We have skipped ahead to GW-8, having bypassed GW-7 due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II (responses stretching local transport and police crowd-control capacity). With her state funeral planned for Monday, there are further repercussions for three of this week’s fixtures.
Brighton and Hove Albion’s home fixture against Crystal Palace had already been postponed due to a planned railway strike. The industrial action has been suspended now, but the fixture remains off. In addition, the two fixtures with the biggest policing concerns, Man United vs Leeds and Chelsea vs Liverpool, have both been scratched.
At the time of writing, all other EPL matches planned for the weekend are due to go ahead (kicking off on FRIDAY!), so that leaves us with seven fixtures and probably some big holes in our FPL squads.
With all that in mind, here are some options that I hope will bring good points in this weekend:
Nick Pope (£5.1, Newcastle v Bournemouth)
He’s the top FPL keeper so far this season. A home game against Bournemouth promises more good points.
Asmir Begović (£4.0, Everton v West Ham)
It’s hard to look beyond Pope, but Jordan Pickford is injured, so we can expect to see Begović play against the Hammers, who have a Europa Conference League fixture in Denmark on Thursday evening. They might not be quite as fresh as Everton and haven’t been scoring freely in any case.
Shoutout: Dean Henderson (Nottingham Forest, £4.7); Ederson (Man City, £5.5)
Kieran Trippier (£5.3, Newcastle v Bournemouth)
Doubling up on Newcastle’s defense seems reasonable against Bournemouth, and Trippier can score at the other end of the pitch too. He’s comfortably the most transferred-in player this week to date, so his price is creeping up, but he’s still excellent value.
João Cancelo (£7.1, Wolves v Man City)
The top-earning defender for the season and also the second-most transferred in player this week, Cancelo is another obvious pick, especially among the reduced options for the week. Wolves, along with West Ham, have scored the fewest goals this season, a measly three.
Ivan Perišić (£5.6, Tottenham v Leicester)
Perišić has not yet nailed down a regular starting spot, and keep an eye on what happens in the Champions’ League tonight (if he plays all of that, then he is less certain for Saturday), but he has already shown his potential at both ends of the pitch.
Neco Williams (£4.1, Nottingham Forest v Fulham)
There are several budget-priced defenders playing now, but few offer the constant attacking potential that Williams does — finally bearing fruit last time out with an assist. Against Fulham, a clean sheet is not particularly likely, but attacking returns are not out of the question.
Shoutout: William Saliba (Arsenal, £4.8); Nathan Patterson (Everton, £4.1), Emerson (West Ham £4.0)
Gabriel Martinelli (£6.5m, Brentford v Arsenal)
With the five most-productive midfielders all blanking this week, that leaves Martinelli as the form player in midfield. While Brentford has done well so far, the Bees aren’t the tightest defensively.
Kevin De Bruyne (£12.2, Wolves v Man City)
KDB is the least affected by Pep roulette and is the ideal fit for a Mo Salah sized hole in your team this week. City is scoring freely, and while Wolves have been solid in defense, there is surely a goal or two in it for City. You wouldn’t bet against KDB being involved, but keep an eye on who plays in the Champions’ League on Wednesday because there are likely other good options in City’s midfield too.
Anthony Gordon (£5.5, Everton v West Ham)
Everton has started slowly, but Gordon has two goals in his past three games, and offers decent value against a West Ham side that is also struggling
Son Heung-min (£11.7, Tottenham v Leicester)
I make this pick with no great confidence because Son’s form so far hasn’t been great. He hasn’t been far off though, so with his ownership dropping below 10%, perhaps now is the time for him to come to life. Rock-bottom Leicester is not the toughest opponent either, having already conceded 16 times this season.
Shoutout: Bukayo Saka (Arsenal, £7.8), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton, £6.5)
Erling Haaland (£12.0m, Wolves v Man City)
He’s selected by 79.4% of managers, so he’s already in your team surely? All season there has been speculation that he’s due a rest, but with last weekend’s fixtures being cancelled, that threat recedes despite the Champions League this week.
Gabriel Jesus (£8.1m, Brentford v Arsenal)
The other player who is owned by more than three-quarters of managers, he’s also already likely in your team, and he can also add to his points tally this weekend.
Alexander Isak (£7.0, Newcastle v Bournemouth)
He has already shown in his two appearances that he can find the net. He will be eager to score his first goal at home. His price tag is easy on the budget, so there won’t be many better opportunities this season!
Shoutout: Aleksandar Mitrović (Fulham, £6.9); Harry Kane (Tottenham, £11.4)
What do you think of this week’s picks? Whom have I missed? What is your strategy for this week — will you use a chip? What about your captain? Please log in and let us know in the comments below!