Lovely Premier League, please never leave us. Sadly it will after this weekend as another International break is upon us. Before that though, I’m here to preview the FPL week ahead and my word, Gameweek 8 only sees the current top two clash. We’ll get on to that particular headache shortly.
Last week, my arrows were green. I know, right!? I’m as surprised as you are. My score of 72 decimated the average score of 51 and saw my overall rank rise to a still-not-that-impressive 261,146th. What now though?
The top two meet at Anfield, a fixture that will be good to watch but is a bit tricky from an FPL perspective. It finished 4-3 last season, more of the same would be welcomed by those who don’t have their defensive assets. Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero have been in good form recently, backed up by Sane, Silva and Gundogan though rotation has hit those three harder than most. Liverpool have spread the joy between Mane, Salah and Firmino but it is fair to say faith in the magic Egyptian is waning. He is struggling to justify his price tag at present, though the run of games after the International break suggests he is worth keeping…or moving to Mane. It’s hard to look past there being goals in this one but I couldn’t tell you who for.
Working in reverse, the middle game on Sunday sees Chelsea travel to Southampton. Eden Hazard continued his fantastic form with a goal last weekend and you’d have to back him to do it again here. There is, of course, the chance that Southampton will “do a West Ham” and pack the defence but whether they can do that successfully remains to be seen. Olivier Giroud has a fantastic record against Southampton but faces a battle with Alvaro Morata for his place, which Pedro and Willian look set to continue their battle on the right wing. We all love Marcos Alonso though.
Opening up Sunday’s football feast is Arsenal. They’re off to leaky, leaky Fulham which will delight Lacazette and Aubameyang but probably terrify poor old Rob Holding, who might have to face Mitrovic if Sokratis doesn’t recover. Arsenal have found form after their difficult start and whilst I expect both teams will score here, I also think Arsenal could get 3 or 4.
Saturday teatime is where you’ll find the latest episode of the Man Utd drama. Another bad week for Jose has seen them follow up last week’s loss to West Ham with a midweek draw at home to Valencia. They will certainly fancy their chances at home to Newcastle, who can’t win and haven’t looked like scoring in the last two games. Marcus Rashford has looked bright but who knows what you are going to get from Man Utd at the moment? Like I said though, they are favourites to win so if you have Man Utd assets I wouldn’t be in a rush to shift them ahead of this one.
That leaves Tottenham, who have the relatively straightforward task of playing Cardiff at “home” or Wembley cabbage patch to give it it’s correct name. I just can’t see a scenario where Cardiff can frustrate Spurs for any great length of time. Harry Kane is bordering on must have at the moment and let’s face it, Sal Bamba will probably give away a penalty trying to keep up with Lucas Moura. Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen look likely to be out but Spurs are quite well off in attacking areas, they shouldn’t have to resort to playing Sissoko. Yet.
Welcome back, Burnley. We have missed you. Sean Dyche’s men have found their form with a couple of wins and they look well set to make it three in a row as Huddersfield visit this weekend. Gudmundsson has 4 assists to his name already, and at just £5.9m he’s reasonably priced. Alternatively, Aaron Lennon is only £5m. Watford are in the opposite form as their good start has dropped off a little though they have faced Arsenal and Man Utd in recent weeks. They host Bournemouth this weekend though who aren’t always as good away from home which might attract you to Pereyra at £6.3m or even Will Hughes at just £5m. Strike duo Deeney and Gray are £6.1m and £6m respectively.
Sir Harold of Kane is the obvious choice this week. It’s the most clear-cut fixture in terms of predicting a winner. I do fancy Arsenal at Fulham which brings Lacazette or Aubameyang into my thinking, though the former Dortmund man has a sickness bug called Europa Leagueitis. It’ll probably clear up in time for Sunday. Hazard against Southampton is also an option but the West Ham nightmare is still fresh in the memory.
Thanks to Brighton vs West Ham being on Sky on Friday night, the deadline for this week is Friday 5th October at 7 pm. It’s a nuisance.
Things went well last week as my transfer of Trippier for Robertson was a net gain of 9 points. Even if captain Aguero only scored once, he was ably assisted by Hazard, Wilson, Zaha and Walcott who all contributed more than appearance points, as well as Bellerin’s clean sheet. We’ll be hard pushed to match that this week, especially as I can’t afford Kane without taking some hits and I’m not prepared to do that.
Fabianski, Bellerin, Alonso, Wan-Bissaka, Trippier, Hazard, Salah, Walcott, Wilson, Zaha, Aguero. Subs: Begovic, Hughes, Neves, Peltier.
I could do Walcott to Moura (I have £1m in the bank) to give me a Spurs boost but that £1m was hanging around to bring Mendy back in for Bellerin in future. I could of course just live in the here and now and forget about that. Robertson will return for Trippier after the International break, all being well. I would like to bring Richarlison back at some point too, but tiny Theo did score on Tuesday in the EFL Cup before missing a penalty in the shootout. Swings and roundabouts.
That’s it then, another week of rambling in the bag. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you luck and may all your arrows be green. I’ll be back in two weeks, have a merry International break.