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.
FRIDAY 21ST DECEMBER
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).
SATURDAY 22ND DECEMBER
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.
SUNDAY 23RD DECEMBER
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.