Our Fantasy Picks for GW1


Ivanovic Mertesacker Cedric

Walcott Lallana Hazard Barkley

Costa van-Wolfswinkel Rooney

Leicester are a good shout to keep a clean sheet against Sunderland.
Chelsea are the big guns and can't / shouldn't be overlooked.
Lallana & Walcott are fantasticly good pre-season.
S'hampton play the dreadful Newcastle, who will be booed off their home park in GW1.
Everton are likely to put a few past Watford & Barkley is good value.
van Wolfswinkel put a few away in preseason & knows where goal is.
Man Utd have epic mids now, and Rooney is the sole forward.

Cuellar at Villa & the Block Defence.

Aston Villa are in a great run of defensive form at the moment, having kept 5 clean sheets in the last 6 games. One of the main beneficiaries of this has been Cuellar, who has played practically every minute of every game. He also popped up with a header goal to help Villa draw with Manchester United this week. While he hasn't been bringing home assists and goals this season, he has is good value at £5.8 million and looks likely to get at least a few more clean sheets before the season is out.

However this is a bandwagon that is fast gaining momentum, and this gameweek has seen over 10,000 managers transfer Cuellar into their squad. His price is sure to rise in the very near future, but expect it to settle very quickly, as although Aston Villa face lowly Burnley at home - a very favourable fixture - after that they miss the following gameweek 28, and will have a bye in gameweek 29 if they progress in the FA Cup being played this Saturday, which is looking likely. Or at least as likely as any cup tie can... which is to say, anything might happen.

If Villa qualify for the next round, two byes in a row will alarming to many of Cuellar's new owners, and his price may slip as people transfer him out rather than have £5.8million sitting on the bench for two weeks. It could be a wise move to consider Cuellar for gameweek 30 onwards.

Other than Chelsea, Everton and Manchester City, Villa's draw for the rest of the season is against teams currently in the bottom half of the league. Amongst this is a yet-to-be-scheduled match against Hull, which means one of these weeks will be a double gameweek.

From this point of view, Aston Villa have about as favourable a run of fixtures from gameweek 30 until the end of the season as you can get. This presents the opportunity taking two (or more) Villa defenders to form a block defence. Dunne and Cuellar are surely the men for this task. This is somewhat of a risk as if Villa slip up then you can have a low points return. However, with those 5 clean sheets in their last 6 games, if you had a Villa block defence of two or even three players in the last few weeks, you would have done particularly well. If you need to catch up ground on your mini-league, this is definately a tactic that may pay rewarding dividends.

A Villa block defence may be an excellent choice given their current form and future fixtures, but be wary of jumping on the Cuellar bandwagon too soon, as there is the possibility Aston Villa may not play until Gameweek 30. But from that point on, two or even three Villa defenders may make a good investment until the end of the season.


Olly Frank said...


I know this isn't the right place but I couldn't find an email address for you. I came across your site thought that you might be interested in a new, stats based game called Picklive Football. The basic principal is that you choose three players and you score points for completed passes, assists and goals etc. Everything is updated in real time and you play against other users to create that competition element. We play games every Tuesday and Wednesday night at http://football.picklive.com.

Also, as the game relies on live data, we get a lot of match stats that I thought you might be able to use after matches we’ve covered and during the summer, as we're covering every game at the World Cup. During the match every single action is recorded, such as interceptions, failed passes, and tackles and I thought these might help you analyse good fantasy players and bargains to pick up.

Here is an example of the match stats from Tuesday's Arsenal v Porto game: http://bit.ly/aT3IHr (these show the Picklive points scored by the player but the number of each action can be worked out using the scoring summary: http://bit.ly/9IEgPg).

If the game sounds interesting or you'd like the stats just send an email to olly@picklive.com and I'll answer any questions you might have and would be more than happy to help.



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