Fantasy Football Tips: Thursday’s Manager Notes

Thursday, January 17th, 2013 at 11:10 am by Phil Mc Grath

With round 23 of the Irish Times Fantasy Premier League swinging into action last night as Chelsea welcomed Southampton to Stamford Bridge not many fantasy managers would have given the Saints much of a hope of claiming anything from the game, but that’s exactly what Nigel Adkins side did as they came from two down to snatch a point from the current European champions.

Lambert to the rescue

After starting the last 13 games on the bounce Ricky Lambert was demoted to the bench for the start of the game against Chelsea last night. Instead Nigel Adkins opted to start Guly Do Prado, presumably feeling that Lambert needed a rest with a tricky home clash with Everton coming up. But when the time came Adkins’ brought on his top goalscorer and was instantly rewarded as Lambert got the Saint’s first of the night and his tenth of the season. Lambert was instrumental in the Saint’s comeback and although it was an excellent 36 minute display from Lambert the Saint’s fixtures over the next four week’s are less than favourable and fantasy managers are advised to avoid the knee jerk reaction, with Southampton facing off against both Manchester clubs in the next four weeks it could be a testing time for the Saints.

Puncheon celebrates as he claims a point for the Saints.

Puncheon pounces

Goals have been few and far between for the Saint’s midfielder but a first goal in six league starts was worth the wait as the Southampton winger levelled the game on the night with a strike of real quality. Like Lambert, Puncheon remains a hugely popular choice at the budget end of the market and last nights performance will have done his fantasy prospects no harm. Three goals and six assists so far this season are a reasonable return for a budget midfielder, but much like Lambert, Puncheon’s fixtures are less than favourable over the coming week’s.

Chelsea’s poor home form continues

Chelsea have now won only one out of six domestic games at Stamford Bridge under Benitez and, for the third successive home game, boos rang out at the final whistle as the Pensioners failed to hold onto their 2-0 half time lead. Next up at the Bridge for Chelsea is the visit of Arsenal, Rafa will be hoping for a reaction from his players as will fantasy managers who have banked on their double fixture week.

Ba beats rotaiton

With much of the talk before the game focusing on the rotation policy of the Chelsea manager and whether or not he would start Ba or Torres, with many sources stating that the Senegalese striker was unlikely to start two matches in the space of four days but, by naming him in the lineup ahead of Fernando Torres, there is perhaps already a pecking order forming. Ba duly took just 25 minutes to again show his quality with a first league strike for his new club. Ba owners will, however, be concerned on possible rotation ahead of the visit of Arsenal and it’s likely that, week-to-week, that threat will remain with Torres waiting in the wings.


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Categories: Managers Notes

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