Away: Manchester City (1) – Home: Chelsea (0)
The marquee match played at Stamford Bridge on Saturday felt like an away game for Chelsea, as Man City came out relentless from the start pressuring up top and pushing Chelsea back. Chelsea never looked comfortable playing out of the back, and Man City dominated early and often. Alvaro Morata picked up a hamstring injury in the 34th minute, and was replaced by Willian who saw little opportunity to attack alongside Eden Hazard.
Kevin de Bruyne scored the deciding goal that could only be dreamt of in the mind of Pep Guardiola. The sequence immediately before the goal consisted of two 1-touch passes between KDB and Gabriel Jesus, followed by one incredible touch from De Bruyne and a sublime finish driven right while crossing left. The Belgian Ginger (Belginger?) was creeping farther and farther up the pitch throughout the game, pacing Manchester City’s attack with 62 passes, 6 key passes and 2 shots. IHe has the talent to change any game, and truly could be the player to own in Man City’s midfield IF – and huge IF – he continues to play in an advance position. It looks like Man City is pressing all game, so the Belginger will hopefully be high pressing as well. However, it still just as likely that one or more of Silva, Sterling or Sane pop off for a better overall value in any given week.
Quite a bit of fantasy commotion had occured in the 48 hours prior to the match, as Manchester City’s leading scorer Sergio Agüero was in a car wreck while taxiing to Amsterdam’s airpot after attending a Maluma concert. While I’ve hated reggueton for quite some time, this abomination of music directly leading to a broken rib for my 11.7m forward that I brought in via wildcard just 2 weeks ago is where I say enough is enough. Dear Reggueton, go eff yourself. If you care about how this telenova has lended itself to the tabloids, Kun got hit with a double whammy as his longtime, amazingly attractive girlfriend Karina Tejeda dumped him upon receiving news secondhand from a reporter that he had been in the crash. Life sucks, I know.
Kun had been originally reported to be out for 2-4 weeks by Man City team doctors, but is now thought to need as many as 6 weeks according to his Argentinian team doctor – hooray for free health care! Due to the 2 week international break that has just arrived, a 4 week absence puts Kun in line to return either for the GW 10 match versus West Brom on October 28th, the Napoli Champions match on November 11th, or the GW 11 match versus Arsenal on November 5th. The whole 6 weeks would most likely target a return after the final international break of 2017, GW 12 away to Leicester City. If he is still on your team then you are probably not alive, and Agüero would be considered the deadest of deadweights. Yes, going for Jesus is a probably the most logical and reasonable move, but this is a peasant’s move, and such a decision would not be fitting for a manager of your cunning and charm. Yes, it does make sense. No, you are not obligated to do it – have fun and bring in the player you think will score the most goals for the rest of the season.
Wherever you spend all of your moneys, be sure to carefull protect your shiny new replacement, bubblewrap him in an area with zero reggueton in a ten-mile radius, and try to keep him healthy.
Manchester City Next 6 Fixtures: Stoke (H), Burnley (H), West Brom (A), Arsenal (H), Leicester City (A), Huddersfield (A)
Chelsea Next 6 Fixtures: Crystal Palace (A), Watford (H), Bournemouth (A), Manchester United (H), West Brom (A), Liverpool (A)
Away: Watford (2) – Home: West Brom (2)
Richarlison makes my heart flutter. How I love him soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! In the early going, Richarlison looks to be the fastest man on the pitch, making dangerous direct runs toward the defense and getting behind their back line ease. Against my gut, I turned meu muleque brasileiro into a Scotsman named Ritchie on my WC two weeks back after having him from GW 2-5, and this is what I get: a gamewinning goal in GW 6 for 7 points and the assist plus game saving goal in GW 7 for 11 points.
Doucouré bagged a goal versus West Brom, and is now sitting on 3 goals for the season. Having watched every Watford match this season so far, I can say that this was the first of his three goals that has impressed. It was a beautiful run he made anticipating a quick turn and short pass from Richarlison that he corraled into his stride, slowed down slightly, and then accelerated to the left separating himself enough to get off a left-footed finish and score the first goal for the away side before half time. Being down 2-1 at half time certainly let the Hornets play looser in the second half, although through a hard-fought second half, the game-changing moment came down to a Jose Holebas free kick that Richarlison squared up with his head and banged home at the end of stoppage time.
The next two fixtures are not kind for Watford, as they play home to Arsenal and then go away to Chelsea. After those two game weeks, I love me some Watford boys to help you solidify your midfield for a 4-week stretch of games before they face Manchester United and Spurs in Gameweeks 14 and 15.
For West Brom, Rondón and captain Jonny Evans scored the opening goals in the first 20 minutes of play. Rondón’s goal was all hustle on a longball that he willed in past the keeper from just left of the goal about four yards from the goal line. Jonny Evans‘ goal was more of a hapharzad play involving none other than the flying Egyptian monster, Ahmed Hegazi, who almost vultured the goal off the pass and actually slammed into Evans on the play. Had Hegazi scored that poached goal after so many people dumping him for cash after his initial points bonanza, the FPL game would have crashed in the sheer insanity of the collective desire to bring him back into squads.
Despite their best efforts to finally field an attacking side, I won’t be bringing in many West Brom players for the time being. They are at their best when they play a resilient defensive minded game, but their upcoming run of fixtures are enough to scare me from even investing on some cheap West Brom defensive players.
Watford Next 6 Fixtures: Arsenal (H), Chelsea (A), Stoke (H), Everton (A), West Ham (H), Newcastle (A)
West Brom Next 6 Fixtures: Leicster City (A), Southampton (A), Man City (H), Huddersfield (A), Chelsea (H), Spurs (A)
Away: Brighton (0) – Home: Arsenal (2)
When Sanchez plays with confidence and remains involved in the pitch, Arsenal are always good. Their ability to perform and play a complete 90 minute match versus sides higher up on the table will remain a huge problem until they play and pick up points versus a big club again – Man City (A) on GW 11, Spurs (H) on GW 12.
In the weekend’s match versus Brighton, Sanchez had 8 shots (3 on target), 6 key passes and generally playing in his usual aggressive and attacking manner. His one stat sheet contribution was an absolutely gorgeous assist he backhealed to Iwobi after drawing 3 or 4 defenders to him dribbling the opposite direction of Iwobi in the box. Despite Sanchez turning in a lovely performance, now is not the time to bring him back in – this was versus Brighton, after all. At a price tag of 11.9m, the Chilean will need to be consistent enough to return as one of the highest priced options in the game, and until the goals start flowing in at the same rate as Spurs and Man City, I say wait and see for Alexis. On the other side of the price spectrum is Alex Iwobi, the 21 year-old Nigerian getting a well-deserved start in place of Mezut Ozil. Lucky for him, he had a no-brainer of a chance to score and did not go mucking it up and is officially a goal-scorer this season. After the match, Wenger said he thinks a player like Alex Iwobi needs to score around 10 goals and have somewhere between 6-10 assists in order to have a successful season. He is worth monitoring and absolutely worth transferring into your squad of Ozil’s absence ends up being much longer than originally expected. Otherwise, I suggest looking at his playing time week to week and try to gauge when he will next start in the Premier League.
More important to this game, and also to Arsenal’s current good run of fortune in the Premier League, is that they are defensively performing well, and because of Monreal clear last week, have clean sheets in their last 4 matches and Watford, Everton and Swansea to come. Monreal also got max bonus points this last week after he scored his first Premier League goal since 2013. He just rose to 5.5m last night, but is still the 2nd most affordable option on Arsenal’s defense after Mustafi at 5.4m.
Monreal’s goal contributions for the year might well be over with now that he’s already got more than all of Crystal Palace, but he should still find ways to accumulate bonus ponits to combine with clean sheet from time to time. If you prefer the more attacking wingback from the Gunners, Kolasinac at 6.0m remains the best option; he made 3 key passes in this match and was involved much more in the attacking segment than the other backs (desite Nacho Monreal’s gem of a goal).
For Brighton, I’m actually most intrigued by midfielder Solly March at 5.0m. He has one goal and assist on the young season and rocketed his one opportunity off of the post versus the Gunners. I don’t think he’s a better player than Pascal Groß, but I also cannot see myself bringing in a single Brighton player unless it’s an absolute punt – Solly March is my man under that scenario.
Brighton Next 6 Fixtures: Everton (H), West Ham (A), Southampton (H), Swansea (A), Stoke (H), Man United (A)
Arsenal Next 6 Fixtures: Watford (A), Everton (A), Swansea (H), Man City (A), Spurs (H), Burnley (A)
Nasty Niasse News:
1st Premier League Start: 83 minutes played, 4 Shots, 1 Key Pass, .47 xG, .02 xA.
He got to start! Hooray!!!!!!! Oh, crap! Everton lost, so now maybe he will never start again? Whatever, he started! Good for you, Oumar Niasse!
I’ll keep you posted on the head hancho of Premier League good vibes.