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FPL Player Profiles Angel Di Maria, Mario Balotelli and Radamel Falcao

FPL Player Profiles – Angel Di Maria, Mario Balotelli and Radamel Falcao – Fantasy Premier League tips 2014/15

With the transfer window slamming shut last night, we thought it prudent to take a look at some of the incoming names that you may want to consider for your FPL teams. This season has already seen a steady influx of talent come into the league and we have covered many of these in pre-season so will now take a look at some of those who joined late on in the window. We begin with three huge names in the world of football, one of whom we already have amusing experience of in Mario Balotelli and as for the other two – most of us possibly thought we would never see either in the Premier League, Angel Di Maria and Falcao. The first two actually made their debuts for Liverpool and Man Utd respectively at the weekend while Falcao was perhaps the biggest surprise of the lot having agreed to join the LVG revolution only yesterday amid much speculation that he was almost certainly off to Real Madrid. Or Man City. Or staying at Monaco. Doing anything but joining Utd basically, which he duly did. Migs has very kindly agreed to give us the lowdown on the newly christened ADM and also Mad Mario and who better than Mito to give us his take on fellow Colombian Falcao….

Angel Di Maria – Manchester United
Position: Midfielder
FPL Price: 9.5mln
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[/three_fourth]A lot has already been said about this record breaking British transfer – “United have got the icing on the cake but without the sponge” or even better perhaps seen as the “Gucci belt when all LVG needed was bread and milk for now”, however the fact of the matter remains, the squad and the fans needed a positive boost and Angel Di Maria is now a Manchester United player and we need to see what exactly he can contribute to the team.
Sometimes it seems that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez reckons he is playing FIFA as he dictates the transfer of players with ease and sometimes stupidity. In a strong Real Madrid side, Di Maria was easily one of the best, if not the best player last season. He provided 17 assists in the league for Los Blancos and created a goal scoring chance for his team mates every 26 minutes. So he has quality in creating chances but he does lack a bit in finishing them off as last season he recorded a stat of just 56.6% in terms of shots on target. He does however boast in his career 57 goals in 352 matches, that being one in every six games which is actually not too bad for a midfielder. One can argue that Di Maria was not in the side to score goals, but rather to produce those assists for the likes of Ronaldo, Bale, Benzema and co who are much better at finishing them off. If he had to produce the same effort in the Premier League last season then he would be streaks ahead of the likes of Yaya, Hazard, Gerrard and Ramsey in terms of assists, but he would also be quite a bit behind in terms of goals scored.
Taking a look at LVG’s 3-5-2 formation and what his plans could be for Di Maria, we already saw over the weekend against Burnley that Di Maria is versatile as he seemed to operate in midfield with Darren Fletcher and Juan Mata just ahead of them. If Van Gaal persists with this formation then Di Maria could even be used in that left wing back role with Ander Herrera filling up the midfield spot, if necessary. There is no questioning Di Maria’s quality, the only issue FPL managers must take heed of is that this United team is still coming to grips with a new system and are nowhere near free scoring. The return of players from injuries and further additions to the squad will definitely bode well for United BUT this could take a bit of time. The arrival of Falcao, provides another target for the Argentinian and if those two can link up well, then Di Maria could become the “assist King” that we all thought Ozil would be last season.


Mario Balotelli – Liverpool
Position – Forward
FPL Price – 10.0mln
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[/three_fourth]Possible mixed emotions for Liverpool fans with this transfer, I for one am very excited about it but others such as Kop are not (I think that’s just because he is a negative old man (in a young persons body) so don’t worry about him!!) So, it’s out with the biter and in with the nutter at Anfield. Definitely a gamble for the Reds but it is a calculated risk that could be shrewd business given the transfer amount paid for him and the talent that he does actually possess, along with his childish antics.
If we take a look at the 2011/2012 season in which Balotelli was part of the title winning City side, he scored 13 goals with a goal ratio of 0.88 per ninety minutes. This resulted in him having a better goal ratio than Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero, however a combination of his off-the-field antics and playing time meant that he fell short of both those strikers in the overall goals department. If we were to take it over a 38 game ratio then Balotelli would end the season with a tidy 23 goals. He also went on to better his goal ratio at AC Milan with his 12 goals in his first season and 14 in the next, resulting in him almost achieving a goal a game.
So the problem with Super/Mad Mario is actually having him play the full 38 games due to his behavioural record not being the best. He also is not known for his assists with his only registered assist for City being that infamous “Aguerooooooo” goal to clinch the league vs QPR. It did get better in his final year with Milan as he notched 6 assists.
Taking a look at his debut against Spurs over the weekend and Mario could easily have scored two or three goals. His link up play with his team mates was very good and believe it or not, his defensive showing was exceptional with him even marking at corners and clearing the ball from both the left and right back positions. Rodgers does have a knack for getting the best out of troubled players and has his hands full now. Early signs are positive but how long can they last for? I do believe that he will start most games up front as Liverpool will look to him and Sturridge to form a deadly partnership. With his ability and the fact that we all know he can score goals then maybe Mario Balotelli could be a great addition to your fantasy team, just don’t hold it against me if/when he receives a red card or let’s off a firework display in Rodger’s bathroom.


Radamel Falcao – Manchester United
Position: Forward
FPL Price: 11.0mln
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If you have been around football for the past couple of years you have heard the name. Many have called him the best 9 in the world and whether that still applies or not remains to be seen. If he can be they type of striker that he was over the last couple of years before the injury then we are looking at a must have in FPL circles. What his weekly wages are or what his cost to United was is of no relevance to a FPL manager. All we care is about goals that lead to points and more points.

Pros: He is as lethal as they come inside the box. He can finish with either foot and has a tendency to be very calm and collected when opportunities arise. Despite his height, 177cm, he is renowned for his heading prowess. He is a poacher and I say that in the best light possible. He is not like Edin Dzeko who basically stands there like a statue and the guy crossing has to hit him with the ball, Falcao actually goes and gets it. He can create space for himself and is strong enough to hold off defenders. He is very good at curling in shots to the far post and chipping keepers when they come out too soon. Will shoot from distance with either foot and has taken penalties for all his clubs since he was in his early 20’s. Obviously this last responsibility is no foregone conclusion at United with Rooney and RVP there. He won’t be moved to the midfield or to the wings. He will sit right in front of goal waiting to pounce, so when thinking of a United striker remember his likely proximity to goal. During his two seasons in LA Liga he compiled 52 goals in 68 appearances for Atletico Madrid. His goal scoring record was even more impressive in Porto and he holds the Europa League record for goals in one tournament with 17 in 14 games. He also managed to score 4 goals in 8 games for Porto in Champions League, that stat is for all those that think he has never bothered with the hallowed European club competition.

Cons: He is coming off a serious knee injury. He is unproven in the EPL and while I think that he could give two fcks about a cold rainy or whatever night at Stoke, many apparently think that means something. My biggest concern with him is his mental approach. Last time he injured a knee, I watched him struggle to get back on the pitch and after that he still didn’t look right for a long time. If that time frame is any indication it could be some frustrating afternoons for managers who choose to invest in him. Although watching some of his goals in the last couple of weeks has helped subside some of that concern as he doesn’t look like a player with lack of confidence is his physical capabilities. From a FPL perspective he is not likely to get you too many assists, so if you get him you will be looking to rely on his goal scoring for most if not of all his points.

As some of you all know or may not know, I am Colombian and I share this with the man of the hour. He has been followed by his countrymen (I have been stalking him) since a very young age. He still holds records back home for goals in a highly prestigious youth tournament and has the record for youngest ever professional player making his debut at 13. He was sold to River Plate of Argentina right as he turned 15 and jumped to fame when he managed to score 7 goals in his first seven starts. In those goals you would see what kind of striker he was going to become. As a left footed cheeky chip, couple of poacher goals and a powerful header were all included. River Plate was dreaming of a huge sale to Europe that summer for their newly minted 19 year old star. Unfortunately he would suffer the knee (same one) injury that would cost him almost two years to fully recover from. His injury opened the door for Gonzalo Higuain to get on the first team and the rest is history as some might say. Falcao hung around a couple of more years as River Plate was never happy with the offers, as they felt he should go for more. However his scoring record on the Argentinean side worked against him and eventually at the age of 23 he was finally sold to Porto, 4 years later than expected and for far less than hoped for. It was a pleasant surprise to many of us to see him explode in Portugal after following him in Argentina. It looked like his promise had finally come to fruition, but doubts about the strength of the Portuguese league and whether he be able to replicate his form in Spain crept in. He quickly squashed that as he continued his fine form in La Liga and also to our delight with our national side. As many of you know his knee injury forced him to miss the World Cup. So as a country we now wait to see if he can become once again the best 9 in the world and as a manager I can’t think of a more enjoyable site than watching Falcao rake in big points for my FPL side. Viva Colombia!

Thanks for reading FPL Player Profiles – Angel Di Maria, Mario Balotelli and Radamel Falcao – Fantasy Premier League tips 2014/15. This article was written by Migs and Mito21

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  1. 61

    Does this look like a nice WC team? Or am I overdoing it a bit too much? (I am not using my wc this week but want to think ahead)

  2. 62

    I know its not relevent to fantasy football. But it’s absolutely f*cking disgusting that ISIS are beheading journalists. RIP

  3. 63
  4. 64
    igy4 says:

    Have been playing around with a few teams, not sure if I should use the WC, my current team is on the left and the other two are WC teams, what do people think?

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