So, with the start of the 2011/12 Premier League campaign upon us, fantasy football managers up and down the country are selecting and finalising their starting eleven and squad of players for the new season. While Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is restricted to picking from those that play in the famous black and white stripes, you can pick any player in the Premier League that takes your fancy, on the proviso that your budget is big enough. However, which Newcastle players should you be selecting in your fantasy football squads, if any?
When talking about fantasy football there is only one game that matters, the daddy of them all: The Official Fantasy Football Game of the Premier League. If you haven’t joined the Nothing But Newcastle Fantasy League yet, then get yourself over to http://fantasy.premierleague.com/ and join a private league with 51196-46991 as the code. Now then, with that bit of housekeeping out of way, let’s get onto the task of picking your (Newcastle) players.
Starting at the back, I can’t particularly see Newcastle keeping a bucket load of clean sheets, so at £4.5m, Tim Krul might be worth steering clear of. In defence, the back four of Danny Simpson, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor and Jose Enrique are priced between £4m and £5m. Simpson is the cheapest at £4m and Enrique was the highest points scorer last season with 105, but the man to go for might well be Taylor at £4.5m, given his goal scoring form at the back of last season that he carried into pre-season.
In the middle of the park there’s plenty to choose from and Newcastle’s starting line-up is far from certain. However, you best avoid Cheik Tiote due to the amount of booking he picks up and Joey Barton is a no-go due to uncertainty over his future. If he can get fit and stay fit, the standout signing is most definitely Hatem Ben Arfa at £5.5m, with Haris Vuckic perhaps worth a punt at £4.5m if the youngster can force his way into the first team. Another point to note is that Shane Ferguson has the questionable honour of being the cheapest midfielder in the game at £4m.
Finally we move onto the strikers. With Newcastle likely to only play one up front, it’s slim pickings here. Demba Ba is a bit pricey at £6.5m but may be worth getting if he’s employed as Newcastle’s lone striker for the majority of the season. A more sensible pick may be Leon Best at £5m, as the Irish international showed last season that he can score goals, and if he manages to do that again this season it will be hard for Pardew to leave him out.
So there you go, still wondering which Newcastle players to buy? I can’t see you using your allocation of three unless you’re short of money and stick Ferguson in, but Taylor would be a good pick and Ben Arfa should be a great transfer in when he gets fit. So put your team together and get yourself over to http://fantasy.premierleague.com/ – enter the league code: 51196-46991 and Bob’s your uncle: you’ve taken your place in the first ever Nothing But Newcastle Fantasy Football League. I look forward to seeing you there!
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