We now head into the second international break of the season after another eventful weekend of football.
Ten-man Tottenham Hotspur scraped a win against Luton Town, Everton kept their first clean sheet of the season in a 3-0 win and Manchester United left it late to beat Brentford at Old Trafford.
As ever, we will cover the main talking points of the weekend from a Fantasy Premier League perspective.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side recorded their third successive win in a convincing 4-1 victory over Burnley. Raheem Sterling (£7.0m) rewarded his faithful owners with a 16-point haul that included one goal and two assists. These were his first attacking returns since his 19 points in Gameweek 3 against Luton.
Cole Palmer (£4.9m) also got a goal and assist and has started the last two league games now. He took and scored their penalty and it looks like he is their No 1 spot-kick-taker. This is pretty significant, especially when you look at his price. He can act as an enabler to upgrade other areas of your squad. Those looking to wildcard in the next few weeks may have found an option to help fit in your desired premium players.
Chelsea do have some tough fixtures on the horizon, though, so make sure you have a player who can rotate in for him.
Manchester United and Brentford
Scott McTominay’s (£4.8m) stoppage-time goals papered over the cracks of another disappointing display from Erik Ten Hag’s team in their 2-1 win.
Bruno Fernandes (£8.4m) and Marcus Rashford (£8.8m) — the highest-owned United players — blanked once again and their owners will be feeling disappointed. They have two goals between them in the last five fixtures. These have also been good games in Brighton & Hove Albion (H), Burnley (A), Crystal Palace (H) and Brentford (H).
Do you give them one last chance against Sheffield United (A), one of the poorest teams in the league, or do you finally cut ties? I own both of them myself and will very likely be keeping them for one last game.
If I were to get rid of one out of the two, Rashford would be the one I would transfer out. He has now been subbed early in the last two league games and was also taken off early in United’s Champions League fixture against Galatasaray. Fernandes is still at least playing 90 minutes every game — and is on penalties.
If you are using your wildcard this week then it’s perfectly justifiable to get rid of them as you are setting yourself up for the long-term.
We also saw with Sterling that proven FPL assets can pull it out of the bag, even after a poor run.
Bryan Mbeumo (£6.8m) is another one who a lot of managers have kept faith in and is now on a run of four straight blanks. But, as is the case with to the United players, he has a tempting fixture next gameweek against Burnley (H).
Due to Mbeumo’s price, there isn’t as big of an onus to get rid of him imminently. He can be kept for one more game but after Burnley, Brentford play Chelsea (A), West Ham (H), Liverpool (A) and Arsenal (H).
In the 2-2 draw with Brighton, it was that man Mohamed Salah (£12.6m) who delivered again, this time with a brace. If you don’t already have the Egyptian then you should make a plan for him by Gameweek 10 at least.
Jurgen Klopp’s team play Everton (H), Nottingham Forest (H), Luton (A), Brentford (H), Manchester City (A), Fulham (H), Sheffield United (A) and Crystal Palace (A) in their next eight — one of the best fixture runs of the season. Salah will also be a popular captain option in most of those games.
Brighton continue to rack up goals despite their tough fixtures — and their players will be very desirable again in Gameweek 10, when their fixtures pick up massively.
They face Manchester City (A) next so we can wait on them for now. Pervis Estupinan (£5.1m) (if fit), Kaoru Mitoma (£6.6m) and Solly March (£6.4m) should be earmarked.
Newcastle United and West Ham
Kieran Trippier (£6.8m) again registered an attacking run with an assist and even managed two bonus points despite conceding twice in this 2-2 draw.
His underlying bonuses are always high due to the number of chances he creates, especially with him taking set pieces, which explains why his price is so high.
Newcastle have some tough games on the horizon with Arsenal (H), Chelsea (H), Manchester United (H) and Spurs (A) in the next eight but Trippier could be worth keeping.
And keep an eye on Mohammed Kudus (£6.5m). The Ghanaian really impressed as he came on as a substitute and scored the equaliser for David Moyes’ side. That may earn him a starting berth in time for West Ham’s good run of fixtures. They play Aston Villa (A), Everton (H), Brentford (A), Forest (H), Burnley (A) and Palace (H) in the next six.
Arsenal and Manchester City
The crunch match of the weekend saw two of the best teams in the league going head to head.
It was quite an uneventful encounter and was decided by a heavily deflected goal from Gabriel Martinelli (£7.7m) in the 86th minute.
Bukayo Saka (£8.6m) missed the game due to an injury picked up against Lens in midweek, despite travelling with the squad.
Mikel Arteta admitted he considered taking a chance on Saka before the game: “Saka felt something, then obviously you are tempted to risk him. But he wasn’t able to train yesterday so that put him out.”
This would indicate that he should be fine in two weeks to face Chelsea (A) and he has also been selected for international duty by Gareth Southgate.
Erling Haaland (£14.1m) blanked for the second game in a row and again showed us he has his flaws. I mentioned in my article last week how we can use City’s tough fixture run to move away from him as our captain and possibly even go without him for a little while.
Those who captained Salah will have benefited due to his 15-point haul. Haaland was still the most captained player for Gameweek 8.
Among their next seven games, City play United (A), Chelsea (A), Liverpool (H), Spurs (H) and Villa (A), so there will be more opportunities to take a punt on extra points.
Injuries are common as players fly across the world to play for their countries, so it is wise to resist making early transfers, no matter how badly your gameweek went.
This is not the only issue. Players such as Darwin Nunez (£7.4m), Julian Alvarez (£7.0m), and Luis Diaz (£7.5m) play their final international games on October 18, which is just three days before Gameweek 9.
There could be some benchings for players returning late.
(Photos: Getty Images)