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Budget midfield options at a premium in fantasy league

Granit Xhaka is in great form for Arsenal.

Leeds United stood behind their under-pressure manager Jesse Marsch to get an impressive away victory over Liverpool, snapping an eight-match winless streak to jump out of the relegation zone. The Yorkshire side also ended the Reds’ home unbeaten streak, which stood at 30 matches.

Fantasy managers have a plethora of budget options in midfield for the final weeks before the World Cup. Miguel Almiron and Granit Xhaka are two in-form suggestions, with Pascal Gross and Alex Iwobi among others worth scouting.

Congratulations to October winner Perry Thompson, whose team “FC Perrydise” amassed 456 points over the month, taking the overall lead with a grand total of 892 points for the season.


Leeds United v Bournemouth (noon)

Leeds enhanced their survival hopes and Crysensio Summerville scored his first league goal for over two years in the away win over Liverpool. Stuart Dallas and Adam Forshaw remain out this week, with youngsters Leo Hjelde and Archie Gray doubtful.

Bournemouth relinquished a two-goal lead in the home loss to Tottenham last weekend. Starting goalkeeper Neto, Lloyd Kelly and David Brooks are out for the trip to Elland Road.

This is the first Premier League meeting between these clubs.

Prediction: 1-1

Manchester City v Fulham (noon)

Manchester City struggled to a 1-0 away win over Leicester City. Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips remain out with abdominal and shoulder injuries respectively, while Erling Haaland is doubtful this weekend.

Fulham continued their strong start to the campaign with the goalless home draw with Everton. Layvin Kurzawa and Manor Solomon remain out, while Bobby Decordova-Reid is suspended for yellow card accumulation for this visit to Manchester.

City have won 15 of their 28 total meetings, taking the last five by a total score of 15 to nil.

Prediction: 2-0

Nottingham Forest v Brentford (noon)

Nottingham Forest were humbled by their 5-0 away defeat to Arsenal on Sunday. Moussa Niakhaté, Omar Richards, Harry Toffolo and Jack Colback are out this weekend.

Brentford secured a home draw with Wolves last Saturday. Thomas Strakosha, Pontus Jansson and Aaron Hickey are out for the Bees, while Ivan Toney is suspended due to recording his fifth yellow card last weekend. Christian Norgaard and Mathias Jensen are doubtful.

This is the first top-flight encounter between the sides.

Prediction: 1-2

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Brighton & Hove Albion (noon)

Wolves held on for a 1-1 away draw with Brentford last week, despite Diego Costa getting sent off late on for violent conduct. Toti Gomes, Pedro Neto, Francisco Oliveira, Raul Jiménez and Sasa Kalajdžić are out this weekend, while Matheus Nunes is doubtful with a shoulder injury.

Brighton emphatically delivered their first league win under Roberto de Zerbi in the 4-1 home victory over Chelsea. Jakub Moder remains out with a knee injury, while Joel Veltman is doubtful with a calf injury for the Seagulls’ visit to the West Midlands.

Each side has won two of their eight overall meetings.

Prediction: 2-1

Everton v Leicester City (2.30pm)

Everton hung on for a goalless away draw with Fulham last time out. Yerry Mina, Ben Godfrey and Andros Townsend remain out this weekend for the Toffees.

Leicester came up against a solid defense in the home defeat to Manchester City. Ricardo Pereira and Ryan Bertrand remain out, while Jonny Evans is doubtful for the Foxes on their journey Merseyside.

Everton edge this series with 11 wins to six for Leicester.

Prediction: 2-0


Chelsea v Arsenal (8am)

Chelsea conceded two own goals in their thumping away defeat to Brighton last Saturday. Reece James, Wesley Fofana and N’Golo Kante remain out this weekend, while current starting goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is doubtful with a foot injury.

Arsenal smashed Nottingham Forest at home last Sunday to climb back into the summit of the league table. Mohamed Elneny and Emile Smith-Rowe are out for the North London side, while Oleksandr Zinchenko, Matt Turner and Bukayo Saka are doubtful to participate in this London derby.

The Gunners edge this capital contest, between North and West, with 23 wins to 20 for Chelsea through 60 league meetings. Last season, Arsenal came to Stamford Bridge and took the points 4-2.

Prediction: 1-2

Aston Villa v Manchester United (10am)

Aston Villa could not contain a dominant Newcastle United in their 4-0 away defeat last round. Diego Carlos and Boubacar Kamara are out, while Ludwig Augustinsson and Emiliano Martinez are doubtful for the first match under new manager Unai Emery.

Manchester United defended with focus to get a home victory over West Ham United. Raphael Varane, Brandon Williams, and Anthony Martial are out, while Bruno Fernandes is suspended for yellow card accrual. Victor Lindelof, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Antony are doubtful.

The Red Devils dominate this series, winning 37 of the 54 meetings.

Prediction: 1-3

Southampton v Newcastle United (10am)

Southampton were dragged into the relegation scrap with their away defeat to Crystal Palace. Kyle Walker-Peters, Tino Livramento, and Armel Bella-Kotchap remain out this weekend, while Romeo Lavia and Stuart Armstrong are doubtful.

Newcastle smashed Aston Villa at home to solidify their chances of European football next season. Karl Darlow, Matt Ritchie, Paul Dummett, Emil Krafth, and Alexander Isak remain out, while Joelinton is suspended for yellow card accumulation.

The Magpies edge this rivalry, with 17 wins to the Saints’ 16.

Prediction: 2-2

West Ham United v Crystal Palace (10am)

West Ham were unable to penetrate a solid Manchester United back line in their away defeat last Sunday. Lucas Paquetá is out with a shoulder injury, while Maxwel Cornet and Lukasz Fabianski are doubtful.

Crystal Palace edged Southampton to fly into the top half of the table. James McArthur and Chris Richards remain out, while Jack Butland, Cheick Doucouré and Odsonne Edouard are doubtful for the Eagles.

The Hammers lead this contest with nine victories through 22 overall meetings.

Prediction: 2-1

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool (12.30pm)

Tottenham secured their third spot in the table with a comeback away win over Bournemouth last week. Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison remain out this match, while Son Heung-Min and Cristian Romero are doubtful.

Liverpool conceded in the final minute of normal time to lose at home to Leeds United. Joel Matip, Naby Keita, Luis Diaz, Arthur Melo and Diogo Jota are out, while James Milner is doubtful for their visit to North London.

Liverpool dominate this rivalry, winning 29 of their 60 league encounters.

Prediction: 1-1

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Published November 04, 2022 at 7:49 am (Updated November 04, 2022 at 8:32 am)

Budget midfield options at a premium in fantasy league

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