Should Harry Maguire be dropped this weekend?

Manchester United return to Premier League action this weekend for the first time in a fortnight following the international break.

Their last outing saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side humiliated 1-6 at Old Trafford by Tottenham Hotspur and their former employer, Jose Mourinho.

Anthony Martial’s dismissal in that game, with the score 1-2 at the time, means the French forward will be suspended for Saturday night’s trip to St James’ Park to face a Newcastle United side that have had some good results to start their campaign.

Manchester United’s issues aren’t so much in attack though; they have five goals in their first three games of the 2020-21 Premier League season. It’s in defence where the issues lie – 11 goals conceded.

The Red Devils shipped three in their surprise loss at home to Crystal Palace in their opener before a penalty in the 10th minute of stoppage time earned them a 3-2 win away to Brighton & Hove Albion. They had conceded twice in the opening seven minutes after taking the lead versus Spurs before Martial’s red card.

Much of the talk heading into the season had been about whether Dean Henderson should replace David de Gea between the sticks. And whilst Solskjaer stuck with the Spaniard and the question continues to remain, the Norwegian manager’s bigger problem may be in the four that protect him.

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EPL Predictions Gameweek 5

The 2020-21 English Premier League is back from the international break and kicks off with the Merseyside derby on Saturday lunchtime with current league leaders Everton hosting defending champions Liverpool.

As well as the Toffees, the only other team with a 100% start is Aston Villa. Dean Smith’s side face a tough challenge to maintain that with a trip to Leicester City on Sunday night.

Here’s a look at all of the weekend’s fixtures with your EPL fantasy team in mind:

Everton vs Liverpool
Everton are the Premier League’s joint top scorers through four games whilst Liverpool have scored just one less. The Toffees are without a clean sheet since their season opener whilst Jurgen Klopp’s side shipped seven goals in their final game before the break. Although this fixture is often tight we should be in for goals this time around, making attacking players a good choice for your team. James Rodriguez has scored three in his four games this season, whilst Mohamed Salah is the highest-scoring midfielder in fantasy football.

Chelsea vs Southampton
Edouard Mendy started his Premier League career with Chelsea’s first clean sheet directly before the international break. The goalkeeper comes up against Danny Ings and co at Stamford Bridge this weekend in what could be a real challenge for Frank Lampard’s side, who have made an inconsistent start to start the new season.

Manchester City vs Arsenal
Mikel Arteta will be looking to get another one over former his former employers when Arsenal go to Manchester City on Saturday evening. The Citizens start the weekend in the bottom half whilst only Everton have more points than Arsenal. Can Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang score another winner versus Pep Guardiola’s side?

Newcastle United vs Manchester United
Aside from a 0-3 hammering at home by Brighton & Hove Albion, Steve Bruce’s side have made a fine start, taking seven points from their other three games. Don’t be surprised if Newcastle take points off Manchester United this weekend either with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side jetting off all over the world during the international break and being hammered 1-6 at home by Tottenham Hotspur just before.

Sheffield United vs Fulham
A basement battle kicks off Sunday as the bottom two meet at Bramall Lane. Sheffield Untied and Fulham have each lost all four of their games so far but I have to lean towards a home win here. Chris Wilder’s side are much more tactically adept and solid at the back. In a weekend that looks set for goals galore, Aaron Ramsdale could be your choice as goalkeeper.

Crystal Palace vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Crystal Palace were hammered 4-0 at Chelsea before the international break and will be looking to bounce back against rivals Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend. The Eagles had made a good start to the season with victories over Southampton and Manchester United but have been brought down to earth with back-to-back defeats. Despite losing 2-3 to United and then 4-2 at Everton, I fancy the Seagulls to get something out of this game. Neal Maupay has been delivering the goals so would be a solid choice for your fantasy team.

Tottenham Hotspur vs West Ham United
The one London derby of the weekend comes at the new Tottenham stadium with Jose Mourinho’s side hosting West Ham United. The Hammers have recorded stunning 4-0 and 3-0 wins over Wolves and Leicester respectively but face a Spurs side who hammered Manchester United 6-1 before the international break. Heung-min Son and Harry Kane would be obvious choices for your team.

Leicester City vs Aston Villa
Everton and Aston Villa are the only two teams returning from the international break with a 100% win record and Leicester City will be looking to put an end to the latter’s when Dean Smith’s side travel to the King Power Stadium on Sunday night. Leicester have been freescoring themselves so don’t be surprised to see Jamie Vardy back among the goals this weekend.

West Bromwich Albion vs Burnley
A tough game to call on Monday evening as West Bromwich Albion and Burnley have one point between them. That came from Slaven Bilic’s side drawing 3-3 at home with Chelsea whilst the Clarets have only scored three goals in total from their first three games this season.

Leeds United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
The Premier League action concludes at Elland Road on Monday night as we’re in for a good battle between Marcelo Bielsa and Nuno’s sides. Leeds United have made the better start of these two and we should be in for a goalfest based on both of their starts to the new season.

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Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 5 Picks

The English Premier League returns from the international break with the Merseyside derby on Saturday lunchtime as leaders Everton welcome defending champions Liverpool across Stanley Park to Goodison Park.

It’s one of two huge fixtures on Saturday as Manchester City host Arsenal in a rematch of their FA Cup semi-final a few months ago when Mikel Arteta surprised his former boss, Pep Guardiola.

Sunday sees a London derby between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United, whilst the weekend’s action concludes on Monday night between Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Elland Road.

Here are our recommendations for your EPL fantasy team this weekend:

Goalkeeper: Aaron Ramsdale (Sheffield United)
Sheffield United have a great opportunity to pick up their first points of the season this weekend in a battle of the bottom two versus Fulham at Bramall Lane. Chris Wilder’s side haven’t been overly bad this season, losing late versus Leeds and 1-2 at Arsenal. Meanwhile, Fulham have failed to score in three of their first four matches back in the top flight and things already look concerning for Scott Parker’s side. A home win is on the cards and a potential clean sheet too.

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Premier League Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 4

The 2020-21 Premier League campaign is set to head into its first international break of the campaign after another thrilling weekend of action that included Aston Villa’s incredible 7-2 victory over champions Liverpool.

Liverpool will be the next team in action when the Premier League returns as they are set for the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on lunchtime of Saturday 17 October.

Before that though, let’s have a look at who the top players were from matchday 4:

Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea) – 7pts
Four goalkeepers kept a clean sheet in the Premier League over the weekend and we selected Edouard Mendy in the team of the week. The Senegalese goalkeeper was making his Chelsea debut on Saturday lunchtime in helping Frank Lampard’s side keep their first shutout of the new campaign in the 4-0 hammering of Crystal Palace.

Defender: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea) – 15pts
Ben Chilwell was also making his Chelsea debut on Saturday when the left-back opened the scoring and later got an assist to go with his clean sheet in what can only be described as the perfect start from the England international.

Defender: Kurt Zouma (Chelsea) – 12pts
Chelsea dominate our defence as Kurt Zouma’s goal made it 2-0 midway through the second half to help secure three points in the London derby. It’s the centre-back’s second goal in only three Premier League games so far this season, and his first clean sheet.

Defender: Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United) – 12pts
Back-to-back surprise victories have come with clean sheets for West Ham whilst manager David Moyes is self-isolating. The Hammers followed up their 4-0 thrashing of Wolverhampton Wanderers with a 3-0 win away to Leicester City on Sunday lunchtime. Left-back Aaron Cresswell setup two of the goals.

Defender: Serge Aurier (Tottenham Hotspur) – 12pts
The one defender to make the team of the week without keeping a clean sheet is Tottenham Hotspur right-back Serge Aurier. Jose Mourinho’s side were behind within two minutes before coming back to hammer Manchester United 6-1 at Old Trafford. Aurier scored the fifth of those shortly after the break.

Midfielder: Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) – 22pts
The highest point scorer of the weekend was Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, who remains at the club after deadline day. The midfielder helped himself to a brace in the second half of their 7-2 humiliation of Liverpool at Goodison Park on Sunday night.

Midfielder: John McGinn (Aston Villa) – 11pts
Liverpool had reduced the score to 1-2 through Mohamed Salah in the first half before John McGinn’s goal for the Villans restored their two-goal advantage 10 minutes before the break.

Midfielder: Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle United) – 11pts
Allan Saint-Maximin tore into the Burnley defence on Saturday night as he scored in the opening goal in Newcastle’s important 3-1 victory that sees Steve Bruce’s side head into the international break in the top half whilst the Clarets remain pointless.

Striker: Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) – 18pts
The Aston Villa striker marked his recent transfer from Burnley with a first half hat-trick against Liverpool on Sunday night. Dean Smith may have found his man after struggling for goals out of his strikers last season.

Striker: Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) – 14pts
The South Korean has been deadly to start the new season. Son Heung-min returned from injury to take his place in the starting lineup and score twice in the demolition of Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Striker: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) – 13pts
His well-taken goal on half hour proved to be the nail in Manchester United’s coffin by making it 3-1 moments after Anthony Martial’s red card. Harry Kane added a second 10 minutes from time from the penalty spot.

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Can Everton win the Premier League?

Can Everton win the 2020-21 Premier League? Stranger things have happened.

Leicester City shocked the world with their surprise success in 2015-16. Jose Mourinho put his name on the map by winning the Champions League with FC Porto in 2003-04.

Roberto Di Matteo stepped in as Chelsea boss and surprised us all by not only reaching the 2011-12 Champions League final but upsetting Bayern Munich on their own turf to lift the prestigious trophy.

That same year Montpellier won the Ligue 1 crown, one of the biggest surprises in French football.

What do all of the above have in common? The season ended with the European Championships. What is scheduled to take place next summer? Euro 2021.

OK, history isn’t going to help determine this season’s Premier League winners, but some of the early bizarre results says this unique season could really leave us with a surprise winner at the end of the campaign.

Need I remind you of Aston Villa’s incredible 7-2 win against Liverpool this past weekend and Leicester City going to Manchester City to pick up a 5-2 win the week before.

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5 of the best Premier League transfers during the window

The summer transfer window is now closed and Premier League clubs have made a lot of business during the opening couple of weeks of action.

New arrivals were landed as late as deadline day on Monday and managers have a difficult job to integrate their new players into the team ready for next weekend’s action as many squad members are currently jetting off all over the world for international duty.

Here’s a look back over the transfer window to five players we believe could have the biggest impact on your fantasy team this season:

1. James Rodriguez (Everton)
The Colombian star has taken the Premier League like a duck to water with four goals and an assist in his first four starts for Everton. As a result, the Toffees headed into the break as the only team with 12 points.

James Rodriguez has been outstanding as the number 10 in Carlo Ancelotti’s attacking side that have scored a league high 12 goals through four rounds of action. Although he’ll set your fantasy team back £9.50m he has so far been worth every penny.

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Premier League Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 3

Leicester City caused the biggest upset in gameweek 2 as Jamie Vardy scored a hat-trick in a 5-2 win away to Manchester City. Later that night, West Ham United thrashed Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-0.

Here’s a look at the players who made a real difference in the fantasy football last weekend:

Goalkeeper: Emi Martinez (Aston Villa) – 7pts
The Argentinian goalkeeper has started his Aston Villa career with back-to-back clean sheets as part of the side that won 3-0 at Fulham on Monday. He’ll do well to make it three in a row this weekend when Dean Smith’s side face Liverpool.

Defender: Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) – 11pts
Tyrone Mings scored the third as Aston Villa romped to victory at Craven Cottage. A clean sheet too for the centre-back, you can’t get much better than that combo.

Defender: Andy Robertson (Liverpool) – 9pts
Liverpool’s left-back gave his side the lead against Arsenal on Monday night after it was his mistake that gifted Mikel Arteta’s side the lead. Andy Robertson now has a goal, assist and clean sheet in his first three outings this season.

Defender: Arthur Masuaku (West Ham United) – 9pts
Anyone who was brave enough to include a West Ham defender in their team last weekend greatly profited with a surprise clean sheet versus Wolverhampton Wanderers. Arthur Masuaku outscored his fellow defenders by registering an assist too.

Midfielder: Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) – 12pts
Aston Villa were two up inside 15 minutes at Fulham on Monday thanks to Conor Hourihane adding to Jack Grealish’s strike. The central midfielder also delivered the free kick that Tyrone Mings poked home just after half-time.

Midfielder: Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) – 10pts
Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring for Manchester City against his former club before Leicester City produced a stunning turnaround in a 5-2 victory at the Etihad Stadium.

Midfielder: Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) – 9pts
Aston Villa’s first goalscorer in their 3-0 win at Fulham saw Jack Grealish make the fantasy Premier League team of the weekend.

Striker: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) – 13pts
The fourth hat-trick of the 2020-21 Premier League season saw Leicester City thrash Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on Sunday. This was Jamie Vardy’s versus the Citizens since the Spaniard has been in charge.

Striker: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United) – 11pts
Scorer of the opening two goals from West Ham United in their surprise 4-0 thrashing of Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday earned Jarrod Bowen a place in the team of the week.

Striker: Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion) – 10pts
Callum Robinson only scored one goal in 17 Premier League appearances for Sheffield United last season but scored two in West Brom’s 3-3 draw with Chelsea this weekend. Unfortunately for the striker, he was taken off midway through the second half before he could grab a hat-trick.

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EPL Predictions Gameweek 4

Leicester City, Liverpool and Everton head into gameweek four of the 2020-21 Premier League season as the last remaining teams with a 100% winning start.

The Toffees host Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, whilst Leicester kickoff Sunday’s action at lunchtime by welcoming West Ham United to the King Power Stadium. Liverpool conclude the weekend, away to Aston Villa.

Here’s a look ahead to the weekend’s games:

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace
The Premier League weekend starts with a London derby as Chelsea look to improve on their 3-3 draw at West Bromwich Albion, whilst Crystal Palace are looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the season. A home win isn’t a foregone conclusion by any means but you’d have to favour the hosts. Mason Mount got among the goals last weekend and is always a good choice for your fantasy team.

Everton vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Carlo Ancelotti’s side have made an excellent start to the new campaign as they look to make it four wins from four when they welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to Goodison Park on Saturday. Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored a hat-trick last weekend and then again in the EFL Cup midweek. The striker can’t be left out of your fantasy team with the form he’s in.

Leeds United vs Manchester City
Patrick Bamford scored a late winner at Sheffield United on Sunday whilst Manchester City were humiliated 2-5 at home by Leicester City. Pep Guardiola’s side have added a new centre-back in Ruben Dias since but face a tough test to get back to winning ways in this one. Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling should be safe additions to your team though.

Newcastle United vs Burnley
Saturday’s action concludes at St James’ Park as Newcastle United welcome Burnley. Neither side have been impressive nor prolific in front of goal this season. As a result I can see this being a tight one and maybe even our first 0-0 of the new season. With that in mind, a Burnley defender like Kevin Long would be a cheap addition to your fantasy team.

Leicester City vs West Ham United
Leicester City are widely-expected to continue their winning start to the season when they face West Ham United this weekend. Jamie Vardy is fresh off a hat-trick at the Etihad Stadium that he cannot be overlooked from your team.

Southampton vs West Bromwich Albion
Danny Ings scored as Southampton recorded their first win of the season last time out. The England international can be expected to score again this weekend too as the Premier League’s leakiest defence visit St Mary’s.

Arsenal vs Sheffield United
Arsenal were well beaten at Liverpool on Monday night and will be looking to get back to winning ways when they host Sheffield United on Sunday. The Blades are yet to score a single goal this season. If you’re confident of a Gunners clean sheet, you can always add Bernd Leno or David Luiz to your fantasy team, whilst Hector Bellerin is the most likely to get an assist among the defenders.

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Fulham
Nuno’s Wolverhampton Wanderers were hammered 0-4 at West Ham last Sunday as they continued their slow start to the new season. Fulham offer them a good chance to get back to winning ways this weekend. The Cottagers haven’r protected their goal very well in their return to the top flight so Daniel Podence could be worth inclusion.

Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur
Two sides who have already made an unpredictable and inconsistent start to the new season. Jose Mourinho’s side have been handed a blow with the loss of Son Heung-min to injury whilst Harry Kane hasn’t been too prolific so far this season. A difficult one to predict but expect goals.

Aston Villa vs Liverpool
Aston Villa have yet to concede a goal this season in beating the bottom two. Dean Smith’s side welcome the defending champions to Villa Park on Sunday night. Sadio Mane has a great record versus the Villans so makes our recommended team for the weekend.

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Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 4 Picks

Leicester City, Liverpool and Everton are the last remaining teams with a 100% winning record as we head into the fourth round of Premier League fixtures, whilst Fulham, Sheffield United and Burnley all remain pointless.

In some of the most-anticipated games of the weekend, Leeds United host Manchester City on Saturday and Jose Mourinho returns to Old Trafford as his Tottenham Hotspur face Manchester United.

Here are our recommended picks for your fantasy team this weekend:

Goalkeeper: Alisson (Liverpool)
Clean sheets have been at a premium to start the 2020-21 Premier League season and Liverpool have kept just one in their first three. However, a trip to Aston Villa on Sunday should be a good opportunity for Alisson to double that tally.

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Premier League Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 2

Heung-min Son scored four as Tottenham Hotspur thrashed Southampton 5-2 and Dominic Calvert-Lewin grabbed a hat-trick as Everton beat 10 man West Bromwich Albion by the same score.

Clean sheets were hard to come by in the Premier League last weekend, with only Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea and Aston Villa keeping one.

Here’s a look at the players who made a real difference in the fantasy football last weekend:

Goalkeeper: Emi Martinez (Aston Villa) – 7pts
Aston Villa’s new signing introduced himself to the fans by saving a penalty and keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Sheffield United on his debut. Emi Martinez was one of only three goalkeepers to keep a clean sheet on matchday 2.

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