Greetings and welcome to another week of Fantasy Premier League surgery. I won’t call it that as I am running the risk of being sued for malpractice. On the plus side, I scored 66 points last week which was enough to see my overall rank rise to 514,480th. This is largely down to the average being 47 as Eden Hazard has a criminally low ownership – I expect that will change. There’s still a lot of ground to make up though so what am I going to do about it? To the FPLcopter!

The Dilemma

Scanning the fixtures, my immediate thought is that Liverpool are a good team to back this week. They’re at home to Southampton, fresh from throwing away a two-goal lead against those famously good travellers Brighton. What I’m saying is, their defending isn’t always very good. The problem is Mo Salah seems to have lost his magic touch, so I’m looking at Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane as the ones to watch this week. That said, Salah’s fortunes could turn around at any time so don’t be binning him off too soon.

Man City are away at Cardiff in another promising looking fixture. Sergio Aguero appeared as a 63rd-minute substitute in midweek as Man City laboured to a 2-1 home loss to Lyon, a result that makes me fairly certain Aguero will be recalled to the starting lineup. It’s the League Cup next midweek, so there’s opportunity for further rest there. David Silva at £8.5m has been typically excellent amongst a sea of rotated midfielders, whilst the world’s second most attack-minded left back Benjamin Mendy is injured and seems unlikely to play. That’s annoying.

Man Utd will host Wolves in one of the more intriguing fixtures of the weekend. You can’t not be impressed by Wolves so far this season, whilst Man Utd have rediscovered their form to record three consecutive wins. Lukaku is the standout FPL option here, but I’m keen to see how Wolves approach a match like this.

Tottenham are off to Brighton in the 5:30 PM game and I’m no closer to figuring out what is going on at Spurs. After winning 3-0 at Old Trafford, they looked like title contenders but they were so far off the pace against Liverpool, it was inexplicable. Tiredness seems to be the excuse of the moment but Brighton are traditionally strong at home and this is a tricky game to call from an FPL point of view. Lucas Moura still seems the shining light for Spurs but his price is up to £7.4m – he at least should be guaranteed a start after only appearing as a substitute in Milan.

Sunday will see Chelsea travel to West Ham as a large amount of new Hazard owners root for him to put the Hammers to the sword. West Ham seem to have found their best system, but what was capable of dealing with Everton may not be good enough to deal with Chelsea. The world’s most attacking left-back Marcos Alonso usually wreaks havoc alongside Hazard down the left side and old man Zabaleta will have his work cut out.

That just leaves Arsenal from the “big 6” and they’re at home to Everton. The Toffees were woeful last Sunday, whilst Arsenal seem to be motoring with Aubameyang and Lacazette  functioning in the same team. Both got assists last weekend but you’d back both to score against a laboured Everton back line.

Bargain Bin

Fulham seem to be a good bet for goals, so Mitrovic (£6.8m) and Schurrle (£5.9m) are looking useful, ahead of their home game with Watford. The Hornets have made a good start to the season though, so maybe I’m being overly kind to the abilities of the Cottagers. Crystal Palace host winless Newcastle, which makes Wilfried Zaha a good forward to own this week – his outburst about referees will probably end with him being awarded a penalty…or booked for diving. He’s only £7m and already has 3 goals this season. James Maddison of Leicester (£6.6m) took over penalty duties last weekend with Vardy off the field – they’re at home to Huddersfield and I expect Maddison to be creator-in-chief for the Foxes.

Captain

Salah, Mane, Firmino? These three have been taking it in turns so far this season, which makes me a little nervous. You could go with the old favourite Aguero or the man in form Hazard, but both have away games. On the plus side, it’s the League Cup in midweek so there shouldn’t be many players “rested” for those games.

My Team

Getting Hazard in last week was a blessed relief. I’m really not sure what to do this week. here’s what we have so far:

Begovic, Wan-Bissaka, Alonso, Robertson, Mendy (!), Salah, Hazard, Walcott, Zaha, Aguero, Wilson. Subs: Hughes, Neves, Peltier, Fabianski.

Mendy will probably miss out, but I don’t really want to get rid of him, if it’s short term. Will Hughes can step in for one week. Walcott is the most likely to be sold, he couldn’t have been less of a threat last weekend. I have no money in the bank, though so it will need to be somebody priced at £6.5m or cheaper – I could bring back Ryan Fraser, but that would involve admitting I was wrong to sell him, when I did. It’ll be Salah or Hazard as captain, I think.

That’s it for me this week, keep your eye on the press conferences on Friday and whatever you do, I wish you luck and may all your arrows be green. Toodles for now.