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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 7 July, 2020

Fantasyland: Feeling blue? Here's how to bounce back

‘Champions League your ‘avin a laugh!’ Fantasy football is where it’s at.

Juan Mata: The only reliable chap at the bridge.
Juan Mata: The only reliable chap at the bridge.
Image: Salvatore Laporta/AP/Press Association Images

IT”S BEEN A bad week for the English sides in the Champions League.

Arsenal and Chelsea are still squabbling over the right to be labelled a crisis club, but Ashley Cole’s back-turning antics give it to the Blues for now.

As we are so often told, the manager can’t cross the white line.

So if he can’t get his players to put their heart and soul into the effort then there is only so many tactics Andre Villas Boas can draw up on the board.

Chelsea are at home to Bolton this weekend, the perfect fixture to ease the pressure on coach who seems out of his depth at the moment.

Remember to omit all you Liverpool players because King Kenny is about to lift his first trophy since wrestling the reigns back off Roy Hodgson.

Everton were originally supposed to be playing their cross-Stanley rivals, so they too sit this round out.

Two players to pick in you team:

Edin Dzeko: Manchester City just love scoring goals at home and Blackburn Rovers just love conceding them. So for that reason I’ve gone for big Edin.

He’s only gone and got 12 goals and five assists already this season. Aguero too could be in line for a windfall of goals, but you need to take a risk here and there to make more points than your league rivals.

Juan Mata: At least there is one player left that AVB can still rely on. Five goals and eight assists have been spread fairly sparsely across the season, but with a goal in Napoli backing up his wonder-strike against Manchester United, Mata is a man in form.

Bolton don’t have the tools to keep him quiet, not at the bridge.

Two players to avoid:

Gareth Bale: Arsenal away for Spurs, rarely an occasion for great optimism.

Charles N’Zogbia: He’s impressed nobody since moving from Villa and this weekend he’ll be pitted against his old club.

Of course, Wigan are no great shakes but not only will the Wigan defence and supporters be hassling him at every turn, N’Zogbia himself will be trying far too hard to actually do anything worthwhile.


Chelsea 3 – o Bolton

Newcastle 2 – 0 Wolves

QPR 1 – 2 Fulham

West Brom 1 – 1 Sunderland

Wigan 1 – 1 Aston Villa

Man City 4 – 0 Blackburn

Arsenal 3 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur

Norwich 1 – 1 Man Utd

Stoke 2 – 0 Swansea

How my team got on last time out: A not too shabby 81 points came thanks to (count them) 42 points from Emmanuel Adebayor. He was my captain and grabbed a goal and four assists in Spurs’ rout of Newcastle.

Allow me to also give honourable mentions to Vincent Kompnay (six), James McClean (seven) and Wayne Rooney (13) without whom I wouldn’t be standing here today – sorry, but it’s Oscar weekend and I got carried away.

Who’s leading the league?:

It was a bad week for the leaders, but Paudie O’Neill increased the gap by five points with an overall total of 46 bolstered by his captaincy choice of Clint Dempsey.

The highest scorer this week was Caroline O’Donovan’s Moving Statues,, who narrowly beat yours truly with 84 points thanks to: Adebayor, Rooney, Dempsey, Kompany and Charlie Adam.

Ring the bell, it’s round 26!

Follow Friday:It’s James ‘don’t call me John’ McClean

As it happened: Manchester United v Ajax, Europa League

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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