With the Euros over and the Olympics to come, plans are already in place for the 2012/13 Premier League season.
Last season proved to be one of the most dramatic in history, with Sergio Aguero’s late, late goal giving Manchester City their first Premier League title.
So with pre-season underway, it’s time to launch the official No Nay Never Fantasy Football League 2012/13.
With £100m to spend on 15 players, you’ll have to spread your budget to come up with an all-conquering team.
There are two ways to join the league. Firstly, if you were in the #Twitterclarets 2011/12 league then simply making a team and submitting it to fantasy.premierleague.com will be enough.
If you’re new, then once again go to fantasy.premierleague.com and register your team. Then click on leagues and select to join a mini league. Then enter the code: 20481-7350.
As you’ll see on the site there are plenty of prizes to play for, however being the top manager in the world is very difficult indeed. So to increase the stakes and keep you interested, we at No Nay Never are offering up special NNN mugs as monthly prizes up until Christmas. Your morning brew could taste a whole lot sweeter knowing you’re the best manager of them all.
In order to give you some help, I’ve picked out some players who I think will bring in the points throughout the season.
In fantasy football, saves bring in points. Therefore a good keeper with a fragile defence tends to be a good thing. Therefore keepers such as Ali Al Habsi of Wigan at £5 million and Shay Given of Aston Villa at £5 million look good value. If you want clean sheet points then Joe Hart, Petr Cech and David De Gea will be for you.
Defence is a key area and can yield many points in fantasy football, especially if you can get a run of clean sheets. For clean sheets, Nemanjia Vidic looks cheap at £7 million mainly due to last season’s injury. Stoke City are another team who specialise in clean sheets, so Ryan Shawcross looks very, very cheap at £5 million. If you’re looking for more adventurous defenders then you may want to look at players like John Arne Riise or Ryan Taylor who cost only £5.5 million. They may not consistently bring in points but Ryan Taylor spent much of last season as a midfielder and therefore may sporadically bring in points for assists or goals, as well as defensive points.
Midfield is a very diverse area with many opportunities to score points. My first tip is Clint Dempsey. The Fulham man was a top scorer in the midfield category last season, mainly because he played up front. Whether he stays at Fulham or leaves for elswhere, as long as he stays in the Premier League, your £9.5 million investment will go far.
Another man who is placed in the midfield but plays predominantly as a striker is Jon Walters of Stoke. He will find the net regularly enough and will keep your points ticking over. In terms of out and out midfielders, there is some good value. Paul Scholes shone after returning from retirement and along with Michael Carrick and Shinji Kagawa, the Manchester United central midfielders should score plenty of points. One player’s recommendation by me is dependent on a rumoured transfer. Towards the end of last season, Steven Pienaar began to find some form for Everton. If Pienaar makes the move back to Goodison Park, he may be worth a punt at £6.5 million. In terms of wingers, Antonio Valencia is a consistent threat, while James McClean is still trying to fulfil his potential, but both are dangerous and could potentially rake in the points.
Finally, the forwards. Much time and money can be invested into getting the perfect front line. Once Robin Van Persie, Sergio Aguero or Wayne Rooney are picked, managers become short of money. One tip I have is to leave the expensive players and go for slightly cheaper options, such as the Arsenal pair of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. They cost £8.5 million and £9 million respectively and look very promising. A cheaper option once again relies on a transfer. Romelu Lukaku has not been seen much since joining Chelsea. However, with a proposed loan on the cards, the young man could truly show us what he is made of. Billed as a young Didier Drogba, this could be his breakthrough year.
If you’ve gone for expensive players, then you’ll need a cheap striker. One such suggestions who could score some points is Pavel Pogrebnyak. We saw what the Russian was capable of at Fulham last season and he may now be the man who could fire Reading to safety. At only £5 million the proven Premier League striker could be a bargain. Finally, how could I overlook a cheap, young, potentially great striker. Jay Rodriguez enters the Premier League for a second time with Southampton. We know how good he is but will he be able to find the net regularly at the highest level? He’s a £5.5 million signing if you think he’ll hit the back of the net. My only warning over him is his first game may not be fruitful in the points department, as Southampton travel to the Etihad Stadium.
If you’ve got any tips, comment at the bottom of the page. If not, enter your team and have fun. Who knows, you may even win a mug!