The Premier League is back after a two-week hiatus, much to the delight of fantasy football managers everywhere.
Picking the right team has been difficult so far due to a disrupted fixture list and shock results, not least in the last round of games.
Liverpool and Manchester United were on the end of heavy defeats and will be looking to hit back against Everton and Newcastle United respectively this weekend.
There is also the small matter of Manchester City against Arsenal, plus a London derby between Tottenham and West Ham.
Whether you need to build on a strong start to the season or make up points on the sides in front, our Opta-powered picks will give you the advantage you need.
Classic goals pic.twitter.com/W0uhu6gDjm
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 15, 2020
Martinez has made a good start to life at Aston Villa since joining last month, very much picking up from where he left off at Arsenal.
The 28-year-old can argue his case as being the Premier League’s best goalkeeper since the competition resumed post-lockdown in June.
Four keepers have faced more shots on target since then, but Martinez has made the most saves (43) and has the best save percentage (79.3).
Only Man City’s Ederson and Rui Patricio of Wolves (both seven) have kept more clean sheets across the same timeframe than Martinez’s seven.
Many felt that Azpilicueta’s days at Chelsea may be numbered following the emergence of Reece James at right-back.
However, the 31-year-old is proving that he remains a great option for any fantasy side, having created more chances (16) from open play than any defender since June.
He has four assists in that time, which is bettered only by Liverpool’s Andy Robertson (six), most recently setting up Mason Mount in Chelsea’s 3-3 draw with West Brom.
Even taking Everton’s perfect start to the season into consideration, Villa have been the Premier League’s surprise package so far
Konsa has played a big part in his side’s impressive run in the top flight, which stretches back to last season, by helping to keep three clean sheets in his last five games.
The young defender has helped out in an attacking sense, too, scoring twice from four shots since the Premier League restart four months ago.
After an international break that only strengthened his claim to be a starter for England, Grealish will be looking to pick up from where he left off for his club side.
Villa have played a game fewer than 16 other sides but only one player, Tottenham’s Son Heung-min (seven), has been involved in more goals than Grealish in the 2020-21 season.
The playmaker has scored three goals of his own and laid on three more for team-mates, while his 10 chances created from open play is only bettered by Kevin De Bruyne (12).
On the basis of his five goal involvements in the thrashing of Liverpool, the Villa skipper seems an ideal pick for this trip to Leicester City.
5 – Last night, Jack Grealish became the first player in Premier League history to have a hand in five goals in a single game versus Liverpool (two goals, three assists). Mesmeric. pic.twitter.com/tB1QpTte2f
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 5, 2020
KEVIN DE BRUYNE
If you are one of the rare fantasy managers without De Bruyne in your side, this may well be the time to finally take the plunge.
The Belgium international has scored five goals against Arsenal, making the Gunners his favourite opponents in that regard, and he has also bagged a couple of assists in this fixture.
That includes a goal when the sides last met in June, although it is worth pointing out that he is carrying a knock ahead of Saturday’s contest.
Taking the tail end of last season into account, versatile West Ham attacker Antonio is one of the most in-form players around right now.
The 30-year-old continues to be overlooked for England selection, despite scoring 10 goals in his last 11 top-flight outings.
Antonio also loves playing against Tottenham, finding the net against his side’s London rivals four times in seven previous games, making them his favourite opponents.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) October 15, 2020
On the subject of players who tend to do well against certain sides, Leicester talisman Vardy has scored five goals in his last four league games against Villa.
The striker, fully rested after two weeks off between games, scored braces home and away against Dean Smith’s side last season.
He already has five goals from four matches this season, placing him behind Son and Dominic Calvert Lewin (six each) in the scoring charts.
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