Gameweek 8 Preview: Fantasy Premier League #FPL
Written by John Wallin @FantasyGaffer
What number are we up to? Is this No. 200 yet? After being deposed on Talkin Togga for the silky sounds of Ben Dinnery I’m questioning my role, my usefulness, my very existence. (Ed. Poor John took a week off from the podcast and in his place we had Injury Expert @BenDinnery join us for a chat. John may never get back on the show as a result. I’ve included the podcast link below also!)
Defender: Kyle Walker, Manchester City
Walker made the big money move to Pep’s squad this summer, which many FPL touts thought would crater his value. Instead the England international now has two assists and five clean sheets – including the last four on the bounce – and City have conceded just one League goal while he’s been on the pitch. Playing Stoke provides the perfect opportunity to add to both totals. The price is high and you might have to swallow your pride to transfer him in but he’ll be worth it. The next three are Stoke (H), Burnley (H) and WBA (a).
Midfielder: Eden Hazard, Chelsea
Eden Hazard is back and healthy and what a time to get there. Chelsea get Palace away and Antonio Conte’s side will not even get the full-strength Eagles. Expect Hazard to dominate a weak wing and he’s good value to not only score, but create a goal or two. His value is further boosted by the low ownership (3.7%) and the absence of Alvaro Morata. Hazard hadn’t had the chance to form a bond with the injured striker and instead gets to return to a side dependant on his attacking skills.
Forward: Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal
It’s not often that club teammates are also national team mates, playing in the same position but suffering such different fates. Lacazette sits over Olivier Giround for Arsenal, but it is the elder Giroud who gets the nod – and draws the plaudits – for France. There’s been no sign that Giroud’s international exploits – HE KEPT KYLIAN MBAPPE ON THE BENCH – will impact Arsene Wenger’s – HE SCORED A GOAL; LACA WAS UNUSED SUB – lineups with Lacazette starting six of seven in the EPL. Watford at home are 0-2-1 with nine goals allowed. Simple maths.
Captain: Harry Kane, Tottenham
Also acceptable to have Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Ben Davies or even Mo Sissoko wear the armband. Spurs do have just the two ‘home’ goals in three ‘home’ matches at the place where they now play their ‘home’ matches. But in the two fixtures since they were blanked by Swans, Poch’s side have scored seven. Goals from Kane (4), Eriksen, Davies and Sissoko were assited by Alli (2), Trippier (2) and Davies. This side is comprehensively good and capable of turning flat-track bully with panache. Points are coming.
Outsider: Nick Pope, Burnley
It’s rare a goalkeeper ever makes this column but Tom Heaton’s replacement at Turf Moor deserves a bit of credit. Since taking over he’s allowed just one goal and posted two cleansheets from four appearances (his 54′ against Palace coming agonizingly close). If you play daily games or draft games, he’s got even more value with key passes and the potential for the odd assist. But it is his similar shot-stopping excellence that makes Pope an FPL star. 3, 8, 2, 4 in his four outings is quality; facing West Ham who’ve managed joint-8th most shots on target (24) but just 7 goals makes for a tantalizing start here. His 4.5 price and 0.4% selection makes him one to get in to free up funds elsewhere.
Draft: Anthony Martial, Manchester United
The United midfield has suffered from major injuries in the past few weeks and Jose Mourinho could be forced into starting Martial at Liverpool. Even if Mou doesn’t hand Tony M the start, he’s exceptional value in draft. In fact, in his substitute appearances this season he’s broken double-digits in all but one. Togga’s format rewards successful dribbles, crosses and key passes – against LFC, even in limited minutes, Martial should be good value to hit 10+ again. If he’s lucky enough to get on the score sheet he’ll be an impact player in your starting XI – regardless of real life.