After what could be considered a disappointing opening gameweek, many Fantasy Football players will be rushing to undo all their hard work by making a multitude of changes. At times players are a fickle bunch, as shown by the transfers in after gameweek one. One good week does not mean that a player will be consistent and jumping on the bandwagon may do more harm than good.
As many have said on the “Twittersphere”, it is an unwise approach to chop and change so drastically and it is important to stick with it at least for a few weeks. This being said, if you are adamant of bringing a new lease of life to your team here are a few players who could be set to have a rewarding week.
Green= Favourites, Yellow= Could go either way, Red= Defeat likely.
- Aston Villa v Man Utd
- Southampton v Everton
- Tottenham v Stoke
- Sunderland v Norwich
- Swansea v Newcastle
- Watford v West Brom
- West Ham v Leicester
- Crystal Palace v Arsenal
- Man City v Chelsea
- Liverpool v Bournemouth
On paper, and considering last week’s results, a large number of fixtures could go either way. When attempting to work out who to and who not to play, especially from a defensive viewpoint, this does not make life easy. It does, however, mean that there is great potential for a goal-fest this weekend. Of all the fixtures, I would say Manchester United and Liverpool are the ones most likely to come away with a win but the majority of teams could take all three points at this early stage of the season. Arsenal would also be on that list but following last week’s performance and as they are playing Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park this week they may struggle.
Here are a few players that I feel could get an impressive points haul this week.
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) v Aston Villa (A)
To be honest, Wayne Rooney should have opened his account in their United’s opening fixture at home to Tottenham last week. Instead he dawdled on the ball and was lucky that Kyle Walker kindly swept it into his own net. The striker picked up an assist for his troubles but could go one better away to Aston Villa this week.
Rooney has scored more goals (13) in his career against Villa than any other team and Manchester United have not lost to the side in the league since 1995, winning twelve of their subsequent nineteen meetings. With the striker no longer having to fill in in other areas of the pitch, he should find himself with ample opportunities to increase his tally against Villa even further.
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) v AFC Bournemouth (H)
It is well known how effective the Stoke team has been defensively in recent seasons and they came close to earning a point against Liverpool last weekend. It was a Philippe Coutinho wonder-strike that stole all three points for the Reds at the death. In a game that was lacking any real pizzazz, Coutinho was one of the very few to bring any style to proceedings.
Their next game is at home against recently promoted AFC Bournemouth. In their first season in the Premiership and with the Anfield faithful in attendance the side may be a little intimidated. Liverpool defenders will therefore also be tempting for this gameweek. Having already gotten off the mark, Coutinho will be confident of adding more to his tally in front of the home crowd.
Dimitri Payet (West Ham) v Leicester (H)
Everyone must be fed up of me waxing lyrical about Dimitri Payet by now and the season has only just begun! When someone stands out in the way that the Frenchman does, however, you have to talk about him. In his debut game for the side in West Ham’s 2-0 away victory over Arsenal, Payet picked up an assist and had a mightily impressive game.
The midfielder is amongst the most popular in terms of transfers in this week and for good reason. West Ham have their first home game of the season against Leicester and you feel that this will be a great opportunity for Payet to get off the mark. After their performance last week, Leicester will be optimistic of scoring some goals themselves so this will not be a game to back the defenders in I feel.
Harry Kane (Tottenham) v Stoke (H)
To say that there is a large amount of pressure riding on the young shoulders of Harry Kane this season would be an understatement. After an impressive season last year and as Tottenham’s main striker he will have to lead the front line almost single handedly. The England striker will be disappointed by their 1-0 defeat by Manchester United in the last game but will be looking to bounce back.
Until he scores his first goal of the season, Kane would seem like a risky choice. There is certainly a shadow of doubt regarding the consistency of his performances and at this early stage he is yet to put them to rest. With so much riding on Kane’s goalscoring abilities, their first home game of the season would be a great time for him to get off the mark. Stoke were able to win the equivalent fixture early last season, with the help of a Tottenham red card, but with a lot more experience under his belt Kane will be keen on proving last season’s performance was not a one off.
Andre Ayew (Swansea) v Newcastle (H)
Andre Ayew was one of the exciting new arrivals in the Premier League over the summer and showed exactly why in their opening fixture against Chelsea. The midfielder was impressive for his new side and showed great composure to score their opening goal. At the current champions’ home ground, that was no mean feat.
Swansea are now back at home and will be confident of getting a result, even against a Newcastle side that have found the net on a couple of occasions themselves. Ayew has already shown that he has settled into the squad and looks to be a great outlet. His opening goal will undoubtedly be the first of many and could further increase his tally as soon as this weekend.
Graziano Pelle (Southampton) v Everton (H)
As the top-scoring Premiership player in pre-season, and having already found the net in Southampton’s opening fixture, Graziano Pelle will be one to watch once again. Their opponents, Everton, are not off to the best of starts and conceded two goals against Watford. The side are also without one of their best defenders, Leighton Baines, for a lengthy period.
We all know how accomplished Southampton were defensively last season and playing at home this gameweek will give them an added boost. Pelle is already looking to be a strong component and with the right service has great potential to threaten the Everton defence.
While these are only a few that I feel could make an impact for their clubs in the upcoming gameweek, it would also be advised to keep an eye on Sergio Aguero and Alexis Sanchez. Both players came on as substitutes in the opening gameweek and could start for Manchester City and Arsenal respectively at the weekend. Aguero and Sanchez will both be key figures for their squads and are fully capable of making an impact from the off if they are put in a position to do so. From a Fantasy Football standpoint it is highly risky to have them in your team at this point but it could be a risk that pays off.