GoalScorer Challenge gameweeks 5 & 6: International weeks

One of GoalScorer Challenge’s unique selling points is the inclusion of international gameweeks. While other fantasy games go into hiding for a couple of weeks every now and again, GSC doesn’t stop. Ever got bored over an international break due to lack of meaningful football? Of course you have. GSC doesn’t remove boredom, but it does at least give you the occasional reason to care about a fixture you wouldn’t otherwise have noticed.

Rules
You must pick a Premier League player for their country. Each international break is split into two GSC gameweeks:

1. Thursday to Saturday
2. Sunday to Tuesday

Your pick for each must be for a Premier League player playing in a senior international (no U21s) between the gameweek deadline and the end of the gameweek. To pick a player, find his club as usual; so if you want to pick Harry Kane for England, click the Tottenham drop-down for that gameweek and then Harry Kane.

The deadline swill usually be 19:30 on a Thursday and 2:45 on a Sunday, but this is subject to change depending on which fixtures kick off when; the intention will always be to include as many fixtures as possible without making the deadline annoying for the majority.

One thing that crops up fairly often is if a game is played in the small hours of the morning UK time. As long as that game kicks off on the right day local time, that will be included (e.g. a game kicking off on Saturday night in USA will technically be Sunday in UK but that’s ok).

Tactics
This one’s up to you, really. You can look for a player with the best fixture (in the past Dzeko, Lukaku and Steven Fletcher have all scored hat-tricks against European minnows), you can go for a player you don’t think you’d want to pick in a regular gameweek as he’s getting good gametime for his country, or you can just play it safe with someone you know with a good international record. England players will get several picks whoever they’re playing for this reason. A little research can go a long way in international gameweeks, but that doesn’t mean the more obvious picks won’t score.

Gameweek 5
So to our first international gameweek of the season, gameweek 5. The deadline is 19:30 on Thursday 5 September and, as far as I can see, there are 57 applicable fixtures. Please let me know if you think anything’s missing or you have any questions.

Please note that the Africa and Asian qualifiers on the Thursday, along with Armenia v Italy, are not included in gameweek 5 as they kick off before the deadline.

Gameweek 5 fixtures
5 Sep Ireland v Switzerland
5 Sep Gibraltar v Denmark
5 Sep Romania v Spain
5 Sep Norway v Malta
5 Sep Faroe Islands v Sweden
5 Sep Israel v North Macedonia
5 Sep Finland v Greece
5 Sep Bosnia-Herzegovina v Liechtenstein
5 Sep Northern Ireland v Luxembourg
5 Sep Montenegro v Hungary
5 Sep Dominica v Suriname
5 Sep US Virgin Islands v Cayman Islands
6 Sep Comoros v Togo
6 Sep Gambia v Angola
6 Sep Estonia v Belarus
6 Sep Cyprus v Kazakhstan
6 Sep Germany v Netherlands
6 Sep Wales v Azerbaijan
6 Sep Slovakia v Croatia
6 Sep Slovenia v Poland
6 Sep Austria v Latvia
6 Sep Scotland v Russia
6 Sep San Marino v Belgium
6 Sep Tunisia v Mauritania
6 Sep Morocco v Burkina Faso
6 Sep Honduras v Puerto Rico
6 Sep Peru v Ecuador
6 Sep Chile v Argentina
6 Sep Bermuda v Panama
6 Sep Grenada v St. Kitts and Nevis
6 Sep French Guyana v Belize
6 Sep Nicaragua v St. Vincent & Grenadines
6 Sep Barbados v Saint Martin
6 Sep Guatemala v Anguilla
6 Sep Bonaire v British Virgin Islands
7 Sep Botswana v Malawi
7 Sep Kosovo v Czech Republic
7 Sep England v Bulgaria
7 Sep Lithuania v Ukraine
7 Sep Iceland v Moldova
7 Sep Serbia v Portugal
7 Sep Turkey v Andorra
7 Sep France v Albania
7 Sep Brazil v Colombia
7 Sep United States v Mexico
7 Sep Costa Rica v Uruguay
7 Sep Zambia v South Africa
7 Sep Martinique v Trinidad and Tobago
7 Sep Aruba v Guyana
7 Sep Jamaica v Antigua and Barbuda
7 Sep Montserrat v Dominican Republic
7 Sep Guadeloupe v Sint Maarten
7 Sep Canada v Cuba
7 Sep El Salvador v St. Lucia


Gameweek 6 fixtures
8 Sep – Equatorial Guinea v South Sudan
8 Sep – Sierra Leone v Liberia
8 Sep – Switzerland v Gibraltar
8 Sep – Georgia v Denmark
8 Sep – Romania v Malta
8 Sep – Spain v Faroe Islands
8 Sep – Sweden v Norway
8 Sep – Greece v Liechtenstein
8 Sep – Finland v Italy
8 Sep – Curaçao v Haiti
8 Sep – Canada v Cuba
8 Sep – El Salvador v St. Lucia
8 Sep – Saint Martin v US Virgin Islands
9 Sep – Azerbaijan v Croatia
9 Sep – Northern Ireland v Germany
9 Sep – Estonia v Netherlands
9 Sep – Hungary v Slovakia
9 Sep – Slovenia v Israel
9 Sep – Poland v Austria
9 Sep – Latvia v North Macedonia
9 Sep – Scotland v Belgium
9 Sep – San Marino v Cyprus
9 Sep – Russia v Kazakhstan
9 Sep – Wales v Belarus
9 Sep – Panama v Bermuda
9 Sep – Belize v Grenada
9 Sep – St. Vincent & Grenadines v Dominica
9 Sep – Suriname v Nicaragua
9 Sep – St. Kitts & Nevis v French Guyana
9 Sep – Antigua and Barbuda v Aruba
9 Sep – Cayman Islands v Barbados
10 Sep – Eswatini v Djibouti
10 Sep – Malawi v Botswana
10 Sep – Mozambique v Mauritius
10 Sep – Angola v Gambia
10 Sep – Togo v Comoros
10 Sep – Rwanda v Seychelles
10 Sep – Guinea-Bissau v São Tomé e Principe
10 Sep – Namibia v Eritrea
10 Sep – Sudan v Chad
10 Sep – Guam v Philippines
10 Sep – Mongolia v Tajikistan
10 Sep – Chinese Taipei v Nepal
10 Sep – Cambodia v Bahrain
10 Sep – Singapore v Palestine
10 Sep – Hong Kong v Iran
10 Sep – Myanmar v Japan
10 Sep – Indonesia v Thailand
10 Sep – Malaysia v UAE
10 Sep – Afghanistan v Bangladesh
10 Sep – Turkmenistan v Korea Republic
10 Sep – Sri Lanka v Korea DPR
10 Sep – Maldives v China PR
10 Sep – Kuwait v Australia
10 Sep – Yemen v Saudi Arabia
10 Sep – Qatar v India
10 Sep – Montenegro v Czech Republic
10 Sep – England v Kosovo
10 Sep – Luxembourg v Serbia
10 Sep – Lithuania v Portugal
10 Sep – Moldova v Turkey
10 Sep – France v Andorra
10 Sep – Albania v Iceland
10 Sep – Argentina v Mexico
10 Sep – Tunisia v Côte d’Ivoire
10 Sep – Jordan v Paraguay
10 Sep – Ukraine v Nigeria
10 Sep – Republic of Ir… v Bulgaria
10 Sep – Uzbekistan v Iraq
10 Sep – Trinidad and T… v Martinique
10 Sep – Guyana v Jamaica
10 Sep – Montserrat v St. Lucia
10 Sep – Bahamas v Bonaire
10 Sep – Turks and Caicos v Guadeloupe


GoalScorer Challenge 2019/20: hints and tips

This is a quick post about GSC, primarily for any new players this season. GSC is a very simple game but there may be some things you’re not aware of before the season starts.

Rules
The rules are very simple. Pick one Premier League player per week and any goals they score are added to your total. But pick carefully as you can only use each player once all season. The addition of international and FA Cup weeks add a bit of complexity but that’s about it. No worrying about formations, transfers, chips or any of that, just one pick per week. Easy.

One thing to note is that if you pick a player and they don’t play, whether that’s through injury, postponement or just being rested, tough. You don’t get to pick that player again. So the first tip is to look out for snow.

Don’t be too clever
There are 51 gameweeks this season. That’s more than ever before and sounds like a lot, but try writing out the top 51 players you can imagine wanting to pick; you probably won’t get as far as any defenders. This might seem obvious, but most people get to the end of the season with several decent goalscorers unpicked, so don’t go picking Lewis Dunk when you’ve got Marcus Rashford free.

Pick internationals wisely
It doesn’t always work like this, but generally the most profitable GSC gameweeks are the international rounds. There are 8 of these in GSC 2019/20, meaning plenty of opportunity for big scores. In the past we’ve seen hat-tricks from the likes of Edin Dzeko, Romelu Lukaku and even Steven Fletcher. A top GSC pick playing against Gibraltar or San Marino is always worth picking, so have a look at the international fixtures early on to make sure you don’t waste a premium pick in a league round.

International weeks can be a real separator and a little research goes a long way. Finding a player in a Premier League side’s reserves who goes on to score against some minnow in a qualifier halfway round the world? It doesn’t get much better than that. But if that sounds like too much effort, just go for someone you’ve heard of.

Don’t miss the deadlines
Each gameweek’s deadline is 15 minutes before the first match of the round. The positive of this against some other games is that you’ll have team news for at least one game before the gameweek kicks off. It’s often worth going for a player in this game just to get a guaranteed starter. Until there’s a GSC app, the best way to get reminders of GSC deadlines is by copying the following link into your browser to download a GSC calendar: https://calendar.google.com/calendar/embed?src=goalscorerchallenge%40gmail.com&ctz=Europe%2FLondon

It’s a bit of fun
Having said all that, GSC is mostly about having a bit of fun. It’s free to enter, no-one takes it too seriously and so you should play it however you want to play it. That might be going for the elusive ‘one-pick’ goal by being the only person in the game to pick a particular player to score that week. Or making sure you pick from a different team each week. It’s entirely up to you!

If there’s anything you think I should add to this, or if you have any questions about the game, let me know through email or on twitter. Otherwise, enjoy GSC 2019/20.

Cheers,
Will.