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Ollie Watkins could be a smart addition to your front line

Telling contribution: Aston Villa forward Ollie Watkins

The Premier League returns from international hiatus with some interesting stories heading into the second quarter of the campaign.

North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham are the only unbeaten teams in the top flight at this stage for the first time in Premier League history.

Fantasy managers have some tasty choices for the coming weeks, and one such in-form suggestion is Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins, who has become more unselfish this campaign. Watkins already has four goals and seven assists to his name so far through eight games.


Liverpool v Everton (8.30am)

Liverpool return from the break having dropped four points in their previous two matches (one draw, one defeat) after a three-match win streak.

Stefan Bajcetic and Thiago Alcantara are out injured, Curtis Jones serves the second of a three-match suspension after being sent off at Tottenham, while Andrew Robertson and Cody Gakpo are doubtful for the Merseyside derby.

Everton thrashed Bournemouth to pull clear of the bottom three.

Dele Alli is out with a hip injury, while Seamus Coleman, Andre Gomes and Idrissa Gueye are doubtful.

Liverpool dominate the Merseyside derby with 27 wins in 62 overall meetings.

Prediction: 3-0

Bournemouth v Wolverhampton Wanderers (11am)

Bournemouth are still searching for their first win under new coach Andoni Iraola.

Ryan Fredericks, Emiliano Marcondes, Alex Scott and Tyler Adams are out through injury, while Lloyd Kelly, Chris Mepham and Philip Billing are doubtful.

Wolves have started with two wins from their first eight games.

Mario Lemina is suspended, while Hugo Bueno and Rayan Ait-Nouri are doubtful for the West Midlands outfit this weekend.

Wolves have won three of six contests with the Cherries.

Prediction: 1-1

Brentford v Burnley (11am)

Brentford are struggling with just one win from their opening league matches, and winless in their last five.

Aaron Hickey is suspended owing to yellow card accumulation; Rico Henry, Ben Mee, Shandon Baptiste, Mikkel Damsgaard, Josh Dasilva and Kevin Schade are out through injury; while Ethan Pinnock and Keane Lewis-Potter are doubtful.

Burnley are in the bottom three with the second-most goals conceded this term.

Hjalmar Ekdal and Michael Obafemi are out to injury, while Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Jordan Beyer, James Benson, and Nathan Redmond are doubtful this weekend for the Clarets.

Each side has one win from their first two league encounters.

Prediction: 2-0

Manchester City v Brighton & Hove Albion (11am)

Manchester City have lost three straight domestic games in all competitions for the first time under Pep Guardiola, including two league matches, leaving them third.

Kevin de Bruyne is out with a hamstring injury, while Rodri returns from his three-game suspension.

Brighton are the highest scorers in the division with 21. Pervis Estupinan and Julio Enciso will miss this weekend with injuries, while James Milner, Tariq Lamptey, Igor Julio and Kaoru Mitoma are doubtful.

City dominate this series with 10 wins from 12 meetings with the Seagulls.

Prediction: 2-2

Newcastle United v Crystal Palace (11am)

Newcastle have endured a mixed start with four wins and three losses thus far.

Harvey Barnes is out with a toe injury, while Sven Botman, Emil Krafth, Joelinton, Joe Willock, Alexander Murphy and Alexander Isak are doubtful.

Crystal Palace have the second-tightest defence in the division. Dean Henderson, Joel Ward, Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise are out through injury, while Naoirou Ahamada, Cheickh Doucoure, Jefferson Lerma, Matheus Franca and Jeffrey Schlupp are doubtful.

Newcastle have won 11 of 24 contests with the Eagles.

Prediction: 2-1

Nottingham Forest v Luton Town (11am)

Nottingham Forest are cruising in mid-table after an encouraging start to the campaign.

Taiwo Awoniyi is out to a groin injury, while Nuno Tavares, Ola Aina, Danilo, Serge Aurier and Orel Mangala are doubtful.

Luton got their first win of the season at Everton, but remain outside the drop zone on goal difference.

Amari Bell, Dan Potts, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Jordan Clark are out to various injuries, while Gabriel Osho and Mads Juel Andersen are doubtful.

These clubs have never met in the top-flight.

Prediction: 2-0

Chelsea v Arsenal (1.30pm)

Chelsea are finding their feet slowly with three straight wins before the break.

Ben Chilwell, Wesley Fofana, Romeo Lavia and Christopher Nkunku are out to injury, while Benoit Badiashile, Trevoh Chalobah, Marcus Bettinelli, Axel Disasi, Cole Palmer and Nicholas Jackson are doubtful.

Arsenal are two points clear of champions Manchester City, and edged the latter to make an early mark on the title race.

Jurrien Timber is out with a knee injury, while William Saliba, Bukayo Saka and Leandro Trossard are doubtful.

The Gunners edge this rivalry with 25 wins to Chelsea’s 20 from 62 meetings.

Prediction: 1-2

Sheffield United v Manchester United (4pm)

Sheffield United have had a nightmare start to the season, with just one point so far while also conceding the most goals.

Chris Basham, John Egan, Max Lowe, Rhys Norrington-Davies, Ben Osborn and Tom Davies are out through injury this weekend, with George Baldock, Daniel Jebbison, William Osula and Adam Davies are doubtful.

Manchester United made a terrible start with six defeats in nine games, but have since faintly recovered after three wins in their last four domestic games.

Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Amad Diallo are out, while Sergio Reguilon and Kobbie Mainoo are doubtful.

The Red Devils have won seven of ten meetings with the Blades.

Prediction: 0-2


Aston Villa v West Ham United (12.30pm)

Aston Villa are making an excellent start with no major effects of their first European season in over a decade.

Tyrone Mings and Emiliano Buendia are out to knee injuries, while Alex Moreno, Jacob Ramsey and Tim Iroegbunam are doubtful.

West Ham are in the same situation as their hosts, despite qualifying for Europe in consecutive seasons.

Aaron Cresswell is out to a hamstring injury, while Ben Johnson is doubtful with a groin injury.

The Hammers edge this rivalry with 14 wins to Aston Villa’s 13 through 48 encounters.

Prediction: 2-2


Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham (4pm)

Tottenham are making major strides under new manager Ange Postecoglou, scoring 18 goals and keeping three clean sheets so far through eight league games.

Yves Bissouma is suspended for three games after being sent off at Luton; Alfie Whiteman, Ivan Perisic, Ryan Sessegnon and Manor Solomon are out to injury; while Brennan Johnson and Rodrigo Bentancur are doubtful.

Fulham maintain a comfortable mid-table position after the second international window, with all three of their wins coming against teams currently below them.

Tosin Adarabioyo and Adama Traore are out to groin and hamstring injuries, while Issa Diop, Kenny Tete and Matthew Dibley-Dias are doubtful for the Cottagers.

Spurs have won 18 of 32 battles with Fulham.

Prediction: 3-1

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Published October 20, 2023 at 7:57 am (Updated October 20, 2023 at 7:44 am)

Ollie Watkins could be a smart addition to your front line

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