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Bryan Mbeumo and Luis Diaz best of budget midfield options

Luis Diaz has made a fine start to season for Liverpool

Brighton & Hove Albion have made a fine start n the first two weeks of the Premier League, netting eight goals, their most at this point in the top-flight and they may be on track to better last season’s finishing position of sixth.

Fantasy managers may be searching around the less-recognised teams for their important defensive recruits thanks to injuries to Arsenal recruit Jurrien Timber and Manchester City veteran John Stones.

Meanwhile further forward, Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo and Liverpool’s Luis Diaz are favourable budget options in midfield for the coming weeks.


Chelsea v Luton Town (4pm)

Chelsea were punished for a lack of finishing touch in the away defeat to West Ham. Marcus Bettinelli, Benoit Badiashile, Trevor Chalobah, Wesley Fofana, Reece James, Armando Broja, Christopher Nkunku and Carney Chukwuemeka are out through injury this week.

Luton’s home league match against Burnley was postponed last week as a result of ongoing renovations at Kenilworth Road. Reece Burke, Gabriel Osho, Dan Potts and Jordan Clark are out for the Hatters.

Chelsea and Luton have never met in the Premier League, but the Blues have won both their recent FA Cup meetings.

Prediction: 2-0


Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur (8.30am)

Bournemouth could not build on an early lead and fell to a 3-1 defeat at Liverpool last week. Ryan Fredericks, Adam Smith, Emiliano Marcondes, Dango Ouattara, Marcus Tavernier and Alex Scott are out for the Cherries, while Lewis Cook is doubtful with a hip injury.

Tottenham shut out Manchester United in the Premier League for the first time since 2017, when winning 2-0 last week.

Alfie Whiteman, Ryan Sessegnon, Rodrigo Bentancur and Joe Bryan miss out with injury, while James Maddison is doubtful with a minor knock for Tottenham.

Spurs have won eight of 12 league meetings with Bournemouth.

Prediction: 1-2

Arsenal v Fulham (11am)

Arsenal showed strong defensive qualities to defeat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Monday. Takehiro Tomiyasu is suspended after being sent off in that game, while Jurrien Timber, Mohamed Elneny and Gabriel Jesus are out with knee injuries.

Fulham were comprehensively beaten at home by Brentford last week. Tim Ream is suspended but the Cottagers have no injury concerns.

The Gunners dominate this match-up, winning 23 of 32 meetings.

Prediction: 3-1

Brentford v Crystal Palace (11am)

Brentford dominated Fulham last week, with Mbeumo scoring twice. Ivan Toney remains suspended, while Ben Mee and Josh Dasilva are doubtful.

Despite holding a man-advantage for the final half-hour, Palace could not break down a solid Arsenal at home on Monday. Malcolm Ebiowei, Will Hughes, Matheus Franca and Michael Olise are out this week for the Eagles.

Brentford and Crystal Palace have drawn all four of their Premier League meetings.

Prediction: 2-2

Everton v Wolverhampton Wanderers (11am)

Everton could not find the net despite having several periods of pressure in their narrow home defeat to Fulham and are still to pick up a point. Seamus Coleman, Dele Alli and Dwight McNeil are out this weekend, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin is doubtful with a facial injury.

Wolves were dominated by Brighton last weekend, with Matheus Nunes being shown a second yellow card late on and he is suspended for this trip to Goodison Park.

This is an equally-balanced rivalry, with each club winning six of their 18 top-flight meetings.

Prediction: 1-1

Manchester United v Nottingham Forest (11am)

Manchester United were punished for a lack of discipline in the defeat at Tottenham. New recruit Rasmus Hojlund could feature after recovering from a back injury, while Tom Heaton, Tyrell Malacia, Mason Mount, Amad Diallo and Kobbie Mainoo are out this weekend for the Red Devils.

Nottingham Forest edged Sheffield United last time with Chris Wood scoring the winner a minute from the end of normal time. Wayne Hennessey, Felipe and Omar Richards are out for the visit to Old Trafford, while new recruit Ola Aina is doubtful with a groin injury.

United have won 11 of 14 contests with Forest, including the last five.

Prediction: 3-1

Brighton & Hove Albion v West Ham United (1.30pm)

Brighton marked their win over Wolves with their best-ever goal tally at this stage of a Premier League campaign and the Seagulls have no injury concerns this weekend.

West Ham executed their plan perfectly to defeat Chelsea at home last time. Key defender Nayef Aguerd is suspended after getting a second yellow card for a bad challenge on Nicholas Jackson, but there are no other absentees for the Hammers.

Brighton lead this series with six wins to West Ham’s three from 15 encounters.

Prediction: 2-0


Burnley v Aston Villa (10am)

Burnley midfielder Anass Zaroury is suspended after receiving a straight red card for his appalling challenge on Kyle Walker two weeks ago, while Michael Obafemi is out with a hamstring injury.

Aston Villa scored four past Everton in a dominant home win last week, with youngster Jhon Duran netting his first goal for the Clarets. Alex Moreno, Tyrone Mings, Emiliano Buendia, Leander Dendoncker, Tim Iroegbunam, Jacob Ramsey and Philippe Coutinho are out through injury.

Villa edge this match-up with three wins to Burnley’s two through 11 contests.

Prediction: 0-2

Sheffield United v Manchester City (10am)

Sheffield United forward Gustavo Hamer scored on his debut last week but it was in vain as the Blades were blunted by Nottingham Forest on the road.

Rhys Norrington-Davies, John Fleck and Rhian Brewster are out to injury and lack of fitness, while Jayden Bogle, Ismaila Coulibaly, Daniel Jebbison, George Baldock, Anis Slimane and Oliver McBurnie are doubtful.

Manchester City held firm to take down Newcastle United at home. John Stones and Kevin de Bruyne are out this week, while Bernardo Silva is doubtful through illness.

City have won eight of 12 league meetings with the Blades.

Prediction: 0-4

Newcastle United v Liverpool (12.30pm)

Newcastle could not find a way past Manchester City in the narrow away defeat last time. Javier Manquillo, Emil Krafth and Joe Willock are out to injury this match, while Joelinton is doubtful.

Liverpool came from behind to beat Bournemouth last week. Curtis Jones and Trent Alexander-Arnold are doubtful this game with an ankle injury and minor knock respectively.

Liverpool have taken 33 wins from their 56 encounters against the Magpies.

Prediction: 2-2

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Published August 25, 2023 at 7:42 am (Updated August 25, 2023 at 7:19 am)

Bryan Mbeumo and Luis Diaz best of budget midfield options

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