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The clash of the titans before the international break ended up being a rather uneventful match as Man City and Liverpool drew at the Etihad with one goal apiece. The big shocker, however, came at the Emirates as Aston Villa upset their hosts with a 3 goal shutout against Arsenal and North London rivals Tottenham just barely edged out a win at the Hawthorns. Meanwhile, Man United and Chelsea seem to have found their mojo again with easy victories over Everton and Sheffield United, respectively.
Mo Salah tested positive for coronavirus and looks set to miss the weekend match against Leicester, and he may also not feature midweek in the Champions League visit from Atalanta. Meanwhile teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold suffered a calf injury in the last league match against Man City and it’s not clear if he will have recovered in time for the visit from the Foxes. There are other coronavirus cases with reports of players from West Brom potentially missing their next match including Branislav Ivanovic and Matheus Pereira. Chelsea boss Frank Lampard will be sweating over the fitness of left-back Ben Chilwell after the England international was substituted during the loss to Belgium over the break, though was back on the bench for Gareth Southgate for the next match.
GKs – It’s all Fab at the top of the defender tables with Polish shot-stopper Lukasz Fabianski looking to capitalize on a solid run of fixtures for West Ham. Budget-conscious FPL Managers can pair him with a cheap, non-playing backup or consider rotation with West Brom’s Sam Johnstone or Illan Meslier from Leeds.
Defenders – It’s not clear yet if Trent Alexander-Arnold will be cleared for the weekend after suffering a calf injury against Man City, but in the meantime Liverpool teammate Andy Robertson will deputise atop the defender tables. French international Aymeric Laporte comes into contention after starting the last couple of matches following an injury spell this season, while Arsenal pair Gabriel and Bellerin look to capitalize on a favorable run of fixtures. Lucas Digne returned to face Man United from his red card suspension for Everton, and Timothy Castagne has returned to training for Leicester as well as teammate Ricardo Pereira.
Midfielders – Uncertainty over health knocks Mo Salah and Heung-Min Son from their perch atop the midfielder tables, where Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish rises to the top following another assist against Arsenal, as was the case for teammate Ross Barkley. Portuguese international Bruno Fernandes delivered a man of the match performance for Man United with a brace and assist in the victory over Everton, while teammate Marcus Rashford supplied an assist as the pair embark on a favorable run of fixtures.
Man City anchor Kevin De Bruyne seems to have returned to fitness after providing the assist to teammate Gabriel Jesus in the draw against Liverpool, and now looks ahead to another big club match against Tottenham. Sadio Mane will look to lead the attack for Liverpool against Leicester as his teammate Mo Salah misses out.
Forwards – Ollie Watkins continues to impress for an Aston Villa attack which has so far claimed victories this season over Arsenal, Leicester, and Liverpool. Despite missing a penalty, Jamie Vardy scored again for Leicester and leads the league with 8 goals, as does young Everton star Dominic Calvert-Lewin who supplied an assist in the home loss to Man United.
Timo Werner seems to have finally hit his stride as the German international scored again for Chelsea in the victory over Sheffield. Meanwhile Patrick Bamford was on the scoresheet again for Leeds in the visit to Selhurst Park, as was Harry Kane who rescued a late victory at the Hawthorns with a late goal against West Brom.
The big dilemma for FPL Managers this week is whether to keep Mo Salah or replace with another player, a decision which will most certainly have captaincy implications. Bruno Fernandes looks to be a top contender for the armband at home against West Brom, though Kevin De Bruyne also seems a prime replacement candidate as Man City embark on a favorable run of fixtures following this weekend’s matchup against Tottenham.
Alex “The Analyst” Potier
On behalf of The Transfer Algorithm
Nausherwan Khan Arzani’s RawSauce FC has been ousted from top spot by Alfred Johnson’s MUFCK but it’s close at the top, with only 20 points separating the top six sides.
Full standings available here.
The UPTV Transfer Guru is Mikkel Tokvam, developer of the Transfer Algorithm.
About Mikkel: Fantasy football is full of noise. Too much information slamming around about statistics like players being “big-game”, “fixture-proof”, “better away than at home” or “needs this or that player to deliver returns” (like the Kane – Dembele conspiracy a few years ago).
Motivated by this nonsense, I have let the machine load the data. Tonnes of data. And compute what matters in predicting the future by observing the past.
Since its inception in 2014, the Transfer Algorithm has produced exceptional results and helped propel FPL Managers to new heights, including some of the most talented and successful competitors around the world. With dozens of key statistics considered for each player and data sets spanning many years of historical performance, the Transfer Algorithm is set up to provide a close to perfect point-expectation for future returns, comparing one with other available players, and responding with simple value metrics for choosing the optimal players for future returns on a limited budget.
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