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Fantasy EPL: Week 7 Review / Week 8 Preview


Well, if anyone doubted City, their display at Stamford Bridge proved they’ve turned a corner under Pep. Morata’s injury had a little bit to do with how Chelsea played out the game, but that doesn’t take away from the spirited, high-energy performance by The Citizens. De Bruyne’s well-struck effort was the decider. United and Arsenal met expectations by keeping clean sheets and defeating Crystal Palace and Brighton, respectively. Another team that met and somewhat exceeded expectations was Tottenham, who had a resounding 4-0 victory at Huddersfield. Kane was absolutely fantastic once again. Bournemouth and Leicester played a surprise goalless draw, West Ham needed a 90th-minute strike by substitute Diafra Sakho to overcome Swansea 1-0, while Stoke continued Southampton’s bad start with a 2-1 win. Crouch scored the deciding goal after Yoshida had equalized and Diouf had given them the lead prior to that. Berahino missed a penalty in the meantime. Richarlison found the net at the buzzer to save Watford from a defeat at The Hawthorns, the second time in two weeks he has scored a game-saving goal in added time. WBA led 2-0 with two quick-strike goals in the span of three minutes (Rondon and Evans), yet it turned out not to be enough. Burnley’s amazing run on the road continues. Everton was the latest victim. They have now won at Chelsea, Everton and Blackburn (in the cup) and tied Tottenham and Liverpool. Pretty remarkable. Now if they could only play with the same swagger at home. The last game saw Newcastle hold Liverpool to 1-1 draw.

Week 7 highest fantasy scorers

Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Nick Pope (Burnley), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Ederson (Manchester City), and the rest who kept clean sheets.
Defenders: Ben Davies (Tottenham), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Stephen Ward (Burnley), Hector Bellerin (Arsenal), Nathan Ake (Bournemouth), Christian Fuchs (Leicester), Pablo Zabaleta (West Ham), Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke).
Midfielders: Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Philipe Coutinho (Liverpool), Juan Mata (Manchester United), Abdoulaye Doucoure (Watford), Richarlison (Watford), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley).
Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashord (Manchester United), Joselu (Newcastle).



Liverpool vs. Manchester United

– Last time we came out of the international break, Liverpool was demolished by City. This time around, they take on the other Manchester squad. How will they fair? Well, Mane is going to miss the game, as he got hurt on international duty and will miss at least a month with a hamstring strain. On the other hand, Salah was the hero for Egypt, as he scored both goals (including the winner from the penalty spot in injury time), securing a trip to Russia next summer. Fellaini will miss the game, as well, as he suffered a knee injury that will keep him out for at least two weeks. Pogba’s replacement was in excellent form, including two goals in United’s win over Crystal Palace. I see Ander Herrera taking over his role in the starting lineup. Liverpool really needs to win this contest to get back in the title race. However, Mourinho had two weeks to prepare, so a draw is the most likely scenario for me. Lukaku and Rashford have been the best fantasy assets from The Red Devils, while Firmino, Salah and Coutinho are the players to own from The Reds.

Burnley vs. West Ham

– I still wonder why is Sakho not in The Hammers starting lineup on a weekly basis. He almost left the club at the end of the transfer window, but he was convinced to stay at the last minute with a promise of more playing time. Now that Manuel Lanzini has fully recovered, he should become a member of the starting eleven sooner rather later, although I don’t know who is he going to replace. Noble, perhaps? The fact of the matter is that West Ham is underachieving. With the squad at his disposal, Bilic should be doing much better. Maybe it’s going to happen later in the season. For now, another low-scoring, hard-fought game is to be anticipated, with the defenders profiting the most.

Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea

– After having left Chelsea’s last game, Morata was thought to have suffered a serious injury. Now, it appears as if is not that serious after all, and he might be back soon. However, he is going to miss this fixture. Palace has to score at some point, and they have to win at some point. No team will want to be the first, which will make Palace’s task even more daunting, but it will happen. It’s a scary prospect for Chelsea, and they’ll have to be careful and efficient in order to avoid an upset. I believe Palace will score and lose nonetheless. Hazard is The Blues’ X factor. He has to and will produce eventually. With Morata missing, this is his opportunity to begin doing so.

Manchester City vs. Stoke

– The World Cup qualifiers came at the pick of City’s great run of form. Stoke is a tough team, but I have my doubts they’ll give Pep’s men a run for their money. Another clean sheet is lurking. Gabriel Jesus is the player to own. He has been a true revelation.

Swansea vs. Huddersfield

– It’s safe to say Renato Sanches’ start to life in the Premiership has been terrible. Having picked up a knock on international duty, he’s going to be recovering and miss a couple of games. Although an injury is never a good thing, this one could be a blessing in disguise and give him some time to recharge, stabilize and focus. On the other side, Mounie is close to a return but will likely still miss this game. After two wins to kick off the campaign, Huddersfield has found life tough lately. Swansea is no better, but they might somehow squeak out three points. Tammy Abraham is my personal favorite. I predict him to score, and I predict Martin Olsson will provide the assist on his goal.

Tottenham vs. Bournemouth

– The Spurs were almost as impressive as City before the break. Kane translated his prowess to the national team, scoring both (and the only) goals for England in their two qualifiers. Bournemouth has been disappointingly awful. Tottenham will try to add to their misery and likely succeed in that endeavor. Not conceding is a high probability. Ben Davies is enjoying life on the field right now, and if I had to choose one defender, it would be him.

Watford vs. Arsenal

– This is going to be interesting. Arsenal is finally starting to move in the right direction, and Watford is the type of team they have to beat. Watford is also the type of team that can give Wenger nightmares. Deeney is back, while Doucoure and Richarlison have proven to be very dangerous. Alexis’ morale is low after Chile failed to qualify for the World Cup, and Ozil’s contract situation is an unnecessary distraction, adding to his already underwhelming form. Make of these comments what you want. I’ve already made my own conclusion.

Brighton vs. Everton

– Brighton has won the last two games at home. Everton must step up and show the collective ability on the roster. There’s too much talent there for them not to be able to score on a regular basis. It’s not going to be a high-scoring game, but that doesn’t mean both teams won’t find the score sheet. Propper and Sigurdsson are the keys for each team.

Southampton vs. Newcastle

– It’s time for The Saints to breakout and smash a team. Pellegrino doesn’t need Davis, Lemina and Romeu in the midfield. There has to be creator there, a.k.a. James Ward-Prowse. Long is also not better than Gabbiadini. When those two players enter the starting lineup and get on the same page with Redmond, Tadic, Cedric and Bertrand, Southampton will begin wreaking havoc. Newcastle’s chances in this game completely depend on the opposition’s performance.

Leicester vs. West Bromwich

– The Monday fixture will pit two teams that haven’t won a Premier League game for a while. Even though the table says The Foxes are the worst of the two, they’ve had a much more difficult schedule. I think they’ll show this and record their second win. If Mahrez wants to move to a bigger club, he’ll have to step his game up. It’s time…

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