After a lull of two weeks, the Premier League returns and once again, promises to delight football fans who have been anxiously waiting for the international break to get over.For the daring ones who brave the world of Fantasy Premier League (FPL), however, the English top-flight’s manic nature often gives managers nightmares with the innumerable permutations and combinations available.

To ease those selection dilemmas,  The Statesman is at hand to separate the wheat from the chaff with an exhaustive article for each gameweek.

The indicators are:

Teams in BOLD are top 4 contenders.

Prices marked in Green indicates a rise in Base Price.
Prices marked in Red indicates fall in Base Price.

Goalkeeper

Ederson

Team: Manchester City
Fixtures: Stoke (H), Burnley (H), West Brom (A), Arsenal (H) and Leicester (A)
Price: 5.5
Score: 32
Ownership: 4.3%

Why yes: City’s custodian is fast becoming one of the best in the Premier League despite it being early days in his career! A calm presence at the back, the 23-year-old is a contender to win the Golden Glove as well. The Sky Blues have largely quite easy fixtures as well.

Why no: Ederson is among the most expensive options in his position and most FPL managers will not want to spend so much on a goalkeeper. Should you already have John Stones or Kyle Walker in defence, Ederson should be skipped.

Premier League, Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 8, Ederson, Manchester City, Brazil Football
Ederson is a safe pair of hands, but can you afford the Brazilian?

 

Defenders

Matthew Lowton

Team: Burnley
Fixtures: West Ham (H), Man City (A), Newcastle (H), Southampton (A) and Swansea (H)
Price: 4.5
Score: 28
Ownership: 1.2%

Why yes: One has to have a Burnley defender if they are to succeed in FPL this year. The Clarets are flying high in sixth place in the Premier League and Lowton is a solid pick. The left-back has already picked up an assist and with their propensity to pick up clean-sheets, is excellent value. Sean Dyche’s side have a relatively light upcoming fixture list.

Why no: Nick Pope is a worthy option in goal as well and should you already have Ben Mee or another Clarets’ defender, steer clear of Lowton. Teammate Stephen Ward is a worthy option as well.

Premier League, Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 8, Burnley FC, Mathew Lowton
Lowton isn’t fussy, but he will get the job done (Photo: Premier League)

 

Kyle Naughton

Team: Swansea City
Fixtures: Huddersfield (H), Leicester (H), Arsenal (A), Brighton (H) and Burnley (A)
Price: 4.6
Score: 29
Ownership: 5.7%

Why yes: A steady defender and among the most underrated in the Premier League, Naughton is a safe bet considering the Swans’ defensive record. If you take away the four goals Swansea conceded against Man United, their goal has been breached just four times in six games. Fixtures are decent and their immediate opponents, Huddersfield, aren’t great travellers (they haven’t scored in an away game since their opening day win at Crystal Palace.

Why no: They are struggling to score, no doubt about that. And that puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on their defence. Avoid Naughton if you already have have a Swansea defender or Lukasz Fabianski in goal.

Premier League, Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 8, Kyle Naughton, Swansea City AFC
Naughton (L) doesn’t quite get the praise he deserves! (Photo: Swansea City FC)

 

Midfielders

Christian Eriksen

Team: Tottenham Hotspur
Fixtures: Bournemouth (H), Liverpool (H), Man United (A), Crystal Palace (H) and Arsenal (H)
Price: 9.7
Score: 45
Ownership: 25.8%

Why yes: The stats don’t lie (FPL), Eriksen has been Spurs’ best midfielder this season. No disciplinary issues, (Dele Alli we are looking at you) and king of set-pieces, the 25-year-old Dane is fast becoming a must-have. Lowly Bournemouth are in for a rough 90 minutes on Saturday.

Why no: Not much of a differential and teammate Dele Alli is marginally cheaper than him. Should you already have Harry Kane, Eriksen should be given a miss. Spurs have difficult fixtures after Bournemouth ahead.

Premier League, Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 8, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Christian Eriksen
Eriksen is one player who lets his feet do the talking! (Photo: Tottenham Hotspur FC)

 

Anthony Martial

Team: Manchester United
Fixtures: Liverpool (A), Huddersfield (A), Spurs (H), Chelsea (A) and Newcastle (H)
Price: 8.0
Score: 30
Ownership: 2.4%

Why yes: This week’s wild-card pick, Martial is making strides with his cameos of the bench for United’s free-scoring side. His pace, coupled with his coolness in front of goal have seen him score thrice and provide two assists despite seeing limited playing time. Could be a massive differential in the weeks to come.

Why no: Yet to be a confirmed starter and even if he is starting against Liverpool, Jose Mourinho is likely to employ a defensive formation at Anfield. United have tough fixtures in October and November..

Premier League, Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 8, Manchester United FC, Anthony Martial
Martial has been utilised as a super-sub so far, but can he start and score against arch-rivals Liverpool? (Photo: AFP)

 

Forwards

Gabriel Jesus

Team: Manchester City
Fixtures: Stoke (H), Burnley (H), West Brom (A), Arsenal (H) and Leicester (A)
Price: 10.5
Score: 34
Ownership: 16.0%

Why yes: With Aguero sidelined indefinitely, Jesus is sure to lead the line for the Citizens and he’s a safe bet in the long-term. He may not bang in hat-tricks, but will certainly keep scoring goals on a regular basis. Even if Aguero returns, Jesus is City’s first-choice striker. The Sky Blues’ upcoming fixtures make the hardworking Brazilian an essential pick.

Why no: It may be tempting to have him and Kevin De Bruyne (midfield) in your side, but the fact remains that the week City don’t score four or five, your team will suffer. Aguero is nearing a return and Jesus could be rotated once the Argentine is fully fit.

Premier League, Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 8, Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City FC, Brazil Football
Jesus found the back of the net for Brazil in the international break as well but hopefully will not be too tired from his exploits in the World Cup qualifiers! (Photo: AFP)

 

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Team: Everton
Fixtures: Brighton (H), Arsenal (H), Leicester (A), Watford (H) and Crystal Palace (A)
Price: 5.0
Score: 16
Ownership: 2.1%

Why yes: Another wildcard pick for this week is Everton’s jet-heeled youngster. Calvert-Lewin’s directness is just what the struggling Toffees need and at his price, he is a bargain. Ronald Koeman’s men may be floundering but they can only get better, right? Excellent third-choice forward if nothing else.

Why no: Club icon Wayne Rooney and record-signing Gylfi Sigurdsson cannot play together and the club’s cohesiveness in attack suffers whenever the duo are on the pitch. The longer they stay in their rut, the sooner Koeman is bound to get the sack and the atmosphere around Goodison Park isn’t the best at the moment.

Premier League, Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 8, Everton FC, Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is tipped for great things at Everton, but can he deliver? (Photo: AFP)

 

PS: The Gameweek deadline is 11.30 am GMT/4 pm IST.