The international break is a tough time for managers as they sit and watch in desperate hope that their expensive stars won’t be stretchered off. Even more worrying are the flurry of yellow warning signs that appear on the screen as players are suddenly deemed to have 75% or lower chance of playing. This leads to a real conundrum as managers could transfer out ‘injured’ players on form, only for them to play 90 minutes and score a brace (Aguero has done this to me more times than I care to remember).
As a general rule, I think it’s best to hold those players on 50% or 75% because FPL overreacts to the slightest whiff of injury news (‘What’s that? Lukaku was chatting to the Belgian physio!? Quick! Drop him to 25%!’) and there are always mind games going on between clubs and countries as they try to preserve their best players.
Hopefully, your squad has returned from the internationals with a clean bill of health and we can get back to the important business of GW8!
Best: Man City – Stoke (h), Burnley (h), West Brom (a), Arsenal (h), Leicester (a), Huddersfield (h)
Now would be the time to stock up on Pep’s squad. They have scored 17 and conceded 0 in their last 4 league matches, including the victories over Liverpool and Chelsea. With fixtures like this, you have to back them.
Worst: West Brom – Leicester (a), Southampton (a), Man City (h), Huddersfield (a), Chelsea (h), Spurs (a)
West Brom’s away form is never amazing and so far this season they have picked up 1 win in 3, including the loss away to Brighton. It also doesn’t bode well that they have 4 away games in their next 6 and the 2 at home are Man City and Chelsea.
Harry Kane (FWD, 12.6m, Bournemouth at home)
Kane has scored 6 in the last 4 league matches. He notched two more for England over the international break and has scored a whopping 15 goals in the 10 matches since August. The small snag is that his only goals at Wembley have come for England or in the Champions League. That duck has to break soon and at home to leaky Bournemouth (conceded 11 and kept just 1 clean sheet) is the perfect opportunity.
Gabriel Jesus (FWD, 10.6m, Stoke at home)
Man City’s record in recent matches is almost unbelievable. They are controlling matches, scoring freely and generally enjoying themselves. Things have hit a minor bump due to Aguero’s unfortunate taxi accident and he will hopefully be back soon. But in the meantime it’s a chance for his heir apparent to step up and show what he’s made of.
Raheem Sterling/Leroy Sane (MID, 7.9m/8.3m, Stoke at home)
Guardiola knows what it takes to compete on several fronts and you can be sure that he intends to fight for every game and every trophy he can get his hands on this year. To that end, rotation in City’s attacking line up is rife with Sterling completing 90 minutes just 3 times and Sane just once. However, with Aguero out there is space in this attack and even if they come off the bench there is every chance they’ll pick up a goal or an assist anyway.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (FWD, 5.0m, Brighton away)
Everton have been unimpressive so far this year not helped by changes in personnel and an opening fixture list seemingly designed by the Liverpool Fan Club. However, things might be about to turn a corner as they face Brighton, Leicester, Watford and Crystal Palace in their next 5 games. Calvert-Lewin has played 90 minutes 4 times this season and is an excellent cheap punt if you need to free up cash for our following press…
Eden Hazard (MID, 10.5m, Crystal Palace away)
Ordinarily, Eden Hazard would be front and centre with a match like this. Crystal Palace have shipped 17 league goals this season and scored a big fat 0. Hazard has scored over 200 points in 3 of the last 4 seasons and so he seems like a no-brainier except for the fact he is returning from injury. But that should not stop you from jumping on the bandwagon and hoping he picks up where Morata left off.
Joe Hart (GK, 4.5m, Burnley away)
West Ham have kept 3 clean sheets in their last 4 matches and they now face a run of goal-shy teams. After Burnley (4 goals in 6 games) away, they play Brighton (who have failed to score on 4 occasions so far) at home and Crystal Palace (still no goals) away. More clean sheets are on the way.
Maya Yoshida (DEF, 5.0m, Newcastle at home)
Southampton’s excellent run of fixtures continues with Newcastle, West Brom, Brighton and Burnley. Of those, only Brighton is away from home. Despite being uninspiring so far, Southampton have still been solid at the back with 3 clean sheets. Yoshida can also chip in with attacking points (1 goal and 1 assist so far) making him the perfect option for just 5.0m.
The Baggies have not provided the usual option of a rock-solid defence with the potential to score at corners. Since Ahmed Hegazi started with a bang, not one of their centre backs has scored and there have been just 2 more clean sheets. If you take into account their upcoming fixtures, it’s definitely time to sell them off and look elsewhere.
- Sergio Aguero
- Marouane Fellaini
- Sadio Mane
- Paul Pogba
- Phil Jones
- Ngolo Kante
- Sead Kolasinac
- Alvaro Morata
Let us know who you’re bringing in this week, or ask for advice from our fantasy experts, in the comments section below.
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?