José Mourinho predictably made a few changes with games coming in quick succession for his Utd side. Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly gave Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo a break in the centre of the backline. Controversial figure Maroune Fellaini got a start in the midfield so that Michael Carrick could be given a rest too. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial were chosen to operate on the wings with the ever-present Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic rounding out the offense. For Middlesbrough, the spot to watch was the matchup of Adama Traoré down the right side against Daley Blind as there was a going to be a definite pace advantage there.
The TDA Bulls were coming off of a Bye week when they took to the field on Friday night looking to continue their undefeated season versus their closest competitor, 2nd placed Genesis. The Bulls were without regulars Kim, Alena, Justin and Phil so Eddie was brought in as a sub to give TDA just enough to field a full lineup with no subs.
The first half started sluggishly for both teams as maybe the Holiday food and drink consumption was holding everyone back? Carolyn ended up breaking the deadlock as her free kick took a deflection past the helpless keeper for a 1-0 lead. TDA continued pushing forward but were allowing some chances at the other end and Genesis tied the game with a nice shot from distance. But that goal woke the Bulls up and Simon and Eddie bumped the lead up to 3-1 before Carolyn grabbed her second just before halftime with a nice first touch and finish. It was 5-1 at the break and the Bulls were looking in control.
Manchester Utd host Middlesbrough as they look to build on their current 4-game winning streak. Utd are being led by the seemingly ageless Zlatan Ibrahimovic after he added a goal and two assists in their most recent victory over Sunderland. But there are signs that he is going to have more help going forward as Paul Pogba is settling in and the return of the dynamic Henrikh Mkhitaryan will add some creativity to the midfield too, as was evidenced by his recent fantastic substitute goal, 🦂-style! It comes at a good time as Utd are in the midst of a busy holiday schedule and then their Cup play begins in the New Year so having a deep, healthy roster is going to be critical to the success of José Mourinho’s squad.
Crown returned from Christmas with a game v. The Little Kickers as they looked to improve on their 4-2 record so far this season. Josh and Jeremy were out so Simon and Shawn held down the defense on this night, more on that later…
Crown had the edge in possession in the first half and it was not long before Simon went on a run and snuck on in with the aid of a defection. The Kickers were looking dangerous when they counter attacked, and after Shawn and Mark had increased Crown’s lead, they cut right back into it with a pair of goals. Eddie finished off a nice play with a goal late in the half and Crown went into the break with a 4-2 lead. Here are a couple of sequences from the 1st half action:
Another Gameweek starts on Friday as the Premier League games are coming fast and furious. It is a busy time for Fantasy Football managers but my latest Preview for Draft Fantasy will help you get through it:
Manchester Utd hosted Sunderland on Boxing Day and José Mourinho named a strong side once again as he looked to try and keep closing the gap on the title chasers. David De Gea was in net with a backline of Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind. Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera continued in the central midfield while Juan Mata got a chance in the midfield attackers joining Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard, no Wayne Rooney in the Matchday squad. Zlatan Ibrahimovic continued to lead the line. Sunderland were led by Jermain Defoe as usual, but Adnan Januzaj was unable to play due to Utd being his parent club in his current loan spell for the Black Cats.
Manchester Utd are on a bit of a roll as they prepare to host Sunderland at Old Trafford on Boxing Day. They are being led by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has found his Premier League feet and is on a scoring roll. Utd have been hit with a rash of defensive injuries this season as Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw have all missed time but this has been somewhat of a blessing in disguise as the central partnership of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo has been a revelation in recent weeks. Let’s take a look at how José Mourinho may line up for this game against Sunderland led by a former, albeit brief, Utd manager in David Moyes.
Premier League Fantasy Football managers are about to have their hands full as we get hit with an abundance of action, and it all starts with Gameweek 18 on Boxing Day, my Preview is up on the Draft Fantasy blog:
Crown took to the field on Wednesday to take on DW Energy FC for the second time this season, looking to improve upon the 8-1 beating they took last time out. You knew the holiday season was upon us as finding enough players was becoming an issue as the day went on. In the end, regulars Mark (out of town), Eddie (socializing with the Dallas elite), Josh (stuffy nose) and Jeremy (working out 🏋💪) were missing and only Alex was available from all the possible subs so Crown were not fully stocked up, but DW had similar issues so all was fair.
Manchester Utd lined up a strong starting 11 for their matchup with West Brom as the red hot Zlatan Ibrahimovic led the line once again. Paul Pogba, Wayne Rooney and Jesse Lingard were the attacking midfielders, backed up by Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera. David De Gea was in net and had a backline of Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian. José Mourinho was looking to build on some positive performances of late and head into Christmas on a roll. West Brom had their usual offensive threats in the lineup as Salomón Rondón, Matt Phillips and Nacer Chadli were all included.