Hello and welcome to this week’s Player Matchups Preview article! My name is Kieran (@FPLRatchet), and I’m back to bring you my top 5 picks for Gameweek 8’s Premier League Player Matchups on Fanteam – and what a selection of Matchups we have on offer this week…
What is “Player Matchups”?
Player Matchups is a game recently added to Fanteam’s portfolio of contests, which enables players to bet on between three and ten, 1-vs-1 fantasy player matchups, with the potential to win up to 500x your stake.
Player Matchups act as a fantasy football accumulator, with your payout increasing with the more matches you bet on. Players choose a stake between €1-€500, then bet on between 3-10 Matchups. Winning a 10-Matchup bet with the maximum stake would return €250,000!
- N. Maupay (BRI) vs. J. Vardy (LEI)
My first choice for this week’s Matchups is Neal Maupay (BRI), facing Burnley at home.
Brighton have impressed me going forward so far this season – and on penalty duty, Maupay is at the centre of most of the club’s threatening attacks. Whilst he was benched last week, apparently due to some sort of incident behind the scenes, I’m hoping that was a one time thing where Graham Potter felt he needed to make a statement. I’d be amazed if he was left out of the starting lineup for any significant amount of time, as Maupay is such a crucial part of their attacking unit. Besides, if Maupay doesn’t start, this Matchup will be voided anyway, so the risks are minimal.
Burnley haven’t really got going this season, so here’s hoping Brighton can really make a statement against them come the weekend. Vardy, on the other hand, faces Wolves – the team joint 2nd in the league for fewest goals conceded, and a side that has been putting up outstanding defensive numbers for months at this point. Should Maupay start, I’m expecting him to take Vardy in this Matchup with a much better fixture – and Maupay has the yellow star in the event of a points draw between the two.
- C. Wilson (NEW) vs. A. Mitrovic (FUL)
My next choice for this week’s Matchups is Callum Wilson (NEW), up against Southampton away from home.
I’ve spoken before in this article about my concerns regarding Southampton’s defence – without covering too much of the same ground – they’re a side I like to target in fantasy football as a result of their high defensive line, a strategy I profited from last week by selecting Jack Grealish vs the Saints. If Newcastle are to profit from the Saints high line, you can bet good money that Wilson will be involved – he currently has a 70% goal contribution for Newcastle in the league as the focal point for all of their attacks, making him their true talisman going forward, as well as being on penalty duty. Wilson has 7 attacking returns in as many games as it stands with 6 goals and an assist in the league already – a blistering start to his Newcastle career.
Whilst Mitrovic’s away fixture against West Ham may look attractive at first glance, the Hammers have defended reasonably resolutely so far this season, at 7th in the league for expected goals conceded (xGC) above the likes of Liverpool, Spurs and Man United. Mitrovic could still return, but don’t expect West Ham to make it easy for him!
- M. Rashford (MUN) vs. P. Bamford (LEE)
My third selection is Marcus Rashford (MUN), facing Everton away.
Whilst Man United appear to be on the ropes slightly with manager Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer coming under increasing scrutiny for his position, I still feel this Matchup is a good one for Rashford. He’s at times recently looked like the shining light in an otherwise creatively devoid United side, and now looks to have somewhat nailed down a place in more of a striker role after scoring his first United hat-trick in the Champions League. The Everton defence has also given plenty of reasons for us to believe they can concede plenty of goals – looking really poor against Southampton especially.
Bamford, on the other hand, despite having a good goal scoring start to the season, has always been an unreliable finisher, and chances should be few and far between against a defensively stubborn Palace side. With the yellow star in Rashford’s favour, my money’s on him to bring home the points this weekend.
- H. M. Son (TOT) vs. P. E. Aubameyang (ARS)
My fourth pick this week is Heung-Min Son (TOT) up against West Brom away.
Son is one of Europe’s most in-form attackers right now, with an astonishing 8 goals and 2 assists to his name already in the league alone. Spurs are looking back to their best and with the quality of finisher that Son is, it’s no surprise to see him firing now the chances are really coming his way. Spurs also face West Brom – a team that sits bottom of the league for xGC. If this isn’t a recipe for a thumping, I don’t know what is!
Aubameyang, on the other hand, is clearly out of form, struggling to take part in Arsenal’s attacks as much as he’d like to with the Gunners setting up quite defensively in a majority of their games so far. They also play Aston Villa – a team who’s defence has been one of the surprise packages since project restart and moving into this campaign. Their Mings & Konsa partnership really seems to have steadied the ship there – leaving them 3rd in the table for the least xGC, despite admittedly playing a game less than most.
- T. Werner (CHE) vs. Harry Kane (TOT)
My final selection for Gameweek 8, is Harry Kane (TOT), facing West Brom away from home.
Having already discussed why I think this Spurs vs West Brom tie is a potential gold mine for goals, this Kane pick should come as no surprise. Kane is already on double-digit goals and assists in all competitions this season, averaging 2 attacking returns per game in the Premier League so far. These are crazy numbers to see from a striker facing West Brom next, and although I do like Werner’s fixture against Sheffield United, the German doesn’t come close to the scoring pedigree of Kane, making this an easy selection for me to make, as I feel Kane is probably the best asset to own on paper in the whole game this week.