Gameweek 3 preview

August 24, 2016

Spurs v Liverpool

Chelsea v Burnley

Crystal Palace v Bournemouth

Everton v Stoke

Leicester v Swansea

Southampton v Sunderland

Watford v Arsenal

Hull v Man Utd

West Brom v Middlesbrough

Man City v West Ham

It’s a top of the table clash at the whatever their stadium’s called now in Hull. Can they extend their early season run of surprise victories? Surely Manchester United are a step too far for this Tigers team still having to pick from their pool of 12 fit first teamers. Yet six of these twelve have made into double figures, a feat which only Manchester United can match.

Robert Snodgrass was bought to supply the creativity to keep Hull in the top division last time round, but was injured in the first few weeks of that season and didn’t play again for over a year. He’s Hull’s leading point scorer so far this season, and if he can match the 152 point return from his first season in the Premier League with Norwich, in which he scored six and assisted nine times, he could prove to be one of the best bargain midfielders in the game.

Eldin Jakupovic has attracted a lot of early attention principally because he’s a second choice keeper carrying out first choice duties. Allan McGregor is injured and expected to be out until the new year, so gametime is guaranteed, and at the standard second choice keeper rate of £4 million. He and Hull are performing well enough to be more than just a back up option.

Despite this, the likelihood of anything other than a Manchester United win to nil is, on the face of it, pretty slim. This might be the weekend to switch the armband to Ibrahimovic ahead of Aguero, if you’re lucky enough to have been able to crow bar them both in to your squad. It’s early days but it already seems vital to have both occupying two of your front three positions, although this obviously comes at the expense of other elite players in other positions. Spot kick duties have been passed around a few players at Old Trafford over the years with varying results. Ibrahimovic looks to have assumed this duty, and has scored from the spot already this season.

The biggest transfer news of the week has happened down at Selhurst Park. Palace have been without a decent striker for about 15 years. Alan Pardew will be hoping Christian Benteke is the player to fill that void. He was a non-starter at Liverpool, but is instantly the main man at his new club, and at £7.4 million, could be worth a punt if he hits the ground running.

We’re playing for the August Manager of the Month this week. It’s a three week month – so offers up a £30 prize. Is that enough to tempt one of you into a chip to enhance your chances? Had DJ’s Trail Blazers not ballsed up their selection last week, they’d have climbed to the top from 10th place overcoming a defecit of 18 points. Apply that to this week and most of the top 20 are in with a shout. Good luck.

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