The Carabao Cup has an interesting relationship to players of Fantasy Premier League. It is a place where injured players can make their return, young players can make a name for themselves or, if you’re unlucky, big names can get injured or play 120 minutes in a squad that is often heavily rotated.
That’s right, Man City, who have put away 3 or more goals in 5 of their last 6 matches, beat Championship side Wolves on penalties after a 0-0 draw, while both Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling played the full 120 minutes!
Bearing in mind the rage that hit twitter on Saturday as both Jesus and Sterling were benched against Burnley, this weekend could be painful for owners of Man City assets. But you simply cannot be the one person who has none of them!
Of course, there are 19 other teams to worry about, so here’s the best and worst options for the coming week.
Best: Liverpool – Huddersfield (h), West Ham (a), Southampton (h), Chelsea (h), Stoke (a), Brighton (a)
Liverpool need to ramp it up if they’re going to finish in the top 4 this season. This run of fixtures should put them in good stead for the difficult Christmas period.
Worst: Huddersfield – Liverpool (a), West Brom (h), Bournemouth (a), Man City (h), Arsenal (a), Everton (a)
David Wagner’s men got a good win over Man United but it’s unlikely they’ll continue that against this run of opponents.
Alvaro Morata (FWD, 10.3m, Bournemouth away)
Chelsea have had an interesting ride recently, losing to Crystal Palace before having a scare at home against Watford. However, their new talismanic striker has returned from his brief injury spell and, even better, was rested in the midweek cup fixture having only made a 5-minute cameo.
To make it even more enticing, Bournemouth’s defence has not been particularly solid this year, with just 1 clean sheet from the opening 9 matches.
Mohamed Salah (MID, 9.1m, Huddersfield at home)
Liverpool are another team who had a bad week. They were torn apart by Spurs but at least they had a rest with no Carabao Cup fixture.
They’ll be hoping to bounce back against Huddersfield and give the Kop something to cheer about. Salah will be the key man if they are going to get a crucial win, especially with Mane still injured.
Richarlison (MID, 6.3m, Stoke at home)
Watford are surprising a few people this year although, with Marco Silva at the helm, I’m not shocked at how well they’re doing. What is surprising is how well the young Brazilian has fitted in at Vicarage Road, rivalling Harry Kane for shots on goal and touches in the box.
On another day, he would have scored a brace and helped Watford to a win over Chelsea, but his radar was slightly off. Hopefully it’s been fine-tuned for this weekend.
Lewis Dunk (DEF, 4.4m, Southampton at home)
After their excellent performance against West Ham, Brighton’s defence has suddenly become relevant again. For just 4.4m you can pick up the Brighton vice-captain who has not missed a minute so far.
This week they face Southampton who had to rely on a solo wondergoal from Sofiane Boufal to beat a stubborn West Brom side.
They may have won against Manchester United but that was likely to be a one-off rather than a sign of things to come. Before that match they had not scored in 3 games and had only kept one clean sheet in 5.
Liverpool is the second in a long line of difficult matches so now is the time to ditch your Huddersfield assets.
Nacho Monreal (DEF, 5.6m)
They may have a game against Swansea this weekend (classic Arsenal 2-0 win coming up), but after that they face Man City and Spurs.
Arsenal’s record against the other members of the ‘Big Six’ is not one you want to be relying on so I would not be in any hurry to bring him in.
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