Fantasy Football News

Serie A Round 20 Fantacalcio Player Trends: Stock Up

We have officially made our way past the halfway point of the 2019/20 Serie A season, and the table is certainly beginning to tell us a lot about who are the contenders and who are the pretenders.

Last week, AC Milan picked up their first win of 2020 with a 2-0 result over Cagliari. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Rafael Leão provided the goals for the Rossoneri who produced one of their best collective efforts to date. Meanwhile, Lazio squeaked out their 10th straight league win thanks to Ciro Immobile’s 20th on the campaign, while Inter and Atalanta played to an action-packed 1-1 draw at San Siro.

Injuries to Merih Demiral and Nicolo Zaniolo marred what was an exciting finale on Sunday between Juventus and Roma, the former of which held on 2-1.

Now, after a slew of midweek Coppa Italia fixtures, we turn our attention to round 20 and give you the five names you should consider adding to your fantacalcio roster. Continue reading

Top fantasy La Liga picks for this weekend’s action in Spain

We have another full schedule of LaLiga games coming up in Spain this weekend.

It’s time to look ahead to the upcoming games as you decide on what changes, if any, to make in fantasy LaLiga.

Have a read and see if any tips stick out which might suit your fantasy LaLiga team this weekend.

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Lazio face test of squad depth as fixtures, injuries and suspensions pile up

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Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi is currently undergoing one of his biggest tests of the season.

That may seem like an odd thing to read, given that his team have forgotten how to lose; last weekend’s victory over Napoli marked a club record 10th league win in a row.

In that time, they’ve ended a 30-year wait to beat AC Milan at San Siro in Serie A, a 16-year winless run at home to Juventus in the league and most recently a six-match losing run against Napoli.

It’s tempting to think Lazio can just plug in and play at the moment, that Inzaghi has little more to do than send his team out on the pitch with the instructions: “Same again, lads”.

But the coach’s skill in keeping this run going shouldn’t be underestimated – and his biggest challenge could be just around the corner.

Lazio aren’t blessed with a squad boasting enormous strength in depth, and the loss of one undisputed starter can have a big impact on the way they perform.

Inzaghi already lost his hugely influential midfield pair Lucas Leiva and Luis Alberto through suspension for the trip to Brescia at the start of the year, and their absence was felt as Lazio toiled before snatching another late win.

Captain Senad Lulic is suspended for Sampdoria’s visit on Saturday, while Francesco Acerbi and Stefan Radu will miss the following weekend’s Rome Derby if they pick up another booking.

Danilo Cataldi, who is also one yellow card away from suspension, has been ruled out for almost three weeks with an injury sustained during the midweek Coppa Italia win over Cremonese, while Joaquin Correa hasn’t recovered in time to face Samp and joins long-term absentees Adam Marusic and Jordan Lukaku in the stands.

With the injuries and suspensions piling up, much is being asked of few.

Saturday’s clash with Claudio Ranieri’s side will be the third game in a run of six matches in 15 days for the Biancocelesti, and another five are yet to come before 9 February.

The routine 4-0 win over Serie B opposition on Tuesday evening highlighted the lack of quality in depth that Inzaghi has available to him, regardless of the handsome scoreline.

Ciro Immobile, Acerbi and Luiz Felipe were all handed starting spots yet again, despite clearly being in a position where they would benefit from some rest.

The reserve players brought in to the Lazio XI from the bench included the likes of Bastos, Patric and Bobby Adekanye. They all performed well, but they are expected to be comfortable against this level of opposition.

Comparatively, some of the squad rotations rolled out by Inter and Juventus this week included bringing in Alexis Sanchez, Diego Godin, Valentino Lazaro, Gonzalo Higuain, Daniele Rugani and Federico Bernardeschi.

That, in a nutshell, is why any talk of Lazio competing for the Scudetto is premature.

Lazio’s strongest XI is the third-best in Serie A, but these players aren’t superhuman and they’ll be running on fumes or risking injury if they are made to continue at this frantic pace for much longer.

This is where Lazio’s early elimination from the Europa League may turn out to be a blessing in disguise; this busy stage of the season has tripped them up before, but now they have more time between league games to recover and work on details.

The question now is whether Claudio Lotito will choose to do something very uncharacteristic and open his chequebook during the January transfer window.

Lazio’s attack is threadbare in terms of options, and always has been. Immobile’s sensational form over the last three-and-a-half seasons has helped gloss over this fact, but the recent injury to Correa has highlighted the lack of options once again: Felipe Caicedo and Adekanye are the only other natural attackers in the squad.

Striker Lamin Jallow has been heavily linked with a move from Salernitana, Lotito’s other club, but how the 24-year-old will adapt to the demands of a Serie A Champions League race is a complete unknown.

Inzaghi is a fan of SPAL’s Alberto Paloschi, but he is another player who is unlikely to get fans off their seats in excitement.

Matias Vecino of Inter is perhaps the most interesting, high-profile player Lazio are considering for a mid-season move, but the signing would make little sense as it would only increase options in what is already the most competitive area of the squad, central midfield.

For now, this incredible wave of momentum should hopefully be enough to carry Lazio forward.

Inzaghi’s skill in the rotation and selection of his squad so far shouldn’t be underestimated, but the biggest test is yet to come.

How well do you know Italian football? Want to challenge the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? Play www.fantasyseriea.com now!

Serie A Probable Lineups – Round 20

Lazio-Sampdoria

Lazio: 3-5-2 Strakosha; Felipe, Acerbi, Radu; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva, Alberto, Jony; Immobile, Caicedo.

Potential lineup changes: Patric for Felipe, Correa for Caicedo.

Questionable: Correa (calf), Vavro (knee).

Ruled Out: Lukaku (knee), Marusic (thigh), Cataldi (calf).

Suspended: Lulic.

 

Sampdoria: 4-4-2 Audero; Bereszynski, Chabot, Colley, Murru; Linetty, Vieira, Thorsby, Jankto; Gabbiadini, Quagliarella. Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 20

Atalanta: Hans Hateboer is suspended, while Timothy Castagne missed the midweek Coppa Italia game with knee soreness, but it was likely just precautionary.

Bologna: Stefano Denswil remains iffy after missing one with a thigh ailment and it will likely be a couple more weeks before Ladislav Krejci comes back from his knee problem.

Brescia: Dimitri Bisoli is disqualified. Daniele Dessena is close to being fully cleared from his malleolus fracture. Continue reading

Nantes owner Waldemar Kita determined to make a big splash despite problems off the field

Nantes have been a staple team in Ligue 1 for many years and apart from the odd speedbump with relegation to Ligue 2, Nantes are a respected team who always try and aim for a European spot.

This season has seen the club perform their best consistently in a few seasons and by the half way point they are in 4th place and heading for a Europa League finish. Indeed they are just four points behind Rennes in 3rd and that position would lead to playing in the Champions League qualifiers. It has been over 20 years now since Nantes last appeared in the elite competition.

Nantes want back in the big time, that much is clear and they may just succeed under club owner Waldemar Kita. The Polish multi millionaire bought the club in 2007 and seven years later France Football named him as the best executive in French football. But it hasn’t always been an easy ride for Kita.

Last year he was accused of fraud and some reports suggested that he tried to push Emiliano Sala out of the club when the player tragically died in a plane crash on his way to his new club Cardiff. It has got to the point where banners have gone up by fans wanting Kita out of the club and in the summer he rejected a 60m euro deal to sell the club. That would have meant a 50m profit for Kita, but sources suggest that if he does sell he would hold out for 100m euros.

So Kita has had his troubles, but he also has a vision. One that was rejected by Nantes council last year. His major plan was to build a new stadium where Nantes play. The project had been dubbed Yello Park and would have seen at least 200m euros pumped into the project or the same amount that PSG paid Barcelona for Neymar.

A few months back Kita said in a press statement: “The future stadium is important to football fans in Nantes. Beyond our personal commitments for this project, this stage will be, for the decades to come and for the benefit of several generations, in the continuity of more than half a century of Nantes’ love for football. Nantes and its supporters deserve this ambition and this vision of the future.”

Kita may have his detractors, being the city of Nantes and some fans, but he does have a vision for the club and future projects, and that seems like a positive step. But how bad do Nantes want this change? New stadiums don’t mean success just extra revenue, which in a perfect circle can lead to success.

The future is unwritten at Nantes but there is a scent of hope that the club can return back to their glory days.

Prove you have what it takes to challenge the best French Fantasy Football managers here www.fantasyligue1.com 

 

Premier League Predictions: Week 23

It’s another round of the English Premier League with some exciting games as the top 4 is still up for grabs and so is relegation. Which teams will be able to make in roads and can Liverpool stretch their unbeaten run to 39 games when they face old rival Manchester United?

Watford v Tottenham

The weekend kicks off with this Saturday lunchtime game and what a game it looks to be. Watford have been in brilliant form and are unbeaten in their last five games. They have climbed out of the relegation zone. Tottenham have been in mixed form and are 9 points behind 4th place now. With Harry Kane out Jose Mourinho will be relying on Heung-Min Son to find some form.  Watford and Tottenham to draw

Arsenal v Sheffield United

Arsenal have been average even under Mikel Arteta with just one win in his 4 games so far. But last time they were at home they beat Manchester United 2-0. One would think they will have too much for the Blades here. Mesut Ozil looks like a new player, though Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang their potent striker will be missing after being sent off. A narrow win perhaps? Arsenal to beat Sheffield United

Brighton v Aston Villa

Both sides have shown a lack of form and Brighton have slipped to 14th place and have won just once in their last five games. Aston Villa lost 6-1 at home to Manchester City last weekend and are in 18th but a win here could move them out of the bottom three and they could join Brighton on the same points. Watch out for Jack Grealish who is using this year to try and get into England’s team for Euro 2020. Brighton and Aston Villa to draw

Manchester City v Crystal Palace

Last season Crystal Palace stunned Manchester City at the Etihad with a 3-2 win. But it was a one off stunning goal that won it for the Eagles. City are in rich form and scoring goals, with 10 in their last 3 games. A win here would take them to 50 points. Can Sergio Aguero score more goals this weekend after his fantastic hat trick? Manchester City to beat Crystal Palace

Norwich v Bournemouth

Norwich look doomed for relegation. They are bottom of the league and 8 points from safety. They have earned 2 points from their past 15. Bournemouth are in 19th but are six points ahead of the Canaries. This is Norwich’s biggest game of the season, they need to win and need a player like Teemu Pukki to show his early season form. Norwich to beat Bournemouth 

Southampton v Wolves

Along with Watford, Southampton have been the team of the moment. They beat Leicester away from home after losing to the same team 9-0 a couple of months ago. Their recovery looks complete. Wolves have quality but had to play in midweek in the FA Cup and lost to Manchester United. The Saints are at home and the fresher team. Southampton to beat Wolves

West Ham v Everton

David Moyes will face his former team who he spent 11 years at. Moyes’ 2nd stint with the Hammers started well but they lost to Sheffield United last week. Carlo Ancelotti has won 3 of his first five games with Everton. We expect to see a very entertaining game with the away side getting all three points. Richarlison looks fired up since Ancelotti took charge. Everton to beat West Ham

Newcastle v Chelsea

Newcastle have only lost 3 games at home and Chelsea usually don’t travel so well up here. The Blues have gone their last three matches unbeaten, but this will be a tough game for them. The Magpies have not won in 4 games but this record won’t keep up. Jonjo Shelvey just needs to show some of his brilliant form before Christmas. Newcastle to beat Chelsea

Burnley v Leicester

Burnley have lost 4 games in a row coming into this match and that includes losing 4 of their last five home games and now they are up against the 3rd best team in England right now. Leicester’s form has dipped but they can get back on track with a win here. Leicester to beat Burnley

Liverpool v Manchester United

One of the all time great fixtures of football. Liverpool are still unbeaten and have a  100% record at Anfield. They have no major injuries and no distractions. Manchester United are missing Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford could be touch and go. Liverpool are light years ahead of United even though it was the Red Devils who have taken the only points from Liverpool so far. Liverpool to beat Manchester United

Play the newest EPL fantasy game here https://epl-fantasy.com

 

 

What a season for Chris Wilder’s Blades

I don’t think I was alone in thinking that Sheffield United would struggle in their first season back in the Premier League (PL). I believed The Blades were set to endure a very tough relegation battle, ultimately ending with the Steel City side dropping back to the Championship. How wrong I was.

Chris Wilder’s side has been the surprise package of the 2019/20 campaign to-date. Not even the most optimistic Blades fan would have dared to believe this team could be as high as sixth in the table at this stage.

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Premier League: Player of the Week: Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero would have won a lot of player of the week’s so here is his umpteenth one and this one was arguably the most deserving.

Aguero who has been one of the very best strikers to have graced the game in England collected 16 points in the week as his side Manchester City made light work of Aston Villa and won the game at Villa Park 6-1.

The Argentinian has made the news headlines because his 3 goals were so significant. Firstly he broke Alan Shearer’s record of the most Premier League hat tricks, which had stood at 11, now Aguero has 12. Then and more importantly he scored his 175th, 176th and 177th league goals for City. That took Aguero up to joint 4th in the all time top goalscorers in Premier League history.

In doing so Aguero passed Arsenal legend Thierry Henry and became the most successful foreign striker in Premier League history. With 177 goals he now has the same as Chelsea legend Frank Lampard. Just one more goal will put Aguero into 3rd place which is simply inevitable.

As a side note one wonders just how far Aguero could go on the all time table? In 3rd place is Andrew Cole who has 187 goals, and that could well  be a target for Aguero to break this season, he has a very good chance needing 11 more goals to do it. Could Aguero go even further though? He is 31 and there was talk at the beginning of the season that he could leave Manchester City at the end of this one.

If he was to stay, with the mentality of the club needing to have younger, fitter strikers, even if Aguero stayed fit one would suspect that he would have at best 2 good seasons in England left in him. On average if he scored 45 goals in those seasons and another 10 in this he could well reach 55 goals. This is all hearsay of course but around that figure would take Aguero to around 230 goals. Easy that would be good enough to be the 2nd best striker. But Alan Shearer’s record look like it is going nowhere as he scored 260 goals. It is worth noting that Aguero’s strike rate is far superior to Shearer’s.

So it has been a fantastic week for Aguero and a record breaking one too. In the fantasy rankings he is in 2nd place with 60 pts and has scored 13 goals and assisted in a further 3. He has no yellow cards so far this season and he would cost you to include him in your team 14m. That’s a lot of budget, but you would be getting one of the very best potent strikers in Europe for the last decade.

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