Friday Football Manager

The Manager normally has the good sense to wait until the games have been played to comment on them (if at all), but this week our normal prognosticator, Neal, is in-flight somewhere over New Mexico. So it's up to the Manager to step up and break down the final slate of games in the EPL season.
West Ham v Tottenham

While my first instinct is to go for the home team, West Ham have injuries and will be conscious to avoid any more before the FA Cup final. Look for Spurs old-boys Zamora and Sheringham to lead a depleted and disinterested team. Meanwhile, Totteham need 3 points to secure Champions League football in front of their hated rivals, Arsenal. But they are hampered by a host of injuries, including probably losing their first choice strike pairing of Mido and Robbie Keane. Defoe should therefore be a good bet, as may Lennon who is finally adding some end product to all of his running. On defense you may look at Stephen Kelly if Stalteri can't go.

Arsenal v Wigan

Another must win for Arsenal. Get Thierry Henry. Just do it. He's cheap for god's sake. Gut the other 10 and buy Thierry Henry. You won't be sorry. This isn't rocket science, people. If you want to be contrary, or need a cheap middie to fund your buying of Henry, try David Thompson for Wigan. Terrible match-up and he's sure to get a booking. But he's also fighting (bad choice of words) for a new contract (I think) and will be taking kicks for Wigan now that Bullard is out.

Man Utd v Charlton

Like Tot, ManU need to win this game to clinch 2nd place and the automatic CL berth that comes with it ahead of rival Liverpool, while Charlton checked out of the sesason a few weeks back. Seems like a sure home win, but ManU has stuttered towards the finish line themselves. Saha and Ronaldo are "minor" doubts, but still good bets. Park has been playing well and Rossi might see some time if you feel like gambling in this final weekend.

Portsmouth v Liverpool

This is a testimonail match for Pompey while Liv, while they want to win, probably have more of an eye on the Cup final. This could be nil-nil just as easily as 4-3. Fowler is a good bet at $8 as he's Cup tied for Liv so could start.

Newcastle v Chelsea

Newcastle are in form and trying to secure 7th place and a chance to ruin next season by playing in the Intertoto Cup. Chelsea just want the season to end. Cudicini is cheap and a quality keeper, but on the road to a more motivated team. Duff is cheap and a sentimental favorite around here. If Chelsea chop and change again he may get significant minutes and could give the NUFC defense some trouble.

Bolton v Birmingham

Never bet on Bolton. So why is Vaz Te in my lineup? Nothing to see here...

Blackburn v Man City

(unless you need a cheap middie and want to gamble on Sibierski) Keep moving...

Fulham v Middlesbrough

Fulham got their road win. Boro are looking towards Wednesday's UEFA Cup final. Both teams are done with the EPL this year. Bridge and Niemi are good bets to get a clean sheet, if Niemi is healthy. If not I wouldn't back them.

Everton v West Brom

This one has nil-nil written all over it. So why do I have James McFadden in my team? Probably because WBA are done and gone and are just terrible on the road. No, that's why I have Ian Turner in my team. Faddie is there so I have an excuse to type "Faddie" for one last week.

A Villa v Sunderland

Another game that could be nil-nil as easily as 4-3. Sunderland got their home win and REALLY have nothing left to play for. Villa have nothing but pride to play for. Will that be enough? Barry and Milner are good bets in this one, as would be Gabriel Agbonlahor (sp?) if he were listed in Yahoo!'s game.
Whew! How does Neal do this every week?

Thank to everyone who has come and read our blatherings and added their own comments. Check back as we wrap up the week and the season... awards, best and worst XI's, etc.

And we'll be around all summer saying stupid things about the World Cup and MLS (that's the USA top-flight league) so stick with us as we kill time until next August.

-The Manager


  1. Anonymous2:30 PM

    nice post. very well laid out and well presented.

    also, you've given me a lot of confidence with my henry pick and i'm happy with my Turner pick too now. I hope you're right though.

    why do you call yourself the manager?

    also, you wrote the most for the WHU-TOT game, but that's one of the worst matchups this week. The Liverpool and Chelsea games are all also bad matchups. I think you should have written more for the games that matter to fantasy football managers. ie - BOL vs BIR (good point made on it though), BLA vs MCY (good matchup except for the fact that BLA have nothing to play for), FUL vs BORO (great matchup for Fulham, I expect a big home win), ASTvsSUN and EVEvsWBA.

    You didn't talk about so many good matchups!

    Also, Niemi will play. And Fulham everything to play for! If they win they finish 12th. If they draw 14th or lower and if they loose even lower. It does matter to Fulham! If this game doesn't matter then none of them do! Weren't going to get relegated and weren't going to get Uefa either! Saying the Fulham game has no meaning for Fulham is ridiculous!

    Anyway - overall it was good even if I was a bit aggressive at the end.

    BTW, are you jewish? you have a jewish surname (in case your wondering why i asked, you have a jewish surname)

  2. I wrote the most about WHU/TOT because I wrote about it first. This was hard! My fingers hurt. As does my head.

    I hope I'm right too.


  3. Anonymous12:09 AM

    Agree with most of the stuff you've written about the matchups and the selections. Must picks are Henry, McFadden (something tells me that he'll nick one), and Defoe but here are some more ideas:

    If you need money to fund something good in the middle or defence (or cannot find money to get Henry), get Davis (Sunderland GK). At 4.8, he's a sure start and 'might' just get a clean sheet. The extra money will really help plus Yahoo's other GKs are SO INCREDIBLY EXPENSIVE.

    Another tip is Giggs! I dont know how he does it, but he manages to get decent double figures without a goal, assist or a shot on target. For me he is the MVFP (most valuable fantasy player) and honestly other than Roonie, the only Man U player I like (better pick than Ronaldo imo).

    Finally, get Fabregas! Just have him in your team because he in the most exciting player in EPL right now. The talent on that kid is incredible. Even if he is not so hot FF-wise, you'll be respected for fielding him in your squad :D


  4. Anonymous7:23 AM

    Hi jeremy

    Im just an ordinary fantasy manager and i pop in this site for good advice every end of week. Is there an early kickoff this week? Is that why all the teams have been finalised and I cant change my team anymore? I normally assume there's plenty of time sat night to change the teams. Just wondering what's goin on.