Festive Fantasy Football saw missed chances aplenty


The Ladbrokes Life quintet must have been over-indulging on turkey over Christmas as Boxing Day saw a Gameweek of missed captaincy opportunities in the Fantasy Football.

A number of misplaced captain’s armbands meant that the December 26 scores were, on the whole, lower than they might have been.

Thankfully for the five chums, they mostly pulled it back in Gameweek 19, but could Generous John be cursing his luck as the chasing pack close in over the Christmas period?

The long-time leader stuck with Odion Ighalo as captain over the festive period and while it worked on the 26th with the Watford man scoring highest of all his team (six points doubled to 12), that should have been his final week as the main man.

While John’s tally of 70 points next time out far exceeded the 38 accrued on Boxing Day, the decision to keep Ighalo (10 points after his score was doubled) as captain at the expense of Romelu Lukaku (13 points) and Mesut Ozil (14 points) could come back to haunt him.

The two nearest pursuers to the man at the top both gained ground over Christmas.

Mr Brightside was the big winner, but again he could have picked up even more than the 131 points added over the two Gameweeks.

While Lukaku added a more than welcome 26 points on Monday, his blank the previous Saturday meant that Brightside’s Triple Captain boost went to waste, especially with 14 point man Kevin De Bruyne in the squad.

The Professor also had Everton’s talisman to thank for a bumper score of 81 in the final Gameweek of 2016, opting to give him the armband.

Add in assists from the likes of Ozil, Harry Kane and Ross Barkley and it was a very profitable week for the bearded one.

But in what is becoming a common theme, a misplaced armband meant Lukaku’s four points could have been 26 points had ‘One of their own’ Kane been given the duty.

The aforementioned trio did however perform far better than the remaining two in the group, with The Gut Truster racking up 107 points over the period, while The Believer couldn’t even reach triple figures (84).

The latter saw only Toby Alderweireld and Ighalo score more than four points on Boxing Day, while Stoke stopper Jack Butland’s nine points went to waste on the sub’s bench.

And with Jamie Vardy given the captaincy duties the following week, it was a familiar tale with the hot-shot striker drawing a blank in front of goal, while Ozil ran riot for Arsenal.

There was no need to fret about captaincy selection for the Scott Stanley returned to the top of the Ladbrokes Life Premier League.

‘Stans Army’ continued to march towards that £100 Free Bet prize with scores of 53 and 92 points in the two Gameweeks between Christmas and New Year.

Harry Kane was handed the armband first time out, before Mesut Ozil was given the honour on Monday, the pair adding 54 points between them in the role.

There’s still a long way to go, but the Ladbrokes Life quintet will need to take Scott’s strategical nous to heart if they are to stop him taking that prize come May.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.