1 February

A current hot topic is sorting out which former “IPD players” are now dead and buried and which retain value as they can still strong arm their way to the top of the scoreboard with 2+ goals.

André Silva is one for whom all hope is not lost.

He’s unlucky on Saturday to score twice in a 3-1 win yet not get the matchwinner. If he had, he could have been in that 220 range which can get him in the door at least on Bronze and Silver days, and if lucky a Gold Day possibly. 

This was the same in the last game, where he again scored twice but did not drop on the matchwinner.

So he’s a regular MDE contender, too.

This is arguably the best season of his career and at just 25 if he keeps on scoring like this (2nd top scorer in the Bundesliga in this season to date) this will attract significant transfer attention.

In many cases, reaching for that sell button on “IPD players” was the right call. In others, traders have got it wrong and sold too cheaply. This is very likely to be strong value at 44p to 66p.

On Jovic watch, there are no signs of immediate performance suitability  after seeing 4 substitute appearances.

Even adjusted per minute, these are poor numbers that are not going to be getting him to the top of the scoreboard anytime soon.

The goal threat however is decent and with a longer term view if he starts some games soon and plays well he still has the chance to rejuvenate his career.

There is clear evidence of buyers remorse though, if anyone clicked buy immediately after that 2 goal haul in his first game back for Frankfurt.

The Blue Button is £1.03 but some sellers are happy to take 61p and that is actually thin – there is effectively no bid price right now.

Buying after that goal spree was not a bad call but with mediocre games since you probably wanted to be selling at around £1 which was a substantial profit.

As it stands…. if an aggressive bid of 50p could get accepted a long term holder might be happy with that.

31 January

Another comfortable win, though no big scores this time.

Kimmich close again. No goal in 6 but he is getting chances. More big scores are inbound, but you do pay for them and like I say, he’s at or at least close to a rational price ceiling already. You can pay too much for good players – not a problem we have had for a while – but it is an issue here.

Gnabry had a good game. He’s been playing well lately but not really getting rewards. This was a nice finish that capped a good display. Strong FI numbers, especially given he was subbed early. Looks back in contention.

Has also received a nice price boost naturally as the market has risen. Yet, if these £1.67 bids are actually available, under £2 remains a steal. Particularly as we head towards CL knockouts – this is where the Core big hitters really come into their own.

We also saw a debut for 24 year old Roca, his first Bundesliga appearance since moving from Espanyol. He was covering the quarantined Goretzka.

Similar numbers actually. If he was on FI he would be capable of big scores however given he is a back up to a back up (Tolisso is injured too) his chances will be limited.

I’d say a good punt for the next couple of weeks but by the time he is IPO’d his moment may have gone.

Unless he plays so well that he forces his way in. 

Pavard was unlucky not to score with his excellent finish ruled out for offside. 

He has really struggled this season but he is really not far away from wins. 

Chances are, those taking advantage of that downswing at 82p or under £1 are going to end up happy with a 24 year old Bayern/France full back for that money.


Nice to see a win for Sancho yesterday. And not just if we won a dividend.

It is a social media cliché these days but it is a true one – a big winner like this is good for general feel good factor on the platform and does give traders a healthy injection of dividends to play with the next day. 

It’s basically good for everyone, Sancho holder or not.

He is a touch fortunate to win a Gold Day Star Man with just 238 sure. But as I’ve been reporting in recent weeks, he has been close to big scores and this was coming. That’s why he is sitting on my Explosion Imminent list.

I have a good record to date on predicting the ups and downs of Sancho, and my recent conversion back to him at around £5 has paid off. 

There could still be a fair while to run as hype for a Summer move builds.

There is often debate between Sancho fans and Sancho detractors as to who will win in the end.

The answer is none of them.

We can’t afford to get encamped on either side – the real winning traders are just quietly trading in and out of him to suit the circumstances.

I think this can be left to run if holding, and you can still rationally buy now. But I wouldn’t leave this too much longer. Again, if it starts to seriously overheat in price or the transfer actually starts to approach or may be shut down, we may want to consider taking a profit.

No reason he can’t win again with these solid numbers which are consistent in recent games. He can stay on Explosion Imminent.

Elsewhere, Brandt continues his run in the side. Again, he’s still showing competitive numbers as we expect from him. Much better spell for him and patient holders may get their reward here.

Quality players have a way of playing their way back into contention. Still just 60p to 70p it’s great value.

Guerreiro was exceptional again. 5 key passes, 1 assist. Huge involvement. Had 1 half chance himself. 7 touches in the box so things can fall to him.

Just incredibly consistent yet has not been rewarded lately. The ideal time to pick up a quality player for just £1.44 to £1.60. 

27 January

Hopping onto the platform this evening (sorry) is Matthew Hoppe, 19 year old USA forward. Fresh off 5 goals in 4 games in the Bundesliga for Schalke.

That’s the sort of form that gets noticed. 

He is however, utterly woeful for performance scoring. He’s quite similar to Haaland but at Schalke is unlikely to win enough or get enough chances to bludgeon through like Haaland can occasionally.

Whilst he may have legs if you believe in the future star potential, he looks some way off that appearing on FI. 

The starting price is not terrible at around £1 so nobody can complain with a long term view there.

But on current strategy as discussed yesterday, I think there are more “here and now” players to focus on before we get to this sort of pick.

25 January

A classic Bayern rout, providing two of our winners yesterday in Kimmich and Muller.

Kimmich was exceptional even by his standards, landing 3 assists for a monstrous total of 367. Normally you’d call 3 assists in a game a freak but then Bayern are not a normal team. He made 8 Key Passes so 3 is not an unreasonable return. 

Even more mouth watering – he actually had chances to score himself and clearing 400 was possible. So in this game you might even say he’s a touch unlucky only to get 367! Which is really quite incredible.

He has had his share of luck over the season but he is creating that luck by consistently getting himself into the mix. 

He’s actually had a few quieter games as I said a few days ago here, but he still looked close. The consistent quality is not in doubt. The only real trading issue is the price.

In himself he’s probably round about his True Value at £7. Not overvalued per se. But one of the few strong players currently at a fair price. Having won so often he’s a bit of a “safe haven” player in these troubled times.

 In the absence of media, he cannot realistically command the status of a true media/performance hybrid player who can sit comfortably inside the top 5 or so for any length of time. It is likely that other players overtake him if they can hit those criteria.

So my priority would be targeting players who are significantly undervalued, rather than targeting a good player at a fair price. We don’t just want a fair price – we want the best value that is out there if we really want to optimise our results. 

Not that Kimmich holders are going to mind this weekend of course. But I do expect many other players to significantly outperform him in capital appreciation terms if the recovery really catches fire.

Then we have Muller who won the forward category, another winner on my Explosion Imminent list, and not exactly a popular one. It’s one example of the point I made above. 

With £100 to spend last week you could have 200 shares in Muller or maybe 17 in Kimmich. The Muller pick returns 28% in this single Forward win via dividends with Kimmich around 4.5% for the midfield and Star. Kimmich had a 16% capital increase in the last 7 days after all the announcements etc and the win. Muller assuming a 50p bid can today be sold for a 39% increase and if acting fast yesterday probably more.

These are very rough illustrative numbers but the point is – whilst Kimmich will get a lot of the talking and the social media rockets it is the Muller trade that has really brought home the big money. 

And Muller was a predictable winner, sitting on my Explosion Imminent list. He’s got a long contract. Is far from ancient at 31. He’s not an outrageously high risk trade.

So it’s not like Kimmich is a bad option at all, he’s a solid pick. But if we are ambitious and really want to optimise our results – it’s going to be the Muller sort of trade that does it.

Elsewhere, Goretzka continues to bang on the door. 4 efforts and really good chances in there. Plus a solid baseline. Looks vastly improved with Kimmich back as discussed and he goes on Explosion Imminent at a mouth watering 63p to 77p. 

Gnabry must be wondering what he has to do. 6 efforts and good chances here, really should have scored 1, if not 2. Created chances too. As per recent reviews the underlying numbers for success are there. It’s just not running for him right now. I’d judge it more likely that he rediscovers form than he turns out to be a flop – he’s got enough good seasons behind him.

Therefore, taking advantage of the negativity to buy rather than selling a good player at a low would seem the more logical thing to do in my view.

Sulé is not a name traders often reach for but they are probably not giving him enough credit. He had 4 efforts on goal yesterday, and the threat in the last 7 has been excellent. He’s scored twice in that run. 60-70p is a great price for a player who can put up 3-4 very big scores over a season. Germany involvement too and at just 25 he’s got his best years to come. Very little to dislike here.

Crushing 5-1 victory for Frankfurt.

Kostic not far away with a matchwinner plus assist, hitting 232. He’s had strong threat in the last 6. He’s capable of 250+’s if a matchwinner falls on his better games.

A value occasional winner at under £1 and he’s quite likely to benefit nicely from Match Day Extra as a fairly consistent “nearly man”.

André Silva scored twice in an impressive display. His goalscoring form this season has been excellent – the 3rd top scorer in the league with 14 joint with Haaland.  And in a weaker side.

That’s bound to get noticed by a bigger club and he’s long been linked with a big move. 

With “IPD players” being heavily sold, picking up a player this good for around 35p could prove excellent business. 

He is a particularly poor fit for FI scoring. But he can be explosive enough to get in range of wins on Bronze/Silver days plus get in the door for Match Day Extra. 

Jovic appeared from the bench and scored a 3rd goal in 3 appearances. This must feel good after a confidence sapping spell at Real. Nice finish too. 

Per minute there are some reasonable numbers but we are yet to see him for longer than 31 minutes. If he can score regular he is probably as good as Silva and if anything probably better. He’s still just 23 so 69p feels like a decent pick up, though it may be a while before we see big scores at Frankfurt unless he really explodes with 2+ goals. Which is possible, based on his numbers so far!


24 January

Another defeat for Dortmund. Grumbling about the new coach is going to pick up pace and we’re even going to be questioning whether Dortmund will be in the CL next season before long, they are adrift of the top 4 now. 

Dortmund do have two soft fixtures to come home to Paderborn and Augsburg. And away at Freiburg is kind too after that. So in a week or two’s time it may all feel quite different. 

They simply have to improve though. A poor season might be a blessing for those hoping for that Sancho transfer, and it might even ramp up Haaland speculation if they don’t have CL football next season. Long way to go, though.

Result aside, there are some decent FI displays.

Sancho continued his strong form. 2 assists here which is no surprise as per my recent reviews. And he had decent chances to score himself. Yet again, he’s in range of wins had Dortmund won the match.

The irony is he is looking much better for FI purposes recently than he ever really has, at a time when his price is lower than it has been for a long time. This is good news for holders and as per my last review, I’m happy to hold this right now. Whilst maintaining awareness, particularly if the rollercoaster starts again and the price rises strongly, that slotting him on the wing at Manchester United might damage his FI potential significantly. Hakimi would be a recent example of how the team and system make a huge difference to FI output. 

That risk obviously dictates how long it might be sensible to hold him, and at what price.

Haaland scored twice but even with the matchwinner would not have been in range of a competitive total. See the Icardi review under PSG for more on how Match Day Extra might struggle to reach this sort of player. Even by usual “IPD Striker” standards this pair are particularly poor for performance scoring. 

The best hopes are on those big European nights where they can win with 1-2 goals. So far from valueless – but it’s going to keep them out of the premium end of the market in the absence of hype or significant media.

Brandt had a third consecutive full game and was one of Dortmund’s better players on a poor day. Encouraging for holders. Did however get beaten by Bensebaini for the goal that let Gladbach take the lead. But overall, he’s playing, he’s looking in range of wins on FI and this is consistent with the last reviews here.

He’s also bargain bucket cheap at under 50p and I think long term holders will end up happy here. He could explode next week and win fairly easily. Or if he ends up moving elsewhere he has real FI quality. With traders so short termist in recent months any player looking out of favour has been smashed. It’s going to be important to realise when people have been overly negative. And for the best results we’ll need some courage too – there is no point having this knowledge if we don’t act on it .

Bellingham started. As per last review – with Witsel out we may see him get significant minutes in the coming months. He’s capable of a big score or two if playing 7-8 games and he might well do. One of those could get a strong market reaction and he’s finally back at a value price.

Again, Guerreiro was very close and had another huge opportunity to score. It’s not been going his way lately, partly due to not finishing his chances and partly due to Dortmund not winning. But he remains a likely winner any game he plays.

21 January

Narrow 1-0 win for Bayern vs Augsburg. This could have been a standard 3-1 Bayern victory given the chances they had. 

Predictably it was Lewandowski with the goal from the penalty spot. Little to add on him except he could have had 2 or 3 and he is more than good enough to survive the cull of IPD players. He always had more to his game than that, I think £1.50 is a steal and people are being overly negative about this change here.

Gnabry was back in the line up after hobbling off last game, good for holders that it was nothing serious. He had a good game to watch and was a big threat. Unlucky not to get an assist too. 

Overall numbers solid for his 67 minutes. Better performances recently, perhaps signs he’s on the way back. As per previous reviews I think he’s a good player just in a bad patch of form and again traders are being overly negative on him.

Kimmich has had a couple of weaker games in the last two, though still well in range of big scores. Likely, this isn’t a dip for him, more just a reality that no player can win every week. He’s still well in contention and one of the top FI players around. 

One issue I have with holding Kimmich right now is that he is one of the few players that are actually floating around their True Value. And in this market – you can find lots of players who are massively below their True Value.

Because he’s won a lot recently and he is attractive, traders seem to be using him as something of a “safe haven”. The irony of this is that such players are often set up for a fall if they go off the boil for a month or so. Where as the player you are picking up at a rock bottom price, well under their True Value, may not have much further to fall and has the possibility of rising much further too. 

Goretzka holders can be happy with the last 3 games. After a dry spell that coincided with Kimmich’s absence, he’s getting forward in the last 3 and is getting decent chances again. He looks back in contention for wins again yet that barren run in November/December has dropped the price to extreme value levels. 

Pavard has been getting a lot of stick at the moment for poor performances. Coach Flick has recently said he is not 100% fit which is probably a cause. They have pledged to stick with him and help him get back to his best.

Recent numbers are actually decent and it just takes 1 goal to produce a big score – and he’s in the penalty area a lot lately. He’s down. But not out. 

Patient holders probably get rewarded. But you can also say players of a similar sort of price might be closer to wins and opt to change horses, depending on how itchy a holders feet are.

On the other flank Lucas Hernandez got a start and he played well. Showing FI friendly stuff when he gets the chance. Fans are pressing for him to be a more regular fixture and he would deserve it. 33p on a bid would be remarkable value, or anything under 50p really.

No repeat of Jovic’s heroics from the bench this time. Did get 1 half chance in his 30 minutes.

I’ll be watching him closely as he tries to get his career back on track because he could be FI suitable.

If he does well here, we may find him getting decent transfer links by Summer including to EPL top 6 sides. 

We might say similar about his new strike partner André Silva who continues to quietly smash the goals in in the Bundesliga. 

Silva took a big hit from the removal of IPD. But it may not be all over for him. He can be explosive and hit that 180-220 range a few times a season and if the winning bar is lowered he might get over it.

And at just 25 he is probably just a bit too good for Eintracht and this form should have big clubs circling by Summer.

Better from Leipzig. They haven’t won either of the previous two so a 1-0 win over Union Berlin gets them back on track.

What was particularly encouraging was the way they dominated the game and racked up some FI friendly numbers.

That bodes well. They’ve got a soft fixture vs Mainz next and Schalke and Augsburg in the next 4 too. All could deliver good FI scores.

Leverkusen wedged in the middle will be tough, plus that CL R16 game vs Liverpool.

But overall there are good opportunities coming up and I don’t think a CL knockout does them too much harm. They won’t be expected to win anyway but they have a shot,  – and if they pulled off an upset it could be a boost.

In this game Upamecano stole the defender dividend with a very impressive 233 without a goal or assist. This should be little surprise to Scouting readers – we know he can do this a few times per season when RBL dominate. 

Still value, but I expect he could have been had for less than £1.24 yesterday morning. That’s the penalty for waiting for big scores before we buy. It’s generally not something we want to do – the whole point of all these hours of Scouting is so that we are already holding them when it happens.

Angelino is the by far the more consistent challenger in the RBL defence though, and interestingly, he is significantly cheaper at £1.09 to £1.32. Perhaps reflecting that lack of immediate win and the short term thinking going on right now.

Arguably he is slightly less obviously a winger here and more of a wing back so anything that keeps OPTA confused is probably a good thing. He’s best off staying in defence although as I say he can compete anywhere.

This was a poor showing by his high standards actually, but the numbers of the last 5-6 in general are solid. Very strong goal and assist potential that can combine to rack up big scores, and that doesn’t look like going away anytime soon.

Nkunku had a good game. He only scored 100, but did better than this lets on. He lost a -20 for big chances missed and -15 for fouls. 

But he is getting chances at least. He is one to rack up fouls which can cost him 5 to 10 points a game but that’s no major deal.

Likely, he needs a goal to combine with an assist for a competitive total. But that’s quite likely with his numbers. 

He’s still just 23 and he’s in range of wins now. Plus he has Real Madrid links breaking in recent weeks. 66p to 78p is a steal for a patient trader.

Sabitzer hasn’t exploded yet since being back. But he’s close in pretty much every game. Big basleine involvement but he’s adding regular goal threat and assist potential too.

This sort of player ca nbe a while between big scores and in this market patience is thin. But when tehy come they can be 250-300 and make a real impact. 

Latest rumour is he has turned down a new deal and he often gets big club speculation. Which could combine nicely with the Euro 2020 where Austria have some winnable games including North Macedonia and Ukraine.

Olmo continues to improve. 3 of his last 4 games have shown competitive numbers. He’s getting good chances in all of these games and seeing a lot of the ball too. 

He’s takiong a while to get going but he is improving and we have to remember he is just 22. I think he’s a decent pick, certainly for just 53p to 73p. 

20 January

Another disappointing result for Dortmund, losing 2-1 to Leverkusen. Just 2 wins in 5 league games, this is not a vintage year. They are well off title pace.

They did string 3 wins together under the new coach so it looked like things were improving but they are now winless in 2, and we may start to see grumbling about whether the new coach has really improved them. He is a rookie coach so I don’t think he’ll get a lot of patience.

The bright spark was actually Brandt, who has really struggled this season. Given a second consecutive start though he was Dortmund’s best player to watch. 

He added the goal, could have had 2. Strong overall involvement. Created chances. This builds on a good game last time too. 

A strong contender in the 3.5 out of 5 stars range when he plays, maybe even higher. 

There is a reason I liked him and I think this market is far too down on him. Under 50p is an absolute steal.

Whether he reaches his potential at Dortmund or has to move on, he’s only 24 and there is a reason he is so highly rated. A bad half season with limited opportunities doesn’t change that.

Meunier came out of scouting well last game. This wasn’t quite at that high standard, but it’s still good enough to make him a competitive FI full back, at least 3 out of 5 stars

Had a great chance to score a second in as many games that he fluffed. 

Not a great performance to watch but then so few Dortmund players come out of it well. What we’ve seen is two encouraging appearances from him and if he continued in this vein he’d look a steal at an absolute rock bottom price, perhaps under 20p. 

If he were to establish in the first team, £1.50 would be a reasonable price. Crazy times.

Reus continues to display decent FI numbers whilst getting no reward. Goalless in 6 but he gets chances and a goal can count for him. If he scores big in the near future I will not be at all surprised.

Bellingham was poor here, but as per last review, the overall picture isn’t bad on a per minute basis. If he scores, it’s possible he could put up a decent FI total, maybe 200 to 220 is realistic with a goal. 250 on a very good day.

He should be about to get some serious pitch time too. Witsel has an injury that likely keeps him out until March, which could give Bellingham a run of 7 or more fixtures in which to impress.

Quite attractive at a very cheap £1.14 to £1.43 bid these days. He can nick an occasional win and with his trend profile that could cause a positive market reaction.


Leverkusen haven’t had results recently but I highlighted decent FI friendly football in scouting nonetheless.

They got quite a result last night, and we saw that coming through. 

Diaby the winner. In my Leverkusen review 3 days ago I said:

“Diaby keeps plugging away and he is well in range of big scores. A touch unlucky that his recent goals have not been match winners or he’d have a couple of +200 scores to his credit in December. 

Remains a good prospect that I’d have no problem holding.” 

That remains true and I’ve been keen on him since he switched to Forward this season. (He would have been beaten yesterday if still a midfielder). 

Really not much to dislike here. Just 21. Still under 75p. Competitive now and can get better. Just a great pickup.

Wirtz also bagged the midfield dividend. One of the breakout youngsters of the season, he’s doing so well to be a Leverkusen regular at just 17.

He hasn’t been on the platform long but in Scouting I highlighted him as one to look out for at IPO. You could even get him at a sensible price in current market conditions.

I would suspect that if he had been on the platform since the season start we would have seen more big scores than this one.

He’s competitive now and at just 17 surely he improves. Really impressive for one so young and great value for a long term holder at £1.24 to £1.48. Rare you see a 17 year old actually justifying his price tag.

Other standouts were players I’ve covered a lot recently so I won’t do it again just a few days later. Tapsoba, Bailey, Amiri all in contention here.


Kramaric is a strong FI player who has underperformed this season, often missing key games due to covid.

He fires a warning shot here though, scoring twice and running up a 187. And that’s without the matchwinner, and it’s usually unlucky to score twice and not get that. 

If that had fallen his way he beats Diaby.

He’s not a player to be counted out, especially with that Europa R32 vs Molde coming up where he could do some damage.

You can rely on Arnold to pop up on the scoreboard 2-3 times a season with a big score.

I’ve covered this a few times in the past. We know he’s got a very high chance of a few competitive scores. But we also know there is likely to be a long period between them.

There is really only one sensible way to trade a player like this – buy when they go quiet, sell when they get the win.

18 January

Bayern dominate the game vs Freiburg but only manage 2 goals despite 25 attempts in total.

Gnabry looked dangerous, managing 3 shots inside 28 minutes before unfortuantely being subbed off with an injury. It doesn’t sound serious and he could be back in the next game, it was just cramp.

It’s been a miserable few months for Gnabry holders as it is. He scored his first goal since November this week in the cup which broke an incredible 14 game goalless streak in all competitions. Unfortunate then for this injury to break that momentum. 

Overall though, I think his awful form has combined with the general FI doom and gloom to push his price too low. All it takes is for him to hit a patch of form and traders should remember he is a  key player at one of the best performance outfits around.

Muller had a decent game with a goal and assist. Just shy of a competitive total though and holders are unlucky that his end product has not fallen on one of his better days.

Really not far away and it is a surprise that he only has one monster score so far this season. I would not lump him in as an “IPD player” as some seem to – he’s a very capable winner.

Last time we discussed how Goretzka has improved with Kimmich back in terms of goal threat. That’s true again here, he had 4 efforts on goal this time, 2 from close range. 

He’s getting well forward now and is well in range of more big scores despite the recent drought.

Lewandowski scores again. He was a big beneficiary of IPD obviously so a price hit for him in light of the recent news is no surprise.

I would not peg him as an IPD player though, he’s so explosive he is regularly contending for outright wins. 

He would also be helped enormously by any mechanic that rewarded 2nd/3rd place or getting over a certain scoring threshhold. 

It may be bleak for some so called IPD players right now as I say, but I don’t think these titanic big club goal scorers are going to have a major problem being relevant on FI.

If anything, I think it is a time to take advantage of recent IPD negativity to pick up such players – before any announcement gives people too obvious a buy signal. 

At £1.37 to £1.64 Lewandowski is value even under existing win mechanics.

An interesting one with Jovic making his return and instantly bagging a brace after his miserable spell at Real Madrid.

He’s equalled his Real Madrid goals tally inside a 20 minute spell!

Before we get to him specifically it is worth noting again how quickly a player can go from down and out to hero. Maybe that takes a change of club or a new coach but it can happen. There are lots of these around right now, Eriksen and Brandt spring to mind.

This is one reason I stick with decent FI suitable players because even if you are stuck with them for whatever reason they can play their way back into contention eventually.

Back to Jovic. If this level of performance keeps up, it starts to look like Real Madrid’s fault rather than his and he can rebuild his reputation.

Original site members way back from the 2018/19 season might recall that Jovic at Eintracht was always a decent prospect and it was very possible to ride him from relative unknown to Real Madrid superstar for a tasty profit. 

He might even have justified such a price at the time, until it started going very wrong on the pitch.

(Another lesson I keep having reinforced i.e Werner/Havertz – never trust good players at new clubs without very good reason). 

It’s an explosive first game back for Jovic with an impressive total of 188 given he only had 30 minutes to do it. That includes two goals and the matchwinner of course.

He’s coming very deep here which could indicate involvement in build up play as well as goals (which we remember him for). That could make him better than your average forward for FI purposes. 

But It’s just 30 minutes of football so it’s hard to declare victory and call it an FI breakthrough.

Encouraging, though. And well worth watching at least in the next editions of Scouting.

There is also a case to be made that with very kind fixtures ahead plus a rock bottom 57p to 76p price tag it is a well considered punt that can be made now.

He’s still just 22! And there is a reason Real paid a reported €60 million for him.

17 January

Recent good form crashes to a halt in a frustrating 1-1 with Mainz. 

The pity for holders is that Dortmund seriously dominated with 73% possession and big scores were on the table had Dortmund won.

Captain Reus fluffed it, dragging a late penalty wide which would likely be the match winner. He had 5 other chances and this could have been a big scoring day for him. Lost -20 for two big chances missed as well. 

He is well in range of wins and continues to be undervalued. This was close but no cigar.

Sancho looked a bit out of sorts given recent good displays – but most Dortmund players did. 

Overall, the numbers remain solid. He had 1 decent chance to score and he’s made a big contribution. 

Taking his last 5-6 games together it’s only really cause for optimism. Like I said midweek in the major review – it’s entirely optional whether you decide to go for Sancho or not and that can be a thrilling ride (for better or worse).

But if you are going for him – better to get him when he’s down and do not wait for false reassurance from a price rise.

Bellingham had a good game, probably one of the few Dortmund players who can be happy with their day’s work.

He makes a strong contribution that will deliver good baselines, and in the last 2 games he’s had good chances to score as well.  

He gets into the box regularly (4 touches in the area in both of the last 2 games). And he can add assists too. 

He’s not playing every game but then at his age what should we expect? He’s developing well overall. 

Plenty to like – I was wary in early season because of that monstrous price tag and the inevitable over optimism. He was easy to hype as “the next Sancho”. 

But at £1.22 to £1.49 now I think a long term trader will end up very happy with this. We can’t expect him to compete week in week out – but it is possible he puts up a couple of competitive scores before the season is out. 

And you can see a win for Bellingham having a big market impact. Good for a patient trader.

Brandt completes his first full game since November. 

He did ok, particularly in the first half. It’s a day where few Dortmund players can be said to have had a good game, so he gets mediocre reviews from the press and fans.

In FI terms though it’s really solid stuff that puts him in contention for wins. There is a reason why optimism for his success at Dortmund was valid. 

If he was a first team regular I’d back him for success, at least in that 3.5 out of 5 stars range which to me marks out regular competitors.

My overall assessment is that whilst things look bleak now he is just 24 and whether he stays at Dortmund and makes it or moves on (rumours are increasing) it’s hard to see how he doesn’t justify this absolutely rock bottom price tag eventually. 

The market is very sensitive to short term factors right now and it is much more likely than not people are being over pessimistic here. 

Guerreiro was really strong again notching over 100 passes which is always an impressive milestone. Had a shot. Created some.

Price is dropping because he hasn’t breached 200 recently but the chances of him doing so again soon are high.

This was probably Meunier’s best game in a Dortmund shirt too, at right back. 

Smashed in a goal this time. And created chances too. 

In this game he was matching Guerreiro for overall contribution – but he is normally significantly behind him. 

Worth watching for signs of continued improvement. Could be a slam dunk bargain and the current no bid and 24p blue button price is… astonishing actually. 

He could also be in demand for Euro 2020 with Belgium – he could be very competitive in that tournament. 

A frustrating draw for Leipzig, 2-2 away at Wolfsburg. Not a great FI performance and below their usual.

But there are some decent players to pick out and they do have kind fixtures ahead. 

Nordi Mukiele, 23 year old RB scored their opener. His goal threat in the last 3 is impressive and given he occupies the other flank to the excellent Angelino he could be interesting.

However, his overall numbers aren’t as strong as Angelino’s and he plays deeper. An interesting one to keep an eye on but we need more than just goals particularly in a world without IPD. 

Wouldn’t take a massive improvement for him to get in contention, though.

Olmo is improving. His earlier pitch time struggles are banished and he’s finished the full match in the last 3 games.

Consistent goal threat and just 1 in the last 5 is an underperformance he should really have had 2-3. Can be competitive with a single goal.

One of many decent prospects at an outrageous price by now – 56p to 76p is a solid pick up.

Sabitzer continues to generate the kind of numbers that produce big scores. 1 decent shot this time, his free kick well saved. The big days should come. 

I continue to keep an eye on Kluivert too. He was inches away from winning this game late on for Leipzig. 

His goal threat is strong when he’s playing. Still being rotated per minute it’s encouraging stuff. Much better than his dire showings for Roma.

Can in theory win given 90 minutes now but it might require patience given the heavy rotation. One for the watchlist I think.


Poor form at Leverkusen continues with a bad defeat at Union Berlin.

Result aside it was a very strong Leverkusen display at least for FI purposes where they dominated and had a hatful of chances – just one of those days where nothing would go in.

I wouldn’t feel too down on them although next vs Dortmund will be tough. Overall the upcoming fixture calendar is kind though and they have a very favourable Europa R32 match up. 

This sort of game has a way of highlighting strong FI performers and it is the usual suspects from Scouting. 

Leon Bailey is now goalless in 6 but this feels unlucky – he’s consistently getting chances. And he has the overall numbers where just 1 goal can see him near the top of the leaderboard. 

Vastly improved prospects this season and I back him for success at Leverkusen. Or he can potentially drop on a big EPL transfer which is looking increasingly likely as the weeks go by.

Demirbay continues to look in contention and he should not be written off. Has the baselines where just 1 goal gets him in contention and in the last 2 games particularly he has been close. 

He’s not sexy at 27 but that is young enough to be relatively low risk and he has Gold Day winning scores in him a few times a season. Patient traders could end up very smug one of these match days.

Diaby keeps plugging away and he is well in range of big scores. A touch unlucky that his recent goals have not been match winners or he’d have a couple of +200 scores to his credit in December. 

Remains a good prospect that I’d have no problem holding. 

Amiri is also looking great as per recent reviews and this is another good game where he had chances to score. At 24 he is a younger alternative to Demirbay and similarly capable of a few Gold Day winning scores per season.

At the back Tapsoba continues to pass his way to competitive defender scores. Has also scored last game and holders are unfortunate that came in the cup or he could have blown scoring away. Big baseline CB with 4-6 goals a season in him. Well worth his £1.37 bid or thereabouts.

A cheaper alternative is Tah who is well below 50p. Yet can have the baselines to win a few dividends particularly on soft days. These high baseline CB’s can be particularly worth having in late stage CL/Europa knockouts where they can win Gold Days with scores in the 160-180 range.

11 January

Our forward winner yesterday with 170 points after a goal and assist. Consistent winner or not?

Probably not. On most days this score wouldn’t have registered at all, it was just a day with a limited number of games.

With his goal scoring record (6 goals in 6 games in October > December) he’d be a strong IPD player. Exactly the sort of player who has been smashed by this recent IPD announcement. 

Especially at Stuttgart who are winning maybe 33% of the time tops he’s going to really struggle to score big regularly with his numbers. In future, he’ll need a big transfer to get value and that doesn’t look close.

10 January

Miserable 3-2 away defeat to Gladbach. Bayern led 2-0 but threw that away. They haven’t kept a clean sheet in 5 and the defence is being seriously questioned. Their sublime attack usually digs them out of that hole but they are under pressure to tighten up after this defeat.

The underlying FI relevant numbers remain very strong and we could have seen very big scores had they held that lead.

Goretzka thumped home a fantastic goal to break his long goalless streak. His goal threat has dried up in recent games which lines up very neatly with Kimmich’s absence – he seems to have been given less attacking freedom when covering for Kimmich. But Kimmich is back now and we can see Goretzka getting forward more, hence the goal. 

Goretzka only needs 1 goal to be competitive and I think this recent dry spell plus the market downturn has led to serious over negativity on him. 69p is unbelievably lower for such a credible winner at Bayern.

Last time I noted an improvement for Sané. This wasn’t quite as good in a tougher game, but it was another good display to watch and there are signs he is settling at Bayern. He added an assist and he was one of Bayern’s most threatening and creative players. 

I continue to warm to him. Playing regularly I’d put him around 3.5 out of 5 stars (5-8 competitive scores a season, possibly towards the lower end at the moment). If I’m not totally blown away by the performance numbers yet – they are good enough – and the negativity on him as he hasn’t delivered straight away feels too much. 

He has no bid price right now and if you can get him for around £1 or up to £1.20 I’d consider that good business. He’s not going to be a hard sell if he can get firing or just establish in the team regularly. 

Muller is goalless in 6 but still getting his chances. He’s also racking up key passes and the 2 assists in the last 3 are no fluke at all. Very capable of dropping a goal and an assist in the same game sometime soon and that will be a tough score to beat most likely.

Again, no bid price and traders are seriously underestimating him. I can see him being particularly in demand ahead of any big European knockout Gold Days and the next CL game vs Lazio is one Bayern should win.

Bayern’s defence is grim at the moment but Sulé is improving. He’s reaching over 100 passes or close enough pretty regularly this season – and in the last 5 he’s had at least 1 chance per game, scoring twice. That 315 (boosted) vs Lokomotiv on 9th December appeared to come from nowhere because hadn’t threatened for a while – but he seems to have got the taste for goals.

With his Germany involvement too and just 25 anything close to that 50p bid looks pretty good to me.

As the win mechanics change with IPD on the way out we’ll be having to adjust and re-evaluate a lot of player valuations. Lewandowski is one of them – he’s a player that just rains IPD and was one of the best targets to constantly refresh that 30 day window with. Not anymore.

Fortunately, this one is not disastrous. He can win outright due to his explosive nature, will be very competitive in any CL Gold night knockout games, and has Euro 2020 in the locker too. The post announcement drop from £2.49 to £2.09 with a current £1.84 bid is very fair and I think both pre and post announcement prices showcase a rare ability for traders to get quite close to a rational value.

On the other side of any upset is always a great victory and Gladbach did really well here to beat Bayern.

I’ve reported recently on both Hofmann and Neuhaus’s credentials as potential winners. 

Hofmann bagged two goals, with Neuhaus adding the match winner. Both only made it around a 200 score which isn’t brilliant but we have to factor in that they were very much up against it vs Bayern with limited possession. 

Both are capable of better vs softer opponents which they do have coming up. 

Both are cheap and well under 75p and at 28 and 25 respectively neither are going anywhere anytime soon making it a fairly low risk trade when getting a cheap bid.

If you ever pass up those great value occasional winners and then see them rise 30%+ on a match day and/or bag a big dividend weeks or a month or two later – these are very likely to be such players even if it takes a while. 

When the risk is low and the reward is potentially high it can be well worth waiting for. 

Leverkusen stumble to a  1-1 draw at home to Bremen but this covers up some superb FI numbers.

Worth considering Leverkusen right now – as covered in the recent Europa article they have a good chance of big scores in the R32 vs Young Boys.

Both CB’s are creeping over 100 passes which is something of a CB gold standard for high baselines. Tapsoba and Tah are credible winners on their day and Tapsoba has had decent chances to score in both of the last games. He could be about to drop a big score.

And even if he doesn’t, £1.35 on a bid is value with a longer term view in mind. I’ve liked him ever since IPO (and before, actually) and he hasn’t disappointed me. I did however refuse to pay that starting IPO price of £1.75 which was borderline offensive. Under £1.50 is a good pickup though.

Demirbay hasn’t done anything since late November and traders are forgetting him again. They shouldn’t. He’s only 1 goal away from a big score. And he gets chances when playing. Managed minutes lately due to getting covid – another factor causing short term disappointment.

But he’s one of those players that is very likely to appear at the top of the leaderboard given a month or two. Picking them up when people are desperate to sell is the play with this kind of player. Many people have such a psychological problem with buying an out of favour player – something we have to get over if we want the best results.

Amiri had another good game. He’s a younger alternative to Demirbay with a similar chance of winning on recent evidence. That probably makes him the better choice if picking one, all things considered. But there is no reason you have to both are great value.

And Leon Bailey impresses me again. With Leverkusen dominating he really took advantage. One thing we want to see is players making the most of it when they have a flat track. Bailey was hitting the sort of level here normally only enjoyed by someone like Insigne – just way ahead of what most forwards are capable of. 

No goal to cap it off but he had a great chance. Inches away from a big score, figuratively and literally. Just snatched at the chance when bringing it down but it was a tough one to control. Great value at under £1 and may well get EPL transfer rumours come Summer as a bonus.

Huge win for Dortmund. New coach Terzic hasn’t faced strong opposition before so beating Leipzig 3-1 is a confidence booster. And gets them back in the title race, although 5 points behind Bayern.

Monster scores were not produced, but then it was a tough away game. They can do better vs softer teams.

Sancho is unlucky to lose the matchwinner to a late RB Leipzig consolation. He’d be clearing 250+ with it. As I’ve noted in recent Scouting – he’s looking strong so a big score like this has been coming. That’s why he’s making a (somewhat rare) appearance on my Explosion Imminent list in recent weeks.

Before there are further tears about more bad luck for Sancho (and he does get some) Ilicic’s 303 monster score would have beaten him anyway. The most important thing for holders though is that he’s showing the consistent numbers particularly in the last 6 games that make him a regular contender. 

And, with better form, it makes Manchester United shelling out the required stacks of cash more likely to fuel those rumours. 

Whether he can repeat this level at Manchester United is a whole other question and one of the key lessons of this season has been not to assume a good player at one club will instantly translate that to another (Werner, Hakimi, Havertz to name a few). Others like Bruno Fernandes can, but it is rarer, and they have to have an embarrassment of FI ability if we want to be confident they can translate their great numbers to another league and team.

The key thing is that this doesn’t matter yet. The hype for the move should sustain him so you can live off that for the moment, potentially all the way up to March or say April. And his recent form where wins are possible at Dortmund make that more attractive – the likely wins are a short term reward and may well drum up further (over?) optimism.

Haaland excellent again in reality but falls short yet again despite 2 and the matchwinner – resulting in just a 183. He just has so much to do to get up there. He does have 2 big scores to his name recently though – a result of exploding vs Hertha and Brugge. 

This is getting interesting. On the one hand, he would appear to take a pasting due to the removal of IPD, which may explain the dropping price. 

There is a chance he ends up landing on his feet, though. If this rate of goalscoring is his natural level (and he’s going to sustainably be one of the greatest goalscorers of all time) then these days where he scores 2 might be enough under any new win mechanic.

His main issue wasn’t an inability to get to around 175-220 – it was that on almost all big dividend days it was likely a more suitable FI forward would beat him – Insigne for example could do it comfortably with just 1 goal even if Haaland gets 3. 

So, should we see a new mechanic that lowers that winning bar a bit… maybe Haaland will start getting over it? 

Interesting. Haaland has been one of the biggest examples of widespread poor analysis in the past – showcasing that tendency to confuse the real world with FI which is a game with very specific rules. 

So the drop from over £8 was fair and anyone holding for that has little to grumble about – it was their own fault. He’s still a big price at £4+… but at least we can now see a world where he might actually justify it provided the new mechanic is helpful. And I suspect it will be.Whether it is helpful enough to cover that still whopping price tag is another question.

But I’ll keep an open mind – one of the best skills we can have is to avoid being a fan of a player or not and if the facts change then opinions can change too.

Guerreiro superb again. 3 chances and very close to scoring another goal. I actually note his price dropping despite these recent good displays. I can only think of two reasons to sell for the red button £1.08 – if you’re desperate or unaware of his ability level. If people really want to sell for that I’d be more than happy to take them up on it. 

Reus assisted twice and had chances to score himself. I feel I’ve been saying this for weeks, maybe months, now with no reward but Reus is very competitive and should not be counted out. Not like he’s going anywhere – he’s the Captain and the performance yesterday was fantastic.

Under 50p on a bid, maybe even a ludicrous 30p or so if there is a desperado out there… at that stage he could return near enough his whole price in a single Gold Day win. It’s possible.

It’s been quite some time since we had cause to discuss Schalke on these pages. 

23 year old midfielder Amine Harit was almost an unexpected Star Man yesterday were it not for Ilicic’s monster score.

He pulled out 3 assists and a goal – something I’ll have to call a freak. For anyone, really, but particularly for Harit who is rarely anywhere close to this level. 

He is a decent potential FI player but he is not going to be showing iat Schalke very often. I’d only get seriously interested if there was a big transfer on the horizon. And I can’t see one right now.

Hoppe, 19 year old USA forward started and scored a hatrick. He’s not on FI yet. Again, this looks like a freak. He doesn’t generally have anywhere near this threat. And he’s a dire player in terms of FI suitability. I wouldn’t be targeting this at IPO unless the hype reached Haaland type levels.

4 January

Better from Dortmund after a poor spell and a change of coach.

The result was good. The defending was good. And they had plenty of possession. 

But it was a close game and Wolfsburg had plenty of chances, things could have gone differently. Fans are yet to be convinced that rookie coach Terzic has made an instant improvement. Jury is still out after 3 games. 

Akanji did well and won the defender category yesterday – not just for grabbing the matchwinner – his baseline play is consistently strong.

Last review was very late November where I thought he was a value pick up for this reason. He can win on soft days on baseline alone – and he’s got 3-4 goals a season in him.

Nice if you picked him up back then – and it does show the value available right now in these relatively low risk but solid quality pick ups. Not every player we buy has to be a world beater – they just have to be great value. Lots of this around.

Even after the win – because of the prevalance of selling cheaper players who win at the moment – I’d still say 76p or thereabouts for Akanji is a very solid pick up. Again – because those “on the goal” buyers are so keen to get out the next day that can be exploited to get a reasonable price.

No change for Guerreiro having seen 3 games under the new coach. Looks as strong as ever and I consider him if not FI’s best current defender then certainly one of them.

Sancho had an excellent second half and put in a very competitive FI performance. Looking very strong lately and if he wins sometime soon I will not be at all surprised. Lovely stuff over all of the last 5. Onto Explosion Imminent he goes.

The quality of debate on Sancho I see around… I can’t decide if it is depressing or amusing. We really have to avoid picking a side and being either a Sancho fan or a Sancho naysayer. Whether Sancho is a good trade or not changes regularly based on price and circumstance. We’ve got to flex with that if we want to trade effectively.

As readers will know I was pro the trade this time last year with him at £7 or so, then very wary of it as it reached £13-15 – that always felt like a car crash waiting to happen. And I think it would have still happened, though not to the same extent, whether he went to Manchester United or not and whether FI had a bad year or not. That price was simply too big for any player to justify at that time.

When prices overheat that much these bets to my mind are pretty much unwinnable. We can tell ourselves stories about him being worth £30 one day all we want based on some uncertain future calculations. It might even be true, he’s got genuine prospects. But that’s going to take years to happen and lots will happen in the mean time – we’ve got to trade what is in front of us if we want the best results. I think 3 months ahead is generally a good time frame to look at. 

As things stand, I will temporarily and enthusiastically rejoin “Team Sancho”. The price is relatively low at under £5. He’s looking really strong in FI scoring. He’s got the big transfer ahead and yet it’s not so close that it’s at a big risk of falling over (yet). And the Euro’s will help too.

But the key thing is we don’t become a fan. If any of those circumstances change we might want to look again. And if the price overheats again then, just like last year, I would definitely be looking to take a profit well before Sancho really has to prove his quality.

Bayern come back from 0-2 down to win 5-2. Because of course they do.

Kimmich takes Star Player – not long after his return from injury. Assessment on him remains the same – he’s excellent – but probably shouldn’t be winning quite this often.

The irony is in previous seasons Kimmich has been woefully unlucky. Random chance is a factor on a given day but over seasons these things do tend to average out. 

As per the last review in December I liked this pick up at £5. His previous price in November at £7+ was a trigger to sell to my mind as discussed here because he had won so many times in quick succession – more than he really had a right to.

£6.25 on the red button is quite high again. I think long term he is worth it and we’ll see more wins but when I cast my eye around at what else is available for such rock bottom prices it doesn’t feel like the best possible use of cash. But a solid hold nonetheless.

Lewandowski also bagged 2 goals and an assist. An absolute IPD machine and wasn’t too far away from the outright win either. 

£2.21 might seem quite high in this market but I think he’s more than worth that. He’s one to trade quite actively, using build ups to big games to refresh that IPD window for optimal results. 

But when you consider: 

– the very long contract, 

– Reliable week in, week out returns

– A CL campaign to look forward to with a kind R16 fixture,

– Euro 2020 with a very soft 1st fixture

There is a lot to like here and I’m keen.

Gnabry is struggling this season. He actually played well here and the overall numbers he’s showing are far from bad. Chances are he’ll find his spark at some stage. Picked up a knock late on and is a doubt for the next game. My feeling is his low price is an overeaction to temporary poor form and at 24 he isn’t going anywhere. I’d be more likely to buy at that price than to sell.

Tolisso had a good game and he’s had a better season this year although held back by a couple of niggling injuries. Had some really good chances to score and he has the baseline for that to count. He’s been a nearly man for so long it’s hard to bet on him but there is no doubt he is a capable winner and he’s one I definitely keep an eye on. 

Good performance from Sané too and he broke his long scoring duck. Fantastic strike too. In FI terms this is possibly his best game in a Bayern shirt. At just over £1 now it seems a very easy decision to call him good value. He’s got plenty to prove but we know he’s got big potential and a price that low seems to put the risk/reward in the buyers favour.

3 January

Another of those games where the side that dominates the game doesn’t win it. This seems more common this season and can be awkward for FI scoring as it will subdue the scores of both sides.

Tapsoba excellent here. His usual massive baseline stuff which can be enough to win on it’s own. He did score on own goal so he’ll get stick for that. But it was unlucky rather than incompetent.

He also had 2 efforts on the correct goal. I’ve picked him out every since his introduction and I’m pleased I did – looks the real deal. Can win now at Leverkusen and looks like exactly the sort of ball playing CB fashionable with big clubs – increasing the chances of good transfer links later on.

It’s just hard to predict exactly when the big score will come for a player like this so you just have to take the plunge without waiting for reassurance from a big score first. At £1.35 on a bid I think the chances of longer term success are very high here.

Amiri continues to look very good and he’s scored a cheeky backheel here, which is a goal that has been coming given his number of chances as I’ve been reporting. Really strong baseline stuff, too. 

Unfortunate that Leverkusen didn’t win the game or there is a strong chance he could have beaten Hofmann to top midfielder yesterday. Not the first time he’s been close to winning recently. Great value and couldn’t be doing much more to warn us that he’s become a consistent challenger.

Leon Bailey also looking strong. Having a vastly improved season over last campaign. Capable winner at Leverkusen and he frequently gets big club EPL links, more likely for Summer than January. Value pick up.

Poor result for Hoffenheim to lose 3-1 to Freiburg. 

Underlying numbers strong though for key men. I’ve reported on them both a lot in recent weeks so I’ll not go into too much detail again.

Kramaric close to scoring again and he made his usual solid overall contribution. 

Skov strong – 4 shots and good involvement as usual. 

Hoffenheim have very good fixtures in January plus a soft Europa match up versus Molde in February – could be a good 4-5 weeks to have some kind of Hoffenheim involvement and the above are clearly the standout choices.


Hofmann takes the midfield win – not exactly unpredictable he’s a nice slow burning pick. The type not currently getting enough credit in this market.

Last review was October:

“Jonas Hofmann is also an appealling budget option. I liked him in the pre-season preview. A couple of assists here but he could have added a goal. 

With 3 goals and 4 assists in the last 3 (including one Cup game) he’s great IPD value and also in range of a win on a good day. 64p to 89p is a slam dunk bargain.”

Picking him up back then and waiting until now can be a solid profit – but again we’re seeing that the current market conditions are essentially giving us only one viable option – you sell when they win (unless they are a very popular player). 

If you don’t sell – you get the dividend which is nice – but your price is right back where it started. This is because the IPD/late dividend deadline are combining to create odd incentives as I’ve discussed in State of the Market.

I hope that will change – but as things stand – buying occasional winners like this is a great idea but we really have to be paying attention to the games and selling on any surge of optimism. That’s a shame, and it’s bad for the platform, but it is the optimal move for an individual right now.

One positive is that on the day buyers are so desperate to sell the day after you can repeat the exact same formula with Hofmann again. There is no reason he cannot get another win or two in the season he is a consistent and solid performer.

Elsewhere, Neuhaus is strong again with a big overall contribution and he continues to have strong threat too. A real improver as I have reported on a few times recently – another bargain player at just 50p or so who can very easily turn up with a win in the not too distant future.


One of Olmo’s best games for Leipzig.

Not far off the win, but lacking the extra 20-30+ points needed to make him really competitive on a Gold Day.

This 214 score with a matchwinner is probably a fair reflection of where he is at in terms of ability right now. Good – but still a bit behind the real midfield big hitters. It’s possible he can do a bit better – this wasn’t Leipzig’s most dominant game. 

He’s still just 22 and is improving though and it really wouldn’t take much more to get him into regular contention. Given that rock bottom 70p to 83p price tag I think he’s a good pick up – occasional wins possible – and if the recovery continues and starts spreading beyond the obvious players I think people would see him as a tempting option anywhere under £1.

Sabitzer is looking very good too as reported recently. Again, really close to scoring here and the overall contribution is great. 

I’m putting him on Explosion Imminent due to this consistency. It is a tougher game vs Dortmund next but there is a kind schedule afterwards. Looks close to wins for sure and for around £1 it’s a really strong pick up. 

Angelino superb as usual and not far away from big scores. He is actually so far advanced now that you have to worry whether he’ll get a positional shift to midfield at some point, or even forward. 

Forward would be fine – he’d remain very competitive there. You can even see him competing in midfield and remain well under what a midfielder of that standard should cost. 

But I wonder whether some people would not think about it too much and just consider a move to midfield a bad thing. 

It’s a risk to think about but I wouldn’t sell just for that – at least in the worst case scenario where he is shifted to midfield – we know he can justify the price – so a short term drop would be no disaster. And OPTA can be very slow on that uptake – it may not even happen at all. He also remains very close to wins.

20 December

Kostic could have easily been Star Player here.

5 efforts and missing by inches or just good saves. Also created chances that went unfinished.

On another day he could be sailing clear of 250 here.

Not running for him at the moment but the chances of him appearing with at least a couple of big scores over the rest of this season are high. 

61p to 76p for a potential Star Player who is just 28 and gets occasional EPL transfer rumours as a possible sweetener. Really not much to dislike in that package.

André Silva is ticking away nicely too. Strong threat always including yesterday. Such a consistent scorer.

One of my favourite IPD picks as mentioned a few times.

And in a miserable year – one of the ways I’ve been able to make some headway to balance out the drops is by recycling players like this for what is pretty much as close to free money as we are likely to get.

For those familiar with the latest internet parlance on the printing of money – IPD players go brrr.

This fact is a big contributor to the market eating itself – and it should be stopped by FI who need to creative different incentives. But whilst it exists? It would be naive not to work with it.


Dominant game from Leipzig with a hatful of chances. But they could not finish and ended up with a 0-0 draw.

A pity for holders as there were some huge potential scores on the board here.

Angelino is mildly ridiculous. Very close to winning again here. Were it not for a hero moment block from a Koln defender and a good save from the keeper he could very, very easily be pushing towards 300 yesterday.

I’ve long picked out his potential and he is definitely realising it. Further big scores are all but inevitable. The one worry you have is whether he is flying a bit too close to the sun.

He’s so far advanced he is basically a forward now yet is categorised as a defender – it’s not fair. OPTA can be slow to catch on to these things but there is the risk of reclassification there. 

Overall – I’d say that doesn’t concern me too much. Certainly for £1.24 to £1.54 – a move to midfield would take away the massive unfair advantage he has over defenders. But he is more than good enough to compete in midfield too. So a reclassification is no disaster and I still consider him a great pick.

Upamecano close too. Baselines alone can carry it for him – we know this. He isn’t far away here. I like him – one of the few CB’s that can put up regular challenges and he has that big transfer likely to come as well. 

Sabitzer and Olmo my favourite Leipzig attackers but both are killing each other in this game by sharing one half each of pitch time. Olmo had 4 efforts here in just 45 minutes which is good – holders want to see more threat like this. 

Everything else is there for him to win – except the pitch time remains inconsistent.


Bayern win in the end but Leverkusen did not let them have it all their own way, so we don’t see the blockbuster scores we often expect.

Lewandowski scores twice, which is just getting boring now. Often this will get him in contention for wins but he’ll need games where Bayern dominate. Doesn’t matter so much at under £2 – the IPD will carry him and anything on top is a bonus.

Muller exceptional again – I reported on this last week so I won’t dwell on it but if he keeps up this level the big score is a matter of time. And it should not be a long wait.

Gnabry poor again. Does get chances but nothing is going his way right now. Far from awful – no reason it can’t fall for him and he can’t put up a big score next week. But you can’t point to any particular evidence it’s close either. 

A massive dip in form but I still suspect the price drop is an overreaction and a return to form is more likely than his top level career being over.

Interesting to see Hernandez slot in at CB to accomodate Davies. They will likely compete and I don’t expect Sulé to be displaced permanently. But it can only be a positive that Hernandez has another route into the team. I like Hernandez, he is more likely to win at full back but baseline wins without a goal are possible from CB too.

Neuer is so good here. Not just for his saves but he plays the ball so often he racks up the baseline. Zero surprise to me he dominates TOTM that was always going to be the case based on his stats.

Kimmich makes his way back from injury, appearing from the bench. Big boost for Bayern in general – they clearly missed him. Got an assist already in this time.

As reported here when he strung that set of wins together earlier in the season things got a bit out of hand price wise. He’s good but he was a bit lucky to win so frequently. At £7 in November you had to be thinking of selling there in my view. 

But the injury cooled that right down and at under £5 he may not be the cheapest but he is worth that.

1 February

A shock defeat away at strugglers Lorient puts an end to 4 wins on the bounce and a strong opening period for Pochettino. His first bad result.

In FI terms, there are some excellent performances here but it won’t count if they don’t win.

Given the previous form, holders can probably put this down to a blip especially with the soft Nimes game next up. But we won’t want to see another result like this anytime soon.

Neymar almost didn’t care, losing out by just 5 points to Salah despite not winning the game.

Had other chances too aside from the two penalties he scored. With injuries we have not seen Neymar win as often as he should do, but he has the power to dominate and win a few times in succession. 

He’s enjoyed a nice bounce along with most of the preimums. At £6.42 to £6.86 he’s still value and there is plenty of the season left to go at.

He does tick over to 29 years old this week. I don’t think traders would want to ever pay more than £9 now. A long CL run would really boost him but Barcelona remain slight favourites. No Euro obviously which will start to weigh on players in the next 3-4 months.

At this point I’ll probably park myself in “neutral” on Neymar. It could be well worth sticking in to see him get a very likely win in the near future but a lot rides on that tricky CL match.

Mbappé was subdued, not really looking close to winning even if he had scored and PSG won. I was getting more favourable on this at the £3-4 mark but at £5-6 I am now wary again given the latest statements that he may stay at PSG.

Those hoping for a Liverpool move might be really going out on a limb here. He’s not going to justify this price at PSG and it’s pretty much the flattest track there is. Getting risky as that price ticks up.

Icardi looks a strong threat despite the lack of goal here. 3 goals in 5 games plus 2 assists. That is no accident.

Performance numbers are as awful as ever. Very cheap though and could easily have a hero moment in the CL, or explode with 2-3 goals and get a win.

Strikers this good will always force their way in eventually – FI is already a goals centric platform.

I also keep watch on Di Maria’s contract as if he was more secure I’d snap him up. No news yet.

Yazici got a matchwinner although was well short of a winning total. Good opportunity for some match day trading here, though. 

On 18th January I said:

“You can make a case for going for Yazici again at this stage. He’s starting more games recently, and looking a similar level to previously when he’s won before.

The main difference is price. He’s been a while without a win now so he can be picked up around £1 again. Where as he reached £2 in November.

He doesn’t show fantastic numbers that suggest he will challenge regularly. But he has shown this tendency to be explosive – so you can see how a shrewd trader might pick him up whilst things are quiet and hope for another big score – selling into any rise.”

So as that goal goes in people do over react and think “he’s going to do it again!” and then bam that is when a good trader is exploiting that situation. 

On the 18th he could be had for close to £1 and today can be sold at £1.59, and much closer to £1.80 during the game.

So I’d be taking that. But not buying again now because, whisper it, he’s not actually as good as his previous explosive scores suggest. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of the popular belief in him.

Likely, he goes quiet again and this trick might be able to be repeated. Maybe even for the longer term if he gets a good transfer rumour closer to Summer.

Ironically, the much cheaper Bamba at just £1 now is much, much closer to regular wins and was competitive again here.

Along with Renato Sanches he is likely Lille’s best performance asset. 

Sanches is being nursed back from injury. But can win at Lille when fit and has explosive price potential from under £1 given the EPL transfer rumours.

Jonathan David continues to look poor for FI purposes. And the removal of IPD kills an avenue of hope because the goal threat has improved lately and he has scored 2 in 3 games. 

Weah is a high potential player, still ticking away with some minutes from the bench but never having enough time to really make an impact on FI. Per minute, the evidence suggests he can though. 

A good young player to keep an eye on but not exactly looking close to an explosion.

Some good displays at Monaco in a 2-1 victory over Nantes. Worth watching out for Monaco talent as they have a nice fixture calendar ahead.

Literally, given out of form Nice next plus Nimes and Lorient. 

19 year old CB Badiashile continued to demonstrate outstanding distribution and aerial dominance. He’s exactly the sort of CB big clubs want right now and there was a reason he was linked to Man. Utd last summer.

Just 63p now, he was £1.50 in the midst of that transfer pump. And could be again. If we don’t want to wake up one day saying “Damn, wish I’d gone for that” we have to move now when the price is low and the window is quite far away.

I wouldn’t normally suggest doing that quite so soon except Badiashile is capable of a couple of big scores before the season is out, he has decent goal threat for a CB.

21 year old Tchouameni is also playing his way onto the radar. Excellent baselines plus really strong goal threat in the last 5, with just 1 goal to show for that. But it could be more.

Could be a real bargain at 37p to 51p – he looks capable of winning now and may hit good transfer rumours later.

Youssouf Fofana is also impressing at Monaco, and he is just 22. Perhaps we are seeing a return to the Monaco talent factory after a bit of a gap.

Not quite as impressive in terms of FI numbers as Tchouameni, and is also more expensive at 70p to 96p.

But remove that comparison and Fofana looks a decent pick up in his own right.


25 January

Lyon demolish Saint-Etienne 5-0, though the goals did not go to the usual suspects. 

Kadewere scored twice including the matchwinner, and he’s not on FI. At 25 years old, that’s a bit of a strange one. If he was, then as a Forward he might be an occasional competitor, 3 out of 5 stars perhaps. Midfield… it looks a struggle.

And another two goals come from 33 year old CB Marcelo. Not exactly an attractive FI prospect. He won the defender dividend with that but based on his numbers, it is hard to see this happening again soon. 

He could manage 1 goal 3-4 times in a good season and repeat this kind of score. And you can make a value case for it – but I just don’t think we’re in a phase of the market where we need to grubbing around for value in fringe players like this. There is too much value in more easy to reach places.

Depay was subdued by his high standards, though did manage an assist. He’s definitely declined this season and is not the all action FI force he used to be. But he’s still good enough to compete and I think he’s a value pick up. 

Strong chance of transfer speculation come season end and it may be a big club. Plus leading for Holland at Euro 2020, both of which could combine at the same time to push the price up. And he might win once or twice along the way. 

24 January

PSG looked in dangerous mood even before Montpellier went down to 10 men in the 19th minute. From there, PSG dominated. Encouraging game for Pochettino. And traders holding PSG assets.

Mbappé managed a Star Man with a respectable 251. The underlying numbers remain poor for baselines but he can be so explosive that sometimes this doesn’t matter all that much.

That’s 2 goals including the matchwinner, plus an assist to reach that total. So he has to do quite a lot to make an impact. He will however benefit from the new Match Day Extra (MDE). The 200-220’s he ends up with should at least bring a trickle of dividends there.

Realistically, MDE is not going to be supporting premium players. But it’s a nice boost.  Holders have to remain focused on the big picture – it’s his transfer destination that matters the most.

Lately there is talk of a PSG extension. That’s not bad because a player like this is likely to do best in Ligue 1 more than any other league for performance – it’s difficult to regularly get the 2-3 goals and assists he needs in a game versus tougher opponents.

A stay at PSG however may result in disappointment – lots of people will be holding in hope of a Liverpool move (Real Madrid far more likely). 

Plenty of risk here. Though the £3-4 price tag makes that a bit more comfortable. If it was £7-8 I’d be raising alarm bells but the current price is probably quite fair and represents a reasonable risk/reward balance.

Neymar was only 43 points behind with just the 1 none match winning goal – which is a fair display of the gulf in FI quality between them. 

With 8 efforts Neymar could have had more than 1 so easily. And with 3 Key Passes he could have added an assist.

Run this game 10 times as a simulation and if Neymar isn’t the most frequent winner I’ll eat… something. Hat. Whatever.

He looks competitive for dividends just about any game he plays. And if he hadn’t had injuries I suspect we would have seen many more big totals. 

For a player this good the new MDE is pretty much as close to a guaranteed trickle of dividends as we’ve ever seen before.

The only concerns are that injury record plus that tough CL R16 game vs Barcelona. As a player without Euro 2020 a deep CL run would be ideal as we want as many reasons to hold players into late season as possible.

For £4.39 to £4.81 it’s a strong pick up for those looking for a Premium to add to the portfolio. At £7-8 I might be pausing over those risks but as long as he stays fit holders are likely to be showered with dividends and won’t have to wait too long for them.

Verratti I am watching closer for any further goal threat. I didn’t see any this time . No shots, and no touches in the penalty area. So it looks like nothing much has changed here, at least initially.

He did absolutely dominate the game though. He’s hasn’t been out of the 150-210 scoring range in 6 appearances. Even without a goal, he may find himself in that top 6 for MDE a few times per season at least. Likely with a good 2-3 big peak scores that could in theory take a Gold Day Star Man. For 91p this is decent.

One comment on these high baseline low threat players as a result of MDE. With this novel approach to tiered payouts, with the best weekly scores being rewarded rather than the best scores of the day, it is harder for this sort of player to get in the mix for wins than it would be in a Daily tiered system. As ever on FI, it is going to be the big goalscorers who get up there regularly.

Icardi has been in impressive form since returning from injury. That’s 3 goals and 2 assists in just 232 minutes over 4 games. That continues here, with 1 goal and 1 assist. This is actually the first time this season that this dream front 3 of Mbappé, Neymar, Icardi have actually been able to play together.

And it was successful, which may be bad for Moise Kean

As per usual Icardi was atrocious in his baselines. But the threat is excellent. It’s a real shame for longer term holders that he picked up that injury because Icardi in the era of mad IPD could have been quite the force.

So where does the IPD and MDE change leave a player like Icardi?

For lots of these big club big strikers they should come out pretty well. But Icardi has a bit of a problem – he is particularly bad for FI scoring even by “IPD striker” standards. By comparison someone like Lukaku or Immobile are only just a bit off the pace, so 2 goals on an explosive day can see them to an impressive total, a bit like Mbappé.

Icardi is going to struggle because even 2 goals and the matchwinner may only get him to 200-220. He might however just squeak over the MDE line. His best days are likely going to be the big CL nights where he could win with a goal or two.

So, far from valueless, but not quite as strong as some of the more FI suitable big club strikers. However, I would say if someone is so upset about IPD they are willing to part with Icardi for an offensive bid like 30p… that’s good business.

Di Maria remains as potent for FI as ever, and is unlucky not to score. I watch his contract/transfer situation closely. The latest rumour is a reunion with Mourinho at Spurs which could bring substantial media. If that happened, or he renewed at PSG, I’d snap him up. Until then he remains a big risk.

18 January

Dare I say it. But Camavinga at Rennes is improving.

The 18 year old midfielder has big club transfer rumours and has been a favourite of people who pick players based off Football Manager and pay a bit too much attention to what they read on social media.

All that combined to see him over £4 just 3 months ago. Utter madness, and a price you just couldn’t pay whilst calling yourself a sensible trader. 

But a few things have changed.

Most obviously, the price. It’s £1.58 Blue Button and has no bid price at all, making a £1 or £1.25 pick up possible in this nervy market.

For all the stupidity of paying £4+ for it, he does have hype factors in his favour and the time to exploit that is when the price is low. He probably will end up at some kind of CL level club and it will be a big deal.

There are also signs in the last 8 games or so of an improvement in goal threat to make those baselines count for something. 

Not enough to make him a regular contender anytime soon, but enough to give him hope for future FI relevance should he develop and meet something close to the high expectations in 2-3 seasons time.

If you can get a bid matched as people panic exit bad trades after over optimism it can lead to a strong profit. The type of personality who chases this kind of trade at £3-4 is also probably amongst the first to panic and sell too low, I suspect. 

Provided of course you find the wonderkids that have at least a few reasons why they can justify the price.

Camavinga has some and I think it is a shrewd long term pick now at £1.25 or ideally closer to £1. 

But there are other similarly hyped youth players that have no real reason to return to anything like the previous high, so we have to be very selective with this tactic.


Decent display from Lille, overcoming Reims 2-1 and dominating the game. 

Bamba was in range of the top of the leaderboard, just lacking the matchwinner to get him into the 215-220 area.

Decent display from him. Was close to adding an assist too and creativity across the last 7 has been strong. Bamba has big scores and wins in him and the fixture calendar is kind for Lille, including a winnable Europa R32 versus Ajax.

I was surprised to see Renato Sanches not in the squad after his made his return from injury last game.

Apparently he felt a twinge in training, a new one not his old injury, and he was not risked. But it doesn’t sound too serious based on the managers comments. As covered last time, I think he’s a contender at Lille already and he has some big potential upsides including a rumoured Liverpool move.

You can make a case for going for Yazici again at this stage. He’s starting more games recently, and looking a similar level to previously when he’s won before.

The main difference is price. He’s been a while without a win now so he can be picked up around £1 again. Where as he reached £2 in November.

He doesn’t show fantastic numbers that suggest he will challenge regularly. But he has shown this tendency to be explosive – so you can see how a shrewd trader might pick him up whilst things are quiet and hope for another big score – selling into any rise.

With these occasional winner types, we’re really exploiting the short term mindset of other traders rather than focusing entirely on long term quality. 

Jonathan David adds a match winning goal but he’s still someway off being competitive, he’d need more than 1 goal. And they are hard to come by for him this season.

Lille are sticking with him despite a poor start to life in Ligue 1, he’s not really rewarding them so far overall.

Or looking like rewarding any remaining patient holders on FI anytime soon.

17 January

Welcome to another edition of Poch watch.

Sort of. Poch actually had to isolate with COVID so was not in the dugout.

He’ll be happy with the win and the performance was good from an FI perspective. But it could easily have been a frustrating draw had the unlikely hero Kurzawa not scored in the 70th minute. He’s not a player that is generally attractive for us.

Verratti is fascinating to watch under the new manager as he continues to get forward whilst retaining his usually excellent baselines. 

He had one shot from inside the box though it was blocked easily. But with 3 touches in the penalty area things can continue to fall to him in dangerous areas. 

Interesting. It’s an experiment that may not last. But if it does it could make him an FI powerhouse. If he could just add 6-8 goals a season that could make a big impact. 

I like this. If he does retain this more advanced role then buyers at around 90p to £1 could do very, very well.

And if we do see a new win mechanic that lowers the winning bar slightly then he might benefit from this too. 

If not… he’s capable of wins on soft days as it is and I don’t think buying at anything close to £1 would be a disaster even if he reverted to his usual level.

Paredes is looking strong too. Huge baselines and he’s getting shots – if one flies in (1 in every 10 maybe?) that could be a Gold Day winning score. 

I’m mainly targetting better known and more popular players as per the Core player article right now. I think they are most likely to rise first and rise furthest at least in the early stage of any recovery.

But it is worth being aware of players who can return almost their entire purchase price in a single Gold Day win. It’s possible here though it will need patience.

The return of Neymar is also a big deal. He finished the full game although did not make a big impact this time.

He did score on his first game back to win the Trophée des Champions midweek (The French Community Shield basically). 

Creativity was good yesterday but the threat was poor and the numbers are overall poor by his high standards. Perhaps just getting warmed up after injury. 

It would be a major surprise if he had a run of 2-3 games without a very competitive score. Because of injury I don’t think it has been quite drilled home just how consistent he is. Outside of Messi there is no other player you can regularly expect big scores from. 

The injury record is the question mark. And Barcelona is a tough CL R16 and Neymar has no Euros – so could find himself with dwindling reasons to hold in late season.

However. He’s £4-5 at the moment and with a long term view I think holders would end up happy with that 6 months from now unless he gets a really bad injury.

4 game drought for Mbappé which is unusual. No shortage of chances here he should have scored. That’s fine – the goals should come.

The concern is that the underlying numbers are poor in what was a dominant game for PSG. Tricky period to be involved with him as discussed recently.


Ben Yedder takes a midweek Bronze dividend. That’s 4p which isn’t bad and this level of payout used to be celebrated!

It shows how much more generous the platform is these days as it now feels underwhelming. But it isn’t – Bronze Day wins are worth more relatively speaking than they were last season and are well worth playing for.

Yedder, on current “IPD player” sentiment is 38p on the Blue Button and probably cheaper! So assuming we can get a bid of 30p he’s returning just over 13% of his price in a single Bronze win.

I wouldn’t suggest now is the time to hoover up IPD players but that time might come in the next month or two where we still see some with residual value.

Especially for players like Immobile who are often lumped in with the IPD players but are actually competitive for performance scoring at least a few times a season.

It’s also interesting as it highlights another point I’ve been making. Big club goal scorers like Yedder, particularly if they have a good European competition run in them, can be explosive.  That means that despite not being cultured performance players they can brute force their way to a dividend on what is a goals centric platform.

And – if the new win mechanic does lower that winning bar slightly I’d expect players like this to squeeze in the door. 

All hope is not lost for big scorers at Europa/CL teams.

Elsewhere, Golovin continues to be nursed back but he did very well for his 20 minutes. Decent involvement and had a golden chance to score he didn’t take.  But at least he’s in the right place. Looks a real contender once he is fully match fit, 3.5 out of 5 stars perhaps. 

No Europa/CL for Monaco but on current form they will have it next season and Russia are at the Euro too which is a decent late season reason to hold Golovin. A strong pick up at around £1.

10 January

As expected Pochettino’s PSG brushed aside Brest 3-0. That should settle nerves at the Parc des Princes after that disappointing opening draw under the new regime.

Traders should be optimistic on this team. In both games under Poch we’ve seen an FI friendly style and PSG should remain a strong source of FI points especially given the mediocre opposition they face so often.

Perhaps the most interesting thing is a slightly more advanced role for Verratti. Previously he’s been relegated to high baseline nearly man who could never really add the goal to get over the winning line. If this game is anything to go by that might be about to change. Fascinating because if that were true and he could add 5-8 goals a season he could become a real FI powerhouse in the Thiago sort of mould. 

I won’t read too much into just one game but this is interesting to note as it would be a big deal if it became a regular change. 

There are good reasons to take that gamble earlier than we might normally, though. He’s cheap at an 85p bid potentially and as a high baseliner who could well benefit from any strengthened Team of the Month, or rumoured tiered PB or outright reward for a big score… you can see why some savvy traders might be eyeing Verratti up right now. 

And that’s regardless of any improvement in his attacking output which would be a great bonus. A gamble on a few uncertain events but a smart and informed one, I think.

Kean scores again. As does the returning Icardi who scores and assists in just 30 minutes, quite a statement. These two are sharing pitch time and could end up hurting each other. And much of their value was in IPD so these are another two who are slammed by this platform change.

Outright wins are very difficult for either of them, but they may come into contention on big CL Gold Nights, and could creep in the door due to their potentially explosive nature if any new win mechanic lowers the winning bar a bit. Icardi would have some appeal if he ever did drop that big EPL move but that’s a long shot. It’s bad for them, but I don’t think either becomes worthless.

Mbappé did well here after a poor opener under Poch. 2 assists and he was a big threat, unlucky not to score. A strong improvement – and if we saw this level consistently it could finally bring him into regular contention. 

It’s just one game though, and a flattering one versus easy opposition. We have seen this sort of level for him under the old management only for it to fade. So it’s too early to say things have changed – but it’s a damn sight better than the first game we saw under Poch. 

Seems to be finally losing support from the faithful who have stuck with him despite years of never really returning dividends. I’ve said many a time that nobody, no matter how good, can sustain a price on FI if they aren’t delivering. For the real young stars of world football like Haaland etc people can be sticky and hold onto them longer than they logically should. But in the end – if those results don’t come, the optimism will fade even for players like this.

And I expect traders to be more sensible in this new, tougher world with the Matching Engine.

Mbappé is difficult to call right now because that price drop makes him more attractive and if we can see an improvement under Poch that lasts 3-4 games he’d look very attractive very quickly. 

The main risk in my mind is that Liverpool link which would be a jackpot but is probably a pipe dream – the most likely destination is Real Madrid where he may actually struggle to justify a top end price tag.

Di Maria is monstrous again for FI numbers. 1 goal could see him clear of 300 at the moment and he’s getting chances despite the drought. He has to go on explosion imminent even though I’m wary of his contract situation. 

Latest is he may end up at Juventus and if he’s got a 2 year deal at PSG or Juventus I’d snap him up in a heartbeat for anything under £1.

I also note good stuff from Marquinhos who is very high baseline and has had chances to score in both of the games under Poch. Very reliable player anyway that looks like he is close to a big score sometime soon and he’s just 83p on a bid potentially. Nice.

More of the same from Nice. Decent underlying numbers, some good FI players, poor result that stops them showing it.

Worth noting again just how good Reine-Adelaide looks for FI purposes. Last game however I complained that in a slightly deeper role his goal threat dropped off. No cause for such concerns here – he had 4 efforts.  

Looking great. Obviously with Nice in such poor nick it may be a while before that quality shines through. But he’s just 48p potentially on a bid and may well return to Lyon for next season where he could do some damage. And he can win any week if Nice do.

A strong longer term choice for a patient trader with a chance of a shorter term reward too.

Gouiri solid again. Scored the penalty. Could barely be doing much better this season personally and showing the kind of stats that should surely see bigger clubs interested at some stage.

Is this the end of my long and happy relationship with Ben Yedder

It probably is. He’s exactly the sort of IPD player who has been smashed by this announcement. Interestingly, over the past couple of years active trading of Yedder around his peaks and troughs, plus the IPD returned along the way, has probably made him one of my most profitable all time players to be involved with.

But his chances of outright performance wins are slim and as things stand that makes him worth very little. We’ll discuss this more in State of the Market but it may not be the end of the story for Yedder and players like him.

If for example a new win mechanic lowers the bar for wins by either providing an instant pay out for scores over 175 or 200 etc then it will bring a wider selection of players in, goalscorers likely amongst them. Tiered winners with 1-3 forward winners per match day could have a similar impact. 

We’ll have to wait and see. As I said in my quick reaction post on Friday the best thing was dumping any of these sorts of players if at all possible. If we are lumbered with some, and I sure have a few as discussed, we may find that the new mechanic brings them back into it somewhat. 

However, my expectation would be that we end up with, at maximum, 750 viable selections on FI. There are currently ~3600 on the platform which is essentially an illusion of choice, most are a waste of space. A Monaco forward like Yedder might just squeak in the door. Certainly someone like Immobile would. 

Would a 27+ year old budget IPD journeyman at a low ranking club? Probably not. We’ll discuss this more early next week.

Volland is similar. He was hitting form and looked a great IPD option. But with little chance of ever winning outright – he’s scuppered.

This leaves us struggling for options at Monaco outside of Golovin, Badiashile and potentially Sidibé in the longer term. All 3 I reviewed in detail last time.

A few interesting tidbits from Lille’s game.

Renato Sanches makes his return from injury, coming on from the bench. Per minute he looked good as he often does and it suggests he’ll start the next game. 

I really like him – chance of wins in the short term at Lille. Big transfer rumours abound including Liverpool although the rumour a week or two ago of that being a done deal appears to have jumped the gun. Portugal regular. And all under £1. Very little to dislike here.

Weah finally got a start too, filling in for injured right backs in a slightly unusual wing back slot. But he pretty much just played as a winger – had one particularly good chance to score which went just over the bar. Decent – he does seem to be getting back into contention at Lille which is what his performances deserve. 

I’m not expecting wins immediately but as a long term prospect at value he’s good. 

Bamba had a couple of chances and continues to look a contender despite a goal drought of late. Only really takes 1 goal for him so it’s fairly easy to see him topping the leaderboard again sometime soon.

Depay has been back on my Explosion Imminent list in the last couple of weeks – and this is a second near miss in that time. 

The threat and creativity are very strong across the last 5 games. It’s no surprise to see him both scoring and assisting here. Unfortunately Lyon’s winning run ended with this draw but it shows that Depay is close again to competitive scores. 

He continues to look a strong bet to me. Short term, he can drop a win soon and it will not be at all surprising. And there are transfer rumours but at any credible club I’d back him to do well, or at least be starting optimistic. Barcelona, or even the new Serie A rumours are all fine. And you can back that up with being Holland’s key Euro 2020 player. 

As mentioned last time, Lyon’s shot at winning the title may keep Depay at Lyon for the rest of the season which is just fine. Depay’s latest comments are very much in the “I’m focused on Lyon” style so that does suggest he might stay.

I’m glad I’ve been backing him recently because that price is creeping up and rightly so, once you start getting to £1.30 or so it enters the surreal. £1.57 to £1.77 now but I’d be content to pay anything under £2. And right now you don’t even have to pay that.

Moussa Dembelé is one to take a big hit from the removal of IPD. Confidence was already low on him due to being out of the team. And he’s never been a great performance player – IPD was underwriting his value. Yikes.

His other potential windfall was a move to an top EPL club where he could be in contention for media quite regularly. Int he EPL with IPD and media you could see a £3-4 price ceiling. That ain’t going to happen now. 

The latest is an Atletico move is in the works and it looks quite strong.

If IPD was still going to be around I’d be very happy with that, you can see him doing really well at Atletico. But it’s not.  

If he’s leading the line for Atletico in a CL/Europa knockout you can see him being attractive. And if any new win mechanic gives anything to scores in the 175 range he might do ok.

But right now, it looks a long shot and this is one of those trades that has looked very strong at times but pretty much everything that can go wrong has gone wrong. That’s from the unexpected falling out with Lyon, to not hitting an optimal transfer, and most importantly the removal of IPD.

Could we have predicted the removal of IPD? Probably. I’ve been suggesting action was needed on IPD for weeks although I suggested a halving rather than a full removal which I think is a bit ham fisted. I suspect what motivated this was them wanting to simplify and reclaim the IPD prize pool so that any new mechanic has a decent wedge of cash behind it.

Even if we did predict this though in Dembelé’s case since he wasn’t playing games there still wasn’t much a holder could do about it, the price was already rock bottom.

It’s overall performance that matters though and I think the decision to stick reasonably close to the USP of the product rather than going all in chasing IPD/short termism might well be the most important call of the season so far. I’m sure we’ll discuss this when it gets to State of the Market next week – I’m basically just live unloading my thoughts here!

Sometimes, even with good analysis, we’ll still take hits and there isn’t always much we can do about it. It happens, and as long as the vast majority of our trades are working out then a few hits can be budgeted for.

7 January

All eyes on new manager Pochettino but he can only manage a draw in his first outing. What can we read into his first game?

It’s first worth noting that this may not be his preferred team choice – the injury list at PSG is long. Neymar. Icardi. Kimpembe. Florenzi. Paredes. Rafinha. Most of those are due to return in January so options will open up for him.

This looks quite a familiar PSG side. It starts 4-3-3 though ends looking more like a 4-4-2 and nobody is being used in unusual positions. One encouraging sign is that PSG were very much looking to dominate possession – always good for FI numbers. 

The result wasn’t great. To be fair though St Etienne are a tough nut to crack and are actually unbeaten in 7 – drawing 6 of those! Draw specialists. 

PSG have soft fixtures coming up so if Pochettino doesn’t win these games he’s going to be in real trouble real fast. Probably will, though, and we could be seeing some strong FI scores from PSG in the upcoming games.

In this game the strongest player for FI purposes was Di Maria. Massive involvement, and a big threat. Readers will know by now that given a game he is one of FI’s best and that’s no different under the new coach. 

It’s a brave trader who goes for this with a contract expiring come the season end, mind. I wouldn’t recommend that unless we see a show of faith from Pochettino and a new contract. If he looks first team and has a contract into next season I’d be swift to pick him up for under £1, though. 

No improvement for Mbappé. Worse, if anything. First game in a long time where he hasn’t at least looked like scoring. But it was just one game so we can’t really read much into that. 

I would not expect a massive improvement from Mbappé though – as discussed at length previously Mbappé is brilliant in reality but what makes him great is not well captured in the FI scoring system as things stand.

You can make a case at the price of £4 which is a sensible range rather than the insanity of £10+ which was entirely based on hype and over optimism (people being led by standard football knowledge and failing to adjust to the world of FI).

Worries are if these Liverpool links collapse (they look like click bait to me). Real Madrid is the most likely destination and success there is not guaranteed. He really needs a scoring system tweak in his favour which is quite a long odds bet.

Kean looks like Kean. Great threat, scoring PSG’s only goal. He’s a solid IPD choice who is scoring a goal most games recently and it’s no fluke he’s getting great chances. We can even see him with braces and even hatricks which may get him occasional wins.

He needs at least 2 goals to get anywhere near the top of the leaderboard though he is poor baseline wise and likely always will be. 

Does have to contend with Icardi’s return which is imminent.

Icardi can be a fantastic IPD option in himself and he could prove to be a great pick up – taking advantage of the strong over pessimism after his spell on the sidelines. Really depends whether Poch favours him or not but Icardi is just 27 and remains one of Europe’s best strikers – he won’t be happy languishing on a bench and would have a host of top clubs interested if it didn’t work out at PSG. 

Marquinhos continues to look solid in defence. High baseline. Had a good chance to score here. Reliable pick up and under £1 is a bargain.

I’ll be giving PSG a lot of attention in Scouting in the coming games as we observe Poch in action – but I’m starting optimistic despite the opening draw.

Another poor result – losing 2-0 to Brest – the change of coach is not working out for them, at least not immediately.

The underlying numbers are actually good – there are credible winners at Nice. But it will rarely count for anything without wins.

Gouiri continues to excel. Just 1 goal in the last 6 but he’s getting a lot of chances and his overall contribution is really strong. At a top 4 Ligue 1 club with European involvement I’d peg him at 3.5 out of 5 stars minimum. And he’s young and can get better. 

Looks too good for this Nice team, really. Without a massive improvement Nice won’t be making the Europa next season either. It is possible he gets rumours for a move in Summer as his form will attract bigger club attention. But then, he’s only been at Nice a season and he’s only 20, so another season in a first team wouldn’t do any harm. 

Best hope for holders would be a Nice improvement because he is a capable winner right now if Nice win the game. They do have decent fixtures to come. 

Reine-Adelaide has been impressing too as reported recently. Interestingly he was shifted back to central midfield here giving him very high involvement but no goal threat. Nice continue to tinker with the formation to try to find a winning formula. 

Worth keeping an eye on him to see where he fits in. He can succeed from either position and looks strong, but if he retains this deeper role we will need to see more goal threat than we did yesterday.

Also interesting to see highly rated Atal back in the starting line up recently even though he’s not finishing games. Per minute the numbers are encouraging. 

Particularly with Nice in this form I don’t exactly expect Atal to win soon but he has some real FI potential and he is frequently on big club transfer shortlists come Summer. A forgotten man at 35p to 53p but he’s been up above £1.40 and with the right transfer link it would be possible for him to return towards £1 by say April.

Young defender Saliba made his Nice debut on loan from Arsenal. Straight into the line up and played well overall. With Nice in this form and out of Europe I wouldn’t prioritise him but it is worth noting his excellent passing ability – he could easily be a strong high baseline CB of the future that big clubs will be interested in. Surprised Arsenal aren’t using him really.  Suspect he’ll need a season or two to cook though. 



Monaco run riot with a 2-5 away victory vs Lorient. 

A good performance too, though we didn’t see huge scores because the goals are spread out amongst the team and/or fell to some of the weaker performance players.

The highlight was the return of Golovin who has had a long absence with injury.  That’s exciting because he is one of Monaco’s most suitable FI players and often has transfer rumours too when in form. 

He could hardly have started better, literally scoring a screamer with his first touch within seconds of coming off the bench. 

Perhaps most impressive was his creativity with 2 key passes in just under 30 minutes on the pitch. Very impressive performance on a per minute basis – given 90 minutes he’d have been seriously competitive yesterday. And historically we know he has FI suitability.

An exciting player and despite the recent rise due to the comeback goal a £1.04 bid still feels like excellent value. He likely will be introduced to the side slowly in the coming games but given the chance he can win at Monaco. Can also get a transfer rumour come Summer and will be at the Euro’s with Russia who have a couple of winnable group games vs Denmark and Finland.

Nothing for key man Yedder – he is in a real dry spell by his high standards with just 3 goals in his last 10, and nothing in the last 4 (though he did get 2 assists which helps the IPD keep ticking over).

Recent numbers are fairly poor too. So right now you can pick more in form IPD options but Yedder is reliable and rarely goes off the boil for long. 

Volland is the in form man. As reported in early season he was looking atrocious after his move but from November he’s really settled down and improved. That continues – he looks like scoring most games right now. A poor performance player overall but the IPD should flow and he’s a good value IPD rotation option at just 50p to 58p.

It is also worth noting young CB Badiashile again. He’s got decent baselines and has regular goal threat by CB standards. He could easily have scored in both of his last 2 matches and he can be very competitive for dividends if one of those drops in. 

No bid at all right now – buyers may be able to get a young credible winner for peanuts – not to mention he was £1.50 in August due to a Manchester United rumour which might come around again. 

A stumble for Lille, losing 1-2 at home to Angers. Lille are otherwise in decent form with kind January fixtures and a tough but winnable match up with Ajax in the Europa R32.

Bamba’s goal threat has dried up in the last 4 games, not scoring and not getting any decent chances either.  His overall contribution remains very strong by forward standards, so just 1 goal can see him to a competitive total. 

A capable winner any day but we can’t exactly say he’s looking hot right now. Given the kind fixture calendar and low price I still think him a solid hold – all it takes is 1 good chance to fall to him and he can be topping the leaderboard. 

Jonathan David still looks very poor overall. There has been signs of life as he finally bagged his first goals and in December he looked close to scoring. No chances in the last two and really even if he were to score I wouldn’t back him for a big FI total. 

What you can say is that he’s rock bottom price wise and still young so he’s not a total write off. But there are plenty of players who look more likely to recover sooner.

Weah continues to rack up minutes and per minute he shows excellent FI potential. No chances this time but he did score last game. Saw a touch per minute yesterday which is elite level for forwards. Continues to show glimmers of strong FI potential but he still looks some way off being a first team regular. Getting closer, though. 

Renato Sanches absent – he’s just returned to training after a spell on the sidelines injured. Should be in contention for the next game. He’s a solid FI player who could do well out of this kind run of fixtures when back.

What’s interesting with him right now is the transfer rumours which range from Liverpool to Inter. Perhaps the former Golden Boy is finally going to make it to the big leads. The performances at Lille would certainly see him at a top club on merit.

I like the pick and this spell on the sidelines has beat down the price – could be a good moment to return to him for both shorter term win potential and that transfer rumour for Summer. Also a regular for Portugal come Euros time. And still just 23, ticks a lot of boxes for 90p to £1.07. 

Vast and sustained improvement for Lyon compared to their poor start to the season. Lyon now top the Ligue 1 table with PSG stumbling in their first game under Pochettino. 

What is a touch disappointing from an FI perspective is that they have done that by giving up possession a bit more than they used to. However there is hope for them as they do still tend to dominate soft sides and 55-60% possession is common. 

Interesting times at Lyon with lots of big names expected out of the door such as Depay, Aouar and Moussa Dembelé. But how many players leave clubs when might be a few months away from a trophy? I wouldn’t be surprised if the prospect of a league title could keep Depay and Aouar at the club until Summer. But I’m just speculating here.

With transfers I try to avoid guessing the outcome – it’s really more about putting ourselves in positions where all outcomes are at least acceptable, and some of them are great.

At the rock bottom prices for all 3 of those players I am not too stressed really – whether playing at Lyon or at any decent Europa/CL club I’d be happy to back all 3.

Dembelé in particular has Atletico Madrid rumours recently and whilst that isn’t the best outcome (he’s had top 4 EPL club rumours before) he is a great goalscorer in form and he’d seem a good fit at that club. Certainly enough to make a mockery of his 45p to 58p price tag for IPD alone. 

He would seem the more likely of the 3 to leave sooner rather than later given he is well out of favour with the coach.

Back on the pitch, Depay continued his great goalscoring form, netting twice, and coming close to the win – just beaten out by another Messi masterclass. 

Messi can’t be blamed alone though – we expect better of Depay than 221 with 2 goals including a matchwinner – at least if he is to maintain his status as one of FI’s strongest performers.

He’s really not far away but as reported recently in Scouting – Lyon’s weaker possession and a slightly more central role (likely in the absence of Dembelé) is keeping goal threat high but knocking baselines down slightly. 

If he was still £4-5 this would have been stressing me out a long time ago. At £1.50 to £2? We can be more forgiving. I like him – he has a lot going for him including the possibility of doing very well at Barcelona or another big club. And he’ll be a big draw at Euro 2020 too.

Paqueta continues to impress – he’s having something of a revival at Lyon after his miserable time in Milan. In the previous game he got his first Lyon goal and he had another good game yesterday, setting up depay even though OPTA didn’t officially count it as an assist. 

He’s a regular starter now and he is well in contention for wins. 3 out of 5 stars perhaps which in my system should see him to 4-7 competitive scores per season. If Lyon were in the Europa/CL I’d put that higher.

That miserable time at Milan has knocked the price right down to 54p to 75p which is definite value. A patient trader picking him up towards the bottom of that price range might well find Paqueta nicking a win or two before the season is out. Might sound a long time to wait but when that can spark a 25-50% price rise at times it can be well worth it.

Thauvin finally puts up the winning score we know he’s capable of.

It’s been hard to back him strongly lately due to Marseille’s poor form, particularly that miserable exit from CL/Europa. But in himself he’s been maintaining decent numbers – they just weren’t coming through with Marseille having only won 2 of the last 5. 

Clearly though, as long as a player is holding up his end then they always have a chance. It’s a bit like Gouiri at Nice – he’s doing great – but the team isn’t. If Nice go on a run of form or win just one game Gouiri can come right back into it. Just as Thauvin did last night. 

This is a particularly strong game from Thauvin, damn near doubling his involvement from recent games. 250 without a goal at all shows his power. And he did have 5 shots and good chances amongst them. 

Literally inches then from cruising past Messi to take Star Man and getting near to a 300 score, maybe even close to 350 were it the matchwinner.

Normally, I’d expect a goal to be putting him on 225 to 250 most days which is enough in itself. But this was just a particularly strong game which he does pull from time to time.

There have also been strong underperformances like vs Monaco in mid December where he scored and assisted but only managed 117. There is some inconsistency there but most of the time a goal puts him in contention.

He’s also out of contract at the season end and likely to leave. Milan seem the most likely destination which is very tempting. Overall I’d say £1.05 is strong value – he’s only 27 and has years ahead.

The only thing I’d be worried about is any credible rumours to some middle ranking clubs like Sevilla so that would be something to keep watch for.





24 December

We’ve been tracking the improvement in Jeff Reine-Adelaide in Scouting in recent weeks – and it nearly came through here.

Could have given Hakan a hard time without a late equaliser from Lorient. Particularly impressive because Nice didn’t really dominate – so he could do even better than this, potentially pushing towards 275 on a good day like yesterday.

This is no accident – as per previous reviews his goal threat, assist potential and overall contribution is very solid.

A bit like Gouiri – he’s unfortunate that Nice are so poor so far this season or he could punch through more often. 

Both Reine-Adelaide and Gouiri looking very strong in themselves and as longer term holds I’d back them. In the shorter term – Nice are going to have to do better than dropping points to struggling Lorient. Maybe they are unlucky to get a man sent off and concede a late penalty.

Nice do have soft fixtures in the next 4 so it is possible holders see short term reward.

We should not forget 24 year old full back Atal either whose still getting limited minutes and not looking particularly close to wins. But he’s never really far from big club rumours and he’s a popular name with traders if he gets going.

This is more like it from Lyon. We’ve seen better results recently but never really much dominance. In early season we saw dominance but awful results.

Finally we have both coming together and that can indicate a good spell ahead for Lyon assets. And they have a nice fixture calendar in the next 4-6 weeks.

Depay could have blown up here and got back on radars with a bang. He’s gone from FI favourite to zero this year and it’s not really warranted.

His crime of moving to a better club, plus poor Lyon form have conspired against him. But he remains a top FI suitable player with a lot going for him.

It’s players like this, and I’d include Coutinho and Dybala too, where they are clearly magnificent players who hit short term problems. Backing them when they are down could result in massive returns by exploiting the over pessism of other traders.

Whether Depay stays at Lyon or moves to Barcelona, Juventus or even Liverpool… the chances of Depay being worth more than £1.31 to £1.50 are very, very high.

This is the sort of thing I was talking about in SOTM this week where we are using our diligent research to challeng absurdly low valuations based on little more than panic.

Aouar was excellent here too. He’s had 3 good games on the bounce now actually – well in contention for wins again after a long period where he looked well off the pace.

Bagged an assist here, could have scored one or even two. Lost points for 4 fouls but he doesn’t generally do that. 

At under £1 it’s hard to think of anything to dislike with this pick up. Might drop a transfer in January including to the EPL. Or he might stay at Lyon where he’s a contender anyway. And then more transfer rumours come Summer. Solid choice.

Ekambi continues to plug away. With big stars likely to leave he’ll be leaned on more and more and as covered previously he’s a great IPD rotation pick. 5 goals and 3 assists in 6 games.

And calling him IPD only is unfair I wouldn’t be surprised if he bags another outright win.

Paqueta bags his first Lyon goal – I’ve been noting his improvement recently – that goal has been coming. He’ll be adding assists before long too if he keeps this up.

Pretty solid – clawing his way back from the dead. 49 tp 73p… he is a capable winner. Whether he would be my absolute priority buy right now is another matter – I think generally we want to make life easy for ourselves and just buy popular players that are great value. 

But Paqueta is well worth having on the watch list. Particular if players like Aouar move on they may lean on him more and more.


The biggest news is off the pitch with Renato Sanches getting big links to Liverpool. That could be a big deal and the former Golden Boy has revived his career at Lille.

What I like about this is that it’s a shot to nothing – he’s strong at Lille and for Portugal and likely already worth much more than the meagre 78p to £1.03 as of right now. Yet, if that Liverpool move did happen – that could be a nice pay day.

In the game itself it’s a fairly standard display from Lille. The notable thing is a start for 20 year old USA international Weah – a player I liked in pre-season but he has struggled for minutes.

Finally getting his chances though and he’s taking them – 3 goals in his last 5 appearances now. I like him – often with players like this you need some patience but when the buy price is low it can be well worth it. Has shown he is capable of performance wins given 90 minutes.

A 4-0 demolition of Strasbourg – perhaps surprising we didn’t see more big scores.

Bakker did manage – one of those CB performances where he racks up a ton of points just for passing out from the back. A bit lucky to win with 199 but this does happen.

Also a strong over performance versus his usual level, and he gets rotation. So not one I’d find easy to pick out as a winner. Or to expect to win again soon.

Di Maria was monstrous. Hakan holders can feel lucky because if one of Di Maria’s 5 efforts goes in he’d be very close to winning top midfielder, and if it was the matchwinner he’s pushing towards 300. Such a strong player on his day – it’s just hard to go for him until he has a settled contract as disussed recently.

I did a long Mbappé discussion last week – he’s done ok here but again fallen well short. I still see these discussions on Mbappé on social media – people claiming they are hard done by or unlucky with this. This has got to stop – it is not bad luck – it is a function of the scoring system not particularly rewarding Mbappé’s style. That has been obvious literally for years now.

I do however see some hope for Mbappé at current price – see last week’s review. But to trade him effectively we have to be aware of his limitations. 

Rafinha offers encouragement yet again. Lovely baseline play and he is consistently close to scoring. He’s convinced me – he’s a savvy pick up and one of those who can very easily return the lion’s share of his value in a single game.

1 February

Tuchel watch.

A comfortable victory and yet another very encouraging FI friendly display. 

And plenty of changes.

The flying wing backs the stars of the show.

Hudson-Odoi is excelling in this role, great for him. He’s been doing well recently anyway as per Scouting, this is an additional boost. Getting obvious by now – but it shows the value in spotting these things just that 2-3 weeks earlier than most.

He’s damn near doubled in price from December and won a dividend to boot.

£2.05 to £2.22 now and he is showing the numbers of a consistent winner. If he were to play like this week in, week out, or close enough to it, he could have a very high price ceiling in the £4-5 range. Could well be the pick of the season if this continues.

On the opposite flank we have Alonso. I have long flagged him as one of the best defenders on FI given the chance (he sits at 4 out of 5 stars in my potential ratings). 

And under Tuchel this looks exactly right. He is perfect for this role. I wonder if Tuchel would have signed Chilwell.

This could be a battle that is tough to call. They may well share the role. That might be ok, since it’s a strong platform and either could justify their price even with some rotation. 

Alonso in that case looks incredibly undervalued at under 50p. Chilwell may get short term negativity if Alonso keeps starting. 

But then, it also seems hard to believe Chilwell will be totally sidelined and given just one game in this role Chilwell could explode very easily in one of the coming games.

Picking a winner is hard. Perhaps holding both as a hedge could be a good call, similar to the City centre back situation. Alonso is just 30 so I do not think him particularly high risk at 30-40p. And he is very capable of explosive 250+ scores.

Obvious uncertainty there but here is a player who can win a Gold Day this season and cover almost their entire value in a single game. And if he did he may well double in price too. An exciting option if happy with the punt.

Azpilicueta has never been a bad pick. He looks even better now. This dividend win is no fluke and has the baselines to win without a goal, plus enough threat for 3-4 goals a season which can result in very big scores.

For 30p to 46p even today, it’s a solid choice with big potential rewards, a bit like Alonso but probably with a little more game time security.

Reece James looking the odd man out, with Hudson-Odoi excelling in the wing back spot.

Bit of misfortune for any holders, as he has been a solid pick in recent months. But changes like this happen. It’s not a trading failure just something that has to be dealt with sensibly. 

The ray of hope is that in his 22 minutes his FI numbers were excellent. So give him a start here and he has a strong chance of winning.

Difficult. With Hudson-Odoi in this form I might consider dropping James if holding, if only to dodge any short term negativity if James fails to start. 

At risk of James starting and exploding, because he can! But we just have to make a choice here and I would likely sell, mainly because I know how impatient traders are.

Mount reinstated and excellent again, on and off FI. Like I said last review I don’t think the initial hot take that Tuchel will sideline the English and favour the Germans is quite right.

Clearly Havertz and Werner need chances but clubs are well aware of the value of English talent given nationality restrictions and transfer values.

Mount looks close to further wins if he can keep his place. I remain optimistic.

Werner started behind Abraham, perhaps unexpected. But then Werner has been tried all over the pitch this season.

Plenty of chances, particularly a tame header straight at the keeper.

This is familiar story to Scouting readers this season  – not terrible numbers, and only a small improvement can see him competing. But he’s  someway off the pace right now.

Given what we know about him and how hard Tuchel is going to try to get him firing, I would still say £1.75 to £1.98 looks value and judge it more likely he turns things around than flops.

If he still looks weak in a couple of games time holders may want to cash in before disappointment sets in. 

Which may then be a good time to buy since long term prospects remain good, the worry here is the impatience of traders.

Abraham abysmal for FI scoring as ever. For FI purposes we really want him cleared out of the way so that a more suitable player can take this spot. Unless you hold him which I’ve never recommended.


An obvious improvement at Liverpool in the last two games that is making it’s way onto the FI scoreboard.

Salah the beneficiary sweeping both Forward and Media dividends – and this is why the big EPL strikers can command a premium.

He’s a bit too inconsistent to make my Explosion Imminent list but two weeks ago today I said this:

“Salah was strong in this game too. I’ve noted at times a clear improvement in his numbers this season. Although Liverpool’s form suppresses that a bit. 

Consistently inconsistent, then. That’s ok for holders – he’s competing often enough especially for his meagre ~£1.50 price tag.” 

£2.17 to £2.46 now which is sizable and all for a pretty low risk trade. Obviously the best of that is gone but I still think £2.17 is good value as we head towards the tough but very winnable CL clash with Leipzig.

Not the best games from the usual suspects at full back, TAA and Robertson. But good numbers again and they are consistent. 

I have warmed to TAA as we got to £2.50 as per Scouting, especially as he was likely to get a quick bounce in the event of a market recovery. 

He has! £4.62 to £4.91 again. And this is where I say thank you very much and cash that.

A lot of this probably comes not so much from new buyers but people changing their mind about selling now that a recovery is underway. 

We want to look out for these opportunities where over negativity becomes over optimism again.

The price is just too much again to be clear. In True Value terms it’s a moderate over estimate at this stage but I consider him over priced mainly in comparative value – you can just clearly get more bang for your buck elsewhere.

Not to say he won’t win, he probably will challenge soon. If we insist on holding highly priced players, the least we can do is hold the good ones like this. But there are clearly better options for under half the price.

Thiago excellent. With no instant impact some traders are losing faith if that £1.35 red button is to be believed. They are wrong to do so based on the evidence. Hitting levels where the big score is more a matter of when rather than if. He remains on Explosion Imminent at a great value price.

Speaking of value Curtis Jones came on from the bench and assisted. Again, with no instant impact he remains cheap but for me he is up there with the Foden’s and Sancho’s as one of the highest potential young players with a fantastic trend profile.

All young players are risks but this is a very well judged one at £1.33 to £1.50.


31 January

Poor result for Everton, unexpectedly losing to Newcastle. But it is worth noting that for a second game in a row James produced another very competitive FI display. Good threat and creativity married to strong involvement.

Around a 3.5 out of 5 stars in my ratings, capable of around 5 big scores a season and he could win a Gold Day. 

In a better team or if they were in the Europa that could improve. Tough fixtures but Fulham on 14 Feb is a good opportunity. 

It could be good to pick him up now for an 80p and holding him into the kinder run of fixtures in mid-March.

Not often we turn to Newcastle for the winners these days! But Callum Wilson bucked that trend, all be it on quite a low scoring day.

225 is about as good as it gets for Wilson, unless he smashes in a hatrick. Hard to do at Newcastle.

With IPD now gone it is hard to recommend him immediately after a win. But given his explosive potential to score 2 goals which he can do a few times a season there is some merit.

The way to trade him would be to wait for it to go quiet, pick him up for rock bottom at 25p-30p then hope to cash in on the day he scores a couple of goals. 

If on that day you can sell him for 45-55p that is a very substantial profit that can be worth waiting for.

One for the more active traders to set a reminder on.


On a platform where youth will always be pumped it can be hard to pick out the real deals from the hype. 

In this new FI where you actually have to sell to other traders I suspect we will not find so many willing to gamble it all on garbage, so picking the really good ones from the trash will be even more important for sustainable profits.

Here is a good one. 

He’s unlikely to win at Palace. But he’s got the attributes to suggest he could reach at least 3.5 out of 5 stars if playing for a bigger club one day. Particularly when played more centrally as he was yesterday. Hodgson seems to think he is more suited centrally, which is encouraging.

If you believe in his eventual move to a bigger club he could be a good pick up for this 87p to 99p. May need patience as a move this Summer might be a bit too soon and another season at Palace would do him no harm.

But then, this cheap, he may catch a decent rise with the market sooner rather than later. I like the pick and it looks a solid long term choice.

Routine win but a disappointing result for ity holders who will have wanted another 3 goal+ victory.

And Foden blanking as my Captain ruined my fantasy team but that is by the by.

Starting in defence, City yet again demonstrate that their defenders are all well capable of wins. And that the selection can be unpredictable. 

Laporte got his chance and played well. I’ve suggested it could be worth holding multiple City CB’s to cover this rotation which they are all so cheap. Prices have moved on a bit since then, and all were available at the 50p mark.

Dias at £1 to £1.15, Stones at 84p to 93p and Laporte at 57p to 68p all look strong value though. I’d be content to pay £1.25 at least for a starting City CB, even with some rotation.

Cancelo rested, unfortunate for holders but that’s life at City.

Zinchenko superb again . Based on Pep comments this week we can now be more confident in his starts, even if there is some rotation. 

If he keeps starting, it is pretty much a matter of time before we see him near the top of a scoreboard and he is a likely winner. The equal of Cancelo and one of the best defenders on FI. And currently just 74p to £1 with that (reducing) risk of rotation. Onto Explosion Imminent he goes.

Bernardo Silva is something of a forgotten man amongst City assets. I was never a fan when he was at peak price, he always looked a bit weak. 

However, he has improved at a time when his price is now well under £1. He’s well in range of wins these days. 

It may suprise some to see him topping a scoreboard in the coming month given it is some time since his last huge score. 

It won’t surprise me. Value.

Ferran Torres had a good game on and off FI. One of his best on FI overall actually. He’s much, much better when played out wide as I’ve mentioned a few times.

20 years old. Capable winner – 3 out of 5 stars given rotation I’d say. Getting a very generous amount of minutes so young given Pep’s standards.

Playing for Spain. £1.02 to £1.21? What’s not to like here for a patient trader?


I’ve covered Lookman a few times as a high potential player.

He will struggle to show it at Fulham obviously. But even now if Fulham were to win then a matchwinner could see Lookman challenging.

So, if you see him bound for a bigger club at some stage, we may well look back and see this 49p to 68p price tag as a steal for a patient trader.

28 January

Fascinating opener under Tuchel.

Whilst the result was frustrating at 0-0 the numbers from an FI perspective were incredible

Possibly too good to be true because if they kept this up Chelsea would move up to Bayern levels of dividend potential. 

Still, even if this dropped off a little in the games to come, it looks overall to be a very FI friendly set up that we can watch with interest and early optimism.

We have to bear in mind too that the line up itself is subject to change. Tuchel said himself that he went for experience given the tight turnaround after his arrival. Some surprising benchings for Werner and Mount. 

This is a 3-4-3 system we have seen Tuchel use before at Dortmund but never at PSG. 

The surprise was perhaps Hudson-Odoi in a wing back role, frequently getting beyond Ziyech to overlap. I don’t think many will need me to tell them he did well given he won the dividend with 176 without a goal, assist, or even a win.

I’ve been highlighting his FI ability for months, but in this role, in this game, he was better than ever. Even if possession levels come down a bit as they probably will in most games, Hudson-Odoi is going to be well in contention. 

Yet another down and out player who could be had cheaply yet was always likely to bounce back. The profits in this area are phenomenal. 

And given his overall profile, he has some way to go even from here. If, and it is a big if at such an early stage, he could produce this kind of performance as a regular in a Tuchel side I’d see him breaching £4-5 with ease.

He has a lot to do, but the early signs are encouraging and he has shown us for a long time that he has what it takes if given the chance. It’s up to Tuchel as to whether he gets it. But Hudson-Odoi did his part to convince him with a good performance last night.

Chilwell on the other flank did not do so obviously well, managing a paltry 36 points. 

He also fluffed one of Chelsea’s best chances.

That score may not be as bad as it appears. He’s docked -30 for fouls, a yellow card and an offside, not things he usually picks up often.

You would expect his general involvement to be better in a game like this, it was about average for him. The encouraging thing is the very advanced playing position and the resultant chances to score and assist.

Not a spectacular night but it is just 1 game and there are lots of encouraging signs there for him. I would remain overall optimistic unless we saw underwhelming numbers in the next 2-3 games.

Ziyech was hugely impressive for FI purposes. Elite midfielder level involvement that we usually only see from the likes of Kroos. Backed up with good assist potential and 3 long range half chances.

That threat needs to improve but his playing position under Tuchel is very favourable and we know he has FI suitability from his Ajax days. Could well turn out to be a bargain if he maintains this level under the new coach. 

Better from Havertz, both in reality and on FI. But really, he was never all that bad anyway. Finishing games and not finishing chances was his issue.

He has shown glimpses of FI friendly stuff even under Lampard. Sadly for holders, often in the Cups out of the eyeline of traders!

With consistent minutes in this position there is little doubt Havertz can get himself in regular contention on FI, at least to a 3.5 out of 5 stars level.

Kovacic the Star Man with a 225 without winning the game, it’s impressive. He’s always got a decent baseline but this is something else.

This performance puts Kroos on a good day to shame. He also got one long range chance which he struck well but he’s very much a deep lying playmaker. 

This huge score likely reflects the crazy possession Chelsea enjoyed. If Tuchel seeks to dominate every game Kovacic could really improve although goals will still be collectors items most likely. 

Even without a goal it could be enough to bring home a few Bronze/Silver days and a smattering of Match Day Extra. Which could make him good value for his 49p to 50p.

Yet he’s just not the sort I’d be targetting right now, we want sexier players people are going to buy more easily.

If this style was consistent pretty much any starting Chelsea CB would come into things, much in the same way City CB’s do on baseline alone. 

But, this is a very favourable game and I do expect some of the numbers to drop back to more sensible levels, so it’s too early to say this with confidence.

Mount appeared from the bench and played well. I’m not sure it will be as simple as Tuchel dropping Mount to play the Germans as we have seen in some media commentary.

English talent still has huge value to big clubs and it would seem very strange to sideline him after good performances. We shall see in the coming games.

And Werner will surely start in Giroud’s spot in the games to come. Given he was never a million miles from wins even under Lampard… I’d start optimistic on him. And hopefully some readers have enjoyed this bounce back already because it was always likely as covered here many times in recent weeks.


A weak game for FI numbers. Everton do tend to give up possession versus tougher sides yet they do come out and play when they can versus weaker outfits.

Newcastle next is a good opportunity.

In a more dominant game James Rodriguez likely comes out of this with much more than his 129. He scored a great goal that went in off the inside of the post.

He remains a capable winner, though that goal will need to drop in a game Everton win versus a soft team. So holders could enter Newcastle next with a high degree of optimism.

After that, Leeds, Man. Utd are tough and then Fulham is probably another good opportunity.

An occasional winner then, given the middle ranking club, but very capable of 2-3 explosive 250+ scores before the season is out. 


Just a draw versus Everton but they dominated and showed FI friendly stuff.

They have a favourable Europa 32 fixture so it can be a good time to have some Leicester involvement.

Maddison isn’t far away and is in rich goalscoring form. Had good chance to make it 5 goals in 5 games last night but couldn’t finish.

The scores have been in that 140-170 range even with goals but he’s a bit unlucky, either not dropping match winners or scoring on some of his weaker days. 

He has always been a bit of a nearly man on FI, which will probably stay true whilst he is at Leicester. But he does have a strong trend profile and a big transfer in him. 

He’s had a strong bounceback already (He was £1.09 to £1.29 in my recent core player article just two weeks ago). £1.77 to £1.98 now. 

And at that rock bottom price he was a really low risk pick up.

The shine has come off that a bit but I’d still say £1.77 is value. The right transfer could see him to £3-4 and he’s fair value now even at Leicester.

Tielemans is the other likely lad. He might not have the instant appeal of Maddison, but he definitely looks the closest Leicester player to wins sometime soon. 

He’s often got great baselines but in the last 3 he’s also had really good chances to score. And he’s creative too. 

One decent FI totals could push him up very strongly from the current 79p to 98p. Let’s not forget he is still just 23. 

James Justin is also quietly showing some FI friendly numbers. I don’t expect an explosion anytime soon but he’s value for a long term trader at 63p to 81p. Probably around 2.5 out of 5 stars right now but he has the right style and could well improve in future.


Dismal result. Decent underlying FI numbers.

I wasn’t kidding in the last review when I said Harry “The Fridge” Maguire was close to a goal and big FI numbers.

Had United won this game he could have been up at 250-300. As it is, on a soft day he won anyway with 206.

This is consistent. He’s a good FI player. I said this 7 days ago when he was available for not much more than 50p. 

81p to £1.09 now with a dividend in the bank. And all on a low risk player. It’s been a great couple of weeks for this sort of thing.

Remains value at 81p given his perforamance strength and as one of the few defenders with a bit of media pull.

Little to say on Fernandes performance – such a consistent player and always in contention, despite now being 5 league games without a goal (though he did score in the FA Cup vs Liverpool recently). 

The news for him is ont he market with him enjoying a strong bounce back with the market as expected to £7.48 to £8.10. 

Premiums will never bring the absolute optimal profits. But a few of them can be a great addition to a portfolio if they are good enough. The most common mistake I see in portfolios is being top heavy on premiums, allocating too great a % of portfolio value to this sort of player.

You cannot acheive the best results that way. However, the last week or so has been a good time to be top heavy. 

With premiums we want to consider price ceiling carefully. Bruno still has plenty of room to grow as he can realistically command £12. So there’s no major rush to drop him because he’s so reliable.

With other premiums, closer to true value, or where the premium status is more questionable we might want to get wary as they start reaching higher and higher prices.

Pogba remains quite deep but is producing strong baselines and does manage to get some chances. 

Little doubt he is worth his £3 and then some if playing here week in week out. It’s just about that transfer risk because Pogba’s true value could be £10-12 or it could be £2-3 depending on the outcome of that. 

Probably the next month is the time to be punting if you want to – because it’s unlikely any decision gets made on the move in that time. As things get closer to Summer though that pressure starts building.

Rashford showed strong FI numbers here. And did very well vs Liverpool in the Cup to score and assist. He’s enjoying a nice bounce back with the market as expected. 

Good time to hold him with a winnable Europa 32 ahead plus Euro 2020. As well as the media pull and the chance of occasional performance wins. It’s not the ludicrous £2.50 or so you could have had a week ago but £3.25 remains strong value.

Greenwood is now back to much more sensible levels at £2.63 to £2.99.  £9 to £10 was always madness and I have little sympathy for anyone holding at that price – this was terrible trading that invited punishment.

He is doing better than his miserable FI scoring record might suggest. He has the capacity to hit Rashford levels, but it does feel like he needs at least another season or two to cook.

Likely to bounce if he scores and people might look at the previous £10 price and think him cheap. 

But I do think there are better quality options available that can rise more. 

I would not pay too much attention to previous highs. FI will not be quite the same place as it was before the crash, people will have learned lessons about reckless behaviour and adapted or have been wiped out and left the platform, one of the two.

And if the recovery stalls – we still want to be holding the quality that deserves it’s price rather than the over priced stuff that gets punished so heavily.

27 January

Soucek ain’t just for Fantasy football. He’s decent on FI too. 

He’s unlucky to score twice and not hit the matchwinner, because if he did he would be comfortably beating Gundogan for the midfield dividend. 

He is an occasional winner type in the 3 out of 5 stars range so I would not follow after a good score. Especially with two tough fixtures next vs Liverpool and Villa.

But after that Fulham and Sheffield United are tasty fixtures. 

80p to 99p is value for him and he will get a little boost from being popular in Fantasy circles. If he goes a game or two in these tough fixtures without a goal then the bid price might be nudged down towards 70p which would be a good pick up. 

I flagged Leeds as a potentially performance friendly team in principle this season although actual FI suitable targets are quite limited.

Some of their best like Dallas aren’t on FI at all. Bamford is too weak for performance scoring even with 2 goals or more.

And someone like Klich can win but is not exactly attractive as an older player. 

Phillips is doing great but is not suited for FI.

And so despite a performance friendly overall game we are a struggling with options. 

Raphinha is closest to a marriage of FI ability and desirable trend fit. Whilst his scores look low having yet to breach 200 he can do so if he is a bit luckier and drops match winners.

His goals have also come on some of his worst games. Last night for example was a poorer overall game from him in terms of FI numbers, he is capable of getting into a 225 range at least a few times a season. 

And he can improve being new to the league. 

A 57p bid is value especially as MDE will likely catch him.

However, in terms of trading strategy I don’t think this sort of value end 3 out of 5 stars player is the best option right now. There are better players available for rock bottom.

But after 3-4 weeks of any recovery this area might well be something to target.

Arsenal have shown some very FI friendly stuff recently to go with their improved results.

Last night was a bit of a deviation, perhaps showing that Arteta has a bit of tactical variety.

Having lost at the weekend to Southampton when dominating, they gave up possession this time and won.

Nice and all for the result, but it doesn’t pump up FI scores. However, I remain optimistic on Arteta-ball as 6 of the last 7 games have been encouraging in style.

No really big scores this time then but that doesn’t mean we won’t see any in the games to come.

They do have tough fixtures overall coming up. Man. Utd, Villa and Leeds in the next 4 will be uphill struggles for FI scoring.

But they also have that Europa 32 tie with Benfica which will be a good opportunity. As will Wolves in just under a week from now.

Saka had a great game, and he’s been coming out of my Scouting really well lately. He occupies a nice sweet spot. If thinking about my State of the Market strategy selections you can think about him as a nice combination.

He’s a “here and now” player who can win. But he also fits the bill for those chasing youth which may be the next wave after Core/Premiums get a nice rise.

Plus, he ticks the box for “not completely stupid” too since he has actual quality.

And look at the potential gains for a relatively low risk option here. It was 24 December when I identified Saka at a low in Scouting:

“With some people having been burned badly – people are now overly negative on Saka at the £1 mark. This is when you can pick them up sensibly.”

£2.11 to £2.40 now. More than double. Not a high risk trade. This is the sort of optimal stuff we want for the really big gains in any bounce back.

Last night’s score at just over 200 is not great with a matchwinner. But this was a relatively subdued game given the lower possession. He can get to the magic 250 marker on a good day. And he’s still just 19 and can improve. 

A perfect sort of trade in my view. He can go further, £3 would not be unreasonable.

But at some stage we have to think about some juggling. If he catches fire then he may be below True Value but he might fail the test of comparative value. 

If for example a similarly attractive player is doing well yet not so obviously and is still at £1.50 or below, we might want to switch horses to the cheaper yet equally good player.

This isn’t so much of a headache now, but it will start to be if the recovery sustains and we start seeing prices back within True Value sort of range for some good players but not others. You could for example look at Hudson-Odoi who is similar, and potentially better even, but just not currently getting his break.

Pepé scored, a decent game overall. We know he can win he is in range and he has done particularly well in the Europa which is coming up with a favourable fixture.

He could so easily be a classic example of a player that is a bit down but still in contention and over pessimism has pushed him to just 67p to 87p. The lower end of that bid is a steal. 

And even if he flops at Arsenal and is shifted out he is likely to get a chance elsewhere.

Again it’s another one of those that you want to either go for now or don’t, rather than waiting for a win or positive news that everyone will see. He’s doing just fine for the money we are paying and we know that already.


This is the City we know and love on FI. Back in form, scoring for fun, the clean sheets are superb.

I’m particularly pleased to see Cancelo coming through with a Star Man, holders unlucky only that it was a Bronze Day and he had a Gold Day competitive total.

Still, holders will not be too unhappy with this price rise and dividend. It was only 6 days ago in Scouting I said of him:

“Cancelo excellent again but it doesn’t quite go for him. He’s doing everything right. Baseline. Threat. Creativity. It’s all there and he’s at that level where the big score is almost certainly on the way if he keeps this up.” 

That’s the sort of review that gets a player on Explosion Imminent usually and I slapped myself a bit when I realised I hadn’t put him on there. Because this win was coming, he has been unlucky not to get more.

He can go on there now because there is no reason he can’t repeat this on the regular. He is City’s best defender overall, as I said after John Stones’ 2 goal heroics. 

Again, just a week ago Cancelo could probably be had for under £1. The gains available in low risk players who are very likely to win in recent weeks is unreal.

Hopefully we have been sowing those seeds already it’s been the focus of my trading strategy and Scouting combined. But it is far from too late. We are routinely finding gulfs between price and ability and that is going to be the case for a good while yet. 

We also had Mahrez as another example of this. Again, people are down on him because he hasn’t done anything in a while. But the quality is there and we know that if he plays his usual game then the big scores come.

This feature of trader behaviour would cause me to tear my hair out if it didn’t make me so much money. Last night’s big score gave us no new information about Mahrez. None. Zip. Nada.

Yet it has caused some people to buy a player they could have bought a week ago for probably 25% less plus the chance to win a dividend last night. 

It’s exploiting these gaps between price and ability that is going to make the best profits on FI in a sustained recovery. Far more than the things most often discussed on social media at the premium end in almost all cases.

An in form City gives us competitive options all over the park, much like Bayern.

Sterling had a really good game, his best for a while. The matchwinner gives him a very competitive total for a forward. Again, in form, he is a capable winner with a great trend profile and still just 26. 

The price is just too low for him to sit there for long if the market recovers which is something I’ve been saying for a while on him. He was indeed one of the first to benefit from a recovery although he has rolled back a bit now. That changes little, he’s still well under True Value.

If we see fluctuations up and down and we definitely will as discussed in State of the Market, I am not concerned about that provided I am getting a player for well under what they are likely worth.

The swings along the way are just going to happen for as long as the Blue Button price is consutrcted the way it is.

Gundogan wins. That’s going to happen as discussed, and it can also be the same for Rodri. I’ve covered why in recent reviews and both are value.

All starting, or often starting, City defenders are solid choices. In recent Scouting I have discussed the option of doubling up on City CB’s Stones and Dias and even adding in Laporte if rotation worried us.

Zinchenko is superb. The equal of Cancelo and one of the best FI defenders if we believe he is here to stay. Recent evidence suggests he is, having started to many games. If he keeps starting, it is pretty much a matter of time before we see him at the top of a Match Day scoreboard. 

25 January

Whilst Liverpool are in awful form, the FI numbers remain competitive in places.

Alexander-Arnold has looked particularly strong in the losses to Burnley and Manchester United (FA Cup) this week.  

Robertson isn’t far behind though and these two often trade places as to who currently looks the most likely to win, to the point where there isn’t a great deal between them these days. 

Except for price, with Robertson over £1 cheaper. Either are good picks and that price gap makes it much of a muchness if picking 1 although I would probably favour Arnold just because his kinder trend profile may lead to faster buying as/when the market recovery gains pace.

Reliable FI challengers in Midfield and at Forward remains a challenge with Thiago and Jones the best of that as covered recently. 

Villa are a budget friendly performance outfit with a few players capable of wins.  Recent form has been poor but they did beat Newcastle last night and have some winnable fixtures next.

If they can win some of those then Barkley is looking in contention. Strong overall game and he should have scored last night. This builds on a good first game back last week.

At a rock bottom under 50p bid, he could have a nice comeback story, with wins at Villa possible and then some form of speculation come season end.

Villa might not be able to afford him longer term and his performances may interest some decent Europa/CL clubs.

Bertrand Traoré is well capable of repeating his wins from this season. 4 goals in 6 and he often puts up involvement numbers many big club strikers might envy. 

When he won in December this was no fluke. Yet some think it is – he went up to 80p in all the short termism that dominated trading back then. Potentially as low as 39p now!

It’s entirely realistic for him to return to the top of the leaderboard again once or twice before the season is out. It would not be outrageous if that sparked a return to 80p which is a doubling in price plus a potential dividend. 

We don’t want to be chasing this after the fact though – so if we want to benefit from this it’s a now or never scenario whilst the price is low.

At the more expensive end Grealish remains a good option. He’s well in range of further wins at Villa. 

The biggest thing is the transfer and Manchester United seems further away – it’s just hard to see where he fits in. 

Arsenal is the latest rumour which is a reasonable move that keeps him in contention for performance and media wins. Plus he’s got his England involvement.

For this £2.50 bid or thereabouts I think he is a solid pick up – it looks like those holding out for a Man. Utd transfer may be selling a little too cheap which could be exploited. He’s likely entering his best years.

24 January

Odegaard is likely to seal the deal to Arsenal, and has picked up a couple of days media as a result.

I’ve said it of Odegaard recently and plenty of others too. The pessimistic market has been far too down on players who hit short term difficulties.

Particularly with those players where people have been optimistic in the past. I said Odegaard was borderline madness at £4 and he was.

But at times you could pick him up damn near 75p! This is crazy, and too far the other way just for not settling in Zidane’s up and down Real side. 

Good players with time on their side are usually going to play themselves back in or get a move. And if we want optimal results we need to go for it when the price is really low without waiting for that big score or the move to actually happen. 

Odegaard has real performance potential. And he’s probably good enough to do that at an improving Arsenal (I’ve covered them very recently). 

Plus he has some media appeal. 

I’d be happy with a £1.30 Odegaard. He could do well, and if not, he’s cheap and only 22. 

If we were talking £3+ I’d be cautious as we know how players at new clubs can struggle. But for the money I think it is a good balance of risk/reward even now.

But obviously, for the best results we wanted to pick him up when apparently dead and buried at under £1. 

Can’t fix that now, but we can bear it in mind when considering other players around us. 

He is not going to be the only major bounce back we see.


21 January

City dominated this game again, as they have for the last 4 matches.

And yet, many of the goals are coming from some perhaps unlikely sources. So KDB aside, we haven’t seen the more obvious winners like Cancelo, Mahrez or Sterling come through yet.

Bernardo Silva was the matchwinner, his 3rd in 4 games after a double in the FA Cup vs Birmingham. His goal threat is decent in the last 6, and last review I changed my mind on him after years of considering him average or overpriced. 

He’s a little bit behind the real FI heavy hitters in midfield but really not that far away. If he keeps up this level of threat we should be seeing far more goals from him than his 2020 form indicates. 

And it can get him in range, especially if he combined that with an assist. Again – over the last 10 he’s been creating chances that have not been finished. It feels like he’s a little unlucky. 

At the £2 mark you’d question it but he can probably be had for under 50p now and for a player currently on the stronger end of 3 out of 5 stars that’s a good pick up. Also the sort of player who would benefit from the winning bar being lowered a little in any new win mechanic.

Readers know I’ve been stubborn in my view that Rodri is due some very big scores over a season despite it never really happening so far – he is capable of some 300+ days. 

Last night was close. He almost won with a 247 but was just pipped. Thing is, he had a great opportunity to score and he gets chances, enough for 4-6 in a good season.

If that goes in last night? He could be at around 300 or even close to 350. That could really blow away the opposition and for his money just one big Gold win would be huge. And in the CL quarters onwards he can easily win on base alone. 

This is the sort of player that almost everyone is going to overlook until that day they wish they hadn’t.

In a similar vein to Rodri, Gundogan is easy to overlook. But he’s in red hot form, scoring the penalty last night which makes 5 in 7 games in all competitions. The penalty is a little fortunate with KDB pulling up. But even the usual open play threat is strong, top club strikers would be happy with this number and quality of chances. Yet he has the baselines for a goal to count. 

Strong player hitting a 3.5 out of 5 stars sort of level, my benchmark of the week in week out challenger. And possibly available for not much more than 50p. Could be a good time to have him with a CL campaign coming up. 

Cancelo excellent again but it doesn’t quite go for him. He’s doing everything right. Baseline. Threat. Creativity. It’s all there and he’s at that level where the big score is almost certainly on the way if he keeps this up. 

Foden was impressive. He racked up a 214 without goal or assist, and was running up an impressive total by half time. This phenomenon of buying the big half time score has never failed to both amuse me and wonder what on earth traders are doing. 

You can understand those new to the platform chasing that score but the veterans should know better. I’m going to have a moment here.

Why, by the beard of Zeus, are people only just finding out at half time that Foden is good at half time in this game?!

I’ve been discussing his potential literally for years and it’s been becoming more and more obvious every game he plays this season. 

FI traders are frequently over optimistic around youth. But Foden is one of the real deal’s and these price falls we’ve seen make him exceptional value as discussed here in recent weeks/months.

Buy Foden. Don’t buy Foden. There are many options even if you don’t like this one for whatever reason. But if we are buying him because of a big half time score we are doing Football Index wrong.

Barkley returned from injury and is thrust straight back into the starting line up vs City.

Worth remembering because he showed some very FI friendly stuff in his first Villa games. And when given the chance he was Chelsea’s best FI player too. 

Villa have some kind fixtures so if we see him pop up at the top of a leaderboard sometime soon we shouldn’t be shocked.

It’s a bit of an offbeat move perhaps and my priority would be those Core players as discussed.

But if you could wrestle Barkley off someone for a humiliating 30p bid or so that might end up quite the coup. 


Pogba stole the show and took home the media dividend, just like old times.

Spectacular effort. Well deserving of the media win.

He was a bit shy of a winning performance total at 233, but it’s not far off at all. I usually expect a matchwinner to get him into contention. He lost a bit for a yellow card and foul but generally speaking his baselines are good enough to make him competitive.

A lack of goal threat has been an issue since he lost penalties. But overall in the last 5-6 it’s not been bad. The problem with these screamers like last night however is that they are actually very unlikely to go in! We could use more penalty area touches.

I’d say the stronger end of 3 out of 5 stars which when allied to his media is good enough for the £3 mark.

It’s really a bet on whether he stays or goes in Summer. But at a lower price, not the lunacy it used to be.

If you think he will stay particularly if United finish the season strongly, or even win the league, he could easily end up justifying this price and then some. 

If he does move to Juventus or similar… traders won’t like that move as it dents his media appeal. 

Could be a good time to go for it since the transfer decision will be some way off. If you can be bothered to follow all the drama of course!

It was Pogba’s night. But Bruno was competitive too and remains the most likely United winner by some distance.

Very close to another goal – his consistent open play goal threat is reassuring for holders.

The Fridge, aka Harry Maguire, continues to get some mixed reviews in the mainstream press but I ain’t messing around when I say he’s very close to some big scores. 

Baselines are solid and he’s getting regular chances. Likely to appear with a very competitive total before long and one of the few defenders with media appeal particularly with Euro 2020 in mind. I like the pick for 50-60p on a bid.

For those of you on top of your internet memes, my assessment is that the Fridge may well go brrrrr.

Shaw is improving. Remarkably improved involvement here. Assist potential in the last 6 is strong, and it’s a wonder he hasn’t registered one in recent games. 

He could be punted on or you could wait for more consistency. But at 43p to 50p it looks a reasonable pick up to me. 

Cavani looks like a typical “IPD striker”. Obviously without the IPD these days. Which is a slight problem you might say. 

He could have scored twice though. 2 including the matchwinner might get him up there, particularly if the new win mechanic helps lower that winning bar a little (my catch phrase of the week). 

Plus he has obvious media appeal and may get a run in the side he’s playing well. So, it may not all be over for some “IPD strikers” particularly at big clubs.

He could well be a good pick up for 55-60p for the media alone. The worry is that expiring contract – but there are rumours of an extension. If he did get one I’d consider him a great pick for that kind of price.


20 January

A good game off and on FI as they overcome Newcastle comfortably. Arsenal have shown really good FI friendly stuff in the last 4 games, even vs Palace when they could only manage a draw.

And this makes 5 wins in 6, a remarkable turnaround for the struggling Arteta. I’ve mentioned this before but this is worth noting – when we see coaches go through really tough spells like Arteta and OGS have recently – it really can only take a couple of weeks for that to all turn around.

Lampard is enduring it at the moment. And for traders, whether he turns it around or another coach does, it doesn’t really matter to us. I’d not be getting too upset about Chelsea assets just because of a few bad games.

On FI and in general football punditry people tend to over emphasise what happened last week, rather than looking at the overall picture. This is important for sentiment – but as traders we want to be aware that there are often some decent underlying numbers beneath that apparent poor form.

Arsenal may be hitting form at a good time, particularly with a winnable Europa R32 matchup vs Benfica next month.

Saka in particular has been coming out well in my Scouting recently. This was from 3rd January:

Saka has been improving. I last reviewed him here just 14 days ago on the 20th December, saying:

“With some people having been burned badly – people are now overly negative on Saka at the £1 mark. This is when you can pick them up sensibly.”

That’s a quote within a quote. An Inception quote if you will.

This is such a common thing with youngsters, and we’re seeing quite a few of the overhyped class of 2019/20 hitting rock bottom prices at a time when some are actually developing well and genuinely getting themselves in contention. 

We should be on the lookout for this. Hudson-Odoi is another recent example. As is Mason Mount.

Saka is doing really well for overall goal threat and assist potential in recent games. It’s particularly remarkable he isn’t adding assists with the chances he is creating. 3 goals in 6 feels a fair reflection.

Where he struggles a bit is for baselines which are a touch behind the big hitting midfielders. But this is forgivable, particularly at that £1 price just 20 days ago. He’s been up to nearly £2 Blue Button since then, but back to £1.26 to £1.61 as traders endure the latest round of panic.

He is just 19 so being a bit behind the established players is not a surprise. He can improve. And he’s in range now, he won a soft day midweek with 194, but had his goal with the matchwinner that becomes a very competitive total. He can also easily stack an assist on top of a goal in the same with his numbers, and clear 250+ comfortably on a good day.

A great pick up for the money, and it’s a luxury that in this troubled market you can get away with picking up players like this at value even after a win. One that probably won’t last forever.

Tierney has improved strongly in the last 3 including the FA Cup. We’ve seen consistent goal threat and assist potential in all of these games. 

He’s previously been underwhelming for FI, even when traditional match reports sang his praises. Under £1 could be considered a good pick up now, at risk of his form dipping back to usual mediocre levels.

But 3 games is a reasonable show of consistency and it is at least worth monitoring to see if this continues.

Traders often overhype youth and undervalue the experienced players. But in Arsenal’s case that approach is warranted. Players like Aubameyang who scored 2 including the matchwinner yet only managed 190 are just always a struggle, particularly without IPD now. I would save these for punts in soft Europa Gold Days should Arsenal make it to the quarters. 

Emile Smith-Rowe is having a good run in the side and playing well. It’s not quite translating to FI but with a full match and a goal he might get close to a win. I could see him getting to 200-220 on a soft day, which might be good for a Bronze Day win or if we see a new win mechanic that lowers the winning bar he might squeeze over it.

Reasonable value yet he looks a bit behind Saka and is a similar price, so I’m not sure why’d you go for Smith-Rowe over him if you are picking one.

Lots of possession, but Chelsea did nothing with it. Chelsea crash to another defeat and the pressure is heaped on Lampard.

One of those games however where you can pick out some solid underlying numbers that could shine through if results improved. 

Mason Mount is definitely up there. I’ve been very impressed with him lately and holders were rewarded by that 300+ monster score and Star Man last game.

His overall numbers were pretty close to that again, demonstrating consistency. He didn’t get good chances to score this time, but the assist potential holds up. Actually remarkable that he hasn’t assisted in the last 5-6, he’s created enough chances to earn 2-3. 

Just one more encouraging game and he’s performing very well. The risk to him is if Lampard is sacked and a new coach doesn’t favour Mount or doesn’t play him in quite the same way. But he’s a bright spot in tough times recently so it would seem harsh to sideline him.

Unlike OGS and Arteta who have weathered the storm, it feels quite likely Lampard will go given Chelsea’s record of chewing through managers. That could spark a revival for Werner and Havertz in particular. These are not bad players all of a sudden – it will be possible to get them firing again. 

Ziyech may play his way back in too; he looks solid per minute as per last review. 

Hudson-Odoi earned his start as I thought he might but he didn’t replicate his recent livewire performances from the bench. He didn’t do anything of note though I suspect he’s unlucky to appear on a night where few Chelsea assets really shined.

The underlying numbers last night are actually quite tidy though. Even on this poor day, a goal and a win could see him in contention. And he’s shown he can do much better than this in recent games too. 

I’m optimistic on him longer term. He’s got that rare mix of desirable profile and real FI ability combined with a rock bottom under £1 price.

18 January

Superb score from Kane, unlucky to just miss out to the excellent Insigne.

In my midweek Core player article I wrote this, which now feels somewhat eery:

“In performance terms, he’s ok, but is frequently beaten by slightly more FI suitable players. If only there was some kind of mechanic that rewarded 2nd or 3rd place or scores over 200…?”

Insigne underlined my point about Kane yesterday. But the fact Kane is in contention is good, and if he does happen to benefit from any new mechanic that makes it slightly easier to win at least a smaller dividend this could really help Kane.

As to the solid 238 score, Kane dropped the matchwinner which is fortunate as much as anything. But he has also improved this season particularly in his creativity. 

4 key passes here and they rack up the points on FI. Also does some hard work in the middle with recoveries, interceptions etc. 

He’s decent, and like I said midweek in the Core (and I covered him over on Fantasy Football Scout too) he’s got a lot of positive factors in his favour including Euro 2020 media plus a kind Europa fixture. And that possible benefit from any mechanic rewarding the nearly men. Clear value at anything around £3.

The game underlines too that versus softer opponents Spurs can open up and whilst the lazy Mourinho park the bus theory is true often versus tough opponents – they will play football when they can. Which bodes particularly well when facing soft European sides.

Nbombelé caught the eye with a goal of exceptional skill and confidence. Well worth finding the replay if you haven’t enjoyed this yet.

He’s on a journey from dead and buried to key player. Goal aside what’s interesting here is a big upturn in his involvement in this game. Previously, it’s almost always way behind where it needs to be as a midfielder.

We’ve seen this before on isolated occasions, often versus soft opponents like Ludogorets in the Europa. 

Too early to call it a breakthrough but if we replicated yesterday’s performance with consistency he’d become an FI relevant player for sure.

Kane aside, Son would be my other go to player at Spurs particularly for these Europa nights to come. He can explode with a combination of goals plus assists. 

It’s a little while since his last huge haul but not much has changed, he’s still displaying the kind of numbers that can see him top a leaderboard in the weeks ahead particularly versus soft opponents where Spurs open up.

They do have Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City in the next 6 but also attractive games vs Brighton, West Brom and Wolfsberg (the lesser known Austrian Wolfsburg – it should be a routine win in theory). 


Holders might start wanting me to review De Bruyne on the day of each game as he’s won twice on the bounce this week when I have.

Nothing to do with me though this is just a result of his consistency. As covered many times in recent weeks he’s just been showing the kind of numbers that eventually result in big scores. And it’s more a matter of when, not if.

Whilst we can see these big scores coming FI does have a big old slice of luck baked into it so sometimes the players quality will just stubbornly not appear on the scoreboard sometimes. Insigne had a similar patch earlier this season and had such a run of bad luck that it had me questioning the concept of probability.

In this short sighted market, we’ve seen many examples recently that trusting the match data, rather than the sentiment or the fluctuating prices leads to success.

I can’t really add much on De bruyne that I haven’t this week already – apart from the interesting note that both of his wins have come without even a goal. Yet he is getting regular chances particularly in the last two. 

He may have hit 217 and 234 but both of those days he was well in range of a ~300. Quality player at a value price around £3. 

The real hero of the day though is Stones and I’m really happy with this one. The improvement has been clear to see in Scouting and whilst you can never call 2 goals from a CB, big scores did look incoming.

I’ve actually suggested holding a clutch of City CB’s as they are all very strong competitors that have found themselves at a value price. This isn’t something I do often, but as I say, holding both Stones and Dias has been looking a strong move and you can even add Laporte to cover that rotation risk. 

Stones is just the latest in a growing number of players who looked down and out yet were always quite close to wins and have come through. This can often result in a huge dividend and a doubling of the price when starting at a low level.

So, rather than going chasing this now, I’d look for some of the other options we come across in Scouting regularly these days.

One close to home here would be Cancelo who was rested yesterday. Yet in all recent games he’s been superb and perhaps as people change horses to Stones he’s dropped to 84p which is a bargain for him. Whilst Stones is good Cancelo is better than Stones for FI let’s not let short term events skew our view on that. 

Sterling had a better game and added a late goal. Lovely free kick. He needed one because the form has been poor since October. A bit like Kane, he’s not too far away from wins in better form and has a lot of positive factors in his favour like Euro 2020 and a CL run. 

I suspect picking Sterling up on the downswing will turn out to be a strong move.


Not the thriller we had in mind.

Liverpool dominated but United had the better chances. We could have seen some very nice scores from Liverpool had they won the game.

Liverpool are of course failing to measure up to the incredible season they had last year. That was always a very high bar.

The interesting thing to note here is that in most cases actual numbers are not any worse in themselves. Alexander-Arnold is the most high profile example of a supposed decline from last season on FI.

Yet, he’s really not far away from wins and big scores when Liverpool win games. And he’s finally returning towards a sensible price.

This is less to do with a decline and more about other issues.

People were hugely over optimistic about TAA in the first place. As discussed here, £10+ was just a pipe dream. 

I don’t agree with peddling “career dividend” stories because things change all the time. It’s simply not possible to know how a player will be doing in 3 years time with enough certainty to make paying too much now a smart bet. 

As we know in Scouting, things can change in just weeks or months that turn a top player into a nobody and vice versa. 

Obviously, lots of players have lost value this season. But where I define a line is in true value – it’s one thing for a player to be currently below what they are really worth. That’s fixable. It’s quite another for a player to have dropped from a price they were always very unlikely to justify. There is no concrete reason they can get back to it.

All that said, Liverpool full backs remain attractive and I think both Robertson and Alexander-Arnold will likely prove good pick ups at current prices. Given Robertson is a bit cheaper at £1.65 to £2.07 with TAA £2.34 to £2.62 I don’t see much difference between the two overall.

If I had to pick one at this stage I might go for TAA just because he’s got an attractive profile that could benefit from any general market recovery quite easily.

The standout player from this game is Thiago. Given what we know about his history, and what we’ve seen so far at Liverpool, I’d put him in that De Bruyne/Insigne category from recent weeks. It’s a matter of when the big scores come, rather than if.

And he’s on a strong value bid at £1.35. 

Good traders see that and go for it. Bad traders wait for the win and then follow in. 

Of course, he can go for a while without a win and hit bad luck as both De Bruyne and Insigne did at times. Or he could get injured.

There are reasons a good decision can still go wrong. But in situations like this when the price is low and the chances of winning are high – I find it pays off to trust the match data more often than not.

The key for me is never to chase something like this after the win. We don’t have to go for Thiago – there are no shortage of options. But it’s best to decide now whether we will or not and stick with that choice.

Salah was strong in this game too. I’ve noted at times a clear improvement in his numbers this season. Although Liverpool’s form suppresses that a bit. 

In himself though he’s producing very solid numbers all be it inconsistently. I’d count 5 of his last 10 displays as FI competitive, and 2 of those versus Manchester United and Spurs, which should in theory be tougher games.

Consistently inconsistent, then. That’s ok for holders – he’s competing often enough especially for his meagre ~£1.50 price tag. 

In a normal season I’d probably see the tricky but very winnable CL game vs Leipzig as a risk, plus the transfer speculation too. But given a price that low, I don’t think those are major problems. 

A knockout isn’t the end of the world, and making it through to the Gold Nights would be a big bonus. And even at Real Madrid or similar I think he could justify that kind of money. And that move is a good while off even if it happens.

17 January

Mason Mount wins Star with a monstrous +300 and a great all round performance to boot. I was particularly happy with this one as I covered him positively for my first article over on Fantasy Football Scout just on Friday. 

For those who aren’t on Twitter – I’ve joined the FFS Scouting Network to help them with coverage of all things FI. It’s a great tie up as they are such a big and well known site and explaining FI to their Fantasy audience can only be helpful for everyone involved. 

Back to Mount – this has been coming as per recent reviews and the midweek Core player articles. And he sits on my Explosion Imminent list in recent weeks too.

This was one of his better games but wasn’t outrageously different from his usual sort of level. In a softer fixture vs Fulham here he was able to get more chances and create plenty too. 

Other than that – he’s just dropped a matchwinner which sees him sail over 300.

No reason he couldn’t do this again in similar games on a flat track. And he is capable of 250 or so even in tougher games. 

A consistent challenger on current levels and like I said midweek, in a world where FI settles down in 6 months or so and he continues developing I could see him acheiving a £4+ price tag on merit eventually. 

That feels ambitious at the moment! And of course he can always drop off so we’ll have to keep monitoring. But at £1.31 to £1.50 today it’s really hard to see him not justifying that at the bare minimum.

We’re seeing more of Ziyech recently and what we see is good. We always knew from his Ajax days that he had big potential but full matches have been tough to come by.

Should be establish tohugh he’s got 250+ scores in the locker. Hasn’t scored in 8 appearances but he gets his share of chances and creates a lot too. So if a matchwinner combines with an assist or a couple of key passes he could score big.

Lots to do in a Chelsea team that has a lot of tinkering ahead but for around £1 it’s a decent bet. That tough match up with Atletico in the CL16 is a bit of a dampener as Ziyech doesn’t have the Euros to fall back on as a late season reason to hold. 

I still think he’s a decent choice as he can explode anytime he gets a full game. I’d currently put him at 3.5 out of 5 stars *if* he was playing full games – a similar level to Mount 


I’ve been saying De Bruyne is close to a win in recent weeks, last on Wednesday in the Core player series. 

He kindly won that same day. Really though this one is hardly rocket science it’s very clear he is a regular competitor and it’s just not been going his way. 

With that kind of consistency it almost always drops their way eventually.

Didn’t even need the goal but he had many chances and those who captained him in Fantasy (myself included!) will be bewildered he didn’t get to take the penalty as well.

Really does have 300+ scores in him fairly easily and I would expect bigger scores and probably bigger wins to be on the way. 

Zinchenko was superb again. No doubt in my mind he is one of FI’s best defenders when he is on the pitch. 

He’s starting a lot of games recently but also has live transfer rumours and he likely declines at almost all clubs that aren’t City. Tricky – but I’ll watch it closely. 

If he did make that spot his or move to another good club then he could be a steal.


10 January

I should shoehorn in a Traoré review somewhere as he is a big deal at the moment. 

Last mention was October 7 in a round up of the transfer deadline day moves. Remember if you want to see previous mentions just tap the players name into the Search bar.

This was the review from back then:


Oof. One of those rare 18 year old’s that gets me hot under the collar… wait that sounded wrong. He isn’t on FI yet, though given he is going to United that will not last long once they get the new IPO system up and running.

His U19 stats are very nice though. He’s comfortable seeing a lot of the ball, adds goals, adds assists. Youngsters always have a lot to do and are high risk by nature as they may not make it. They also need 2-3 years to cook before you’ll see anything like the best of them. 

But Traoré’s numbers are just about as encouraging as you’ll see outside of someone like Stengs/Curtis Jones – all be it at an U19 level.


Unknown as not on FI. £1 or even up to £1.50 would be an easy yes. Closer to £2… might be starting to get silly given it will be years before we really see him as a regular if ever. I wouldn’t want to pay more than £1.50 – beyond that you are really in flipping territory.


A genuine high potential youth player, one I’ll be interested in at IPO for sure.”

So, his underlying numbers make for exciting reading. There is hype – and it is one of those cases that might well be justified. I am unashamedly optimistic for Curtis Jones so to put him in the same bracket for potential is not something I do lightly.

Of course, these are mainly youth team stats, so we can’t expect it to fully translate to the seniors. But even if 75% of it did he’d still look good. 


I do have a worry though – he’s hyped at the moment and whilst he does have “big moment” potential i.e first sub appearance, first goal that can push that hype further… I would say the most likely outcome is that he spends the rest of the season adapting and not really featuring in the first team much. 

That could lead to a De Beek style situation where a high potential player suddenly drifts out of style. In Matching Engine world we have to be vigilant on this. 

I would personally let the hype settle, hope he gets forgotten about in a month or two and then pick him up ready for next season where he has a better chance of more minutes.

7 January

Last night’s game was a cup match but it’s a big game so interesting to look at briefly if only because it demonstrates the consistency of key assets.

City have kind domestic fixtures throughout January, plus that tasty CL tie vs Gladbach in mid-February so it feels like a good time to have some kind of City involvement.

You wonder what De Bruyne has to do lately, showing good stuff but the big scores aren’t dropping.

Another good performance on and off FI last night. And he hit the post. At least vs Chelsea he broke his goalless streak – just unfortunate as I said in the last review that this was one of the few games City didn’t dominate.

But last night is just a show of more consistency – his day should come, and it shouldn’t take too long. Still very reasonably priced and is the sort who can rise for performance reasons and just naturally as the market does. 

There are some contract wrangles with him at the moment, but it seems hard to believe City are going to let him go. And he’d end up at a top club whatever so I wouldn’t be too stressed on this unless the contract looked in serious trouble.

Zinchenko starts again and is superb. Hard to know what to do with this – one minute he’s headed out the door the next he’s starting back to back games and playing so well there is no rational reason to drop him. Risky given the possible move but I keep a close eye on this – literally one of FI’s best defenders if given a first team spot at City.

Cancelo puts in another excellent FI performance. Threat. Creativity. Big baseline. Surely a matter of time before that big score drops.

Stones has had a dramatic turn around. Scored the winner last night so had the game been scored he’s very likely winning the defender dividend. I’m keen on City centre backs in general because they can win without a goal – particularly for those upcoming CL knockout games with limited competition.

The rotation risk is there between Stones, Dias and Laporte. But they are all such great value and such high quality I find it attractive to own all 3 to cover that rotation fear. 

Mahrez has had a rough few games in December, a bit below his usual level and frequently rotated again. Last night looked a lot better. Remains a very strong player at value and you can see him getting significant optimism particularly in the European fixtures.

Sterling appeared quiet but the underlying numbers are actually very good here. Didn’t get many chances last night but in the last 5-6 he’s doing better than his 1 goal would indicate. 

At under £2 I think he’s a solid choice for a longer hold – he can be explosive in form and he’s still just 25 with a CL campaign and Euro 2020 ahead. As a very familiar player he is likely to rise naturally with the market, too. One of those where courage to target a popular player on the downswing can really pay off.

4 January

A great display and City rightly got the plaudits for taking Chelsea apart. They did however give up possession for large parts of the game so FI scores were a little subdued. That’s unusual for City but then away at Chelsea you can understand it.

This reduced possession held De Bruyne back some but at least he got back to scoring and assisting. That’s been coming. The number of quality chances he’s been getting in recent weeks suggested that the goal drought was due to end. 

Even so, he’s not far away and I expect a goal will usually see him in contention, and it doesn’t even need to be the matchwinner necessarily. City have kinder fixtures ahead so it will be no surprise if we see him topping the leaderboard in the coming weeks. 

This dry spell has turned off a few people and he is available for just over £3 now potentially – but he’s doing a lot right and looking as good as ever – just needs a little luck to fall his way.

This is when a savvy trader moves for a player – as I’ve mentioned in Scouting a few times this week – we don’t want to wait for the reassurance from a big score or a price rise – good traders take their reassurance from the underlying numbers and the surrounding circumstances.

City for example have kind fixtures ahead and what should be a straightforward CL R16 match coming up in February. If De Bruyne wins between now and then which is very possible you can see him getting strong optimism before those CL games in particular. And if he gets through that – he’ll be a strong contender for the Quarter Final Gold Nights which will be a big deal.

This is the sort of thing I think good traders are thinking about rather than taking his recent “dry spell” to heart – he’s been doing fine.

Elsewhere, Rodri came very close to a goal and when he does score that’s going to be a tough FI score to beat. Only a great save from Mendy prevented that. Kimmich still probably beats Rodri even with the matchwinner yesterday but 279 is a very high score and it would have been close. 

Rodri is going to put up a few monster scores per season and I’d say it’s so likely it’s more a question of when not if. 56p is value for that.

I’ve never been a big Bernardo Silva fan – he always looked too lightweight to justify £2+. Despite a very long goal drought though he’s doing well particularly in the last 2. Close to goals in both games and 1 goal can be enough for him. Assist potential is high over the last 6 as well. Really quite remarkable he is yet to register goal or assist since mid-October.

At 49p to 62p now, having improved in recent games, I’ll consider my mind changed on Bernardo he looks a decent pick up right now.


Zinchenko is still not getting too many games but when he does, he looks superb as ever. Both in reality and on FI. Could have started this game to get him in the shop window ahead of January. 

A move is quite likely – rumours are a middle ranking EPL club. I’d hang fire until there is a clearer destination but if he was linked to a decent club that gives full backs a licence to attack he could look attractive. If playing at City week in week out I’d probably be calling him one of the best full backs on FI. Worth being aware of that but the team does make a huge difference so it’s no guarantee that will translate to another club. Something to keep an eye on.

Cancelo continues to look strong, had a decent chance here. He’s excellent and the only surprise to me is that we haven’t seen more big scores. They should come.

Foden excellent with a goal and an assist. Weak numbers overall though which reflects his usage on the wing and the lower possession City had in general. Remains one of the top youth prospects on FI, and a genuine contender – it is not all hype. He does need that more central role to see the best of him though. 

Overall, given that price collapse from £8+ to £2.68 now I’d be very confident in the long term hold here. £7-8 was far too high. £2.68 – £2.86 is probably at least £1 too low. This is the moment when you can pick up players this popular and obvious without sacrificing a good portion of your braincells.

Chelsea looked really poor and showed very little fight. Awful run now with just 1 win in 7 – a far cry from the great stuff we saw in October and November. 

Lampard under pressure. And Chelsea are famously impatient. Does this matter to traders?

At this stage, I’d say it’s unlikely to result in further significant negativity. The nervy market means people were very quick to sell particularly for players like Werner and Havertz who have not performed even with Chelsea in form.

The only players you could really call pricey are Chilwell and Reece James. They are the strongest dividend contenders right now and so have most to lose from this run of poor results.

For players like Werner, Havertz or Ziyech by this point it can barely get much worse with their prices so low.

A change of manager may well bring renewed optimism. Someone like Tuchel, Allegri or Nagelsmann would be in the frame and would probably all be considered an upgrade on the inexperienced though well loved Lampard.

At this point with prices around £1 to £1.50 for players like Werner and Havertz I would suspect the smart money is on an improvement and a price recovery rather than further decline. Whether that is because Lampard turns things around (soft fixtures coming) or because a new manager comes in and shakes things up.

Particularly in recent months traders are very prone to over reacting to poor form and I think good traders are going to be spotting where people have done this and hoovering up that value. 

Players like Werner, Havertz and Ziyech may be struggling – but they aren’t going away. All still well within acceptable age ranges and all FI suitable if they can get firing. Picking them up on this downswing might be a smart play. Same for Chilwell and Reece James. 

In this game in particular the standout was Hudson-Odoi who grabbed the consolation goal at the end. He was Chelsea’s best player and he’s really making a case for being first choice.

I’ve highlighted good games from him recently and again I think traders have been far too negative on him.

Clearly – he was every bit as hyped as Sancho in his day and this was a massive over valuation as I rarely stopped highlighting at the time. But he’s looking stronger than ever performance wise and he’s a real bargain pick up at around £1 in my view. Not many players have this great trend fit and real quality.


3 January

Another good win against Villa – do we even see signs of life from Pogba?

It was certainly a vastly improved performance to watch, and for FI purposes he was much more advanced too getting 8 touches in the penalty area. Great chance to score he just dragged wide. 

Not too far away from competitive scores at all, and Villa aren’t a pushover these days. Could do even better versus soft opponents.

This is a change from most of his other December performances where he hasn’t really looked like scoring.

At today’s price of £2.33 to £2.63 it’s looking better than it has for a long time – a sale in January is unlikely. A sale in Summer is much more likely but that is a long way off. He could be a viable pick up in hope of stories leading up to Summer – and on this evidence we might see a performance win along the way.

I think the key is – if you are going for this – do it early and get off early well before any decisions on his future can really be made. Many holders will be wanting to do the same thing so the advantage lies in doing it first and not hanging in too long for more dividends – just bank a price rise if you can.

Bailly widely reported as having a great game and he did – but it’s pretty awful for FI. If we want a United CB we should look to The Fridge – Harry Maguire. He’s looking like scoring one of these days (1 every 6-7 games?) and his baselines are decent much of the time.

Bruno Fernandes gets another win – no sense dwelling on why except to say he’s just showing more of the same quality that I’ve been noting for a long time now. 

The noteworthy thing is that whilst this  is another penalty that was far from his only chance – he had 4 other efforts. This is welcome for holders who won’t want any accusations of him being too penalty reliant.


If you play Fantasy then all you hear about at the moment is Soucek at West Ham. Does he have much FI relevance?

As a quick aside, whether he does or doesn’t, if a player gains popularity in Fantasy it is not uncommon to see him bought heavily on the FI market too. 

We haven’t really seen that much since Soucek’s recent addition to the platform – he’s hovered around 95p. 

But then I think people are (rightly) wary of IPO flips at the moment and aren’t chasing them. Perhaps another sign of the more cautious market I’ve been expecting post Matching Engine. Expect I’ll discuss that more midweek.

I don’t think there is a cause to fear him however – particularly when picking him up on the current 77p red button bid. 

His goal threat is consistent and despite his middle of the park position he gets forward, often getting 2-4 touches in the penalty area – so it’s no fluke things are falling to him. 

Assist potential is week. Doesn’t get too many touches by midfield standards but he is busy in the background racking up interceptions and recoveries etc. 

I’d put him at 3 out of 5 stars level (4-7 times per season – and probably towards the lower end of that given the club). Which is decent for the money, and the IPD should be regular too.

I quite like him on that 75-90p bid. Continued popularity in the Fantasy game should make him a household name. West Ham have a kind run of fixtures, too. 

I don’t think players like this should be overlooked – if you can buy at 75p and sell for £1 that is a hefty profit.


It’s worth quickly noting the consistency of Pedro Neto. Wolves’ poor results is keeping those scores suppressed but Neto is quietly racking up solid numbers that put him in contention for wins. 

At a top side I’d be saying 3.5 out of 5 stars, maybe better. With Wolves in this form he might struggle for 2.5 out of 5 stars but if we do see an upturn from Wolves Neto could start registering big scores fast. 

A solid pick for the more patient trader, or possibly for a shorter term trader who spots a good run of fixtures. Mixed schedule ahead, home to West Brom on the 16th is juicy.

Ruben Neves bagged his first goal for a while yesterday and the threat in the last 5 has been decent. He only really needs 1 goal (and a Wolves win) to challenge so he’s not far away.

At just 64p on a bid or thereabouts this could be a shrewd longer term pick up. He’s still just 23 – the perfect age really where he’s established and likely to get a bigger move before too long yet young enough not to lose any value for age. 

The sort of player you can easily see returning towards at least £1 before too long – that would be a hefty profit if taking advantage of that low bid. 

And, he has an occasional win in him once or twice a season, possibly even a Gold Day winning score.

I’ve mentioned a few times recently how fast pundit/fan sentiment shifts and this is an example so extreme it’s pretty funny. A week ago Arsenal were relegation candidates – now they are playing their best football in years.

It’s important to be aware of this because it does influence how people feel – but it’s also important to note whether it’s actually making any difference for FI purposes.

The main difference is obvious – they are winning games – an (almost always) essential ingredient of FI success. But in terms of the underlying numbers for individuals they aren’t all that different from their “relegation battle” of 8 days ago.  

They are a team that is hard to find standouts in – especially because natural FI fits like Willian, Pepe, Nelson and Willock are playing bit part roles lately.

We’d have to look at Saka who has been improving. I last reviewed him here just 14 days ago on the 20th December, saying:

“With some people having been burned badly – people are now overly negative on Saka at the £1 mark. This is when you can pick them up sensibly.”

When people get burned on a player that reached too a high a price – they tend to overreact strongly and sell them too cheaply too. The error of buying too high leads to another error in selling too low.

Today, Saka is £1.52 to £1.78 and he hasn’t done a great deal differently apart from a couple of goals have gone in. His threat was strong throughout December so that was fairly easy to see coming. 

A massive, rapid profit just from targetting a decent  player with a nice trend profile being oversold. So many great opportunities like this right now.

Would I chase him now? Probably not – I am sure through the course of scouting (or reading back scouting from recent weeks) there will be plenty of others who haven’t had their rise yet. 

In mid-December I also covered Tierney who was Star Man yesterday with a hefty 296 score. Back then I said:

“It is Tierney who gets the plaudits in traditional match reports, justifiably so. But he’s really just average for FI. You can however say that at 50p it is fair where as at his £1.70+ it was a price he was pretty much never going to be able to justify.”

I’ll stand by that – yesterday was a significant over performance from his usual level. But price is everything. In mid-December at 50p? That’s a good pick up. Not all of our selections have to be performance powerhouses – they just need to be good enough for the price and ideally come with a decent trend fit.

A player like Tierney? A fairly easy sell and he’s never likely to drift much lower than 50p. Likely, you’ll have to wait longer than 2-3 weeks for a player like this to win – but when you can find players at rock bottom prices particularly for such well known EPL players – it feels like really low risk high potential profit trading.

With a player like this who should be a very occasional winner – I’d be cashing out on the win. 

The value is never in chasing – it’s in being the person who is brave enough not to need the reassurance of a big score.

Our reassurance comes from diligent scouting of the real match data.

Smith-Rowe is also playing well and in that behind the striker role on paper many people would think him a natural FI fit. In reality though he spends more time on the wings. 

Actually looks pretty lightweight for FI and I’m not convinced he’s a credible winner without a lot of luck going his way. Still, as we’ve seen already, he’s playing well and he’s young so that can be enough to see buying – he’s risen significantly already. 

£1.05 on a bid is still a reasonable price if you back him to continue this good run. But I’d be looking to sell on any over optimism rather than hoping for performance wins.

30 December

A massive display from Leeds – 5-0 demolition and 75% possession to boot. We expect big scores here – but didn’t really get any. Why?

There is an obvious issue to kick off – the matchwinner Alioski is not on FI, and neither is Dallas. With the backlog of players to be introduced to the platform for IPO these have been left out in the cold. Which is a shame – because Leeds full backs are very competitive. 

I recall saying that Dallas would probably have won a dividend recently, and it’s hard to see how Alioski is not Star Man yesterday if he was scored. A huge performance. Look out for both Alioski and Dallas at IPO – people may overlook them – and they put up incredible numbers. If this was Bayern and we expected them to win week in week out I’d be saying these are matching the best full backs on FI.

As it is, we have to be realistic – Leeds aren’t going to win every week. But they are winning often enough to make Alioski and Dallas maybe 3.5 out of 5 stars level which is impressive for a smaller club. And the IPD looks solid for them too.

Rodrigo Moreno has apparently squeaked through via the OPTA recount overnight beating Rashford. But it’s a soft score with 158.  Not bad though – as I said in a recent review he has improved at Leeds from his Valencia days. He can be a decent IPD source and occasional wins like this 2-3 times a season wouldn’t be outrageous.

The attacking players like Harrison, Rodrigo, Raphinha and Bamford can be competitive but I would expect them to need more than 1 goal and the goals were evenly spread here. 

Klich is the one most likely to score big with just 1 goal but his threat in the last 3-4 has been poor. Back in September though we saw really strong threat and he has scoring pedigree including at least a share of penalties.

A pity for holders the results aren’t always going Liverpool’s way recently because the performanecs are often superb in the last 4 games – a real spike in possession and dominance that should lead to strong FI scores.

That’s how Henderson won on Tuesday on pure baseline – he was disgusting with 175 touches. He’s really improved lately along with Liverpool. I am guilty of bundling him in with Milner as one of the aging players but he’s actually only 30.

At a 42p bid the chances of him winning enough to get a decent return are high and recent statements are he wants to play for a long time yet. He’s got years ahead most likely. Actually could be a very shrewd pickup especially with big CL nights to come for Liverpool.

Excellent again from Jones – really solidifying his place in the setup. No threat in this game but he’s showing his baselines are consistent and over the last 6 threat has been superb. I’m very bullish on Jones as a longer term pick and think he is well up there with Foden and Sancho as the best of English FI talent. Possibly better.

Alexander-Arnold excellent here, big overall numbers and improved threat with 3 efforts. We’re likely hitting that point again where after a period of massive over optimism people then swing the other way and get far too negative. £3 is a big price but it’s starting to get pretty rational again.

With the CL run in coming up Liverpool assets could look very relevant, although they do have a tough R16 draw as per the recent article vs Leipzig. They should win, but there is a credible chance of a knockout. So what I’d be doing here is targetting players who could survive a knockout – maybe because they have Euro 2020 to look forward to as a late season reason to hold. 

That would rule out the front 3, although Salah has improved again as reported last time and Mané is tempting at a low price right now. Salah has those transfer uncertainties now. For that reason Mané might be the better CL pick of the front 3.

Thiago, due back soon, could also fit the bill given his strength and his Spain involvement.  Alexander-Arnold could work nicely too. Jones doesn’t have too much to fear from a CL knockout and if he plays he could win and make a big statement.


Chelsea are struggling lately but are producing strong background numbers – they just need the results and the big scores will return.

Mount has been impressing me recently as reported – this is another solid game and he wasn’t far off winning a second dividend in succession all be it with a soft score of 153. But that’s without scoring or winning the game – he’s well in range of 250+ with a single goal. 

Has racked up one win but he’s perhaps unlucky that Chelsea are dipping whilst he is in great form. If Chelsea put some better results together I see him as a consistent challenger with a great trend profile at a kind price.

The other standout from this draw with Villa was Hudson-Odoi. I reported last time after his strong sub appearance that people are now very likely to be undervaluing him. Such a common thing that when a player is overhyped they can later become underestimated.

He was a bright spark on a dull day for Chelsea so he is in the reckoning for more minutes. And the FI numbers are solid – he’s a capable winner given more full games like this. For under £1 with his trend profile I consider him a steal.

Chilwell stays strong. Adds an assist, had chances to score. Decent involvement though not his best. I remain confident on him.

Pulisic has huge threat and it’s amazing he hasn’t scored in the last 3 appearances. As I’ve said for a long time though he’s so far behind many midfielders for baseline it’s always likely to be a struggle for him. He’ll need more than 1 goal to figure. I always felt £3.50 was a price he had little chance of justifying and that remains true.

He is down to £1.24 to £1.41 now though and you can start to make a case for it. Given time he should start racking up goals and assists regularly and he’s in the price range where IPD alone can keep him afloat. And occasional wins where he pops off with 2+ goals are also probable. 

Chelsea do have a tough CL matchup though so I would stick to players with other later season reasons to hold like Euro 2020 or very cheap longer term prospects like Hudson-Odoi.

Not exactly vintage stuff but they ground out the win – cue the cliché’s about that being the stuff on Champions etc etc.

I reflected last week on how gloomy it was at Arsenal – and we were in that spot with Manchester United not long ago. Now they are title contenders – does show that the gossip and atmosphere around a team changes week to week and pundits and fans tend to overreact to what happened in the last 2-3 games.

Rashford perhaps unlucky to be denied the win by the OPTA recount although what’s to blame more than anything is his poor score of 156 with a matchwinner. This isn’t entirely unusual – we generally need Rashford to do more than score just 1 to push up to 200+ which he can do on his day. He also lost a few points for the yellow, a foul and an offside but that’s about par for the course. Apart from the yellow he’s not one to pick up too many.

He’s got his media pull though and time on his side, and we can expect a few big wins for him a season particularly in a Europa league run. They do have a tough game vs Sociedad in the R32. They should win in theory although the algorithm has highlighted a reasonable probability of an upset and Sociedad are not to be underestimated.

United are capable of a strong run in the competition and it gives players like Rashford strong hunting grounds if so. I wouldn’t fear a knockout too much where the player will be at Euro 2020 as it’s a reason they can bounce back later. Rashford fits that. I think he’s solid value – he’s the sort of well known face who will just get a natural bounce back if the market continues to recover.

Bruno also fits that bill – could tear up the Europa and he’ll be there for Portugal at Euro 2020 too. A knockout hurts but it’s far from terminal so it can be risked without too much worry.

As the Index King currently he’ll tend to track the success of the market overall and he’s been rising nicely. It’s hard to predict how long that continues in general – as we know it just takes a few people to panic or deliberately try to crash the market and prices can tumble. 

But eventually prices should start to resemble rational values and for his part, he’s just looking consistently brilliant and provided he maintains his level a rational human should have no issue paying £12 for him in future in this dividend structure.

Cavani looks like getting more minutes. I’ve liked the pick for the IPD at minimum and the media pull is there too, he won just 2 days ago. If he gets another season at United it’s a big bonus and those discussions are happening apparently. Remains a value pickup.

Greenwood is doing fine but it’s remarkable now to see he was up near £10 in July. What madness was this. £2.24 now on the Red Button. Which is much more like it although there are better players for cheaper – Jones, Mount would be fine examples. Maybe even Hudson-Odoi. 

Obviously, everyone has taken on paper losses at least this year. And there has not always been a distinction between deserved drops and undeserved. But this is clearly a deserved drop – people made serious errors of judgement in paying that much. 

My approach has not been to try to second guess what people will or won’t do week to week as people are quite wild – but rather – by sticking reasonably close to true value – at least when a player drops we will usually have a credible reason they can recover. With a trade like Greenwood at £10? There is no rational reason to believe the price will get anywhere near even £5 anytime soon. 

Whilst I believe the market will recover – I do not believe it will be the case for every player automatically – people are likely to be much more cautious and intelligent in how they spend their balances in future.

Give him a season or two and he may well be a lot more relevant for FI he’s clearly got potential. But he was always going to need more time to cook.

Telles continues to look good when given minutes but this job share arrangement with Shaw is killing him. Over 90 minutes he’s been showing some numbers competitive with some of FI’s best full backs. But it won’t be counting for much unless he can get 90 minutes regularly. 

Shaw has been in good form too so it’s very possible this continues to the detriment of both. That has probably caused an overreaction though so 53p for Telles is likely a good pick up – even sharing half the games I’d think him worth that.

27 December

Another win for Traoré, and it’s not even a week since I covered him last following his first win at Villa.

Our task then was to work out whether that was a fluke or whether it was repeatable. And my conclusion was that we are seeing real quality rather than just a flash in the pan.

That showed yesterday all be it on a low scoring day. 

He’s unlucky to play just one half, sacrificed due to the formation change having gone down to 10 men. Had he played the full game he could have quite easily cleared 250 yesterday – putting him well in contention even on competitive gold days. 

All good – very easy decision when considering pure bang for your buck in “True Value” terms. Even after last week’s win he was 32p to 48p. 

But it’s actually quite a tricky trade as I touched on last week. Worth extended thought as it effects lots of “punt” sorts of players not just Traoré. 

Whilst we know Traoré is a consistent challenger – not everyone will. They’ll just be chasing the dividend around. 

And the strategic priority in my view when considering what to buy is those more mainstream players right now – they are cheap – high quality – and crucially – easy to sell. 

That approach is doing quite well as we see in this tentative market bounce back – it’s always very likely that the most popular players rise first in any recovery and they should pull up the more middle ranking players later on.

So punting on the Traoré type may not be the priority – but there is no doubt it can be very profitable if done correctly.

If we went for Traoré last week and got a 32p bid matched (which we likely could as we are punishing those “on the goal” sort of buyers who realise they have to sell cheap the next day) there is a big profit opportunity.

What I would do here is just sell for 65p-78p yesterday as he is rising as he is leading the scoreboard on the day. Firstly because he might lose – someone might pip him at the post. And secondly because if you can bank a profit then it is best to do that rather than trusting others to stick in given current market conditions. 

And very predictably, we see Traoré is back to 44p again this morning as a potential red button bid.

The absolute worst thing we can do is buy on the goal to chase that dividend because there is no advantage in this. If you do buy on the goal, you really have to be selling almost immediately. 

This sort of dividend chasing is abysmal – it takes a torch to any rules of sensible trading. An experienced short term trader can abuse these bad traders if they are fast but you really have to know what you are doing here.

This is one reason I do not like the extended dividend deadlines – it encourages mugs to do this kind of chasing. Which some people think is good if they are able to abuse mugs for a quick profit – but once said mug is burned – he’ll stop chasing winners. And we all need winners to get chased. 

In order for our mug to keep doing that – he needs to be able to win at least sometimes. And right now, anyone buying on the goal then holding is just getting slaughtered. They’ll stop doing it eventually.

In all trading and betting, most profits come from mugs – and we have to look after them a bit. Not create a totally cut throat market where they just get wiped out too quickly.

So, I still think the “core” sort of pick is the priority. But these cheap players who can return most of their purchase price in a day are very valid picks too – but we have to be willing to go for them on the basis of match data well in advance, rather than chasing it after the fact.

Elsewhere at Villa. 

Tough game after the sending off so it hasn’t showcased the best of them. 

Grealish remains solid though and he was close to a goal. As per the review a few days back I liked the pick up – really easy player to sell with a lot going for him and he is one of the players bouncing back now which was always likely to be the case. I’d probably not be paying more than £3.30 or so but if you can get him nearer £3 I’d be happy with that.

Remarkable how Watkins didn’t score with double digit shot figures. Could have had a brace or a hatrick on another day. He’s been off the boil but never far away from scoring.

He’s doing really well to get consistent minutes and it seems a matter of time before he gets back on the scoresheet. 

Seems like a solid long term pick up for 60p – he’ll cover that in IPD most likely and you’ve got lots of ways he could develop in future – and England call, a big club move. 

Awful for performance in general – but at this money that’s forgivable and he could power through with a brace or hatrick occasionally.

What a fantastic manager Arteta is. A visionary. Taking them back to the top.

One thing I’ve learned over god knows how many hours of scouting is not to take the wild swings in opinion that we see week to week too seriously. 

Everyone is so heavily affected by short term results – from the pundits who set the tone for the debate, to the match reports and mainstream player ratings, to the fans gossip.

As traders we have to be pay attention to this as it can impact trading sentiment. But it often has very little impact on performance scoring.

Great performances and awful performances to watch can often look very similar in the raw numbers. 

And that’s true here – despite the win and rave reviews – Arsenal numbers aren’t much better or worse than their recent average. Worse, if anything.

Martinelli continues to be great to watch yet dire for FI scoring. At £1.68 to £1.91 it’s a damn sight better than the madness of him being £4+. He still can’t justify £1.68 but that doesn’t mean people won’t look at that old price, and his EPL performances, and believe him to be cheap.

So we could try trading around that sentiment at this point – just being aware that if he does pick up a head of steam we don’t want to be holding too long. 

We’re still in a nervy market though and I believe that sticking within touching distance of True Value is our best defence. We may be sitting on players right now for example at a low price – but if we’ve generally made good picks – we’ll have good reasons to believe they will bounce back.

If we’ve picked garbage.. we’ve got no right to believe they will reach their old price again.

Saka is probably the best bet given performance and price, as covered in detail last week. 

I also like Willock and Pepé but they played just a minor part in this good performance. 

Smith-Rowe had a good game and might start picking up attention. Very lightweight for a midfielder though and he has a lot to do to win. Cheap though, and if he keeps starting sentiment alone might drive the price up.

I’d have to see much better than his average to hold him too long, though.

Chelsea may have lost but they put up far more encouraging FI numbers.

Mount excellent again. The vast improvement I’ve bee noting recently continues. Managed a soft win vs West Ham in the previous game – I would be surprised if it is the last win we see from him he’s looking close to another.

And he has a great trend fit, I’m keen. Never looked closer to wins and hasn’t been cheaper for a long time.

James looked very good yesterday. Really underlining his status as a consistent FI challenger. in True Value terms I’d be happy to pay £2 or so. If we’re comparing him to other defenders – there are similar or better available for less. Decent pick up regardless.

I favour Chilwell though because he’s cheaper and has better England chances. Poor yesterday but it was a miracle he was on the pitch at all after injury. Price has dipped a little as people overreact to that injury which only increases the appeal.

Big threat from both Zouma and Silva at CB. 

Zouma is looking appealing right now. He does get plenty of threat and in the last 5 that’s been particularly good. Just 1 goal in that time, but it could have been 2 or 3. Strong baselines too. Well under 50p. Looks a very shrewd pick up if looking for a patient hold

Excellent from Hudson-Odoi. I had to double take because these are decent numbers for a full match but he only played one half. Provided an assist. Really looking very good when he plays. 

Whether he stays at Chelsea or moves somewhere like Bayern – I think he’s a great opportunity. 

Pumping him in the past to one of FI’s most expensive players was nothing short of a criminal enterprise for those who did it. 

But now? He’s never looked better in performance terms and he’s under £1. He is only 20 and is far from dead and buried – people tend to be over pessimistic after they are too optimistic and I’ve little doubt that is the case here.

Werner very poor. Long, long spell without a goal now and he’s under heaps of pressure. Often, his numbers are not as bad as many would think based on mainstream match reports.

He doesn’t have to improve much to get back in the mix for wins. I suspect we are hitting a point where negativity is too strong.

Do we really think that one of the most promising forwards of the current generation is done because of a 10 game goal drought? Probably not.

Sometimes, picking players like that up on the downer can be a great move – lots of people lack the courage to do it – but that’s why it works.

Not a great deal to comment on here – fairly run of the mill United display.

Bruno obviously the best of it as usual with another goal and assist. He’s a machine. Amidst all the players at new clubs who have struggled in 2020 he is an exception and I’m glad I’ve stuck with. 

Late equaliser plus a big chance missed, a yellow and a couple of fouls costs him Star Player. 

But he’s doing great to consistently get up there and he did snag the media dividend which is why he deserves his price. In fact, in True Value terms you could pay £12 for Bruno without breaking a sweat.

Nobody else was really close. Manchester United really need softer match ups than this to get other players up there. Or for Rashford to pop off with 2-3 goals. 

If looking for another United target Bruno aside I’d just go for Rashford – as a popular player he’s likely to bounce nicely if the market does. It doesn’t always have to be that complicated.

De Bruyne‘s big score drought is getting a little ridiculous now. It reminds me of the Insigne situation a month ago, or maybe Hakan Calhanoglu recently. 

When a player is this close consistently it just has to fall for them before too long.

I would stick with it – the win should come and it shouldn’t be a long wait. Plus, if the market continues to rebound he is a well known name that people will find easy to buy.

Cancelo is quite similar actually – playing consistently well but not getting rewards. He was one of City’s best players to watch yesterday. Very creative. Didn’t actually get any shots but he usually does – and he’s in the right places for opportunites to fall to him. I’m confident on him as per previous reviews.

Stones solid again. No reason to drop him at all really. As mentioned previously he is well in contention for wins, as is Dias, and both are value pickups. Y’know. At these prices it wouldn’t be an awful idea to pick up all 3 of Stones, Laporte and Dias to cover the rotation uncertainty – any one of them can win. And if one is dropped and falls in price the other should rise to compensate. 

You could also include Aké – any City CB is a challenger.

Sterling is looking better lately. Actually his game vs WBA mid December was excellent and I don’t recall mentioning that. 

As we know he is not the world’s best performance player and he’ll often need more than just 1 goal to figure. But he can do that when in form and he’s looking much better than in November where he struggled.

I like him as a “bounce back” pick. He’s got so much going for him with a strong City run in the CL likely, England this year. And he’s just a well known player that people will want.

If the market recovers is Sterling sitting at £2 for long? Highly unlikely.

1 February

Atletico look unstoppable with a 10 point lead at the top of La Liga plus a game i nhand.

But only twice in the last 6 have they really dominated a game, and one of those was in the cup! It’s not a recipe for big FI scores.

A bit frustrating as there are some good players if the shackles came off. They have shown glimpses of that but it has not sustained.

Lemar has had a good season so far and if Atletico have a good game he always looks a threat. He added an assist here, that’s 2 in 2 games. No accident his creativity is solid.

Good all round ontribution, though no recent notable chances to score. 

He’s a first team regular now and at just 30p to 57p I like him, particularly for a CL night. Chelsea is a tough game but winnable.

A transfer is possible but after this revival, he might just want to stay where he is and not throw everything up in the air again.

Felix also has real potential but he’s rarely going to show it at Atletico. He’s really struggled for form of late, and yesterday was poor again. 

However in the previous game vs Valencia he scored and assisted, breaking a 9 game goallesss streak. 

Minutes are being limted though and his chances of winning soon look low. Even if he was playing the full 90.

If he moves to another big club I’d be interested but as a “wonderkid” his price has stayed stubbornly high at £2.50. People tend to be sticky on their wonderkids, not always wisely.

I haven’t really been able to recommend him since his Benfica days when he was something of an FIT Goldenboy. 

Not anymore. But maybe one day if the price drops.

Continued good form from Barcelona, 5 league wins on the bounce now. La Liga has been quiet with January something of a cup month over in Spain.

But if Barcelona keep playing like this we’ll see some decent scores from them before too long.

Messi, obviously. Another goal here. He’s essentially a cheat code on FI and threatens to win anytime he plays. Maybe down a touch from the ludicrous numbers he was putting up in early January/December. 

But he had plenty of slack to burn. No doubt he will continue challenging for wins. 

The bigger question is the whole transfer drama, with the contract being leaked  apparently. Those are mindblowing numbers. 

Lots of uncertainty but to try to simplify things. At £5 he can justify that money probably anywhere in 2-3 seasons if he continues that long. Which he probably will, but who can say for sure except the man himself.

The EPL with Manchester City is the jackpot. He can hog media and performance there. PSG is good as it’s a flat track and will come with media. And a reversal and a stay at Barcelona is an acceptable outcome, though some may sell in disappointment. But probably not too badly.

So. I’d say if confident in seeing Messi playing at Barcelona, PSG or Man. City next season it’s probably a good deal at the price that has a huge potential upside. 

Risk being a surprise retirement or return to Argentina, or some major injury which at this stage could spell wipeout. One for the braver traders.

Griezmann scored and was considered to have had a decent game. One of his poorer games for FI purposes overall so the score was middling at 182. But he is definitely in contention for wins and just 1 matchwinner can be enough to see him clear of 225+ most days.

90p to £1 a is strong value.

Pjanic is getting close to some very big scores, threatening to score in both recent games. Actually no bid price for him and could probably had for around 30p.

Yet he is a very, very credible Gold Day winner. And hardly ancient at 30. A big win here is probably not much more difficult than having the mentality to do something that seems counter intuitive to the mob but is actually completely logical.

Dembelé continud his run in the side. Not his best game, but again, he’s well in contention for wins. I’ve highlighted his value many a time recently and I still think that is the case.

Coutinho will be back from injury before too long and given he is potentially one of the best players on FI the 63p to 78p is an extreme overreaction to rotation and injury amidst the market downturn. 

He can win when he plays, and whether that is at Barcelona with Messi, or a new look Barcelona without Messi, or even transferring to another club… he is still just 28 and I would frankly be stunned if he remains below £1 forever.

31 January

Dire. Defeat to Levante leaves Real with just 1 win in the last 5 games.

A 7th minute red card for Militao set the tone.

There are some fairly encouraging performances considering but it won’t show without results. Zidane is under real pressure. He’s turned around slumps before but they are happening so often this season.

Plus there are so many underperforming players it is upsetting both the board and FI traders alike.

What should be a relatively straight forward CL game vs Atalanta now looks like a toss up. 

However – often these siutations cause over negativity and price drops – just as we saw with Chelsea recently. And quality players can bounce back quickly.

Asensio scored Real’s goal. Unlucky that this drops on a day when Real underperform because given 90 minutes or close enough he is very competitive. 

At just 24 with no current bid price and 67p Blue Button this just looks utterly irrational. He is potentially one of FI’s best forwards and if anyone is really selling for that I’d have no hesitation picking him up.

Kroos also did well, but in a game with 10 men was never going to be able to dominate. Did provide another assist and is looking very strong overall. Having Euro 2020 book ending his season is helpful to holders.

Hazard couldn’t match his excellent display in the previous game this time. Versus Deportivo last weekend he scored and assisted, and put up a strong overall contribution given his 65 minutes. 

This is why he remains an enticing prospect – if he can stay on the pitch for 90 minutes he could be grossly undervalued. 

But holders will want to see consistency, and with 10 men it was always going to be hard. Did at least creat good chances and per minute the numbers are solid.

He really just has to stay fit and he could well rocket in price from 98p to £1.40. But he has a lot to do to convince on and off FI.

25 January

Felix had a purple patch in October and November. The goals were flowing, and the FI relevant numbers were ticking up too.

But December and January were poor and he started being criticised for performances once again, leading to rotation and reduced minutes. Last night he broke a 9 game scoring drought and laid on an assist too. 

He was subbed early and it wasn’t a winning goal so the score is poor to look at 136. Yet, per minute over the last 5-6 he is in range of wins if he starts finishing games again. At least when Atletico open up and play which tends to be versus softer opponents. 

So, plenty of if’s and maybe’s in there before he can hit big scores, but it’s possible. And he is one of those hype kids that people are sticky on – his price has held surprisingly well throughout this downturn despite him doing little of note in terms of scoring. 

I wouldn’t expect wins straight away but a long term holder willing to stick in for a season or so is likely to end up happy with an under £2.50 pick up.

Thomas Lemar is having a far better season and whilst there has been no explosion recently, he’s not far away. He managed an assist last night. In the game’s that Atletico dominate he does well for FI numbers and whilst he hasn’t had a notable shot in 3 appearances he is in the right areas. 

A couple of big scores before the season is out would be no surprise, and he has transfer potential and an absolutely rock bottom price at 29p to 40p. A shrewd pick up. 

En-Nesyri pops up with a hatrick and perhaps more importantly a timely reminder that players who score goals can always bludgeon their way to a win. 

At a time when there is understandable negativity on former “IPD players” it’s important to work out when that has gone too far. And which strikers aren’t actually too far away from wins.

En-Nesyri would not actually be top of my list. In terms of FI suitability he’s fairly terrible, similar to Icardi and Haaland as mentioned yesterday.

Yet, he is explosive like both of those players can be too. And that can get you over the winning line. For all the talk of baselines etc if you score enough you are good enough. At least for occasional wins.

2-3 explosions a season can’t support £5+. But it can definitely support £1 and a week ago you might have got En-Nesyri, a 23 year old decent Europa league striker for a paltry 25p or so. 67p to 82p now. Incredible and we should look out for opportunities where IPD negativity has gone too far – traders are very prone to overreaction at all times and especially in recent months.

Better from Barcelona as they make it 4 La Liga wins on the bounce versus Elche. Kind fixtures to come too. At least until you get to the crunch games with PSG in February.

De Jong managed a 243 which is a solid total, but beaten by Kimmich. 

He scored and assisted, and is generally considered to have played extremely well. There is a clear improvement in him to speak of in the last 6-7 games. 

We’re seeing more touches in the box and more goal threat than we have previously. And he’s never struggled for baselines. This brings him into regular FI contention if he can keep this up. 

It could be a good time to move for him at 79p to 95p. It’s crucial to be able to spot when a player is being overhyped, as scouting readers will recall from when he first moved to Barcelona. But it’s just as important to recognise when something may have changed.

Starting from this low price, given recent numbers which suggest he can be a regular contender, the risk/reward balance now feels in the buyers favour. 

And he’s not the only former struggler coming back into contention.

Griezmann, as well documented here recently, continues to show consistency. No goal but he had decent chances and had a decent game. He still needs to improve if he’s going to be a Barcelona key player but he’s still in range of wins and for under £1 he just looks a steal, even if ends up moving elsewhere.

Ousmané Dembelé produced lovely FI numbers again. Had some great moments but also made some poor decisions at times. No doubt given a full 90, and he’s getting more of them, he is a regular FI competitor by now at a rock bottom price. And he has some tasty EPL transfer rumours too.

As covered recently the only worry is the injury record though he has been for a while now. 

Dest is having some form troubles and injury niggles after a very bright start at Barcelona. When on the pitch though the FI numbers are solid for such a young player. A real FI contender and I suspect anyone selling for this 59p to 74p is doing so too cheaply.

24 January

Just when you think Zidane is struggling he seems to pull it out of the bag.

After an appalling knock out in the Copa Del Rey to minnows Alcoyano the mood was grim. Zidane may well be sacked at the end of the season. 

It’s not just the mixed results. The club are as disappointed with Zidane’s inability to get youngsters firing as many traders will be.

Asensio. Vinicius. Rodrygo. Odegaard. All strugglers.

It’s the veterans who are performing but that could bring future problems which concerns the hierarchy.

Kroos underlined that with yet another win. 2 assists and his general all round masterful display as expected.

He should benefit strongly from Team of the Month plus the new MDE dividend’s too. 

So, he’s only really got more valuable after the announcement. And he was undervalued anyway. 

Again – he’s already another example of how sometimes when you have a quality player, you want to stick with them and not cash out just because they’ve hit a dry spell and people are feeling negative. 

Kroos is doing well lately, but he’s not actually doing too much different from when he was on a downer. It’s just coming together for him and his pitch time is more consistent too.

Not a major change – the skill here isn’t so much in knowing Kroos has quality – that’s pretty damn obvious by now. It’s in knowing that despite a dry spell that quality hadn’t really gone away. And then having the strength of mind to ignore it, or even buy him to exploit that negativity. 

I could see Kroos returning to £2.50 fairly easily after a few more wins which look likely. 

The other headline is a strong performance from Eden Hazard who played well to watch. 

This will have gone largely unnoticed on the scoreboard with just 149 but he was subbed on 62 minutes with the game all but wrapped up. 

He scored and assisted. Lovely goal too. And per minute the numbers are very competitive.

Well in range of wins. If he finally puts a run of games together we can see him win on FI and as I’ve reported all season – when he is on the pitch he looks a contender.

Could be absurdly undervalued and given the price of under £1 at just 29 I’d be happy with this. Even if he did move on from Real eventually… he’s probably going to end up somewhere decent.

And if he stays fit and puts up a few big scores as his numbers indicate he should then holders could find this price doubling and then some with ease.

Always a risk when the injury record is chequerered of course. But we’re not trying to eliminate all risk – we’re just making sure that when we take a risk we get a value price that puts the odds in our favour.

Asensio continues to get decent minutes lately. Underlying numbers are strong. Threat over the last 6 good. Last night he did not get a shot but he was in the right areas.

There are encouraging signs and he’s still just 24. If he hits form he could be a very regular FI contender. Another candidate for a value player who has seemed down and out but is really not far away from bouncing back.

I had high hopes for him at season start which he has not met – but at least when the player has real quality they can play themselves back into it eventually.

21 January

Fekir sneaks a win with 203 on an uncompetitive day in the forward category.

Given there was no goal though, and he had some decent chances, he could well have put up a 250+ with a bit more luck. He did manage 2 assists.

Fekir has been pretty much… (apologies if anyone found a half finished review here, this was where I was when FI dropped the announcement on Thursday!).

… out in the wilderness since he got to Betis. This is no Lo Celso Betis success story – he hasn’t scored since late September. He does actually get a lot of chances though and a goal would see him competing when Betis win.

At the moment we may see a few big scores a season and unless I believed he was moving on to a bigger club I’d probably use any of those as an opportunity to sell. 

He does however remain a very high potential player for FI – but he’ll need a move.

20 January

Suso has been a strong FI player in the past but he’s not really cutting it at Sevilla.

He did manage a game winning goal last night, but it wasn’t enough to get him beyond 153. 

Disappointing. In midfield he’s just not got the baseline to compete with the real big hitters. He is in better form lately but it’s not likely to register on FI.

Maybe he could be considered for a CL round and with Dortmund’s form that match up now seems winnable. I’d probably not go for that though, unless they get through and somehow land an easy draw.

Joan Jordan the better option, or Rakitic as a fixture punt. Both remain in range of winning scores although this end of the market is not something I think needs to be focused on right now. 

10 January

A great display with some fantastic individual performances.

Griezmann finally gets a win and it is deserved. 2 goals and an assist. 

He’s frequently been close this season as reported here. The underlying numbers for FI have been much better than the general downbeat mood would let on. Just 3 days ago I said:

“Griezmann continues to blow hot and cold. Big 8 game goalless streak now but he’s getting chances, including in this game. Did provide an assist. Generally conisidered to have a good game and the FI numbers are strong. 

A frustrating nearly man but the potential is definitely there. Ultimately, a move is likely but probably in Summer. His struggles are now well documented but he remains a very high potential FI player and in 6 months to a year things could look very different.

Or really, it could look different next week – there is no reason he can’t win short term with these numbers.”

And win he did. 

He got rave reviews for last night’s performance. It might well be his best in a Barcelona shirt and the FI numbers are superb – this is the reason I’ve always held out some hope for him. We saw hints of this recently, particularly that Levante game mid-December.

What makes me smile is in the press he is suddenly referred to as “World Cup Winner Griezmann” again. The same papers who will have been panning him just a week or two ago.

Things can change just as fast on FI though it will take more than 1 win to change the minds of traders on this one after a long period of struggle. He is very capable of pulling out further wins though.

I’ll keep my position on this – he’s a solid pick and the over negativity on him has got well out of touch with reality. He’s a capable consistent challenger and improving. Whether he stays at Barcelona or moves on something drastic would have to happen for him to have any kind of trouble justifying 65p to 82p. 

Messi was close again and Griezmann did well to outperform the master on almost every measure in this game. But Messi will undoubtedly be back amongst it in the coming games he’s just so strong lately as per the last review a few days ago. All be it with that tricky transfer drama to navigate.

Another good FI display for Ousmané Dembelé, showcasing some great numbers. Generally considered to have had an off game by his high standards of late. But it was ok and the FI numbers are superb, 4 out of 5 stars level which is very high by my tough standards. 

I’ve little doubt at all that Dembelé as a first team regular at Barcelona would make a sad joke of his current 85p to £1.17 price tag. I guess the question mark is those historic fitness issues but he’s completed a lot of games now and at a price that low I’d consider the risk/reward ratio firmly in the holders favour.

Held again against lower opposition, the 2nd time in 3 games. Generally in much better form but this is a disappointing result for Real. It wasn’t a bad performance and you can sympathise, Osasuna defended deep and the snowy/icy conditions were tough to play in.

Asensio’s improvement continues. Another start, though subbed early. Per minute his numbers were excellent and he very nearly scored a contender for goal of the season. Ok watching it again, maybe goal of the month.

I was optimistic on him in early season, it hasn’t worked out due to rotation and poor early form. But there is always a reason I am positive on a player and he is showing flashes of that again lately. 

Getting regular chances and creating them too. 1 goal and 2 assists in the last 4 is no accident, it should arguably be more. He’s improving and well in contention for wins in recent games. 

It’s also nice to see Eden Hazard starting a game and he made it to 75 minutes as he is gradually reintroduced. Generally considered to have had a good game. 

I have to say the baseline numbers are top class by forward standards. There is a notable absence of end product though with no shots and no chances created either. Quite unusual and his heatmap puts him all over the show – perhaps Zidane needs to focus him on end product? 

I’ll call that an encouraging game but we need to see more from him. He’s got the numbers though where just 1 goal can see him scoring big so if we do see a win soon it will not have come from nowhere.

Could well be exceptionally undervalued but he’s got a lot to do to prove fitness and convince traders he’s back.

Parejo shows he is still very relevant to FI on Friday night with a whopping 280 score.

It only ever takes 1 goal for him which is why he can seemingly come from nowhere with these big scores.

I will however have to call this a freak goal – it looked like a cross to me and it needed a lot of luck to find it’s way in.

And if you look at the last 10 games… it’s really hard to find any kind of goal threat at all.

Without penalties, he’s not what he was. However when baselines are this strong all it takes is 1 goal and he can pull out a Gold Day winning score. Even if that were to happen twice a season he’d justify his price of just 69p. 

He’s 31 which isn’t too bad and contracted until 2024. So a long termer could rationally go for this. Is it the most exciting option though? Probably not. There will be players on this page more likely to deliver more quickly. Speaking of which..

Moreno also managed a win with the matchwinner and if anything the surprise is this is his first really competitive score of the season. He’s a solid player that I’d put at 3 out of 5 stars with the expectation of perhaps 4-5 competitive scores a season. 

Villarreal do have a winnable Europa R32 match up with Salzburg and Moreno would be my pick from this team. He’s being sold as many consider him an “IPD player” but there is more to him than that – it could be a good moment to take advantage and try to get a rock bottom bid matched.

7 January

Shall FI just payout on Messi on any match day he plays at the moment? Might simplify matters.

Like I’ve been saying in all recent reviews he is just hitting levels that I’ve never really seen from any player before. Very likely to win whenever he plays.

So holders can benefit from those dividends raining down but do have a tricky transfer saga to navigate. 

Key thing is making an assessment of how likely you think the MLS option is. That’s a disaster if it happens. If you don’t believe it at all you can probably stick in because of the likelihood of big dividends and the potential EPL move jackpot. A stay at Barcelona is also acceptable although may get a minor price drop.

Elsewhere, Ousmané Dembelé has another good game.  Again, he shows great levels of involvement and had a couple of shots, one well saved by the keeper. 

Looking great and well in contention for wins. People have noticed by now and the price is creeping up from when I first reported on this but £1.11 is still very good value.

Pedri continues to earn plaudits with fantastic performances.  I highlighted on Monday how close he has been to scoring and that came through here, scoring his first since early November. Also chipped in with an assist. 

For all that, the resulting score of 187 seems a bit soft. But had it been the matchwinner that polishes up quite nicely and it would have been competitive.

We also have to bear in mind he’s only 18! He can definitely improve and if he’s falling a bit short now that is very forgivable.

He’s also an incredibly easy sell. Just on Monday I said:

“People have been (correctly) wary of chasing IPO’s too hard recently and that leaves Pedri still at a very reasonable £1.07 to £1.28.

There are times on FI, not long ago, where he would likely be soaring over £3 with ease.

That lower bid right now is looking very attractive as a long term prospect. And he may drop on an occasional win before the season is out.”

4 days later he’s £1.42 to £1.51. 32.7% increase on that low bid if matched.

And that trade didn’t involve a lot of risk. He’s only 18 and has shown more than enough ability to warrant £1.07. 

All it requires is the knowledge that he’s a decent pick up based on scouting and wider analysis and then crucially the courage to go for it without needing reassurance from a goal or big score first

I underline that because not being able to do things without it appearing popular murders people’s profit potential on FI. With a health warning that striking out on your own is only sensible on the basis of good analysis.

Griezmann continues to blow hot and cold. Big 8 game goalless streak now but he’s getting chances, including in this game. Did provide an assist. Generally conisidered to have a good game and the FI numbers are strong. 

A frustrating nearly man but the potential is definitely there. Ultimately, a move is likely but probably in Summer. His struggles are now well documented but he remains a very high potential FI player and in 6 months to a year things could look very different.

Or really, it could look different next week – there is no reason he can’t win short term with these numbers.

At the back Alba was strong again. Consistently hitting elite level baseline numbers for defenders and getting chances to score and creating chances too. 

He’s 42p and do not be surprised if he wins soon.

4 January

A dominant display from Barcelona but still somehow nervy given the narrow 1-0 win. A win is a win – but we are talking about Huesca here who are rock bottom of La Liga – we want to be seeing a 4 or 5 nil tonking here to be convinced.

The most notable thing here is how exceptional Ousmané Dembelé was. I’ve been reporting his improvement in recent months and this may well be his best performance… ever? 

He was a constant threat with 6 efforts and really should be on the scoresheet. Probably would be if not for heroic defending. Massive involvement too, which is no fluke this is consistent over the last 5-6 games. 

Has never looked better. And he’s available for not much more than £1. A steal.

Messi was exceptional again. I did a long review of him last time – he’s performing at a level higher than I’ve ever seen from an individual on FI – out stripping even his usual high standards. That continues here.

The wins are nigh on inevitable in the coming weeks if he stays anywhere near this level. The bigger question is the transfer merry go round and that is very hard to predict. I discuss this at length in the previous review and not much has moved on there.

Alba monstrous. The improvement in him in recent months has been phenonemonal and I’ve noted that here a few times now. That’s continuing.

Rivalling the best defenders on FI at the moment and he’s likely available under 50p. 31 years old and contracted until 2024 so there isn’t a great deal to fear at that price.

Youngster Pedri came closer to scoring here than he has in a long time. He’s really establishing as a first team regular now which at just 18 is seriously impressive. Really strong game for him all round. His average stuff over the last 5-6 isn’t quite at this level. 

I’d probably peg him around 3 out of 5 stars which makes a few big scores a season possible. But he can definitely improve he’s so young. 

People have been (correctly) wary of chasing IPO’s too hard recently and that leaves Pedri still at a very reasonable £1.07 to £1.28.

There are times on FI, not long ago, where he would likely be soaring over £3 with ease.

That lower bid right now is looking very attractive as a long term prospect. And he may drop on an occasional win before the season is out.

Off the pitch, Coutinho holders are unfortunate as he picks up an injury knocking him out for around 3-4 months. This is a shame because when on the pitch he was showing lovely FI numbers and could very easily have put up a huge score and bounced swiftly in price. 

Won’t happen anytime soon now because he won’t be playing. So it goes. However, he’s 52p to 65p now and that is just out of this world crazy. 

It’s another instance of over reaction in a nervy market – if people genuinely are selling that low I’d be happy to hoover that up. 3-4 months is not a long time to wait when a player is so clearly undervalued and even getting him back to just £1 near on doubles your money. Which is a very acheivable goal given 5-6 months. In fact it’s probably too pessimistic.

3 January

Two back to back good games from Asensio.

After a great finish to the last season I was very keen on him in pre-season, but form this year has been poor and he’s ended up in and out of the side.

This looks a lot better. He assisted and scored but it wasn’t the matchwinner – really just needed that and he beats Son to the forward dividend yesterday – unlucky. Also subbed off 20 minutes early.

The midweek numbers in the draw vs Elche were very encouraging too. And the performances are good to watch – making the case for more minutes.

There is a reason I highlighted his strength in the first place.

It is however a packed side with lots of competition for these spots on the wing. Eden Hazard is also making his way back too. And the in my view underrated Vazquez is playing so well he’s practically undroppable. And there is Rodrygo and Vinicius to accommodate. 

Lots to do then for Asensio but he’s demonstrating that he’s still got what it takes to make a top level contribution for Real and challenge for performance wins on FI.

He’s still just 24 and given the improvement it is hard to see him as anything but a bargain despite the current negative sentiment due to the poor start to the season. It’s tough to do but we have to try hard not to take sentiment too seriously and instead focus on the facts. We know how fast sentiment can change.

I mentioned Vazquez and he scored and assisted as well. Not his best overall contribution but it was decent enough, resulting in a 178 score. Not exactly a world beater but he can get an occasional win and the IPD potential is good. When you consider you can get this for just 20p potentially and he’s only just 29 and playing this well? Just seems like an obvious bargain. Would not be difficult at all for him to get a win and move up towards 50p.

Hazard makes his way back on – again – he has at times shown very good stuff but this injury record is borderline absurd. If he settles, he is very capable of big FI scores and this nervy market that rejects anything remotely risky is putting him at the £1 mark. That could well be a massive undervaluation. But holders are going to want to see a bit of consistency – this could be his last chance at Real Madrid and if it doesn’t work out the transfer rumours are likely to come for Summer.

There are already some very vague rumours of him signing for City which I don’t believe but it is the sort of thing that will gather pace if life doesn’t work out at Real. Plus he’ll likely see interest for the Euros.

Far from a write off – he could be a big bounce back story – but he’s got a lot to prove.

30 December

Lots of uncertainty still at Barcelona and results are mixed, yesterday’s 1-1 slip to Eibar at home the latest cause for questioning Koeman’s decision making.

Off the pitch there is the Presidency election in January and the uncertainty over Messi. The worrying news for Messi holders is the latest gossip about him wanting to play in the USA which will cause some alarm.

As covered last week – he’s in red hot form at the moment and he’s very tempting for that reason. And there are gambles with the possible EPL transfer too – that could be a jackpot. But as I say – when you have potential all or nothing risks on the board like this with a move out of Europe possible? Or a price drop if he stays at Barcelona. It’s just a bit too much to sweat on in my opinion. 

Yes you can get a big profit – but there are tons of options available for big profits without waking up one day to find that your player has taking a hammering. 

Could turn fast – if a new President persuades Messi to stay etc. Or a link to City firms up, or even PSG. But it’s hard to predict. It’s likely that the US link is a bit overblown – it is probably something he will do after a season with another European club or another season at Barcelona. But still. It’s not the gossip holders want to be hearing.

Back on the pitch. Nobody is ever going to report a 1-1 draw with Eibar positively. But for FI there is plenty to like.

Ousmané Dembelé continued his ifne form after returning from an injury setback. Another goal – holders unlucky he only played 1 half because he’s almost definitely our forward winner yesterday with 90 minutes. 

Looks great and I think we’ve got another situation where people have been over excited on a player in the past when they didn’t actually look like winning.

But the price has dropped and the player has improved. Looks a slam dunk bargain to me for £1 or thereabouts. Has a potential big transfer bonus but he’s also fine staying where he is – the sort of transfer trade I love.

Griezmann‘s goal drought continues though numbers in the last 8 games are generally very good. People are definitely over reacting to the poor form by now and whether he stays at Barcelona or makes a potentially excellent move to somewhere like PSG the current 64p to 84p is ludicrous

Should also be in demand for the Euro’s come what may as he’s a big deal for France. One of the tournament’s most likely consistent winners.

Trincao is quietly racking up minutes and the match reports are favourable. Solid stuff per minute and he’s shown when he gets full games he is very FI suitable. A slow burner but one with promise and undeniable value at 50p to 69p. People’s need for safety at the moment is pushing the prices of fringe players down very hard – it won’t be too long into a recovery though where targetting fringe players becomes exactly the right move.

I’d say keep things obvious for now though in general. But it’s something I will be keeping an eye on there is so much value in this sort of area. 


1 February

Napoli returned to winning ways, easily overcoming a weak Parma side.

Elmas, who I gave a brief shoutout to last week, got the matchwinner.

It was probably around 12 months ago from memory that Elmas was considered a hot property and was on the verge of a breakthrough season on and off FI.

It hasn’t happened, with very limited minutes for him this campaign. 

He’s had a good week though, scoring in the cup vs Spezia and then a very fine solo goal yesterday too.

His numbers yesterday are surprisingly poor given he has shown decent stuff in the past. Goal aside, he had limited influence on the game.

But he’s getting noticed again and if he has earned himself more minutes he will be an interesting youngster to watch. I wouldn’t rush to him yet but potential is there – he is still just 21.

Insigne excellent as usual, lots of chances and hit the woodwork again. Another credible dividend challenge but no reward this time.

Holders will not be too disappointed though because he has topped January Team of the Month, netting a 10p win. A great bonus for consistent quality players.

Rising nicely but the £1.57 to £1.90 price  remains a significant undervaluation. I think he could justify £2.50 with absolute ease.


Sassuolo provide a few budget performance options, most notably Berardi and Locatelli

Boga is another I expected good things from in pre-season, though we haven’t seen a major impact yet. Injury, limited minutes, and some goalless spells have kept him off the radar.

He scored the equaliser in injury time yesterday though which will be a confidence boost. And it was a decent set of numbers overall, he’s in contention.

If playing every game I’d put him at 3.5 out of 5 stars and not too far away from Berardi. A disappointing season but he is hanging on in there and a big score is very possible if he plays more full matches.

Roma have Juventus next which is tough, but after that go on a run of 3 kind fixtures including Braga twice in the Europa R32. 

And with a another win yesterday, they look in decent form ahead of that run. 

Pellegrini I’ve mentioned recently as he has been heating up, and that continued here. Another assist takes him to 3 goals and 2 assists in the last 5. And it’s no fluke. 

I’d be looking for him to do some damage over that run of 3 kind fixtures. Whilst he’s crept up a bit in price, a £1.04 bid or anything near that is great value.

Nor should we forget Veretout who is always capable of popping up with a big score. He had good threat yesterday from open play, but mostly he relies on penalties which is just fine at under 50p for a realistic Gold Day winner.

Borja Mayoral continues his good form as well. A goal and assist here. He’ll be competitive especially on those Europa nights. 

At just 38p potentially he is likely a victim of the IPD removal but the Europa campaign would be a great time to hold him, he’s a capable winner.

Mkhitharyan is a valid veteran punt too and also hitting strong form. It will not be a surprise if he wins in this kind run of fixtures and he’s only 50p. Not exactly the sexiest trend fit though and I’d probably go for Mayoral if looking for a Roma punt who is a bit easier to sell at 23.


31 January

Eriksen almost broke the hearts of many a Sancho holder with a passing masterclass. 

Just 13 points from nicking Star Man, without goal or assist. That shows the influence he had on this game.

And he had 4 efforts himself and provided 2 key passes that went unfinished. Fine margins.

This story has had so many twists. In early life at Inter he looked like he could be one of FI’s best, showing really strong numbers. Then Conte turned on him and we know the rest.

But then light was at the end of the tunnel with some potential big transfers on the board for January. Now, apparently they want to keep him. 

Having dumped Milan out of the Coppa Italia with a last minute winner in midweek, he seems back in favour. 

I still expect rotation and probably a transfer come Summer. But if he keeps playing, he is a serious contender for wins.

Overall, what this saga shows is that quality players will often find reasons why they can force their way back into contention. If it’s not the transfer, it’s the performances.

A miserable trade for anyone buying on the back of promising early Inter numbers. But at least quality players can bounce back where as over hyped players often have no reason why they can regain their price. 

These days, a £1 Eriksen looks solid value given he is still just 29. If he doesn’t settle at Inter then you would think a good club comes for him in Summer. Plus he has some favourable Euro 2020 fixtures with Denmark.

Speaking of comeback stories.

I was very pessimistic on Hakimi based on early Inter numbers at his massive £3.50+ price. But last week, with better performances and a much kinder £1.16 price tag I changed my mind.

This is another game that suggests I was right to do so. Strong threat, good involvement, decent overall performance. This is much more like it and he is getting back into contention at a 3.5 out of 5 stars level. Value, these days, even though he is more than he was a week ago at £1.46 to £1.68 having risen by 25% or so.

I wouldn’t want to pay £2 yet. But that £.150 mark is decent.

Comfortable 2-0 win for Juventus who continue their strong form and FI friendly style.

Cuadrado close again. 3 assists on the bounce now. He’s on my Explosion Imminent list for a reason and if he keeps this up holders won’t have to wait too long for further big scores most likely.

Had really good chances to score himself in the previous game versus Bologna.

A good hold as we head into the CL knockouts. I might be cautious about holding him too far into the season but for the next month at least he has strong prospects.

Chiesa solidifies his fast won status as key player at Juventus with another matchwinner. Unfortunately this has dropped on one of his worst FI performances at Juventus, leaving him with just 154.

But in reality it was a good display and matchwinners will usually see him to competitive totals. A great pick up at £1.08 to £1.29 particularly with that upcoming soft CL tie vs Porto in mind.

But really, as just a great long term hold in general, I don’t think you need to time him all that much at this price.

22 year old Weston McKennie also continues to get minutes and he is one of the big club breakout youngsters of the season in reality. That hasn’t quite made it through to FI yet.

He can be inconsistent but at times he puts up some really great numbers and we may see him explode before the season is done. 56p to 66p is a bargain for a patient trader.


27 January

3 players will join the platform tonight from AC Milan, Daniel Maldini, Saelemaekers and Peter Hauge. I’ve covered all 3 in Scouting before.

Maldini at just 19 is starting to get regular minutes from the bench, with no signs of a major impact yet. 

However, his youth team stats and general profile are very encouraging – he could be an excellent fit for FI.

And don’t traders just love the son of a famous footballer?

He’s highly regarded and if this starting price can really be had I would be happy with anything in the £1.01 to £1.25 range. Bear in mind, he looks some way off from actual success on FI. He’ll need to cook for a season or so most likely. But long term holders might be happy with this one.

Alternatively, it might be worth waiting for any initial hype to die down and then picking him up in a few weeks.

More in the here and now end we have Saelemakers. This would be a pass from me. He’s far from bad and could well get an occasioanl big score. But well off the pace for a midfielder and I doubt he would be a regular contender. 

It’s a shame because I do love that name.

Hauge is also young at 21 and a little bit more progressed than Maldini. Hauge is still often starting from the bench but getting significant minutes this season. 

Per minute eh’s ok but the numbers lately are a bit soft. They were very nice in the Norwegian league but then that’s hardly top tier.

Looks some way away from big scores.

Maldini the pick and it is refreshing to see some reasonable IPO starting prices for a change.

FI used to be terrible at valuing players at IPO either deliberately to fuel hype or because they weren’t very good at it, it was always hard to tell. It’s nice to see an improvement here.

25 January

I’ve said Pellegrini is hitting form at a good time and looking close to wins. He’s managed 241 on Saturday, just 21 points behind the winner Kroos.

Holders can count themselves unlucky because goal and assist aside this was one of his poorer games – he is capable of getting over the 250-260 mark quite easily on good days like this.

In great form with 3 goals in 4 now and Roma have that kind fixture run ahead including that Europa R32 tie vs Braga.


Ilicic is really hitting form as covered in recent Scouting. On Saturday he’s just unlucky not to get the matchwinner or Ilicic is the winner, not Kroos. 

This is a big slice of luck just baked into FI and love it or hate it (I strongly dislike it though I understand why it is there – without a random element predicting winners might be a bit too easy). 

What we have to realise though is that this performance from Ilicic is just as strong an indicator of strength as an outright win would be.

He’s sitting on my Explosion Imminent list for a reason. And there is no reason to take him off it based on recent displays. Might be had for around £1 now and he has a contract into next season. 

It would be very surprising if he didn’t win at least once more before the season is out, probably more.

Gomez is equally brilliant for FI and the latest is he may end up at Sevilla. They aren’t quite the FI powerhouse that Atalanta can be but they are a decent side, and holders can consider this him landing on his feet.

At least compared to the alternatives like an ineligible league move.

If we see that deal wrapped up then 50p for him might start to look very cheap. We know a lot about him and it’s unlikely anyone signs a 32 year old and asks them to do something wildly different to their natural game. 


Napoli can be a frustrating side as they play such FI friendly stuff at times, thumping Fiorentina 6-0 a week ago but then succumbing 3-1 to Verona yesterday. 

I wouldn’t let this result throw us off. They’ve got 2 soft fixtures next plus that Europa 32 vs Granada less than a month from now. They aren’t winning every game but they are winning enough to be relevant to us and that’s ok.

There is a very clear main man – Insigne. Even when on the end of a poor result like this his numbers remain decent. If he goes through this kind run in the next month without at least one big score it will be a surprise.

Outside of that it’s harder. Zielinski is close and as covered in recent weeks he was unlucky to miss out on a win. 

Lozano is finding much better form with 3 goals in 4 now. However, he is poor for performance scoring in general so unless he manages 2 goals I wouldn’t expect a big score.

Other competitive options would be Politano and also 21 year old Elmas although he has majorly struggled for minutes this campaign. If we saw either start vs Granada or similar they could be worth a punt.

Milinkovic-Savic has been improving as covered in Scouting this season. He wasn’t far away yesterday. With the matchwinner he could have been over 250 and he is in competitive range with a goal.

It’s actually surprising he doesn’t score more often given the chances he gets. 

One of those players that has missed out on rumoured big moves in multiple windows – he can be frustrating. Yet, he’s just 47p to 65p and in range of wins at Lazio and could easily clear £1 if he did drop on the right move. 

Luis Alberto is now recovering from appendix removal and may be out for a few weeks. Off Explosion Imminent he comes – but little doubt he will be back. If someone is willing to part with him for £1 because of those few weeks out it might be worth taking them up on that.

Immobile scores again, his consistency is remarkable. A goal a game is just standard. He’s a clear loser from the removal of IPD and yet I think he’s close enough not to be a total no hoper. He’s no stranger to braces and hatricks and we should see him in contention a few times per season. Plus he’ll lead for Italy. 

It’s bad for him given the removal of IPD – but so bad he is now only worth 40p to 57p!? Nah. If someone is really prepared to sell for that I’d suspect they are taking the “IPD striker” tag a little bit too seriously.

24 January

No win, but a decent FI performance from Inter showing that Conte isn’t entirely defensive, he will open up when he thinks he can.

A bit like this 0-0 with Udinese, they also failed the win the last time they tried to play football vs Sampdoria. Holders will hope Conte doesn’t notice that, because for really big scores regularly we need a bit more free flowing football.

Hakimi has had a couple of better games for FI purposes. We’re not quite back to Dortmund levels but these are the first games where I’ve really though he could compete for the dividends.

This also coincides with a new slimline £1.16 price tag. Given he is just 22 with signs of improving then for that price I will now say this could be a good pick up.

The key here is that we are getting him just at a point when many holders will have given up, and we’ve seen an improvement and we’re getting a cut price that makes it worth the risk of him declining again. 

Yet, we saw the price collapse coming a mile away here because even when he was all the rage, he really did look poor.

Things change though and when the price is much lower it can become worth the risk. I now like this pick up due to two encouraging performances, a cut price, and time on his side even if results don’t come immediately.

Brozovic and Barella can be exempt as they see enough of the ball even when Inter don’t dominate. All it takes is a goal for either and they can be up there. 

And both get some reasonable chances. As per recent reviews I think both offer value for patient traders.


20 January

Milan were missing their key men on and off FI in Theo Hernandez and Hakan Calhanoglu, both sidelined with covid.

They still overcame Cagliari 2-0 continuing their good form and opening up a 3 point lead at the top of Serie A.

They also have what should in theory be a soft game in the Europa 32 coming up vs Crvena Zvezda. 

One downer is that they aren’t seeing a lot of the ball in the last 4-5 games, often seeing under 50% possession. 

That’s closing down options – it’s not a side like Bayern or Manchester City where you’ve got potential winners all over the park.

However their elite players, Hakan and Theo as above, are very much strong enough to cut through that. Which is encouraging since they are competing week in week out even with limited team possesion and when Milan do control the game they can really explode. 

Both are available on cheap bids which may be related to them getting covid. I wouldn’t stress if holding though and for those with an eye on them it’s probably a great opportunity to pick up a couple of strong Core players on the cheap.

There is also Zlatan, Monday’s dividend winner with a couple of goals. Back with a bang after injury and the goal threat is as strong as ever. Could be a great punt for a run of Europa Gold Nights from the quarters onwards.

Brave trader who holds a 39 year old with a contracting that expires at the season end though. Contract talks are under discussion so if that is signed you could start to make a case for a rock bottom 30p bid.

Brahim Diaz may get further chances in the absence of Hakan.  He has shown at times all the attributes required to be a very strong FI player.

Even in last week’s Copa Italia vs Torino he was excellent for overall contribution and threat, so that’s cause for encouragement.

In Monday’s game he was considered to have played quite well by fans and observers. But the FI numbers were very weak. And they generally have been in the last 5-6 apart from that Cup game.

I’ve been optimistic about him this season and he’s had a few chances, but has mainly played second fiddle to Hakan and not really broken through. 

That Cup game is a little cause for encouragement though and with Hakan sidelined Diaz should get further chances. One to watch.


18 January

Napoli demolish Fiorentina 6-0.

Insigne the man of the match with two goals and a sublime assist. And our top forward too, though was beaten late by Stones for Star Man.

Holders won’t mind too much though, it’s a great return and another example of why I’ve rated him so highly, even in spells where he hasn’t got his rewards yet was showing great underlying numbers.

Ironically, this was one of his poorer overall games! With 2 goals and an assist he could breach 350+ on a lot of days. 

Despite that incredible scoreline it was a game with even possession so Insigne didn’t quite see as much of the ball as usual. Napoli often have 60%+ possession and when you are winning on an off day you know a player has quality. 

People are finally noticing and the price creeps up however people have not yet broken that “sell the winner” habit that IPD encouraged. Or there are simply a few traders who still want out of FI and are willing to sell for £1.36 at time of writing. 

Unless you really are desperate to leave, selling for that would seem like madness to me. Which of course, means that even coming this late to the Insigne party you can still get value,just perhaps 20-30% less than if you had spotted it before the big scores. This is a unique feature of this season on FI.

Napoli have some very tasty fixtures in the next 3. Verona. Parma. Genoa. All chances to dominate that could result in big scores. And then after that Napoli have what should in theory be a one sided game vs Granada in the Europa 32. 

Zielinski is also looking strong lately as per recent reviews.

Ruiz is also a contender who has looked good in the last 4 particularly. However he missed the weekend with covid and may miss the upcoming week or two as well. 

But no question that Insigne is the main man. He’s been on explosion imminent in recent weeks anyway and with these fixtures he’ll be staying on there.

Huge Serie A clash with Inter opening up a 7 point lead over Juventus and closing the gap to 40 points a piece with leaders Milan (both Juve and Milan have a game in hand mind). 

Despite the 2-0 scoreline it was a tightly contested game. But we still saw some decent FI relevant performances.

Barella was the star of this show in reality, and that came through in the FI scoring. He managed 199 with an assist and a none match winning goal – putting him well in range of competitive scores.

Which is why I’ve consistently favoured him as a budget, high potential young player. 

He’s definitely in the occasional winner 3 out of 5 stars camp in the last 6-7 games, a bit of a drop off for him – I think he can do better. 

If he can improve and add 6-8 goals a season which is not unreasonable given he will be entering his prime in the coming seasons he could be in that 3.5 out of 5 stars range as a regular contender. 

The creativity is high and 3 assists in the last 6 feels like a fair reflection. 

He’s definitely capable of hitting the 250 range at least 3-6 times a season and with Italy minutes too and with time on his side it’s really hard to see how he does not justify 59p to 77p. In a rational world he would be £1.50 with ease.

The other stand out is Brozovic. Superb display. Massive involvement as always. 4 shots this time. He’s really inches away from 280-300 scores and this is an important point to bear in mind.

People are so heavily influenced by who gets a big score and/or wins recently. But there is a cigarette paper between a Brozovic who just misses out and a Mount who makes it. 

It could be Mount this weekend and Brozovic the next. And there is no reliable way of predicting exactly which one it will be on a particular match day. All we can do is line up enough of the likely winners and we’ll come out alright.

A good trader exploits this by targetting the near misses that go under the radar as that is where value is found. 

Onto Explosion Imminent he goes. And whilst I’ve given him strong recent reviews – I should have had him on Explosion Imminent a game or two sooner.

At performance friendly Sassuolo we often talk about Berardi and about Boga too (although he has yet to prove why to the masses). 

One we perhaps don’t talk about often enough is Hamed Junior Traoré who is just 20 and showing some very nice performance numbers. 

He could have been up over 220 on the 23rd September, had he got the matchwinner. The threat isn’t great on the surface in the last 3-4 although he is getting in the right areas. 4 touches in the box yesterday plus 2 speculative shots. 

Creating lots of chances too in recent games. And he’s better than most forwards when it comes to overall baselines, so goals can get him into contention when Sassuolo win.

At the moment there is a strong case for focusing on more obvious household names at the premium/core end of the market as discussed. 

But I think it’s important that good performances from high potential youngsters don’t go totally unnoticed. 

If anyone wanted a few more longer term picks as part of the portfolio, they might be able to pick up a player like this for 30p-35p right now, which could be a real steal. 

Atalanta drew the game but produced very FI friendly stuff which likely went mostly under the radar due to a lack of goals.

Ilicic on the edge of another huge haul after his recent big win. This is also the second league game in a row that he has finished. 

How fickle traders are right now as with just 1 game going by after his +300 score some holders are happy to sell for under £1.

Could be a second bite of the cherry on the table for those who want to back him for another big win. It looks close and he goes onto my Explosion Imminent list.

Mixed fixtures ahead but Udinese next, Torino and Cagliari are good opportunities in the next month. 

17 January

Alberto saunters to a midweek Bronze Star man with 2 goals here. That’s 5 goals in 6 for the Lazio man. 

A huge win for Lazio too against Roma which closes the gap to the top 3-6 places – it’s tight in Serie A.

Despite 2 goals it was only a 213 score which is lower than we expect from Alberto.  This reflects a tougher game where Lazio had just under 40% possession.

But often just 1 goal gets him in contention as we saw just last week where he should have take a Gold Day Star Player if he had not had an unusual early bath 66 minutes.

A really solid pick up – he’s been sitting on my explosion imminent list in recent weeks and he hasn’t let me down.

No reason to take him off that list either although there are mixed fixtures ahead in the next 8 games. Sassuolo and Atalanta will be heavily contested as will Inter. 

Cagliari, Sampdoria, Bologna and Torino offer opportunites. They have Bayern in the CL too which should be a Bayern rout but I don’t mind backing an underdog here.

Should Lazio get beaten I don’t think the market will care too much – it is expected. And there is always the chance of that upset. 

Another warning shot from De Paul.

Udinese lost which is Paul’s main problem!

But with a goal yesterday plus 4 other shots including hitting the post plus his usual massive all round contribution he was not far away from another big score.

Really quite a remarkable player –  to do so much at a middle ranking low possession club is seriously impressive.

Makes you wonder what he could do at a bigger club. And he has no shortage of rumours – Liverpool the latest in the gossip. Leeds or a big Serie A club also in the mix.

11 January

Important game in Serie A as Inter faced off against Roma. It was fairly even and a 2-2 draw is a fair result. Some decent FI displays on both sides.

Brozovic almost fulfilled my prophecy and was very competitive yesterday despite not scoring. He chipped in with two assists and managed to dominate the ball even in a 50/50 possession game. 

200 despite not winning is a healthy return. And he had a good chance to score too that looked on target if not for a deflection – close. Strong player who has a ceiling of 325+ with ease if it comes together for him. 

It can take a while for that monster score to come but with his consistent numbers Brozovic is a ticking time bomb – it’s a matter of when rather than if that monster score will drop and it can easily win a Gold Day. If you can pick him up for 61p – given he is just 28 years old – it’s strong value.

Hakimi got another goal and the plaudits for a great performance. That praise is deserved. He was effective and the goal was wonderful to watch. Again though, it’s poor underlying numbers and even had he got the matchwinner he’s probably just crawling over 200 which isn’t good enough for a defender with a goal. A real struggle.

Lukaku and Martinez both looked a threat but both take a significant hit from Friday’s IPD announcement. IPD was underwriting the value of both of these players. 

However, I don’t think it is all doom and gloom and perhaps the IPD negativity can be taken advantage of here. Both are capable of explosive days where they score 2+ and can get them into contention even now. Martinez proved that only last week.

And there are other reasons like possible transfers (Martinez) and Euro 2020 (Lukaku). In many cases strikers like this will also be contenders in late stage CL/Europa although Inter have managed to get themselves a shock knockout this season. But they’ll be back next season.

If we do see some kind of new mechanic that lowers that winning bar a bit, perhaps making 175 to 200 scores competitive then big club strikers like this could come out quite well. 

Judging by social media commentary I think some people are being a bit over negative on the pure goalscoring type – FI is very much a goals centric platform and 2-3 goals is rewarded in the system already. Forwards who provide a bigger overall match contribution are rewarded more but I would argue this is fair – there is more to football than putting the final finish on things after all.

But a slightly lower winning bar even if that was for 2nd or 3rd place would make sense, and ensure big club goal scorers are rewarded more often which is right.

I’d expect successful strikers at big clubs like this to end up coming out alright, even if not straight away. FI want the market to reflect reality and even if a new mechanic doesn’t pick up big name strikers, I would then expect a small scoring tweak in their favour come the next matrix adjustment which probably comes in Summer between seasons.

I think the big losers from the IPD announcement longer term will be the sort of middle ranking and below strikers who had value for IPD alone. And that’s fine – as things stand FI isn’t big enough to provide liquidity in a market that wide.

Outside of this game the other interesting news at Inter is the likely return of 18 year old Forward Esposito after a frustrating loan spell at Serie B’s SPAL. 

He’s considered to be one of the hottest prospects in Italian football and was doing really well coming off the bench for Inter late last season. He hasn’t had a great deal of pitch time at SPAL though and Inter may give him more bench minutes themselves or loan him somewhere new. 

Worth keeping an eye on because he has some FI potential and is very highly rated within Italy. Has been hot on the FI market in the past and yet has been exactly the sort of bad luck casualty that has suffered so hard in 2020. It may be worth fishing for a desperate seller happy to take an offensively low bid in the 50p and under range. I suspect a long term holder will end up very pleased with that.

Last review I highlighted Pellegrini hitting form at the right time with kind fixtures and a good Europa match up ahead for Roma. He was close, topping the leaderboard for a good while after scoring the opener. 

Ended up with 148 having drawn the game which is a fair reflection. The goal is no fluke it reflects decent threat in recent games and he’s looking competitive at the moment. 

With form and fixtures combining plus a low 66p to 91p price it feels like a good time for him. 

Veretout as well is looking solid. Another good display yesterday with a high baseline and a chance to score from open play, plus he can always drop on a penalty. Smashed his shot yesterday and only a good save from the keeper denied him. 

Might not be incredibly exciting but he is a very capable winner and probably available for under 50p. Again it’s so important to be aware that our players do not have to be Golden Boy contenders – they just have to be good enough for value and very strong value – this is often where the really nice profits come from.

Lazio may be a fairly dull team to review because of the sheer consistency but there is really no reason to complain about consistently good players who are at value.

Luis Alberto is one. He sits on my explosion imminent list for this reason. He was very close and holders can count themselves very unlucky he was subbed off on 66 minutes because he was well on course to win. 

He would have walked midfield and almost certainly Star Player too given 90 minutes. And in the previous 4 games he completed 90 minutes every time. Just one of those things you can’t do much about. 

But he’s such a consistent winner he will have his time again unless he starts doing something very different to his usual. Great value player at under £1. 

Savic was in well contention too. He managed a 218 with just the assist and he had 4 efforts himself. He’s inches away from a goal that could have seen him to 260 or even 300 with the matchwinner yesterday. Fine margins. 

He hasn’t made an impact in a while but he retains potential especially if he can get his long awaited move to a club that typically has higher possession. Traders probably have Savic fatigue as this move has collapsed more than once but we might well find those rumours come around again come Summer – it would be a very big money move.

Immobile had 4 efforts and was very close to scoring but he came out of the game without a goal – a very rare event these days. 

Losing IPD is a blow for Immobile but not a terminal one. I think a player like this will find a way to stay relevant, either in CL campaigns (maybe not in their tough match this year vs Bayern) plus his leading role for Italy at the Euro. 

I would expect any new win mechanic that lowers the winning bar would give Immobile a shot. He’s a contender already if he can score twice in a game which is not unheard of.

It would be a glaring oversight if strong big club strikers like this were not rewarded at all on FI and I think this will be fixed in either a new win mechanic or in any scoring system tweaks later on. 

If “stuck” holding Immobile right now, I would not be sweating too hard.

A good day out for Napoli who showcased again their beautiful FI numbers that register on the scoreboard almost everytime they win. 

It was Bakayoko this time winning midfield – not one I regularly highlight. He bagged a 90th minute matchwinner. 

This being his first goal in almost exactly 1 year – it isn’t the easiest to predict! To be fair in the last 2 games he has had 1 shot in each game so it’s not a total freak. 

I’m not convinced he’s a regular winner though. The goals look too infrequent and even as a decent high baseliner there are better ones out there. It’s a pass from me unless the goal threat dramatically improved.

Insigne as been close to winning in the last few games and he was again here – just the lack of matchwinner denying him this time. 

As it was he only missed out by 5 points anyway. Wasn’t his best game overall and he lost -15 for faults. But not at his best and still competitive it shows why he’s such a strong player. 

Price is creeping up and people are noticing but it’s still well under a rational value which would be at least over £2.50. 

The God’s clearly had it in for Juventus’ best FI assets last night. 

Dybala and promising youngster McKennie were both felled by challenges and had to come off injured. I haven’t seen a reliable timescale on those injuries yet.

Chiesa was lucky not to join them after a savage tackle from Obiang who got a deserved red card. 

Ramsey came closest with the matchwinner but having been introduced after 20 minutes he lacked the time to catch Bakayoko. Could have though. Ramsey is a decent FI player but his status as a squad player makes him very difficult to bet on. 

If he were a regular playing the full 90 he’d be around 3.5 out of 5 stars in my ratings which is very strong. But he’s not. So he isn’t. Could make for a good value punt though if you see him starting a favourable CL game or similar.

Not Chiesa’s best game and his recent scoring spree come to an end. He had a decent chance though. And the overall contribution is decent. Another good game that shows his consistent FI strength. 

Kulusevski has struggled as expected, not finding a regular spot in the side. But perhaps that isn’t unusual given his age. He does have decent potential though. Goals and assists are there and the baselines are just about good enough although not spectacular. 

I was wary on him at £2+ and he even reached £3+. But at under £1 now? He’s a good prospect.

At the back Demiral is looking quite attractive. Highly rated, 23 years old, decent baseline player probably available around 50p. Has had big club EPL links and could be sold.

Had a very good chance to score yesterday and 4 games ago too versus Cagliari where he assisted. A credible occasional winner, perhaps 3 out of 5 stars.


10 January

Ilicic rolls us back to happier times in 2019 with a vintage Star Man display that veterans of FI will remember him for.

Less than a week ago in Scouting I said:

“Ilicic is also working his way back. Still having his minutes managed – he hasn’t really been the same after getting corona. Per minute though he’s doing very well for FI purposes and given 90 minutes I’d expect him to do well.

Not one to jump on I think but if we see him finishing matches and looking this good I could get interested.”

This is his first full game back and he has smashed it out of the park. We can’t say we weren’t warned because his per minute numbers suggested he was still strong. But it’s almost annoying that he explodes in his first full match!

It is a bit difficult to go in hard on a 32 year old who hasn’t finished a game since November. If we were sitting here with a full match from Ilicic and he’d just missed out on a huge score, this might have been the week where we could have pushed the button and gone for it without feeling like it was too big a risk. 

Difficult now. He is available for £1 which is undeniable value and Atalanta have 2 kind fixtures coming up. No reason Ilicic can’t win again soon he’s very strong.

Yet we’re not in early season now and the time for freely punting on veterans is running out. Atalanta’s match up with an in form Real Madrid in the CL probably keeps me out of this one. Though, I may regret it. At £1 or a bid thereabouts it’s a balanced call you can argue either way, really.

Ideally, he wouldn’t have won but still have gone close yesterday and therefore been available at around 80p. At that price I think I’d have gone for it.

7 January

Chiesa was the star in this crunch game vs AC Milan and he’s now moving beyond first teamer into key player status. 

Two goals here (great strikes too) and holders are very unlucky that his night was cut short by injury, limping off in the 63rd minute. The way he was going it could have been a breakthrough day potentially challenging Messi’s 268.

According to the man himself he’s fine and that injury shouldn’t keep him out of the next game.

Bitter sweet for holders then as this is a near miss. But the glass is half full – he’s playing incredibly well in general. He’s getting himself into contention for wins. He’s young and can improve further.

And this is getting noticed – the price is creeping up despite missing out yesterday. I like him.

Dybala, per minute, was strong too. 2 assists. Just half chances himself. Strong involvement. Subbed early again though. That contract situation is on-going with the Manchester United rumours coming thick and fast again.

As mentioned recently given the price of £1.40 to £1.54 I think he’s undervalued in all credible circumstances – with a chance of a jackpot Manchester United move. I’m keen. 

Another goal too for youngster McKennie. As a substitute he was never figuring in the scoring yesterday even with a goal but he’s young, playing regularly for Juventus, and capable of wins.  

One of the best young success stories of the season that is largely going on under the radar due to people favouring the more well known players. But that won’t be the case forever. McKennie looks a good long term prospect.


Tough loss to take for AC Milan. But they do remain top of the table and they have much kinder fixtures to come. Including that Europa R32 tie against Crvena Zvezdadad. Crvenz. How do you spell it? “Crvena Zvezda”. 

Seems a good time to have some AC Milan assets on side.

Despite the loss Hakan Calhanoglu can hold his head high he played very well. 6 efforts on goal and his usual big overall contribution. He’s maintaining those levels that keep him well in contention for wins, even against tough sides like Juventus. Bodes well for this kind fixture schedule.

Other than that it’s hard to pick strong performances out of this one. 

Theo is usually strong but Chiesa kept him well pegged back here.

Leao assisted and had strong chances to score. He’s scored twice in the last 4 so he’s doing ok in reality deputising for Zlatan. The FI numbers are very weak though. This is surprising as he’s shown some good stuff in the past. 

Hard to recommend him right now but he is one I keep an eye on as it wouldn’t take much for him to improve.

We continue to see appearances from 21 year old Jens-Petter Huage. He’s not yet on FI. Not his best game here but he’s an eye catching young player to watch. One to consider for IPO, or probably the week after his IPO to dodge the flippers,  if he can be picked up cheaply.

I also rate Brahim Diaz as a potentially good FI player but he continues to see heavy rotation. Given a full game he could do some damage but he hasn’t played a full match since October.


Inter’s winning streak crashes to an end vs Sampdoria.

The irony is this is a game in which Inter tried to actually play dominant, FI friendly football and their players could have scored big if they had won. Maybe Conte will revert to playing on the counter where they got results but FI scores are a bit suppressed. 

No goal this time for Martinez but he had a ton of threat. Should have scored again. But with 7 efforts he should be finishing. Those are the kind of numbers that can deliver more hatricks though so I’d only call that cause for encouragement.

With the short termist nature of the market at the moment – despite a recent win you can still bag Martinez for £1.28 potentially and anything close to that I’d consider a good deal. For the buyer, not the seller! Unless the seller is refreshing the IPD window which is sensible with Martinez.

Hakimi is given strong match reports in conventional terms but it’s still not great for FI. This is troubling because when Inter open up and control possession you really want to see an improvement at full back. I remain unconvinced.

Alexis Sanchez looked good but badly faded after a penalty miss. Shame – he’s got all the attributes to be a strong FI contender and he’s finishing games regularly now.

Losing the Europa league really hurt him but he’s got a long contract and at just 38p it’s potentially a very shrewd pick up. If Inter win and he gets a goal and performs to his usual level he’ll be in contention. Another one of those unfashionable players that can appear at the top of the scoreboard and the sell price can double in a day. if only for a few hours!

Eriksen only got 20 minutes but had great chances to score, 4 efforts in total. Conte has killed this man, he just looks sad! 

Even now though per minute he looks a contender for FI wins – if of course he was given a full game. 

A strong contender for a January transfer and it is likely he ends up somewhere decent. PSG would be potentially incredible for him if he reunites with Poch. Back to Spurs. Arsenal. All fine. Manchester United a vague rumour, unlikely. West Ham also mentioned which is the booby prize for holders but he seems too good for them in reality.

He’s a high quality FI player who just needs a decent platform to shine from. At under £1 I think the chances are good he ends up landing on his feet after this miserable spell at Inter.

Good example actually of how dealing with quality players can benefit a trader even when things go wrong – at least there are circumstances in which these players can rebound whilst others have no realistic hope of returning towards the previous values. 

De Paul at Udinese puts up some scary numbers sometimes. They didn’t win the game so it didn’t really come through here, but he’s looking strong.

That’s despite a 5 game goalless streak. He’s actually getting good chances including 6 efforts yesterday and is not far away from big scores.  Udinese do have 3 tough games in the next 4 but come February the fixtures really soften up.

Given he is well in contention at Udinese it is intriguing to see what he could do at a top club. That seems more likely to happen in Summer rather than now. 

Leeds are still linked and this could be a fantastic marriage. They may not be a big club per se but they do dominate games like they are one. Leeds could do with more attractive options for traders and De Paul could do well there.

I’d prefer moves to Inter or AC Milan though, which are also possible.

The attraction is that at £1.56 on a bid – he’s also worth that if he just stays exactly where he is. 

Mayoral started in place of the injured Dzeko and bagged a brace. He’s done well since moving to Roma as reported in previous months however I was remiss to leave him out of the report 3 days ago as he is a decent IPD option. I don’t really expect outright wins except on soft fixture days. 

He’ll still get rotated most likely but for 36p on a low bidhe can be well worthwhile particularly given Roma’s soft R32 match up with Braga. And Dzeko won’t be around forever potentially opening up space for Mayoral.

Lots of rotation this time with the players I favoured in Monday’s review Pellegrini and Veretout rested, likely with the upcoming clash with Inter in mind. That’s a big game as Roma could go level on points with Inter in 2nd if they win. 


It’s hard not to keep mentioning it – Immobile’s consistency is just crazy. He has scored in all but 1 of his last 16 matches. 

Big teams. Small teams. He doesn’t care about the fixture calendar and nor should we in this case really.

A fantastic IPD rotation player that just keeps dropping those dividends relentlessly.  Can also explode with 2-3 goals and win outright occasionally. 

Also Italy’s leading man which will come in handy later. Has a shot to nothing CL match vs Bayern – I don’t think he will be punished for losing that it’s expected.

Not much more to say – I can’t think of a single good reason not to be taking advantage of this obvious value at £1. 

Good display from Sassuolo who are a performance friendly outfit. 

Locatelli is a player I often highlight as he has real quality. He put up a good fight yesterday notching up 201 without a goal. And he does have 4-5 a season in him on current threat levels.

I name checked him on Tuesday actually as one of those players that was being punished on the market in recent weeks. 

Really does show how just one good performance can turn things around and feels like a good example of what I discussed on Tuesday. It’s easy to think “Oh everyone’s selling Locatelli, maybe I should too”. But as long as the player is holding up in scouting then it can be worth holding out for them to show some quality.

People are fickle and change their minds fast – we shouldn’t pay too much attention to price swings – our own assessment is more important.

It also demonstrated another feature – with Locatelli sitting on top of the scoreboard there was suddenly many more willing buyers. But I cashed this then, selling into this rise as discussed in Tuesday’s State of the Market. It was very unlikely he would hold onto the lead with 201 with the entirety of Serie A yet to play and late kick offs in Ligue 1 and La Liga.

This got me a much better price than if I had panic sold a week ago just because others did. And I can rebuy today for a bit less. Actually Locatelli has not dropped too severely – perhaps there are some smart money traders out there willing to prop him up. We’ve seen other players crash much more after a rise.

Even though there is only 6-8p in it, at these prices that’s still a 4-6% or so gain from that easy sell and rebuy. That kind of thing really adds up.

We almost had a similar resurgence for Boga – a player I think has real FI quality. He’s only recently coming back into contention as he has started the season slowly with injury.

But he managed a goal and an assist here, and had it been the matchwinner he’d have been leading for much of the day, at least until Messi or Depay beat him later.

A good performance and he’s capable of reproducing this and a bit better regularly. Another player that I think people have been overly negative on because of short term difficulties. He’s not far away from proving people wrong and 53p to 62p is strong value.

Berardi, another strong Sassuolo player unfortunately went down injured, and may be out until early February. Because people are currently quite short termist and prone to overreact to this kind of thing – it might be a good time to pick him up in the next week or two. 

Napoli are so strong in their underlying FI numbers but recent form is awful and it’s holding them back.

This is a bad loss to Spezia at home. Just 1 win in the last 5 – and we saw how they can make those wins count with good scores for both Insigne and Zielinski last time out.

Insigne is just crazy here – Messi-esque levels. 11 shots on goal and a big contribution as always. Marked down for big chances missed (-30!), and of course losing the game. But still managed 144 despite that which is impressive.

Quite how he didn’t score is a mystery and there are question marks over this finishing for sure in traditional match reports. But what it does show, again, is how close he is to big scores in just about every game he plays at the moment. 

Fabian Ruiz has stalled, his FI prospects took a dent last Summer when the hoped for move to Barcelona or Real never materialised. He’s in range of occasional wins at Napoli. Really only takes 1 goal for him and he’s been close in both of the last two. Getting to the time of year in the next few months where the transfer rumours can restart.

A rough ride with that collapsing transfer but for 79p to 96p I suspect holders are going to end up seeing better days.


4 January

A big show from Inter winning 6-2, with Martinez coming through to win the Forward category.

These selections are satisfying and possibly the best way of making rapid and swift profits right now.

I’ve highlighted the value in Martinez throughout December, with the last review on Christmas Eve:

“Martinez breaks his scoring duck as expected last time. He’s really come full circle – massively overvalued in parts of 2020 – likely massively undervalued now.”

In the previous game he put an end to a very long goal drought. But from the numbers – we knew that he was always close – it was more a shock that he hadn’t scored. And when you have a quality player like this getting that many chances, it’s usually just a matter of time before one goes in.

Whilst we don’t generally expect hatricks, he can be explosive and get 2-3 a few times a season, plus you’ll get a steady stream of IPD. And a possible bigger club transfer later to sweeten the deal.

The important thing is timing. At over £2.50+ and even as high as £3.50 in 2020 I was dead set against this selection – it was a hype price that he could almost never justify unless he happened to land at a top 4 EPL club and became a media darling – long odds given La Liga was the likely destination. 

But after a price collapse – frequently available  for well under £1 on the bid in December – this makes all the difference. 

This is a feature of trader mentality that must be exploited – they over react to short term negativity particularly if they have recently been over optimistic on the player. 

Martinez at £3+ was ridiculous. But Martinez at £1 is just as ridiculous – just too far the other way. Often when hype collapses the sort of trader who chases hype appears prone to selling too cheaply when things look bleak. Good traders will be abusing that all day long to get results like this. 

If your signing Martinez for under £1 you almost know for sure you are getting your value in IPD. And if one of those explosive days like yesterday comes along you can do very well indeed. That’s a dividend in the bank, or if you are sharp, you might have been able to sell for close to £1.70 or so yesterday and near on double your cash. 

How many other players like this do we see weekly in Scouting right now? It was Martinez this week, there will be others next week. It’s just a question of trusting the match data and then being the trader who is willing to move without needing the reassurance of the big score or big price rise first.

As it is I’d say Martinez is fair value but I’d definitely be cashing this in given current market conditions. There are other targets you can move to with just as good a chance of exploding for less money. What we absolutely do not want to be doing is chasing the rise in an occasional winner like this.

We don’t have to look far to find other candidates who could easily explode with a win and costs peanuts. Brozovic looks well back in the fold at Inter. 2 assists on the bounce now and he gets chances, 3 efforts on goal here. He may only need 1 goal to score big.

Might take anywhere between 1-8 games for his big score to come but it should do – and when you are paying just 59p to 74 that can be well worth the wait. Both for the dividend – or that opportunity to exploit any on the day buyers who pile in.

One player I have had little hope for at Inter is Hakimi. The worst thing as I’ve been reporting is that whilst he has plenty of goal threat – it’s unlikely to count because his baseline numbers are atrocious. That came out again here – he scored but barely made it over 100. Very poor.

They have been lots of drops both deserved and undeserved this year, and we haven’t always been able to do much about it. This is one where a holder could have gotten out in good time – the match data indicated that was the best move and over optimism on him provided liquidity for a good while, even at £3 or thereabouts. 

Right now unfortunately even at £1.26 to £1.45 he looks overvalued, certainly compared to what else you can get for that money.

It does show how much the team and system matter to a players prospects and this is why set and forget “career” bets are a fool’s errand – we’ve got to re-evaluate every player every week. Or at least have a ruggedly handsome, hard working chap do it on your behalf 🙂

It can be surprisingly tough to find good performance assets at Roma.

But it’s worth trying because they have some good fixtures coming up in Serie A then a Europa R32 clash with Braga which they should win as per the recent Europa preview.

Pellegrini may be hitting form at the right time. He’s a player whose been in and out of fashion on FI and hasn’t always deserved the hype. 

He’s very out of fashion now at 80p to 93p but recent performances in the last 5 have been strong. Yesterday he managed 7 shots vs Sampdoria and was well forward. 

Also had two very good games in mid-December vs Torino and Bologna. Scored in both games and unlucky not to hit matchwinners or he’d be posting very competitive scores.

Given he is still just 24 and well under £1 I am on board with this given the improvement and the nice fixtures ahead, particularly those Europa nights.

Outside of that the best bet is likely Veretout who is high baseline and on penalties for just 47p to 64p. A low key bargain who can easily find himself as one of those on the day winners people are chasing right now. 

Might need a little patience but just one win can return a big chunk of his value, and if you are quick to sell when/if it happens you could bank a large profit swiftly.

I also think Carles Perez, 22 year old former Barcelona player, has strong potential. He can put up some lovely numbers given a full game and is well within range of wins. 

He is seeing heavy rotation at the moment and may get loaned in January. One to watch rather than pounce on at this stage but it’s worth being aware of his high potential. 

Atalanta demolish Sassuolo 5-1 – a bit more like the team we remember from last season.

The main news is off the pitch with Captain and exceptional FI player Gomez still linked with a January exit after falling out with the coach. 

With players this age at 32+ and with moves to ineligible leagues (MLS) on the table, it gets very dicey. 

He may well land on his feet. It’s probably more likely he ends up at Milan or Inter. Something to watch carefully as if he had a 2+ year contract at either of those clubs he could well double in value quickly and remain FI relevant for seasons to come. 

I generally do not like risking situations where a player’s value can drop to zero, even if there is a big upside. But if that deal is done and he’s still under 75p or so I’d be keen.

Back on the pitch. Zapata continues his fight back after a long goal drought. 2 goals yesterday. I’ve been banging his drum recently as he’s another one who has been out of form but close to goals and was always likely to bounce back. 

Has been well under 50p on bids in the last month – jumping to 73p to 83p today after just a couple of goals which always looked like coming. This is easy money and again – we don’t have to be signing Golden Boy contenders to make big profits right now. 

Ilicic is also working his way back. Still having his minutes managed – he hasn’t really been the same after getting corona. Per minute though he’s doing very well for FI purposes and given 90 minutes I’d expect him to do well.

Not one to jump on I think but if we see him finishing matches and looking this good I could get interested.

Strong FI numbers again from Napoli – this time they get the result to go with those performances and we saw it on the scoreboard.

The key men were Insigne and Zielinski – the exact two I highlighted on Christmas Eve:

“Insigne is killing it here. He scored, great overall contribution. Just unlucky Napoli didn’t win or, yet again, he’s up there competing for Star Player. Hitting the levels like Hakan is now where if he keeps this up then the big scores are inevitable and the wins are very likely.

Zielinski has significantly improved in the last 5-6. Ahead of a good run for Napoli he’s looking like a contender. Again, another who can by now win his almost entire valuation in a single game and it is fairly likely he challenges soon based on recent numbers.”

Zielinski was leading the scoring for much of the day but was pipped by Kimmich’s big score late on. Unlucky – but it can be well worth going for these cheap players that have a genuine shot when it looks like they have improved. He could be had for at little as 35p at the time of that last review!

If you were sharp on the day you could have ignored the dividend and sold for around 75p to 85p. Which is probably the best thing to do in current market conditions rather than wait for the dividend (You might lose! Better to bank the profit with occasional winners). 

Zielinski could well do it again though based on his numbers in the last 6 – a vast improvement on what we have seen recently. The 52p today I’d consider value if anyone is selling for that or anything under 60p.

And as above Insigne is so strong it’s borderline unfair to other forwards. Unlucky for holders he did not drop the matchwinner or he beats Kimmich and Martinez to claim Star Man yesterday and soars over 280. 

That bit is mainly just luck but it shows how close he is getting so often now. Insigne is nothing short of a steal at his current price, it’s a massive undervaluation.

Back to winning ways from Juventus and it’s a good display for FI purposes.

They had a bad result just before Christmas and we can now put that down to a blip. They are in good form overall and showing dominant, FI friendly football most games. Plus they have a soft CL fixture in the R16. 

Could be a good period to have Juventus assets onside – they do have some tough games in Serie A coming up mind but I’d still expect them to try to dominate play. 

Dybala played the full game and was excellent. Scored a late goal, made a big overall contribution and was in range of a competitive score had he dropped the matchwinner. His quality isn’t in doubt. 

It’s more the future uncertainty and he’s in the middle of contract wrangling with the Manchester United transfer gossip also kicking up again.

What I like about this is that for £1.38 to £1.53 both outcomes are fine. If Juventus hand him the big contract and follow through on their talk of him being integral to the future, or don’t, and sell him to the EPL that is likely to result in big profits for holders.

The worst option is this continued uncertainty where he is rotated. But even then, for this money… you can live with that and still call him value. 

Again, I think this is one where traders have massively overreacted to short term events in this nervy market. He’s undervalued in all credible scenarios to varying degrees and that negativity can be taken advantage of.

Chiesa put in another great display and his grip on the first team spot continues to strengthen. He scored a lovely goal too. 210 score with the matchwinner which is ok but a little short. He did get subbed off on 75 so he lost 20 minutes of time to bump that up from “good” to a serious dividend challenge. Plus picked up a yellow. 

Still, he’s well under £1. He’s competitive already. It’s likely he improves and develops at Juventus he’s still just 23 – and it wouldn’t take a big improvement to make him a regular contender. Plus he’s an Italy starter. Lots to like and again I think he is a player people have been overly negative on.



24 December

Better. I’ve been complaining about Inter’s lack of dominance recently and they’ve finally showed some. Even if we know Conte is quite a negative manager it’s good that at least occasionally he lets the shackles off.

Brozovic nearly benefited and challenged for a dividend without needing a goal. This is why he is a solid pickup and he can add an occasional goal too and when he does that can be a very hard score to beat.

Barella was decent too, managed a couple of speculative efforts and his baseline is good. Very similar to Brozovic, and younger with Italy involvement. I like him.

Hakimi at least completed the game, and managed an assist. But what should not be a surprise to anyone paying attention is that the score is still soft. 

On Twitter you see claims of bad luck etc – no. We have to get over historic perceptions of players when facts change. He is not what he was at Dortmund it’s pretty clear and has been since very early on.

I would not write him off – the goal and assist potential is strong so he can do some damage occasionally. But this is not one I’d be thinking deserves to return to a £3.50 valuation – he doesn’t deserve to. But £1.50 or so would be fair.

Martinez breaks his scoring duck as expected last time. He’s really come full circle – massively overvalued in parts of 2020 – likely massively undervalued now.

Well frickin’ finally. 

Hakan Calhanoglu gets his win and if any player deserves one this month for his consistency it is him. I try to be quite level headed but I swear if that no name Betis midfielder had chased Hakan down I’d have been pretty mad. And it was close.

But like I said in the last review 3 days ago – when a player is putting up these kind of numbers consistently – it just has to fall his way eventually. And it did. Merry Christmas Hakan holders.

He’s also in contention for Team of the Month so the consistency does get rewarded that way too. Just a brilliant FI player and remarkably, the market being what it is, you can still pick him up for £1.63 and it’s great value.

Theo was also close again, narrowly missing out on the defender win. Another goal, he’s such a threat. Milan gave up a lot of the ball to Lazio here so it’s no surprise his numbers were a bit subdued. Butas reported all season I’ve no doubt he is a regular contender and deserves his place amongst the most expensive FI defenders.

Leao is getting chances to impress in the absence of Zlatan. Not really taking them unfortunately. Not a bad performance but he needs to explode if he’s going to take advantage of this pitch time. No real reason to expect big scores anytime soon.

Another strong FI display for Napoli – just a pity they aren’t getting the results to make them count – no win in 3 now. Tough games, to be fair. They have a very nice fixture calendar heading into February including a favourable Europa match up. So I’ll be optimistic on them.

Insigne is killing it here. He scored, great overall contribution. Just unlucky Napoli didn’t win or, yet again, he’s up there competing for Star Player. Hitting the levels like Hakan is now where if he keeps this up then the big scores are inevitable and the wins are very likely.

It is a travesty that he remains under £1 on a bid and this is almost certainly a tragic error on the seller’s part.

Zielinski has significantly improved in the last 5-6. Ahead of a good run for Napoli he’s looking like a contender. Again, another who can by now win his almost entire valuation in a single game and it is fairly likely he challenges soon based on recent numbers.

Berardi close again. Not Sassuolo’s best game so his score was just short at 204 but in more dominant games he can really get himself up there as we will know by now.

Looks in strong form and whilst they have a few tough games there are also some soft fixtures in the diary – Genoa, Parma, Cagliara Spezia, Crotone all before mid-February. Berardi could do some damage there.

As could Boga. He is yet to prove it largely because injury niggles have kept him out. But he’s starting more and more and the numbers are solid overall. He’s out of fashion but definitely not out of contention. 

Explosion Imminent

Players by position showing exceptional performance strength in recent games