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

Gameweek 15 was the penultimate game before we head off to the World Cup and it was another action-packed gameweek. We saw 37 goals scored and plenty of drama.

Arsenal came up trumps in the London derby, with Manchester City beating Fulham with a 95th-minute penalty despite being reduced to 10 men.

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


Foden and Haaland on the bench

The main topic of conversation was Phil Foden (£8.4m) on the bench for the third league game in a row.

Many managers brought him in for Manchester City’s fantastic run of games, and it was a good move. No one could have predicted that Pep Guardiola would include him among the substitutes for three league games on the trot, especially when he was playing so well and given the fact that he had started all 10 of his previous league games.

Those of us who still own him have to make a decision now, as City have another great match at home to Brentford in Gameweek 16. I just think it’s too risky to keep Foden despite a good game. With only one game week left until the World Cup, we have to be aggressive and I don’t think it’s worth risking another point with a Foden cameo from the bench.

On top of that, there are plenty of alternatives for him with good matchups this week.

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

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Zaha also played as a striker last week, is often the most advanced player on the pitch for Palace and is certain to start. He’s also on the penalty kill, so he’s a good option for Gameweek 16.

Leandro Trossard (£7.0m), Marcus Rashford (£6.7m) and Bukayo Saka (£8.0m) are also an excellent potential replacement for Foden. All of them will surely start for their clubs and have good games.

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

Rashford is also having a great game from an attacking perspective — Fulham have conceded the fourth most goals (24) and have the worst xGC in the league (25.99) and although Manchester United weren’t too impressive against Villa yesterday, they have a great fixture to come back here.

Saka bounced back again last week with an assist and now has four goals and seven assists. Arsenal were fantastic and have a good game against Wolves. The England midfielder has both goal and assist threats and is their main penalty taker.

Erling Haaland (£12.1m) also benched Guardiola, but that didn’t stop him from scoring in his 26-minute cameo. He could have easily had a second, but his goal was disallowed by VAR due to marginal offside.

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He’ll start against Brentford for sure, he’s back to form now and if you were one of the managers who got rid of him in the past few weeks I’d give him priority transfer. He will be the top captain choice this week, and with Norway not involved in the World Cup, it is unlikely that there will be any early substitutions or distractions for him.


Liverpool and Salah in the fight again

Liverpool scored an impressive away win over Tottenham on Sunday. Mohamed Salah (£12.7m) and Darwin Nunez (£8.9m) both have been on the scoresheet and are fantastic options for Gameweek 16 as Southampton head to Anfield having just parted company with Ralph Hasenhuttl.

I would look to get at least one of these for this week as they are among the best options.

Harry Kane (£11.6m) was also on the scoresheet once again for Spurs in that match, notching his 11th goal of the season. There is also a match against Leeds United at home.

All of the above are options I would advocate, but could be tricky to enter due to their cost. If you can get them for free I would highly recommend it and those with two free transfers will be in a great position to do so.

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

He is classed as a defender in FPL but in Son Heung-min’s absence played in the front two with Kane yesterday. He was unlucky not to score, hitting the woodwork twice. His average positional map also showed him as the most advanced player on the pitch, even ahead of Kane.

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With a full week off, he should also start against Leeds, and it is very possible that he will 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 in that and should get the nod for the league game instead.


Newcastle continue their impressive streak

Newcastle were again in top form, 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 this week as they have a game against Chelsea.

If you already own Kieran Trippier (£5.9m), Miguel Almiron (£5.7m) or Callum Wilson (£7.5m), I would keep them but avoid buying any of their teammates. Wilson is one to keep an eye on as he was substituted at half-time yesterday due to illness, but should be ready to go after another week’s rest.

Newcastle’s options are not bad to choose, but I think there are too many options this week with good dates that we can opt for instead of those that offer more growth.

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

(Photo: Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)



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