Everton (2-2 vs Arsenal)
4-2-3-1: Howard, Baines, Distin, Jagielka, Coleman, Barry, McCarthy, Pienaar (10’ Osman), Naismith, Mirallas (85’ Atsu), Lukaku (76’ McCeady)
Subs not used: Alcaraz, Robles, Stones, Besic
Coleman and Mirallas both returned straight to the side as expected replacing Stones at right back and McCeady on the wing respectively. Steven Pienaar’s early withdrawl with a back injury could keep hm out for a number fo weeks and he’ll definitely miss the Chelsea game. Romelu Lukaku also played on with a toe injury against Arsenal and is being assessed for GW3. Martinez is his usual optimistic self “At the moment it is too early to know if he will be available at the weekend but I am quite positive with Rom."
Samuel Eto’o looks set to sign for the Toffees and could be handed an immediate debut against Chelsea if Lukaku fails to pull through. Long term however, Eto’o has to be seen as back-up for Lukaku in cup games and as an impact sub ahead of the challenge of additional Europa league games thsi season. Eto’o should not impact the game time of Steven Naismith who offers more to the build-up play at Everton that Martinez has enthused into the team.
Arsenal (2-2 vs Everton)
4-1-4-1: Szczesny, Debuchy, Chambers, Mertesacker, Monreal, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain (74’ Cazorla), Wilshire (74’ Campbell) Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez (45’ Giroud)
Subs not used: Martinez, Bellerin, Koscielny, Rosicky
The headline for fantasy managers on the initial lineup would have been Alexis Sanchez starting up-front. After the match though, it was how ineffective he was there, and how much better Arsenal looked once Giroud had replaced the Chilean at half time. The latest news however is that Giroud picked up an injury and could be out for a number of months with a broken ankle. With Yaya Sanogo also recovering from a minor injury Sanchez could well be given a second chance to impress in the striker’s role. Wegner has some serious thinking to do and may even consider using Podolski despite rumours of an imminent transfer to Wolfsburg.
Both Ozil and Mertesacker returned to action after the World Cup. Mertesacker partnered Chambers in the back four, although with Koscielny deemed fit enough for a bench role you would have to assume the regular centre back partnership will soon be restored. Ozil was fielded on the left to allow Ramsey to stay central but the German did not look up to speed at all and you’d have to imagine Ozil will take up a more central position alongside Ramsey soon. Oxlade-Chamberlain was handed a start ahead of Cazorla with the Spaniard rested after an away trip to Besiktas last week. With the crucial return leg against Besiktas midweek Chamberlain could be set to for another start against Leicester in GW3.
Hull (1-1 vs Stoke)
3-5-2: McGregor, McShane, Chester, Davies, Robertson, Quinn (76’ Meyler), Huddlstone, Livermore, Elmohandy, Jelavic (81’ Boyd), Ince (56’ Rosenoir)
Subs not used: Bruce, Figueroa, Aluko, Harper
James Chester’s red card will see him miss just 1 game as it was for a professional foul rather than misconduct.
Popular £4M FPL player Alex Bruce was rested amid concerns over the back injury he picked up last week which handed McShane (also £4M) a chance to start. Although Hull look set to continue with a 3-5-2 formation the imminent arrival of Michael Dawson from Spurs (£4.9m FPL) has to jeopardise the chances of either Bruce or McShane holding down a place in this back three. Andrew Robertson at £4.5 however could be an handy alternative to James Chester and looks to have won the left wing back role over last year’s incumbent Maynor Figueroa.
Up front £5.5m midfielder Tom Ince is one to keep an eye fielded here up-front alongside Jelavic. With Chester’s very early red card it’s hardly surprising an attacking position was sacrificed so Ince’s early substation is nothing to worry about. He’s definetly one to watch.
Stoke (1-1 vs Hull)
4-2-3-1: Begovic, Bardsley, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters, Sidwell (65’ Adam), Whelan (41’; Bojan), Odemwingie, N’Zonzi, Arnautovic (55’ Crouch), Diouf
Subs not used: Cameron, Walters, Muniesa, Sorensen
Bojan’s benching was a shock to hundreds of thousands of fantasy managers who put their faith in the youngster ahead of the new season. Whether this is a preference a more combatitive midfielder in N’Zonzi for away games or has to do with Bojan adjusting and building fitness remains to be seen. The early substitution of Arnautovic has to worry FPL managers too, especially with Stoke looking for a goal. Otherwise this looks a settled team although long-term we’d still expect Huth to challenge for Wilson at centre-back.
Tottenham (4-0 vs QPR)
4-2-3-1: Lloris, Dier, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Rose, Capoue, Bentaleb (59’ Dembele), Chadli (69’ Kane) , Lamela, Eriksen, Adebayor (80’ Soldado)
Subs not used: Lennon, Davies, Freidal, Holtby
It’s going to be very interesting to see how this team shapes up this season under Pochettino. There’s massive potential for fantasy managers. Eric Dier (now £5.2m) shows his versatility by slotting in a right back with Naughton suspended. He looks a great prospect for Spurs but we have to doubt whether he’ll keep his place in either position once Walker is fit again (he’s 50% on FPL) and the likely signing of centre-back Federico Fazio from Seville. Alternatively, Danny Rose (£5m) looks to have nailed down the left-back spot.
In the attacking midfield positions Erik Lamela (£8M) took the plaudits (2 assists) whilst it was Nacer Chaldi (£6M) who popped up with two goals. As already mentioned, there’s a lot of untapped potential for FPL managers.. Christain Eriksen is currently the highest rated by the insideFPL team although seeing Lamela take a share of corners has taken the edge off that somewhat. We’ll certainly be keeping close tabs on the performance of the attacking midfielders as well Adebayor over the coming weeks.
QPR (0-4 vs Tottenham)
3-5-2: Green, Caulker, Ferdinand, Dunne (45’ Onouha), Isla, Barton, Mutch, Fer (68’ Faurlin), Traore, Phillips (74’ Zamora), Remy
Subs not used: Murphy, Simpson, Hoilett, Wright-Phillips
Mauricio Isla (£5M) made his debut here and took the place at right wing back from £4.5m Danny Simpson. Another new boy Leroy Fer (£5.5M) was also thrown into the deep end after his move from Norwich. After a torrid first half Redknapp switched to a 4-4-2 with Dunne making way for right back right back Onouha. Up-front 23 year old Phillips got the nod ahead of Zamora due to a late injury to Charlie Austin.
Sunderland (1-1 vs Man United)
4-3-3: Mannone, Aanholt, Brown, O’Shea, Vergini, Rodwell (63’ Gomez), Cattermole, Larsson, Wickham, Buckley (79’ Bridcutt), Fletcher (77’ Altidore)
Subs not used: Jones, Mavrias, Pantilimon, Roberge
Adam Johnson was poorly, bless him, and was the only real absentee due to injury from what has to be said was a positive team sheet from Poyet. Will Buckley got a start in Johnson’s absence. Rodwell and Cattermole looked very balanced in midfield and allow Larsson (£5.5m) to join the attack and pick up fantasy points again. With corners and free kicks on his side he’s one to keep an eye on. We put his picture on this post to prove it. ;)
Man United (1-1 vs Sunderland)
3-4-1-2: De Gea, Jones, Smalling (44’ Keane), Blackett, Valencia, Fletcher (63’ Januzaj), Cleverly, Young, Mata, Van Persie (63’ Welbeck), Rooney
Subs not used: Amos, Hernandez, James, Kagawa
A second lack lustre performance from Van Gaal’s side who suffered yet another injury at centre back with Smalling making way just before half time. He’s rated as 75% likely to play on FPL. The good news though is Rojo (£6m) is now eligible to play and should be in the side to face Burnley. Jonny Evans is also fit again which will give LVG at least three experienced centre-backs to call upon for the first time this season.
The expected arrival of Di Maria from Real Madrid is also sure to give the Old Trafford faithful some much needed hope. He’s likely to replace Ashley Young but whether playing the Argentine winger at wing-back is the answer to United’s problems remains to be seen (and what happens to Luke Shaw?). The return of both Van Persie and Valencia to the side has to help, as will Herrera’s (expected back after a knock in GW4). We’re sure to see a lot of evolution in this side in the next 3-4 weeks.
Man City (3-1 vs Liverpool)
4-2-2-2: Hart, Zabaleta, Clichy, Kompany, Demichellis, Fernando, YYT, Nasri, Silva (65’ Navas) Jovetic (80’ Fernandinho), Dzeko (68’ Aguero)
Subs not used: Kolarov, Sagna, Milner, Caballero
One change to the starting line up with Zabaleta judged ready to resume right back duties. Clichy was preferred over Kolarov on the opposite side of defence. The star turn was obviously Jovetic’s two goals and impressive overall performance. Dzeko picked up a nasty gash to his leg and is now yellow-flagged on FPL for GW3 (75% likely to play). Aguero got 22 minutes to build fitness but only needed 23 seconds to score. Who will start on Saturday against Stoke only the manger knows but we’d expect Dzeko’s injury and Jovetic’s form will give Pellegrini the perfect excuse to stat with what we believe are his two preferred strikers in Jovetic and Aguero.
Liverpool (1-3 vs Man City)
4-3-3: Mignolet, Johnson, Moreno, Lovren, Skrtel, Allen (75’ Can), Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho (60’ Markovic), Sterling (79’ Lambert), Sturridge
A trio of new faces for Liverpool in Can, Markovic and Moreno making their first appearances in the famous red shirts, the latter playing at left-back and allowing Glen Johnson to revert to right-back. Both full-backs unfortunately picked up injuries in this game and are now slight doubts for another tough game for Liverpool away at Tottenham. Raheem Sterling again was a constant threat playing up alongside Sturridge, and, in a repeat of last week's game against Southampton, Coutinho was deemed the sacrificial player when Rodgers was looking to make an attacking substitution. The Brazilian's place could come under threat if Rodgers opts to start Mario Balotelli against Spurs.