Ah, yes, the first week is in the books and the premium players that everyone was buzzing about either underperformed or laid an egg. It was almost fate that Rooney, Hazard and Sterling would troll those singing their praises, myself included, while the likes of bargain picks like Yohan Cabaye, Riyad Mahrez, and Marc Albrighton had high-scoring games.
This Game Week, player picks don’t get any easier due to the Manchester City vs. Chelsea game. There are some tasty match-ups, however, that could bring high scores especially to those managers willing to take some risks…
Simon Mignolet – I know it is still very early but by the look of things, Bournemouth will have trouble scoring goals this season. If you can't put at least one past Aston Villa, you will not score against a Liverpool team that kept a clean sheet against a much improved Stoke club.
Sergio Romero – after a few shaky moments in goal, the Argentine made a few impressive saves to keep Kane & Co. at bay. Away to Aston Villa is a good match-up to continue the clean sheet streak. The real question is: does he continue to start with the news that David De Gea is expected to stay beyond the transfer window?
Lukasz Fabianksi – while Swansea conceded two against the defending champions, the Polish keeper was not at fault for either one and played a very solid game. At home to Newcastle and priced fairly, he should be in your thoughts this Game Week.
Heurelho Gomes – for anyone who watched Watford against Everton, the team from Hertfordshire looked very composed defensively and perhaps deserved more than a draw. Playing to a packed Vicarage Road Stadium against a West Bromwich team that looked like a typical West Bromwich team should give the Rovers hope for optimism.
Peter Cech – boy, did he look old and defensively out of place in his first Premier League game for Arsenal?! He is still cheap and will get another chance to prove his worth or make more mistakes when the Gunners travel 20 kilometers from the Emirates Stadium to the Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace.
Matteo Darmian – very impressive debut from the ex-Torino man. Darmian looked fast and decisive on the ball, and could become a real offensive threat once the Manchester United pieces begin to fall into place.
Jose Holebas / Miguel Layun – the Greek international played full 90 minutes against Everton and made some good runs at the left back. The Mexican international was fielded on the left of the attacking midfield and scored a goal. Both will continue to start and one is a good pick at home to the team from the Hawthorns.
Aaron Cresswell – he is no longer priced at £1, but he is as reliable as before. With West Ham hosting Leicester and Bournemouth in two consecutive weeks, he should be in your thoughts.
Joe Gomez – solid defensively, provided the assist for Philippe Coutinho’s winner and should keep Alberto Moreno on the bench at home to Bournemouth.
Patrick Van Aanholt – the whole Sunderland defense looked like a giant train wreck, but we all know how much potential for racking up points the Dutch footballer has. At home to Norwich, he is worth a risk.
Christian Eriksen – his clear chance miss on the 4th minute of the game against Manchester United proved to be decisive. I expect a more substantial performance at home against Stoke with at least an assist to his name.
Gylfi Sigurdsson / Jefferson Montero – at home to a defensively weak Newcastle team; one of the two Swansea midfielders should be in your squad. While Sigurdsson is no longer on corners as that duty was taken away by Jonjo Shelvey, he played in his preferred No.10 role, right behind Bafetimbi Gomis. His counterpart, on the other hand, was running circles around Branislav Ivanovic and only a slight muscle cramp made him leave the field on the 71st minute. Expect more of the same from the Ecuadorian on Saturday against a porous Newcastle defense.
Dimitri Payet – consider me impressed. Terrific technique, on point crosses and great field vision will lead to goals and many more assists. Expect an open home game against Leicester City and plenty of offensive opportunities for the Frenchman.
Jeremain Lens – picked up an assist against Leicester City and with the news that Adam Johnson will be out for 8 weeks with a shoulder injury, Lens becomes much more important to the Black Cats offensively.
Philippe Coutinho – the new Liverpool darling made fans forget Raheem Sterling with his 81st minute goal against Stoke City. The expectations will be higher when the league newcomer, Bournemouth, comes to town.
Dusan Tadic – his skills were never in doubt. His physical attributes and endurance, however, were constantly questioned during last season. Having played full 90 minutes against Newcastle and providing the game-tying assist, we may be getting the Dusan Tadic of "old" back. Everton defense was exposed by the newcomer, Watford, and it would only make sense that the Serbian continues to be an early season offensive threat.
David Silva – should have been credited with Manchester City's first goal, but subsequently registered an assist on Vincent Kompany's goal. The game against Chelsea won't be easy but the Spaniard showed good form and looked dangerous throughout the match.
Christian Benteke – with the first game jitters out of the way, it is time to get to the business of scoring goals. I have a good feeling that the big Belgian will open his goal scoring account on Saturday. He should be in your team.
Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal with and without the Chilean are two different teams. And while Sanchez did not look sharp in a cameo appearance off the bench, expect him to start and cause constant problems for Crystal Palace defense.
Troy Deeney – Watford surprised virtually everyone by securing a point against Everton. Home to the West Bromwich Albion team continuing to struggle from last season is a good opportunity for Deeney to score. Expect a PK goal.
Harry Kane – watching the Spurs play Manchester United, it became apparent that Tottenham urgently needs reinforcement from someone like Andrey Yarmolenko. Erik Lamela should come in for Moussa Dembele to liven things up temporarily. He and Eriksen should provide the necessary spark to get the Englishman on the scoresheet.
My current team:
Mignolet, Darmian, Van Aanholt, Holebas, Sigurdsson, Eriksen, Payet, Tadic, Benteke, Kane, Sanchez.
Who are you considering? Let us know in the comments!