Red cards, screamers, and driving rain defined a weekend of Premier League action that opened the title and European races wide open.
Here’s what you need to be across, as we build up to FPL Gameweek 10.
When does FPL Gameweek 10 start?
Saturday 28 October, 4:30am AEST
Ange Postecoglou’s high-flying Spurs side head across town to face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. The Australian has rejuvenated and revitalised Tottenham from a decaying side into a frightening, modern footballing machine capable of incisively slicing sides open and ferociously winning the ball back. Both sides are stacked with exciting attacking talent, meaning this game should almost certainly be an exciting goal-fest.
FPL Gameweek 10 notes
Is the McTomissaince sustainable?
Scott McTominay’s (£4.8 I 0.3%) recent fine form for both club and country was rewarded with a start in Manchester United’s midfield against Sheffield United. His two late strikes rescued three points for Erik Ten Hag’s men against Brentford before the break and it was his, plus Diogo Dalot’s (£4.9 I 2.1%), boot again that sealed United’s latest victory. Are we beginning to see a bit of a renaissance of the Scotsman?
Long billed as a defensive midfield destroyer, one part of the partially brilliant, partially farcical McFred midfield duo a few seasons back, is the former youth-level striker’s potential best extracted further forward? Bruno Fernandes (£8.4 I 16.6%) expertly occupies United’s number ten role, but in McTominay do they have another attacking threat capable of getting in on the act from deep? Whether his selection is a permanent fixture or a stop-gap solution in Casemiro’s absence remains to be seen.
Haaland’s goal ‘drought’ dries
For most players four games without a goal is par for the course, not a goal drought. Erling Haaland (£14.0 I 87.2%) isn’t most players though. He is held to the Herculean standards he created last season, when he bagged 36 goals in 35 games. In the 19th minute of his sides 2-1 victory over Brighton, the Norwegian collected a loose ball in space, cut inside, and rifled home the angriest of strikes from just outside the area.
Perhaps the persistent murmurs about his goal ‘drought’ had seeped into the Norwegian’s mind. Perhaps he just continued doing what he does; scoring goals. Elsewhere, his striking partner in crime, Julian Alvarez (£7.1 I 33.2%) maintained his magnificent start to the season, bagging his fourth goal of the season, to go with five assists. How will Pep squeeze the Argentine into his fully fit side?
Sanchez, Raya; and the art of goalkeeping blunders
One was a possession error, one was a positioning mishap, but both created the same outcome; an opposition goal. Robert Sanchez’s (£4.6 I 7.0%) pass to no one in the 77th minute at Stamford Bridge found former Chelsea academy player, Declan Rice (£5.4 I 4.5%), whose wonderful, swinging first time strike into the bottom right corner fired Arsenal back into the contest.
It was a resuscitating goal that breathed life in a flatlining Arsenal side, hamstrung against a resolute Chelsea side in the driving London rain. Having gone two goals down, thanks to some incredibly suspect positioning from David Raya (£4.8 I 3.9%) allowing a Mykhailo Mudryk (£6.3 I 1.0%) cross-come-shot to find the back of the net, it was a performance of champions from Mikel Arteta’s men to fight back and claim a point.
For Mauricio Pochettino, Sanchez’s error is part and parcel of modern ball-playing goalkeeping that was only punished by some individual opposition brilliance. For Arteta, with his number-one goalkeeper debate taking all the spotlight and creating a surge of (bad) publicity, is it time he return his trust to Aaron Ramsdale (£4.8 I 9.5%), especially when Raya is failing at the one area – cross collection – he’s supposed to excel in?
Salah proves the derby difference
Geez, Mohamed Salah’s (£12.7 I 38.3%) current form is frightening, isn’t it? After a faux lull last season – he nabbed 19 goals and 13 assists but was overshadowed by Haaland – the Egyptian is back in form and consistently back on the scoresheet. After his brace against a resolute, 10-men Everton in the Merseyside derby, only the Norwegian (9) has more goals this season than Klopp’s talisman (7).
Add his four assists to date and we are witnessing the return of Salah’s best. How much longer this can last, especially given Saudi Arabia’s persistent phone calls, remains to be seen, but at the moment all we can do is marvel at his brilliance.
With a relatively easy run from FPL gameweek 10 onwards; Liverpool face Nottingham Forest, Luton Town, and Brentford in their next three fixtures, is it time for FPL owners to figure out a way to fit both Salah and Haaland into their side? You simply cannot afford to have one or the other.
Chelsea’s expensive youth assembly show their class
Mykhailo Mudryk (£6.3 I 1.0%) and Cole Palmer (£4.9 I 1.6%) each grabbed their second goals of the season in the draw with Arsenal. Palmer, a £40 million summer arrival from Manchester City, swept home a high pressure penalty early in the match, while the Ukrainian, who’d become the butt of countless internet jokes, continued his fine start to the campaign with a fortuitous cross-come-shot. Fortune, however, favours the brave.
And that’s exactly what Mauricio Pochettino has been in trusting the kids presented to him by his owners. Already, fans can see the future rewards potentially reaped at Stamford Bridge, even if Chelsea are perhaps one or two pieces away from become a terrifying Premier League problem.
Villa put Premier League on watch
Another matchweek, another Aston Villa rout. This time their victim was West Ham, with the 4-1 romp a humbling outcome for David Moyes’ high-flying Hammers. Ollie Watkins (£8.2 I 34.2%) starred, continuing his stellar start to the campaign, grabbing his fifth goal and eighth assist of the season.
But, moving into FPL gameweek 10, the real talk of the game was the performance of Brazilian midfielder, Douglas Luiz (£5.4 I 4.0), who looked equal parts Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho. A brilliant defensive midfielder, Luiz’s five goals this season have flown under the radar amidst a sea of attacking talent at Villa, led by Watkins and Moussa Diaby (£6.7 I 13.4%). Should his goalscoring form be maintained Unai Emery’s men may go from being the thorn in teams’ sides to the enemy at their gate.
Is there any stopping Newcastle’s European ascent?
Following some early season concerns where a hat-trick of losses to Manchester City, Liverpool, and Brighton, saw fans and pundits draw a line through Newcastle’s season, Eddie Howe’s men have catapulted themselves back into European contention.
Although there have been some notable standout performers such as Kieran Trippier (£6.9 I 48.8%) and Alexander Isak (£7.5 I 19.9%), the reality is Newcastle’s return to form has come by committee. Sean Longstaff (£4.9 I 0.8%) has played career best football, scoring twice and assisting once in his last four games, while it was Jacob Murphy (£4.8 I 0.2%) who stole the game from Palace at the weekend with a goal and pair of assists.
With Anthony Gordon’s (£5.6 I 6.7%) three assists and two goals in his last five outings, and the output of injured duo Harvey Barnes (£6.2 I 1.2%) and Joe Willock (£5.3 I 0.1%) still to be added to Newcastle’s exciting formula, it’s hard to envision anything other than Europe for Eddie Howe’s men come season’s end.
No Toney, no worries for Brentford
An assist and an edge of the box screamer capped a fine, soggy London night out for Cameroonian forward, Bryan Mbuemo (£6.7 I 20.2%). The man tasked with filling the hefty shoes vacated by Ivan Toney’s gambling ban, ended weeks of doubt with a match-winning performance against Burnley. After a strong start to the season where he grabbed four goals in the opening four games, the forward hit a lull as Brentford lost three from four.
Against Burnley both he and his side returned to form, running riot in a 3-0 victory over Vincent Kompany’s embattled side. It marked not only Mbuemo’s first goal involvements in four games, but also just the second clean sheet Thomas Frank’s men have kept this season.
Owners capable of pushing through Brentford’s tough four-game run beginning in FPL gameweek 10, including clashes with Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal, could potentially reap the rewards further down the line.
Transfer targets under 15% ownership
DEFENDER: Diogo Dalot (£4.9 I 2.1%)
MIDFIELDER: Douglas Luiz (£5.4 I 4.0)
FORWARD: Yoane Wissa (£5.9 I 9.9%)