Watford hosting Newcastle probably doesn’t have the global appeal you’d hope for in the Premier League but it’s the battle between Ismaila Sarr and Allan Saint-Maximin that will keep Fantasy Football managers interested as over 600,000 people have brought in one of the two this week.
Elsewhere, Man United and Liverpool take on tough defences and Chelsea and Man City kick the gameweek off in what could be the first title-deciding game of the season.
Below, we pick out the best captain picks, discuss who’s hot, who’s not and the ones to watch ahead of this week’s transfer deadline on Saturday 25th September at 11am.
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Michail Antonio (£7.9m) vs Leeds (A)
Returning to the team following a one-match suspension, Michail Antonio will be eager to perform against a Leeds side who will be without key players through injury and bans. Llorente, Koch, Struijk and Bamford will definitely miss out whereas Ayling, Raphinha and Harrison remain doubtful. Only Salah and Mane have taken more shots than Antonio so far this season, signalling the striker’s threat.
Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.7m) vs Aston Villa (H)
Although he may not top the stat tables across the season, but since his homecoming in gameweek four, no player has had more shots, shots in the box, shots on target expected goals or had more chances than Ronaldo who’s finely settled into his new role in leading the Man United line. Facing Villa may be his toughest game yet however as the Midlands outfit have conceded the third fewest goals in the league, averaging less than one goal per game.
Mo Salah (£12.6m) vs Brentford (A)
Having scored or assisted in all but one game this season, captaining Salah might be the safest play. He has the most combined shots and chances created in the league and notoriously does well against newly promoted sides. Similar to the Ronaldo conundrum though, Brentford have started well defensively, conceding the second fewest xG and shots on target in the league.
Ismaila Sarr (Watford, £6.1m)
Up against Newcastle and Leeds in his next two games, Sarr will be looking to build on his strong start to the season. No cheaper player has scored more points than him therefore providing excellent value for money and as Watford’s leading shot taker and chance creator, if the Hornets are to get anything from these games, Sarr certainly needs to perform.
Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle, £6.7m)
Similar to Sarr at Watford, ASM is heading towards talismanic status at Newcastle. Like Mo Salah, the Frenchman has only blanked once so far this season and with Watford and Wolves up next, you’d fancy his chances to keep on going.
Shane Duffy (Brighton, £4.3m)
Starting the game at a third of the price and as a defender compared to a forward, we’re five games in yet Duffy has had over double the number of shots as Harry Kane! No defender has had more shots than the bargain at the back and when coupling that with Brighton’s clean sheet potential, Duffy continues to show his value.
Patrick Bamford (Leeds, £8.0m)
Confirmed as injured with an ankle problem in Bielsa’s press conference on Thursday, Bamford is set to miss his first game of the season as Leeds take on West Ham. Managers may look towards the previously mentioned strikers as replacements but could also be tempted to hold onto the English forward in hope that he’s fit to take on Watford next week.
Ferran Torres (Man City, £7.1m)
Since his two goals and assist in gameweek three, Torres has failed to score and was dropped for last weekend’s 0-0 draw against Southampton. City travel to Chelsea and Liverpool over the next two weeks in what are arguably their hardest games of the season. We should expect tight games where neither side will create huge amounts of chances.
Mason Mount (Chelsea, £7.4m)
Similar to Torres, after a strong start for Mount with assists in his first two games, he’s since failed to register a goal or an assist and has seen his gametime decrease. Chelsea take on Man City this weekend who have conceded the league’s fewest expected goals so expect it to be another tough game for Mount to thrive in if he manages to make it onto the pitch.
Ones to Watch (<5% ownership)
Martin Odegaard (Arsenal, £5.5m, 2.2%)
Having started each of Arsenal’s last three games, Odegaard has become nailed on in the Gunners’ starting line-up and is set to start against Tottenham on Sunday. The Norwegian midfielder scored his first goal of the campaign last week which has prompted over 50,000 people to transfer him in.
Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal, £4.5m, 1.5%)
I’m not wanting to be too Arsenal-heavy in this section but it’s definitely worth pointing out that last season’s third tightest defence in the league has one of the cheapest goalkeepers in the game. Ramsdale has started Arsenal’s last two games which have coincided with their first clean sheets.
Neal Maupay (Brighton, £6.5m, 2.5%)
A (currently) top four side for £6.5m and on penalties… What more do you want? Maupay has scored three goals in Brighton’s first five games and faces Crystal Palace and Norwich over his next three. He has both the form and the fixtures to be a great differential pick.