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Unai Emery makes instant impact at Villa Park

New Aston Villa coach Unai Emery gets his message across while Erik ten Hag, his opposite number at Manchester United, is left much to ponder. Villa won 2-1 on Sunday to get Emery's tenure off to a roaring start (Photograph by Rui Vieira/AP)

New Aston Villa coach Unai Emery made a strong start on his return to English football, snapping Manchester United’s nine-game unbeaten streak in a 3-1 home victory over the Red Devils. Elsewhere in the Premier League, Newcastle United continued their impressive start to the campaign with a dominant away win over Southampton, which led to the sacking of Ralph Hassenhüttl.

Fantasy managers should focus on fitness and value with their selections for the final round of league matches before the World Cup break. Taking these factors into account, Leicester City defender Timothy Castagne and Bournemouth midfielder Phillip Billing are strong suggestions this weekend.


Manchester City v Brentford


Manchester City needed a late penalty from Erling Haaland to edge Fulham at home last week. Kyle Walker is the only injury absentee for Pep Guardiola’s team.

Brentford gained a 2-2 away league draw with Nottingham Forest. Thomas Strakosha, Aaron Hickey, Pontus Jansson, and Shandon Baptiste are all out, while Vitaly Janelt is doubtful for the Bees’ visit to the Etihad Stadium.

City have won their first two top-flight meetings with the West London side, keeping clean sheets on each occasion.

Prediction: 2-0

Bournemouth v Everton


Bournemouth gave up an advantage for the second successive week, this time losing away to Leeds United. Neto, Lloyd Kelly and David Brooks remain out until after the World Cup, while defender Chris Mepham is suspended thanks to yellow-card accrual.

Everton have suffered three defeats in their past five league games, and now sit just two points above the drop zone. Andros Townsend is out with a knee injury, while Yerry Mina, Ben Godfrey, Amadou Onana, Idrissa Gueye and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are doubtful for the trip to the South Coast.

Each side have won four of their ten top-flight encounters, but the Cherries smashed the Toffees 4-1 in the Carabao Cup in midweek.

Prediction: 1-2

Liverpool v Southampton


Liverpool returned to winning ways with away victory over Tottenham. Joel Matip, James Milner, Luis Diaz, Arthur Melo and Diogo Jota remain out this round, while Naby Keita is doubtful owing to lack of fitness.

Southampton have slipped into the relegation zone after being trounced by Newcastle at home and will be under caretaker manager after the dismissal of their Hassenhüttl. Kyle Walker-Peters, Tino Livramento and Moussa Djenepo are out, while youngster Juan Larios Lopez is doubtful.

The Merseyside club have won 25 of their 46 contests with the Saints, with a 4-0 result last season in this fixture.

Prediction: 2-0

Nottingham Forest v Crystal Palace


Nottingham Forest remained bottom of the division despite a strong home draw with Brentford last week. Giulian Biancone, Moussa Niakhaté, Omar Richards, Harry Toffolo and Jack Colback are out this match.

Crystal Palace came from behind to get an away victory over West Ham United. Chris Richards and James McArthur remain out, while Jack Butland, Nathan Ferguson and Odsonne Edouard are doubtful.

Forest are unbeaten in four Premier League meetings with the Eagles, all of which came within the first three seasons of its inception — winning twice and drawing twice.

Prediction: 1-2

Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United


Tottenham are suffering a small drop in form, losing for the third time in five matches at home to Liverpool last week. Cristian Romero and Son Heung Min remain out for the last match before the World Cup break.

Leeds came from two goals behind to edge Bournemouth and get their second straight victory, which pushed them up into the security of mid-table. Stuart Dallas, Adam Forshaw and summer recruit Luis Sinisterra remain out for the Yorkshire outfit, while Archie Gray and Patrick Bamford are doubtful for the long trip to North London.

This match is evenly poised, with each club winning 11 of their 28 total Premier League contests.

Prediction: 2-1

West Ham United v Leicester City


West Ham continue to struggle for consistency and goals this season, and lost at home to Crystal Palace last week to slide down to within two points of the relegation zone. Maxwel Cornet is the only injury doubt for the Hammers this week.

Leicester have lost just once in their past five games to jump out of the bottom three for the second time this term. Ryan Bertrand and Ricardo Pereira remain out, while James Justin and Caglar Soyuncu are doubtful for the Foxes for the visit to the London Stadium.

The Hammers edge this series 14 wins to nine.

Prediction: 2-2

Newcastle United v Chelsea


Newcastle climbed into third place with their fourth straight victory, 4-1 away to Southampton last week. Matt Ritchie, Paul Dummett, Emil Krafth and Alexander Isak are out for the Magpies, while Callum Wilson is doubtful because of illness.

Chelsea lost at home to Arsenal last Sunday. Kepa Arrizabalaga, Wesley Fofana, Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Carney Chukwuemeka and N’Golo Kanté remain out for the Blues. James has the double blow of just being ruled out of the World Cup for England.

The West London side dominate this rivalry, winning 29 of their 54 overall top-flight encounters.

Prediction: 2-1

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal


Wolves have scored the fewest goals in the division to this point, and remain in the bottom three through 14 matches. Diego Costa remains suspended, while Pedro Neto, Francisco Oliveira, Raul Jiménez and Sasa Kaladjzic remain out, with Toti Gomes and Matheus Nunes doubtful.

Arsenal earned an impressive away victory over Chelsea to remain at the top of the league. Emile Smith-Rowe is out for the leaders, while Takehiro Tomiyasu is doubtful.

The Gunners have won ten of their 16 encounters with Wolves.

Prediction: 0-2


Brighton & Hove Albion v Aston Villa


Brighton have consecutive wins for the first time this season, after the comeback away result over Wolves last Saturday. Jakub Moder is the only injury concern for the Seagulls this week.

Aston Villa got off to a strong start under new coach Unai Emery. Diego Carlos and Philippe Coutinho remain out for the West Midlands club.

Villa edge this brief series three wins to one.

Prediction: 1-1

Fulham v Manchester United


Fulham were beaten in stoppage time away to Manchester City despite a strong showing. Kenny Tete and Harrison Reed are suspended because of yellow-card accumulation, while Neeskens Kebano and Manor Solomon are out, and Aleksandar Mitrovic is doubtful to an ankle injury this round.

Manchester United missed a chance to climb into the top four after defeat away to Aston Villa. Diego Dalot is suspended because of too many yellow cards. Raphael Varane and Brandon Williams remain out, while Jadon Sancho and Antony are doubts for the Red Devils this weekend.

United will come into this as firm favourites, having won 21 of their 30 meetings.

Prediction: 1-2

RG Fantasy League Standings


MW15 Tot

1 The Mighty Reds (Aaron Carvelho) 90 90

2 Mo and the Triple Ds (Vejay Steede) 87 87

2 Smith-Rowe Your Boat (Tiago Garcia) 87 87

4 Stegunda (Keith Steede) 81 81

4 Daddy Daycare FC (D Fox) 81 81

4 297 Elite (Mark-Arthur C. Phillips) 81 81

7 Rego Warriors FC (Jared Rego) 80 80

8 Foy (Armand Foy) 79 79

8 BDA_LFC (Jelani Carlington) 79 79

8 297 Turtles (Antione Lugo) 79 79

8 Zephyr 1 (Valerie C. Pearman) 79 79

12 Buck3y (Anneisha White) 78 78

12 TDH United (Tracey Harvey) 78 78

12 Ferrars Foresters (Michael Moriarty) 78 78

12 Real Moutinho (Anthony Decosta) 78 78

12 Hunting Ground FC (Sim Hunt) 78 78

12 Ahri FC (Ahri Daniels) 78 78

18 Sheytoon FC (E E) 77 77

18 Shmoogle (Jalen Wales) 77 77

18 Redman (Max Hull) 77 77

18 Scousing Around (Jamin Fubler) 77 77

22 Chicken and Beer FC (Webster Butler) 76 76

23 11 Stars (Kayuri Tucker) 75 75

23 Giving.out.chops (Greg Rose) 75 75

23 Erik ten Häagen-Dazs (Calum Maule) 75 75

23 Who’s DA (Daniel Andrade) 75 75

23 Hilltop Elite FC (Sacha Butterfield) 75 75


MW15 Tot

1 FC Perrydise (Perry Thompson) 64 956

2 Expected Toulouse (Darran Reitze) 64 936

3 Erik ten Häagen-Dazs (Calum Maule) 75 924

4 Tinmen (Robert Eastham) 57 921

4 Funinthesun (Lester Woodhouse) 61 921

6 Ur Muda’s Hary Kante (Victor Falcao) 58 917

7 Tactics15 (Scott Clarke) 62 911

8 Foy (Armand Foy) 79 910

9 Gooner_1226 (Jodi Maronie) 66 909

10 Why I Jotaaa (Blake DeSilva) 54 908

11 Earth Wind & Maguire (Chris Alexander) 70 907

12 Non Sequitur (J D) 57 905

13 Fish & Chips (Martyn C) 43 904

14 KentAveKings (Deaun Lodge) 61 903

15 Fergie Style FC (Zicco Pearman) 64 901

16 Black Magic (Richard Black) 54 898

17 GQ FC (Ian Simmons) 69 897

17 Klopp on (Paul Ivers) 42 897

17 Divots Bar (Marvin Burchall) 62 897

17 Roshanstha@city21 (Roshan Shrestha) 66 897

21 Gunnerz (Jason Rousseau) 69 895

21 Poinciana Road FC (Jorge Sanchez) 65 895

21 FC Arthurlona (Arthur Jones) 49 895

24 V R United (Remson F) 61 894

25 Siuuu You Later (Isaiah Taylor) 50 894

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Published November 10, 2022 at 7:50 am (Updated November 10, 2022 at 7:50 am)

Unai Emery makes instant impact at Villa Park

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