With international football taking centre stage, we’ve had 2 weeks to assess our squads. Some managers have fared better than others with injuries biting hard, especially for Pellegrini who is facing the next few fixtures without his 2 main stars, Aguero and Silva.
This will no doubt affect City’s title charge and could allow other teams a chance to catch up. Chelsea are currently 10 points adrift and need to address the slump immediately, starting this weekend when they host Villa. Costa is finally back from his ban and if he can stay on the right side of the law, there’s no doubting his ability to punish oppositions.
The international break has also seen two new managers arrive in the form of newcomer Klopp tasked with rejuvenating Liverpool, and Allardyce, who has been called in to save Sunderland. With players away on international duty, their impact may not be instant but as with any new manager, there will be an air of optimism at both clubs. Anyway, that’s enough jabbering on, let’s get down to Select XI business!
So without further ado, here is our weekly FFA Select XI, where we’ve chosen 11 players in a valid formation who we think will score highly this gameweek…
- Petr CECH [WAT(A), 5.6m] – Arsenal put in a commanding performance to defeat United by 3 goals to nil and may finally have the belief to launch a sustained title push. With Watford notching just 8 shots on target in their last 4 games, they’ll need to be clinical to prevent Cech from picking up a 5th clean sheet for the season.
- Vincent KOMPANY [BOU(H), 6.2m] – City had some notable injuries over the break but Kompany’s international return will be music to Pellegrini’s ears. With Silva and Aguero out, City may focus on building from the back and securing a win to nil as they look to hold onto their lead at the top.
- Cesar AZPILICUETA [AVL(H), 6.0m] – Chelsea’s troubles at the back have been well documented but there’s always the hope that Mourinho can turn it around. There’s no doubt that they have the quality to beat Villa and they’ll need solid defending from players like Azpilicueta if they are to bounce back from an awful start to the season.
- Craig DAWSON [SUN(H), 5.1m] – West Brom have looked strong at the back for the most part of the season and will welcome struggling Sunderland in Gameweek 9. This is set to be a tight affair as Allardyce looks to make his mark and Dawson could be set to profit from a 5th clean sheet of the FPL campaign.
- Kevin DE BRUYNE [BOU(H), 10.4m] – As City look to battle on without their 2 star men, they’ll need the in form De Bruyne to carry the fight. With 3 goals and 2 assists in the last 3 games, he’s taken little time to settle in to life in the Premier League. However, it’s worth noting that without his fellow partners in crime, most of the burden will be on De Bruyne’s shoulders and he could struggle to replicate such sparkling form.
- Alexis SANCHEZ (C) [WAT(A), 11.2m] – Despite injury concerns, Sanchez headed off on international duty, scoring 3 times and creating another against Brazil and Peru. He’s in sensational form at the moment and can prove to be the player that leads Arsenal’s title charge. The only worry is that his minutes may be limited with an encounter with Bayern on the immediate horizon.
- Sadio MANE [LEI(H), 7.9m] – After a slow start to the season, Southampton have awoken with a bang, leading to the convincing victory over Chelsea at the Bridge. Their attackers are scoring at will and unless Ranieri tightens up at the back, they’re set for further goals when they welcome Leicester to St Mary’s. Mane has been a key part of the Saints attack, having set up 3 and scored 2 himself in the last 3 gameweeks.
- Yannick BOLASIE [WHM(H), 6.2m] – Bolasie justified our selection last time out with a thumping header so we’re giving him another shot as Palace host the Hammers. He featured for Congo over the break, picking up an assist in both games against Nigeria and Gabon. Bolasie has also just been shortlisted for the African Footballer of the Year award and that will give him further confidence as he looks to push on and help Palace climb the table.
- Mesut OZIL [WAT(A), 8.4m] – Another player who was instrumental in the victory over United was Ozil who created one and scored another. Wenger stated at the start of the season that he expected more from the German and with 3 assists and a goal in his last 4 games, Ozil could be starting to fulfil his potential. Arsenal have no new injuries to contend with and will be keen to build on their strong recent form.
- Graziano PELLE [LEI(H), 8.2m] – Pelle has been on fire of late, scoring 4 times and creating a further 5 goals in the last 5 gameweeks. It’s no surprise that fantasy managers have been flocking to bring him in, especially since Aguero’s injury. He’s full of confidence and in this form, can be a real handful for any opposition.
- Diego COSTA [AVL(H), 10.9m] – Costa’s had a long time to think about his behaviour having sat out 3 games for Chelsea and dropped by Spain for the recent international qualifiers. He’ll be itching to get back out on the pitch and could be just the man to help Chelsea address their slump. It won’t be easy with Chelsea seeming frail at the back but as we’ve seen in football before, things can often change at the drop of a hat.
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