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?