Injury doubts to Kevin De Bruyne and Jamie Vardy add to the drama ahead of the sixth gameweek in Fantasy Premier League, where deadline day signings are prime for picking and the form players are becoming more and more clear.
A handful of recent signings impressed last weekend, led by Fulham’s Ademola Lookman on his debut start, while new West Brom centre-back Branislav Ivanovic is cheap and started well, but note the Baggies’ backline seem like they’re in for a tough season.
Burnley keeper Nick Pope reminded us of his value, while Wolverhampton may have unearthed a talent in Max Kilman who is bargain price.
Harry Maguire has endured a difficult start to the season, leading to a price drop, but he also flagged his quality with a goal for Manchester United last round.
Previous week lessons
Plenty of Fantasy coaches had to deal with the dilemma of who to trade the injured Alisson Becker to, and those who opted for Manchester City’s Ederson will have been delighted. But Rui Patricio and Karl Darlow also showed they’re good value options.
On the topic of keepers, any Fantasy coaches who still own Kepa Arrizabalaga will need to act urgently, as Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has declared he’ll be dropped to second choice after his latest gaffe last weekend, meaning Edouard Mendy will start against Manchester United on Saturday.
Patient Fantasy coaches were also rewarded to keeping the faith in Timo Werner with his breakthrough Premier League goals, while Kai Havertz also delivered finally. The floodgates may open for the pair.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s slow start continued at Liverpool, while Gareth Bale made his first appearance for Tottenham since re-joining Spurs and is one to watch.
Who to captain?
Tottenham striker Harry Kane is in blistering form and it’s pretty hard to ignore his scores, if you own him, but he is playing in the final fixture of the round, away to Burnley, so there’s scope to try some vice-captain loophole options. Before we get to those, don’t forget Son Heung-Min either.
Manchester City play in the second game of the round (flag: Aston Villa-Leeds United is on Friday night, so if you plan to trade any of their players, act quickly) away to West Ham who conceded three goals to Spurs last round, so Kevin De Bruyne’s injury status will be important to monitor.
Top club match-ups such as Saturday’s Manchester United-Chelsea game usually precludes their players from nomination for captaincy, but Werner’s double last round may be tempting for a vice-captain option, along with Bruno Fernandes although he has failed to convert two penalties lately.
Liverpool are at home to struggling Sheffield United in Saturday’s late kick-off so Mohamed Salah is a very good option too.
De Bruyne> appears to be a 50-50 prospect for City, having returned to training on Thursday for the first time since injury, but you wouldn’t blame them for erring on the side of caution.
In-form Everton midfielder James Rodriguez looks to have been ruled out by boss Carlo Ancelotti after picking up a knock against Everton, while Seamus Coleman is also out with a thigh issue.
Jamie Vardy’s availability isn’t clear either, having missed Leicester’s past two matches. Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers said on Thursday: Well see how he is over the next couple of days and hopefully he can be available for the weekend but well see about that in the next 48 hours.”
What is clear is that Liverpool will be without Virgil van Dijk for a lengthy period of time after sustaining an ACL injury against Everton.
Elsewhere, Crystal Palace forward Jordan Ayew is out after testing positive to coronavirus, opening the door for on-loan Michy Batshuayi, while Newcastle keeper Darlow has been cleared of serious damage after a collision against Manchester United.