The game-week following a break can be challenging. Clubs with a larger number of players exposed to international duty may find preferred starters unavailable — Even if not injured, some could be fatigued / jet-lagged.
In contrast, clubs with fewer international commitments have rested and healed. Fantasy managers should pay close attention to the condition of players returning from international duty.
GW-9 kicks off with the highly anticipated Merseyside derby! After welcoming back players who were previously injured, Everton has bounced back from a sluggish start to the season, securing three victories in the last four matches across all competitions.
On the other hand, not only were Liverpool players engaged in international duties, but some were also involved in matches on other continents, including Diaz, Nunez, Salah, McAllister, and Becker. Anticipation is high for what promises to be an exhilarating derby this week!
score prediction: Liverpool 2 - 1 Everton
Bournemouth vs Wolves | 21 Oct (Saturday)
Bournemouth is still searching for a first league victory of the season as Wolves visit this week. Having scored just one goal in the last four league games, Bournemouth will look to breach the defense of Wolves, who have been unable to secure a clean sheet in their last six matches.
Nevertheless, Wolves themselves are in commendable form, undefeated in their last three league matches, including a notable triumph against the defending champions at Man City.
score prediction: Bournemouth 1 - 2 Wolves
Brentford vs Burnley | 21 Oct (Saturday)
The Bees must still be pondering how they conceded two goals in the final three minutes of their match against Man United just before the break. That game was the eighth consecutive across all competitions without a victory, during which they have also failed to maintain a clean sheet.
On the other hand, Burnley faced challenging fixtures at the start of the season and is now aiming to capture some points against relatively manageable opponents.
score prediction: Brentford 1 - 1 Burnley
Man City vs Brighton | 21 Oct (Saturday)
The Citizens have lost three of their last four games in all competitions, currently experiencing a two-match losing streak in the league. The repercussions of Rodri’s suspension and the team’s lack of width surfaced, and lesser teams capitalized. But Rodri returns this game-week, extinguishing similar opportunity for Brighton.
Even so, the tactical mastermind Roberto De Zerbi might find a route to goal (but probably not). However, despite scoring well, Brighton is also enduring a rough patch, conceding too many goals in two draws and two losses in the last four matches in all competitions. Expect regular service to be restored at the Etihad this weekend.
score prediction: Man City 1 - 0 Brighton
Newcastle vs Crystal Palace | 21 Oct (Saturday)
Sandro Tonali might be playing his final match before a lengthy ban for game betting. This is the only negative news for Newcastle in recent weeks, as the Magpies have been dominating their opponents since mid-September. Their victories include a 4-1 triumph against PSG in the UCL, a clean-sheet victory against reigning champions Man City, and an emphatic 8-0 away win with each of the goals scored by a different player. Despite a busy schedule, they have been performing exceptionally well in all competitions, securing five wins and two draws in their last seven.
Surprisingly, Crystal Palace is the team with the most clean sheets in the league (four), but the Eagles also have one of the lowest goal-scoring records.
score prediction: Newcastle 2 - 0 Crystal Palace
Nott’m Forest vs Luton Town | 21 Oct (Saturday)
Surprisingly, Luton Town is not in the relegation zone, offering inspiration to fight for Premier League survival. Nottingham Forest will be without their top scorer Taiwo Awoniyi, which could be favorable news for Luton Town’s leaky defense, which has been unable to secure a clean sheet in their last 12 matches. Let’s see if they can replicate their away victory at Everton when they step into the Forest!
score prediction: Nottingham Forest 1 - 1 Luton Town
It’s the match of the week, London Derby #1! Chelsea is steadily regaining footing after a painfully slow start to the season, recently claiming three consecutive wins across all competitions.
Meanwhile, Arsenal is viewing the recent break as a much-needed recovery period for some injured players, including Saka and Trossard. Despite Chelsea’s home advantage, the Gunners’ flawless away record in the league this season suggests they are capable of overcoming this shortfall.
score prediction: Chelsea 1 - 2 Arsenal
Sheffield Utd vs Man Utd | 21 Oct (Saturday)
Two of the teams plagued by the most injuries face each other here. While Man United has four league victories, all have been by a slim, one-goal margins, including a comeback from a 0-2 deficit against Forest and a thrilling last-minute finish last week against Brentford. These results suggest that United is still grappling with on-field issues, exacerbated by the ongoing injury crisis.
Sheffield United currently holds the last position in the league standings, not to mention most team stats. This match would become a major turning point if the Blades can get anything from it, but United has been inconsistent enough that the home side could find belief.
score prediction: Sheffield Utd 1 - 2 Man Utd
Aston Villa vs West Ham | 22 Oct (Sunday)
The sole match on Sunday showcases two strengthening teams in the league. Aston Villa is renowned for unpredictability, evidenced by a 1-5 defeat to Newcastle followed by a commanding 6-1 victory against Brighton a month later. However, the Villans’ three-game winning streak was halted by Wolves in the previous game week.
West Ham’s results are more consistent, with a steady record of defeating lower-ranked teams, suffering losses against Liverpool and Man City, and securing their only recent tie against Newcastle. This match has the potential to be a goal fest!
score prediction: Aston Villa 2 - 1 West Ham Utd
In another London Derby, Ange Postecoglo’s Tottenham currently leads the league despite the departure of former captain Harry Kane. Not coincidentally, Postecoglo has achieved the remarkable feat of winning the manager of the month award twice in his first two months in charge. Given that Fulham has conceded the most penalties (3) so far this season, Fantasy managers might want to consider including Tottenham’s penalty taker this week.
score prediction: Tottenham 3 - 1 Fulham
Has anyone from your fantasy team sustained an injury during the international break? How are you managing the uncertainty during this hectic schedule? Has anyone planning to use a chip this week? Feel free to log in and join the live chat in the comments below!