We are almost at the end of the first double gameweek of the season. Chelsea go to Fulham tonight (8pm BST/3pm ET), then Luton welcome Burnley in those two clubs’ second game of the double 24 hours later.
Those who took the punt on Carlton Morris (£5.6m) have already been rewarded as the Luton striker sits on eight points with a potential 90 more minutes to go.
It was a remarkable weekend overall, as treble winners Manchester City suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season away to Wolves and Aston Villa put six goals past Brighton.
We will highlight the main talking points from the weekend’s action from an FPL perspective.
Villa put on their best performance of the season, as they trounced fellow Europe qualifiers Brighton 6-1. Ollie Watkins (£8.0m) scored a monstrous 23 points courtesy of three goals and two assists. He now has four goals and six assists for the season.
In defence, Matty Cash (£4.9m) picked up another attacking return with an assist as he continues to maraud down Villa’s right-hand side. Moussa Diaby (£6.7m) also provided two assists from midfield.
Looking ahead, we should be aiming to have at least two Villa players in our teams. Their fixtures through Gameweek 14 are as good as you can get with Wolves (A), West Ham (H), Luton (H), Nottingham Forest (A), Fulham (H), Tottenham (A) and Bournemouth (A).
It’s worth monitoring the fitness of Diaby, though, as he was taken off with an injury on 79 minutes.
Arsenal eased to a 4-0 away win over Bournemouth and despite concerns of a Bukayo Saka (£8.7m) injury pre-match, he did start and score. It could have been a lot better for his owners though as Mikel Arteta’s side did get two penalties — which were taken not by him but by Martin Odegaard (£8.5m) and Kai Havertz (£7.1m).
It seems from this that Arsenal will continue to pass penalties around, depending on the match, which of course isn’t good news for Saka owners. Also, it seems like the England midfielder came off in the game’s final quarter with an injury, as did team-mate Gabriel Jesus (£8.0m).
“I don’t (know) yet, as I haven’t had a chance to speak to him,” Arteta said post-match when asked about Saka’s injury and whether it was in the same area as the one that had him limping late on against Spurs last weekend. “I think it was a stamp in the same area but Gabi was limping as well after the game so let’s see how they are.”
With Manchester City (H) and Chelsea (A) next, then Newcastle (A) in Gameweek 11 there is a strong case to sell Arsenal assets. If Saka is a doubt again, then Son Heung-min (£9.3m) and James Maddison (£7.9m) are great potential replacements, with Spurs taking on Luton (A), Fulham (H) and Crystal Palace (A) as their next three.
If Saka is deemed fit, however, I don’t think he is a bad long-term hold.
Manchester United’s poor start to the season continued with a 1-0 loss at home to Palace.
Those with Bruno Fernandes (£8.4m) and/or Marcus Rashford (£8.8m) will be at the end of their tethers today, but I still think we can give them the next two games as they have Brentford (H) and Sheffield United (A) next.
If you are wildcarding this week then I wouldn’t choose them, as you will want to get rid after Gameweek 9. However, as I have stated many times before, sticking with proven assets over good fixtures usually pays off.
Bruno and Rashford are two of the most nailed-on assets for United, so should keep their places. If you don’t already have Son or Maddison, though, there is an argument to move one of the United duo. I wouldn’t sell them for any other midfielder this week.
Newcastle have now had three clean-sheet wins on the trot, scoring 11 goals in the process. Their next three games are pretty good too: West Ham (A), Palace (H) and Wolves (A).
Sven Botman (£4.7m), who over 400,000 managers had transferred in, ended up missing the Burnley game on Saturday due to a knee injury. Callum Wilson (£7.8m) also only watched the action at St James’ Park.
Head coach Eddie Howe said: “Callum’s got a very minor hamstring problem. We hope we’ll see him before the (October) international break but there is no guarantee. Sven has a knee problem. I don’t think we will see Sven before the international break but hopefully, we’ll see him very quickly after.”
Therefore, Wilson owners can probably hold onto him and if you own Botman then you could probably just bench him for that Gameweek 8 trip to east London. He may only miss that one further match — the international break starts after it.
As well as those two, Joelinton (£5.8m) was injured during the match. On as a second-half substitute, he lasted just four minutes before having to be replaced. Howe said: “It looks like a hamstring and that’ll be a huge blow if we lose him. But we’ll wait and see.”
This means that Anthony Gordon (£5.6m) is even more secure in terms of a long-term place in Newcastle’s starting XI as now Joelinton and Harvey Barnes (£6.3m), who both also play on the left wing, are out. However, Gordon picked up his fifth booking of the season at the weekend, so will miss the West Ham match.
West Ham beat bottom-of-the-table visitors Sheffield United 2-0, with Jarrod Bowen (£7.2m) on the scoresheet again. He now has five goals and one assist after seven league games and is looking like their main attacking threat and talisman.
David Moyes’ side have great long-term fixtures right up until Gameweek 18, and Bowen looks a terrific option. He probably could wait until Gameweek 10 to come in as West Ham have Newcastle (H) and Villa (A) next but I don’t think those are terrible fixtures from an attacking point of view and jumping on him now is perfectly viable.
Another positive with Bowen is that he has played the 90 minutes in every league game this season.
Erling Haaland (£14.1m) suffered a rare attacking blank in their 2-1 loss to Wolves but fellow forward Julian Alvarez (£7.0m) continued his great form with their goal.
City will continue to be without the suspended Rodri (£5.6m) until Gameweek 9. He is clearly a big miss for them and with Arsenal (A) up next and several other tough fixtures through Gameweek 15, it could now be time to shift City assets and even look at alternative captaincy options to Haaland.
After the trip to the Emirates Stadium next Sunday, the champions face Brighton (H), Man United (A), Bournemouth (H), Chelsea (A), Liverpool (H), Spurs (H) and Villa (A) across their next eight matches.
Spurs beat Liverpool 2-1 in a highly controversial match on Saturday evening, and Son was again among the goals after starting as their No 9. It looks like that is his position to lose now, although he did come off in the 69th minute and head coach Ange Postecoglou said the South Korean went into the game carrying an injury.
This is one to be monitored and if you are looking to transfer Son in this week then it’s probably worth waiting for news on him until the end of the week.
Looking at Spurs’ fixtures, at least one attacking player out of Son and Maddison looks wise and defenders Pedro Porro (£5.0m) and Destiny Udogie (£4.8m) are both fine options too.
Brentford were disappointing again as they drew 1-1 away to 10-man Nottingham Forest.
This is the third game in a row where Bryan Mbeumo (£6.8m) has blanked from midfield — with the last two being fairly good fixtures in Forest and Everton (H). He has been played on the wing in the last few matches, which means he has been getting fewer chances in front of goal. However, at his price and with Brentford’s next two fixtures, I think we can give him a few more chances to prove his worth.
Brentford play Manchester United away next and will likely do so in a 3-5-2, with Mbeumo up front. Coach Thomas Frank usually sets them up like that against tougher opposition. He did it last season and in this one has already used the formation against Newcastle, Spurs and (in the Carabao Cup) Arsenal.
They then host Burnley in Gameweek 9, which is a plum fixture. Mbeumo has played the 90 minutes in all seven league games and is also on penalties, so will always have a chance at points.
With so many injury doubts and Champions League, Europa League, and Conference League fixtures to be played on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I would definitely advise holding off on any early transfers this week, if possible.
We should get an update from managers after those midweek games and, of course, there is always a chance one of your players gets injured on the European stage.
(Top photos: Getty Images)