Fantasy Premier League: Foden now an issue, Salah makes sense and hold on Newcastle

Game Week 15 was the penultimate one before we break for the World Cup and it was another action-packed game week. We scored 37 goals and saw a lot of drama.

Arsenal came up trumps in a London derby and Manchester City secured victory against Fulham with a 95th-minute penalty despite being down to 10 men.

As always, there was a lot to talk about, but I’ll cover the main talking points and how they affect us going into Gameweek 16.

Foden and Haaland on the bench

The main talking point was Phil Foden (£8.4m) is benched for the third league game in a row.

Many managers brought him in for Manchester City’s fantastic run of games, and it was a good move. Nobody could have predicted that Pep Guardiola would name him among the substitutes for three league games on the trot, especially when he has played so well and considering that he has started him in all 10 previous league games.

However, those of us who still own him now have a decision to make as City have another great game at home to Brentford in Gameweek 16. I just think it’s far too risky to keep hold of Foden despite the friendly . With just one game week left before the World Cup, we need to be aggressive and I don’t think it’s worth risking another one-point Foden cameo from the bench.

Plus, there are plenty of alternatives for him with good matchups this week.

Wilfried Zaha (£7.5m) scored a goal and made an assist for 12 FPL points and he plays against Nottingham Forest this week. Steve Cooper’s men conceded 30 goals (second most) with an expected goals (xGC) of 23.35 (17th).

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Zaha was also played as a forward last game week, is often the most advanced player on the pitch for Palace and is certain to start. He is also on penalties so is a good option for Gameweek 16.

Leandro Trossard (£7.0m), Marcus Rashford (£6.7m) and Bukayo Saka (£8.0m) are also great potential replacements for Foden. They are all sure to start for their clubs and have good matches.

Trossard’s Brighton have a home game against Aston Villa, who immediately look a better side under new head coach Unai Emery. However, Roberto De Zerbi’s side have also been in great form and have now scored eight goals in their last three games. Trossard has seven goals and three assists this season and is the best option among the Brighton squad.

Rashford is also having a great game from an attacking perspective – Fulham have conceded the fourth most goals (24) and have the worst xGC in the league (25.99) and while Manchester United weren’t too impressive against Villa yesterday, them a great game to bounce back here.

Saka made a comeback last game with an assist and now has four goals and seven assists. Arsenal were fantastic and have a good game against Wolves. The England midfielder has both goal and assist threat and is their primary penalty taker.

Erling Haaland (£12.1m) was also benched by Guardiola, but that didn’t stop him from scoring in his 26th minute cameo. He could easily have had a second too, with his goal ruled out by VAR for a marginal offside.

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He will surely start against Brentford now that he is fit again and if you were one of the managers who got rid of him in the last few weeks I would make him the priority transfer. He will be the game’s best captain choice this week and with Norway not involved in the World Cup, there are unlikely to be any early substitutions or distractions for him.

Liverpool and Salah in contention again

Liverpool had an impressive away win over Tottenham on Sunday. Mohamed Salah (£12.7m) and Darwin Nunez (£8.9m) were both in the points and are fantastic options for Gameweek 16 as Southampton head to Anfield, having just parted ways with Ralph Hasenhuttl.

I will try to get at least one of them in for this week as they are one of the best options.

Harry Kane (£11.6m) was also on the scoresheet again for Spurs in that game, scoring his 11th goal of the season. He also has a plum game against Leeds United at home.

All of the above are options I would advocate, but may be uncomfortable to bring in because of their price points. If you can get it for free I would highly recommend it and those with two free transfers will be in a great position to do so.

A more affordable option which is a great point for Gameweek 16 Ivan Perisic (£5.5m).

He is classed as a defender in FPL but played in a front two with Kane in Son Heung-min’s absence yesterday. He was unlucky not to score and hit the woodwork twice. His average position card also showed him to be the most advanced player on the pitch, even ahead of Kane.

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With a full week’s rest, he should also start against Leeds, and it is quite possible that he will be used in that advanced position again.

Spurs have a Carabao Cup clash away to Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, but I doubt he will play in that and should be cleared for the league game instead.

Newcastle continue impressive run

Newcastle were back on top form and beat Southampton 4-1 to close the door on the Hasenhuttl era. However, as good as they have been, I would still avoid buying their assets this week as they have a game against Chelsea.

If you already own Kieran Trippier (£5.9m), Miguel Almiron (£5.7m) or Callum Wilson (£7.5m), I would keep them but would avoid buying any of their teammates. Wilson is one to watch as he was taken off at half-time yesterday due to illness, but he should be fine after another week’s rest.

Newcastle options are not a bad pick, but I think there are too many options this week with good matches that we could pick instead, offering a higher upside.

Be sure to check out The Athletic Football Podcast, hosted by The FPL General, for all the latest tips and tricks. catch it free on all the usual listening providers and ad-free on The Athletic app.

(Photo: Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)


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