Two-horse race for the fantasy title
Just as the race for the Premier’s Plate goes down to the final weekend, it is also the case for the title of Fantasy A-League champion.
Just as the race for the Premier-s Plate goes down to the final weekend and is a race in two, it is also the case for the title of Fantasy A-League champion.
They-ve been battling each other for the bulk of the season and it must be considered fitting that with one round to go the Eungai Eels (3,376) and the Budgie Smugglers (3,374) will battle it out for all the Sony equipment, and more importantly the bragging rights to be claimed the official 2012/13 Hyundai A-League Fantasy football champion.
Of course, Sobriquet have been up there all year as well but on 3,328 points and 48 behind our leader they-ve likely bowed out of the running.
While the final round throws up plenty of questions - Can the Jets pull a massive upset? Who will Arnie play? Can Brisbane make the six, or will it be Sydney? Can Brockie get back in the golden boot race?
For the leading two fantasy teams it comes down to which players will make the difference and it looks like all eyes will be on Friday night-s game between the Jets and Wanderers.
The impacts star midfielders can have for either team will be negated. Both have the injured Shinji Ono, Thomas Broich, Marco Rojas and Dario Vidosic in their squads, though the edge has to go to the Eungai Eels, whose ace in the hole is the Golden Boot chasing Jeremy Brockie. For that reason along I-ll tip them to get the points in the midfield.
Up front things are pretty even. The Eels might have Danny McBreen, Besart Berisha and Joel Griffiths, while the Budgies have Bernie Ibini (big tick) against the slow Heart defence, Mark Bridge (radar is off) and Archie Thompson (will he back up after the Socceroos game?). The sides cancel each other out, hence this battle will be won at the back.
It-s for that reason the Jets v Wanderers game matters. The Budgies have a diverse backline, but the key players are Ante Covic and Nikolai Topor-Stanley, if the Jets sneak a goal it will hurt them and help the Eels, who will be hoping the Jets knock off the Wanderers, giving Graham Arnold a reason to field his best side.
The reason? The Eels' best backline reads the following way: Mat Ryan, Joshua Rose, Patrick Zwaanswijk, Pedj Bojic, Ivan Franjic. If the Wanderers somehow choke all of those players will get a run and you would expect the Mariners to keep a clean sheet against a Heart team whose season has flatlined of late.
My tip, the Eungai Eels take out the whole shebang.
But what of my advice for this final round? Well, it-s the same as last weekend, pack your team full of big game players. Last week the likes of Besart Berisha, Alessandro del Piero, Daniel McBreen and Thomas Broich all came to the fore, there is no reason they won-t again.
Throw in the likes of the returning players such as Jeremy Brockie, Marco Rojas, Emile Heskey and you probably can-t go wrong.
Buy: Jeremy Brockie It-s remarkable that the game-s third-best fantasy scorer is only 26th when it comes to the number of times he has been selected. He-s not even the most picked Phoenix player (Manny Muscat is). Brockie scores goals, Victory have been leaking them and the All White is after the Golden Boot.
Sell: Shinji Ono Tensai is busted, anyone who saw him limp from the field last week knows that and there will be no miracle return this weekend. Sell, sell, sell and pick up a quality player elsewhere.
Team of the Week: The highest-scoring, cheapest team in a valid formation (It may not actually be possible to select this team). Formation: 4-3-3 | Total points = 212
Justin Pasfield (CCM 14), Trent Sainsbury (CCM 14), Corey Brown (BR 14), Shannon Cole (WSW 16), Josh Risdon (PG 18), Christopher Cristaldo (MV 14), Thomas Broich (c) (BR 52), Oliver Bozanic (CCM 18), Daniel McBreen (CCM 18), Chris Harold (18), Travis Dodd (16)
And finally congratulations to our weekly winner of a $100 VISA Moneycard West end riot managed by Andrew who took advantage of clean sheets from both the Mariners and Roar to score 184 points.