EPL Fantasy Preview: Salah Dominant, Bruno Dip, Lukaku Worry

EPL Fantasy Preview: Salah Dominant, Bruno Dip, Lukaku Worry Photo: TT
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates with Sadio Mane, right, after scoring the opening goal during the Champions League group B soccer match between FC Porto and Liverpool at the Dragao stadium in Porto

Injuries have mounted over the international break including worries for Romelu Lukaku and Ferran Torres, while Mohamed Salah has made a case to be this season’s absolute must-have player.

New Options

Chelsea defender Trevoh Chalobah put his name up in lights as a cheap backline option with a gameweek 1 strike and he added another in the Blues’ 3-1 win over Southampton last time out. The problem is he’s no certainty to retain a starting spot. Ben Chilwell has also returned for the Blues and given his price point, is an option to consider.

It’s hard to ignore the form of Everton’s Andros Townsend who popped up with a goal in the 1-1 draw at Manchester United and consistently posted decent scores.

Another cheap midfield option is Tottenham’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who netted last gameweek against Aston Villa, although he doesn’t typically score option.

In attack, Wolverhampton’s Korean forward Hwang Hee-Chan, on loan from RB Leipzig, scored a double last time out and looms as the best cheap option up front, given he will likely hold his spot.

Previous week lessons

Mohamed Salah is the most reliable player right now, leading the league in overall points with 70, which is overwhelming ahead of any one else. We’ll discuss him more in the captaincy section, but he really needs to be in your team and your captain each gameweek for now.

Bruno Fernandes is in a dip, potentially due to Cristiano Ronaldo’s form, having only scored 18 points in his past six games, averaging only three, since his bumper opening game.

Likewise teammate Paul Pogba’s bubble appears to have burst, managing only five points in United’s past three games. Staying on United, Ronaldo was rested last time out, starting on the bench which is something to be wary of.

Who to captain?

Salah is the clear and obvious choice, with Liverpool making the trip to Watford, who sacked Xisco Munoz with Claudio Ranieri taking charge for the first time. The newly-promoted Hornets have conceded 10 goals in seven league games.

If you wanted to try something different, Son Heung-Min is a plausible option with Tottenham facing leaky Newcastle, who have conceded 16 goals in seven games. Harry Kane would be a gutsy choice too.

Romelu Lukaku hasn’t scored in his past three league games so he’s due when Chelsea face newly-promoted Brentford, while Kevin de Bruyne may be ready to shine when Manchester City host 18th-placed Burnley.

Injury front

There’s a few concerns for coaches, with the South American contingent unlikely to return in time to be available across the weekend, led by Raphinha, Emiliano Martinez and Thiago Silva.

Man City’s Ferran Torres sustained a foot injury on international duty and is unavailable, opening the door for Jack Grealish to shine.

Romelu Lukaku also had an issue on Belgium duty but trained fully on Thursday, while Trent Alexander-Arnold declared himself fit on Twitter with an amusing Fantasy-related post.

Raphael Varane is unavailable for United after picking up a groin injury in the Nations League final, while Leeds forward Patrick Bamford is still struggling.

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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