No Friday night game this week, but to kick things off there’s a big game at Old Trafford on Saturday at lunchtime with Man United hosting Leicester. A midweek EFL Cup win against Northampton has helped to avert talk of a crisis for Mourinho at United, and if they can beat the champions they’ll be up into third place in the table, at least temporarily until the rest of the weekend’s fixtures are played. The signs are that they could well do this; Leicester haven’t won at Old Trafford since January 1998 and United have won 8 of their last 10 home games in the league. On top of this Leicester have lost their only 2 away league matches so far this season and were beaten 4-2 by Chelsea in their midweek EFL Cup fixture. United’s attackers are therefore the way to go in this one. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (£11.8m) has 4 goals and an assist from his 5 league matches so far for United and could well add to that tally on Saturday, while Marcus Rashford (£6.8m) has staked his claim for a starting role after scoring from the bench against Northampton. He has 2 goals from 3 league matches so far this season and with talk of Rooney being dropped/rested (delete as applicable) for this one it’s Rashford who looks most likely to benefit from this.
Liverpool’s home game against Hull will be giving plenty of Fantasy Football managers food for thought in their captain choice this week. The Reds have been in impressive form of late and are second-favourites for the title following last week’s victory at Stamford Bridge. They’ve amassed 10 points from their opening five fixtures, four of which have been away games, and they’ve already beaten last season’s champions along with Arsenal and Chelsea. After a promising start to life in the Premier League Hull have now lost 2 and drawn 1 of their last 3 league games, and they should be put to the sword here. Adam Lallana is enjoying life under Jürgen Klopp and could be great value at £7.1m, but there’s also plenty of reason to consider the likes of Philippe Coutinho (£8.1m), Roberto Firmino (£8.4m), Sadio Mané (£9.0m) and Daniel Sturridge (£10.0m). Avoid the defensive players though – Liverpool are yet to keep a clean sheet in the league this season and Hull have found the net in 6 of their 7 games in all competitions.
Saturday’s late kick-off pits together two of the most successful sides of the Premier League era with Arsenal up against Chelsea at the Emirates. It’s another game in which goals can be expected at both ends – the two sides have scored 34 goals between them in all competitions this season with Chelsea scoring in each of their 7 fixtures and keeping just one clean sheet, and Arsenal drawing a blank just once in their 7 games and conceding in 5 of them. For Arsenal Alexis Sánchez (£11.0m) is being favoured up front by Arsène Wenger this season and his return of 4 goals and 2 assists from his last 4 matches in all competitions suggests that he’ll continue in this role at the weekend. He’s classed as a Fantasy Football midfielder and will be a reliable source of points throughout the campaign. For the away side Diego Costa (£10.0m) is the standout performer, having scored 5 and assisted 1 in his 5 league games so far. He seems to be back in top form under Antonio Conte and he scored the winner last time these teams met at the Emirates in Chelsea’s 1-0 victory in January.
Watford’s trip to Burnley on Monday night is an intriguing one for Fantasy Football managers. The Hornets had a really difficult start to the season on paper, with their first five games against Southampton (A), Chelsea (H), Arsenal (H), West Ham (A) and Man United (H). They’ve picked up a very respectable 7 points from those games and the fixture list looks much kinder now as they face Burnley (A), Bournemouth (H), Middlesbrough (A), Swansea (A) and Hull (H). If you haven’t already got this season’s bargain buy Étienne Capoue in your side now is the time to do it! He’s increased in value but is still available at just £5.0m, and with 4 goals and an assist from his 5 games so far that looks an absolute steal. Troy Deeney (£6.9m) is also well worth consideration bearing in mind the upcoming fixtures. He claimed 13 goals and 9 assists last season and has scored in each of his last 2 games.
To finish off, one Fantasy Football pick from each of the remaining fixtures:
Bournemouth v Everton – Yannick Bolasie (£6.0m)
Middlesbrough v Spurs – Kyle Walker (£5.8m)
Stoke v West Brom – Nacer Chadli (£6.4m)
Sunderland v Crystal Palace – Steve Mandanda (£4.4m)
Swansea v Man City – Sergio Agüero (£13.0m)
West Ham v Southampton – Michail Antonio (£7.3m)
Best of luck for this weekend, and we’ll bring you another update next week.