This week in Talking Points we look at what to look out for in game week 11 to be prepared for the early game week 10 transfer. We look at the teams with a good run of games and the teams with a tough run of games, and we consider the implications of last weekend’s formation changes and if these will be repeated this weekend. All the while we chat about this weekend’s action in our comments section.
Liverpool share the top spot with Arsenal and Manchester City and looking at their fixture list, it seems smooth sailing until GW19 when they host Manchester City at Anfield. The next five games against Watford (H), So’ton (A), Sunderland (H), Bournemouth (A) and West Ham (A) all look winnable.
In a very entertaining match, Liverpool put four against Palace but also conceded two. This lack in defensive stability remains a problem and will have to be improved upon if the Reds want to mount a serious title challenge. Luckily their attacking forces create so many chances that they’re always capable of scoring one more, no matter how many they concede.
In defence, Clyne remains a good pick because of his position high on the pitch while Lovren comes in at half a million cheaper and has already chipped in with two goals this term. The Croatian is injury-prone so be prepared to lose him for spells over the season. In midfield Coutinho is manifesting himself as the preferred option as he chipped in with two assists again. Get him and consider doubling up with either Firmino, Mané or Lallana.
Leicester grabbed a deserved point at White Hart Lane and now face four favourable games against West Brom (H), Watford (A), Middlesbrough (H) and Sunderland (A) before hosting City at the King Power Stadium.
A return to the team that won the title last year (apart from King and Musa), saw Leicester performing much better than previous away games. The question is where Ranieri will go from here, whether he will continue to rotate the team to accommodate the Champion’s League schedule or will he stick to his best eleven? Musa scored in back-to-back games and looks like a good option, while the defence has proved to be reliable at home. Wait until the team selection is more consistent, and hold and play any defenders you own for the home games.
After the next game at home against Stoke, West Ham face a horrendous run of fixtures against Spurs (A), Man Utd (A) and Arsenal (H) and Liverpool (A).
The Hammer’s recent positive form was halted by Everton and they remain dangerously close to the relegation zone. West Ham played well in the first half but couldn’t put the ball away, and then were unable to fight back after conceding in the second half. This lack of ruthlessness in front of goal remains a problem as Bilic is still looking for a solution up front. Antonio started up front but was later pushed back out right when Ayew made his return from injury. Hammers fans will hope he can provide the answer and score some all-important goals. Payet was involved as ever and you can safely hold him through this difficult patch of games. Don’t buy other Hammers until their fixtures ease up.
Middlesbrough registered their first win at the Riverside but now have three difficult games against Manchester City (A), Chelsea (H) and Leicester (A). After this they host Hull and travel to Southampton.
After seven games without a win, the victory over Bournemouth was a very welcome one. Boro have not been at fault in terms of effort, commitment and attitude however up until this game they lacked a cutting edge in front of goal. Star striker Negredo failed to score since GW1 although he did chip in with three assists this season. Adama Traoré looked very lively the last two games and he can punish any defence with his blistering pace. If you’re considering getting a Boro player we would rather look at a defender. Ben Gibson has been performing well, keeping three clean sheets and scoring one goal and five bonus points although, wait for the Hull game to pick him up.
Other Talking Points
- Sunderland have managed just two points from their opening ten games (goal difference -13), the worst start ever to a Premier League season. Sell all except Defoe.
- Arsenal put four against Sunderland, with both Giroud and Sanchez scoring a brace. In the post-match conference Wenger hinted that Sanchez would continue playing up front, alone or with Giroud, so the Chilean remains the go-to man at the gunners. He has been directly involved in eight goals in his past eight Premier League appearances (five goals, three assists) so get him and consider doubling-up with Walcott if he’s fit.
- Manchester United had 37 efforts at goal against Burnley but somehow didn’t put any of them away. Don’t consider any attacking players until Jose figures out his best eleven and starts winning again. In defence, another clean sheet means that Blind is now the third highest scoring defender in the game so he remains a good option.
- Tom Heaton strengthened his place at the top of the goalkeeping charts with a masterclass performance against Manchester United (11 saves and 3 bonus points). Consider him as your first keeper for the rest of the season.
- Bournemouth are without a win in their past seven away league games and have failed to keep a clean sheet in their past 10 Premier League away games. Bench your Cherries for their away trips.
- Harry Kane could return for the derby against Arsenal. He could make a huge difference to the Spurs line-up and performances so monitor how this evolves.
- Watford extended their unbeaten run to four, the last three games also coming with a clean sheet. With the attack being somewhat blunt (four goals in four games), value lies in defence and in particular with Jose Holebas. Buy him if you haven’t already. Capoue seems to have calmed down in terms of form so it may be advisable to replace him or keep him as a fifth midfielder.
- 100,000 managers will have regretted selling Aguero as he promptly scored twice and provided an assist. Hold him or consider re-buying if you dumped him and maybe even captaining him against Middlesbrough which should on paper, be the perfect game for Aguero.
- Everton ended a sequence of five matches without a win and Romelu Lukaku was the main man again with a goal and an assist. He has now returned at least one goal or assist in four of the last five games and solidifies his status as a near must-have despite the upcoming fixtures difficulty.
- Hazard and Costa delivered the goods again as Chelsea recorded their fourth consecutive win, scoring eleven and conceding none in the process. We recommend getting one of Alonso, Moses, Hazard or Costa.
- Allen punished his boyhood-club Swansea with two assists. Allen has four goals and two assists in 10 Premier League games this season – his joint-best haul in a single Premier League season. Still reasonably priced at 5.2M, he makes for a good fourth or fifth midfielder.
- It was inevitable that Bony would score against his former club. His brace meant he scored for the first time since Boxing Day, having gone 23 games for club and country without a goal. Monitor his performances over the coming weeks, and pick him up if he goes on a roll.
- Sell all your Swansea players if you haven’t already as they lack confidence and don’t have favourable fixtures coming up.