New Zealand Squad announced for Australia Clash

The rampant Black Caps chalked up their second victory following big wins v Pakistan and last weeks ICC opener v Spur Lanka.

It set up this weeks Southern Hemisphere derby match as the winner will guarantee progression in the knock out stages of the ICC.  This weeks Haka will certainly get the blood pumping as the NZ squad looks to beat the didgeridoo loving skippies!

The game goes on despite the news regarding Rolf  Harris!! Continue reading

New Zealand Team Selection

The opening day of the ICC having chalked up a very impressive “friendly” victory V Pakistan the team has been eagerly anticipating this GW33 tournament curtain raiser v Spur Lanka.

The friendly provided the Coach & Captain with some fantastic insight into the depth of the squad as both Ginkapo & Bonz sat in the players lounge orchestrating the 49 run victory whilst dancing the Haka, polishing that ring and eating freshly barbecued  NZ lamb  (we will not mention slurping for the duration of the match on happy juice).

With tails up and a full weeks rest, the selection committee spent a significant amount of time analyzing the previous weeks performances, the girth of DGW players whilst also looking to ensure the inclusion of a few differentials and we are very confident that after “tossing off”, we will smash the AVB loving losers!

Despite our earlier squad announcement, please note a slight adjustment as during late evening session we realised there was an oversight & had omitted a “wikky”!

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New Zealand Press Conference

Good Evening and welcome

After several hours of soul searching, head scratching, scrotum adjusting and general FPL team analysis this afternoon, the Committee finally agreed on the selected Squad for the forthcoming ICC tournament.

As you will all be aware from previous communications and ongoing dialogue on FFS, there were some rule changes imposed by the Council (also some rules which were revoked). However the one rule which thwarted the Back Caps plans more than other nations were the restrictions imposed on squad size.

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Power Rangers???

Queens Park Rangers 2012/13 Options

by @1Bonz

Introduction

QPR went into the 2011/12 season with Neil Warnock at the helm having guided the Club from the Championship but despite the spectacular achievement of winning the Championship and a decent start the Chairman Tony Fernandes sacked the outspoken Warnock and within 3 days Mark Hughes was appointed the Manager.

The Club wanted to ensure Premiership survival and believed Hughes was able to bring in the players to do that and Fernandes supplied the financial backing to the Manager, who immediately broke the QPR transfer record in bringing in Bobby Zamorra at £6m along with a few other signings which did successfully maintain the status in Premiership despite that last minute Aguero winner in the final game.  Finishing in 17th with 10 Wins, 7 Draws and 21 Losses the stats were not too good, scoring just 43 goals and conceding 66.

With Hughes adamant the Club would never be in a last day battle for survival whilst he remained in charge, he has been busy in the Summer transfer window, so far bringing in 7 new signings:

  • Samba Diakite (Nancy) Loan FPL £4.5
  • Fabio da Silva (Manchester United) Loan FPL £4.5
  • Robert Green (West Ham United) Free FPL £4.5
  • Junior Hoilett (Unattached) Free  FPL £6.5
  • Andrew Johnson (Fulham) Free FPL £5.0
  • Ryan Nelsen (Tottenham Hotspur) Free FPL £4.0
  • Park Ji-Sung (Manchester United) Undisclosed FPL £6.0

With the volume of Ins & Outs the QPR starting team will inevitably bring a new look starting team.but is there any value to consider for the pivotal FPL squad?

Opening 10 fixtures: Swansea H / Norwich A / Man C A / Chelsea H / Tot A / West Ham H / WBA A / Eve H / Arse A / Reading H

FPL Considerations:

Defence

Green – £4.5m

The former England number one returns to the Premiership having decided to leave West Ham despite helping them back to the Premiership. Will his experience, help to galvanise the defence? 

Whilst in-expensive, it buys you a nailed on starter who could be rotated with several other “cheap” keepers…

Ferdinand – £4.5m

A possible squad filler at a low price, the central defender recorded 7 clean sheets last season, and whilst he failed to score, surely this season he is due at least 1?  Despite a poor Club season Anton grabbed 88 points with 8 coming via Bonus.  With Hughes at the helm & additional defencive qualities instilled there is real potential of an increased return

So why choose Ferdinand over Young (£4.5), Hill (£4.5), Onuoha (£4.5), Traore (£5.0),or new signings Nelson (£4.0) or Fabio (£4.50)? Anton’s height does carry a genuine threat in the opposition box and currently he does like likely to be a regular so for a squad filler he could be you ma.

 Midfield

Park – £6m

The South Korean has been a squad player at Man Utd for too long and will surely be a regular now for QPR? With the opening 6 fixtures not great it may suit Ji Sung who always seemed to excel against the “better” opposition when in the United shirt. 
 
 
With Barton banned, Park should be given the opportunity to dictate the midfield play with his energy and enthusiasm, but is he really worth the £6.0m price tag? 
 
Taarabt is also ranked at £6.0m and towards the end of the season, he did start to impact games and has the obvious technical ability to impact games but will Sparky give this luxury a regular start? Another to consider following his recent free transfer from Blackburn is Junior Hoillett but he has been priced a disappointing £6.5m following a good season last year despite relegation he managed 7 goals, 6 assists and 14 bonus points and QPR fought off several Clubs to land the pacey attacker.

Striker

Zamora – £6.5m

The England striker became the Club’s record signing in January from Fulham and despite his failure to set Loftus alight following his arrival, he certainly has the ability to score and create goals.  Over the last season he did score 7 goals, and racked up 8 assists despite a few injuries and an apparent falling out with Jol, yet he still chalked up 14 bonus points within his FPL total of 119 points. 

If Hughes can get the best out of Bobby and keep him fit, he certainly has potential with his ability at set plays an added factor  However is he value for you fantasy pounds at this stage of the season?  Well with Swansea at Home and Norwich Away to start it may well be an early gamble.

Mackie at £5.5m had a decent goal return last season but the best return per minute played was Djibril Cisse at £6.5m with 6 goals in just 533 mins and 2 clumsy red cards – a big gamble to select either?

To Conclude

QPR are very much a work in progress and Hughes may need to tinker with players and formations to get the best out of the squad.   There is definite value to be had here, and with the few “easier” fixtures to use them these boys could be your differential that takes you top!!

 

City of Champions – Again?

Manchester City 2012/13 Options

by @1Bonz

Introduction

ManchesterCity went into the 2011/12 season with high ambitions having finished in 3rd place in 2010/11 and lifting the FA Cup, but despite early failure in the European Champions League and throwing away a big EPL lead, THAT goal with the last kick of the game by Aguero v QPR crowned ManCity champions in spectacular fashion!  But with that goal and that title success,  Mancini will be under a different type of pressure as he enters 2012/13, with ambitions not only to retain the Title but also push hard in the Champions League.

With the millions previously available to the Manager, the big surprise is that despite other Clubs already strengthening their Squads, Manchester City have remained very very patient and as yet have not added any new players!!

It is likely that City will look to rotate even more in the EPL with the hunger for European success.  I think that from an FPL perspective, we would have to assume that the squad will be expanded over the coming weeks.  Whilst Robin Van Persie is one target that seems to be proving a tough nut to crack – with both Juventus and Man Utd tabling offers!!   At this stage of pre season City have also retained last seasons squad – despite constant rumours of Tevez leaving and Dzeko being unhappy they remain City players as does Emmanuel Adebayor, who has been forced to return after a season long loan to Spurs.

City attacking style last season showed huge improvements, scoring more than any other team,  with  88 EPL goals  an increase of 30 from the previous season.  Despite the best attack, they maintained the best defence in the league for the second consecutive season having conceded only 27 goals, with 17 clean sheets compared to 18 in 2010/11.

The Champions have been rock solid for the last two seasons and should offer the same resilience in 2012/13 but with Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal strengthening, City will need to be fully prepared to fight tooth & nail if they are to defend the title.

Opening 10 fixtures: Sampton H / Lpool A / QPR H / Stoke A / Arse H / Ful A / Sun H / WBA A / Swa H / WHM A

FPL Considerations:

Defence

Hart – £7.0m

The England number one returned from his loan spell at Brum in 2010 and was given the nod over Shay Given, a decision which resulted in City and Hart chalked up 18 clean sheets in 38 games. He continued the sensational form in the title winning season playing ever minute of the season, clocking up 17 clean sheets and a mammoth 168 FPL points.

Whilst expensive, it buys you a guaranteed route into the City defence, as rotation will play no part and this guy could, be your every game Keeper.  You pay your money, and should expect a healthy return.

Kompany – £7.5m

The high outlay would seem to be well spent on a player that  seems to guarantee clean sheets, having played in 15 of the 17 last season and all 18 clean sheets in 2010/11.

The Captain and key central defender contributed hugely towards the clubs success and looks a nailed on regular in the heart of City’s defence. The Belgian poses an attacking threat at set pieces, scoring 3 EPL goals last season, and providing an assist for 2 others, whilst collect 12 bonus points.

His controversial red card in the Manchester derby, cost him several games where his 145 point FPL may have been improved upon but he was still the second highest scoring defender in FPL last season.

So why choose Kompany over Lescott (£6.5), Clichy (£6.0), Richards (£6.0),or  Zabaleta (£6.0) purely down to the rotation as frustratingly Clichy/Kolorov shared games at left back as did Zabaleta/Richards on the right.  Lescott did maintain his central position following the return of Toure from his ban, but with big European games he too may become more of a rotation risk with both Toure & Savic offered game time.

 Midfield

Silva – £10m

Having a Spanish World and double European Champion play within your team must inspire all at the Club?  The mercurial “midfielder” was outstanding last season, albeit his form dipped in the late stages of the season, but he had contributed 6 goals, and created 17 other goals, therefore responsible for over a quarter of the goals City scored.

The system deployed by Mancini had Silva operate as part of a 3 pronged attack and could be argued as an “OOP”? 

The EA bonus system awarded 21 bonus points to help him to 184 FPL points, the third highest scoring midfielder last season and if his batteries are recharged this extra striker could reap huge dividends with what seems great opening fixtures.

Yaya – £8.0m

The talismanic former Barca midfielder has been priced at a very affordable £8m, perhaps in part due to his 2011/12 FPL points haul of just 139 points, however he bettered his previous seasons return with 6 goals and 9 assists despite playing less games due to ACON duties.

 The EA stats only allocated 15 bonus points – due in part to the brilliance of Silva and Aguero in many games, however his physical power and speed has been critical in the adoption of “plan B” moving him from defensive midfield to an attacking role and Mancini relies heavily on the giant Ivorian and inevitably any FPL manager will be expecting even better returns with no ACON and high expectation on a player unlikely to be rotated frequently.

Obviously there are several other midfielder options which may be of interest, however the rotation risk of ownership has to be factored and whilst Nasri is a great option, he does tend to get rotated and subbed frequently so has to be taken into consideration.

Strikers

Aguero – £11.5m

Whilst expensive, at this stage he is the only striker that hasn’t been linked with moves away, settled so well last year that this season he has the ability to surpass the 23 goals he blazed last season and is well worth the asking price.

The Argentine striker didn’t just score 23 goals, but assisted 9 other goals and collected 30 bonus points as he collected 211 FPL points and finished the 3rd highest points scoring striker in his first season in the EPL.   Out of the “big” strikers, with the fixtures being very kind to the Champions, it is worth getting on this bandwagon, before the value starts increasing.

The Tevez option is tempting at just £9.0m but is he going to stay and would he be a regular?  The same can be asked for Edin Dzeko who scored 14 goals last season – but he is unlikely to play regularly which leaves Balotelli, who is a superb talent, but as we all know, is a ticking time bomb that can explode at any time……..what is worth pointing out is Adebayor at £9.5m looks an absolute steal – IF HE LEAVES AND GOES TO SPURS!!  His stats last season was excellent with 17 goals, 12 assists, 31 bonus points and 194 FPL points – its unlikely he will remain at City but definitely one player to watch.

Who to pick – you decide!!