We still have over a week until the Premier League gets underway, and next week, as usual, we will bring your our famous Fantasy Premier League Gameweek Preview as well as our Funny Feeling Friday column – and much more, but I figured I’d get our juices flowing with some random musings on the Fantasy Premier League this pre-season…
- I still believe the age old strikers quandary is a fascinating Fantasy Premier League subplot heading into the new season. Drogba, Rooney, Van Persie, Tevez, and others are all superb high-priced options, but will they succeed like they did last year? I think a great option may be to stick to someone with a bit less risk – someone like Sunderland’s Darren Bent at 8.5M.
- Joe Cole may not be as smart as Yossi Benayoun. Hell, he may not be as smart as a fifth grader, but will he have a fantasy influence at Liverpool under Roy Hodgson? The club finished 7th last season and I guarantee they will finish higher than that this year. The fantasy options last year were decent at Anfield, but never consistent – so perhaps a return to consistency and a run for 3rd or 4th place under a new manager will bring glory once again to the likes of Kuyt, Gerrard, Torres, new signing Jovanovic, and Glen Johnson. The mouth breather Joe Cole is a bit pricey for me at 9.0M, but he does wear short shorts, and the ladies love him, so he’s got that going for him – which is nice.
- Stoke’s Tuncay Sanli has scored 5 goals in 5 pre-season games and is priced at just 5.5M. Sensing a theme here? The Turkish stud is classified as a midfielder in the Fantasy Premier League game and is in form. Here’s the only problem: Stoke take on Tottenham, Chelsea, and Aston Villa in 3 of their first 4 games. Not exactly porous defenses. Problem # 2 – Etherington, Liam Lawrence, Ricardo Fuller and others are all above Tuncay in the pecking order for set pieces and penalties. Tangent: Is James Beattie still alive? If he is – he’s probably above Tuncay as well…
- West Ham are undefeated this season under Avram Grant – 6 matches without a loss. Chelsea have lost three straight pre-season matches. I doubt West Ham will go more than 6 matches without a loss this entire season. I doubt Chelsea will lose three straight matches this season. It just goes to show you – pre-season should be taken with a grain of salt. Remember Tottenham’s pre-season two years ago? They scored something like 745 goals in 12 games and Darren Bent had about 362 of them. I think they beat Roma something like 14-0. No joke. 2008-2009 pre-season. Look it up. By the end of September, Spurs were bottom of the league and officially suffering their worst ever league start. Juande Ramos was sacked. Pre-season means next to nothing my friends. It’s all about fitness and formations. Not results.
- Former Manchester United ‘keeper Ben Foster got a little help from Apple CEO Steve Jobs in winning the Carling Cup a few years ago, but how will he fare at Birmingham? I think he’ll do well. Birmingham won’t finish nearly as high this year as they did last year (I think 12th to 15th is more likely this season) but Joe Hart proved that young bargain British ‘keepers can perform there. Foster, priced at 4.5M, could be this season’s early bargain in between the sticks.
More to come over the next week and a half as we prepare for (Fantasy) Premier League action, but those are just a few of my random musings today… Good luck to all managers.