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Week 11 of fantasy football has only just finished, but week 12 starts tomorrow with a full slate of midweek games. So, we’ll do a quick and truncated week 11 heroes and villains, and then preview week 12.
Fernando Torres – He’s back people. Well and truly. Because Torres didn’t just score two tap-ins. He scored two magnificent goals, past a defence as mean as Chelsea’s and a goalkeeper as good as Petr Cech. Two goals plus playing more than 60 minutes equals eight points. And probably many more to come.
Park Ji-Sung – The Man Utd winger scored just as many goals as Fernando Torres this weekend, but earned two more points in doing so. And not just because he’s not Fernando Torres and therefore expected to score. Park is a midfielder and so his goals are worth four points each. So eight points for his goals, plus two for playing equals 10 points. Good work sir.
Kevin Davies – One goal from open play, one penalty, one assist. 11 points. Four words: Kevin Davies for England. (And your fantasy football team).
(Honourable mention to Asamoah Gyan, who also scored twice.)
Mario Balotelli – Sticking with a theme, the young Italian scored two goals for Man City in their 2-0 win over West Brom. The reason Balotelli finds himself down here with the villains rather than up there with the heroes is that he was sent off in the 63rd minute for kicking Youssuf Mulumbu. That was worth minus three, so what should have been a an eight point haul becomes just five.
Gareth Bale – All that midweek hype (which I admittedly contributed to, in my own small way) and then Bale fails to deliver either a goal or an assist in the Premier League. Again.
Bebé – Man Utd’s £7.4 million summer signing subbed in for Owen Hargreaves in the 10th minute, subbed out again for Federico Macheda in the 74th, after putting at least five crosses out for a goal kick. Not good. Incredibly, he still scored two points for having played at least 60 minutes, but I don’t see anyone picking Bebé for week 12.
Speaking of which…
Week 12 gets underway tomorrow with Stoke vs Birmingham and Spurs vs Sunderland, then everyone else playing on Wednesday. I’ll be picking my 11 Kicks All-Stars team and posting it here a few hours before kickoff. If anyone wants to take on the 11 Kicks house team tomorrow, then pick your fantasy team and get involved.
There is still one match to be played tonight. Stoke is taking on Aston Villa. It will be Villa’s first match under new manager Gerard Houllier and it will be interesting to see how they respond.
The big news of the week was that Chelsea finally allowed a goal. It was their first in four matches and only came right at the end of their match against West Ham. Former Chelsea player, Scott Parker knocked it in.
No goals for Didier Drogba or Florent Malouda this week, instead they came from Michael Essien and Soloman Kalou.
Speaking of African stars, it was a good weekend for Sunderland’s new signing, Asamoah Gyan. He scored his first goal for the Black Cats and will be one to keep an eye on.
In the nine matches played there were only two clean sheets. One to newcomers Blackpool and the 0-0 draw between Liverpool and Birmingham. Pepe Reina was in great form last season and he looks like he is continuing from where he left off. Still the goals are a concern for Liverpool. They have only scored two in four matches which is a pretty poor return. Their schedule hasn’t been the easiest and maybe the goals will start to flow once the quality of their opponent eases up.
Everton will wish they were able to play the whole 90 minutes against Manchester United like they played the last two where they scored twice. If you had difficulty knowing who to select from Mikel Arteta, Tim Cahill and Steven Pienaar it didn’t matter as they all scored. Maybe this be the jumpstart Everton needed to start their season.
The Everton match was notable for the non-appearance of Wayne Rooney. This highlights how important it is to have good information. If you can get a whiff of this early on, it will mean you won’t select him for your fantasy football side. Following his goal against Switzerland, there were probably plenty who counted on him to do well against his old team. Instead they wasted a spot.
Will he be back to take on the other half of Mersey?