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Fog Dude

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Where did the summer break go, eh? Feels like we only just saw Sheikh Mansour finally win ol' Big Ears in Istanbul, and now it's already just two weeks until the first card for next season goes live.

But that'll be in separate thread, as usual, where we won't be mixing it up with Fantasy League stuff this time. Here's how it all finished up by the end of the last campaign. 

I've toyed with bigger changes during the off-season, but have decided to keep to 10-match cards as a rule (Christmas/New Year/Easter/the final day still being the permitted exceptions). With the Women's World Cup on at the moment, I'm conscious of trying to feature more women's internationals, and also the need to include at least one women's domestic game during the men's international rounds. 

The other big difference is that Monday matches are now allowed as standard, but Friday night (again, apart from Good Friday) & Saturday lunchtime remain off-limits to give people as much time as possible to make their picks. This is important because it relates to a guideline for... 

Dare 2 Disagree (D2D)

Yup, we're still doing this too. Three teams each sent via PM please, and depending on numbers & overlaps, we'll use either one or two of them for special bonus point bets spread across the season. I've cleared some space in my inbox (alas, "Do you like Rachel Stevens?" we hardly knew ye) so you all know what to do. 

The sole rule for D2Ds is no reserve or youth sides, A-teams only. Apart from that, anything goes: national teams, women's teams, mega-clubs, fallen giants; any country, any division.

The strong guidelines mentioned above aren't hard and fast rules per se, but it'd make things easier if you could stick to them: 

  • try to avoid too many teams from leagues or competitions where kick-off times aren't known until very short notice, or where it's difficult to find information about that; or
  • similar to the above, please attempt not to choose teams from where it's tough to find results (somebody once requested that Seph include a match from the Faroese league, which would've been a logistical nightmare 15+ years ago) or where entire rounds of fixtures change or swap around only weeks before they're due to take place; and
  • endeavour not to pick lots of teams from the French, German or Italian second & third tiers, as whole swathes of fixtures in those divisions are routinely brought forward for early starts.

Full disclosure: I freely admit to holding a penchant for sides in that last category myself, but to be fair, I am actually looking for a ticket to a German third-flight match for the autumn at the moment.

The FPL Cup will also be returning. Format depends as ever on how many people play and what sort of teams they choose for the D2D, because I don't like to put FPL Cup rounds in D2D weeks so that my ageing sleep-deprived brain doesn't get too frazzled. 

Right, enough rambling. Let's get on with this! 

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Thanks for the initial flurry of interest, folks. It's about a week since I started the thread and about a week until the main one starts, so time for an update.

All the entries so far came in before I went away to a family gathering straight after the England-Denmark snoozefest, which I've only just recovered from.

There are six entries by this point, which is probably the minimum needed to make it worthwhile to keep running. However, only four people have D2D teams assigned to them. Please try to get those choices into my inbox before the summer transfer window shuts if at all possible (the European window, that is, not the Saudi one). From then on I'll start naming and shaming, then a couple of weeks later, not having any D2D sides will get you chucked out. Let's not allow it to get to that stage, eh?

If you're thinking of taking part, then you can jump in anytime up to the first international break, but you'd be advised to be earning points right from the offset. 

Without peeking behind the curtain too much, after much tinkering with various weekly cards last night, I think we're finally set for matchday 1, but there are still fixtures for as early as Week 2 where we don't have the kick-off times established yet. Sort your seconde journée out already, Ligue 1! 

Somebody asked in a PM about internationals. As I said, they are permitted as D2D picks, but with only four international breaks per season, there's a limit as to how many of those choices we can use. There's also the issue of non-European matches generally taking place as Thursday-Tuesday double-headers these days. I used to delight in including games from six continents during those rounds, but that hasn't been possible in recent seasons. I've decided that on international weekends only, Tuesday matches will also be eligible for inclusion among the set of 10. That gives us the option of including, for instance, England-Italy in October and the Scotland-England women's Nations League clash in December.

Which doesn't mean we'll actually make use of that new rule, but at least it widens the possibilities for those weeks. I freely admit I hadn't given this enough thought before I began the thread a week ago, but I have now.

Anyway, without further ado: keep those entries and PMs coming, folks! See you all in week for the real thing... 

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If you're willing to have me back, my head chef actually promised to put a weekly reminder on his phone on our Thursday shift that I need to make my picks 😂 the dedication is real in this kitchen as he wants to play it with me.

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