FIFA 13: Simulating 13-14 EPL Season with Bale and Fabregas at Manchester United
Manchester United fans will be getting a little tetchy. The Red Devils are yet to conduct significant transfer business across a summer that has seen their Premier League rivals spend big money on world-class talents.
Despite continued interest from Real Madrid, the Daily Mail reports Manchester United have a decent chance of landing Gareth Bale's explosive firepower. Sky Sports confirms David Moyes has also tabled a second bid for Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas, suggesting United fans could have a couple of new heroes to salute before the 2013-14 season starts.
Would Bale and Fabregas propel the Premier League champions to another English crown? Let the simulation begin.
Following on from Bleacher Report's simulation of the upcoming Ligue 1 campaign with Radamel Falcao and Cristiano Ronaldo at Monaco, it's time to dust off FIFA 13 and apply the same measures to the Old Trafford club.
Similar to the previous experiment, a custom tournament was set up to mimic the 13-14 Premier League season. This means Cardiff City, Hull City and Crystal Palace replaced Queens Park Rangers, Reading and Wigan Athletic, while all confirmed transfers up until July 25 were also added. Fixtures were not in the same order as the confirmed list.
To make matters more interesting, Wayne Rooney was placed in Chelsea's team. Although Sky Sports reports Jose Mourinho is content with his current squad, the Stamford Bridge club have tabled a bid for the Englishman. His presence away from Manchester United allows Fabregas to slot into a versatile midfield role, while Bale sits behind Robin van Persie as a centre-forward, utilising the club's default 4-4-1-1 formation.
Manchester United fans, you might want to get a bucket; Bale's first game will have you salivating if FIFA 13 is to be believed. In his opening match against Cardiff, the Welshman scored a stunning hat trick. Fabregas added an assist and RVP netted a brace to thrash the newly promoted side 5-0.
This is followed by a 2-1 away win against Everton and 2-0 home win over Chris Hughton's improved Norwich City side. United then go on to lose 2-1 against West Ham, while Bale is back in the goals during the 4-0 home thrashing of Newcastle. The former Tottenham man scored two, but ironically, Spurs lead the table with a perfect record after five games.
United's inconsistent form continues with a 2-1 loss to Southampton at St. Mary's as Fabregas' goal isn't enough for a point. From here on in, the Reds get rolling.
Old Trafford then sees United win 1-0 against Liverpool. This is followed by a 1-1 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates, a match in which Fabregas is booked early and RVP's opener is cancelled out. Bale then scores in the 4-0 home win versus Crystal Palace. Javier Hernandez replaces the prolific star in United's next game against Swansea, and just like real life, nets a late goal in a 1-0 win at The Liberty Stadium.
Stoke City offer little resistance and stumble to a 3-0 loss at the Theatre of Dreams. United then travel to Sunderland and fight for a 1-0 win. Chelsea take the Premier League lead from Spurs with Juan Mata being named Player of the Month.
Bale's run of games without a goal comes to a spectacular end. He nets his second hat trick of the season in a 3-0 home win over Aston Villa, then scores another goal in United's 2-1 away win against Fulham. Jesus Navas gives Manchester City a third minute lead at Old Trafford, but Bale scores two goals to win the match 2-1.
United then travel to Stamford Bridge in a top of the table clash. Wayne Rooney opens the scoring against his former club with 19 minutes gone. The English forward doesn't enjoy the last laugh as Patrice Evra's 84th minute equaliser sees United escape with a draw. Spurs regain the Premier League No. 1 spot.
Robin van Persie's missed penalty doesn't matter in the 1-0 win against West Brom, Bale's goal once again giving United a win in front of their local crowd. Spurs press United all the way at White Hart Lane and Bale receives a late booking. This 1-1 draw sees Chelsea regain the Premier League lead.
Fabregas grabs a much needed goal in the 5-1 home slaughtering of Hull City, with RVP notching the other four. Roberto Martinez's Everton side show great courage at Old Trafford and take the lead through Kevin Mirallas. Bale equalises with 14 minutes left on the clock.
Cardiff put up a better fight against the Premier League champions and suffer a tight 2-1 loss, with Fabregas and RVP netting the important goals once more. The Dutchman pulls his calf and is ruled out of the next match against Southampton; a game that finishes 2-1 at Old Trafford. Goals from Shinji Kagawa and Fabregas overcome Victor Wanyama's late consolation.
Van Persie's return sees him net an early penalty in the 2-1 win against Newcastle at St. James' Park. Fabregas scores the winner after Papiss Cisse's equaliser. Unfortunately for the Premier League leaders, Nemanja Vidic suffers a broken ankle.
The captain's injury doesn't have an immediate effect as United beat Sunderland 3-1, Fabregas adding the last goal in front of his own crowd. Goals from Kenwyne Jones and Peter Crouch thrust Stoke to a 2-1 win, ending an 18-game unbeaten streak by David Moyes' boys.
From here, United respond with a thumping 5-1 win over Swansea. Bale scores two before halftime, but the joy is short-lived as the side suffers a shock 2-1 defeat against Crystal Palace. A late Robin van Persie penalty sees United edge past Hull City with a late 2-1 win at the KC Stadium.
Spurs then travel to Old Trafford in a pivotal clash. Vidic returns as two goals from RVP and a strike from Kagawa gives United a 3-0 lead. Although Nacer Chadli pulls one back, Bale nets a late effort to make it 4-1. United make light work of West Brom with a 3-1 win at the Hawthorns, while Fabregas scores two in the 4-1 home win over Fulham.
Rio Ferdinand suffers a broken tailbone in the 1-0 away win over Aston Villa. With both teams on 76 points, Chelsea post a 2-0 win at Old Trafford. Goals from Mata and Eden Hazard give Mourinho's side the advantage in the title race.
Manchester City then add insult to injury with a 2-1 win over their rivals at the Etihad. Sergio Aguero's opener is cancelled out by Fabregas, but the Argentinian nets a late penalty to secure all three points. United bounce back with a 3-1 win over West Ham; a match that sees Ryan Giggs extend his record of scoring in every Premier League season.
A 1-1 draw with Norwich at Carrow Road then sees United enter the final two matches just two points behind Chelsea. Bale and Giggs put on a Welsh extravaganza as United overcome Arsenal 2-0, but a final day trip to Anfield looms.
At this point, Chelsea remain two points clear. Rooney puts them 1-0 up against West Brom while United struggle to break down Brendan Rodgers' side. A late Baggies equaliser gives United hope, and out of nowhere, Kagawa's 79th minute strike wins an incredibly close match.
As the final table takes shape, United's late goal gives them an incredible title victory on goal difference.
Fun Fact: Cardiff City are relegated in last place with four wins. Hull and West Ham follow with five each.
Before we delve into the individual honours, here's how the final table finished. Could 13-14 see United's "AGUEROOOOO" moment? How would "KAGAWAAAAA" sound?
FIFA 13 is certain Manchester United would find major success with Bale and Fabregas in the side. Although Rooney's debut Chelsea season would also provide fireworks, Moyes' squad just pip the South West Londoners to the post.
Sergio Aguero takes the Golden Boot with 30 goals. Van Persie beat his first United season total by one with 27, while Mata took third with 22. Emmanuel Adebayor surprisingly netted 19 and is followed by Bale, who scored 18. Rooney is joint sixth with Olivier Giroud as both players scored 15.
Van Persie provided the most assists with 11. He is closely followed by Rooney and David Silva's 10, while Aguero and Luis Suarez share 9 each. Arouna Kone also imposes himself on the assists chart with eight of his own.
Player of the Season: Robin van Persie
Team of the Season: Petr Cech, Gael Clichy, John Terry, Ryan Shawcross, Rafael, Nacer Chadli, Juan Mata, David Silva, Victor Moses, Sergio Aguero, Wayne Rooney (how on Earth RVP wins individual player of the season and doesn't make it here, one will never know).
Gareth Bale stats: 18 goals, 5 assists in 38 appearances (average rating of 73/100)
Cesc Fabregas stats: 9 goals and 3 assists in 38 appearances (average rating of 69/100)
Wayne Rooney stats: 15 goals and 10 assists in 38 appearances (average rating 73/100).
Well, if the summer's biggest rumours take place, we are in for quite a Premier League season, according to FIFA 13. The arrival of Bale and Fabregas deemed Rooney's exit largely unnoticeable, an occurrence many United followers will wish to see in reality. The Welshman's match-winning ability helps United to 32 points and his partnership with van Persie defined the entire season.
Adding Fabregas to the midfield also helps free up Kagawa and Carrick, giving both time to score important goals. The Spaniard's performances during the latter half of the campaign helped United to maintain an unbeaten streak that would ultimately result in another Premier League title.
Time for Moyes to make a couple of huge bids, right, United fans?
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