The Manchester City Line up (from an FPL PoV)

Since I am a bit of a Pep fan, though not one of Man City; and being a formations / strategy nerd, I thought of providing my take on what City’s formations would look like – with specific focus on how it affects fantasy football –  PS: I am not doing one for Arsenal, because my personal biases on players often impact my comments…


Most often 4-3-3. The alternate is 3-5-2,  which will be deployed much less often.

Center Forwards:

Aguero first choice, Jesus second choice. Sterling third choice. I do not see both of Aguero and Jesus playing together often, even in the 3-5-2. There, I suspect Sterling to reprise his role for England as the second striker. Also, here’s a judgment call – last season we saw that when Aguero is fit, he almost always plays. Jesus plays when Aguero is injured. I think it will be a bit more distributed this season i.e. even if Aguero is not injured, the distribution of playing minutes would be about 60:40. Jesus is far too good already to not get a lot of minutes.

CF: Aguero (Jesus) (– Sterling)


Wing forwards in a 4-3-3, and full backs (which should be discussed together, I think)

It seems from the pre-season and GW1 (where my team was quite comfortably beaten) that most of the width will be provided by the full backs than wingers (more Barcelona, less Munich). Interesting to note though that the backups for Mendy (Delph), and Walker (Danilo) are better as inverted fullbacks, than flying attacking fullbacks. I assume therefore that if the first choice are injured , then the formation becomes more Munich for that wing, with the winger providing the width – similar to last season on the left, where the width was provided by Sane, a traditional winger – and not Delph the fullback.

Thus, with Mendy and Walker playing in a 4-3-3, the wing forwards would both be cutting inside (and that was the formation we saw at the Emirates). Sterling on the left, Mahrez on the right. Tentatively I suggest that their first backups are Jesus and Sane respectively. (thus my emerging hypothesis is that Mahrez is the first choice right wing attacker,and Sane is his primary backup. It could as well be Sane first choice and Mahrez as backup.

Thus : in a 4-3-3,

RB: Walker (Danilo) (– Stones)

LB: Mendy (Delph) (– Zinchenko)

RW: Mahrez (Sane) (— Bernardo)

LW: Sterling (Jesus) (— Brahim Diaz)



This is simple. And stays consistent in a 4-3-3 and 3-5-2

Deepest midfielder: Fernandinho (Gundogan) (– Delph) (others–Zinchenko, Gomes)

RCM: KDB (Gundogan) (– Foden)

LCM: Bernardo Silva (David Silva, or the other way around) (– Foden)


Central Defenders:

Very difficult to say. I assume that in normal circumstances, Kompany plays key games. But he will be heavily rotated even when fit. I think Guardiola’s ideal formation is with Laporte as LCB and Stones as RCB, though I do not think they are ready to play together consistently yet, and Guardiola will pair one with Kompany and Otamendi. As for Otamendi, even with all last season’s heroics, I somehow see him as 4th choice, and not a natural fit for Guardiola. He will play enough too, but will not have the security of starts as he had last season. Two of Tosin, Mangala, Denayer and the new guy will be sent on loan I think.



Tactics: Defender Targets for the season


It seems that Defenders are the opposite of the goalkeepers, in that the graph has a more steeper slope than any other position. My understanding from that is that the marginal benefit of having the best higher priced defender over the best lower priced defender is the most in comparison to the price. And remember, this was the season where Burnley pulled out trees, and BHA and NEW did well too. I would guess this feature would be more prominent in other seasons.

Simple Language: The best-performing high-priced defenders are the greatest value.

FISO’s Matt Martyniak WINS Fantasy Premier League!

Reflected glory if there ever was!

One of our FISO boys won Fantasy Premier League ’12-’13. First among 2.6 MILLION players. Spidermatt, take a bow.

He also plays in Fantasy Football Scout. Here’s what they say about him.

[Edit: And here’s the FISO dedication]

[PS: Join FISO. It’s addictive, it’s intelligent and it’s friendly. And once you are in, message /comment me here. I’ll help you navigate.]

The OhMyGod Fantasy Football week.


For the ones who do not know:

Fantasy Premier League is the most-played fantasy football game in the world, with nearly 3 Million people playing every year. Doing well in this online real-time football management game is seen by many as a source of major credit (read this).

On the 37th Gameweek of the 2011-12 Fantasy Premier League season.  I was ranked 98th. In the world. A minor debacle in GW 38 made me come down to 212th, which is where I finished the season.

I was probably 4th or 5th in FISO, and 2nd in India.

My greatest ambition in FPL has always been to end the season as 1st in India. I was very close ast season. Someday, I will do better.

Fantasy Premier League – Top 100,000 (selecting a team 1/3 – GK and DF)

Q1. Okay enough of this lurking the forums and reading rules and all assorted bu**s**t. Let’s get to business shall we? How do you select a team? Here’s my plan. I will get RVP, And Rooney, and Nani, and Aguero, Silva, Van Der Vaart, and fill the rest of the team with 4.0 players. Ah, it is impossible to get a good team done….

A1. No, don’t do that. Here’s the way you build the team. Here’s the writeup:


Assumptions: The newbie understands football and the Premier League. Has got some understanding of the immediate history (last 10 years), and has the patience to follow the game every week, 30 min a day during non-matchdays should be fine. And he/she would read the rules. religiously, every line.

Now here.
1. Start with One rock bottom 1st choice goalkeeper and Petr Cech (in case of non-availability, Man United’s 1st choice).
2. By the 5th week figure out which of the 4.5 or below goalkeepers is the best at getting CS/save points, and replace Cech with him.
3. If the already present Rock bottom guy is working, keep him, else substitute with the best rock bottom guy.
4. Keep to this pricing. Goalkeepers are not substituted often.
5. You can change GKs, but keep to the pricing. The best at the 4.5 M range, and another first choice at the rock bottom price.

1. Remember this acronym. CRD. Repeat after me. CRD. CRD. CRD. Cheapest regular defender.
2. First – your team will need two defenders from top 6 teams (exclude Tottenham, and to keep it simple, Arsenal too. Both TOT and ARS are required sometime if you want to get into the top 1000, but to include those factors for the top 100,000? No. I’ll keep it simple)
3. Get the cheapest of the CRDs in the Man United and Chelsea teams. Smalling? So be it. = 5.5
4. Get the CRD of Man City= 6.0
5. The CRD of Liverpool is preferable over every other defender, if you can afford (Why? Would be cheaper than the CRD of MCY, MUN and CHE generally). Don’t pick him now. Will see about the price later.
6. Pick the one Rock bottom price defender, who is at a medium good team, will be a starter, and you can sometimes depend on him to keep clean sheets against weak opposition (Simpson, Ryan Taylor et al) = 4.0
7. Pick the slightly higher than lower-price defender. Same concept as the CRD. But here the caveat is this is someone who you can expect to keep CSes against all but the top 6 at home = 4.5M

So you go your 4 defenders, for 20M
Plus goalkeepers at 11, to be changed to 8.5 later
6 players at 31M

(Tag: How to win at Premier League Fantasy Football – )

Fantasy Football watch Dec’08

This is for the Fantasy Premier League game.

Interesting Picks for January could be:

Luca Modric –


1. Tottenham will always be Tottenham, playing aggressive, scoring a lot of goals, and conceding a fair few too…

2. Modric is genuine quality.

3. ‘arry is playing Modric as the withdrawn striker. That is supposed to get him a lot of goals and assists.


1. Tottenham under ‘arry is playing more defensively, and is not quite like last year’s Tottenham.

2. The go-to striker for Spurs is poor (Bent) or under-achieving (Pavlyuchenko). If Spurs buy a reputed striker, say someone like Roque Santa Cruz, then Modric will be a great pick, at only 6.8

3. Modric is a creative midfielder, so you can say he is being played out of position.


Aren’t there other quality midfielders around his price range? Yes, if you count Ireland and Geovanni. And even Fellaini and Denilson… but Modric has way too much quality to suggest that if he hits top form, he will be on a roll…

Benedict BcCarthy


1. Benni is a genuine, proven goalscorer. Has scored lots in the premier league in the past.
2. Blackburn are on an upward trajectory.
3. RSC will definitely leave in January (at least that’s what most say)
4. Benni and Roberts are good premiership players, thus with the Roque money, Fat Sam will surely prioritize in getting in defenders / defensive midfielders / a replacement for Bentley… rather than strikers.
5. The quality that Allardyce will get ino the team in Jan will enable the team to score more, and thereby Benni as well.


1. Benni has not played a single full match yet this year in the premier league… do check, not a single full 90 minutes.
2. Against the big teams / or where FSA wants to park the bus, the chosen lone forward will most probably be Roberts.
3. Isn’t Benni coming off an injury? Will he last the rest of the season?
4. What if Blackburn return to the Allardyce101 style of dirty defensive play and become a full fledged defensive unit?
5. What if Allardyce gets in a Diego Tristan kind of a guy in the window (remember Hierro, Djorkaeff, JayJay, Campo etc etc)? That will reduce the play time of Benni even further (the point is, if you are getting an old warhorse, there cannot be too many better guys than Benni).


Aren’t there other good strikers at 7.2 or lower? Ahem, yes, maybe Elmander, Johnson and Cisse, but Benni can really go on a goalscoring run … and I doubt if any of the others mentioned can.