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21 Sep 2018 by Colm Hayes

FPL Gameweek 6 – The Fixtures

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The Champions League minutes and performances of heavy-hitting assets are the midweek talk of FPL, as Gameweek 6’s most transferred in player Eden Hazard benefits due to Chelsea’s Europa League duties.

FIXTURES

Saturday 22nd September

Fulham vs Watford (12:30)

Burnley vs Bournemouth (15:00)

Cardiff vs Man City (15:00)

Crystal Palace vs Newcastle (15:00)

Leicester vs Huddersfield (15:00)

Liverpool vs Southampton (15:00)

Man Utd vs Wolves (15:00)

Brighton vs Spurs (17:30)

Sunday 23rd September

West Ham vs Chelsea (13:30)

Arsenal vs Everton (16:00)

THE HAZARDS AND THE HAZARD-NOTS

Eden Hazard (£10.9m) was the key asset in GW5, as a 20-point haul saw owners and particularly captainers post big scores. The Belgian did not travelled to Greece for Chelsea’s Europa League tie last night, furthering his captaincy credentials for Sunday’s trip to West Ham. David Luiz (£5.5m), Mateo Kovacic (£6.0m) and Emerson Palmieri (£5.3m) also remained in England. The latter was ruled out of GW5 with a sore throat, while Kovacic came off after 49 minutes in the win over Cardiff with a knock.

Many FPL bosses are moving out Sadio Mane (£10.0m) or Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) to accommodate Hazard, now owned by 30%, in their squads. Chelsea host Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in GW7 before ties against Southampton (a), Manchester United (H), Burnley (a) and Crystal Palace (H).

Willian (£7.4m) scored Chelsea's only goal on Thursday while Pedro (£6.8m) sustained a late shoulder knock, putting the Spaniard at risk of missing GW6. Maurizio Sarri said post-match that the injury is 'probably not very serious' and the winger tweeted that "everything's ok".

LIVE AND LET LIVERPOOL

That ‘Pool duo were not involved in any goals as Jurgen Klopp’s side beat PSG 3-2 at Anfield on Tuesday. Although Salah did have a tap-in ruled out for a Daniel Sturridge (£5.8m) foul, the Egyptian was guilty of several wayward passes in the second half, one of which led to the Ligue 1 outfit’s second goal.

Salah was hooked late on for Xherdan Shaqiri (£7.1m), while Mane came off with a minute remaining. Roberto Firmino (£9.4m), introduced after 72 minutes, scored an injury-time winner for the Reds. The Brazilian boasts four goals (including one for Brazil) and an assist in his last five games.

Over 254,000 FPL managers have now parted company with Salah ahead of a home fixture against Southampton on Saturday. The Saints rank fourth for big chances conceded so far this season. However, three goalless games in a row and fears over potential rotation mean FPL’s priciest asset is the most sold player this week.

Liverpool play Chelsea in the Carabao Cup next Wednesday, ahead of the GW7 league clash. That cup tie looks the perfect opportunity for both Klopp and Sarri to rest key men, though the Reds’ hectic schedule – including a GW8 fixture at home to Manchester City – means there is the potential of rests for big names this weekend.

Ahead of GW5, Klopp said regarding rotation: “Of course we have to [rotate]. We go to the next game and then see. You always try to have your best team but it's clear with the number of games we have, we have to rotate.”

That isn’t the first time Klopp has talked about making use of his squad depth this season. However, apart from switching between Naby Keita (£7.4m) and Jordan Henderson (£5.3m) in midfield, the manager’s first XI changes have so far been minimal.

A favourable fixture run from GW9 to GW16 sees Liverpool play just one ‘big six’ side, Arsenal (a), before the visit of Man Utd in GW17.

SPURRED ON

Tottenham’s 2-1 defeat away to Inter Milan saw Kieran Trippier (£6.0m) and Toby Alderweireld (£5.9m) both omitted from the travelling party for “tactical reasons”.

Both defenders would seem very likely to start in GW6, though that may not be the case after every Champions League group game. Quizzed on the pair’s absence after the loss, Mauricio Pochettino had some choice words for the media. The irritated Spurs boss said: “You show too much disrespect for the players who play in the position as [Trippier and Alderweireld].”

FPL bosses will be hoping Pochettino’s backing of the players he started at right-back and centre-half, Serge Aurier and Davinson Sanchez (both £5.9m), means that a definite league/European rotation continues.

Ben Davies (£5.8m) started on the left of a back four in Milan, promoting the prospects of Danny Rose (£5.9m) for GW6 and possibly beyond. Spurs’ next unfavourable fixture comes in GW10 at home to Man City, with upcoming ties against Brighton (a), Huddersfield (a), Cardiff (H) and West Ham (a).

That schedule would usually mean heavy investment in Tottenham players, though a three-game losing run and an off-colour Harry Kane (now £12.4m) mean that Lucas Moura (£7.4m) currently looks the most viable Spurs asset. The Brazilian replaced Heung-min Son (£8.3m) after 64 minutes on Tuesday.

NOT SUCH MANC-Y SCHEDULES

Sergio Aguero (£11.4m) was part of the Man City matchday squad on Wednesday night but Benjamin Mendy (£6.5m) was again ruled out through injury. Pep Guardiola’s press conference on Friday will be important for FPL bosses, though it currently looks as though the left-back is in jeopardy of missing a second consecutive gameweek.

An unusually poor City performance saw Mendy’s understudy Fabian Delph (£5.3m) at fault for Lyon’s opener. Aguero replaced the ineffective Gabriel Jesus (£10.4m) after 63 minutes and looks in pole position to start at centre-forward against Cardiff.

Another substitute, Leroy Sane (£9.2m), assisted Bernardo Silva’s (£7.5m) goal to make it 2-1 but the league champions failed to score an equaliser.

After travelling to take on Cardiff this weekend, the Citizens play Brighton (H), Liverpool (a), Burnley (H), Spurs (a) and Southampton (H) before a Manchester derby in GW12.

Apart from a trip to play Chelsea in GW9, Manchester United’s schedule is relatively rosy until that Etihad showdown.

A Red Devils side featuring Luke Shaw (£5.1m) at left-back won 3-0 away to Young Boys, as Paul Pogba (£8.2m) grabbed two goals (one penalty) and an assist.

The Frenchman will attract new owners with United’s fixture list, while Romelu Lukaku (£11.1m) has four goals in as many league starts. Jesse Lingard (£6.8m) was rested for the trip according to Jose Mourinho, while Alexis Sanchez (£10.2m) was an unused substitute.

SCORERS ACROSS THE EMERY BOARD

Like Chelsea, Arsenal rested key men last night ahead of a profitable-looking schedule until that GW11 clash with Liverpool. Unai Emery’s men play Everton (H), Watford (H), Fulham (a), Leicester (H) and Crystal Palace (a) over the next five gameweeks.

Without a clean sheet so far, it would take a brave FPL boss to invest in the Gunners' defence. And in attack, the best route for investment is unclear with Arsenal boasting nine different scorers in the league so far.

If the 4.3%-owned Alexandre Lacazette (£9.4m) can nail down a starting spot at centre-forward, he could prove a canny acquisition moving forward. The Frenchman was an unused substitute on Thursday as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.9m) spearheaded Arsenal's attack, scoring a 57-minute brace in a 4-2 win.

The Gabon striker may have given Emery further food for thought over his best XI as the teamsheet selection at the Emirates remains clouded, though Lacazette looks safe for a starting berth in GW6 at least.

BEST OF THE REST

As discussed last week, Bournemouth’s schedule continues to promote investment with Ryan Fraser (£5.7m) the most sought after Cherry after his fruitful 18-point haul in GW5.

Similarly, Leicester City’s schedule should see James Maddison (£6.6m) and Jamie Vardy (£8.9m) benefit. A defensive horror show against Eddie Howe’s men last weekend suggests FPL managers should steer clear of Claude Puel’s backline.

However, the introduction of Jonny Evans for the suspended Wes Morgan may boost the clean sheet prospects of attacking full-backs Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira ahead of games against Huddersfield (H) and Newcastle (a).

Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m) has the fixtures to continue his good scoring form (three goals in four starts), while Fulham’s attacking mindset under Slavisa Jokanovic could see Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.8m) and Andre Schurrle (£5.9m) prosper.

In defence, Wolves’ budget defenders Matt Doherty (£4.4m) and Ryan Bennett (£4.1m) should continue to provide value with games against Southampton (H), Palace (a), Watford (H) and Brighton (a) following the trip to Old Trafford this weekend.

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