‘So easy.. your nan could play it’. Fantasy Premier League is a daily ritual for many, not merely a past-time, but a way of life. With Football Survivor, we’ve created a game which seamlessly fits into the average football fanatic’s day. Each week, each player, picks one team from the Premier League round of fixtures, to win their respective match. If they lose, you lose points, if they win, you don’t. It’s that simple. But there’s a catch… You can only pick each team once. A popular concept amongst many, the office, the university lecture hall, we’ve decided to generate the perfect platform for people to play. For our introductory post, we’ve decided to offer our expert advice on the opening weekend of the Premier League!
The Safe Pick – Chelsea vs. West Ham
There are few superlatives which accurately describe the collapse of Chelsea last season; dismal, embarrassing, horrific, all don’t do justice to the seismic destruction of the run-away title defenders. This was a team who were flirting with complete domination of the Premier League, a spine of Courtois, Terry, Matic, Hazard and Costa was formidable. Eden Hazard seized, emphatically, the PFA Player of the Season in 2014/15 and every Chelsea player was immense. It’s difficult to quite put the finger on why Chelsea and Mourinho collapsed; the public embarrassment of Jose’s handling of Eva, the club doctor, is one cited reason. Or, the ‘betrayal’ of the players that The Special One pointed to, or even the idea that the Chelsea players became complacent.
The arrival of Antonio Conte, formerly of Juventus and most recently Italy, is sure to energise the Chelsea fans and players. Conte’s Juventus were stunning, seizing all before them in Italy and the Italian national side were arguably one of the best teams at this years Euros, whilst also being tipped as one of the worst Italian sides ever. Conte’s brand of football might not be free flowing, but it gets results. The defensive side of Italy’s game was superb this summer, shutting out the likes of Belgium, and taking Germany all the way to a shootout. An opener against West Ham is no easy fixture, Dimitri Payet is fresh of another run of fantastic performances for France and Slaven Bilic will fancy his chances of spoiling the welcoming party. Yet, there seems to be no doubting that a rejuvenated Chelsea will kick things off with a win, albeit a close one.
The Risky Pick – Arsenal vs. Liverpool
This one is a very tough game to call, as both teams would expect to have a decent chance of winning. The pressure is certainly on Arsene Wenger and Arsenal, who were, at times, brilliant last season. There is no doubt that even the most optimistic Arsenal fan, for which there aren’t many, will be disappointed that in a season where Chelsea, Liverpool and both Manchester clubs underachieve, the Premier League trophy didn’t end up at the Emirates. Of course, Leicester were deserving winners in the end, dazzling their way to a spectacular triumph. Yet, theres no doubt that Arsene Wenger will feel that it was a missed opportunity.
Limited recruitments this summer is a reason to worry, Granit Xhaka does appear to be a top class signing though, proving his value in some fantastic displays at the Euros. In truth, Liverpool will confident going into this one, Jurgen Klopp has now had a full summer to prepare, a crucial preparatory period for any manager, and has managed to bring in some personal; Wijnaldum and Mane represent two Premier League quality signings. But, Arsenal have a history of starting seasons well, and will fancy themselves, the question is really whether or not they can continue their good opening form into the latter parts of the season.
If you want to have a go at this fantasy game, join us over at Football Suvivor!