TFF Matches 29 and 30 December 2018

The Telegraph Fantasy Football (TFF) Leaderboard was shaken up on Boxing Day with Lee Turner’s leading team dropping down to 6th and Paul Ferguson’s Qwertyuiop team aptly taking over at the top of the ‘key’ board on 1,195 points. Long-term Fantasy Football players such as Stephen Buckley in 2nd, David Browne in 4th and Neil Carrington in 9th (who won the now defunct TFFO in 2005/06, 5 years after yours truly) are close at hand. Will TFF again be won by a FISO member (as it has for at least the last 3 years)?

Now we take a look at the TFF Matches coming up over the next two days. Bear in mind the Xmas schedule is very hectic and Club Managers may feel some players need a rest. For more news on TFF check out fiso’s TFF forum.

Saturday 29th December

Brighton & Hove Albion 15:00 Everton

No early fixture this Saturday so straight into the 3 o’clocks, the first of which has Everton travelling to the South Coast to take on Brighton. Everton got a fantastic win in midweek with the usual suspects of Siggy and Richarlison getting a goal each. Keep an eye on Digne too. Brighton got a respectable draw against the Gunners. Glenn Murray hasn’t scored for a couple of games, Dunk and Duffy are finally reunited and Ryan has now gone off to the Asian Cup.

Fulham 15:00 Huddersfield Town

A real six-pointer down at Craven Cottage where Uddersfield are the visitors. Uddersfield haven’t won for an absolute age and it is games like this that can make or break your season. Fulham have a couple of draws under their belts in December and would love to sign 2018 off with a win. Tricky one to call this as there is little quality in either of these sides.

Leicester City 15:00 Cardiff City

The all-conquering Foxes are next up. The Welsh Wizards from Wales are today’s visitors to the King Power. Cardiff are still just outside the bottom three but appear to be better at home than on the road and with Leicester being in good form having recently beaten Man City and Chelsea this has home win written all over it. Maddison is up to 7th overall on the best value for money TFF players with a return of 25 points per £m and Pereira is up to 12th after his goal against Man City took him up to 23.2 points per £m.

Tottenham Hotspur 15:00 Wolverhampton Wanderers

We are on our way to Wembley (again) where Spurs are taking on Wolves. Tottenham are another of the form teams in the Prem and have snuck up into second place thanks to Harry blowing the doors off on a regular basis. Wolves are still ticking along nicely but will probably end up second best today. Son has NOT gone off to the Asia Cup yet.

Watford 15:00 Newcastle United

The Watford rollercoaster might just be about to be heading downwards again as they lost last time out against Chelsea, however Newcastle are a different kettle of fish, so the Hornets could simply have hit a temporary bump in the track. Newcastle were unsurprisingly thrashed by Liverpool on Boxing Day and have settled into a lower-mid-table/upper-low-table position.

Liverpool 17:30 Arsenal

Saturday’s late match feature top of the table Liverpool versus fifth-placed Arsenal. Liverpool are flying high this season, Salah is in good form (now the top TFF points scorer on 118 points) and even with a patched-up defence Liverpool have progressed well over the Christmas period (Robertson, van Dijk and Alisson all in the top 10 overall TFF points scorers so far with 100+ points and in the top 6 best value for money TFF players). Arsenal have stalled a little of late, will still be missing Mkhitaryan due to injury and a defeat today could see them becoming detached from the top 4. Aubameyang is in good form though.

Sunday 30th December

Crystal Palace 12:00 Chelsea

Cor blimey, Mary Poppins – it’s a London derby! Sunday’s early fixture sees Chelsea travel the short distance to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace. Chelsea have suffered a couple of defeats recently, but Hazard is in good form and they still sit inside the top four. Pedro is out injured for about 2 weeks with a hamstring problem. Crystal Palace are currently sat in lower mid-table, and Wilf ‘The Talisman’ Zaha isn’t in great form.

Burnley 14:15 West Ham United

The first of the 14:15 (I repeat, 14:15) matches is Burnley against West Ham. Burnley have been rooted in the bottom three for the majority of the season – what a difference a year makes. West Ham are comfortably sat in mid-table mediocrity but have some quality players in their squad, especially a Mr F Anderson Esq. who scored a couple against the Saints recently. Will Hernandez be fit for this one?

Southampton 14:15 Manchester City

The second of the 14:15s sees a slightly improved Southampton side taking on a Man City side who are in a bit of a slump at the moment. City have a few players back from injury (Dave Silva, De Bruyne, Aguero) so will be hoping for an improved performance today. Southampton have been revitalised since David “the rabbit hutch” Hasselhoff has been in charge though lost against the Hammers last time out in what only seems like last night (well it was last night!). Sterling seems to have gone off the boil but is still the 2nd highest TFF points scorer on 114 points.

Manchester United 16:30 AFC Bournemouth

And finally, the final Premier League match of 2018 sees OGS’s Manchester United hosting Bournemouth at Old Trafford. Solskjaer has certainly rung the changes since he took over, perhaps not in personnel but in moral. Bournemouth had an excellent start to the season but their form has tailed off since and are now in the bottom half of the table and have also just lost defender Simon Francis to a long-term injury. Will Wilson find his shooting boots again soon – he’s fallen just outside the top overall TFF points scorers but still has accumulated 100 points? Will Pogba again prove to Mourinho that he should have played him in every match?

TFF Matches 26 and 27 December 2018

Telegraph Fantasy Football (TFF) gets back into action tonight with Lee Turner’s team Wanaker FC still leading the way overall on 1,128 points. Below is a preview of the games over the next 2 days. For more news on TFF check out fiso’s TFF forum.


Fulham 12:30 Wolves

Boxing Day’s early match sees a clash between two teams that this time last year were still in the Championship. Fulham are looking like they might be back there next year as they currently lie at the foot of the table. Wolves are just in the top ten and are probably favourites today. 

Burnley 15:00 Everton

The first of the 3pm games features lowly Burnley against a mid-table Everton team who have the dynamic duo of Richarlison and Siggy (featuring his spiders). If Burnley want to stay up they will need to turn Turf Moor back into a fortress. 

Crystal Palace 15:00 Cardiff

Palace caused one the shocks of the weekend by beating Man City on their own turf, Zaha is off the boil but Milivojevic is in fine form. Cardiff on the other hand were drubbed by Man Utd. Therefore this should be a comfortable win for Crystal Palace.

Leicester 15:00 Man City

The Foxes are coming into this game off the back of a shock win against Chelsea, a Jamie Vardy winner no less. City themselves suffered a shock home defeat against Palace (see above). Pep’s men will be looking for nothing less than a win today. 

Liverpool 15:00 Newcastle

Top of the table Liverpool welcome Newcastle to Anfield. Liverpool are the current form team in the division and ex-boss Rafa will probably be looking at damage limitation today. Will Klippety be doing a bit of squad rotation bearing in mind fixtures come think and fast at this time of year?

Man Utd 15:00 Huddersfield

OGS looks to have revitalised a Manchester United side that were frankly failing under Jose. Uddersfield have been poor this season and will need to be in top form today to get anything from this game. Expect United to be rampant again. 

Tottenham 15:00 Bournemouth

Spurs are still playing their home games at Wembley and today Bournemouth are the visitors. Alli went off at half-time on Sunday and could be a doubt for today. Luckily Kane continues to blow the doors off though. Bournemouth rested Fraser last time out but Brooks has stepped up recently. 

Brighton 17:15 Arsenal

The late afternoon fixture has Arsenal travelling back down to the South Coast, this time to take on Brighton at the Am Ex. Arsenal were one of the few top-six teams to win at the weekend with Aubameyang in good form although Henrik Mkhitaryan is out for up to 6 weeks with a broken foot. Brighton meanwhile lost out to Bournemouth.

Watford 19:30 Chelsea

The evening match features the Watford rollercoaster against Chelsea. Watford had a surprising victory away to the Hammers on Saturday. Chelsea lost at home to Leicester. Hazard is probably still the standout player in this one. 


Southampton 19:45 West Ham

The solitary Thursday game features a revitalised Southampton team, now managed by David Hasselhoff, taking on a visiting West Ham team that were rocked at the weekend by a defeat to Watford. On paper the Hammers should win, but this game is played on grass not paper!

TFF Matches 21 to 23 December 2018

Telegraph Fantasy Football (TFF) gets back into action tonight with Lee Turner’s team Wanaker FC leading the way overall on 1,072 points. Familiar names (such as Neil Carrington 3rd and David Browne 9th) are hot on his heels. Has Lee saved enough transfers from his budget of 40 to hold off the challengers particularly when the FA Cup action involving the EPL clubs starts? Below is a preview of the games over the next 3 days. For more news on TFF check out fiso’s TFF forum.


Wolves 20:00 Liverpool

To start us off this week is that rare beast, the Friday Night Fixture. This time around it features Table topping Liverpool visiting Molineux to take on an over-achieving Wolves side who boast Matt Doherty in their side who is the player with the most points per £m in TFF at 26.6 (based on 77 points for his £2.9m cost) i.e. the best budget-enabler to have in your team! Wolves’ striker Jimenez also has provided a great return with 20.5 points per £m spent but he’s playing against a defence that should have Robertson (25.8 per £m), Allison (23.5 per £m) and van Dijk (20.7 per £m) who are all in the top 10 best value for money players. Liverpool have yet to lose in the League but it’s games like this that see records broken. Van Dijk, Salah and Robertson have scored 43, 41 and 41 TFF points respectively in the last 6 weeks (putting them comfortably inside the top 10 for that form period).


Arsenal 12:30 Burnley

Saturday’s early match features a relegation threatened Burnley team taking on an Arsenal side coming off of the back of a couple of rare defeats. Mkhitaryan scored a brace for the Gunners last weekend but there’s no guarantee he’ll start today as he hobbled off in midweek. There’s a little uncertainty of who’s going to lead the line for Arsenal or whether both Aubameyang (91 TFF points which is 7th overall) and Lacazette (76 TFF points in 20th overall) might play together.

Bournemouth 15:00 Brighton

The seaside derby is the first of our 3 o’clocks, featuring the resort towns of Bournemouth versus Brighton and Hove. The Cherries and not in the best of form at the moment although Callum Wilson may well be back as the main striker and he’s the surprise striking package of the year mustering 96 TFF points putting him in 6th overall having recently been the 2nd highest overall. Brighton have got back to winning away ways of late though so there’s a chance of a Seagulls win.

Chelsea 15:00 Leicester

Down at the Bridge, Chelsea welcome a Leicester team who are in very poor form. Chelsea will be hoping to cement a top four place today and stay in touch with the leading pair. Alonso and Hazard continue to lead the way for Chelsea in TFF accumulating 98 and 97 TFF points respectively for the season so far. Leicester rested a lot of first teamers for the midweek Cup loss, will this have been the right thing to do?

Huddersfield 15:00 Southampton

A real six pointer next, where 19th plays 17th but there is only a couple of points between the two teams. Uddersfield haven’t picked up a single point in December, always losing by a single goal. The Saints now have ‘David Hasselhoff’ in charge and have recently recorded a victory against Arsenal thanks to a brace by Ings.

Man City 15:00 Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace are this week’s visitors to the Ethiad where they will take on second place Manchester City. You know when Christmas is here when Jesus gets a brace (he was a carpenter after all). Sterling and Sane lead the way on form with the most TFF points in the last 6 weeks (57 and 54 points respectively) and Sterling is also the only player with more than 100 TFF points for the season. Kevin de Bruyne may get more game time after his recent injuries. Palace have Zaha back for this one after last weekend’s suspension.

Newcastle 15:00 Fulham

Fulham are away to the lads of Newcastle this weekend. Fulham are rock bottom with a poor goal difference so even a win today would leave them at the foot of the table. Rondon appears to have rediscovered his goal scoring boots for Newcastle and is up to 15th in the TFF form table based on 36 TFF points in the last 6 weeks but Newcastle will be playing the likes of Liverpool (Away), Man Utd (Home), Chelsea (Away), Man City (Home) and Spurs (Away) between now and 2nd Feb so think twice if jumping on to that bandwagon.

West Ham 15:00 Watford

Well, well, well – it’s West Ham v Watford in the last of the 3 o’clock kick-offs. West Ham have put their shaky start behind them and are not missing the injured Arnautovic thanks to a little pea and Felip Anderson who is the 3rd highest form TFF points scorer based on the last 6 weeks (50 points). Watford’s rollercoaster is currently on the up so expect a thrilling game today with maybe Pererya increasing his budget midfielder credence (thanks to his current 23.3 TFF points per £m which puts him 4th overall and the best value for money midfielder in TFF).

Cardiff 17:30 Man Utd

Saturday’s late fixture sees Manchester United travelling to the Cardiff Stadium in Cardiff to take on Cardiff. The Welsh Wizards from Wales have started to find their feet and have picked up a few points recently. The United of old would expect an easy win, their latest incarnation will be hoping not to lose! Perhaps a super-sub will score the winner? TFF Managers are discussion on the fiso forum taking a punt on Man Utd players (like Pogba who will have a point to prove) to help them climb up the leaderboard.


Everton 16:00 Tottenham

And finally, the Sunday afternoon fixture has Spurs travelling to Goodison to play Everton. Tottenham snuck past Burnley last weekend in a dire match but had a good win against the Gunners in the Cup. Spurs have Kane who is only in 11th overall on the overall TFF points scoring charts with 84. Everton will be looking to Richarlison or Siggy to score the goals to cause an upset today.


Finally, a quick note on the clubs’ hefty Christmas schedule. As you can see from the image below, of the top clubs, Tottenham have the most demanding schedule – playing their four matches within the space of 10 days. In contrast, Liverpool and Manchester City have the most recovery time, 14 and 13 days respectively.
Full analysis of all EPL clubs here.