) via the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee. FanTeam have also just launched a 500,000 euro Fantasy Premier League game.

Fanteam Weekly Monster Early Entry Team – GW26 Part 2

FISO are starting a new series of weekly articles on Fanteam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider (and entering the team that we write about!). This series will focus on Fanteam’s Weekly Monster, a weekly fantasy league based on the weekend Premier League games. Our article will focus on a Early Entry for this weekly tournament which will help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek so you can win some of that large prize money.

This gameweek round, due to the winter break, is split up into two weekends. As a result, the classic Fanteam Weekly Monster format with a 50,000 euro prize pool based on nine Premier League games was replaced last weekend by the Weekend Big Four 15k and for this weekend by the Weekend Big Five 20k . The concept is identical, but it involves only the five games of GW26 that are being played this weekend and the prize pool sits at 20,000 euros.

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. By ‘next’ lowest we mean if our player (who doesn’t start) is priced at 7m and two players priced less than him at 6.8m and 6.5m start then our replacement will be the 6.8m player. The automatic replacement is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule means people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster need not 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.

The deadline for this gameweek is set at 12h30 (UK time) on Saturday, February 15th, 2020.

Gameweek 26 Weekend Big Five matches

15/02/20 12:30 Southampton Burnley
15/02/20 17:30 Norwich Liverpool
16/02/20 14:00 Aston Villa Spurs
16/02/20 16:30 Arsenal Newcastle
17/02/20 20:00 Chelsea Manchester United

Our team for the Weekend Big Five 20K in gameweek 26 – part 2

Formation: 2-2-2 |  Budget used: €54.9m (budget 55m)

Goalkeeper

Instead of recommending a goalkeeper here, as we would usually do, we’re using this space instead to elaborate a bit on this week’s Big Five game, starting with why we haven’t selected a goalkeeper this week. In the second weekend of gameweek 26 of Fanteam’s Weekly Monster, called the Weekend Big Five, the number of available matches to pick players from was reduced to five and instead of selecting 11 players, we had to select just 6. We could do so in any formation we wanted (a 0-3-3, for example), there was no limit on the number of picks from a specific team, and there was no possibility to select a goalkeeper this week.

The second part of this gameweek provides us with a bit more variation when it comes to favourable fixtures, with Liverpool visiting Norwich, Southampton hosting Burnley, Arsenal welcoming Newcastle to the Emirates and Spurs going to Villa Park. The clash of the weekend is the Monday night encounter between Chelsea and Man United. On paper, the Southampton home game and the Liverpool away game are probably the most appealing fixtures this weekend, but due to the high prices of Liverpool assets and the relatively heavy price tags of Saints players, it was quite hard to load our team with potentially big-hitters from just those two teams. We have ended up going for three Reds, two Saints and one part differential, part punt, part budget-enabler in a 2-2-2 formation. We will also have a chance to see the starting line-ups for Southampton but it’s only their match v Burnley that fantasy managers can see the starting line-ups for this weekend before the entry deadline. Fingers crossed that neither the Liverpool or Southampton matches are postponed (for more than 48 hours) as the Man City v West Ham match was last weekend which meant the Man City players on our team scored no points.

Defenders

After 9 clean sheets in the last 10 Premier League games, it was kind of hard not to start off our defensive picks for the Weekend Big Five with a Liverpool player. Out of budget considerations, we have gone with Joe Gomez. Coincidence or not, Liverpool’s previously mentioned run of clean sheets started in gameweek 16, when Gomez got his first full 90 minutes since gameweek 1. Contrary to his fellow Reds defenders, the young Englishman has not recorded any attacking return over that period, which explains his lower price in the Big Five this weekend as well, but he did total 58 points in the official Fantasy Premier League game (9 clean sheets, 5 bonus points). In the Big Five this weekend, only Matip and Williams are cheaper defenders than Gomez, which largely removes the safety net for this pick in case he doesn’t start at Carrow Road. That is, unless Matip starts in his place, but we expect Gomez to be in the starting lineup on Sunday.

Our second defender this weekend is Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand, who is facing Burnley at Saint Mary’s. The Saints have been improving defensively of late, with all of their three clean sheets this season coming in the last 8 games (Chelsea away, Spurs home, Palace away), while only Norwich, Watford, Bournemouth and West Ham have netted fewer times on their travels than Burnley’s 12 goals. In other words, this could turn out to be a low-scoring affair, though with the Premier League you never quite know. As far as Bertrand himself goes, his season has been relatively quiet this season, with 3 clean sheets, a goal and an assist from 25 games to his name so far. He does play on the far left of manager Ralph Hasenhüttl’s five-men defence, which sees him positioned higher up the pitch for large parts of their games. We are hoping that Burnley manager Sean Dyche will have a defensive approach to this game that allows Southampton’s defenders to have possession closer to the Burnley goal, and that Bertrand will benefit from this in terms of returns at both ends of the pitch.

Midfielders

Seeing as we have gone heaviest in attack this weekend, our midfield consists of Jordan Henderson and Manchester United’s Anthony Martial. The former is in great form with 2 goals, 2 assists and 2 clean sheets from his last 3 Premier League games, while the latter is not in great form with just a single goal over his last 4 PL games.

Henderson is not only a sure starter in Jurgen Klopp’s ideal eleven, but the captain of the Reds as well. The England international has been going through something of purple patch lately, as he is not generally known as a fantasy asset that provides regular attacking returns. After 25 games this season, he sits on 3 goals and 4 assists, of which, like we wrote earlier, 2 goals and 2 assists came since gameweek 24. Up next for the Reds is Norwich and no team has conceded more at home than the Canaries 25 goals in 12 games (if we are ignoring the 0-9 result from the Soton-Leicester game in GW10). At the same time, Liverpool has already scored 25 times away from home and 9 of those goals were scored in their last 4 away games. With Leicester, Spurs, Wolves and West Ham the opponents in those games, we are hoping that Norwich won’t be too much of an obstacle to scoring a few more on Sunday.

Then there is Anthony Martial, largely struggling out-of-position striker at a largely struggling Manchester United side. The Frenchman’s price tag in the Weekend Big Five played a big role in this pick, because looks like one of the picks with most (differential) potential after having loading up on Liverpool and Southampton players. There is a bit more to it though, because Chelsea have actually been far from stable in front of their own fans this season.

  TOTAL HOME  (% of total) AWAY
GOALS SCORED 43 16  (37%) 27
GOALS CONCEDED 34 12  (35%) 22
POINTS 41 18  (44%) 23
PL RANKING 4th 10th 3rd

We are not saying that United are favourites here, the Red Devils have their own issues to deal with after all, but we can see them being successful on the counter in this one, despite Rashford’s absence. Martial and co have shown this season that they are more comfortable when the other team dominates possession and seeing as that is what we expect from Chelsea in this game, there might be something in it here for the Frenchman on Monday. After three consecutive blanks, he will be desperate to return to the form he displayed between gameweeks 19 and 22 (4 goals in 4 games).

Forwards

Most of our budget for the Weekend Big Five has been spent on forwards, starting with Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino. As basically every season since arriving from Hoffenheim in June of 2015, the Brazilian attacker is proving a key cog in Jurgen Klopp’s highly successful formation. He has scored 8 goals and provided the same number of assists so far this season, and the first of those returns (an assist in GW1) actually came at Anfield against Sunday’s opponents, Norwich. Apart from the fact that Bobby is as nailed-on a starter as they come in the Premier League, there is another, statistically viable reason for splashing the cash on him this weekend, namely his away record this season: all of his goals and 1 of his assists was recorded away from Anfield. The Canaries boast the Leagues leakiest defence in total (47 goals conceded, joint with Villa) and in home games (25 conceded, joint with West Ham and not counting Southampton’s 0-9 defeat). We figured that the combination of Firmino’s excellent away form and Norwich’ general defensive issues has all of the makings of a big haul. He is also our captain.

In attack, the Liverpool man is joined by Southampton striker Danny Ings, who is having the most prolific campaign of his Premier League career this season. It’s true that he hasn’t recorded an attacking return since gameweek 22, but it should be noted that the three games since then saw him face Wolves at home (completed the 90 minutes), Palace away (played 20 minutes) and Liverpool away (played 69 minutes). Between GW7 and GW22 though, the English forward scored an impressive 13 goals to bring his season tallies to 14 goals and 1 assist. The first game of the Weekend Big Five is Southampton’s encounter with Burnley at Saint Mary’s and we’re hoping that this is the one in which Ings finds his scoring boots once again to go on another goal-scoring run of game-changing proportions. As far as the Clarets go, they are having a decent mid-table season overall, but the 20 goals conceded in just 12 away games will probably be worrying manages Sean Dyche a bit, especially now that his men are preparing to face one of this season’s most lethal strikers. Ings is also our vice-captain this weekend.

This team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Big Five 20k and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 15,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum. FISO members could win free ‘Weekly Monster’ entries (worth 20 euros) via the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee. FanTeam have also just launched a 500,000 euro Fantasy Premier League game.

Fanteam Weekly Monster Early Entry Team – GW26 Part 1

FISO are starting a new series of weekly articles on Fanteam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider (and entering the team that we write about!). This series will focus on Fanteam’s Weekly Monster, a weekly fantasy league based on the weekend Premier League games. Our article will focus on a Early Entry for this weekly tournament which will help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek so you can win some of that large prize money.

This weekend’s round, due to the winter break, is split up into two weekends. As a result, the classic Fanteam Weekly Monster format with a 50,000 euro prize pool based on nine Premier League games has been replaced this weekend by the Weekend Big Four 15k for this gameweek. The concept is identical, but it involves only the four games of GW26 that are being played this weekend and the prize pool sits at 15,000 euros.

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. By ‘next’ lowest we mean if our player (who doesn’t start) is priced at 7m and two players priced less than him at 6.8m and 6.5m start then our replacement will be the 6.8m player. The automatic replacement is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule means people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster need not 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.

The deadline for the Weekend Big Four 15K tournament is set at 12h30 (UK time) on Saturday, February 8th, 2020.

Gameweek 26 Weekend Big Four matches

08/02/20 Everton Crystal Palace
08/02/20 Brighton Watford
09/02/20 Sheffield United Bournemouth
09/02/20 Manchester City West Ham

How did our Weekly Monster team fare in gameweek 25?

Formation: 3-4-3  | GW24 finish: 432nd/2566 |  Prize: €31

NAME (club) (opponent) RETURNS POINTS
Fabianski (WHU) (Brighton H) 4 saves 3
Clark (NEW) (Norwich H) Clean sheet 6
Lascelles (NEW) (Norwich H) Clean sheet 6
Alexander-Arnold (LIV) Southampton H) Clean sheet 7
C Salah (LIV) (Southampton H) 2 goals, clean sheet 15
Almiron (NEW) (Norwich H) Clean sheet 4
Noble (WHU) (Brighton H) /// 3
Grealish (AST) (Bournemouth a) /// 2
VC Firmino (LIV) (Southampton H) 3 assists 13
Haller (WHU) (Brighton H) /// 3
Jimenez (WOL) (Man United a) /// 2

Our team suggestion for the Big Four 15k in gameweek 26 – part 1

Formation: 3-2-1 |  Budget used: €60m (complete)

Goalkeeper

Instead of recommending a goalkeeper here, as we would usually do, we’re using this space instead to elaborate a bit on this week’s Big Four game, starting with why we haven’t selected a goalkeeper this week. In gameweek 26 of Fanteam’s Weekly Monster, the number of available matches to pick players from was reduced to four and instead of selecting 11 players, we had to select just 6. We could do so in any formation we wanted (a 0-3-3, for example), there was no limit on the number of picks from a specific team, and there was no possibility to select a goalkeeper this week.

Loading up on the home teams is hard though, as selecting three Man City players (who play West Ham at home, which is probably the best fixture this weekend) will easily take up 60% or more of your budget. You would then have too little budget left to fill your team, unless you pick a few West Ham defenders. We have gone with Man City and Sheffield United (vs Bournemouth at home) this weekend, hoping for a City goalscoring bonanza and a very comfortable clean sheet for the Blades. As you will see below, our formation in gameweek 26 is 3-2-1.

Defenders

In defence, we have opted for a Sheffield United double up, which means the stacking penalty will come into play in case the Blades record a clean sheet against Bournemouth at home. Our picks are right-back George Baldock and one of the three central defenders, Chris Basham. Manager Chris Wilder does not tend to rotate his team a lot, especially not in defence, and these two players are fit, so we are confident that these two players will start this weekend.

In the unlikely event that Baldock doesn’t start, the safety net will swap him out for one of the two central defenders, O’ Connell or Egan. Should Baldock not be part of the starting lineup, then the safety net can still switch him out for John Egan. Baldock, O’ Connell and Egan have all played the full 90 minutes in each of the last five Premier League games, while Basham completed the 90 minutes on three occasions over that same run. He was subbed off late on the other two occasions, in the 77th and the 78th minute, respectively. In other words, with this defensive set-up, we have good coverage in a favourable fixture for Sheffield United, at a decent price and with some protection provided by the safety net.

Due to budget constraints after selecting our three attacking players (see below), we only had very little room left for a sixth pick to complete our team. This is why we ended up picking a three-man defence even when it was theoretically possible to not pick any defender this week as well. From the cheapest players in this week’s game who are assured a starting spot, we figured Crystal Palace’s James Tomkins is probably the best shout.

The English central defender is part of the Premier League’s fourth-best defence, with just Liverpool, Leicester and Sheffield United having conceded less than Palace’s 29 goals so far. They are rolling up to Goodison Park, where the local FC have scored just 15 goals in 12 games, so if Palace boss Roy Hodgson decides to play defensively in the hope of securing at least a point, picking Tomkins could pay off. Finally, to the most optimistic managers among us, we will also say that the defender also has a goal and an assist to his name, which indicates he does pose some attacking threat as well.

Midfielders

Our midfield for gameweek 26 consists of two players, but two of the most expensive assets available this round. The main reasons for their heavy price tags are the fact that they both play for Manchester City and that they are facing off with West Ham at the Etihad this weekend. Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva are not only two of the best midfielders to have graced the Premier League in the past decade, but also two of the very best midfielders active in the current season.

With “just” 3 assists and a total of 22 FPL points over the past five gameweeks, the Belgian midfielder cooled down a bit in comparison to earlier in the season. He already has 7 goals and an unbelievable 17 assists to his name, making him the second-best player in the official fantasy game with only Salah in front of him (161 vs 165 FPL points). The Hammers did not look very solid in the back when they played Brighton at home in gameweek 25 and De Bruyne will be looking to pounce on the smallest mistake. It’s no surprise that he is the most expensive player in the Weekend Big Four.

As if that wasn’t enough for West Ham, De Bruyne will likely be partnered with David Silva in the middle. The Spanish midfield maestro has not seen as many Premier League minutes as his Belgian teammate, but in the 1168 minutes he did get, he made them count: 3 goals, 9 assists and 87 FPL points. Next up for Dilva is West Ham, who have conceded 18 goals in the 12 games they have played away from home so far this season. One of the disadvantages of picking the Spaniard is that he will most likely not complete the 90 minutes, which will cost you a point in the Weekend Big Four, but his price tag does bring us the comfort of the safety net. Within the Man City midfield roster, Bernardo Silva, Rodrigo, Gundogan and Fernandinho are all less expensive than he is.

Forwards

Our only forward for gameweek 26 is Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, for the obvious reasons. The Argentinian blanked on his last outing against Tottenham, but anyone who has seen the game or even the highlights will at one point or another have asked himself or herself how on Earth it was possible that Aguero had not recorded a return yet, especially when Gundogan squandered the penalty he had won in the 40th minute. In the three games prior to the Spurs fiasco though, Kun scored 6 goals and provided 1 assist for an impressive total of 37 points in FPL.

Aguero is also our captain, although as there are no vice-captains in this 6 man team game if he doesn’t start then we get no double points so it is a risk.

This team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Big Four 15k and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 15,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum. FISO members could win free ‘Weekly Monster’ entries (worth 20 euros) via the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee. FanTeam have also just launched a 500,000 euro Fantasy Premier League game.

Fanteam Weekly Monster Early Entry Team – GW25

FISO are starting a new series of weekly articles on Fanteam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider (and entering the team that we write about!). This series will focus on Fanteam’s Weekly Monster, a weekly fantasy league based on the Premier League games that kick-off on or after Saturday 3pm UK time with €50,000 worth of guaranteed prize money. That’s every gameweek, in case you were wondering. Our article will focus on a Early Entry for this weekly tournament which will help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek so you can win some of that large prize money. Every gameweek, we will choose a team of eleven players from the selected Premier League matches within a virtual budget of €100 million. In that sense, the Weekly Monster is quite similar to the official Fantasy Premier League game we all know and love.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) Weekly Monster, which has a maximum entry limit of 3,000. Every week, we’ll report back on how our team performed in the previous week. A finish in the top 20% of a given week would see us win part of the prize pool of which the winner normally takes home about €4,000. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool (of which the winner normally gets about €500) 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. By ‘next’ lowest we mean if our player (who doesn’t start) is priced at 7m and two players priced less than him at 6.8m and 6.5m start then our replacement will be the 6.8m player. The automatic replacement is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule means people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster need not 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.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 25’s Fanteam MidWeek Monster is set at 3PM (UK time) on Saturday, February 1st, 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 3PM games, so you can change your selections accordingly up until the 3PM deadline, but not after.

Gameweek 25 Weekly Monster matches

01/02/20 West Ham Brighton
01/02/20 Watford Everton
01/02/20 Liverpool Southampton
01/02/20 Crystal Palace Sheffield United
01/02/20 Bournemouth Aston Villa
01/02/20 Newcastle Norwich
01/02/20 Manchester United Wolves
02/02/20 Burnley Arsenal
02/02/20 Spurs Manchester City

How did our Weekly Monster team fare in gameweek 24?

Formation: 3-5-2  |  Budget used:   |  GW24 finish: 1800th/2600 |  Prize pool: ///

NAME (club) (opponent) PRICE (m) RETURNS POINTS
Alex McCarthy (SOU) (CRY away)   Clean sheet 7
Brandon Williams (UTD) (BUR home)   /// 0
Mason Holgate (EVE) (NEW home)   /// 1
Djibril Sidibé (EVE) (NEW home)   /// 1
C Anthony Martial (UTD) (BUR home)   /// 4
Juan Mata (UTD) (BUR home)   /// 2
James Maddison (LEI) (WHU home)   /// 4
Jack Grealish (AST) (WAT home)   /// 4
Stuart Armstrong (SOU) (CRY away)   1 goal, clean sheet 10
Shane Long (SOU) (CRY away)   /// 3
VC Jamie Vardy (LEI) (WHU home)   /// 2

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 25

Formation: 3-4-3 |  Budget used: €98.9m

Goalkeeper

West Ham’s Lucasz Fabianski is the first asset from our West Ham triple-up this in gameweek 25. The Hammers have been far from defensively solid so far this season, with only Norwich, Villa and Southampton (when including the 0-9 against Leicester), but things have improved under David Moyes, West Ham have conceded 10 goals in the last 7 Premier League games, but 4 of those were scored by Leicester in GW24. After tonight’s DGW fixture at Anfield in which Fabianski has reappeared after injury, the Hammers are hosting Brighton this weekend, with the Seagulls having scored just 11 goals in 12 away games and taking just 8 points from that run. We’re betting on a few save points and a clean sheet.

Defenders

Our defence this week is very Newcastle-heavy, as the Magpies welcome bottom-of-the-table Norwich on Saturday. The Canaries may have looked better recently, but they are still last in the table when it comes to overall points, overall goal difference, overall goals conceded, points won from away games (5 from 12 games), goals scored in away games (just 6) and goal difference in away games (-16 goals). In other words, this simply does not look good for Norwich in any way. Newcastle boast the shared second-best defence in home games in the entire league, beaten only by Liverpool (12 goals conceded vs. 9 goals conceded). Steve Bruce’s men have also won the majority of their 30 points in front of their own fans, namely 19 out of 30 points.

We could go on for a while longer, but we believe we have made our point in regard to going for Newcastle defenders this weekend. Our Fanteam Weekly Monster selection for gameweek 25 includes both Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark for a combined price of 13.3m. Both look fit and ready to start against Norwich, which is something already, considering the fact that the likes of Yedlin, Schär and GW24 hero (for some) Lejeune are all marked red. Out of the last five Premier League games, Lascelles completed the 90 minutes four times, while Clark did so on three occasions (in one other game he played 70 minutes). On top of that, the former has a goal to his name as well, while the latter has even scored twice already.

Our third and final defensive pick for gameweek 25 is our first big hitter as well, namely Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold. At 11.3m, he is actually this week’s most expensive defender, which is generally what happens when a player combines such good form with a favourable fixture. The Reds are facing Southampton at Anfield and even though the Saints are in excellent form of late, led by ex- Liverpool man Danny Ings and his seemingly never-ending purple patch, we find it hard to not imagine a relatively comfortable home win for Jurgen Klopp’s men here. We should also mention that, besides being the most expensive defensive asset, TAA is also the highest-scoring defender on Fanteam with 142 points, courtesy of 8 clean sheets, 2 goals and no less than 12 assists. This weekend, we’re crossing our fingers for another rain of returns from both ends of the pitch.

Midfielders

We will start our list of midfield picks for gameweek 25 of the Fanteam Weekly Monster with our biggest and most expensive name, Mo Salah. Thanks to many of the reasons already elaborated upon previously when discussing the TAA pick, Liverpool’s Egyptian wizard is this round’s most expensive player overall. With Sadio Mané our for a few games due to injury, the eyes will be on Salah more than ever when the Saints roll up to Anfield. Fortunately for everything Liverpool though, Salah loves playing in front of his own fans: 10 of his 11 Premier League goals this season were scored at home and he has scored in his last 2 matches. Looking at the fixtures for GW25, he is probably the premium asset with the most favourable match-up, which means that he will likely be captained by many and that includes us.

Our second midfield pick of the week represents another combination of good form and a decent fixture, but this team is not Liverpool. It’s Newcastle. Miguel Almirón was brought in from Atlanta last season and he has definitely shown moments of class for the Magpies, but one thing was really missing, namely some involvement in the scoring of goals. His first assist came back in gameweek 14, but we had to wait for his first goal as a Toon until the home game against Palace in GW18. This first goal after 27 games was then followed by a goal versus Wolves at Molineux a few weeks later. Two goals in his last seven games might not sound too impressive, but that run included home games against Everton, Leicester and Chelsea, and away games against Man United, Wolves and Everton. This coming Saturday, Norwich are visiting Saint James’ Park and we feel it might be the perfect décor for Almirón’s third PL goal as a Magpie.

In midfield, you will also find our second Hammers pick for the weekend, Mark Noble. The West Ham captain is a mainstay in David Moyes starting lineup, which is underlined by the English veteran completing the 90 minutes in each of his last four Premier League outings. Over that run of games, he actually recorded an outstanding 27 points in Fanteam’s Weekly Monster, courtesy of 3 goals and a clean sheet. The big thing here is, of course, that Noble is on penalties for West Ham, which always adds a bit to a player’s appeal. Saturday’s opponents Brighton have been far from solid away from home so far this season, conceding a worrying 21 goals in 12 away games and scoring just 11. David Moyes still has plenty of work to do at West Ham, that’s for sure, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see them keeping the three points at home for this one.

We are playing a four-men midfield this weekend, and our fourth and final midfielder is Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, who is turning into something of a repetitive pick for us by now. The reason for that is that he tends to combine a relatively affordable price tag in Fanteam’s Weekly Monster with a key role in an attack-minded side. Granted, Aston Villa are no Liverpool or City and they certainly look like a  candidate for relegation by the time gameweek 38 is on the cards, but they do attack and the majority of those attacks passes through Grealish. He is absolutely nailed on for manager Dean Smith, he is on most set-pieces, and he has already amassed 110 points in the Weekly Monster games. In his last seven PL games, the Englishman has recorded 41 points, courtesy of 3 goals, 2 assists, 1 clean sheet and 3 impact points. We are placing a punt on him continuing his fine form against Bournemouth at the Vitality this weekend, after leading Villa to the League Cup final this week by eliminating Leicester over two games.

Forwards

The third Liverpool player of our selection for GW25 can be found in attack, where Roberto Firmino is our third big hitter at a price of 13.2m. At the time of writing, West Ham- Liverpool still needs to be completed, but we already know that, out of Liverpool’s attacking trio, only the Brazilian forward managed to satisfy his fantasy owners in the 1st match of DGW24. Mané got injured after half an hour, Salah blanked, and Firmino scored his 8th goal of the season. Of those eight goals, eight were scored away from home, though. That’s right, all of them. Liverpool are hosting Southampton this weekend, so in this light, picking Firmino might not seem as wise as it seemed, but what we’re mainly going with here is the attacker’s excellent overall form. He is a vital cog in Jurgen Klopp’s attacking and pressing machine, and with Mané out injured, a bit more of the goalscoring responsibility will rest on his shoulders.

Our second forward also completes a triple-up, with Sebastien Haller completing this week’s West Ham trio. His 6 goals and 3 assists after 22 games of his debut season in the Premier League for a mid-table team are not bad tallies, especially considering the Hammers’ footballing woes in the first half of the season, but we can’t say he has been prolific in front of goal, either. In the last four games, Haller scored a goal (against Bournemouth at home) and provided an assist (versus Leicester at the King Power), and he completed the 90 minutes in all of those games as well. Saturday’s opponent Brighton has been having trouble defending on the road this season (the Seagulls have conceded 21 goals in 12 away games) and we’re hoping Haller can benefit from this by working on his goalscoring record.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Weekly Monster 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. FISO members could win free ‘Weekly Monster’ entries (worth 20 euros) via the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee. FanTeam have also just launched a 500,000 euro Fantasy Premier League game.

Fanteam Midweek Monster – GW24 – Update

Yesterday we published a Fantasy Football article about our team for the GW24 Midweek Monster from FanTeam. We made a couple of late changes to our line-up in the hour prior to the first kick-off based on the starting team news for the Tuesday evening matches so our team now looks like this:

Whilst we correctly predicted that Crystal Palace would come down to earth (after their great weekend result against Man City) and lose to Southampton we didn’t quite get the 3 Southampton players right. McCarthy and Armstrong scored well but we could have done with Redmond rather than Shane Long. We had brought the cheaper Long in for Ings (who was benched) which enabled us to upgrade Praet for Maddison.

Our two Everton defenders were looking very good for their clean sheet points and then two goals from Newcastle’s Lejeune in the closing moments of injury time blew those points away.

So we’re sat about half-way (1,235 of 2,490 entries) with 5 players to play tonight, including our captain Martial. Our aim is to finish inside the top 20% (i.e. in the top 500) to share some of the prize fund. A couple of goals from Martial would be gratefully received, although thanks to Lejeune our chances of finishing in the top 100 seem very unlikely.