FPL Gameweek 7 – The Fixtures: Key Carabao Cup Takeaways & Schedule Analysis

Carabao Cup minutes and injuries take centre stage ahead of this weekend, as the pre-GW7 press conferences will undoubtedly be essential for the FPL community.

FIXTURES

Saturday 29th September

West Ham vs Man Utd (12:30)

Arsenal vs Watford (15:00)

Everton vs Fulham (15:00)

Huddersfield vs Spurs (15:00)

Man City vs Brighton (15:00)

Newcastle vs Leicester (15:00)

Wolves vs Southampton (15:00)

Chelsea vs Liverpool (17:30)

Sunday 30th September

Cardiff vs Burnley (16:00)

Monday 1st October

Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace (20:00)

TAKE A CARABAO

The biggest takeaway from the midweek cup action was David Silva’s (£8.6m) inclusion in the Manchester City XI that beat Oxford United 3-0.

The Spaniard, rested on the bench in GW6 as City demolished Cardiff 5-0, played 63 minutes in the cup clash. Silva’s GW7 pitch time is now under threat. His replacement on Tuesday night was Ilkay Gundogan (£5.6m), who started alongside Fernandinho (£5.4m) and Bernardo Silva (£7.5m) in Guardiola’s GW6 midfield three. The Brazilian, like Sergio Aguero (£11.4m) and Bernardo, was not part of the travelling squad.

Raheem Sterling (£11.0m), who has bagged 24 points over the last three gameweeks, came on in the 55th minute and supplied the assist for Phil Foden’s (£4.7m) goal. Leroy Sane (£9.2m) was also kept on the bench, while Gabriel Jesus (£10.3m) grabbed the opener in a 90-minute showing.

The Citizens have a mixed run of fixtures over the next six as home ties against Brighton, Burnley and Southampton are interspersed with trips to Liverpool and Spurs before a Manchester derby at the Etihad in GW12. Aguero is currently the prime attacking asset for the league’s top scorers (19), though a substitution after 61 minutes away to Cardiff is probably just a taster of things to come.

In defence, Aymeric Laporte (£5.6m) has played every minute of the six gameweeks so far while Ederson (£5.7m) is the safest option. Both players remained on the bench in Oxford.

Harry Kane (£12.4m) was given a rare night's rest on Wednesday as Dele Alli (£9.0m) and Erik Lamela (£6.4m) scored for Tottenham against Watford. Spurs squeezed through on penalties but lost Serge Aurier (£5.8m) to injury late in the tie.

Asked if Aurier was okay post-match, Mauricio Pochettino said: "I don't believe so. In a cross he felt his quad. Tomorrow we'll see, but it's not a good thing."

While nobody likes to see a player get injured, Aurier's probable absence clearly has a knock-on effect in FPL. Kieran Trippier (£6.1m), also given the night off, looks a much more assured pick ahead of games against Huddersfield (a), Cardiff (H) and West Ham (a).

Spurs then play Man City at Wembley in GW10 before further away ties against Wolves and Crystal Palace. Kyle Walker-Peters (£4.3m) will serve as back-up to the England full-back for the time being.

Danny Rose (£5.9m) was also absent from the matchday squad as Ben Davies (£5.7m) played the whole tie. An unimpressive showing from the Welshman suggests Rose will continue as first-choice left-back in the mid-term.

Craig Cathcart (£4.5m) was the only member of Watford's first XI to start against Spurs. Centre-back partner Christian Kabasele (£4.5m) was introduced in the second half and promptly sent off for the foul that led to Alli's penalty. The Hornets have since appealed the dismissal, which would see the Belgian suspended for the trip to Arsenal this weekend.

According to his management group, Daryl Janmaat (£5.0m) will be sidelined for several weeks after surgery to repair minor meniscus damage in his right knee. Kiko Femenia (£4.3m) is set to benefit from the Dutchman's absence.

Eden Hazard (£10.9m) was introduced in the second half against Liverpool to devastating effect. The Belgium star's goalazo sent the Blues through, while a couple of flashpoints with Jordan Henderson (£5.3m) will add further spice to the Stamford Bridge clash on Saturday evening.

Sadio Mane (£10.0m) played 70 minutes before being replaced by Roberto Firmino (£9.4m), while Mohamed Salah (£12.9m) was a late introduction.

Joe Gomez (£5.1m) was an unused substitute, as Alisson (£5.6m) and Jurgen Klopp's three other defensive regulars were given the night off. Dejan Lovren (£4.9m) played 90 minutes alongside Joel Matip (£4.9m) at centre-back on his return from injury.

Jurgen Klopp was not too bothered by Virgil van Dijk's (£6.0m) rib injury after an early exit in GW6, while the Liverpool boss said pre-match that Trent-Alexander Arnold (£5.1m) and midfielder Gini Wijnaldum (£5.5m) have "little problems".

Elsewhere on Wednesday night, substitute Alexandre Lacazette (£9.5m) grabbed a late third in Arsenal's win over Brentford as Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£7.0m) started after recovering from a slight injury. The French striker, GW7's differential captain pick, faces Fulham (a), Leicester (H), and Crystal Palace (a) after this weekend's visit of Watford.

Arsenal's fellow London outfit West Ham United hammered League Two's bottom side Macclesfield 8-0.

On Tuesday, a much-changed Bournemouth side beat Blackburn 3-2 as Callum Wilson (£6.3m) came off the bench to score a late winner. The Cherries’ fixture list continues to look profitable in the coming gameweeks, perhaps apart from the visit of Man Utd in GW11.

However, the 4-0 defeat to Burnley in GW6 has somewhat quelled interest in Bournemouth assets. While the Cherries’ defence may be a no-go, the club’s form over the first five gameweeks and upcoming schedule both inspire confidence.

Eddie Howe switched to a 3-4-3 against the Clarets in an attempt to get back into the GW6 tie. That move saw Ryan Fraser (£5.7m) shifted to right wing-back, a position owners and investors will not want to see the Scot in too often.

A fairly strong Burnley XI were beaten 2-1 by League One side Burton Albion on Tuesday, as Steven Defour (£5.4m) made his long-awaited comeback from injury.

Fellow Belgian Leander Dendoncker (£4.4m) started for Wolves in a back three as Nuno’s men lost to Leicester on penalties after a scoreless draw. Wolves play Southampton (H), Crystal Palace (a), Watford (H) and Brighton (a) before Spurs come to Molineux in GW11, which is following by a trip to Arsenal in GW12.

Jamie Vardy (£8.9m), fresh off an 11-point haul against Huddersfield in GW6, started against Wolves and played 60 minutes. The striker missed GW3 and GW4 through suspension. Demarai Gray (£5.5m), who was introduced midway through the second half, was set for a scan on a nasty-looking ankle injury.

With games against Newcastle (a), Everton (H), Arsenal (a), West Ham (H), Cardiff (a) and Burnley (H) in the next six, Vardy and James Maddison (£6.8m) have the platform to continue returning points.

Crystal Palace cruised past West Brom 3-0 as Andros Townsend (£5.8m) grabbed a brace while Patrick van Aanholt (£5.5m) also got on the scoresheet. Everybody’s favourite budget defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£4.3m) came through unscathed after being introduced from the bench in the 21st minute.

After playing 90 minutes in GW6 despite an injury scare in the warm-up, Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m) was given the night off. After travelling to Bournemouth on Monday night, Palace play Wolves (H) and Everton (a) before the Eagles’ schedule turns much tougher until GW14.

Man United crashed out on penalties to Derby after Marouane Fellaini (£5.0m) made it 2-2 during injury time. Romelu Lukaku (£11.0m), who played 90 minutes on Tuesday, still has the fixtures – West Ham (a), Newcastle (H), Chelsea (a), Everton (H) and Bournemouth (a) – to gather returns but Paul Pogba (£8.2m) must now represent a risk considering the apparent turmoil between himself and Jose Mourinho. [Update: the United boss has confirmed that Pogba will start against West Ham on Saturday].

Finally, a heavily-altered Fulham XI beat Millwall 3-1 as Aleksandar Mitrovic (£7.0m) remained on the bench for the duration.

PRESSER YOUR ADVANTAGE

With doubts over players such as Alexander-Arnold, Janmaat and Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger (£6.0m), along with injuries to the likes of Aurier and Gray, the pre-GW7 press conferences will be key for FPL bosses. The community might even get an informative update on Benjamin Mendy (£6.3m) – but don't hold your breath on that one.

The Stats Zone will be covering all 20 pressers from an FPL perspective, a summary which will be available here from Friday morning.