Saturday, September 26, 2009

Gameweek 7 Diary

Here we go again, for what has the potential to be a great day of Premier League action. Seven 3pm kick offs today, as well as a great London derby (Ful-Ars) at 5.30pm later. Chelsea, Liverpool and United are all in action at 3pm and there is the opportunity for plenty of goals.

Portsmouth are trailing Everton by a Louis Saha goal to nil would around 10 minutes to play. I only managed to catch the last 20 minutes of this one and Portsmouth have actually had the more chances. Sad news is that Steve Pienaar was stretchered off with what looked like a knee injury though having tried to continue for a few minutes, it hopefully isn't too bad. He was replaced by new boy Bilyaletdinov (Bily from now on, please) who has looked lively but failed to create a concrete chance. The assist went to the other new arrival John Heitinga, who started in place of Tony Hibbert at the back. Saha now has 8 goals in his last 11 starts for the Blues and might be useful replacement for Bent owners concerned about the next few games (@MNU, Liv, @Bir, WH, @Tot, Ars).

The team news starts to come in from around the country and its good news for Birmingham and fantasy players alike as Seb Larrson returns from injury to face Bolton. He was Birmingham's best player during their previous stint in the top flight but hasn't really managed to replicate that form this season. Hopefully the former Arsenal man can stay fit and rediscover the form that will make him an interesting option at 5m.

Javier Mascherano misses out for Liverpool which is bad news for Steven Gerrard fans as he will lineup in a deeper position alongside Lucas with Benayoun, Kuyt and Riera ahead of them.

Delight for Pure Juice and 26.9% of other managers as Didier Drogba gets the start at the DW stadium, alongside Anelka. Zhirkov makes the bench and could make his first Premier League appearance in a Chelsea shirt if brought on.

Dissapointing news for Tom Huddlestone owners as he will play at the back alongside Sebastien Bassong, who managed to shake off an injury of his own. Keane keeps his place up fron alongside Defoe despite Crouch's midweek hattrick, while Kranjcar gets his first start of the season for Spurs.

14:54 No less than seven Pure Juice players in action at 3pm today which is the first time that has happened for a long time. I'm particularly nervous for Villa's defense after I decided to keep my Dunne and Collins tandem intact rather than bringing in Sylvain Distin who just notched a clean sheet for Everton.

14: 55 Tuning in to Soccer Saturday which for US fans is a pundit show where a group of ex-professionals watch the action and report back to the wonderful host - Jeff Stelling. For NFL fans he is our Chris Berman and the only guy on the show with any kind of charisma or interesting personality. Paul Merson (ex Arsenal, Villa, Portsmouth) seems to find the dark side of any situation and could make a 4-4 Arsenal-Spurs derby seem like a high school game in the pouring rain.

15:02 BBC reports that England boss Fabio Capello is at St Andrews today to watch Birmingham take on Bolton, presumably to watch Gary Cahill. Cahill was linked this week with Juventus and AC Milan which will seem incredible to those who don't watch him regularly. It is without hyperbole that I would rate him as high as John Terry and he is England's third best centre back right now (and is only 23 years old).

15:03 GOAL First goal of the day goes to Villa and Agbonlahor gets his fourth goal in four games. Dynamite form for the speedy front man who is staking a claim for consideration among the elite forwards.

15:12 GOAL Tamir Cohen on the scoresheet after a flick on from Kevin Davies. That's his third of the season and at 4.5m he is proving to be a great option. Blog poster Craig B mentioned Cohen this week and this is looking like a great pickup. Apologies for anyone who took my Birmingham city clean sheet pick this week.

15:15 GOAL Liverpool take an expected lead at Anfield and its Torres' 31st goal in 34 games at home. Albert Riera got the assist though I'm sure Gerrard and Benayoun fans will be encouraged by the liklihood of more goals to come this afternoon.

15:16 GOAL Hull have equalised! Geovanni pulls Hull all square which is a real shock. Liverpool were an absolute lock for a clean sheet this week and that is a real blow to all of us with Liverpool defenders.

15:19 GOAL Another shocker as Wigan take the lead against Chelsea through Titus Bramble. Three of my clean sheet tips have now conceded so it looks like more research is needed for next week.

15:20 GOAL Penalty won by Defoe and converted by Robbie Keane.That's a bit of a blow to Jermaine Defoe fans, who I thought was the penalty taker for Spurs. Defoe has been credited with the assist though.

15:23 GOAL I might not even make clean sheet predictions next week. Only City's defense remains unbreached of my 5 tips - and that could be to do with them playing on Monday. Chris Samba with the goal for Rovers after pretty awful defending from the Villains.

15:29 GOAL Although my wildcard has worked out to date, I think the decision to drop Fernando Torres might be a killer. He's added his second of the game and there are scramblings in the Pure Juice front office to see how I can afford him with my two transfers next week. The consolation is that Yossi Benayoun picked up that assist.

15:33 GOAL Great finish by Jermaine Jenas who doubles Spurs' advantage. Burnley unfortunate to be down by two having had a Fletcher effort ruled out for a marginal offside decision.

15:45 Its all gone a bit quiet in the league after a frantic half hour of action. Stoke are holding Man United at home while Wigan still lead Chelsea. Big second half coming up for those two sides, with Liverpool sitting pretty at the minute. Birmingham are knocking on the Bolton door and Fahey has rattled the bar. Megson will need to earn his money at half time in order to hold on here.

16:03 GOAL Game over at Anfield as Torres wraps up his hattrick after just 47 minutes. I tipped him pre-season to be the golden boot but lost confidence a little bit causing me to transfer him out with the wildcard. At 11.5m his price will surely explode after this game though with games @Che, @Sun and ManU on the horizon I still think Drogba is the better short term bet. From week 11 on though his fixtures are very useful and Torres will probably be a must own. Again, the consolation is that Benayoun has picked up the assist.

16:08 GOAL I sometimes like to think my nerdy ramblings here have some effect on the sports karma gods and Didier Drogba has responded to my back handed criticism by equalising for Chelsea. I haven't seen the goal but apparently it was a shocker by the normally reliable Chris Kirkland, giving me faith that I made the right choice in bringing Didier in. Yes, I have no life.

16:14 GOAL Penalty to Wigan and Petr Cech is sent off. Rodallega converts and Wigan are back in front. Incredible stuff at the DW Stadium and surely Wigan are the favourites now. Chelsea have come from behind 3 times this season but this one good be a bridge too far. BBC imply that the contact was minimal and Rodallega was perhaps looking for a penalty. We haven't heard the last of this one as it's one thing to upset Celtic but to cross one of the big four seems to be a capital crime and I would not be surprised if the unfortunate ref is demoted by the weekend.

16:19 GOAL Steven Gerrard gets in on the act for Liverpool as he smahes in Liverpool's fourth goal. My clean sheet rankings might be awful but at least my captain tips are doing okay. Insua gets the assist while there is some debate whether it was a cross or a shot. Paul Merson on sky is giving it Gerrard where as BBC suggest it was a cross-gone-wrong. Whatever his intentions, Gerrard is on the scoresheet once more.

16:20 Jermaine Defoe has picked up a hand injury and will be replaced by Peter Crouch at White Hart Lane.

16:21 GOAL United take the lead and its under pressure front man Berbatov who has got it. Stoke have done okay and made this tough for United but the goal was always on the cards. We'll have to see if Pulis's men can hit back. Giggs got the assist for this one.

16:27 RED CARD Vincent Grella sent off for Blackburn and Villa have a chance to push forward for their 5th straight win.

16:31 GOAL Lennon involved for Spurs and he pulls it back for Robbie Keane to get his second of the day. Hopefully Spurs don't relax and Assou Ekotto and co will hold their clean sheet. Burnley have now conceded 12 goals in 4 away games.

16:35 GOAL Hattrick for Keane which marks another incredible day for fantasy strikers. Tom Huddlestone, who is unfortunately sat on the Pure Juice bench with the assist.

16:35 GOAL It's all over at the Brittania Stadium as John O'Shea wraps it up for the Champions. Giggs gets his second assist of the day.

16:42 GOAL Birmingham equalise against Bolton and that has been coming for a while. Kevin Phillips gets his first goal of the season for the Blues.

16:43 GOAL Bolton hit straight back and after Matt Taylor hits the post, new arrival Chung Yong Lee is there to put it in after dummying the entire Birmingham defense. That could be a HUGE goal for Gary Megson.

16:44 GOAL Robbie Keane gets his fourth goal of the game and the 3.1% of owners who have him active will be delighted.

16:46 GOAL Ten men Blackburn look to have stolen the points against Villa after a David Dunn penalty. Meanwhile, Ryan Babel makes it five for Liverpool with the assist going to Dirk Kuyt.

16:49 It looks like Wigan are going to hold on against Chelsea for a historic victory over Chelsea.

16:49 GOAL Liverpool make it 6-0 and my assertion - though not exactly a shock call - that all Liverpool players should be played this week was correct. This time its Albert Riera and Kuyt gets his second assist.

16:52 GOAL Incredible! Paul Scharner scores for Wigan and they will get their first win in 35 attempts over the big four sides. Chelsea will be knocked from the top of the league and Ancelotti will finally have something to think about after a historic start to his Chelsea career.

What a day of action. Join me later for comments on today's action as well as the Arsenal-Fulham game which I'm hoping provides big times points for Fabregas and Van Persie who I have been pushing all week.

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