Gameweek 2 of the Premier League is now behind us and many will be wanting to put in a few tweaks to the 15 man fantasy squad put together before the season began. Newly promoted Hull City stand joint top with Chelsea, Man City, and Man United after two matches – striker Abel Hernandez scoring his first of the season in Hull’s 2-0 win over Swansea. Liverpool dominated Burnley on chances but just weren’t as clinical as in the match prior and champions Leicester played out a goalless draw against runners up Arsenal. Read more below to find out our recommendations for who to take and who to bench for the upcoming fixtures!
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Who to Buy
Alvaro Negredo or Cristhian Stuani (Middlesborough) – Price: £6.7m and £4.9m respectively
Striker Alvaro Negredo has enjoyed an impressive start to his Middlesborough career. Negredo opened his account in gameweek 1’s 1-1 draw to Stoke, and followed that up with an assist for Cristhian Stuani’s second goal in the 2-1 win at Sunderland last weekend. Only Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero and Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic have racked up more points than Negredo after the second round of fixtures. Stuani, who’s looping shot from range early on and tap in just before half time saw Middlesborough take three point away from the Stadium of Light, earnt an outstanding 13 points last match and is a tempting alternative to Negredo for only £4.9m.
Ross Barkley or Kevin Mirallas (Everton) – Price: £7.7m and £6.5m respectively
Ross Barkley is a much loved midfielder in Premier League Fantasy, not only thanks to his 158 point haul last season, where he tallied 8 goals and 9 assists, but also for his very reasonable price tag. He has earnt 15 points over the first two gameweeks, scoring one goal and one assist, which has overshadowed our second choice player here, Kevin Mirallas. Mirallas looks transformed since the departure of Roberto Martinez at the end of last season. He is one of Everton’s most talented and creative players when he plays at his best, and Ronald Koeman has seemed to bring that out of him. With most people opting for Barkley or Deulofeu in their teams, his equally impressive 13 point tally this season – also from one goal and one assist – is definitely under the radar. Not to mention his even more reasonable price tag for such an attacking player.
Cesar Azpilicueta or Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) – Price: both £6.0m
Conte’s Chelsea sees both full backs regularly making their way forwards. Branislav Ivanovic was unlucky not to score from open play in Chelsea’s opening fixture as he made a rather un-signature run, turn, and left foot shot into the bottom corner which was barely saved by West Ham’s Adrian. He not only creates chances, but gets himself forward for corners meaning he is frequently on the end of crosses for potential goals. Azpilicueta has taken 7 points so far this season, despite Chelsea failing to keep a clean sheet. His biggest point haul was in gameweek 1 where he earnt an assist by drawing a foul, and consequent penalty, after pouncing on an error from West Ham’s Antonio. Though they are two of the highest priced defenders in the Premier League, Chelsea are facing Burnley at home this weekend and Swansea the weekend after which should be a sound enough investment when considering potential clean sheets too.
Dusan Tadic or Nathan Redmond (Southampton) – Price: £7.4m and £6.1m respectively
Dusan Tadic was severly underutilised by Ronald Koeman and Southampton last season. He was benched eleven times throughout all thirty-eight Premier League fixtures and nonetheless scored one point less than Ross Barkley (157 points from 8 goals and 13 assists) last season. Most notably, he became only the fourth player to ever achieve three of more assists in one Premier League match in Southampton’s 4-2 win over Manchester City. He should thrive under new manager Claude Paul and despite taking no extra points from goals and assists in his opening two matches, he is not selected by many and has a very modest price tag for a player of his calibre. Winger Nathan Redmond was constantly involved in the action against Watford in Southampton’s opener and is a cheaper alternative for the Saints. Last weekend’s difficult fixture against Man United shouldn’t knock his confidence, and Southampton face Sunderland and Swansea in two of their next three.
Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace): – Price: £7.4m
Christian Benteke didn’t quite cut it at Liverpool, but a move to Crystal Palace was ideal for a player of his calibre in his position. Benteke should find himself with plenty of game time and decent goalscoring opportunities alongside midfielders such as Andros Townsend, Yohan Cabaye, and Jason Puncheon. Despite failing to consistently feature at Liverpool, he still earnt 104 points overall last season from 9 goals and 4 assists. Only 2.8% of players have him selected in their sides, so he’ll be earning valuable points other people don’t, and we feel he’ll be the solution to Crystal Palace’s goal drought.
Who to Bench
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
Leicester were dangerous going forward in their 2-1 defeat away to Hull City in the opening gameweek and even gave last year’s runners up Arsenal a scare or two in last weekend’s 0-0 draw. Jamie Vardy, however, has lacked his usual flair and isn’t anywhere near having a party. Last season he was a steal at around £7.0m but he has missed a few decent chances and has failed to register a shot on target yet this season, which raises thoughts to whether the money for his £10.0m price tag could be better distributed elsewhere.
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Harry Kane’s performances, or lack thereof, at the Euros have likely taken their toll on his confidence coming into the new season. He’s not the only member of the squad without too much time off to recover thanks to international competition, but teammates such as Kyle Walker and Eric Lamela have been putting in some much better performances for Tottenham since the season began. His current form makes it hard to justify his £11.0m price tag when Zlatan Ibrahimovic is just £0.5m more expensive and seems confident with no sign of slowing down. We feel Kane is going to need a bit more time to get back to the form he was in at the end of last season.
Stoke City Players
Simply put, Stoke are in a bad state at the moment. Without goalkeeper Jack Butland they’ve been forced to play veteran Shay Given between the sticks. Glen Johnson and Xherdan Shaqiri are also out injured which has seen Stoke lack some creativity on the right hand side of the field. Striker Mame Biram Diouf, who scored 12 and assisted 3 in the 2014/2015 season, has seemed uninterested and out of form. From their remaining fit players only midfielder Bojan has picked up some decent points, converting a weakly given penalty descision by referee Mike Dean against Man City last weekend.
Simon Mignolet and Liverpool Defenders
Clean sheets are the biggest point earners for goalkeepers and defenders in Fantasy Football, and Liverpool are just too inconsistent. Alberto Moreno, who was absent in Liverpool’s 2-0 defeat to Burnley last weekend, was at the heart of the defense criticism in Liverpool’s opening 4-3 win at Arsenal. Jurgen Klopp has defended the full-back, but has clearly understood the long term consequences of playing young Spaniard by benching him. Nathaniel Clyne made an even worse error leading to Burnley’s opener and Simon Mignolet failed to come close to saving either of Burnley’s two shots on target last weekend, adding further frustration for the German coach. With Liverpool facing Spurs next week, we advise benching or transferring any of these.
Andy Carroll (West Ham), Andre Ayew (West Ham) or Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
All of the above picked up injuries over the opening two matches of the season, not an ideal start. Andre Ayew is the most crucial as he is out for approximately four months needing thigh surgery. Andy Carroll and Hugo Lloris are expected to be out for a couple of weeks so swap them out and use the money elsewhere for the meantime!
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— Football Super Tips (@FootySuperTips) 8 August 2016