After the Champions League brought mixed returns for English clubs, attention turns back to the Premier League as the latest round of fixtures brings some interesting fantasy football predicaments.
A relatively quiet game week 9 heralded an average of just 43. Many of the big hitters didn’t fire and clean sheets were the order of the day but can we expect any different this week? I’m here to try and find five players to turn your arrows green by Tuesday morning. With Tottenham and Man City clashing on Monday night and some tricky looking fixtures for the other sides at the top of the table, we have to dig a little deeper to find out fortune this week.
In some cases, anyway…
1) Mo Salah (Liverpool, Midfield, £12.8m)
We’ve all seen the debate around Mo Salah. Would he score as many as last season? That success gave him the dubious honour of being the priciest player in the FPL game at £13m, a large chunk of anybody’s budget. It did mean that any slump in form would not be tolerated by the FPL faithful and a small barren spell coupled with being an injury doubt has seen his ownership fall by almost 800,000 teams. His price is now only slightly better at £12.8m but with Liverpool at home to Cardiff, he’s the obvious choice for captaincy this weekend.
Despite that injury doubt he got the only goal at Huddersfield last week and added to that with two goals in the Champions League win over Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday. What’s that saying about form being permanent? Liverpool don’t have a game next midweek so it seems unlikely he would be rested, especially as he was withdrawn with 20 minutes left on Wednesday to presumably keep him fresh for the visit of Neil Warnock’s men. Cardiff are an ideal opponent having not kept a clean sheet since a trip to Huddersfield back in August. Of course if there’s no room for Salah in your budget, Sadio Mane is just £9.7m which is perhaps more affordable.
2) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Forward, Arsenal, £10.8m)
Has a substitute every come off the bench and scored twice in consecutive matches? You would say probably not as what else does a striker have to do to earn a start?! Presuming Unai Emery doesn’t decide to keep Aubameyang back as a supersub, I would think he will start against Crystal Palace on Sunday.Embed from Getty Images
Arsenal are purring at the moment, even after an average 40 minutes against Leicester they found another gear once Aubameyang came on and Leicester couldn’t live with them on Monday night. Roy Hodgson will have Palace organised but whether they can cope with Arsenal’s array of attacking options remains to be seen. His price is still lower than the £11m he started out as but he is on the rise after his recent exploits.
3) Jamie Vardy (Leicester, Forward, £9.0m)
It hasn’t really happened for Jamie Vardy so far this season with just three goals to his name so far. That’s not helped by an early red card which has cost him three games but I’m backing all of that to turn around this weekend when West Ham visit the King Power. Although the Hammers have improved since the early days of the season they still only have one clean sheet to their name, and that was in a backs to the wall performance against Chelsea. I’m not bold enough to predict the result on Saturday but I do think there’ll be goals and Vardy’s pace will be a match for any team. With Cardiff, Burnely, Brighton, Watford and Fulham to come in the near future it looks like a good time to bring Vardy in.Embed from Getty Images
4) Roberto Pereyra (Watford, Midfield, £6.2m)
Pereyra started the season on fire but had gone relatively quiet until his goal at Wolves last weekend. What a finish it was though. A relatively cheap midfield option, Watford welcome Huddersfield this weekend before heading off to struggling Newcastle and Southampton. We’ve seen what he is capable of and if he and Watford are to find any consistency he could be a very useful asset to add to your squad.Embed from Getty Images
5) Anthony Martial (Man Utd, Midfield, £7.3m)
Whilst it’s fair to say Man Utd are not back to the peak of their powers, they have shown some green shoots of recovery in the league at least, coming from behind to lead at Chelsea until Ross Barkley’s late intervention. Man Utd went ahead in that game thanks to two Anthony Martial goals, which added to his equaliser against Newcastle makes him a hot commodity at the moment.Embed from Getty Images
A midfielder in the loosest sense, Martial essentially plays on the left side of attack but his FPL category means his goals are worth more points to his owners. If his team are in form and Martial keeps his place it is an easy decision to bring him into your team, but there are so many question marks over that it is very much a punt for now. Mourinho’s men welcome Everton to Old Trafford this weekend which is a fixture the Red Devils will expect to win but frankly I can’t predict anything around that club at the moment.
In the OffsideRulePod league, Bola Itu Bundar retained their lead at the top with a score of 42. Captain Aguero accounted for 12 of those, with Trippier, Robertson and Mitrovic the other main contributors. I kept faith with Salah last week which is a big factor in my rise to 3rd as there were a lot of scores around the average of 43. Sadly there is still a long way to go!
That’s all for this week but I’ll be back Thursday. Good luck with your teams!
You can follow Dave on Twitter @CM9798