Another weekend of Premier League action is right around the corner, with lots of interesting questions to be answered: Can Man City bounce back from their first defeat of the season when they host Newcastle? Can Chelsea rediscover their scoring boots after just one goal in six hours across all competitions? Will Paul Lambert pick up a win during his first match in the Stoke dugout against Huddersfield? And what about Arsenal, whose Alexis Sanchez-related dramas might continue to affect them as they host in-form Crystal Palace? Amidst all of these unknowns our friends at Armchair Fancast – the weekly podcast discussing all the latest happenings from the Premier League – are here with their top five player picks for your Fantasy Premier League team this weekend. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here, and follow them on Twitter here!
- Thibaut Courtois (CHE, £5.5): Chelsea may not be firing on all cylinders at present but they have lost none of their discipline at the back, with Courtois registering clean sheets in five of the last six league games. On Saturday lunchtime the Blues head to the coast for a match at Brighton, who have the second poorest scoring record in the league with just 17 goals in 23 games. It looks like another successful day between the sticks for Belgium’s number 1.
- Nicolas Otamendi (MCI, £6.5): He may have looked a little exposed at times against Liverpool last week, but Otamendi is still the third highest point-scoring defender in FPL this season, with 10 clean sheets and an impressive 4 goals to his name. He could add to both of those numbers on Saturday evening in a (presumably) much easier game at home against Newcastle. The Magpies lost the reverse fixture 1-0 at their place on Boxing Day, and there’s no particular reason to think they are more likely to score this time around.
- Sadio Mane (LIV, £9.3): Liverpool are rightly high on confidence at the moment after last week’s steak-ending win against Man City saw them leapfrog Chelsea into 3rd place. This week they face a relatively straightforward trip to Swansea, and the obvious choice for your team is Mo Salah. But that’s too obvious – over 53% of teams have included him, while only 7% have teammate Sadio Mane. The Senegalese winger has been quietly returning to form in a post-Coutinho world, taking on more responsibilities in the midfield and bagging two goals and an assist in the last three games. He’s also a lot cheaper than Salah, so he’s well worth your consideration.
- Marko Arnautovic (WHU, £7.0): It has been like watching an entirely different player since David Moyes arrived at West Ham and rejuvenated the career of Marko Arnautovic. He has been liberated to express himself through the centre of the pitch and has created a lethal-looking partnership with Manuel Lanzini, whom we recommended last week. There’s no reason to doubt that more success is on the way at home against Bournemouth on Saturday, and the next three fixtures after that look promising too: Palace at home, Brighton away and Watford at home are coming up for the Hammers.
- Cenk Tosun (EVE, £7.5): Turkish international Tosun made his Everton debut last week in the 4-0 defeat against Tottenham, having already scored 13 goals for Besiktas this season, but he has a much better chance to open his account for the Toffees on Saturday in a home fixture against West Brom. With fellow new signing Theo Walcott expected to join him in a new-look attack, the blue half of Merseyside may have finally found the firepower they have been lacking since the departure of Romelu Lukaku.
Author: Dave Bradshaw