I don’t really know how I feel about last weekend. On the one hand, my side mustered 49 points – not awful despite being below the average marker. But on the other, a couple of my choices badly let me down, and I’m sorry if you selected them off the back of my advice.
It started badly, with Aurier seeing red in the lunchtime fixture. Then it got worse, with Mendy getting injured after half an hour having already been booked. I needed a hero, and that guy was Leroy Sane, who stepped up with a brace, meaning my midfield finally collected some points for a change.
I’d called the City cleanie, not hard I know. Ederson took six, Mendy would’ve likely done the same had he remained on the field, and then Monreal got bonus points on Monday. There was an assist in that game from Sanchez, while Okazaki scored up front. I’m annoyed I changed Abraham for Wood, because the former scored off the bench while the latter blanked.
On to this week, and as usual much has changed for the upcoming set of games. Below are the players I think YOU can select to make a difference for you this weekend. As you’ll see, I’ve gone a little OTT on the home bankers here…
Since their drubbing at Anfield, Arsenal have now gone three league games on the bounce without conceding. This week, with Brighton visiting the Emirates, Cech (5.5%) has to be the premium choice in my opinion. If you need something a little cheaper, Hart (9%) might be worth a look at home to Swansea. West Ham aren’t known for their clean sheets and Spurs did knock three past them last week pretty easily. But I like their fixture here, so the City loanee could be worth a shout I think.
I would argue Trippier (3.2%) is this week’s must-add player to be honest. I cannot believe that with Aurier suspended, his ownership remains so low. Yes, the Ivorian is only banned for a week, but in my eyes Trippier is more reliable, more sensible and frankly, more trusted by Pochettino. He had an assist in Europe on Tuesday too, providing yet another good cross for Harry Kane and I think Aurier will need to work pretty hard to regain his spot after the international break. Alongside Tripps is Sanchez (0.3%), who is still in hardly anyone’s team. The pair have Huddersfield this Saturday lunch – bring them in. Monreal (4.1%) retains his spot from last weekend, where he was brilliant and collected bonus points against West Brom. Completing my starting line-up at the back is Zouma (2.6%), who will be itching to go from the off against goal-shy Southampton after having to sit out the 4-0 defeat against parent club Chelsea last week. Martina (0.6%) is my budget option on the bench here, with Burnley this week’s visitors to Goodison Park. He’s been back in the side of late, and offered something of an option (not an amazing one, granted) going forward.
I thought Hazard (3%) would start last weekend, though perhaps I forgot the Blues had a trip to Atletico this midweek. Having come through that tough test, and with the Belgian looking sharp, I fully expect him to be in Conte’s side to face City this Saturday night. It’s not an easy fixture of course, but Hazard is a big-game player and he’ll be raring to go on his first league start of the season. A star like him will want to hit the ground running after a frustrating few months. Mata (2.7%) has been pretty disappointing so far, posting scores of 3, 3, 3, 1, 3, 3 from his six games so far. Basically, he’s overdue a return, and where better to do that than at Old Trafford against the worst team in the league so far? Nowhere, that’s where. Also in my midfield this week is Lanzini (0.5%) who has been badly missed by the Hammers thanks to his injury. I’m backing him to return this week against Swansea and I like the idea of him making an instant impact. Well, someone has to, right? My Arsenal trio is complete with the addition of Ramsey (4%) who looked sharp as he provided an assist during MNF last week. When he’s fit, he plays, and the Brighton match is a favourable looking one for a midfielder who loves to get in the box. On the bench is Jese (7.6%), a player who is yet to play 90 minutes for Stoke so far. Southampton at home is a nice looking game however, and I fully expect him to play an hour before he gets hooked for being knackered. He can probably be filed under ‘luxury’ to be honest, hence why he’s on the bench for me this time.
For a change, I’m going two up top with one on the bench this week, as opposed to the usual three. So, in the starting 11, Rashford (7.5%) and King (2.2%) partner each other, and I’m handing the United striker the armband. His home banker with Palace has already been spoken of above, and I expect him to be in the side from the start, with Martial picking up an injury in their Champions League win over CSKA. It’s a shame for Frenchman, who was wonderfully sharp, but I can’t see Jose risking him against the Eagles, so I’m thinking Rash gets the nod. King finally found the net against Everton last weekend, and next up is a Leicester side without a clean sheet in their last five. On the bench, the random choice of Niasse (1.3%) takes his place. The forward was basically given up on last season, shipped off to Hull on loan with seemingly no future in blue. But he’s come back, knuckled down and taken his chance by the scruff of the neck. With two goals last week and one in the League Cup beforehand, he could well start up top against Burnley this weekend. He certainly provides Koeman with something different, and I like him as a budget differential this week.
Good luck this weekend.
Written by Joe McPhee (@JPMc99)