Football Article

EPL Fantasy Preview: What to do With Salah & TAA?

EPL Fantasy Preview: What to do With Salah & TAA? Photo: TT
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah reacts

The English Premier League is back this weekend after the international break but there’s no shortage of headaches for Fantasy coaches to mull over led by Mohamed Salah, Raheem Sterling and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

New Options

Bruno Fernandes reminded all coaches why he was so good in 2019-20 with two goals and an assist in Manchester United’s win at Everton. He’s also delivered that score while his price has flattened, so with a game against struggling West Brom coming up, he’s cherry ripe.

We mentioned Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech a fortnight ago and his most recent display in blue only reinforced that he’s primed and ready to trade in. Ziyech has been taking Chelsea’s set-pieces too, meaning assists aplenty.

Another Chelsea player to monitor is Tammy Abraham who returned to the starting line-up with a goal against Sheffield United. If he starts again, he might find a way to skyrocket.

Leeds forward Patrick Bamford is also proving no flash in the pan, with a goal against Crystal Palace after his hat-trick against Aston Villa.

Previous week lessons

Don’t miss penalties! There were some costly spotkick failures leading to significant points losses for Jamie Vardy, Kevin De Bruyne and Ademola Lookman last round. On the flipside, Lukasz Fabianski benefitted with a penalty save.

We always endorse picking up players who take spotkicks, but this is one of the pitfalls. You’ve gotta take the good with the bad.

Leeds midfielder Mateusz Klich may be one to keep, with some coaches trading him out thinking he’s maxed out. He managed an assist in Leeds’ 4-1 loss and should’ve had another, if not for VAR.

On the flipside, it may be time to give up on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who is struggling for goals and rapidly dropping in value. Yes, he scored against Manchester United recently but his duck against Villa meant he’s only scored that one goal in his past seven league games.

Who to captain?

This section hasn’t changed much this season, generally pointing in Harry Kane’s direction, or teammate Son Heung-Min but Tottenham have a tough fixture this Saturday at home to Manchester City so there’s some hesitation.

Likewise, usual captaincy suspect De Bruyne missed a penalty last gameweek and faces Spurs. Given they all play on Saturday, they’re good vice-captain loophole options but definitely plan for a back-up.

There’s another unexpected twist, with another one of our favourite options, Mohamed Salah, unavailable for Liverpool this round. Jamie Vardy also plays the Reds, so that’s tough too, but Liverpool’s defence is decimated and they have been conceding goals.

Fernandes looms as a prime option against lowly West Brom, while Chelsea frontman Timo Werner has found form lately and plays 13th-placed Newcastle. Don’t discount Jack Grealish against Brighton either. Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s bubble seems to have burst, so avoid him.

Injury front

Salah is the big news, having tested positive to coronavirus while on Egypt duty. He tested positive again during the week, meaning he’ll definitely miss the Leicester clash. It remains to be seen if he’ll be available next gameweek but he’s an expensive player to carry over.

There’s more key news from Liverpool with Trent Alexander-Arnold suffering a calf injury last time out. The Reds have been coy on his availability but he missed the England camp and given it’s a soft tissue injury, you’d assume he won’t play.

Joe Gomez definitely won’t play with a knee injury, decimating Liverpool’s backline further, but Andy Robertson and Jordan Henderson are expecting to be cleared despite niggles on international duty.

Man City’s Raheem Sterling picked up a calf knock on England duty and is rated 50-50 to play against Spurs. Sergio Aguero looks set to miss out with a thigh injury.

Chelsea’s Kai Havertz will face a fitness test to prove he’s ready to return, while Ben Chilwell has a concern and Thiago Silva returned from international duty in South America late this week.

Marcus Rashford has a shoulder worry meaning he’s 50-50 to face the Baggies, while Richarlison returns from suspension for Everton and Southampton’s Danny Ings will be out with a knee injury until mid-December.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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