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Full backs key to Fantasy League success

Malo Gusto, right, has made instant impact for Chelsea

The first month of English Premier League action has concluded as more headlines were written from the third round of matches. Erling Haaland missed a penalty, but still picked himself up to score and lead Manchester City to victory at Sheffield United, while Brighton’s impressive start was halted by a disappointing home defeat to West Ham.

Fantasy managers must be watchful of early trends, including attacking full backs. Tottenham’s Destiny Udogie (one assist and two clean sheets) and Chelsea signing Malo Gusto (two assists and one clean sheet) are strong budget options. Congratulations to August winner Jaylen Martin, whose teamHaven’t Got a Kalou scored 207 total points.


Luton Town v West Ham United (4pm)

After failing to win their first two top-flight away games, Luton are finally able to make their Premier League debut at Kenilworth Road.

Gabriel Osho, Dan Potts, and Jordan Clark are out through injury for the Hatters on this momentous day.

West Ham have made a solid start to their campaign and briefly hit the top of the league for the first time in two years after the away win over Brighton. New signing Konstantinos Mavropanos is out through lack of fitness, while Tomas Soucek is doubtful with a head injury.

Prediction: 0-2


Sheffield United v Everton (8.30am)

Sheffield United conceded five minutes from time to lose at home to Manchester City last week. Max Lowe, Rhys Norrington-Davies, John Fleck, and Rhian Brewster are out through injury or lack of fitness, while Anis Slimane, Daniel Jebbison and Ben Osborn are doubtful.

Everton are the only side yet to score in the Premier league despite creating the sixth-most chances in the division.

Seamus Coleman, Dele Alli, Alex Iwobi, Dwight McNeil, Jack Harrison, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are out this week.

Everton edge this rivalry with five wins to Sheffield United’s four through 11 meetings.

Prediction: 1-1

Brentford v Bournemouth (11am)

Brentford have shared the goals around in the absence of suspended main striker Ivan Toney, with Bryan Mbeumo leading their charts with three.

Shandon Baptiste and Josh Dasilva are out to shoulder and hamstring injuries, while Thomas Strakosha, Ben Mee and Mikkel Damsgaard are doubtful.

Bournemouth are struggling to find their groove under new head coach Andoni Iraola. Ryan Fredericks, Adam Smith, Emiliano Marcondes, Dango Ouattara, Marcus Tavernier and new recruits Alex Scott and Tyler Adams are out through various injuries for the visit to West London.

Brentford dominate this series, winning five of eight league contests.

Prediction: 2-1

Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur (11am)

Burnley scored their first Premier league goal in two years in their defeat to Aston Villa. Anass Zaroury is suspended for one further game, while Michael Obafemi is out with a hamstring injury and Jordan Beyer is doubtful.

Despite an EFL Cup defeat on penalties to Fulham in midweek, Tottenham have made a strong start under the tutelage of manager Ange Postecoglou.

Alfie Whiteman, Ryan Sessegnon, Rodrigo Bentancur, and Joe Bryan are out to injury this match.

Spurs have won 13 of 22 encounters with the Clarets.

Prediction: 0-2

Chelsea v Nottingham Forest (11am)

Chelsea got their first win of the campaign against Luton last time out. Benoit Badiashile, Trevoh Chalobah, Wesley Fofana, Reece James, Carney Chukwuemeka, Romeo Lavia, Armando Broja and Christopher Nkunku are out, while Mykhailo Mudryk is doubtful.

Nottingham Forest have made an inconsistent start with their lone win coming over Sheffield United. Loanee Andrey Santos is not eligible to face his parent club. Felipe and Wayne Hennessey are out, while Scott McKenna and Orel Mangala are doubtful.

Chelsea hold the upper hand in this match-up, winning eight of 16 contests against Forest.

Prediction: 2-1

Manchester City v Fulham (11am)

Manchester City maintained their flawless start to the campaign, edging Sheffield United in their hunt for a historic fourth straight league crown. John Stones and Kevin de Bruyne are out to muscle and hamstring injuries, while Manuel Akanji is ill.

Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha scored a late equaliser to earn a positive result at Arsenal last week. Andreas Pereira and Willian are doubtful with minor knocks.

City have won 20 of 34 encounters with Fulham, although three of Fulham’s four wins over City have come away from home.

Prediction: 2-0

Brighton & Hove Albion v Newcastle United (1.30pm)

Brighton suffered their first defeat at home against West Ham last Saturday. Julio Enciso is out with a knee injury this weekend.

Newcastle could not build on an early lead as they fell to a home defeat to Liverpool. Emil Krafth (knee) and Joe Willock (hamstring) are out for the trip to the South Coast, while Javier Manquillo and Sven Botman are doubtful.

Brighton lead this match-up with six wins to Newcastle’s three from 15 contests.

Prediction: 2-2


Crystal Palace v Wolverhampton Wanderers (10am)

Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen scored 14 minutes from time to secure a draw at Brentford last week. Michael Olise and Matheus Franca are out to hamstring and back injuries, while Malcolm Ebiowei and Will Hughes are doubtful.

Sasa Kalajdzic scored his first Wolves goal to secure the away win over Everton. Hwang Hee Chan is doubtful with a hamstring injury this week.

Palace hold the advantage in this rivalry, with eight wins to Wolves’ five through 15 encounters.

Prediction: 2-0

Liverpool v Aston Villa (10am)

Liverpool made an incredible comeback to edge Newcastle despite being down to ten men for more than an hour of the match. Virgil van Dijk is suspended after being sent off at St James’ Park. Curtis Jones (ankle) and Thiago Alcantara (fitness) are out, while Ibrahima Konate is doubtful to a muscle injury.

Aston Villa cruised past Burnley with new recruit Moussa Diaby involved in two of their three goals. Alex Moreno, Tyrone Mings, Emiliano Buendia, Leander Dendoncker, Tim Iroegbunam and Jacob Ramsey are out to injury, while Philippe Coutinho and Emiliano Martinez are doubtful this weekend.

Liverpool dominate this series, winning 33 of 59 league meetings.

Prediction: 2-1

Arsenal v Manchester United (12.30pm)

Arsenal showed a lack of discipline in the final minutes of the home draw with Fulham. Jurrien Timber and Mohamed Elneny are out with knee injuries this week.

Manchester United came from two goals behind to defeat Nottingham Forest and extend their home unbeaten run to 31 games. Tom Heaton, Tyrell Malacia, Luke Shaw, Mason Mount, Amad Diallo, Raphael Varane and Kobbie Mainoo are out through injury, while new signing Rasmus Hojlund is doubtful with a back injury for the trip to North London.

United have won 32 of 71 meetings with the Gunners.

Prediction: 2-2

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Published September 01, 2023 at 7:57 am (Updated September 01, 2023 at 8:21 am)

Full backs key to Fantasy League success

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