After a gallant performance in the warm-up game against New Zealand, Team Pakistan is fit and raring to go as the match against the Women’s Institute, sorry West Indies begins tomorrow.
The team is captained by 4vets, whose dedication to the cause is so great that he is out for a curry tonight. Hopefully the food will agree with him, as nobody wants their insides to turn into the Rawalpindi Express! Vice captain Hunter S Thompson is on his usual late season run of good form and is hotly tipped to do well this week.
The next four players in the batting order are all taking their Wildcards for the team, so FC Barcelona, regular FFS posters Crouch Potato and 1966 was a good year and the star of a recent Scoutcast Gigging Order.
This being a DGW, teams with 6 DGWers or more should do well, so Emperikal, Ajay-KL, Adnan (Boom Boom) and Sarnab should all have a chance of a good score, as should the Coach and Wicketkeeper Shipstontrev. So beware Doosra And The Differentials, Team Pakistan is coming to get you!!
LIVERPOOL (Optimus) 48 beat HAMBURG (4Vets) 41
Optimus finished the Group Stage with an away win against 4vets to win the Group Of Death that was Group A. Just 7 points separated the two Liverpool fans, and Optimus’s choice of Suarez(C) proved the winning decision, as 4vets went with Benteke(C), and there was little else to choose between them, as they both had Bale and Sturridge. 4vets can rightly feel aggrieved to have come bottom of the Group, but at least he won two matches.
RENNES (Sarnab Wazza) 54 beat Atalanta (MJ6987) 46
Just 8 points in this tie, with Sarnab maximising his home advantage with the choices of Suarez(C), Bale, Sissoko and flair pick Loic Remy. MJ had the first two of these as well, and also picked Benteke. However he was one of those victims of the Jason Puncheon yellow card in the one minute he played fiasco. Nevertheless it is MJ who qualifies for the CL Knockout stage, leaving Sarnab to go into the Europa League draw.
FC TWENTE (Jinswick) 58 beat INTERNAZIONALE (Isacki) 54
Another away win for Jinswick, despite taking a 4 point hit, in his domination of Group B. The key decision for him this week was Suarez(C) over Bale, when Isacki went the other way. Jinswick scored with 2 Norwich and 2 from Newcastle in Bunn, Turner, Sissoko and Marveaux, and although Isacki got good points from Benteke, he just didn’t have enough to win this week and as a result goes into the Europa League draw.
LIVERPOOL (Optimus) 77 beat RENNES (Sarnab Wazza) 64
Optimus had an important win over Sarnab in the Group Of Death’s penultimate round. Both managers gave the armband to Gareth Bale, and both had FPL regulars Walcott, Mata and Michu, but Liverpool fan Optimus profited from having Suarez and Glen Johnson to go with Evra and Jaaskelainen. Sarnab got good points from Fellaini, Davies and Zabaleta, but his bench, including a certain suspended Russian, did not provide enough support as he ended up with only 10 players.
ATALANTA (MJ6987) 83 beat HAMBURG (4Vets) 76
A close match ultimately decided by Vice Captain choices in the absence of Sergio Aguero who had the armband from both managers. MJ went with Suarez and profited from Wigan’s porous defence, while Liverpool fan 4Vets opted for Bale. Both players had Walcott, Mata and Begovic and each had a player rarely seen in many teams, Azpilicueta for MJ and Clichy for 4Vets,
The final round of matches sees 4Vets at home to Optimus and Sarnab at home to MJ. Another two home wins will see the list of tie-breakers come into play to decide the qualifiers for the knockout stages.
RENNES (Sarnab Wazza) 101 beat HAMBURG (4Vets) 84
What seems like a comfortable victory masks the fact that just 3 players made the difference in this tie, as both managers lined up with Suarez(C), RVP, Sturridge, Rafael, Walcott, Mata, Fellaini and Davies. Sarnab’s selection of Michu, Zabaleta and Mignolet, plus the 4 points for home advantage, gave him enough to prevail over 4Vets, who took a 4 point hit and had Bale, Begovic and Clichy in his team.
ATALANTA (MJ6987) 114 beat LIVERPOOL (Optimus) 80
MJ is top of Group A on points difference after this emphatic win. He chose Suarez as captain while Optimus went for Sturridge, and he also lined up with Bale, Sturridge, Azpilicueta and Zabaleta to go with home advantage, while Optimus took a 4 point hit and had Lambert, Silva, Johnson and Evra.
Next week’s matches see 4Vets at home to Sarnab and Optimus hosting MJ6987. Two home wins will see the Group Of Death living up to its name once again.
RENNES (Sarnab Wazza) 64 beat LIVERPOOL (Optimus) 56
Sarnab made home advantage pay off as he achieved the first win of his campaign by 8 points. Both managers had RVP and Walcott, but while Sarnab captained RVP, Optimus opted for the current Arsenal man. Mata also appeared in both teams, but after that there were several notable differences, Sarnab lining up with Fellaini and Aguero, and Optimus with Lambert and Jaaskelainen.
HAMBURG (4Vets) 75 beat ATALANTA (ML6987) 56
4Vets didn’t need home advantage as he ran away with this match by 19 points. All his big hitters came off, with Fellaini, Bale, RVP(C), Aguero, Walcott and Mata all scoring well. MJ had all of these players bar the Everton Afroman, whose 15 points proved the difference here. 4Vets climbs to 4k in the overall FPL rankings and finds himself at the top of the Bundesliga Season 2 table, while MJ slips to the bottom in the Serie A table.
All 4 managers are now on 3 points, with 4Vets leading due his superior points difference. As was predicted at the start, this is a very difficult group to predict. The Matchday 3 games are Rennes v Hamburg and Atalanta v Liverpool, and results may come down to who deals better with the Liverpool and Swansea DGW.
Liverpool (Optimus) 60 beat Hamburg (4Vets) 49
Optimus made a winning start to his CL campaign with this victory over Liverpool fan 4Vets, and in doing so made it into the top 1k in the overall FPL rankings. Both managers had RVP(C), Mata, Walcott and Davies, but the 17 points for Leighton Baines allowed Optimus to compensate for his poor transfer choices. 4Vets played his Winter Wildcard, but Aguero failed to boost his tally as QPR held Man City at bay on Tuesday night.
Atalanta (MJ6987) 61 beat Rennes (Sarnab Wazza) 48
MJ had lost his last 4 H2H games in Serie A, but had a comfortable win over his Ligue 1 opponent. Again RVP(C), Walcott, Mata and Davies were in both managers’ teams, and both also had Zabaleta and Aguero. The decision that decided the match was Sarnab selling Bale and Sturridge as part of his Winter Wildcard. MJ had both, so was able to profit.
Next week’s matches are 4Vets v MJ and Sarnab v Optimus. 4Vets must feel he has a chance, but things are looking ominous for Sarnab, who will need to take full advantage of being at home.
REIMS (Mahfreems) 105 beat MONTPELLIER (Facer) 74
On a GW where the Arsenal DGW increased the scores of just about every non-casual, Palace fan Mahfreems set the standard in Ligue 1 with a crushing 31 point victory over new boy Facer. Both managers, as did many in the league, had Walcott(C). Both also had RVP and Mata, but Mahreems’ choice of Podolski proved a masterstroke, despite the German not even playing at Stamford Bridge. Add in the points from Ben Davies and Luis Suarez and it is easy to see how Mahfreems achieved his massive score, which improved his position in the overall FPL rankings by over 130k.
LORIENT (Dr. Ennet) 103 beat RENNES (Sarnab Wazza) 94
The standard this week was so high that Sarnab scored 94 points and still lost by 9 points. Both managers had Walcott(C) and of course both had RVP. Again the Swede’s choice of Podolski proved the winning pick, although he also had good points from Suarez and Mata. Sarnab had Davies and Sturridge, but still tasted defeat ahead of his first match of his Champions League campaign.
GROUP A: Sarnab Wazza, 4Vets, MJ6987, Optimus
If ever a Group deserved the title “Group Of Death”, then Group A does. Sarnab was Ligue 1 winner, 4Vets was 2nd in the Bundesliga, MJ6987 led Serie A for a long part of the season before finishing 3rd and Optimus, whilst finishing 4th in the EPL, is the highest of all 4 players in the current FPL rankings. In fact all 4 players are currently in the top 7k overall, so there is no weak manager here. The group qualifiers could be the two that manage their 4 point home advantage the best, so Optimus and MJ6987 need to get off to a winning start.
Predicted Qualifiers: I know this sounds like Lawro, but “too close to call”
GROUP B: Boom Shakalaka, Isacki, Jinswick, Chazza
A much easier Group to call. Whilst Boom strolled La Liga by 7 points and Jinswick came third in the RoE, Chazza sneaked into 4th in Ligue 1 and Isacki has a special invitation due to his heroic contribution to this site. The overall FPL rankings show Jinswick at 3k, Boom at 14k and the other two at 19k. If Boom and Jinswick can get off to a winning start with home advantage, they will not be easy to catch.
Predicted Qualifiers: Jinswick, Boom Shakalaka
9 managers used their Winter Wildcard this week as the Chelsea & Southampton DGW appeared on the horizon, with Juan Mata the standout choice for the armband.
BASTIA (Aditya) 95 beat ST. ETIENNE (Chrissy Waddle) 64
New boy Aditya used his Wildcard to great effect as he stormed to victory over Chrissy. Carlos Tevez joined with DGW trio Mata(C), Azpilicueta, and Rickie Lambert to rack up the points. Chrissy took a 4 point hit, and Mata(C), Luiz, Puncheon and RVP left him a long way short.
NANCY (Coldplay) 95 beat LORIENT (Dr. Ennet) 75
Pakistan v Sweden here, as Coldplay made light of his 4 point hit with a comfortable win over Dr. Ennet. Mata(C). Tevez, Cech all brought Coldplay useful points, and each of his three defenders had a clean sheet. Dr. Ennet also had Mata(C), but the supporting points from Luiz, RVP and Fellaini were not high enough.
MARSEILLE (Fratboy) 89 beat MONTPELLIER (Facer) 64
Ligue 1’s top scorer this week was Fratboy, whose score of 89 after a 4 point hit gave him a 25 point win over new manager Facer. Fratboy’s top scorers were RVP(C), Suarez, Baines, Sterling, Walcott and, uniquely amongst Ligue 1 managers, Benteke. Facer also lined up with RVP(C) and Walcott, and he also had Berbatov, but he still finished a long way back.
RENNES (Sarnab Wazza) 87 beat BASTIA (Aditya) 68
This all-India clash saw Sarnab continue the form that won her the Ligue 1 title and has propelled her to the lofty heights of 525th in the overall FPL rankings. She had Suarez(C), RVP, O’Brien, Sterling and Walcott to thank for her score. New manager Aditya had RVP(C) and Walcott, with a very useful differential in Chicharito, but Sarnab is not a player to let new managers work their way in gently.
LYON (FC Borcelona) 81 beat EVIAN (King Eric) 74
FCB’s 4 point hit came off, giving him a 7 point victory over King Eric. The new Holy Trinity forward line of RVP(C), Suarez and Berbatov combined with the likes of Sterling, Walcott and Clichy gave him a win over his American opponent, who had RVP(C), Zabaleta, Berbatov, Walcott and Dempsey in his line-up. King Eric has been pretty unlucky these last two weeks, with two scores above 70 not bringing him any H2H points.