After a weekend off for international play, the English Premier League returns to action on Saturday night, so here are my picks to get you going for the upcoming games. On Saturday Chelsea will face a test of their Premier League title aspirations as champions Leicester City visit Stamford Bridge. The Foxes however have made a disappointing domestic start with just eight points from seven league games contrasting with their excellent Champions League form. This while Chelsea have no European football to worry about but are already five points off league leaders Manchester City.
Liverpool’s title challenge will face a serious challenge when Mourinho’s Red Devils come to Anfield. United need to rediscover their momentum quickly or they could find themselves lagging behind their title rivals even further. Elsewhere Arsenal host Swansea while Tottenham Hotspur travel to West Bromwich Albion. Leader Manchester City faces number 5 in the league Everton and Southampton clashes with Burnley. Sometimes the least owned players make the difference and turn out to be the hidden gems of your team. Could one of the following five be a game changer?
Victor Wanyama ($5,400)
Wanyama is likely to keep his place as Mousa Dembele is struggling with an injury and is unlikely to be risked, while Erik Lamela could be rested after his international duty. Wanyama has established himself as a key player in the current Tottenham team, and has been very influential in matches. Wanyama scored a goal with his only shot in last game’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Nacer Chadli ($5,500)
Former Spurs midfielder Chadli has made an immediate impact at West Brom and will be looking to prove his former employer they were wrong after being deemed unnecessary. Chadli is well on the way to repaying his club-record £13 million fee having scored three goals and provided two assists in his first four games. On his debut at Bournemouth, Chadli played from the left, but has looked far more dangerous since as a number ten behind Rondon.
Granit Xhaka ($6,900)
Xhaka left Gladbach for Arsenal in a £33.8million summer deal before Euro 2016, and has impressed Gunners fans with two stunning long-range goals despite his role as a defensive midfielder. The 24-year-old captained Switzerland for the first time during the international break and will be ready for the clash against Swansea on Sunday. He is a candidate to start at least once in the coming week, as the Gunners will face Leicester City in the League Cup on Tuesday and Chelsea in Premier League play next Saturday. So it’s a bit of a risky pick, but could be one that makes the difference.
Alex Iwobi ($5,500)
Iwobi has made four starts and a substitute appearance in the league for Arsenal this season after breaking through with 13 appearances last season. He was on target as Nigeria beat Zambia in a World Cup qualifier last week. Iwobi’s display has been noticed by a wider audience, as he has been nominated for the Golden Boy award set aside for the world’s young top talent alongside compatriot, Kelechi Iheanacho. The 20-year-old has three assists in five games, more assists than any other Arsenal player in 2016, including last season’s assist king Mesut Ozil.
Ross Barkley ($6,200)
Barkley is a special talent. Dribbling, shooting, running, he can cause damage outside and inside the opposition penalty area. Koeman will be hoping his star play-maker will be on-song to provide chances for the Toffees’ strike force. After a hot start to the season, one goal and one assist, in the last four matches, Barkley has struggled to contribute in the Toffees’ attack so it will be interesting to see if he can get back on track against Manchester City.