The opening round of fixtures of a new Premier League season always produces some surprise results and last weekend was no exception. However, game week two is often a more telling indication of a team’s shape and likely form heading further into the season.
Here are six players that could score big this weekend!
1/2/3. Philippe Coutinho, Nathaniel Clyne and Christian Benteke
Liverpool versus Bournemouth – this is a fixture the Dorset club could only have dreamed of playing just seven years ago, at a time when all hope was apparently lost and liquidation seemed inevitable.
Pumped up in front of their own fans, the Bournemouth players produced a reasonably good performance against Aston Villa, emerging with their heads high after a narrow 1-0 defeat. That said, a visit to Anfield under the floodlights – a ground exactly four times bigger than Dean Court – is a very different proposition altogether.
The odds are that Christian Benteke and Nathaniel Clyne are already in your squad ahead of this one, with great things expected of the newly signed duo. These players alone are likely to produce a pleasing result on Monday night, but it is worth maxing out on Liverpool players given the gulf in top flight pedigree between the two sides.
Coutinho is still apparently favoured ahead of Firminho for a starting berth, and an unlikely late show against Stoke did his credentials no harm. We expect him to run riot against the Cherries.
4. Manuel Lanzini
West Ham were unquestionably the surprise package of the Premiership’s opening weekend and we expect Slaven Bilic’s side to press on and pick up more points throughout the first month of the season.
There are better midfielders but, after you have filled the most lucrative third of the field with superstars, Lanzini is an affordable addition that can give you a source of differential points very few of your rivals will collect.
The Argentinean has enjoyed an encouraging start to his tenure as a West Ham player, leading many East Londoners to believe that he is the final piece in the midfield puzzle. Leicester are more than capable of escaping Upton Park with a point, but Lanzini will undoubtedly be fired up for his first league game in front of the bubble blowing faithful.
5. Toby Alderweireld
After dominating the first half, Spurs were consigned to defeat at Old Trafford in the cruellest possible way after an own goal from Kyle Walker. Spurs will be looking to put that result behind them with a resounding victory over Stoke this weekend at White Hart Lane – and they will do exactly that if they play as well as they did at Old Trafford.
Alderweireld was one of the most composed players against Manchester United – for that reason we’re backing him to score a clean sheet and start the home campaign in style.
6. Andre Ayew
New signings are always a risky business, but Ayew was one of the standout performers of the opening weekend, as his debut goal secured a fantastic point against the reigning champions in their own backyard. Indeed, as a team Swansea City looked strong and unified.
Those who didn’t (as advised!) include Ayew in their fantasy squad for Week 1 are urged to do so this time around, as the Swans now have some easier fixtures to negotiate after the acid test of Stamford Bridge.