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Fantasyland: Fergie's Old Trafford swansong curbs sense of anti-climax

The Premier League news has understandably been dominated by one issue this week.

An emotional atmosphere is expected at Old Trafford on Sunday, as fans say goodbye to departing boss Alex Ferguson.
An emotional atmosphere is expected at Old Trafford on Sunday, as fans say goodbye to departing boss Alex Ferguson.

WITH WIGAN LOSING and Tottenham drawing during the week, the two pressing issues left in the Premier League – Champions League qualification and relegation – now seem all but decided.

Hence, a sense of anti-climax seemed set to characterise the end of the Premier League season.

However, the recently confirmed news that Alex Ferguson is set to retire means the atmosphere at Old Trafford this weekend is bound to be spectacular, given that it’s the manager’s last competitive home game in charge.

And of course, of all the people affected by this announcement, let’s not forget the Fantasy players, who will surely be that little less confident in picking United footballers now that Fergie is leaving.

Two players to pick this week

Theo Walcott: Arsenal need to beat Wigan this week, and given that they’re at home against a side on the brink of relegation, it’d be a major surprise if they failed to do so. Walcott hasn’t always been outstanding this year, but he has often thrived against the weaker teams, and given that he is the fifth top-scoring Fantasy midfielder, there’s a fairly good chance he’ll pop up with a goal or two.

Robin van Persie: Granted, picking RVP has been a considerable risk of late, on account of Fergie’s willingness to rest him. However, surely the manager will be eager to say goodbye to Old Trafford with a winning performance against Swansea, and picking his best team would go some way towards making this happen.

Two players to avoid this week

Christian Benteke: The Villa striker has been a revelation this season, scoring the goals that look to have assured their safety. However, he faces a Chelsea side who are far superior to their opponents player-for-player, and also boast one of the best defences in the Premier League. So don’t expect Benteke and co to get much joy tomorrow.

Hugo Lloris: After a disappointing start in which Brad Friedel was regularly chosen ahead of him, the Frenchman has recovered to claim the number one spot at White Hart Lane. He has subsequently been widely recognised as one of the best goalkeepers in the league, consistently performing to a high standard both in real life and in Fantasy Football. However, Spurs have had difficulty in the past coping with Stoke’s combative style, so expect them to struggle again on Sunday.

Predictions:

Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea

Stoke City 2-3 Tottenham

Everton 2-0 West Ham

Fulham 1-2 Liverpool

Norwich 2-2 West Brom

QPR 1-2 Newcastle

Sunderland 1-1 Southampton

Man United 3-0 Swansea

Arsenal 2-0 Wigan

Reading 0-3 Man City

How my team got on last week

Demba Ba let me down once again, as I scored well below average with 45 points.

Who’s leading TheScore.ie’s Primera Division?

Pamela Black’s Balgree Rovers appear to be closing in on the title. They’re a healthy 39 points ahead of their nearest challenger and should wrap up the prestigious title barring any last-minute disasters.

5 things to look out for in this weekend’s Airtricity League games>

An honour to compete with Fergie, says ‘noisy neighbour’ Mancini>

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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