Congratulations to those managers who have progressed through the Quarter Finals of their respective competitions, and commiserations to those eliminated
Zep claimed the biggest scalp in the Quarters as he eliminated FFS favourite for the FPL crown, Evs, to set up an all-German Semi Final with Canadian Football’s Hannover 96. Fellow deadzoners, Jinswick and Valar Morghulis had the closest match across both competitions with Jinswick victorious by 2 points. MJ6987 proved the RMT computer wrong as he vastly outscored the predictions to beat 1966’s Southampton by 8 points. Canadian Football proved far too much for Optimus’ Liverpool side to prove even with limited time for fantasy football, with family taking precedence, it is possible to perform admirably. The semi finals are as follows and will take part over the next two game weeks, GW36 and GW37. The spreadsheet can be found here.
Twente (Jinswick) vs Atalanta (MJ6987)
Bayern Munich (Zep) vs Hannover 96 (Canadian Football)
Parmtree’s Bilbao, sometimes known for his drunken rages on FFS, romped to victory over the hapless US Pescara, as they and their manager, Goonerdhanesh had back-to-back shockers to hand Parmtree a 78 point victory. Epic Fail lived up to his name as he and his Villans fell to Aatish’s Benfica. Council member Pratik progressed after a 12 point victory over his countryman, AK. Resident “Elite” of the site, Acquafresca continued his impressive record in H2H competitions as he overturned a 13 point deficit from the first leg to record a victory over Super Zlatan’s PSG. The semi finals are as follows and will take part over the next two game weeks, GW36 and GW37. The spreadsheet can be found here.
Benfica (Aatish) vs Olympiakos FC (Pratik)
Athletic Bilbao (Parmtree) vs Panathinaikos (Acquafresca)
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.
Evian (King Eric) 68 beat Bayern Munich (Zep) 64
The practically dead team that is King Eric’s pulled off another victory this week. Failing to make changes in four of the last five weeks his decision to leave the armband on Suarez ever since the DGW came up trumps this week. RVP, Mata, Michu, Walcott and Davies were common to both sides. Both managers captained players their opponent did not own; King Eric, Suarez and Zep, Bale. In the end, the additional 14 points King Eric gained from Suarez’s hat-trick over Bale’s goal was enough to overcome Zep’s home ground advantage and additional man.
I have done my best to determine different possible scenarios and results. Best of luck to all! – Except LR who needs to lose ;).
A special thanks to Ginkapo and Kaz who helped with the permutations for groups H and F respectively.
I have linked the the rules and tie-breakers and the group standings for your convienence.
MJ6987 (9 pts, GD +19) – A win or draw would certainly see him through. He will likely progress anyways as he has the best GD in the group
Optimus (9 pts, -2 GD) – A win or draw will see him through, though a loss will likely see him drop to 3rd or 4th place.
4vets (6 pts, -3 GD) – Is in need of a win to progress. If MJ wins, 4vets will be assure progression with a victory. If MJ loses, 4vets will need his GD to be better than one of MJ or Sarnab.
Sarnab Wazza (6 pts, -14 GD) – Needs to defeat MJ by 17pts to progress if Optimus wins. If Optimus loses, Sarnab will need to finish with a GD better than MJ or 4vets.
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.
Evian (King Eric) vs Aston Villa (Epic Fail)
Evian 89 beat Aston Villa 87
Both managers had Michu, Mata, Walcott and RVP in this match-up. GJ and Rafael both produced for Epic Fail, while Szczesny delivered for King Eric. While Epic Fail had the edge in the defensive department, it was King Eric’s decision to go with Suarez(c) and Gerrard as his Liverpool coverage compared to Epic Fail’s Sturridge(c). The home advantage was just enough to see King Eric victorious in this match.
Aston Villa 56 beat Evian 21
King Eric failed to make any changes to his team from GW26 as he was restricted to just 7 players in this one. Zabaleta produced the goods for King Eric, but was easily outshone after Rafael’s thunderous strike gave Epic Fail 15 points. The key differentials in attack were Epic Fail’s Bale and Mata to King Eric’s nobody, as Epic Fail’s 11 men ran amok over King Eric’s 2-2-2 formation.
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.
Going into the qualification group two weeks ago it was being billed in some quarters as the archetypal “Group of Death” with all four teams highly ranked in overall FPL standings. The first two weeks has done little to dispel this with each team picking up a win and a loss, sitting on 3 points a piece going into GW26 (the Liverpool / Swansea DGW!). Who will seize the advantage this week?
Stade Rennes (Sarnab) vs Hamburg SV (Herr Vets)
Sarnab is the relative newcomer in the Group, with just two previous seasons in FPL (108k and 27k last season), however he has kicked on this season and went into the Group stage in a strong position. Sarnab peaked in GW21 at 525 but has slipped slightly to 2,293 going into this week.
Looking at this week’s fixture the two line ups are very similar, the only differentials being:
Sarnab: Mignolet (RDG), Zabaletta (sot), Michu (QPR/LIV)…+4 pts home advantage
Vets: Begovic (RDG), Clichy (sot), Bale (NEW)…-4 points hit
With Sarnab’s home advantage coupled with Vets’ 4 point transfer hit, this is going to need something special from Bale to give Herr Vets a win.
Bayern Munich (Zep) 72 beat Evian (King Eric) 50
Zep continued his unbeaten start to his CL campaign as he comfortably saw off King Eric’s side, despite playing away from home. While both managers had Bale, Mata, Walcott and Michu in midfield, it was the ‘Power 5’ *shudders* of Zep which gave him an immeasurable edge as Fellaini’s brace was his highest scoring player. King Eric on the other hand forgot to use his January Wildcard and made no changes to his side as a total of five of his players didn’t play in GW25; Tevez, Berbatov, Sterling, Gunter and Cuellar. Being restricted to 9 men clearly limited the output of King Eric’s side.
Aston Villa (Epic Fail) 68 beat Bologna (Frazek) 61
Epic Fail bounced back from his Matchday 1 loss to Zep, pulling off a narrow victory over Frazek. Due to the injury to Remy on Friday, Frazek was forced to lineup 4-4-2 with Rangel coming off his bench for a whole 2 points. Both managers had Walcott, Fellaini and Michu in midfield, with the only differences being Frazek’s Lampard to Epic Fail’s Mata, while Frazek took the brave step of captaining Walcott over RVP. Both managers had Manchester United defenders as their only source of clean sheet points. The major difference in this tie was Epic Fail’s strikers; RVP(c), Podolski and Lambert all producing the goods to overwhelm Frazek’s side. Frazek’s biggest regret will likely be the benching of Bunn this week, which inevitably lost him this matchup.
Zep is the early frontrunner in this group sitting pretty on 6 points after the first two matches. Epic Fail and Frazek are both on 3 points, but Epic Fail sits in 2nd place due to winning their matchup this week. King Eric will need to up his game as he’s propping up the table without a point to his name. This week’s matches are Evian vs Aston Villa and Bologna vs Bayern Munich.
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.