Hi Guys and welcome again to your preview of the GameWeek ahead.
After what was for many a slow week in the world of FPL, like poor Jose we will be hoping for brighter and better weeks this time around. My consistent failure to pick a good captain (moved to Mane this week) was offset by the likes of Trippier and Kane having good weeks and keeping me trundling along.
The player to come out of the weekend with an enhanced rep is Lucas Moura, 2 goals in the big match at Old Trafford, but the highest scoring player in GW3 was Mitrovic of Fulham with 16 pts. I predicted at the beginning of the season that if Fulham were to do well, the often, misunderstood Serbian would have to step up with some big performances. The continued good form of Alonso and Pereyra also gave welcome boosts to many managers. Richarlison’s red card has seen many reach for the transfer out option, but is that wise…we shall soon see.
Onto the fixtures, and this week there are again some interesting ones. This is also the last week before the international break. It’s at this point where the trigger finger over your wildcard chip gets very itchy, so let’s see when you may be able to ring the last ounce out of your squad before then.
Leicester vs Liverpool
The early Saturday game gave us a shock score line last week, and could there be another upset on the cards this weekend? Leicester will be buoyed by taking a vital 3 pts from Southampton last week and have a decent record against the Reds in recent years. However, without main man Vardy the could struggle. Maguire and Schmeichel will need to be on top form to keep out the potent Liverpool front line. Liverpool and FPL fans were hoping that Anfield would have been flooded with goals vs Brighton, but the 1-0 win and solitary Salah goal were the only returns. They are perfect 3 from 3 and look to be genuine title contenders even this early in the season. I expect the big name front 3 to provide goals and keep an eye on the wing backs as both Robertson and Alexander-Arnold have been amongst the assists early on this season.
Prediction – Lei 0-2 Liv
Brighton vs Fulham
The classic 6 pointer again at the bottom this would appear on paper. Both teams amongst the early candidate to go down, so even though we will only be just into September this game will set a good early marker for either of these teams. Brighton held firm in the main at Anfield and will be looking to more good performances from their star men like Murray and Gross. Brighton’s home forms is also impressive. The Seagulls have lost just four home league games on the back of their promotion to the Premier League last year and have won their last five league meetings with Fulham. The Cottagers took good advantage of the fatigued Burnley on Sunday, and Star turns from Mitrovic and Vietto coupled with a late goal from Schurrle gave them a good home win. They will be hoping for more of the same.
Prediction – Bri 1-1 Ful
Chelsea vs Bournemouth
Sarri’s men continued their flawless start to the season at Newcastle over the weekend, helped by some luck with a dubious pen and an own goal. However they go in though they all count. Hazard as back in the starting XI after his World Cup lay-off and again looks to be Chelsea’s main threat this season. Jorginho has impressed as well in general play, but hasn’t troubled the scorers for FPL much so the 14% or so that have him in their squads will hope he brings his A-game this week. Bournemouth did well to fight back from 2 down to draw Desmond with Everton last weekend. Josh King scored and he along with his strike partner Wilson still remain good value for money options in the FPL market. Eddie Howe’s men will need to have a good game at the back if they are to get anything from the Bridge, so should this happen expect big points from former Chelsea keeper Begovic.
Prediction – Che 3 – 1 Bou
Crystal Palace vs Southampton
Another big game at the drop zone here, with 2 sides really looking for a win after a disappointing start to the season. Many Palace fans will be rightly fuming at the horror tackle on Zaha that should have seen Capoue ordered off in the match on Sunday past. The outcome of the game could have been so different if Watford had been down to 10 men so early on. Zaha remains their most potent attacker, but both Townsend and Benteke will need to step it up to assist him or Palace could be frustrated again. FPL fave Wan-Bissaka is also back from suspension. The Saints have not been marching very well so far, Leicester’s late winner would have been a sickener for them on Saturday. They will hope to spark in South London as they have not won a league game yet this term. Ings may get a hand in attack from a returing Charlie Austin, and Hojberg has served his ban for the red card in the League Cup so will be available for selection.
Prediction – Cry 2-1 Sou
Everton vs Huddersfield
The Toffees had the double blow of losing a 2 goal lead and losing their star man Richarlison from a red card. The Brazilian has been a revelation for FPL bosses this season, but many will be looking to ditch him now he is suspended. Walcott is the most transferred in player with over half a million of us bringing him into our squad. Everton will also look for more input from Tosun and Sigurdsson who have both started poorly. Michael Keane’s injury could also see opportunities at the back with Holgate a potential low-cost option to have around your squad in the continued absence of Mina. Huddersfield scrapped to a 0-0 with Cardiff, also having to deal with a red card in the process. FPL managers will remember one f the surprises of last season Lossl, who returned and had a good 9-point haul. The keeper will need to be on top form again, alongside the attacking talents of Mounie and Pritchard should a shock away win be gained here.
Prediction – Eve 3-0 Hud
West Ham vs Wolves
The Hammers took the lead at the Emirates but were ultimately well beaten and the concern for the fans is that the team is not getting the rewards some of their play is deserving. 3 defeats on the spin is not good enough despite some individuals giving hope such as Arnautovic & Felipe Anderson. They will also hope to see more from proven performers like Hernandez. Wolves have continued their encouraging start, getting a seriously good draw at home to City. Boly’s goal may have been both offside and handball, but teams in their 1st year after promotion need to take their luck where they find it. Whilst Neves has taken much of the headlines, Helder Costa showed in flashes that he could be a key player, and he gave the Man City backline many problems. Jota and Moutinho also performed well.
Prediction – WHU 1-1 Wol
Man City vs Newcastle
City showed they are human after all with a stuttering display at Wolves, but you would expect them to get back onto the right track at the Etihad. Kompany was very shaky and could find himself back on the bench with Stones and Otamendi itching to be involved. Middle to front is where City should win this game, Aguero being a big option to captain again.
The 3-5-2 we saw city employ against Huddersfield could be an option again in this one, so expect Jesus to start. Rafa’s tactics at home to Chelsea were much discussed, as the 5 at the back is not a usual one from his playbook. They almost conspired to get a result but the Toon faithful brought up on the flair and passion of Keegan were not happy at all. For the visit to the Champions though, I would expect them to stick to the same formation, with Schar, Lascelles and Clark in particular having to have great games if they are to get anything out of Manchester.
Prediction – MNC 5 – 0 New
Cardiff vs Arsenal
Cardiff got a good away point but would have been hoping for the full 3 especially after their opponents ended up with 10 men. The obvious concern for Warnock is the lack of goals in his side. 3 games in and no goals scored is not good in anybody’s book and men like Zohore, Murphy and Paterson will have to start firing if they are to stay in the division. They have been tight at the back though, so maybe worth a punt on their backline to flesh out your bench. The Gunners got their 1st win of the season with a comeback 3-1 victory over West Ham. This is the 1st in what could be considered an easier run of fixtures for Emery’s men, so you may want to look at the likes of Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang and Iwobi over the coming weeks. A game that you would expect Arsenal to romp, but Warnock will have his men right up for the challenge.
Prediction – Car 1-3 Ars
Burnley vs Man Utd
Burnley have had a sluggish few games, with their qualification attempts in the Europa League giving them issues in terms of fitness and fatigue when back on PL duty. They overachieved last year and if they make it to the group stages, this could affect them right up until Xmas. Tarkowski has been in good form despite the poor run and he, alongside Hart, look to be the key men at the back for the Clarets this term. Whilst Dyche may be concerned about his team, the other dugout is not a happy place either. Jose was reeling from the humbling home defeat by Spurs and stormed out of his press conference after the match. Utd have serious issues at the back and with the conundrum that is Pogba still causing headaches, they will be hoping to have a stormer in this Lancashire derby. Lukaku, Sanchez and Lingard have the talent, but is the dressing room pulling for the manager…we will find out on Sunday.
Prediction – Bur 0-2 MNU
Watford vs Spurs
The final game of the weekend sees 2 sides with 100% records clash in a London derby. Watford have surprised many with a great start, and the key has been the consistency of selection. Gracia should expect to be able to field an unchanged XI for the 4th game in a row and it is clear that this team have a determination about them. In Gray and Deeney they have proven PL strikers who can notch goals and the continued brilliance of Pererya in midfield gives them a good base to build upon. They will not fear Spurs coming to Vicarage Road, so anything is possible. Tottenham were excellent on Monday, and their 3-0 win was well deserved. Moura’s 2 goals saw him make his way into 380,000+ FPL squads and the Brazilian will be a key man in the continued absence of Son with the South Korean National team. The big names of Kane, Eriksen and Alli will be crucial again, but the ever more impressive Trippier has carried his displays of the summer into the PL, gaining 11 points for those 24% of us who have him. A big game ahead….
Prediction Wat 1-2 Tot
Another big week ahead then, and hopefully the FPL gods shine on us all.
So until after the international break…
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