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BURNLEY: Heaton, Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward, Marney, Hendrick, Defour, Boyd, Vokes, Gudjonsson
SUBS: Flanagan, Kightly, O’Neill, Bamford, Robinson, Tarkowski, Arfield
ARSENAL: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Walcott, Cazorla, Xhaka, Iwobi, Ozil, Alexis Sanchez
SUBS: Ospina, Gibbs, Gabriel, Holding, Elneny, Ox, Reine-Adelaide
DEFENDER: ANTONIO VALENCIA, MANCHESTER UNITED
While they’ve leaked 7 goals already this season, you have to think that Man United won’t be given a better opportunity for a clean sheet than Stoke at home. So who better to pick than everyone’s favourite Jermaine Jackson lookalike, Antonio Valencia. I’ll be honest, this isn’t so much to do with him as an individual but more as needing a reliable United defender. None of them have emerged as prolific goalscorers as yet, and Smalling’s weekend goal doesn’t yet convince me. Valencia finds himself in the opposition half more than any other of Mourinho’s defenders and is as likely to get attacking points as any other. Surely he’s a 6 pointer, right?
MIDFIELDER: ADAM LALLANA, LIVERPOOL
There’s no denying it, if Liverpool beat Swansea this weekend we will all have to include them in discussion about the title. But for a mishap at Burnley, Klopp’s Liverpool would be sitting pretty in second in the table and their demolition of a decent Hull side at the weekend was undoubtedly impressive. Last week I told you all to pick Mane as if I saw it coming! This week I am opting for his team mate Lallana, who I think represents best value for money in that Liverpool midfield harem, at 7.2m. Sure he looks like the kid in Jumanji when he turns into a rat, and yes some of your mates have got in Milner cos he takes penalties and is even cheaper but Klopp clearly wants to give Lallana more attacking responsibility and there’s only so many penalties Liverpool can get. It’s hard to predict who in that Liverpool side will score the goals but more often than not Adam Lallana is involved in some stage of the assist and is finding himself in the scoring positions that got him the move to Anfield in the first place.
FORWARD: TROY DEENEY, WATFORD
This week’s striking option is a reminder in always looking at future fixtures. Watford may have been overpowered by Burnley in gameweek 5 but now have ties against Bournemouth, Middlesbrough, Swansea and Hull the next 4 weeks. It’s not dramatic to say that those games will be pivotal in how relaxed Watford can go into the second half of the season. Before the disappointing Burnley result, Troy Deeney had bagged 2 in 2 against United and West Ham. As club captain, he will more often than not be given the full 90, the international break wont affect him and he stands over penalties. He may not set your team alight this week but I think over the 4 he is a very safe pair of hands.
CAPTAIN: THEO WALCOTT, ARSENAL
*Deep Breath* It would be easy to pick Alexis Sanchez here, in fact I am sure many of you thought I might but the real ballsy move is to captain Theo Walcott. His main criticisms in the past were his inconsistent goal threat and the fact his legs were made of spaghetti. Even the most vehement Walcott haters must now be having to admit he has been one of the standouts of the campaign so far. He has completed the 90 minutes, 5 out of 6 matches and has been scoring for fun in the league and Champions League in recent weeks. He is 7.5m and somehow under 5% picked. Burnley, Swansea, Middlesbrough and Sunderland is a frankly ridiculous run for Arsenal and a captain move on Walcott here could really raise some eyebrows in your mini league.
OUTSIDER: HEUNG-MIN SON, TOTTENHAM
This was the easiest outside pick since last week when I astutely told you to put in Charlie Austin. I find it astonishing that Son at Spurs is still under 5 % picked. Although Vincent Janssen (if you say his name over and over it sounds like you’re beatboxing) is the direct replacement for the injured Kane, it is Son who is taking on the goal scoring burden for Tottenham and doing one hell of a good job of it. He has 37 points this season. Not bad, right? Wait. He scored all 37 of those points in the last 3 matches. He has 4 goals in 3 league games as well as his midweek winner, an assist to boot and managed 90 minutes in all 3 of the games. He is the same price as the likes of Barkley or Wijnaldum but there’s no real reason why people are sticking with them over him! Special mention to Alex Iwobi who would also be worth a look if you’re wildcarding.