FPL Season 2020-21 – Gameweek 8 Preview

“On Sunday, the Etihad Stadium will be the scenario for the clash between Manchester City and Liverpool” (CC by 2.0). Image by: Cléria de Souza

Gameweek 7 was another one mainly dominated by differential fantasy assets, as only two of the highest-scoring players were owned by more than 18% of all managers and only one by more than 30% (Jamie Vardy with 14 FPL points at 19.1% and Jack Grealish with 15 points at 30.9%). With Fulham defender Ola Aina, Wolves left-back Rayan Aït Nouri, Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse, Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans and Chelsea technician Hakim Ziyech, no less than five players in the GW7 Team of the Week were owned by 5% or less of FPL managers.

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This weekend offers another exciting set of fixtures, including a few high-level clashes. There is, of course, the clash of giants between Man City and Liverpool at the Etihad on Sunday but Everton vs Man United at Goodison, Leicester against Wolves at the King Power and Arsenal hosting Aston Villa could go either way. At the same time, an in-form Hammers side host Fulham and strugglers West Bromwich Albion welcome a surprisingly attacking Spurs side. Combine this with the impact of European football mid-week and it’s clear that we’re in for another weekend full of surprises.

Don’t forget: the FPL deadline for gameweek 8 is set for 16h00 (UK time) on Friday, November 6th. Also do check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your transfer(s).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per November 4th, 2020)

GKMartinez (AST), Pickford (EVE), Ryan (BRI)Mendy (CHE), McCarthy (SOU), Martinez (AST) Chelsea not conceded a goal for a while now.
DEFCastagne (LEI), Alexander-Arnold (LIV), Saïss (WOL)Zouma (CHE), Chilwell (CHE), Kilman (WOL)Improved Chelsea defence, Castagne injury, Saïss loss of starting spot
MIDRodriguez (EVE), Jorginho (CHE), Foden (CIT)Ziyech (CHE), Grealish (AST), Jota (LIV)Form midfielders replacing midfielders with injury doubt or rotation risk
FORIngs (SOU), Jimenez (WOL), Calvert-Lewin (EVE)Wilson (NEW), Bamford (LEE), Kane (TOT)Ings’ injury, form of budget strikers, difficult fixtures for Wolves

Premium pick

Together with his team mate Heung-Min Son, Spurs number ten Harry Kane (£11.0m) will undoubtedly be amongst the most-captained fantasy picks in gameweek 8. After the 2-0 defeat at the hands of Fulham last Monday, the Baggies are now the team with most goals conceded in the entire league (16 in 7 games). Spurs, on the other hand, are the most prolific side with 18 goals over that same period. Kane was directly involved in an incredible 14 of those goals with 6 goals and 8 assists, so recommending the English striker, who is playing a bit deeper this season, is a no-brainer. He has not failed to return since gameweek 2 and it’s very hard to see that run getting interrupted at the Hawthornes in GW8.

Non-premium picks

The fact that our first non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 8 is Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.7m) as the Toffees host Manchester giants United on Saturday is indicative of several things. First of all, of DCL’s status as top forward this season, based on 8 goals from 7 games so far. In fact, he only blanked once, back in GW6. Second of all, of United’s fragile state, especially defensively. The Red Devils lost 2-1 against Champions League new boys Istanbul Basaksehir and in the first six Premier League games this season, they have already let in 13 goals. And third of all, of our trust in the Toffees’ capacity to score anywhere under the guidance of coach Carlo Ancelotti and super star summer signing James Rodriguez (who is a slight doubt for the match). Watch DCL at Goodison Park this weekend.

Clean sheets have been few and far between so far this season, but we did decide to recommend a defender as a non-premium suggestion for GW8. Together with Burnley, Sheffield United have scored the least goals of all teams in the league, with just 3 goals in 7 games. To make it even worse, those goals came in three different games, so it’s safe to say that the Blades have a goalscoring issue. As a result, we think Chelsea central defender Kurt Zouma (£5.2m) could be a shrewd investment when Sheffield United visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The Frenchman is actually the highest-scoring defender in the game right now with 46 FPL points, courtesy of 3 clean sheets, 3 goals and 6 bonus points. On top of that, the Blues visit Newcastle in gameweek 9, which could mean two clean sheets in a row.

The budget enabler

Patrick Bamford (£6.0m) turned out to be one THE budget-enablers over the first six weeks of this 2020-21 campaign. Starting with a price tag of just £5.5m, the former Chelsea man is Marcelo Bielsa’s number nine of choice at Leeds and with good reason. He has already recorded 51 FPL points this season, courtesy of 6 goals and 2 assists, which explains his FPL price rise. Still, at just £6.0, Bamford still represents excellent value as the starting striker of a team as offensively oriented as Leeds. This weekend, Bielsa’s men are visiting Selhurst Park to face a Crystal Palace side that has already conceded 11 goals in 7 games. The Eagles haven’t kept a clean sheet at home since gameweek 1, while the Whites have netted 7 times in 3 away games this season. As a third striker in your squad, Bamford could be the ideal budget-enabler.

A differential pick or two

Due to injury issues, it has taken a few weeks before we could realistically include Hakim Ziyech (£8.0m) in a gameweek preview article, but finally here we are. The Moroccan international was purchased from Ajax Amsterdam this summer for £33 million and he burst onto the Premier League scene last weekend with a goal and an assist at Turf Moor. This helped him record 14 FPL points and we feel more fantasy points will be following. The former Ajax men is an extremely gifted attacker and he could become sensational once Chelsea’s attack really starts to click. On top of that, he is currently still owned by just 5.4%, a percentage that could well be growing over the coming weeks. Do keep in mind that he also started for the Blues in the mid-week game against Rennes, so rotation could be lurking.

Despite a very difficult opening set of fixtures, including away versus Leicester, Spurs and Liverpool and at home against Wolves and Man City, West Ham still managed to collect 8 points. The fixture calendar is now turning friendlier for the Hammers, which is how winger Jarrod Bowen (£6.3m) has come onto our radar. The 23-year old Englishman is a nailed-on part of coach David Moyes’s starting eleven and has already scored 3 goals this campaign, including a brace at home against Wolves. In gameweek 8, Fulham are visiting the London Stadium, which looks like a good opportunity for Bowen to build on his tallies. Only Liverpool and West Brom have conceded more goals than Fulham’s 14, so we’re hoping for a goal-ridden West Ham victory in this one. Note: Bowen currently sits in just 2.2% of all teams.

The captaincy

Sometimes, the captaincy decision is a complicated matter with many possible options. Sometimes, you should just keep it simple, especially when the league’s best attack are playing against the league’s worst defence. This is the case on Sunday, when Spurs visit the Hawthornes. As we wrote earlier, Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane will be two of the most popular captaincy picks this weekend, and we have gone with the latter. He currently sits on 6 goals and 8 assists, he’s an absolute nailed-on starter for José Mourinho’s team, and he’s on penalties as well. Having said that, Son is an excellent choice as well, with 8 goals and 2 assists to his name so far.

There are some interesting picks outside of Tottenham as well, though. Timo Werner against a struggling Sheffield United is one of them, as is Kevin de Bruyne who is up against a surprisingly leaky Liverpool side. Dominic Calvert-Lewin could be a differential captaincy pick at home to Man United, while Salah and Mané could both record returns at the Etihad. For the real differentials, there are Neal Maupay with Brighton at home against Burnley and gameweek 6 hattrick here Patrick Bamford at Selhurst Park, to name a few.