Last week in the Premier League saw Manchester City go on the rampage (again), Man United swat Everton aside, and Chelsea and Arsenal play out a 0-0 stalemate at Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool and Totenham struggled at home to Burnley and Swansea respectively, Newcastle kept up their winning run, and Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace reign in a similar manner how Fran de Boer’s ended.
And so we move on to the next round of fixtures, and the players you need in your ranks to shoot up in your Fantasy Premier League work table, to close in on Barry from accounts who’s getting very smug lately about being at the top.
Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
Manchester City are as short as 1/9 in some places to heap more misery on Crystal Palace this weekend, suggesting it will be an easy afternoon for Pep Guardiola’s side on Saturday. While they will almost certainly score a few goals against the Eagles, picking the right scorer could be tricky since there is so much choice (in other words, I’m still sore about opting for Gabriel Jesus last week when, although he did get one, Sergio Aguero bagged a hat-trick).
Therefore, going for the clean sheet might be the safer bet, and with Kyle Walker operating in a more forward role in this system, the chance of an assist on top of that is heightened. Make him captain too if you’re feeling even braver.
Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City)
Paul Clement’s side have struggled in front of goal so far this season, scoring just twice, but they have tightened up considerably at the other end. 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford notwithstanding, Swansea have kept three clean sheets from their opening five fixtures, the most impressive being the shutout against Tottenham at Wembley last weekend.
Fabianski and Swansea host Watford this weekend, and the prospect of a fourth clean sheet from six games is a very real one.
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Alexis has endured a slow start to the season as he eases his way back to fitness and tries to get over the disappointment of not being a Manchester City player right now but offered a timely reminder of his ability last week with a stunning finish against Koln in the Europa League.
With Arsenal at home to West Brom on Monday and Arsene Wenger mindful of not throwing the Chilean forward back in at the deep end, there was every chance that he would have been a sub here again, as he was against Chelsea. However, Danny Welbeck’s latest injury may have forced the manager’s hand and against a West Brom defence that started the season well but capitulated against Brighton last week, a fired-up Sanchez could mean goals at the Emirates.
In this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we chat to Sligo Rovers manager Gerard Lyttle, analyse Dundalk’s EA Sports Cup victory and review/preview the latest League of Ireland action.