After a typically incident packed round of Champions League games it’s back to Premier League action this weekend. The International break is just around the corner and FPL managers will want to avoid looking at red arrows for two weeks. Dave Black takes a look at where fantasy football points could be in the offing.
Game week 7 was looking promising for a while but ultimately Pep’s wheel of rotation and Serge Aurier’s indiscipline scuppered some plans. There were points for Jamie Vardy as Leicester ran riot whilst Aubameyang got his customary goal for Arsenal, maintaining his record alongside Callum Wilson and Sergio Aguero as the only players to return a goal or an assist in every match so far. Well done if you have all three!
Gameweek 8 brings it’s own problems, mostly from the Man City treatment room but we start our picks in North London…
1) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal, Forward, £11m)
I think I owe Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang an apology. He’s barely had a mention in 7 previous previews but as mentioned, he has yet to fail this season. He’s about to embark on a lovely run of games where he doesn’t face “big 6” opposition for 9 weeks. It’s Bournemouth at home this weekend who, for all their attacking endeavour, have yet to keep a clean sheet this season.Embed from Getty Images
It all points to good times for Arsenal’s talisman, who was even afforded a rest on Thursday except a for a late run out as a substitute. I would go as far as to say he’s the number one captain choice this week, even if you still don’t quite trust Arsenal to get a no fuss job done.
2) Riyad Mahrez (Man City, Midfield, £8.5m)
Man City host improving Wolves who haven’t exactly had a lot of time to prepare for this game. Nuno’s men were victorious in Turkey on Thursday evening so any sort of master plan to disrupt the champions will have to be perfected in a very short amount of time. There are question marks all over the Man City team though which makes picking anyone a risky game. I’ve opted for Riyad Mahrez, who has returned 25 points over the past two gameweeks. It looks very likely Kevin De Bruyne will be absent for this one so I’m banking on Pep sticking with his man in form.Embed from Getty Images
Bernardo Silva is facing a potential ban so I’d expect him to play here in lieu of that, whilst Raheem Sterling is an FPL favourite and must start after turning the game on Tuesday night. The Aguero/Jesus flip-flop remains in full swing, a headache we can all do without. It would help enormously if Man City weren’t so good.
3) Jamie Vardy (Leicester, Forward, £8.9m)
Leicester were in great form last weekend, albeit against a hapless Newcastle side. It’s the rather tougher test of Liverpool away this week but it’ll take more than that to put Jamie Vardy off. He has a much lauded record against the “big 6” and with Liverpool yet to manage a clean sheet at Anfield, he’ll be confident of improving to that record.Embed from Getty Images
It’s Burnley, Southampton and Palace after this for Vardy so there’s an argument for getting him in before his price rises. Since he has retired from England duty, there’s a nice two week break for Vardy which is one less risk than most premium strikers.
4) Andriy Yarmolenko (West Ham, Midfield, £6m)
It’s three goals in four games for the Ukranian wide man and he can boast 20 points in the last two game weeks. What’s more, he’s only 6m. Andriy Yarmolenko is making his way onto all of our shortlists right now and a home game with Crystal Palace this weekend only makes him more appealing.Embed from Getty Images
There’s good games to come as well for West Ham so if you’re looking for a low to mid price midfielder, maybe this is your man. He seems to be over his long injury lay off now and in tremendous form.
5) Teemu Pukki (Norwich, Forward, £7.2m)
40 of Teemu Pukki’s 53 FPL points have come at home so it must be good news that Norwich are at home to Aston Villa this weekend. The Canaries of course beat Manchester City in their previous home game so you can’t underestimate just how confident they are on their own patch. At £7.2m Pukki’s price has increased almost every week and with Villa yet to keep a clean sheet on the road, it looks like it could be another Pukki party this weekend.Embed from Getty Images
If you are a fan of omens, Pukki scored in his previous appearance against Aston Villa on the final day of last season. What price him repeating that feat here?
The OffsideRulePod league has been called “more competitive than the Championship” in some households and it’s not hard to see why. Saleem has slipped from 1st to 7th which has opened the door for OVO must die to go top of the pile. This was despite captain Salah failing to return anything and Josh King top scoring with 12. The big mover of the week was the delightfully named YouHadMeAtHaller who scored an impressive 72 to move into second. Captain Sterling brought home 14 of those whilst Vardy added 12 more on Sunday. There are only 20 points separating the top 10 which sums up what a strange FPL season we have had so far.
It’s a marathon not a sprint. The deadline this week is Saturday 5th October at 11.30am so make sure you have your changes done by then. Good luck to you all and I’ll be back after the International break.
You can follow Dave on Twitter @CM9798