By Matthew Petersen – @Matt_Petersen13
The end of the international break sees the welcome return of Premier League action. Following the conclusion of GW7, Chelsea picked up an impressive 3-1 win over Southampton, with Spurs also getting back to winning ways by beating Villa 2-1. This week saw a battle of Merseyside vs. Manchester as Man United were denied a home win yet again as they drew 1-1 with Everton while Liverpool and Man City ended the weekend with an exciting 2-2 draw at Anfield. On the FPL front, a gameweek average of 38 saw a significant drop-off from the scores set in the early stages of the season, which adds to the fun and difficulty of playing FPL. From last week’s picks, several of them were unlucky not to get any points returns, and having had time to scout players’ performances over the international break, let’s hope these picks have continued their good form going into GW8. Here’s a look at the top 3 performers from GW7.
Gameweek 7 top 3 performers:
1. Diego Llorente – 15 points (one goal, clean sheet, 3BPS)
2. Mohamed Salah – 13 points (one goal, one assist, 3BPS)
3. Hee-Chan Hwang – 13 points (two goals, 3BPS)
Let’s take a look at the six picks for this week, reviewing their GW7 performance and previewing their GW8 potential:
1. Mohamed Salah – £12.7m (MID); 61.5% ownership
GW7 review – performance noted under top 3 performers
GW8 preview – Watford (A)
Liverpool’s talisman is one of the few Premier League players most managers cannot afford to leave out of their teams. Salah enjoys a game against Watford. During his debut season in 2017/18, he scored five goals against Watford, including a 29-point four goal-haul at Anfield. Salah has been in exceptional form this season, returning points in seven of his eight games so far. Watford have had mixed results this season, but in their last fixture against Liverpool, they ended Liverpool’s 29 games unbeaten streak during the 19/20 season. Liverpool remains the favourites, and this game could see Salah return points. He is the top captain choice for this week.
2. Kevin De Bruyne – £11.9m (MID); 2.1% ownership
GW7 review – 8 points (90 minutes, 1 goal, 1 BPS)
GW8 preview – Burnley (H)
When fit, Kevin De Bruyne is a guaranteed starter for Man City, and this game against Burnley, of which City have regularly run out 5-0 winners, presents a chance for De Bruyne to continue his good run of form. Being City’s talisman and set-piece taker, De Bruyne’s influence is best felt on the pitch. Pep has been caught out before by rotating De Bruyne, so he will be needed to break down teams who set up with a low-block defence. He will likely find regular minutes amongst the infamous Pep Roulette. Expect City to run riot this weekend and for De Bruyne to be at the centre of it all. He, along with Salah, is one of the best captain’s picks this week.
3. Ben White – £4.4m (DEF); 12.4% ownership
GW7 review – 7 points (90 minutes, clean sheet, 1 BPS)
GW8 preview – Crystal Palace (H)
Arsenal have been on a terrific run of form lately, and they have shown themselves to be solid defensively. Ben White is supported by new 1st-choice keeper Aaron Ramsdale (£4.6m) and Gabriel Magalhaes (£5.0m). Arsenal have a strong foundation laid at the back. A clean sheet last week against Brighton was a good result considering Brighton’s start to this season. Their next game against a Crystal Palace side, managed by former Arsenal captain and legend Patrick Vieira, could see Arsenal extend that clean sheet streak to two games. A run of favourable games bodes well for Arteta’s side too.
4. Neal Maupay – £6.5m (FOR); 3.8% ownership
GW7 review – 1 point (90 minutes, yellow card)
GW8 preview – Norwich (A)
Neal Maupay is this week’s pick of “Who to target vs. Norwich?”. Norwich have been poor on their return to the Premier League, and Potter’s Brighton will be hoping to take three points back to the Amex this weekend. This season, Maupay has appeared to be a reliable option as Brighton’s first-choice striker with four goals to his name already. Maupay’s got a good eye for goal, and his penalty exploits are hard to ignore too. After the Norwich game, Brighton have Man City and Liverpool as their next two fixtures, so Maupay is a brilliant option for one week should any managers be looking to play their wildcards in GW9.
5. Cesar Azpilicueta – £6.1m (DEF); 6.4% ownership
GW7 review – 10 points (90 minutes, 2 assists, 2 BPS)
GW8 preview – Brentford (A)
The Chelsea captain seems to be getting better with age, and he proved that last week with two assists against Southampton. ‘Azpi’ has been a consistent fixture for Chelsea over the previous ten years and is a reliable option for Tuchel at RB, RWB, or CB. Coming off a good performance before the international break, Azpilicueta now faces a Brentford side capable of upsetting anyone on their day. However, I think Chelsea will have enough in the tank to see them off. Azpi has points potential on both ends of the pitch, and next week, Chelsea face Norwich at Stamford Bridge, so he has long-term insurance.
6. Hee-Chan Hwang – £5.6m (FOR); 4.4% ownership
GW7 review – performance noted under top 3 performers
GW8 preview – Aston Villa (A)
Hwang has been a revelation since joining Wolves on loan from RB Leipzig in the summer. Deployed on the left or right-wing in support of Raul Jimenez (£7.5m), Hwang has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water, with three goals already in his first four games. It is a tricky game against Aston Villa, who have won games they should have lost and lost games they should have won, meaning that anything is possible in this fixture. Wolves are on a better run of form, and they look as if they could beat Villa with Hwang getting on the scoresheet, but anything is possible. Keep an eye on Hwang going forward too.
*Prices and ownerships statistics are correct as of 14 October 2021*
To see the 6 picks from last week, click the link below: