It's back baby! Yes after 100 days without Premier League football, Fantasy managers must get back to their drawing boards as we head into the final nine rounds of 2019/20 season.
In case you may have forgotten Liverpool sit atop of the league table with whopping 25 point advantage over closest rivals Man City; Chelsea and Man United are battling it out over fourth place with Wolves and Sheffield United ready to pounce if either of the two slips up; and at the other of the table, only eight points separates the bottom six sides who were conveniently enough, the six teams who believed the season should be voided and no relegation imposed.
Yes, it is good to have football back to get us back to some semblance of normality during these troubled times. It seems like an eternity since Michael Oliver blew his whistle to bring proceedings to a conclusion at the King Power Stadium on March 9 so it is only right we have a look at our top three in the Advertiser Tribal League in association with Monroe's Tavern.
1 Declan Ryan - Decs Villains - 1,738
One man who is no doubt to be relieved that the season is returning is Declan Ryan and his table toppers Decs Villains. The Villains sit a healthy 18 points clear and were in flying form before the enforced break to the season. Game week 29 saw Ryan's men secure a solid 51 points with Sadio Mané (13 ), Mohamed Salah (9 ), Ricardo Perrira (6 ), and Bruno Fernandez (6 ) starring. The Villains had all the momentum as we headed into the final stretch of games back in March and it will be a test of Ryan's management capabilities to get his side up to the levels at which they were performing pre-lockdown.
2 Damien Ruigrok - Flying Dutchmen - 1,720
Sitting in second spot is Flying Dutchmen. The Winged Oranges had a powerful showing in round 29, garnering 68 points thanks to standout performances from captain Mohamed Salah (18 ), Alex McCarthy (12 ), and Jamie Vardy (11 ). The winged oranges are sitting 18 points behind the league leaders, however, manager Damien Ruigrok will fancy his chances of stealing top spot if they can hit the ground running when the action returns on Wednesday.
3 Dave Doraj-Raj - The Culture - 1,718
Making their first appearance in the top three all season is The Culture. A score of 63 in round 29 saw Dave Doraj-Raj's men power up the league table. Captain Mohamed Salah (18 ), John Lundstram (12 ), and Anthony Martial (8 ) were crucial men to Doraj-Raj before the lockdown and if he can get those players to fire from the off then The Culture can definitely overturn the 20 point gap between themselves and the summit.
With the league restarting on Wednesday, the organisers of the Fantasy League have enabled Fantasy managers unlimited transfers for game week 30 due to some players having moved on to pastures new with their contracts expiring. So who are the players that will bring the league back with a bang this week?
Sergio Agüero (Man City - £11.8 million ) v Arsenal and Burnley
When in doubt, go with the old reliable and there is still arguably no one better in the Premier League in front of goal than the Argentine hitman. With absolutely no football played, I'm backing Agüero purely based on his phenomenal goal scoring record over the years and the fact that City need to blitz everyone in their final 10 games if they want to maintain even the slimmest of hopes of retaining their title. Arsenal and Burnley at home is a good warm-up for the Citizens to a potential title match against Liverpool, that is if the Reds fail to pick the two wins they need to secure their first league championship in three decades. Make Agüero to take full advantage of City's double game week.
John McGinn (Aston Villa - £5.4 million ) v Sheffield United and Chelsea
I'm going with another player involved in a double game week and that is Aston Villa's John McGinn. The break in the season came at the right time for the Villains who were in the relegation and on a run of four straight defeats before lockdown. The interval will no doubt have given Dean Smith's men a chance to reset and really attack these two openings matches, both at home, where Villa have claimed 17 of their 25 points this season. McGinn has definitely been one of the Birmingham side's bright sparks of the season with three goals and two assists before an ankle injury resulted in his missing the last 10 games. With Premier League survival on the line, I can see Villa getting two positive results against European chasing Sheffield United and Chelsea and McGinn will be at the forefront. Get him in your team.
Tammy Abraham (Chelsea - £7.5 million ) v Aston Villa
With Chelsea in control of their own destiny in the race for Champions League qualification, victory over relegation threatened Aston Villa is a must. With 13 goals and five assists to date, Tammy Abraham has taken full advantage of manager Frank Lampard's policy on promoting youth and on Sunday I believe the big number nine will be crucial if the Blues want the three points. Villa are scrapping for their lives and Chelsea's defensive woes have threatened to derail their season and I believe on Sunday, it will be a score draw with Abraham bagging a brace.
Enjoy the action at home with a pint and food from Monroe's Tavern!
With Government restrictions not allowing for bars with food licences to open their premises to the public until June 29, punters do not have the opportunity to watch round 30's matches in the pleasant surroundings of Monroe's Tavern. However, the next best thing is available with Monroe's Takeaway and Dial-a-Pint service. Operating Wednesday to Sunday, simply call (091 ) 583 397 to place your order for food and a pint and the team at Monroe's will deliver right to your front door.
So sit back, relax, and eat and drink the delicious food and pints from Monroe's Tavern in the comfort and safety of your own home while watching some top flight football.
Aston Villa v Sheffield United (6pm ) SKY Sports.
Man City v Arsenal (8.15pm ) SKY Sports.
Norwich City v Southampton (6pm ) SKY Sports.
Spurs v Man United (8.15pm ) SKY Sports.
Watford v Leicester City (12.30pm ) BT Sport.
Brighton v Arsenal (3pm ) BT Sport.
West Ham v Wolves (5.30pm ) SKY Sports.
Bournemouth v Crystal Palace (7.45pm ) BBC.
Newcastle v Sheffield United (2pm ) SKY Sports.
Aston Villa v Chelsea (4.15pm ) SKY Sports.
Everton v Liverpool (7pm ) SKY Sports.
Man City v Burnley (8pm ) SKY Sports.
To join the League, simply add the Advertiser's Fantasy Football code: 8ly03z and join the other hundreds of managers who have already signed up to take home the prestigious championship title!