GW 16 & 17 Review
Ally: The double gameweek certainly threw up a mixed bag of results across the board, and there were very few players to register a decent score in both.
The weekend’s action was covered by Gameweek 16, and this saw a number of attractive looking Scottish Cup fixtures to go alongside the league action from England. The likes of Elgin City, Queen of the South, Raith Rovers and Ayr United (eventually) all delivered the goods with 3 or 4 goals apiece to set up some potentially big scores. Throw into the mix the Old Firm duo of Rangers and Celtic who also notched 3 goals each, and then south of the border in the Premier League the much fancied Manchester City and Liverpool delivered once again with 4 and 3 goals respectively.
Elsewhere there were some disappointing performances as Everton could only muster a single goal against struggling Cardiff, and in the Scottish Cup Forfar relied on two late goals to edge past lowly Broomhill Sports Club (BSC) Glasgow, while Lowland League leaders East Kilbride relied on an even later goal (90+1 minutes) to see of the wonderfully named Gala Fairydean. This late goal also had the effect of transforming the top 10 with a -20 turned into a 106 point haul, and giving us a new leader in the form of my fellow admin Matt Kokins, who benefitted from this late goal to the tune of 69 points to propel him to the summit.
Less fortunate were the 34 players who fancied Manchester United to dispatch Crystal Palace, as Jose Mourinho’s mis-firing side once again failed to score leading to 12 minus 20s and a further 9 players marooned on x3. Arbroath, whose goalscoring feats I had highlighted in my Ones to Watch piece failed to score at home for the first time this season, much to the chagrin of the 49 players who picked them, giving rise to another 5 minus 20s and 14 players (including yours truly) suffering the dreaded x3 wipeout.
Hot on the heels was Gameweek 17, which offered a twist in the shape of some eye catching Champions League fixtures as European football’s elite were available for selection in addition to a fairly comprehensive English football league program.
There were certainly plenty of goals around, but as ever with this game the secret was finding them and avoiding the banana skins. By and large, the Champions League sides didn’t disappoint, with German giants Bayern Munich leading the way as they cast their domestic struggles aside to dispatch Benfica 5-1. Bayern were the most popular European selection with 61 picks. Elsewhere, solid contributions came from Napoli (51 picks and 3 goals), Atletico Madrid (52 picks and 2 goals) and Manchester City (48 picks and 2 goals).
45 players had a huge slice of good fortune courtesy of Manchester United’s undeserved stoppage time winner against Young Boys, not least the 10 players who had them selected on x2, while Italian champions Juventus scraped past a gritty Valencia by the same 1-0 scoreline.
On the domestic front, the most popular team of the gameweek with 70 picks was League One side Luton Town and they carried on their recent goalscoring form as they thrashed Bradford City 4-0. In form Portsmouth bagged 2 goals against Walsall, and League Two Bury hit 4 past struggling Cheltenham.
The big disappointment came courtesy of fellow tipster Mr Kokins, firstly on Tuesday evening as Leyton Orient’s recent good run came to an abrupt end at the hands of an Aldershot Town side that had failed to keep an away clean sheet in the league all season, which was enough to curtail 41 players’ scorecard, and then on Wednesday in-form German side Borussia Dortmund were held to a 0-0 draw at home to perennial Champions League strugglers Club Brugges, much to the annoyance of the 47 players who picked them.
Good luck with your Gameweek 18 selections.