Another big week on the Premier League calendar, one which pits two top four contenders Tottenham and Liverpool against one another at White Hart Lane, both teams coming into the game on the back of very different results. The Saturday early kick off sees winless Manchester United travel to newly promoted Burnley. Also, Chelsea have their first big test of the season going to Goodison Park to face Everton and old boy Samuel Eto’o. However, these could be the games to avoid as they are so hard to predict so let’s have a look at players that can fill a spot in your fantasy teams this weekend and those you should get out.
Tyne Wear Budget Defensive Options
Sunderland have a strong set of fixtures coming up, playing 4 favourable games in the next five starting against a disjointed QPR. QPR have yet to score and at only £4.5m Vito Mannone could well return a few clean sheets, however another option for the Sunderland defence is Patrick van Aanholt, also only at £4.5m he has already returned an assist and if he can get forward like Danny Rose did against QPR more can be expected.
Staying in the North-East, Paul Dummet at Newcastle is only £4.0m and looks to have made the left back spot his own, they host Crystal Palace for Neil Warnock’s first game. Newcastle don’t face any of last season’s top 7 until GW9 so there should be a few clean sheets for the Geordies.
The Inevitable Point Scorer
Dusan Tadic, £7.5m, has done everything but get points so far, he has formed a dangerous partnership down the left hand side with Ryan Bertrand and has supplied many crosses and chances for his team mates, in particular, Graziano Pelle. Pelle got his name on the scoresheet for the first time in the League Cup this week and if he starts to put some of the Tadic crosses away both will rack up the points.
A new mid priced midfielder option that has arisen is that of Nacer Chadli, £6.0m, his two goals last weekend should surely cement his place in the team alongside Lamela and Eriksen. Chadli has revealed he has been told to get in the box because of his height and strength by Pochettino, so we could well see more goals for the Belgian international. He is certainly a good differential at that price.
Manchester United’s Angel?
Angel Di Maria comes in at £9.5m a price which has surprised a few, many expecting double figures, it is certainly an attractive price for one of the world’s best players. However, with questions over how he will fit into the system or how the system will fit around him it is unclear if he will change the fortunes of the misfiring Manchester side immediately. Maybe more importantly for fantasy managers there are still questions if he will play this weekend due to work permit clearance, an issue which is still delaying the debut of Marcos Rojo.
No one striker has set himself apart to become a must have-yet- due to different issues. Costa now has injury doubts which could be long term but managers should hold off and see what Mourinho says in his press conference at lunchtime today.
Jovetic, £8.1m, gave his manager and fantasy managers a real headache with his two goals against Liverpool on Monday. With Sergio Aguero, £12.0m, scoring off the bench two games running and Dzeko picking up a knock it really is unclear who will be starting each game for City. This week Jovetic and Aguero are likely to be the partnership at home to Stoke, a fixture they must fancy to score. If you have the money Aguero is certainly the long term option, but if not in the short term Jovetic certainly offers good value, especially this weekend. A potential option is to have Jovetic this weekend and then change to Adebayor for Tottenham’s game against Sunderland.
Get Them Out
The obvious man that many managers will try and get out is James Chester because of his red card last weekend, however if you are a manager who has a strong bench then it could well be worth keeping hold of Chester. With them out of Europe and still a strong set a fixtures when he returns he is still very good value, cheaper than Dawson or Davies.
Palace most likely will be a shadow of the team they were under Pulis so I would say get rid of last season’s bargains such as Speroni and Joel Ward. Aston Villa face Hull this weekend but after that they face each of last season’s top 5 back to back so it could be time to get rid of Alan Hutton after this gameweek.
Swansea are playing well with two wins out of two and the players that seem to be benefitting are the midfielders, however, their main man Wilfried Bony, £8.5m, seems to be struggling and with Gomis looking good off the bench there are better options around for now, the likes of Adebayor, playing in an attractive Tottenham team, looks a stronger choice at the moment.
Everton’s tough start is not relenting with Chelsea, Liverpool and United in the next 6 games, it is time, if you were brave enough to start with Jagielka or Distin, to sell. Coleman and Baines could still well get assists and goals but there are better options for less money than the two centre halves.
Remember to join The Boot Room fantasy league, the code is 275208-73981 and see if you can knock me off the top of the table.
Keanan Bennetts has perfect opportunity to impress Mauricio Pochettino this week
The left-sided star has a chance to impress in first-team training during the international break.
With the international week in full flow, plenty of teams in the Premier League have seen their squads diminished by call-ups to national teams.
Tottenham Hotspur are one such side. Nonetheless, with most of the first-team squad away with their respective nations, work continues at Hotspur Way.
In order for Spurs to have a full complement in training, plenty of young talent needs to be pulled in to the ranks.
Mauricio Pochettino will, therefore,e get a chance to see some of his young players training with regular first-team players such as Fernando Llorente, Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura.
One player who will be training with the first-team this week is talented wide-man Keanan Bennetts, according to London Live.
The 19-year-old left-winger has been catching the eye for the club’s youth team in recent weeks, making the news after scoring a fantastic goal for the under-19s against Monaco in the UEFA Youth League last month.
Bennetts has also been attracting interest for his positional dexterity. The wide-man has played at left-back in recent times and it could be that is his future best position.
This week he will be up against some excellent players such as Lamela and Moura, who did not receive selection to the Argentina and Brazil national teams, respectively.
If he can prove himself with this calibre of player, Pochettino will have to take notice.
It is coming to a point in his Tottenham career when Bennetts has to make such an impact. The teenager is out of contract at Spurs in the summer and needs to ensure he is kept on for at least one more season.
Tottenham fans who follow the youth teams are certain he is deserving of such a chance. If he can show Pochettino what he is capable of this week, then a new deal will surely be in the pipeline for the talented wide-man.
Despite improvement, Everton should not rekindle Thomas Vermaelen interest
The Belgian defender has been in better form for Barcelona this season.
Rumours have emerged today suggesting Everton could be back in for Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen.
Catalan newspaper Sport has reported that the 32-year-old could be offered a new deal by Barcelona, with a team from the Premier League interested in signing him.
Sport Witness has openly hypothesised that Everton could be that team. Whilst there is no confirmation or substantiated report that is the case, the boot certainly fits.
Last summer Everton tried to sign Vermaelen.
As reported by the Liverpool Echo, at the time Barcelona vetoed a loan move to Everton as they felt the defender could be a useful asset.
The Belgian certainly has. After struggling with injuries and form throughout most of his Barcelona tenure the former Arsenal man has enjoyed a good season.
The 32-year-old has been a genuine asset to the Catalans, despite still being used sparingly, and such form has even seen him win back a place in Roberto Martinez’s national selection for Belgium.
If it is Everton interested in Vermaelen it is easy to see why. Centre-back has been a major problem for the club this season.
However, Vermaelen, or a player of his ilk, is not the answer to the Toffees’ woes.
The Belgian is obviously a talented player with plenty of experience, but Everton need to freshen up their back-line.
Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka’s age has shown in recent months.
The pair have been, at the best, inconsistent for the past 18 months and Everton need fresh young talent in the heart of defence if they are to succeed.
Vermaelen is not only 32 but also immensely injury prone. Everton need reliable figures to plug their leaky defences and the Belgian can simply not be relied upon.
Whilst on paper it seems a good deal, and one Everton could certainly turn to their benefit.
The truth is supporters of the Goodison Park outfit will hope they are not the club reportedly keen on bringing Vermaelen back to the Premier League.
Have West Ham United found the next Mark Noble in Alfie Lewis?
The 18-year-old put in a fine performance against Dagenham and Redbridge this week.
West Ham United took on Dagenham and Redbridge in a friendly yesterday, in a match to raise funds for the National League side.
It was no surprise to see West Ham come out victorious. They won 3-1, with Michail Antonio at the double and Jordan Hugill scoring his first goal for the club.
It was, however, a Hammers team depleted by international selection.
With that in mind, David Moyes’ side fielded some of their younger players. Plenty of them caught the eye, but none more so than central midfielder Alfie Lewis.
The 18-year-old put in a fine display for 90 minutes which left West Ham fans very excited on social media.
It was an even more special achievement given Lewis spent most of last year on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.
Lewis himself told the official West Ham website after the game: “I’m delighted.
“It was a good experience for me tonight, to play with the likes of Patrice Evra, and Mark Noble in midfield. It was a good challenge and a good test for us as well, and I think I did well.”
He spoke of it being an honour playing alongside Mark Noble, but is he the successor to the throne?
Whilst Noble has had his critics in recent times there is no doubt he has been a long-term hero at West Ham.
Fans of the club have often wondered why Noble has never received England recognition given his consistent form in the Premier League.
Noble has gone on to play over 400 games for West Ham since his debut for the club back in 2004.
Lewis certainly has the ability to follow in his footsteps. An energetic midfield creator, West Ham look to have another midfield gem in their ranks and one that can hopefully progress into the first-team soon.
The Hammers have a fine record of bringing through young players.
Noble is one current example and Lewis could not be at a better club if he is to find his way into the West Ham first-team.
This season, with a relegation battle raging, might come a little too soon for the teenager.
Nonetheless, in 2018-19 it will not be a surprise if Lewis finds himself playing alongside Noble in the West Ham midfield once again.
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