Adventures In The Fantasy Premier League: Tips Gleaned From Gameweek 25

1. Return Of The Pie – Steven Pienaar has returned to form, so it seems appropriate to mention his wonderfully appropriate name. It has got “pie” in it. And there is nothing more beautiful about football than its association with steaming meat-pies. Yum.

More pertinent to fantasy football is Pienaar’s creative talent. Now that he has moved on from substitute bench obscurity at Tottenham, the South African should begin to enjoy some sustained point scoring form.

2. Louis Saha – When he’s not injured, he scores. On Saturday, Louis Saha was emphatically fit, scoring twice in Tottenham’s equally emphatic 5-0 win over Champions League hopefuls Newcastle United. Saha combined well with on-loan Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor, setting-up the Togolese for Spurs’ fifth goal. The Adebayor-Saha strike partnership looks likely to keep Jermain Defoe out of contention for another few games. Or at least until Saha gets injured again.

3. Return Of The Drog – Having lost the Africa Cup of Nations final in tragic fashion, Didier Drogba will return to bolster a misfiring Chelsea front line. Fernando Torres — woeful again on Saturday — is expected to make way. Drogba played quite well at the Cup of Nations (apart from missing the penalty that denied Ivory Coast glory, of course), scoring three times en route to the final. Decent bet for the remainder of the fantasy season? Absolutely.

4. The Handshake – The Fantasy Premier League doesn’t do handshakes. When our teams line-up for a Fantasy Cup tie or walk out onto the Wembley grass for a Head-To-Head league final, they progress coldly; no handshakes, no smiles. The FPL is serious business. If only our “real life” counterparts had known what we know, they might have defused a controversial situation, saving us all another dull week of dull articles about the same dull subject everyone has been writing about for months. More proof that fantasy football is better than the real thing.

5. RvP And Thierry Henry – Robin Van Persie didn’t score this week, which probably means your fantasy team slumped to a low score. However, just a week after his heroics against Blackburn, it would be churlish to complain.

The main story to emerge from Arsenal’s win at Sunderland was Thierry Henry: his last minute winner and his emotional good-bye (which really wasn’t all that magical — Arsenal fans threw him a scarf, he promptly threw it back). But with Henry returning to Major League Soccer next week, Andrey Arshavin (who crossed for the winning goal) provides most of the fantasy intrigue. If there is one thing fantasy football has taught us, it’s that redemption is never impossible.

Read more by David Yaffe-Bellany at In For The Hat Trick and follow him on Twitter @INFTH.

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