Picks of the Week –  Must haves for Gameweek 8

Last updated on October 6th, 2023

Who should be your priority players for the next Gameweek, position by position

Written by Keiran Trotter (@fpl_del)

Week 7 Review

I actually started this week’s pick of the week with the previous gameweek still underway. I’m away with work Wednesday and Thursday this week and due to the train strike on Wednesday, I’m travelling down from Leeds to London late Tuesday whilst listening to Luton vs Burnley.

I’m already pretty sure last has been a good one although I’m hoping it gets better with my forward pick of the week Carlton Morris still in action, currently with 10 points to his name after a goal and 2 bonus points vs Everton in his first fixture. He’s still a full 13 points behind Olly Watkins after his mega-haul vs Brighton so it’s going to take something special to catch him.

Since Morris was my only double gameweek pick, I already have 6 points in the bank from Nick Pope. He was only bettered by 1, possibly 2 keepers after shutting out Burnley in their first fixture. Burnley may grab a revenge of sorts as James Trafford currently sits on 9 points, 60 mins in against Luton with his clean sheet still intact. Chelsea’s Robert Sanchez kept his 3rd clean sheet of the season and added a bonus point.

Defensive pick of the week Kieran Trippier added another assist and 3 bonus points to his clean sheet for another 12-point haul. Only Ben White, with his goal and 2 bonus points, and Joachim Anderson who got the only goal and all 3 bonus points for Palace at Old Trafford are bettering him as we speak.

Bukayo Saka brought me 9 points and could have been even more had he not decided to allow Kai Havertz a penalty to open his account for Arsenal. Only Odegaard with 17 points and Almiron and Dominguez with 10 bettered his haul. So even if Morris adds nothing to his tally in the remaining minutes vs Burnley we’ll have a strong, season-best, 37 points from 4 picks.

I’m already excited for GW8. On a personal note, Levi Colwill saved my gameweek bringing his 12 points off the bench to replace the injured Botman and to get me a small 3-point(ish) green arrow with 52. So let’s dig into who we want to look at having in our team for this gameweek.

UPDATE: James Trafford conceded late vs Luton and finished with only 5 points.


Looking at the odds of clean sheets this week I am a little surprised. Looking at the fixtures I’m immediately drawn to Spurs away at Luton and Chelsea away at Burnley. Spurs have kept 2 clean sheets so far and Chelsea 3 with Chelsea ranking 4th for expected goals conceded. Chelsea are T4 for big chances conceded (9 in 7) and Spurs T7 (14 in 7) but more significantly, they play 2 of the least potent teams in the league. Burnley and Luton have now both scored only 6 goals in 7 games. That makes them T17th for goals scored. Burnley are ranked 19th for big chances conceded and Luton 13th and the same for expected goals. I think this makes both Guglielmo Vicario (£5.1m) and Robert Sanchez (£4.6m) great options this week. They rank 2nd and T4th in terms of points scored by goalkeepers so far this season.

Fulham are favourites for a clean sheet this week. Maybe this shouldn’t be such a surprise this week, they have after all kept as many clean sheets as Arsenal, Chelsea, Newcastle and City. They are also at home to Sheffield United, who have scored the fewest goals, had the fewest big chances and are ranked 20th for expected goals. That said Fulham are ranked T19th for big chances conceded so it feels like there is always scope for them to concede.

With Liverpool away to Brighton and City away to Arsenal, I’m expecting plenty of goals in those 2 fixtures so their goalkeepers aren’t an option for me this week.

Aston Villa go to Wolves this week and whilst Wolves are ranked 14th for big chances they are ranked 10th for goals scored and in the heat of a West Midlands derby I expect them to get on the scoresheet this week. 

Palace have also quietly kept 3 clean sheets and with a home fixture versus Forest this week, who rank 17th for big chances and expected goals it feels like a tough call between Fulham, Spurs, Palace and Chelsea for my keeper slot this week. I’m going to go with my gut, back Sheffield United to score at least once and I’m going to opt for Robert Sanchez at Chelsea as my goalkeeper pick of the week. It’s 3 clean sheets in 5 for Chelsea and only 2 conceded in that time so it feels like Pochettino has at least got them shored up at the back.


Given that we’ve identified the teams we think are likely to keep a clean sheet, some of their defenders naturally jump out as potential picks for this week. Destiny Udogie (£4.8m) has been an option as a pick for a number of weeks already this season, however, his stats have dropped off somewhat in recent weeks and has now been overtaken by teammate Pedro Porro (£5.0m) when you look at their expected goal involvements (0.8 vs 1.14). Porro is also T2 for attempts at goal and T6th for chances created by defenders so far this season.

Joachim Anderson (£4.8m) got his second goal of the season vs Man United last week and with Palace at home to Forest there is a good shot at a clean sheet from him again this week. He’s ranked T7th for attempts at goal and T11th for chances created.

No defender has had as many attempts (or attempts on target) as Matty Cash (£4.9m) this season. He’s playing out of position a lot of the time on their right-wing and has created a big chance as well. The fixture at Molyneux should be an open game so I would hope for more opportunities for him to deliver. My only slight concern is that Villa are in action in the Europa Conference on Thursday night so that may impact performance and selection.

Kieran Trippier (£6.8m) delivered as last week’s pick, and whilst he’s getting back into the sort of form that made him undroppable last season, West Ham away just isn’t a great fixture and I think there are better options this week.

Chelsea pair Levi Colwill (£4.6m) and Axel Disasi (£5.1m) have both registered 1 attacking return so far this season and with the fixture away at Burnley they are both attractive, however, having gone for Sanchez as my keeper, I feel we have the Chelsea clean sheet covered and as such, I’m going to go for a more attacking option as my pick of the week and opt for Pedro Porro at Spurs. He has the form, a great fixture and a great combination of goal and assist threat.


With Manchester City facing Arsenal this week some of the top midfielders go up against each other. It’s also been a week of European football and many managers will be considering a midfield transfer given leading midfielder Bukayo Saka (£8.6m) limped off injured for the third game in a row on Tuesday night.

High up on most people’s list of replacements will be Heung-Min Son. He got another against Liverpool last week making it 6 goals in 4 games since his switch up top. He also retained his position even with Richarlison in the team with him being deployed on the left. He’s had more big chances than anyone else since his switch up top and only teammate, James Maddison (8.0m) can match him for efforts on goal (9) in the last 4 gameweeks. Maddison is also an option this week given Spurs’ fixture with Luton but Son definitely provides the greater goal threat.

Mo Salah was unlucky to miss out on at least an assist against Spurs with the Luis Diaz goal incorrectly ruled out. That was his first blank this season and with a fixture against footloose and fancy-free Brighton, I’m fully expecting him to get back into the points this gameweek. Brighton are ranked 17th for goals conceded this season and shipped 6 against Villa last gameweek. Both teams were in action on Thursday night but Salah only played 45 minutes so should be rested for this gameweek.

Moussa Diaby (£6.7m) has had a great start to his Villa career with 2 goals and 4 assists in the league so far. Villa face Wolves so he should get some more opportunities to impress. There is a slight doubt over him as he missed their Europa Conference League tie but it sounded like Unai Emery was expecting him back very soon.

2 of the top 4 Midfielders for expected goal involvements so far this season, Bruno Fernandes (£8.4m, 5.52) and Bryam Mbeumo (£6.8m, 5.94) face each other this weekend. Mbeumo’s attacking contributions have dropped off recently. He’s not registered since gameweek 4 and Brentford have 1 win all season. United are in a similar dip with only 1 win in the league in 4 and 2 UCL defeats sandwiched in there. Fernandes has blanked in 6 gameweeks so far so I’d want to see more consistent returns from him before recommending him.

I’m hoping lightning doesn’t strike twice for me this season as I will be bringing Heung-Min Son into my team and captaining him over Haaland. The last time I did that he blanked vs Sheffield United but I think he’s such a good option, he can’t be ignored this week, so Heung-Min Son is my midfield pick of the week.

Forwards (minus Haaland)

Another blank this gameweek from the Norwegian goal machine and we may have to start considering renaming this section. He is due a rest as well, given we’re now into the thick of UCL action, but for the time being at least, I’m not jumping on that particular bandwagon. Despite him not being my captain this week, I still think he’s utterly essential, especially given that not too much sacrifice needs to be made to accommodate him, Salah and Son.

Ollie Watkins (£8.0m) has sprung into life in the last 2 gameweeks with 4 goals and 2 assists. That makes 6 assists in total and only 1 blank so far this season. His 23-point haul last week pushed him to the top of the forwards chart and he’s T3 for big chances with 7 so he’s getting the opportunities too. Wolves rank 15th for goals conceded, 16th for expected goals conceded and 14th for big chances conceded so Watkins should get plenty of opportunities again and he’ll have been boosted by his England recall this week.

Alexander Isak (£7.5m) and Callum Wilson (£7.8m) provide a constant headache. They’ve shared 54 points between them (the same as Ollie Watkins) but it’s just impossible to tell who will get the nod each week. Isak started and scored last gameweek and played the full 90 midweek against PSG with Wilson suffering from a ‘slight’ hamstring niggle. Either way, with a trip away to West Ham, I think there are better options elsewhere this week.

Julian Alvarez (£7.0m) has been steady and consistent all season registering 3 goals and 5 assists. The fixture away at Arsenal isn’t a great one for him but we’d expect City to score and there is a good chance he’ll be involved.

The above covers the most consistent performers so far this season, however, there is always the chance that we get a big performance from someone who isn’t necessarily doing it week in week out so far. That’s most likely to come in a fixture where we have good attacking teams facing weaker defensive teams. Liverpool away at Brighton fits that bill. With Cody Gakpo confirmed out this week, maybe it’s time for Darwin Nunez (£7.4m) to step up. He has 3 goals and 2 assists so far this season but that’s from only 2 starts and 244 minutes in total. Of players to make at least 4 appearances he has the second-best minutes to points ratio so with a guaranteed start, he’s a serious option for me.

Clearly, Ollie Watkins is the safe bet for this week, however, having had a strong week last week I’m going to take a punt on Darwin Nunez as my forward pick of the week this week.

Picks of the Week

Robert Sanchez (Chelsea GK £4.6m)

Pedro Porro (Spurs DF £5.0m)

Heung-Min Son (Spurs MF £9.4m)

Darwin Nunez (Liverpool FW £7.4m)

Best of luck for the week ahead and I’ll see you next week for another review and set of Picks of the Week.

Mark De Carvalho
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