GW 7 Review

Ally: This was one of those weeks that highlighted the importance of getting the order of your selections spot on if you wanted to be at the right end of the weekly standings. While the vast majority of teams selected seemed to score over the weekend, a large number of players played it safe by choosing big hitters Manchester City and Liverpool as their bankers and therefore ensured they kept away from the dreaded minus scores!

Realistically, there was never any doubt that either team would score, it was more a question of whether it would be a routine victory or whether the sides would turn on the style and put their opponents to the sword. Those who put their faith in the latter and placed them low down on the x6, x7 and x8 multipliers were duly rewarded, as the attacking talent came to the fore with Liverpool putting 3 goals past Southampton and City bouncing back from their shock home defeat in the Champions League to thrash newly promoted Cardiff City 5-0.

Aside from these two teams, a good number of the other fancied sides flattered to deceive over the weekend. Notable candidates included Raith Rovers, Peterhead, Celtic and Cowdenbeath (1 goal each) and Arsenal, West Brom and Portsmouth (2 goals). All this led to an average score of just 37 for the gameweek, with only 32 of our 176 entries scoring 80 or more, although 11 of those did reserve their places at ‘Club 100’ – taking the total number of 100+ scores to 85 for the season to date.

This week also saw a hefty number of players (25 to be precise) hit the dreaded minus scores; 22 of those were -20’s with the other three a double whammy of -40 points! Chief culprits were two teams who have enjoyed excellent starts to the season, namely Scottish Premiership leaders Hearts, who drew 0-0 at Tynecastle against Livingston, while Premier League Chelsea were somewhat surprisingly held 0-0 at struggling West Ham too.

Some of you will no doubt have noticed that last weekend’s main cause of frustration Gateshead, who went down 1-0 at home to bottom side Braintree seven days ago, took all of 18 minutes to find the net this weekend just gone………and went on to score 2 more goals at pre season favourites Chesterfield. The irony certainly wasn’t lost on me, as I was one of those who suffered at their hands last week. This typifies the frustration we all get to feel at some point with the Ultimate Goals, but also why we keep playing and coming back for more!

Good luck with your selections for Gameweek 8!

Matt: It would appear as though one team on both Saturday and Sunday have done some pretty major damage between them! After taking a look at a selection of low scoring players’ picks (including 26 minus scores!), the obvious conclusion is that Heart of Midlothian and then Chelsea were the main reasons we saw so many poor results. Both teams have got off to very good starts in their respective leagues and both were probably favourites to win in most people’s eyes, but in this game nothing is guaranteed! In fairness, only a missed penalty by Steven Naismith, formerly of Everton and Norwich City, prevented Hearts from getting on the scoresheet (which actually makes it even harder to swallow for those players who selected them), whilst in The Blues’ case a London derby away at West Ham (and make no mistake, those two don’t like each other!) was something of a risk in my eyes, especially with The Hammers fresh off the back of their first victory of the season at Everton. When you factor in that Chelsea had also had a trip to Greece for their Europa League fixture at PAOK on Thursday evening, then they perhaps weren’t quite the favourites that you’d otherwise think.

One player who avoided both of the above villains was top scorer Anthony Fairhurst, who racked up a very decent 110 points. It seems Hearts were never an option for Anthony, as he decided to give Scotland a miss altogether in favour of an all English line up – although he certainly diversified by delving into all five English leagues available. As Ally’s already talked about, it’s very important to get your order right if you want to score big and while top scoring pick Manchester City were on x5 rather than the bigger multipliers, Anthony’s only single goal team Aston Villa were on x2, which is exactly where you’d want them. Interesting too that there was no sign of Liverpool in his line up (they were the most selected team of the weekend not too surprisingly), maybe the logic there was to hopefully cash in if they slipped up and consequently wiped out a huge portion of entrants. It does happen believe me, there’s been countless examples over the years and not a season goes by without the most backed team failing to score and single handedly wrecking the weekends of many, many players! Well done to all 11 players who made it into three figures, a good effort on a weekend where a lot of favoured sides found the net but only once or twice.

There’s a few players at the top of the season leaderboard who aren’t hanging around; we’re only seven gameweeks in but already we’re seeing scores of 500+………a bit of simple maths tells us that means they’re averaging in excess of 70 points per week and that’s not easy! I’m not sure whether that sort of pace can be maintained throughout an entire season, but i’d be majorly surprised if any player averaged 70+ throughout the campaign and didn’t secure a top three finish at the very least. Still, the standard has been set and it’s up to everybody else to react, starting this coming weekend.

Good luck for GW 8!