There is some separation developing now in the league, as the top three teams are flexing their muscles and the bottom three remain winless. Every game counts, as does every point on your fantasy team.
Let’s take a look at match-ups, trends, and injuries / suspensions.
Saturday, October 30
[ For Fantrax managers, this is the one early match that should publish confirmed lineups about an hour before the Fantrax deadline. ]
Leicester vs Arsenal
Leicester and Arsenal sit 9th and 10th respectively. The Foxes are undefeated in four while the Gunners are undefeated in six. Leicester is coming off of two solid wins, finding goals from players besides Vardy. The striker has yet to go scoreless in back to back games. Be mindful though — Leicester has kept only one clean this season, and that was in the season opener. Arsenal looked good against Aston Villa. Youngster Emile Smith-Rowe has two goals in two, and his energy is the engine behind most Gunner attacks. The Gunners haven’t lost since Aaron Ramsdale took over in goal.
Injuries/Suspension: Wilfred Ndidi, Marc Albrighton, and Justin James. are all out. Granit Xhaka is out. Martin Odegaard and Kieran Tierney are getting closer to a return. Ben White is unlikely with a stomach “bug” (but it doesn’t look like COVID).
Burnley vs Brentford
Burnley is still without a win at 18th with only seven goals for while shipping 15 against. I’m not sure where the goals are going to come from and what is wrong with the defense that stifled teams at times last year. Brentford continues to play with the verve that Burnley lacks, even after two tough losses in a row. The Bees need to have that confidence with a new goalie in place.
Injuries/Suspension: No news for Burnley. For Brentford, keeper David Raya Martin is out. This is a loss, as he has been solid. Vitaly Janelt won’t be ready yet.
Liverpool vs Brighton
Liverpool is undefeated and absolutely dismantled Man United. It’s two straight 5-0 wins, both on the road! Mo Salah is playing at the next level, and there’s a swagger back in the strides of Klopp’s team. Brighton has come up against a rough patch. The Gulls haven’t won in four games, and Man City dominated them last week. Unfortunately, Liverpool comes right after City. Brighton won’t back down, but Liverpool is simply cruising right now.
Injuries/Suspension: James Milner is out. Naby Keita and Thiago are closer, but not there yet.
Man City vs Crystal Palace
Pep has City rolling again (like a ball on a Pep roulette wheel). The Citizens haven’t lost since game one of the season. There’s a lot of rotation, but it’s bringing the best out of players most weeks. Brighton did score against them, the first team not named Liverpool since season opener. Palace has drawn four straight, but I wouldn’t expect another draw in this one.
Injuries/Suspension: For City, only Ferran Torres remains out. Eberechi Eze is not ready for his return for Crystal Palace.
Chelsea gets 19th place Newcastle after embarrassing last place Norwich a week ago, 7-0. These match-ups have come at a good time, with key injuries, especially upfront. You wouldn’t have noticed those missing players last week, and it may not make a difference against Newcastle this week. Mason Mount scored three, but goals came from everywhere. There’s a reason the Blues are top of the table. The good news for Newcastle is that there is a new owner and no new major injuries. That’s it. Full stop.
Injuries/Suspension: Mateo Kovacic suffered a hamstring injury in training yesterday and will be out for a few weeks. Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku are out still. Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are training, but I’m not betting a pick on either.
Watford vs Southampton
Watford got a boost last weekend with a much needed 5-2 win over Everton. The Hornets have won just once at home, failing to keep a clean sheet yet while conceding 17 goals this season. Southampton has only one win, which is why they find themselves in 16th. The Saints are struggling to find a consistent way to score after selling Danny Ings. Injuries and red cards have not helped.
Injuries/Suspension: Emmanuel Dennis is out for Watford after accruing five yellow cards. James Ward-Prowse returns after his three-game suspension, but Broja will miss out this weekend with an ankle injury.
Tottenham vs Man United
This is a big game for these two teams that started the year with some aspirations and results, especially for Ole, though it may be too late already. Spurs were shut out again last game, the third time this season that Kane, Son and company have failed to score. They have also conceded at least one goal in each of their last six. United was crushed the last two weekends, and the Red Devils have lost three of the last four. The goals have dried up, Ronaldo and Bruno kept off the score sheet in those four losses. Something needs to change here, so I’m wondering if we will see some big changes in the lineup.
Injuries/Suspension: Paul Pogba is suspended from his red card. Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial are doubts still. Nothing new to report for Spurs.
Sunday, October 31
Norwich vs Leeds
I feel like I’m repeating myself with Norwich each week: no wins, last in the league, only two goals for, but 23 against (well, that last number does change — too much!). After last week’s demoralizing loss, I’m not sure where they can go but “down”. Which also means that you should be considering players from Leeds. They aren’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard, but they are still in attack mode, even if they haven’t clicked fully.
Injuries/Suspension: Patrick Bamford and Luke Ayling still need more time. The real questions is whether or not Raphinha will be ready. It looks like he has a good chance of playing. Billy Gilmour is ineligible to play against his parent club, not that you were really considering him.
Aston Villa vs West Ham
The Villans are headed the wrong way in the table. They’ve conceded eight goals in their last three, all resulting in losses. West Ham, on the other hand, are challenging for a spot in the top four. They fully deserve to be there. They held Spurs and Everton scoreless and have yet to lose on the road. The Hammers are finding ways to win. Antonio gives them a chance every game, and the supporting cast of attacking players are putting pressure on defenses each week.
Injuries/Suspension: No new key injuries to report for either team.
Monday, November 1
Wolves vs Everton
Wolves have steadily moved up the table after a rough start to the season. They are undefeated in four games. The attacking combination of Raul Jimenez and Hwang Hee-Chan is clicking, and they have conceded just nine goals this year (only the top three in the league have done better). Everton struggled least week. Rafa and his team need a bounce back game, after two straight losses. They have been missing key attacking players and will be happy to welcome back Richarlison.
Injuries/Suspension: Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Abdoulaye Doucoure will miss out. Neto, Marcal, and Willy Boly are all out still for Wolves.
Sources from https://www.premierinjuries.com/injury-table.php,
So how have your fantasy teams shaped up? Have you been affected by any of the injuries or suspensions? Do you have any late news to report? Are you a Fantrax manager looking to buy a Gunner or Fox after seeing the confirmed lineups? Please share in the comments and tune in here during the deadline countdown!