Champions League and Europa League – Semi Finals

Congratulations to those managers who have progressed through the Quarter Finals of their respective competitions, and commiserations to those eliminated

Champions League:

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)

 

Europa League:

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)

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Europa League GW29 Review: Groups I-L

So, the final round of the group stage has passed. Got to make this review a quick one.

Group I

Dortmund (Tommytour) defeats Cluj (Milanista) 55-51

Aiming for a historic sixth win from six, I don’t know what to blame more. Lukaku(c) for that 16 point penalty miss, Cisse for a last minute goals plus baps for Tommy or that home advantage rule. Tommy needed a win to guarantee progression  to the knockouts and Suarez, Cisse, Bale, Enrique and Turner helped him there despite Michu(c).

Everton (Beric) draw with Spartak Moscow (Arise Sir Giggsy) 45-45

Beric needed a win and Tommy to lose to have a chance of progressing. With neither event coming to pass Everton have ended in 3rd place, the 5 point gap between them and qualification does not show how tight it was. It took until the final GW, but Sir Giggsy finally got off the mark to avoid the shame of ending on 0 points. He’d have got a win if he didn’t talk a hit for Michu and, of all people, Hal Robson Kanu.

Group J

Olympiakos (Pratik) defeats Man City (AK) 49-48

A top of the table clash, Pratik qualifies as group winner after winning this one. Captain Bale, Suarez, Sissoko and Bunn produced the points for Olympiakos, City had Benteke(c), Suarez, Bale and Lukaku returning the goods. AK goes through in second.

Sporting (TorresMagic) defeats Granada (Green Windmill) 52-47

H2H record meant that Sporting’s win was not enough to progress despite matching City on 9 points. Suarez provided decisive in this one, Torres picked up 24 points from the little racist with the captains armband, Green Windmill is one of the long suffering non owners having not had Suarez all season.

Group K

Stoke (Wild Rover) defeats Shakhtar (Dynamic) 69-64

Two high scoring teams for this blank week, both had Suarez(c) and Bale providing significant returns. The unexpected 16 point haul of Andros Townsend got Wild Rover second spot in the group, completing an impressive comeback after starting with 3 defeats. Dynamic had already qualified as group winner with 4 wins.

Lille (In Like Flynn) defeats Malaga (Ajay) 53-48

Both teams started on 6 points and the winner had a chance of going through, depending on the outcome of the other game. Stoke’s win meant Lille’s triumph was in vain. Blank GWs cause desperation and Ajay was left transferring in Craig Gardner for a point. Admittedly, he used the cash raised to ditch that tosser Pogrebynak for Suarez. The valorous pick of Sissoko(c), along with returns from some of the usual suspects was enough to get ILF the win and leave Ajay with the group’s wooden spoon.

Group L

Getafe (Declan) defeats Wigan (Giggs Boson) 55-53

Needing a win to stand a chance of progression, Giggs will no doubt be struggling to find a gif that encapsulates the anguish of that Lukaku(c) penalty miss. Suarez(c) punished Wigan as Declan progressed with 5/6 wins.

Lyon (FC Borec) defeats Koln (Fray Bentos) 46-31

After starting with 4 wins and being the first team to suffer elimination, Borec has regained some credibility by winning the last two. Fray Bentos had a bit of a shocker after handing the armband to Sturridge over Suarez and taking a 12 point hit (58 transfers for the season now) to bring in a bunch of 0-3 pointers. Nevertheless, Koln take second spot after starting the campaign with 3 wins.

Europa League Review GW28: Groups I-L

Edit: ignore the permutations, I screwed them up.

Group I

Dortmund (Tommytour) defeats Spartak Moscow (Arise Sir Giggsy) 85-77

Playing away from home and taking a 4 point hit, Dortmund started with an 8 point deficit. The decision to sell Sagna and RVP for Enrique and Suarez(c) meant that decision paid off brilliantly. Fellaini, Davies and Walcott, along with Ramirez coming off the bench led to a 43k GW rank for Tommy. Spartak also own Suarez but captained Bale for less spectacular returns.  Fellani, Walcott and Davies also came in with the points for Giggsy though RVP to Lambert proved to be an unsuccessful transfer.

Cluj (Milanista) defeats Everton (Beric) 70-61

With Aguero ruled out through injury, Cluj ended up fielding an unconventional 4-5-1 formation but 26 points between GJ, Evans, Davies and Harte meant this worked out okay. Walcott, RVP and Bale(c) also helped the unstoppable Cluj to 5/5 wins in the competition, a record that no team in either the Champions or Europa League can much, not that I’m bragging much. Like Cluj, Everton saved a transfer and captained Bale. RVP, Walcott, Fellani and Zabaleta helped Beric to a decent score but poor returns from Anichebe and his other defenders meant it wasn’t enough.

Permutations: With Spartak stuck in last and the mighty Cluj having an insurmountable lead, the focus is on the battle for second.Tommy leads Beric by 3 points, a win for Beric against Giggsy will be enough to take him through on goal difference if Tommy loses. Giggsy has nothing but pride to play for and will be looking to cause an upset. With the full 11 available and home advantage, Tommy looks favourite to end the winning streak of Cluj and take second place in the group.

Group J

Olympiakos (Pratik) defeats Granada (Green Windmill) 59-57

Injuries to Sturridge and Aguero meant that Pratik was left with a 4-5-1 and a measly 2 points from Lambert, just signed in place of RVP. RVP to Lambert was a transfer mirrored by Granada. Both teams captained Bale and had identical midfields aside from different cheap 5th midfielders for 2 points. With the teams also sharing Begovic, Davies and a Liverpool defender it was always going to be a tight game. Pratik’s home advantage, along with having GJ over Enrique, clinched victory for Olympiakos.

Man City (AK) defeats Sporting (TorresMagic) 81-53

Sometimes, those at the top seem to get all the luck. Aguero(c), Suarez(vc) is a perfect example of that and exactly what AK got this week as he handed Torres a thrashing. AK saved a transfer in preparation for GW29 though was another to end up with 4-5-1.  Bale, Walcott, Fellaini and Evans helped wreak misery on Torres. A strikeforce of Sturridge, Lambert and Giroud was something of a disaster for Sporting, who had Bale(c) to thank for rescuing what could have been a dire week.

Permutations: On 9 points each, the winner of AK v Pratik will definitely qualify, both will qualify if the managers can indulge in a spot of match fixing and draw. Assuming there is a winner in the top of the table clash Green Windmill, currently on 6 points, will qualify on goal difference if he can overcome TorresMagic. Torres is also on 6 points but will need a significant swing in goal difference to progress so he’s basically screwed.

Group K

Shakhtar Donetsk (Dynamic) defeats Lille (In Like Flynn) 85-83

Big scores in this one, ILF’s attack of the Rat and Pig racked up 31 points and the differential pick of Pienaar came up with 12. Captain Bale, Azpilicueta and Enrique completed a good week for Lille. Transferring Suarez in for Giroud was a smart transfer, though the decision to get that donkey in the first place was somewhat foolish. Dynamic is another to captain Bale and own Suarez, Fellaini matched Pienaar’s score and Walcott finished off his attacking returns. 3/3 clean sheets for Shakhtar, along with home advantage, was enough to scrape past Lille who picked up 2 clean sheets. Laughably, it was Demel coming off Dynamic’s bench for Cameron that won it for him.

Stoke (Wild Rover) defeats Malaga (Ajay) 71-62

With everyone worried about GW29 blanks, Wild Rover actually ended up with just 10 players this week after Aguero(c), Sturridge, Rafael and Townsend didn’t feature. Nevertheless, Bale(vc), Fellaini, Walcott, Davies and the newly transferred in Suarez for RVP took Stoke to a good score. Malaga picked up decent returns from defence and midfield but was let down by an attack of RVP and Lambert(c). Ajay’s decision to sell Suarez for Lambert in GW27 is not looking too good right now.

Permutations: With 4/5 wins, Dynamic is through as group winner. The other three sides are all level on 6 points. After starting the campaign with 3 defeats, Wild Rover now leads the race for second on goal difference and has a home game against the group winners next. ILF hosts Ajay in the other game, though with a vastly inferior goal difference ILF will need to win and hope Wild Rover drops points in the other game to progress. Wins for Wild Rover and Ajay will make things very tight, as there is a goal difference of just 4 between them.

Group L

Getafe (Declan) defeats FC Koln (Fray Bentos) 85-62

Never shy of a transfer, Fray removed RVP and Dempsey for Aguero and Bale with mixed success. Having captained Aguero, he will no doubt be ruing the decision to hand the vice to Lampard over Suarez. 4/5 CS at the back from Hart, Evans, Williams and Davies helped the team to a decent score but some way off the mark required to beat Getafe. There were returns all over the pitch for Declan, who was another Bale captainer to sell RVP for Suarez. 2 CS and an assist from Harte at the back, along with Fellaini and Walcott gave Declan a comprehensive victory.

Lyon (FC Borec) defeats Wigan (Giggs Boson) 90-75

Borec was the first manager to suffer elimination from this season’s competition but he made sure not to be the last manager stuck on 0 points as he got off the mark with the biggest score in this review. Predictably, Suarez(c) was the biggest source of points. RVP, Bale, Fellaini, Walcott, Davies and Harte all chipped in. Giggs Boson wisely captained Rooney for a 28 point haul and despite 3 clean sheets at the back, was hurt by a lack of Fellaini.

Permutations: On 12 points and with a goal difference 70 higher than Fray Bentos on 9 points, Declan will almost certainly qualify as group winner. Borec has been eliminated as previously alluded to. Giggs Boson is on 6 points, a win at home to Declan combined with an away win for Borec against Fray will see Giggs steal second place.

Europa League GW28 Writeups for Groups A, E, F & G

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Group A

(Porkie) Fortuna Dusseldorf 80 – 72 Toulouse (Heco87)

Another win for Porkie cements his top of the table finish in the penultimate week, Heco87 meanwhile languishes at the bottom of the table with just the one win and no hope of getting through to next round.

With their defences scoring 15 – 11 and very similar frontlines, this tie was decided by captain choice. Porkie learned his lesson from last week and captained Bale while Heco87 did not, and captained Mata. (The only personnel difference at the front was Michu (3) Vs Lambert (2) which was neither here nor there).

(MegatronX) Sampdoria 79 – 83 Real Madrid (Demi)

A win away from home for Demi could prove crucial here. With top spot decided, second place will be between these two and Demi may well have clinched it,with a 3 point lead and the H2H won.

Again, very similar teams, with just two differences between their front eights but with both teams insightfully captaining Suarez, the tie was decided by Fletcher & Michu Vs RVP & Fellaini – no contest there. A valiant effort by Sampdoria’s extra heavy-hitter defence just wan’t enough to overcome the damage inflicted by Fellaini.

Dusseldorf lead the table on 12 points, leading Real Madrid by 3 points – but next week they face eachother. To take first place however, Real Madrid must beat Dusseldorf by more than 22 points – a tall order in what is likely to be a low scoring week. The H2H rule means that Sampdoria cannot take second place from Real Madrid, whatever happens. However the battle for pride of third place will be decided next week – if Toulouse win by more than 2 points they will take third place.

Europa League GW 26-27 Review: Groups I-L

Slightly different this time in that there are two gameweeks to cover in this review. As everyone had the same opponent twice it gave immediate chances for the GW26 losers to get revenge or for the GW26 winners to rub salt into wounds.

Group I

GW26 Everton (Beric) defeat Dortmund (Tommytour) 104-96

GW27 Dortmund defeat Everton 41-38

GW26: The contrasting scores immediately show the difference between the successful DGW26 and the disastrous GW27. Both teams opted for 4 DGWers, the common Swansea pair of Davies and Michu and Sturridge while Beric also picked up GJ and Tommy went with Suarez. Beric stormed into the lead on the opening day thanks to Bale and Michu(c). Tommy did eventually claw back some of the deficit through Suarez(c) but it wasn’t enough.

GW27: Tommy responded to the blank GW conundrum by selling Michu and Suarez for Bale and Cisse, a hit that paid off in a big way though cancelled out Dortmund’s home advantage. Beric made just the one transfer, replacing GJ with Wilson and rolled out a 4-4-2 formation only for Anichebe to leave him a man down. Bale and RVP(c) aside, it was a disastrous GW for both teams with only a Zabaleta CS for Beric and Cisse goal for Tommy providing any relief. Dortmund scraped the win thanks to the odd point here and there.

Both teams are now on 6 points and, while it isn’t certain, appear to be in a straight fight for second place.

GW26 Cluj (Milanista) defeat Spartak Moscow (Arise Sir Giggsy) 82-81

GW27 Cluj defeat Spartak 41-36

GW26: Both teams did relatively poorly for different reasons. I suffered from limited investment in Liverpool whereas Giggsy suffered from having a slightly non-generic team and consequently missing out on the hauls of Bale and Michu. After Liverpool’s loss to West Brom it looked like the tie was over but it ended up being decided by baps after a strong performance from Spartak’s Sturridge and Suarez(c) and a less satisfactory haul from Cluj’s GJ(c) and err…. Henderson.

GW27: Giggsy wouldn’t have been pleased to see Cazorla bag a brace just after he sold him and captained Walcott. Monday night provided some consolation when the replacement midfielder matched the 15 point haul. With Cluj swiftly giving Henderson the boot, his replacement Sissoko made the difference in this H2H despite the frustrating acquisition of Jonny Evans. Sissoko’s double digit score meant that Giggsy needed 7 points from Demel to draw the game and that was never going to happen.

With 4 losses from 4, Giggsy needs to win both his remaining games and rely on me (which he can,obviously) to win both of mine to match Beric and Tommy on 6 points and potentially qualify. Cluj are not guaranteed a spot in the knockouts yet but it looks very likely.

Its worth pointing out, for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with feeling smug, that I am the only manager in Europa to have recorded the maximum 12 points from the opening 4 games.

Group J

GW26 Granada (Green Windmill) defeat Man City (AK) 101-74

GW27 Granada defeat City 43-26

GW26: Despite a more successful captain choice in Suarez, City were comprehensively beaten as a result of Granada’s Bale, RVP and Enrique. A late cameo from Mata prevented Green Windmill getting Maloney off the bench but this was a small issue in such a high scoring week. Aside from the mega haul of Enrique, both teams performed dismally in defence, with AK’s defence of Baines, Samba and Davies returning a grand total of 1 point.

GW27: City’s 4 point home advantage was turned into a 4 point deficit after taking an 8 point hit. Evans and Pog were somewhat disastrous, the signing of Bale went much better. Granada also brought in Evans, but used their other free transfer to get Sissoko for a 10 point haul. Both teams captained Walcott and were left wishing they swapped it around with Bale(vc).

GW26 Sporting (TorresMagic) defeat Olympiakos (Pratik) 108-93

GW27 Olympiakos defeat Sporting 41-35

GW26: Double digit scores from Bale, Michu, RVP, Sturridge and Suarez(c) helped TorresMagic break the 100 point barrier along with smaller returns from Walcott and Martin. Pratik also scored highly, but no RVP, a 4 point hit and playing away from home meant that Sporting ran out as comfortable winners.

GW27: Both sides experienced a big drop from their GW26 hauls. Pratik brought in RVP and Sissoko while Torres has less success with Giroud and Debuchy. The signing of Sissoko, along with home advantage, made the difference for Olympiakos despite only managing to field 9 players.

After 4 games, all the teams in Group J are tied on 6 points meaning everything is still to play for.

Group K

GW26 Lille (In Like Flynn) defeat Stoke (Wild Rover) 107-88

GW27 Stoke defeat Lille 58-26

GW26: Two managers experiencing contrasting seasons, the less impressively ranked side racked up the points in this one thanks to Azpilicueta, Enrique, Michu, Sturridge and Suarez(c). Assists from Harte and Sissoko, acquired earlier than most, added to the margin of victory. It was a decent showing from Wild Rover, but the decision to captain Gerrard over Michu or Suarez proved to be unsuccessful.

GW27: After starting the Europa League with 3 defeats, Wild Rover finally got off the mark as Bale(c) and Rafael helped him to a relatively good week, despite an 8 point hit. The Liverpool/Swansea blanks meant that Wild Rover had to play Andros Townsend, which needless to say was not a name I was expecting to come across in anyone’s teams. ILF went one better with a 12 point hit. Bale aside, they were all disasters with Martin, Wilson and Rooney contributing 4 points between them.

GW26 Malaga (Ajay) defeat Shakhtar (Dynamic) 92-82

GW27 Shakhtar defeat Malaga 44-42

GW26: Both teams went into the DGW with Davies, Gerrard and Suarez(c). Dynamic also had Sturridge whereas Ajay had Michu and this made the difference as Ajay picked up the points. Both Ajay and Dynamic were no doubt left distraught by their decision to sell Bale to Gerrad, though fortunately they reversed the transfer in GW27, leading us on to…

GW27: Bale and Lambert in, now that’s what you call successful transfers and moves made by both managers. Dynamic also brought in Evans but still managed to get 11 players out despite his absence. Home advantage for Shakhtar made the difference in this tight game, unsurprising considering how the two managers seem to have been making almost identical decisions.

Dynamic leads the group on 9 points, ILF and Ajay are tied on 6 points while Wild Rover props them up on 3 points. All to play for in this one.

Group L

GW26 Koln (Fray Bentos) defeat Wigan (Giggs Boson) 86-83

GW27 Wigan defeat Koln 43-37

GW26: Fray’s decision to wildcard in GW25 and bring in6 DGWers while saving a FT in GW26 did not go down well with Giggs Boson, who was aghast at the prospect of losing both games as a consequence. As it turned out, Koln needed home advantage to win this one. No Bale hurt Fray, but his differentials Lampard and Dempsey both returned reasonable scores. Joe Hart makes a rare appearance in an FFS team, though Giggs’ Bunn outscored the premium keeper.

GW27: A familiar sight for GW27, that of Evans being transferred in for disappointment and a Newcastle player being brought in for a goal. In this case, it was Cisse and not Sissoko for Wigan. Fray made 4 transfers, bringing in Evans, Sissoko, Silva and RVP. It was the first time this season that Fray has owned RVP so we all know who to blame for the injury. Despite double digit scores from Hart, Silva and Sissoko, Fray started the GW with 10 players and watched Dempsey, Evans, Lampard and Clyne all return 0 points either due to not playing or having disasters. At least Lampard helped Hart to a big score. It looked like Wigan were heading for defeat then, in the final few minutes of the GW, Bale came up with the goods to stop Koln matching me with 4 wins out of 4.

GW26 Getafe (Declan) defeat Lyon (FC Borec) 87-84

GW27 Getafe defeat Lyon 48-24

GW26: Both teams got returns from the same players (GJ, Theo, Walcott, RVP and Suarez captain) in this one, the only difference of note being an additional clean sheet for Getafe courtesy of Martin. It was a deserved win for Declan, having been brave/foolish enough to bring in Henderson which unfortunately led to Lambert being benched.

GW27: With no player scoring over 4 points, Borec had a shocker in this one even by the low standards of GW27. While many went for Debauchery (as you do), Santon founds his way into Borec’s team and provided similar returns with an assist. The newly signed Bale along with Lambert being restored from the bench helped Declan double the score of his opponent.

Fray and Declan lead the way with 9 points, Giggs isn’t far behind on 6. Borec has the ignominy of being the first manager eliminated from the competition.

Gameweek 27 Review for Europa Groups A, E, F & G by Roscola

Group A

Porkie‘s Dusseldorf finally lost a game – beaten 37-43 at home by MegatronX‘s Sampdoria. You’d have to say there was a measure of bad luck involved here for Porkie. Pog’s red card and the no-show of new signing Evans hurt him badly. Both teams failed to stick the boot in by captaining non-Bale players but the final damage was inflicted by Sampdoria’s inspired signing of Sissoko.
In the other matchup, Demi‘s Real Madrid got taken to the cleaners by Heco87‘s Toulouse 38-48. Both players wisely brought in Bale but again didn’t show enough faith to captain him, both opting for the loser Walcott. With both defences providing little and Kebe Vs Nolan the only midfield battle, the tie ultimately came down to Fletcher Vs Lambert. Rickiiiiiieeee!!
Dusseldorf are now 3 points clear at the top of the table, with Real Madrid and Sampdoria second and third on 6 points apiece, Toulouse now need to string some wins together to move off the bottom.
Group E
Acqua‘s Panathanaikos continued their stunning form, beating LightKnight‘s Norwich City 54-48. Lambert, Bale and RVP(C) helped him along but top story here was new signing Schneiderlin. Outrageous tekkers from Acqua. Meanwhile Norwich’s Monreal continued to bring the goods, and splendidly differential Wilshere and Cisse(C) helped him along too but flying Baleless is proving to be a differential too far for the LightKnight, who nonetheless scored second highest in the group this week.

Europa Group E: Mystic Björk’s Matchday 3 Visions by Roscola

 brrr-oooo-eee-up aaah-ya-leee-ooo-ih 
 
Welcome to Mystic Björk’s Group E, Matchday 3 Visions 
Last week, Mystic Björk predicted wins for Norwich and Fiorentina. Let’s not dwell on that. With all wildcards safely dispatched, I can get on with my predictions from a level playing field.
First up, Fiorentina (RoysCallerAnne) Vs KR Reykavik (roscola)
Fiorentina were unlucky last week to face the might of Panathanaikos and their unstoppable climb up the ranks. I wish I could say otherwise but my beautiful Reykjavik is much less stern a test.
Of course, this is a double gameweek and much will be decided – for this week – by the size of their DGW balls. Having slept with Reykjavik’s manager roscola last night, I am privy to some facts. Despite being throughly exhausted by the Herculean lover, I was able to pry some information out of him before I collapsed into the blissful insanity of my dreams. He has taken a hit to bring in Sturridge and Gerrard to partner Suarez and decided to risk going without Michu and his fading form. RoysCallerAnne, we can see, has taken 2 hits. With Suarez, Michu and Davies already in his team, he appears to have gone all in with a full complement of DGW-ers. For this week and this week only, that looks like being unbeatable, especially with so few differences between their teams otherwise.
Mystic Björk’s Vision: A double-battering for my beautiful home city of Reykjavik. But we’re vikings, we can take it.
 
 
Secondly, Norwich (Light Knight) Vs Panathanaikos (Acquafresca)
It’s tempting to say Panathanaikos are simply irresistible right now. 500K to 4K in 10 weeks is beyond a joke. Who can withstand that kind of form?
But let’s look deeper. Panathanaikos, starting with just Michu and Davies for the DGW has also taken 2 hits. That’s a 12 point lead for the home side, who already have Gerrard and Johnson. Add in that several of Norwich’s key assets have relatively good fixtures – Zabaleta (SOU), Monreal & Wilshere (sun), Vertonghen & Lennon (NEW) and they could put up a good fight.
Sadly, I don’t think it will be enough. Light Knight needs the standard DGW assets to be very quiet and that seems unlikely.
Mystic Björk’s Vision: Another win for Acquafresca’s unstoppable Panathanaikos.

Europa League GW25 Review: Groups I-L

Group I

Milanista (Cluj) defeats Beric (Everton) 83-80

We start with the highest scoring game of the round. Despite Beric enjoying home advantage and a wildcard he could not overcome the might of Cluj. As the clock ticked down in the final game of the weekend, Beric looked safe with a 5 point advantage. However, a second goal conceded for his Zabaleta and a goal for Aguero meant the scores were tied pre bonus. Both teams found themselves smothered with baps, with me emerging victorious courtesy of 17 of the beauties.

TommyTour (Dortmund) defeats ArsieSirGiggsy (Spartak Moscow) 58-55

Another close Group I encounter, albeit a relatively low scoring one. Dortmund’s home advantage proved decisive in getting them off the mark in this season’s competition to leave Spartak as the only team in the group with no points. Giggsy benefitted from Harte coming off the bench for Demel but it was not enough despite Tommy leaving Turner on his bench. Dortmund now face 2 games against Everton which could go some way to deciding one of the qualifiers. Spartak will no doubt be dreading the upcoming double against high flying Cluj.

Continue reading

Group E, Matchday 2 Report by Roscola

Norwich (Light Knight) 43 – 51 KR Reykjavik (roscola)
Both teams suffered poor scores this week and were lucky not to come up against the others. Light Knight stuck with his avant garde Big Back Five approach with new signing Nacho bringing home the bacon. Unfortunately for him, Zabaleta and GJ both missed the mark. The price of the Big Back Five is of course, a weaker forward line and this proved to be his undoing, with only Gerrard finding the net. Reykjavik’s patron saint Björk approves hugely of Light Knight’s wildly differential approach but even she can’t see the wisdom of captaining Cisse against Chelsea and that was the final nail in Norwich’s coffin. The last twist of fortune’s alliterative dagger was in benching the Belgian Beast’s brace  – had Light Knight played Benteke, he would have won the tie on home advantage. It was not to be though. Reykjavik’s dull-as-ditchwater quartet of Bale, Mata, Walcott and RVP carried them over the finish line with a nice little extra from the only maverick pick in the side – mackem defender O’Shea.
KR Reykjavik are now sitting as pretty as Björk herself atop the group E table while Norwich lick their wounds with nil points.
Panathanaikos (Acquafresca) 88 – 67 Fiorentina (RoysCallerAnne)
The first battle of the big hitters in the group and Fiorentina can feel rightly aggrieved that a very decent gameweek score, second highest of group E wasn’t enough to take the points. Acquafresca continued his frankly astonishing rise up the ranks – 500K to 4K in 10 weeks can only be ascribed to sorcery. Even RoysCallerAnne’s wildcard couldn’t contain that tidal wave of success. Even so, he put up a great fight and the matchup was largely decided by the battle of the budget defence: Bunn’s penalty save and Harte’s assist told the tale here. Fiorentina’s inspired signing of Anichebe paid off handsomely, with a glorious 11 point haul but it wasn’t enough.
A first win for Panathanaikos sees them second in the group on goal difference with Fiorentina also on 3 points in third.

EUROPA League Group D review Matchdays 1 & 2

1st Palermo (Mark) P2, W1, D1, L0, F129, A102, GD27, Pts4

The FFS Supremo can truly claim to be the master of all he surveys as he sits atop Group D after the first 2 rounds. GW1 saw a truly clash of the titans as Mark went head to head with Granville. But, in truth this turned out to be something of a damp squib as Mark romped to a 58-31 victory. His faith in Leighton Baines was finally rewarded as the Everton defender provided him with a 17 point haul and Juan Mata weighed in with 14. His Matchday 2 battle with Chris_White was truly epic as the two sides slugged out a 71 all draw. The home advantage for the Sevilla manager proved to be his saviour here. 2 virtually identical teams went to battle as Sevilla’s ‘Power 5’ plus Ba and Federici just held of Mark’s Podolski, Ba and Szczesny to claim what could prove to be a valuable point.

2nd Sevilla (Chris_White) P2, W1, D1, L0, F137, A113, GD24, Pts4

Sevilla have had a storming start to this Europa season. Matchday 1 saw them ease to a 66-42 victory over Feyenoord. We already know we have a Power Fiver, but Sevilla were aided further by Mr. L. Baines as well and despite the four point home advantage Feyenoord simply had no answer to such power. We have already seen what happened in Matchday 2

3rd West Ham (Granville) P2 W1, D0, L1 F100, A116, GD-16, Pts3

It has not exactly been a great season. More injuries than Kieron Dyer and Darren Anderton put together (if you require it, a full catalogue is available on request from the man himself) and then a humiliating defeat to Mark in Matchday 1 has summed up Granville’s season so far. But is a change of fortune afoot? OK, the Gameweek was marred by yet another injury, but Granville was handed a stroke of luck as Russell Martin’s unexpected Clean Sheet was ushered into his team as Guy Demel disappeared from West Ham’s squad without a trace (rumours have since emerged that a well known FFSer and Hammer’s fan currently has him locked in a basement) This, coupled with his four point advantage helped him to a much needed victory over Feyenoord with a near 30 point haul from Aguero, Gerrard and Fellain topping Feyenoord’s Podolski and Bale.

4th Feyenoord (Cabaye4) P2, W0, D0, L2 F100, A135, GD-35, Pts0

It can surely only get better for Feyenoord, but can it get much worse? Well, actually yes it could. After such an awful start, Feyenoord now face back to back Head to Head’s with Palermo that will make or break their whole campaign.