The Premier League returns after the International break and that means it’s time to consider those Fantasy Premier League teams once again. Whether you’ve used the break to tinker with your wildcard or to enjoy a well earned rest, I think we can all agree it’s just great to have club football back. Here are my 5 FPL tips for the weekend, where enticing fixtures for Chelsea and Manchester City are offset by the clash between Liverpool and Tottenham.
1) Eden Hazard (Chelsea, Midfielder, £10.7m)
Chelsea’s Belgian maestro is in wonderful form. He has notched a goal or an assist in all four league games this season, including goals in his last two. If you are afraid the International break has slowed him down, fear not – he notched for Belgium against both Scotland and Iceland, so he’s looking sharp ahead of Cardiff’s visit to Stamford Bridge this Saturday. Neil Warnock’s side will be competitive and Hazard can probably expect to take a kick or two, but as Hazard takes the penalties that isn’t so much a problem. This looks like the classic “home banker” on the fixture list this weekend and there’s no reason to doubt Hazard as the main man if the result does go with the odds.Embed from Getty Images
2) Sergio Aguero (Man City, Forward, £11.3m)
I’m always very wary of Man City picks, we all know Pep loves to rotate the squad and it’s caused everybody an FPL sting at some point, so when you throw an International break into the mix it’s a recipe for disaster. However, neither Sergio Aguero or Gabriel Jesus have been away on International duty which has probably contributed to Aguero becoming the highest percentage owned player on the FPL game this week. Fulham are heading to the Etihad this weekend and whilst their attacking talent has been clear for all to see, they have been less than secure at the back.
Guardiola has opted to pair Aguero and Jesus in home games against Huddersfield and Newcastle and it’s very possible he will do the same here as he looks to find a system to adapt to life without Kevin De Bruyne. Even the return of the Champions League on Wednesday shouldn’t be an issue, there’s no need to rest a player who has had two weeks off. With Cardiff and Brighton to come in the next few weeks you can see why Aguero’s ownership has sky rocketed, but will you be on the bandwagon this weekend?
3) Callum Wilson (Bournemouth, Forward, £6.2m)
Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson has appeared as a budget option in your forward line as a solid start aligns with a favourable fixture list. Wilson started the season with goals against Cardiff and West Ham followed by a pair of assists against Everton.Embed from Getty Images
The Cherries don’t face one of the “big 6” in their next six games and a home game with Leicester this weekend should provide some opportunities to add to his attacking contributions tally. Bournemouth are usually good for a goal and really their defensive performance doesn’t concern me when selecting Wilson, they are just that sort of team who are more likely to draw 2-2 than 0-0. It’s Burnley, Crystal Palace, Watford and Southampton over the coming weeks so even if I have just guaranteed a 0-0 draw this weekend, there will be other chances. One blot on Wilson’s copybook is that he missed a penalty against Cardiff and he seems to have lost those duties to Josh King, who is £6.4m if you prefer to pick the Norwegian.
4) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal, Forward, £10.9m)
Arsenal’s rocky start was largely down to the fixture computer rather than their own downfalls. Unai Emery’s men have scored 6 goals against “lesser” opposition and despite their defensive failings, you can’t deny the attacking talent Arsenal have at their disposal. Against Cardiff, Emery paired Aubameyang and Lacazette together for the first time this season and both scored in the Gunners’ 3-2 win. Regardless of whether Emery will do the same thing for the trip to Newcastle this weekend, Aubameyang is a certain starter and now that he is off the mark for the season it’s hard to look past him notching several more times over the coming weeks as Arsenal don’t face another of last season’s top 6 until November 3rd.Embed from Getty Images
His price is low at £10.9m at the moment and I doubt he will get much cheaper than this once he starts scoring, but if you are worried about him being pushed out to the left when Lacazette starts, the Frenchman can be picked up for just £9.4m. As mentioned though, if Emery decides he can’t play both I expect it will be Lacazette who makes way. Investing in Arsenal now though seems wise given their upcoming games, just maybe not defenders!
5) Jamie Vardy (Leicester, Forward, £8.9m)
This one is a bit left field but fundamentally Vardy has been one of the most consistent strikers in the Premier League over the previous 3 seasons, so his selection shouldn’t come as a surprise. Vardy has had somewhat of a chequered start to the season, scoring from the bench in the opening day defeat to Manchester United before being dimissed for a wayward tackle against Wolves. But the three game ban has been served and with Vardy now retired from International football, Leicester’s number 9 should be raring to go this weekend against Bournemouth.Embed from Getty Images
I wrote earlier about Bournemouth’s propensity to concede and with Huddersfield, Newcastle and Everton to come, Vardy looks a good option. Like Aubameyang his value is as low as it might ever be so invest now or regret it later. Maybe.
*Please note all prices are from the Official FPL game as of 12/9/2018
There’s no change to the top 3 in the Offside Rule Pod league, FPL Fakhrul extending their lead with a good score of 61 thanks to contributions from Mane, Cedric and captain Aguero among others. The average was 48 in a relatively low scoring week. As ever, it’s a marathon not a sprint (until my name appears in the top 10!)
That’s all from me this week but I’ll be back next week with a look ahead at Game week 6.
You can follow Dave on Twitter @CM9798