The Premier League returns this weekend with the usual fanfare after an international break, as fans are eager to see their new signings in action with the conclusion of the summer transfer window. All eyes will be on Saturday’s Manchester derby at Old Trafford as both Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola look set to reignite their La Liga rivalry. It might still be early days but the joint league leaders won’t settle for a draw to claim bragging rights and a slight momentum in the title race.
Second-placed Chelsea, who is also tied on points with both Manchester clubs, will be eager to maintain their stride when they travel to the Liberty Stadium to face a struggling Swansea side. Meanwhile, Arsenal will be hoping that they can build on their win against Watford at GW3 when they host Southampton. Defending champions Leicester will face Liverpool at Anfield, with three points being the main priority for both sides to avoid playing catch-up at the early stages of the season.
Here are the top 5 players that should be considered for your squad:
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) vs Southampton
The Chilean was a fan-favourite in the past two seasons due to his constant goals and assists, even in the big matches against the top teams. Most FPL managers will be hoping for him to spearhead their midfield department this season but Sanchez was shackled in the first 2 Gameweeks, raising concerns among his owners. However, the hotshot winger is back to his best in GW3 with a man of the match performance against Watford as he notched a goal and 2 assists. Arsene Wenger’s side will rely on Sanchez to produce the goods when they host Southampton.
Bournemouth vs Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion)
The Northern Irishman might be a surprising addition to this list, but it is totally warranted considering his points return in the past 3 GWs. Tony Pulis’ side is known for their defensive resilience, and McAuley is at the heart of the back-four alongside his partner Jonny Evans to produce two shut-outs so far. He is also a constant threat at set-pieces with a goal to his name in the 1-2 lost against Everton in Gameweek 2. Not to mention he only costs 4.7 million, which is considerably cheap for a high scoring defender as FPL managers look to free up funds to boost their midfield or attack.
Michail Antonio (West Ham United) vs Watford
Antonio didn’t have the best of starts to the season when he was deployed as a right-back in the 2-1 defeat against Chelsea, only to be withdrawn just before the hour-mark. Slaven Bilic reinstated the Englishman to his preferred role on the wing, and he returned the favour by scoring the winner against Bournemouth and followed that up with a consolation goal in the 3-1 loss against Manchester City. Statistics have suggested that Antonio’s goal-scoring bouts were no fluke, as he registered 14 touches inside the box, five attempts on target and four efforts from inside the opposition box, which is the same amount as Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez. With the more popular Dimitri Payet having only recovered from a thigh injury, Antonio has the potential to offer great value as West Ham will play at home in four out of their next six fixtures, beginning with Watford this weekend.
Swansea City vs Diego Costa (Chelsea)
The Brazilian-born Spaniard striker was a huge sensation in his first Premier League season in 14/15, scoring 20 goals to help deliver the title back to Stamford Bridge. Costa suffered a dip in form last season but he still managed to notch 12 goals under the tenure of former interim manager, Guus Hiddink. The fiery forward look to be at his best this season, despite being linked with a move back to former club Atletico Madrid. Having returned a goal or an assist in all three GWs, strugglers Swansea will be the perfect hunting ground for Costa to maintain his form.
Sunderland vs Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
Lukaku endured a slow start to the season as he struggled with fitness issues. However, it seems that the big Belgian forward has hit the ground running after scoring a brace in Belgium’s 3-0 win against Cyprus. FPL managers might be unconvinced to splash the cash for him, but they should also take note that he’ll benefit from Everton’s considerably easy fixtures in the next four Gameweeks with Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace travelling to Goodison Park.
Other posts by Kin Boon Ah