The weekend is edging ever closer. Have you started twitching with excitement yet as well? In my case, it could be down to the itching powder that has mysteriously found its way into my Official Fantasy Bundesliga polo shirt. I wonder if that’s why James 'The Coach' Thorogood or Matt 'The Expert' Howarth are in such a good mood today?
Hmm, anyway part of the reason I can’t sit still is because Matchday 2 is about to kick-off. So let’s get down to Official Fantasy business and the interesting opportunities this weekend.
About Flo: From shoe sizes to the number of goals scored in training, Official Fantasy Bundesliga Scout Florian knows everything there is to know about every single member of the Bundesliga's all-star cast. He claims to have discovered Fritz Walter and Franz Beckenbauer, and now he wants to share his talent-spotting prowess with you.
You should always look to take advantage of the three transfers available to you before each Matchday. That gives you the chance to react to injuries, suspensions, dips in form or potentially explosive fixtures, like the ones James has already recommended for Matchday 2. Remember: a player who doesn’t make an appearance sees his transfer value decrease. But Matt is your man to explain how the transfer system works. That’s his favourite hobby alongside counting beans. The gist of it all is that you should sell your stars if they’re not going to play. Three players in particular could profit from the absence of first-team regulars.
Joshua Kimmich (FC Bayern München, 12M)
Arturo Vidal is a permanent fixture in the FC Bayern München line-up, but the midfield warrior only returned from international duty with Chile on Thursday. So it’s unlikely that Carlo Ancelotti will start him at Schalke on Friday night. Joshua Kimmich (12M) or Renato Sanches (13,9M) could step in. My gut instinct is that Kimmich will start as he made a good impression with the German national team last week. As a short-term investment, the versatile Kimmich would be a good option, even with that hefty price tag.
Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen, 9,9M)
Werder Bremen will probably have to make do without Claudio Pizarro against FC Augsburg. That could provide a chance for Aron Johannsson. The US striker with Icelandic roots found his shooting boots during the international break with five goals in the friendly against Kickers Emden. After a promising start, he’s been beset by injury problems but is now approaching top form again. It could be a risky signing, but has the potential to pay off in style.
Joel Pohjanpalo (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 6m)
If you’re up for a gamble, then Joel Pohjanpalo is the man for you. Bayer Leverkusen might be missing any or all of Kevin Volland, Chicharito and Stefan Kießling against Hamburger SV. Coach Roger Schmidt has the Finnish striker up his sleeve and may play this trump card. But he could also plump for Admir Mehmedi (10m). The Swiss goalgetter was on the scoresheet against European Champions Portugal midweek, but Pohjanpalo has already found the net in the Bundesliga this season. Should Schmidt opt for a traditional centre-forward, which is more than viable against Hamburg – then the Finn would be the natural choice. Mehmedi would slot in behind. Both players are in my plans for Matchday 2.
I’ll have to go and borrow Matt’s calculator and tot up my possible transfers for the weekend. How should I replace Volland, should I sell Vidal and will I keep faith in Gulasci and Naldo? All will be revealed tomorrow. I’m as excited as you are and twitching at the prospect!