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

Gameweek 15 was the penultimate gameweek before we head 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 pulling out a 95th-minute penalty against Fulham 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 in Gameweek 16.


Foden and Haaland on the bench

The main point 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 name 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 matches.

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

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

Wilfried Zaha (£7.5m) scored a goal and assisted for 12 FPL points and plays against Nottingham Forest this week. Steve Cooper’s side have 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 game 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 great potential replacements for Foden. Everyone will certainly start for their clubs and have good matches.

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

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

Erling Haaland (£12.1m) Guardiola was also on the bench, but that didn’t stop him from scoring in his 26-minute performance. He could have easily had another, with the VAR disallowing his goal due to marginal offside.

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He will certainly start against Brentford now that he is fit again and if you were one of the managers who got rid of him in the past few weeks, I would make him a priority transfer. He will be the captain’s best choice in the game this week, and with Norway not involved in the World Cup, there are unlikely to 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 like to get at least one of these this week as they are among the best options.

Harry Kane (£11.6m) he also got on the scoresheet once again for Spurs in that game, notching his 11th goal of the season. He also has a great game, against Leeds United at home.

All of the above are options that I would advocate, but could be inconvenient to bring because of their cost. If you can get them for free, I’d highly recommend it, and those with two free downloads will be in the best position to do so.

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

He is classified as a defender in FPL, but in Son Heung-min’s absence he played in the front two with Kane yesterday. Unfortunately he didn’t score, he hit the crossbar twice. His average position map also showed him to be the most advanced player on the pitch, even ahead of Kane.

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With a week’s rest, he should also start against Leeds, and it is very possible that he will be used again in that forward position.

Spurs do have a Carabao Cup game away to Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, but I doubt he will play in that game and should be backed 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 watch as he was taken off at half-time yesterday due to illness, but should be fit after another week off.

Newcastle’s options are not bad to choose, but I think there are too many options this week with good matchups to go for over those that offer a bigger advantage.

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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