It’s a good weekend of football with key matchups throughout the table.
There are injuries to deal with, and a suspension or two (by league or club!). Watch the injuries and news before pressing save!
Nottingham Forest v Liverpool
This is the lone early match for Fantrax managers to see confirmed lineups before their deadline. Liverpool assets at lowly Forest? Yes please!
Forest didn’t lose midweek. That’s a start... right? The Tricky Trees have a negative 17 goal-differential. Plus they have the second worst goals for AND against.
We should never have counted out Liverpool. Shame on you for doing so. It’s their rotating defense that has stepped up with two consecutive shutouts, including the massive win vs City. It should be three straight with this matchup, but who will start?
UNAVAILABLE: Omar Richards, Moussa Niakhate, Jack Colback, Renan Lodi, Lewis O’Brien, Harry Toffolo
UNAVAILABLE: Luis Diaz, Naby Keita, Diogo Jota, Ibrahima Konaté, Joel Matip, Melo
QUESTIONABLE: Darwin Nunez
Everton v Crystal Palace
Everton is skidding on a three-game losing streak. I can’t figure them out. The Toffees shouldn’t be THAT bad. But here they are... again. They just can’t score. DCL is back at least.
Palace got another solid result midweek. Eze, Zaha, and Olise have all put up good points recently (in Fantrax at least). But Everton has been stingy. Calvert-Lewin’s return is quite welcome.
UNAVAILABLE: Ben Godfrey, Andros Townsend, Yerry Mina
QUESTIONABLE: Nathan Patterson
UNAVAILABLE: Chris Richards, James McArthur, Nathaniel Clyne, Jack Butland
QUESTIONABLE: Nathan Ferguson
Man City v Brighton
Man City was held scoreless against Liverpool. But Brighton is not Liverpool. I can see City wanting to reinstate goal scoring dominance.
Since Graham Potter’s departure, Brighton has not won, going scoreless in the last three. It’s tough times, and away at City isn’t exactly the fixture you want when you’re in a slump, especially with City looking to bounce back after the loss to Liverpool.
UNAVAILABLE: Kalvin Phillips, Kyle Walker
QUESTIONABLE: John Stones
UNAVAILABLE: Jakub Moderm, Kaoru Mitoma, Levi Colwill
This is a big game for two teams separated by two points in the table.
Chelsea didn’t score against Brentford midweek, but the Blues did keep a clean sheet for the third time in a row. They’ve scored two or more in each home game and have yet to lose at The Bridge.
Since their horrible two game start, the Red Devils’ only loss has been to Manchester City. They secured two big wins against Tottenham and Newcastle. There’s some drama off the pitch once again with a disgruntled Ronaldo, but United is playing well on both ends of the pitch.
Winner claims the 4th spot on the table.
UNAVAILABLE: N’Golo Kante, Wesley Fofana, Reece James
QUESTIONABLE: Conor Gallagher
UNAVAILABLE: Donny van de Beek, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mason Greenwood
QUESTIONABLE: Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Anthony Martial
Aston Villa vs Brentford
Aston Villa is crashing down the table, Steven Gerrard jettisoned this week as the most recent EPL manger to get the sack. The Villans have scored just once in their last four outings, and that was against lowly Nottingham Forest in a draw. Now managerless and rudderless, they need to sort themselves quickly on the attacking side of the ball.
Brentford put on another strong defensive display, helped by another strong Raya performance. The Bees are seeking their first away win of the season.
UNAVAILABLE: Boubacar Kamara, Lucas Digne, Ludwig Augustinsson, Diego Carlos Santos Silva
UNAVAILABLE: Pontus Jansson, Thomas Strakosha, Aaron Hickey, Christian Norgaard
Leeds has just nine points on the season, only goal differential separating the side from the bottom three. It has been seven matches without a win, with only two draws in that stretch too. Leeds has injuries, unable to consistently put together a full 90 on either end of the ball.
Fulham, meanwhile, sits comfortably in 9th. The Cottagers are conceding goals still (20), but they have been held scoreless only once (GW-2). Fantasy favorite Mitrovic has goals in two straight.
UNAVAILABLE: Stuart Dallas, Adam Forshaw, Leo Fuhr Hjelde,
QUESTIONABLE: Archie Gray, Pascal Struijk, Nathaniel Chalobah
UNAVAILABLE: Daniel James, Layvin Kurzawa, Manor Solomon
QUESTIONABLE: Kenny Tete
Southampton’s win against Bournemouth put an end to a tough game. The Saints earned their first clean sheet of the season as well. I don’t put a ton of faith in them getting two shutouts in a row.
The Gunners remain top of the table, the loss to United being the only blemish on the record with nine other wins. To stay in front of City, they’ll need to keep winning games likes these. They’re brimming with confidence.
UNAVAILABLE: Valentino Livramento, Armel Bella-Kotchap, Ainsley Maitland-Niles
QUESTIONABLE: Romeo Lavia, Kyle Walker-Peters
UNAVAILABLE: Emile Smith Rowe
QUESTIONABLE: Oleksandr Zinchenko, Mohamed Elneny
Wolves vs Leicester
On the bright side, Wolves have now scored in two straight! On the less bright side, they still have only five goals total on the season (only 1/3 of Haaland’s personal tally!) and remain entrenched in the relegation fight. They are better at home, with their only loss being to Manchester CIty.
The Foxes got an another big win, doubling their total for the season. They have conceded only a single goal over their last four games, a huge improvement over the 23 conceded in their previous seven games. James Maddison returns from suspension to boost confidence even further.
UNAVAILABLE: Francisco Tavares Oliveira, Raul Jimenez, Sasa Kalajdzic, Pedro Lomba Neto
QUESTIONABLE: Tote Antonio Gomes,
Tottenham vs Newcastle
Spurs have claimed all 15 points in their five home matches by a combined 15-4 margin. They also have seven wins (plus a tie) in their eight games against teams outside the top-5. Newcastle sits just outside that top-5. Kane has tallied nine goals already.
Newcastle has the best goals-against number in the EPL, but the stingy Magpies will be tested by Spurs who are playing well, evidenced by a season with but a single defeat (away to Liverpool who scored in the 90th to win). A win or good showing here makes a statement that the winner may be battling for a top four spot.
UNAVAILABLE: Dejan Kulusevski, Richarlison
UNAVAILABLE: Alexander Isak, Karl Darlow, Allan Saint-Maximi, Matt Ritchie, Emil Krafth
West Ham vs Bournemouth
This game sees 13th hosting 12th in the table. West Ham has yet to crack the double mark for goals. Three players lead the team with just two goals a piece. They are more solid in the back, having allowed only 12 past the keeper.
The midweek loss to Southampton was Bournemouth’s first since their humiliation by Liverpool way back in August. The Cherries just aren’t great or horrible on either end, just consistently mediocre.
UNAVAILABLE: Nayef Aguerd, Lucas Tolentino Coelho de Lima
QUESTIONABLE: Maxwel Cornet, Craig Dawson
UNAVAILABLE: David Brooks, Lloyd Kelly
Let the games and chatting begin!