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Fantasy Premier League, Game week 4 tips: It might be time to pick and drop few

August is over, but so is the curse! Harry Kane exorcised his August demons with a thumping header against Manchester United last week. His first strike at Old Trafford came on the back of a goal against Fulham, a week earlier, that ended the England captain’s drought in the month that annually ushers in a new Premier League season.

September is usually the time when Kane puts on the proverbial scoring boots that stay in operation for the rest of the season. For Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers, the first gameweek in September is usually all about the rigours of facilitating the entry of the pricey Tottenham forward in their teams.

This season, after a fruitful August, the managers who had decided to do without Kane for the initial part of the season — partly due to the August curse and partly due to his exertions at the World Cup — might have to change plans. But with a price tag of £12.5 million around Kane’s neck, it is easier said than done.

Accommodating Kane

Harry Kane has been in fine form in August making him a desirable players for FPL managers. Reuters

It’s a bit of a task. Conceding a points hit for extra tarnsfers is almost a given, but considering Kane’s pedigree and the his FPL track record, it might be a one-time investment. But how to do it? How to carry out the entire process without making your team suffer? Here are a few ways to get the Spurs goal machine in your side.

a) Drop Mohamed Salah, Sergio Aguero or Raheem Sterling — Swapping him for another big gun will save you transfer points. You can bring in Kane with a maximum of 4 points hit using this way. But it has its disadvantages. Dropping one of the above mentioned players who too are a regular sources of points might nullify the effect of bringing in Kane. So unless you believe Kane can outperform the other big guns, don’t settle for this path.

b) Drop two mid-range players, find cheaper substitutes — There are a lot of players in the range of £8-10 million that you can get rid of to accommodate Kane. Bobby Firmino, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, Leroy Sane, Mesut Ozil, Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy are some of the players who don’t come for cheap and haven’t been able to justify their price tag this season. Binning such players to raise funds for the entry of Kane might be the right thing to do. For example — Kane’s Spurs teammates Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen could be swapped for the in-form Lucas Moura. The Brazilian has outperformed both Alli and Eriksen so far this season. Playing in a more advanced role, the former PSG man is likely to be among the points a lot more often. Costing approximately £2 million lesser, Moura provides more value.

Here is the list of similar bargain buys that you could look for as alternatives to some of the more expensive players, in order to bring in Kane or even otherwise.

Fixtures

 

Gameweek 4 fixtures

For the first time this season, none of the top six teams will come up against each other. That’s resulted in Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal having pretty straight forward games this week. Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham have tricky looking away games, but all the top six teams are expected to win this week. So if you have packed your team with players from the top six teams, you might be in for a good time.

The Blues have back-to-back home games against Bournemouth and Cardiff before a clash against West Ham. So it might be a good time to spend your money on a certain Eden Hazard. The Belgian made his first start of the campaign last week at Newcastle and delivered a Man of the Match performance. Every Chelsea attack went through the Belgian and he was rightly rewarded with a goal from the spot. Even in his two cameo appearances in the first two games, Hazard provided two assists. So if you have the money, bring in Hazard and make the most of Chelsea’s easy run of games.

The City midfield has become a bit of a minefield for FPL managers. With uncertainty over starters unlikely to settle soon, FPL managers might do well to avoid City midfielders. The two Silvas — Bernardo and David — appear sure starters but they haven’t been consistent enough to be picked.

Watford’s Pereyra is the third most selected midfielder this week. The return of 26 points from three GW for his price is a stunning one, but you would like to have a look at Watford’s upcoming fixtures before deciding to pick him. Watford face Spurs and United at home next, before twin trips to London to face Fulham and Arsenal. Thus, picking Watford players despite their fine run of form might not be the smartest thing to do considering their fixtures. If you are looking for cheap and effective players, Crystal Palace and Everton are certain to have better offerings in the coming weeks.

Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic is the most transferred in forward, but Zaha, with the kind fixture list that his side has at the moment, is certainly a better option. In defence, the situation is the same as every week. Attacking full-backs are the order of the day with Marcos Alonso, Kieran Tripper and Benjamin Mendy all high on demand. With these defenders rivaling the forwards for their points tallies, it is smart to go with the general trend,

Liverpool’s Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold are very economical alternatives coming at £5 million, especially considering Liverpool’s improved defensive resolve this season. Wan Bisakka’s return from suspension makes him very desirable option at a price of £4 million.

Captain conundrum

The usual suspects refuse to go away. Salah, Aguero and Kane will lead the captain’s choice again this week, but I’m slightly leaning towards the Manchester City man. The Argentine was unlucky not to score after seeing two of his efforts rebound of the woodwork last week against Wolves. Againt Newcastle expect Aguero and Co to be fired up to make up for last week’s dropped points.

If Newcastle play like they did against Chelsea at the Etihad, City who are a lot more potent in front of goal could rack up a cricket score. So Aguero is my choice for this gameweek.

Salah is never a bad option, but picking Kane is a tad risky this week considering Spurs are playing an in-form Watford side. But if you are in the mood to pull a rabbit out of the hat, a gamble on Zaha as your captain might be worth the risk.

Tags: #Aleksandar Mitrovic #Fantasy Premier League #Fantasy Premier League 2018/19 #Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 4 tips #Fantasy Premier League GW 4 tips #FPL #FPL 2018/19 #FPL GW 4 tips #FPL top picks #Harry Kane #Mohamed Salah #Sergio Agüero #Wilfred Zaha

Champions League group stages 2018-19

 

The first group stage matches will take place on 18 and 19 September. Fixtures are yet to be confirmed.

Champions League 2018-2019

Group stage draw

• Group A: Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, AS Monaco, Club Brugge

• Group B: Barcelona, Tottenham, PSV Eindhoven, Inter Milan

• Group C: Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli, Liverpool, Red Star Belgrade

• Group D: Lokomotiv Moscow, FC Porto, Schalke, Galatasaray

• Group E: Bayern Munich, Benfica, AFC Ajax, AEK Athens

• Group F: Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon, Hoffenheim

• Group G: Real Madrid, AS Roma, CSKA Moscow, Viktoria Plzen

• Group H: Juventus, Manchester United, Valencia, Young Boys

What dates are the Champions League group fixtures?

• 18/19 September: group stage, matchday one

• 2/3 October: group stage, matchday two

• 23/24 October: group stage, matchday three

• 6/7 November: group stage, matchday four

• 27/28 November: group stage, matchday five

• 11/12 December: group stage, matchday six

Champions League key dates

• 17 December: round of 16 draw

• 12/13 and 19/20 February: round of 16, first leg

• 5/6 and 12/13 March: round of 16, second leg

• 15 March: quarter-final and semi-final draw

• 9/10 April: quarter-finals, first leg

• 16/17 April: quarter-finals, second leg

• 30 April/1 May: semi-finals, first leg

• 7/8 May: semi-finals, second leg

When is the 2018-2019 Champions League final?

The final is on Saturday 1 June at the Estadio Metropolitano in Madrid. The 68,000-seat stadium is home of Atletico Madrid.

Liverpool and Tottenham have been handed difficult draws for the 2018-2019 Uefa Champions League group stage.

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Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who reached last season’s final, are in group C with Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli and Red Star Belgrade. Meanwhile, Tottenham are in group B with Barcelona, PSV Eindhoven and Inter Milan.

Premier League champions Manchester City will be confident of reaching the Champions League round of 16 after drawing Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon and Hoffenheim in group F.

In group H Cristiano Ronaldo will be welcomed back to Old Trafford when his new club Juventus take on former side Manchester United. Valencia and Young Boys complete the group.

Holders Real Madrid face AS Roma, CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen in group G.

Rivals meeting on 19th Sep in Dubai to retrieve Champions Trophy memories: Asia Cup Schedule

All set to watch two world’s famous rivals will meet in Asia Cup after the memorable final of Champions Trophy. The two teams last met in the famous Champions Trophy final in England in 2017 where Pakistan thrashed hot-favourites India by a massive 180 runs to clinch the last edition of the championship.

This year’s Asia Cup is scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates after it was moved out of India due to the political tensions between Pakistan and India.

The opening match will be played between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on September 15 at Dubai.

Pakistan is placed in Group A with India and a Qualifier team whereas Group B comprises of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. All the teams will play once against each other in the group stage with two teams graduating to the Super 4 stage.

The top 4 teams will play against each other in a bid to qualify for the final which will be held at Dubai on September 28.

Group Stages

Date Fixture Venue
September 15 Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Dubai
September 16 Pakistan vs Qualifier Dubai
September 17 Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Abu Dhabi
September 18 India vs Qualifier Dubai
September 19 India vs Pakistan Dubai
September 20 Bangladesh vs Afghanistan Abu Dhabi

Super Four

Date Fixture Venue
September 21 Group A Winner vs Group B Runner-up Dubai
Group B Winner vs Group A Runner-up Abu Dhabi
September 23 Group A Winner vs Group A Runner-up Dubai
Group B Winner vs Group B Runner-up Abu Dhabi
September 25 Group A Winner vs Group B Winner Dubai
September 26 Group A Runner-up vs Group B Runner-up Abu Dhabi

Final

Date Fixture Venue
September 28 Super 4 Winner vs Super 4 Runner-up Dubai

Qatar in regards to ‘Travel plans’ during World Cup 2022 could be worst

Every four years, an episode of wilful wistfulness sweeps across England. The national football team’s last great moment was over half a century ago. And in the build-up to England’s first World Cup game (against Tunisia on Monday 18 June), there is plenty of careless talk about whether the side can emulate their success in the 1966 tournament, when England beat West Germany 4-2 in the final.

In that far-off festival of football, aviation did not figure in ferrying players or fans around England: the most distant stadium from Wembley was Roker Park in Sunderland, little more than 200 miles away, and trains and buses were quite sufficient.

Russia 2018 is partly run on rail, with fans heading for Yekaterinburg travelling on football specials the route of the Trans-Siberian. But many supporters, as well as the teams, the organisers and the media, are shuttling around the world’s biggest nation by air.

The 2026 tournament, held jointly by Canada, the US and Mexico, looks even more extreme, with likely venues strung out across North America from Mexico City via Miami to Montreal.

And in between: as you know, the 2022 World Cup was fairly and squarely awarded to Qatar. As this Gulf nation is smaller than Yorkshire, planes will not be necessary. Or will they?

No one knows which teams will qualify for the desert tournament, but however fast Qatar’s infrastructure expands, there is no prospect that all the fans and players could be accommodated in the host nation. So there has been plenty of talk about staying in Dubai or Abu Dhabi and flying across the 200-mile divide for games in Qatar.

That won’t be possible if the current geopolitical row in the Gulf continues. For almost a year, Qatar has been squaring up against the UAE, Saudi Arabia and some other Middle East countries. And from the traveller’s perspective, Qatar Airways is banned from a lot of useful airspace.

The diplomats have four years to try to solve the crisis, but meanwhile passengers on Qatar Airways are enduring some painfully extended flights. I have been keeping tabs on the flight path of QR773 from Doha to Sao Paulo. From Manchester there is a swift one-hour connection for the flight to South America – but you might not be tempted when you see how extended the journey is between the great footballing nations of Qatar and Brazil.

The most direct route between bisects Saudi Arabia. But the airspace ban extends the journey by almost 1,000 m

Robbie Williams performs

Robbie Williams performs

Robbie Williams performs

Fan zone in Yekaterinburg

Diego Maradona looks on

Colombia fans before the match

The first half-hour the plane aims east, getting further away from South America by the minute, before turning south over the Musandam Peninsula of Oman. It then typically flies out over the Indian Ocean and across Yemen, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Congo. From the point when it leaves the African coast, there is still the equivalent of a London-New York trip ahead to Sao Paulo.

At around 16 hours, QR773 is close to being the longest flight on the planet – a record currently held by Qatar Airways with its Auckland-Doha flight, which also has to take a longer track to avoid the UAE.

As soon as Russia 2018 is over, fans and teams may be poring over maps of the Gulf to work out where they could possible base their headquarters. On the basis that England are almost certain to qualify (perhaps as a result of winning this summer), I speculate that Cyprus may be hosting the team in 2022.

That might sound absurd, but with just 1,250 miles from Larnaca to Doha, it is barely further than England’s journey on Monday from their St Petersburg HQ to that first match in Volgograd on Monday.