The Dirtsheet: Gameweek 2

Posted: August 22, 2014 in Uncategorized



Good afternoon to all my readers, both old and new, and welcome to the first Dirtsheet of the new season. My regular readers will know that I never like to release a Dirtsheet for the first gameweek of the season as I think it is important for each of you to complete your own teams.

It’s been a busy year for me personally but I will definately try to keep these articles going. There may be a few weeks where I may opt for a shorter version of the Dirtsheet, but they will contain the same amount of preparation and research as usual.

Here we go!!!

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Without further delay, here’s the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 2!

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The Dirtsheet: Gameweek 38

Posted: May 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

Good morning readers and welcome to the final Dirtsheet of the season! It’s hard to believe that yet another 38 gameweeks have flown by, but here we are, at the end of what has been a season which will be remembered for the performances of so many players, most notably Yaya Toure and Luis Suarez. As can be expected, both make the final Dirtsheet of the season.

For the final week, I’m focusing on players who should start at the weekend – these players have either something to play for or should play regardless of current league position. However, as we have seen many times before, the final day of the season is akin to a lottery. The one piece of advice that I will give everyone is to make sure your squad is healthy…today is not the day to have three players on your sub bench who will not play.

Best of luck to all my readers, I hope the Dirtsheet has been of benefit to you all in the 2013/2104 season!

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Without further delay, here’s the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 38!

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Update: As we come closer to the deadline, it is less likely that Rooney will start. Please go with your gut on the Rooney transfer.

As I began the write up for the penultimate Dirtsheet of what has been a superb season, Ryan Giggs was simultaneously delivering his press conference to the awaiting media in Manchester. However, while we are all used to seeing Giggsy confusing opponents for more than two decades, I don’t think anyone has ever been more confused as the FPL managers who tuned in to hear some news about the injury sustained by Wayne Rooney in training on Thursday.

At 10:00 am, the interim United manager stated that Rooney has a stomach bug and a tight groin, but that he will probably want to play anyways.

Great! Thanks for that Ryan, leave us all in a mire of uncertainty! One in five FPL managers have Rooney, and for the 121,000 managers who transferred him in this game week, a difficult decision must now be made. Do we sell Rooney again in order to buy in another striker, or do we hope that Rooney will start both games. It’s a bitter blow for Rooney owners – he was a lock for many people’s captaincy this gameweek.

As with most double gameweeks, there are some very strong single gameweek players that require your attention, and this weeks Dirtsheet highlights the best of them.

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Without further delay, here’s the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 37!

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The Dirtsheet: Gameweek 36

Posted: April 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

So Ryan Giggs is the Interim Manchester United manager! I remember him making his debut – a gangly kid who seemed to have an incredible future ahead of him. Sir Alex Ferguson was able to take him under his wing and keep him away from the media lights in a way he was unable to do with some of the other prodigious talents coming out of the Old Trafford youth ranks at the time. Now, at 40, he finds himself the manager of his childhood club. It’s an exciting time to be a United supporter, but I have not let that cloud my judgement when selecting the Dirtsheet for this week. Having said that, 3 United players make my team for this week based on the fixture and their recent form. Meanwhile, I back Liverpool to all but wrap up the Premier League title on Sunday and the Dirtsheet selections reflect this.

Three weeks to go before we all run off to find a World Cup fantasy game!

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Without further delay, here’s the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 36!

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The Dirtsheet – Gameweek 35

Posted: April 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

Hi all,
As you may know, I’m just someone like yourselves who loves his FPL. Unfortunately, real life sometimes has to take priority over FPL, and I find myself preparing for an interview this afternoon. I have to resort to a very functional Dirtsheet this week as I have no time to complete a detailed write-up. Rest assured, however, that the same level of investigation and analysis has gone into the selection of each player below – something that I start as early as Monday for you all!

Team news suggests that many top players will not be plying their trade this week, and with lingering doubts surrounding the likes of David Silva and Wayne Rooney, I select players who should start at the weekend.

Here is the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 35!

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Without further delay, here’s the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 35!

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The Dirtsheet: Gameweek 34

Posted: April 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Warning: Double gameweek imminent!

They are beginning to come thick and fast, these double gameweeks! This week, those located in the upper echelons of the Premier League see fit to double up on action from Sunderland, Manchester City, Everton and Crystal Palace. For FPL managers, it means we have the potential to bring in a number of players with very favourable fixtures.

Manchester City have announced that they have no injury concerns apart from Nastasic, which means that I actually select four City players for the Dirtsheet, covering all three crucial areas.

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Without further delay, here’s the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 34!

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I have a little time free this morning and so I decided to share my thoughts with you on the news that Eden Hazard picked up an injury in Chelsea’s incredible comeback against Paris Saint German in the Champions League.

As someone who has found lady luck a tough mistress to deal with this year in FPL, I cannot help but think that she went a little overboard on me last night. I joked to my fiancée that Hazard would probably get injured just to rub some salt into the open wounds of my own personal season. As we arrived home after a 5-mile run, I turned on the TV at the exact moment Hazard showed he could not continue. The news this morning confirmed my fears…

“It is a calf problem, but I have no idea the dimension of his injury. Even when they are not serious, you cannot play for a couple of weeks.” – Jose Mourinho

So what does this means for the FPL community? Put simply, with just 5 weeks to go, managers now face a decision regarding Hazard. It does not appear to be a season-ending knock, leaving us in an apparent transfer limbo. Had he been ruled out for the rest of the season, there would be little need for an article. Selling Hazard now will mean losing close to a million pounds in value – an amount which may not be available in the final 2 weeks if we decide we want him back.

Mourinho, love him or hate him, is usually candid and honest with his injury news. Unlike other managers, “a lengthy layoff” does not mean a sudden and surprise return against bitter rivals. I tend to take the Chelsea boss at his word. This means that he will miss favourable ties against Sunderland and Swansea. Now, if he misses just a fortnight, he could potentially return to two favourable game against Norwich (H) and Cardiff City (A) in addition to a huge game against Liverpool.

So is it worth it to hold onto Hazard in the hopes he returns for those two games where double figure returns are likely?

The answer to that question, as far as I’m concerned, is a definite and resounding no.

Chelsea’s passage through to the semi finals means that Mourinho will almost certainly look to protect Hazard for the tournament that he feels he can win. By his own admittance, the dream of another Premier League title gracing the trophy cabinets at Stamford Bridge has now faded. He has publicly stated that it is up to other teams to lose the league, rather than his side to win it.

In addition, the emergence of Mohamed Salah will not have gone unnoticed. The Egyptian scored an incredible 14 points against Stoke and has shown more than enough talent to start games in Hazard’s absence. Priced at a mere £5.5, he is looking like an incredible bargain should he get a run in the side.

To me, this means that Hazard’s time in our FPL Teams has essentially come to an end. Looking outside of Hazard’s team mates for potential replacements, the arguments to sell Hazard only strengthens.

Manchester City players, for example, have seven games between now and the end of the season, thanks to a double gameweek in both GW34 and GW37. Compare that to Hazard’s maximum of three. In addition, they are focused only on the Premier League title which means that rotation will not be a factor until they have won the title.

While many FPL managers have either David Silva or Yaya Toure, there is now a huge opportunity to now own both talents. They City midfielders have 39 and 44 points, respectively, over their last 5 games and with a very favourable run-in, both are sure to return excellent attacking points. Having said that, it would also be unwise to overlook one Samir Nasri who has amassed 30 points over the same period, and with David Silva nursing an ongoing ankle niggle, I actually feel Nasri is more assured of overall minutes.

While not a midfield option himself, Sergio Aguero looks set to return against Liverpool in a match that could go a long way to deciding whether the Premier League trophy ends up in Liverpool or Manchester this season. By selling Hazard for a cheaper double gameweek option, such as Adam Johnson, it frees up a huge amount of money to upgrade a cheaper striker to one who could be a huge differential as we head towards the season’s end.

If it was not for the blank in GW34, Juan Mata would also be a superb replacement this week. However, the mercurial Spaniard does have a double in GW37 – if you are happy to wait a week, he is a superb option after scoring 31 points in his last 180 minutes. Evergreen Steven Gerrard is also another great replacement, especially considering the sheet number of penalties he is receiving and scoring! Liverpool will not give up until the bitte end, and Gerrard will do everything to win his first title.

Of course, we can only replace Hazard with one player, and having looked at many candidates, I cannot help but look towards a Manchester City player as Hazard’s replacement. They have the fixtures (both in quality AND quantity), the hunger and the focus to win the league, and it’s always smart to back the favourites.

Thanks for the memories Eden, you have been a truly fantastic FPL player for me this year, but it’s time to say goodbye.

I’m sure we will cross paths next year, but for now…

Au revoir…