Huddersfield Town v Tottenham
Huddersfield have done well, but Spurs are the much better side and maybe more comfortable away than at “home” (Wembley). They have lost just 3 of the last 29 games and scored at least 2 in their last 5 league away games.
Bar the central midfield duo, all Spurs starters are promising. It’s not August so Harry Kane has his mojo going. He is a must in this week.
It’s an Eagles side that have played 6 lost 6 and scored none. Going back to last season, it’s actually 7 league games without a goal. Their only forward is injured, and they visit a United side who are unbeaten in 20 home league games and have kept 7 clean sheets in their last 8 league matches.
This is close to a home banker as there is, so don’t be surprised if Palace perform like Burnley last season at Old Trafford. This game does follow on the back of the Red Devil traveling to Russia for a midweek Champions League game. Don’t be surprised if there are a few changes in the starting 11. Until the injury to Fellaini, I thought we may see Juan Mata or Mkhitaryan given a rest, but Mata was benched and Mickie played just an hour or so. It could still happen, but they seem more likely to start than not. Elsewhere, Martial was on fire and came off just after 70 mins. You would think Rashford may get a nod, but there is doubt after midweek.
Right now United do not have a like-for-like replacement for Romelu Lukaku. A Palace “parked bus” may demand a goal from a cross, and Lukaku is a powerful threat. I think he is safe to start if fit and is an obvious captain choice.
If Palace do break their duck, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is the man looking most likely. No Benteke, no Zaha and now now RLC, this must mean a home clean sheet right!?.
Bournemouth v Leicester City
The Foxes have won just 2 of their last 24 away league games, but the Cherries have lost 5 of the last 6. A hard match to call.
Joshua King got off the mark last week, and forwards often score in bunches. I like him in Fantrax/Togga this week if you like a little gamble.
Stoke v Southampton
The home team cannot stop conceding goals, and the away side cannot start scoring them. As I write, windy conditions are due this weekend. In recent years, that would have suited Stoke, but I’m not sure it still does.
The Saints have kept 2 clean sheets out of 2 on the road this season, but Stoke have some talented players who have the movement to break through.
Anything can happen in this one. A 3rd away clean sheet on the spin would be rare even for a top side so I will take a shot that Jese or Choupo-Moting score again.
WBA v Watford
What an impact new manager Silva has made. The Hornets have won all 3 away games this season, conceding just once and scoring 2 in each.
WBA meanwhile have conceded only 1 goal in 3 home matches.
Again anything can happen here. WBA are overdue a set piece goal, but Watford seem better suited to play away.
West Ham United v Swansea
How about this stat: In 4 away games, Swansea have kept 4 clean sheets. Further, they are unbeaten for 5 away games. The Swans clearly prefer being on the road, and West Ham are a side that leave themselves too exposed at times.
West Ham will likely play Andy Carroll and Little Pea. Both are dangerous forwards, but playing the pair will see Chicharito move to the left hand side of the attack where he may be less effective.
That clean sheet streak must end, and Andy Carroll likes playing the Swans. Meanwhile, I see the clever movement of Abraham causing problems, so either he or Bony will score.
Alert: In case you haven’t already heard six times by now, Sergio Aguero broke one or more ribs in a car crash. He will be out for weeks, maybe months.
City are on fire, winning 9 of their last 10 league games. They’ve scored 10 and conceded once in their 3 away games this season. Champions Chelsea have won 10 of their last 12, and they beat City both home and away last season.
It’s a humdinger of a game where anything from a tactical 0-0 to an ice hockey score can happen.
Perhaps anyone or nobody at all. Eden Hazard was electric midweek, so I take him to score.
Arsenal v Brighton
The Gunners have won their last 8 home league games, keeping 6 clean sheets and scoring at least 2 goals in each of their last 6.
Brighton have scored 1 and conceded 4 in their 3 away games.
Home win to nil looks so obvious. Against WBA, Alexis Sanchez wasn’t back to his best, but he was full of action. I think there may be a brace for him this week.
The Tank meanwhile will be playing as a wing forward rather than wingback in this one. While he won’t get clean sheet points, he can rack up attacks in the Brighton final third.
Everton v Burnley
The Toffees have won 11 of their last 13 home games, while Burnley have lost 20 of their last 22 away. Despite that Burnley stat, they have won at Chelsea and drew at Spurs this season, so it may be misleading for 2017/18.
I believe Everton score at least once, and Wayne Rooney or Siggy are the only two I can be sure start, so pick one of them.
It’s not been a great September for Liverpool. Klopp’s men have won just once in 6 games in all competitions, scoring 7 and conceding 13. Despite having one of the most fluid attacks, the reds have had 121 shots in those six games, so it’s finishing not creativity that has been the issue. Meanwhile, not having a clear top level defender or keeper is showing, and swapping defenders around may not be helping.
Roberto Firmino was becoming a must-have coming into the month, but now his showing on Sunday will decide the FPL squad place in the minds of many fantasy players. It’s not impossible that Daniel Sturridge gets the nod.
Newcastle’s 1-0 loss at Brighton ended a 3 game winning streak. Rafa will set his side up to defend in numbers then look to pinch a goal on the break or with a set piece move, a plan that has caused Liverpool problems before.
Liverpool have conceded at least twice in each of their last 3 away league games, so a Newcastle forward could be a play. Joselu has missed multiple sitters recently, but the older heads will tell you that as long as he gets in the positions to score, the goals will come. He strikes me as a player whose whole day is based on that first chance of the game. Score, and his confidence is high; miss, and his confidence never recovers in the 90mins.
Despite the tough month, both Mohamed Salah and Phillipe Coutinho have been excellent. Newcastle will struggle to deal with them. Sadio Mane is also back, so a clean sheet looks very unlikely for the Magpies. Of the trio, a Salah brace/hatty is coming, but the question is whether this is the week.
That Matt Richie penalty chance is overdue, while Jamaal Lascelles has punished teams who don’t mark correctly at corners.
Are you replacing Aguero? If so, with whom? Have you heard any other late news? What other last minute changes are you pondering and why? What does your final squad look like in each fantasy format? Whom will you be watching / considering for barn-door buying during the weekend? Please tell us in the chat below.