Fantasy Premier League: Foden an issue, Salah makes sense but hold off on Newcastle

Gameweek 15 was the last one before we split up for the World Cup and it was another action-packed gameweek. We saw 37 goals scored and plays made.

Arsenal came up trumps in a London derby and Manchester City earned a 10-man victory over Fulham with a 95th-minute penalty.

As always, there was a lot to talk about, but I’ll cover the main talking points and how they affect us heading into Gameweek 16.

Foden and Holland on the bench

The main conversation was Phil Foden (£8.4m) Was benched for the third league game in a row.

Many managers brought him in for fantastic runs at Manchester City and it was a good move. Nobody could have predicted that Pep Guardiola would name him among the substitutes for three league games on the trot, especially when he’s been playing so well and considering the fact that he’s started all 10 of his previous league games.

Those of us who still own him now have a decision to make, as he has another great game against Brentford in Gameweek 16. I think it’s risky to catch Foden despite the kind fixes. With only a week to go before the World Cup, we need to be aggressive and I don’t think it’s worth risking another one-point Foden cameo from the bench.

Besides, he has plenty of options with good fixtures this week.

Wilfried Zaha (£7.5m) Scored a goal and assisted 12 FPL points and he plays Nottingham Forest this week. Steve Cooper’s men have conceded 30 goals (second most) and have an expected goals (xGC) of 23.35 (17th).

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Saha was also played as a forward last game week, probably the most improved player on the Palace pitch and sure to start. He’s also on penalties, so a good option for Gameweek 16.

Leandro Trossard (£7.0m), Marcus Rashford (£6.7m) and Bucayo Saka (£8.0 million) Also great potential replacements for Foden. All of them are sure to start and have good fixtures for their clubs.

Trossard’s Brighton have a home game against Aston Villa, who immediately look the better side under new head coach Unai Emery. However, Roberto De Zerbi’s side are also in excellent form and have scored 8 goals in their last three games so far. Trossard has seven goals and three assists this season and is the best option in Brighton’s squad.

Rashford has also been in excellent form from an attacking perspective – Fulham have conceded the fourth-most goals (24) and have the league’s worst xGC (25.99) and Manchester United have had an impressive performance against Villa yesterday, although they were less impressive. Props for the comeback here.

Saka bounced back with an assist last game week and now has four goals and seven assists. Arsenal have been excellent and have a good fixture against Wolves. The England midfielder has both a goal and assist threat and is their primary penalty taker.

Erling Haaland (£12.1m) Was also benched by Guardiola but that didn’t stop him from scoring in his 26-minute cameo. He could easily have had a second with his goal ruled out by VAR for gross offside.

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He’ll certainly start against Brentford, now he’s fit again, and if you’re one of the managers who dropped him in the last few weeks, I’d give him the priority move. He will be the best captaincy choice in the game this week and there will be no early substitutions or distractions with Norway not involved in the World Cup.

Liverpool and Salah are back in the game

Liverpool had a great win against Tottenham on Sunday. Mohamed Salah (£12.7m) and Darwin Nunez (£8.9 million) Was in both points and is a fantastic option for Gameweek 16 as Southampton part ways with Ralph Hasenhuttl and head to Anfield.

I hope to get at least one of them for this week as they are among the best options.

Harry Kane (£11.6m) Was on the scoresheet again for Spurs in that game, scoring his 11th goal of the season. He also had a plum fixture at home against Leeds United.

All of the above are options that I would suggest, but their price points can make them hard to come by. If you can get them for free I highly recommend it and those with two free transfers are in a prime position to do so.

A more affordable option that is a great punt for Gameweek 16 Ivan Perisic (£5.5m).

He is classed as a defender in FPL but played in the next two games with Kane yesterday in Son Heung-min’s absence. He unfortunately hit the woodwork twice and remained scoreless. His average positional map also showed him to be the most advanced player on the pitch ahead of Kane.

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He should also start against Leeds with a full week’s rest, and is likely to be used again in that advanced position.

Spurs have a Carabao Cup tie away to Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, but I doubt he will play for that and should get the nod for the league game instead.

Newcastle continue their impressive run

Newcastle were back on top, beating Southampton 4-1 to close the door on the Hasenhuttl era. However, as good as they are, I would still avoid buying their assets as they have competition against Chelsea.

If you already own Kieran Trippier (£5.9m), Miguel Almiron (£5.7m) or a Callum Wilson (£7.5m), I would keep them but avoid buying any of their teammates. Wilson was ruled out at half-time yesterday due to illness, but should be good to go after another week’s rest.

Newcastle is not optional a bad Pick but I think there are so many options with good fixtures this week that we can pick the ones that give higher upside instead.

Be sure to check out the Athletics Football Podcast hosted by FPL General for all the latest tips and tricks. Grab it Free for all standard listening providers and ad-free on The Athletic app.

(Photo: Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)


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