Sunday has three games to round out the opening EPL weekend, including a mouth-watering clash of two of the league’s biggest teams to close us out.
Let’s run through who should be in your sides for these matches.
Liverpool V West Ham
Liverpool have one about spending the Coutinho money over the summer, with the completion of Naby Keita along with the signings of Shaqiri, Fabinho and a world-record spend for a goalkeeper they put seven past in last season’s Champions League.
The Hammers have hardly been gun-shy with spending either. They’ve splashed cash on Lukasz Fabianski, Issa Diop, Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko and taken Jack Wilshire on a free.
Hopefully all those signings can help the Hammers stop the run of three consecutive losses to the Reds, in which they’ve conceded four goals each time.
What a first season it was for Salah (£16.5m)– breaking the goalscoring record and averaging over 2000 points in DFS. You’d say he’s a lock in for your teams this year right? I’m not so sure. Given the £16.5m price tag and risk of the dreaded ‘second season syndrome’ there might be better options at lower price points.
I’m taking the bold move of leaving him out of my fantasy team to start – a decision that will no doubt blow up in my face when he bangs a hat trick here and proves he’s not a one-hit wonder!
As strange a call as it is to call a 10m player value, Marko Arnautovic (£10.1m) averages 1500 per game, which usually costs you a few million more. If he keeps his temper in check, he could be the key man for the Hammers this season.
Southampton v Burnley
Joe Hart has swapped one claret and blue team for another, signing for Burnley after a loan spell at West Ham last year. It will be interesting to see what happens with Tom Heaton and Nick Pope now, with not much time left in the transfer window and both currently injured.
The Saints biggest signing, in both price and name length terms, is Mohamed Elyounoussi from Basel, who seems to have an eye for goal from midfield. You’d probably want to see more from a side that only survived relegation by three points last season.
Six previous matches between these sides see Burnley lead 3-2 in terms of wins. Southampton will want to see more from Redmond and Gabbiadini this season otherwise I’m picking the away win.
In a debut season checked by injury, Chris Wood (£9.1m) still managed ten goals in 24 starts and an average of 1350. If he stays fit, he’s a goal-scoring machine with no new strikers in the Clarets’ squad yet.
Southampton can’t be as bad as last season right? If that’s the case, the big names will no doubt have much improved seasons and Nathan Redmond would be a steal at £7.6m.
Arsenal v Man City
Closing out the first week back, and ushering in the post-Wenger era, Arsenal host Man City. Unai Emery has set about signing mainly defensive-minded players, showing where he thinks his weaknesses are. City’s biggest signing is Mahrez from Leicester, because they just won the league with a record 100 points so why not.
Over the history of the Premier League, Arsenal has the much-superior record in this, but over more recent times it’s the Citizens who’ve prospered, including winning both last season, scoring three in each. Tough start for Emery and one I don’t see him winning.
There’s plenty of big-name players in these two sides, but I’m coming at this with a City win in mind. After coming under some criticism for perceived poor performance in England’s World Cup campaign, Raheem Sterling (£15.1m) will be glad to be back at club level, where he managed 18 goals, 11 assists and an average score of 1500 last season. Premium price, for a quality player in a quality team.
Surprisingly, you can pick up David Silva for just £8.1m. Sure he’s the wrong side of 30, but he’s still got it, contributing nine goals and 11 assists last season, an increase in output from the season prior. The question mark here is around game time and rotation, with the acquisition of an additional midfielders in Mahrez and the likes of Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gündogan and even youngster Phil Foden pushing for increased game time.
That’s all for this week’s games, now be sure to get your lineups in!