Do you smell that? That’s the beautiful smell of a fresh week of Premier League fixtures, and the putrid stench of international football is gone for a while. This gameweek brings a North London derby, as well as a distinctly winnable home game for Manchester United. As many of you will know, part two of this article focuses on midfielders and forwards, and there are some great offensive matchups to take advantage of in the budget range this weekend.
Budget Option: Pascal Groß (5.9m)
The German midfielder has been in great form this season, grabbing two goals and five assists so far. It is definitely worth staying in the flames with Groß this week as Brighton face Stoke at home, which is a favourable matchup. The Potters are leaking goals at a rate of two per game, and the Seagulls have been fairly consistent in their scoring. I fully expect Brighton to win this game, and for Groß to be fully involved. At just £5.9m the midfielder is a steal, and a weekly threat for bonus points too.
Budget Option: Abdoulaye Doucoure (5.4m)
I could easily have put Doucoure’s Watford teammate Richarlison in this spot, but the former is £1.1m cheaper, and still represents a good attacking threat. The Frenchman has bagged himself four goals so far this season, which is equal to Richarlison’s total, but Doucoure has selfishly not rewarded his fantasy owners with any assists. However this week the Hornets take on West Ham at home, which is one of the more beautiful fixtures from an attacking standpoint. The Hammers have conceded a laughable 23 goals in 11 league games, which is the most in the Premier League, and Watford have been scoring for fun.
Premium Option: Mohamed Salah (9.4m)
Liverpool have another decent fixture this week, meaning it is time to roll out the talented Egyptian winger once again. Jurgen Klopp’s side have scored nine goals in five home games, and this week’s fixture against Southampton will be played at Anfield. Salah has a remarkable seven goals and three assists in 11 games, and while the Saints have been fairly stingy in defence, there is only so much they will be able to do against a hyper offensive Liverpool team. Expect Salah to add to his tallies this weekend.
Premium Option to AVOID: Dele Alli (9.3m)
Alli is in the same boat as goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who I mentioned in part one, in that he is an injury doubt going into the North London derby. The England midfielder’s disciplinary issues are well documented, and if there’s any game that is going to tempt him to get sent off it’s an away clash with Arsenal. Add to this the fact that derbies are often tense, gritty affairs, and you have a high chance that Alli will end this game with less than two fantasy points.
Budget Option: Marcus Rashford (7.6m)
At under £8m Rashford definitely comes in as a budget option amongst forwards, which is remarkable considering both his talent and the team he plays for. The 20-year old has three goals and three assists on the season, putting him inside the top ten for forwards in FPL. This week presents an excellent opportunity for Rashford to ascend further as he takes on Newcastle at Old Trafford. The Magpies have been defensively solid this season, conceding just 10 times, but United have netted 15 goals in their five home games so far. Rashford has been a regular in Mourinho’s plans, and for his price he is an excellent pick.
Premium Option: Gabriel Jesus (10.5m)
Pep Guardiola is perhaps the most frustrating Premier League manager when it comes to fantasy football, simply due to his aggressive rotation policy. However this week Gabriel Jesus should feature, which means he will more than likely score. The Citizens are an offensive juggernaut and they will look to steamroll past Leicester on Saturday, which is bad news for a Foxes side that has conceded 16 times so far this campaign. Jesus has seven goals and an assist, despite completing a full 90 minutes just once, and if he gets any significant game time this weekend he should add to those tallies.
Premium Option to AVOID: Alexandre Lacazette (10.3m)
The French striker has six goals in 11 Premier League games, which is by no means a bad return, but he is also maddeningly inconsistent. Arsenal as a team are looking good offensively, but they head into a North London derby against their eternal rivals Tottenham this weekend, and it is notoriously difficult to predict the outcome of this fixture. One thing we do know however is that Spurs have conceded just seven times so far this season, and on paper they look like a vastly superior team to Arsenal. Lacazette will have a difficult time dealing with Mauricio Pochettino’s talented defenders, and I’m not convinced that he will be a derby hero this weekend.
There have been a lot of injuries flaring up over the international break, so make sure you keep on top of the news regarding your key players. Tottenham in particular are a problem team this week.
Just because Crystal Palace and Everton are both awful doesn’t mean their game will be low scoring. Target midfielders and forwards from both sides this week, but probably only this week.
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