Goal takes a look at the best players to select or avoid, the bargain buys, and the top choice for captain’s double points ahead of this weekend’s Premier League action
|START ‘EM – WHICH PLAYERS SHOULD YOU PICK?
Manchester City may sit fifth in the Premier League table after seven games having lost twice, but Yaya Toure (9.0) remains in excellent form. The Ivorian is regularly among the goals and assists for his side but has also notched three clean sheets so far this season and is likely to earn plenty of points against West Ham at Upton Park on Saturday.
Liverpool boast one of the meanest defences in the league, but they travel to St James’ Park to face Newcastle and Loic Remy (7.5). The on-loan QPR striker is enjoying a fine run in front of goal, netting five times in just 330 minutes and picking up an assist in the process as well.
Brendan Rodgers’ side pose plenty of threat of their own, meanwhile, in the form of Luis Suarez (10.0). Back from suspension and straight into the goal scoring habit, Suarez has been scintillating since his return and could give Newcastle’s shaky and suspect back four plenty of problems.
Chelsea host Cardiff having conceded just four goals so far this season, and so John Terry (5.5) is a good bet to pick up some clean sheet points this weekend. The club captain is out of the England reckoning but in favour under Jose Mourinho and should be fresh after the international break, while Branislav Ivanovic (6.5) is also likely to feature.
|SIT ‘EM – WHICH PLAYERS SHOULD YOU AVOID?
After an excellent run involving five clean sheets and a goal each, bargain defensive pair Dejan Lovren (4.0) and Jose Fonte (4.0) might be best left out of any Fantasy Football starting XI this weekend when Southampton travel to Manchester United. Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie both terrorised defences while away on international duty and could give the Saints centre-backs and goalkeeper Artur Boruc (4.5) a day they will want to forget.
West Ham’s Jussi Jaaskelainen (5.0) is among the highest scoring goalkeepers so far this season but is up against a Manchester City side which has scored 17 goals – more than any other team in the Premier League. The veteran shot stopper could be stretched to his limits by Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo, Edin Dzeko or any number of attacking threats at Manuel Pellegrini’s disposal.
While Chelsea are expected to pick up a win over Cardiff at Stamford Bridge this weekend, it might be time to think about removing Eden Hazard (9.5). The Belgian has been picked by 31.9 per cent of players but has not yet made a suitable return on such an investment. Chelsea team-mate Oscar, for example, is a much higher scorer in the same position, and a far cheaper option.
Everton host a Hull side who have scored just six goals so far this season, and so Tim Howard (4.5) looks a safe option in goal this weekend. The Tigers’ main attacking threat, Robbie Brady, is unavailable due to injury, leaving Steve Bruce’s side looking unlikely to trouble the American at Goodison Park.
Stoke, however, have managed to net just four times over the course of the first seven games and face a West Brom side who shocked Manchester United at Old Trafford before drawing with Arsenal at The Hawthorns. The Baggies have conceded only six goals so far this season, so the likes of Liam Ridgewell (4.5) – who is also capable of scoring the odd goal – appears a good value selection this weekend.
Similarly, Ben Davies (4.5), the Swansea left-back, has already scored twice this season and been part of a back four to keep two clean sheets. The young Welshman could be among the points when struggling Sunderland visit the Liberty Stadium with new manager Gus Poyet at the helm.
|CAPTAIN’S CHOICE – TOP TIP FOR DOUBLE POINTS
Romelu Lukaku (7.5) has looked unstoppable since moving to Everton on loan from Chelsea. The Belgian scored on his debut as a substitute against West Ham, before netting twice against Newcastle and once in the defeat to Manchester City.
Lukaku scored two more goals while away on international duty with Belgium against Croatia, and is a good bet to notch against Hull at Goodison Park on Saturday.
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