The Premier League is back this week after the
unwelcomed international break as fans and FPL managers alike can look forward to another entertaining spectacle in the upcoming matches. Antonio Conte’s Chelsea will kick things off with a Saturday lunch-time fixture against Leicester City at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are hoping to maintain the positive energy from last Gameweek’s 2-0 victory against Burnley after suffering an alarming dip in form. Third-placed Arsenal, who is also on a 5-game winning streak, will host Swansea City at the Emirates.
Meanwhile, league leaders Manchester City will face Everton at the Etihad, as they look to bounce back from the 2-0 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur. The North London side has emerged as an early title contender and they’ll travel to The Hawthorns to face West Bromwich Albion. With that said, most of the attention will be shifted to Anfield this week as Liverpool hosts their bitter rivals, Manchester United on Monday night.
Without further ado, here are 5 players that should be considered for your squad this week:
Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) vs Swansea City
The Frenchman has established himself as one-half of the Gunners’ main defensive pairing since his arrival from FC Lorient in 10/11. His ability to keep the opponents’ strikers at bay has been a huge asset for Arsene Wenger’s side, as evidently shown during their commanding 3-0 win over derby rivals Chelsea. Koscielny can also pop in a goal or two and with already two strikes under his name this season, his current average points per game of seven justify his 6.2 million price tag. Not to mention Arsenal will host Middlesbrough after this week, followed by a trip to struggling Sunderland which could yield point returns from both ends of the pitch.
Bournemouth vs Robert Snodgrass (Hull City)
Most FPL managers have steered clear from Hull players, considering their early season uncertainties with Steve Bruce leaving the club, injuries and challenging fixtures. However, the trend might change now as the Tigers will have a kind run-in fixtures from GW8-GW15. Having delivered three goals, Snodgrass is their highest scoring FPL player so far and current statistics suggest that he’ll maintain such form. The Scottish international has created 10 chances and made 16 attempts on goals, nine of which have come from set-pieces (no player in the Premier League has fired in more shots from direct free-kicks). Most importantly, he only costs 5.7 million and it might prove to be a valuable bargain in the long run.
Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City) vs Sunderland
After a dismal first two seasons in the Premier League, Arnautovic proved his worth as a FPL asset last season with 11 goals and six assists to his name. It seems that he have suffered a dip in form this season after scoring only one in seven matches, but statistics suggest that it might just be a case of misfortune. Compared to 15/16, the Austrian has increased his touches inside the opposition box and has also improved his efforts in the area. Having recently scored twice in Austria’s 2-2 draw against Wales, he has stepped up his form in time as Stoke faces a kind run of opponents, with the likes of Sunderland, Swansea City, Bournemouth and Burnley traveling to the Bet365 Stadium in the next few Gameweeks.
Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) vs West Ham United
The Englishman has emerged as Palace’s chief creator after ranking first for successful corners into the box (17) and key passes (24), with three assists under his belt so far. These statistics might be insignificant for some, but it is relevant for Alan Pardew’s attempt in getting the best of out of star striker, Christian Benteke. The Belgian’s aerial prowess is common knowledge and he looks set to benefit from Puncheon’s deliveries to deliver the goods. Most importantly, the diminutive midfielder only costs 5.5 million, which allows managers more freedom in bolstering their attacking or midfield department.
Crystal Palace vs Dimitri Payet (West Ham United)
After a slow start to the campaign, the Frenchman have racked up a goal and four assists after recovering from injury. His current form is reminiscent of last season’s heroics (9 goals, 13 assists) and it was more impressive considering he still had a major influence in the games that West Ham has struggled, notably their heavy defeats against Watford and West Brom. Payet has also supplied the assist for Pogba’s winning goal against Netherlands, adding to his recent strike against Bulgaria in the international break. It’ll be hard to discount the playmaker to deliver the points this week when they face a Crystal Palace side who are yet to produce a shut-out this season.