European football occupied attentions this week, with fortunes split north to south.
London’s Champions League representatives, Arsenal and Chelsea, both lost on Tuesday evening, plunging a nation into doom, gloom and amusement.
But the Manchester clubs made amends on Wednesday with two sneaky wins over German opposition.
But now it’s back to the domestic grind… and fantasy football. Some big games this weekend: Arsenal vs Manchester United and the Merseyside derby.
Plenty for fantasy bosses to consider, then, so here are our recommendations for the week ahead:
Heading up the injury list is Bournemouth’s star striker Callum Wilson, who suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in the 2-1 defeat away to Stoke last week.
Chelsea striker Diego Costa will serve the second leg of his three-game ban when Chelsea host Southampton at Stamford Bridge, with French International Loic Remy likely to get the nod.
Manchester City could still be without captain Vincent Kompany as he returns to full fitness from a calf injury, while fans will have to wait and see if Yaya Toure will be fit after coming off against Tottenham with a hamstring injury.
Manchester United are likely to be without midfielders Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick, who both missed their Champions League victory over Wolfsburg with knocks.
French internationals Laurent Koscielny and Mathieu Flamini are fighting to get back to full fitness and get back to Arsenal’s starting line-up with both suffering from minor hamstring injuries.
Everton defenders John Stones and Seamus Coleman are close to match fitness and could make an appearance in the merseyside derby after suffering from a thigh injury and a knock respectively.
England international Jordan Henderson remains out of the picture as he recovers from his foot injury along with Liverpool pal Christian Benteke who is still out with a hamstring injury.
Favourable match-ups of the week
It could be yet another dark week for Newcastle, who travel to the Etihad to play aManchester City side flying high after beating Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League. With David Silva back to full fitness and Sergio Aguero scoring again, it could be a long day for the Magpies.
The North East could once again be rooted to the bottom of the table as Sunderland welcome high-flyers West Ham to the Stadium of Light. Dimitri Payet, arguably the signing of the summer, is once again likely to dominate the midfield and guide the hammers to another victory and keep them in the top four.
Leicester will also be eyeing a return to winning ways as they face Norwich at Carrow Road.
Big names/bandwagons to avoid
It could be a tricky weekend for Spurs as they travel to the Liberty Stadium to face Swansea, who will be determined to bounce back after losing away Southampton. With Tottenham without summer signing Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane yet to swiftly replicate last season, the north London club could struggle to find the net against a well-drilled Swansea defence in their backyard.
Despite coming off the back of a huge 4-1 win over then Premier League leaders Manchester City last weekend, the absence of Son could be a significant one.
The Merseyside derby is also a game that could cause headache. With last season’s fixture at Goodison Park ending 0-0, goals might be hard to come by.
Watford striker Odion Ighalo could be a feature for many fantasy teams this weekend when the Hornets travel to the south coast to take on Bournemouth.
With Wilson out injured, Ighalo could now take up to mantle as the best bargain front man.
Who should I captain?
It is very difficult to look past a Manchester City player. Sergio Aguero will surely start to regularly get on the scoresheet soon, and with Silva back, goals should come very easy for the Argentine.
The only worry is that we’ve been saying this for a few weeks. He’s looked a bit rusty since that nasty tackle from Scott Dann, so managers may still be a bit nervous over him.
This could be a good time to stock up on Man City talent, with fixtures coming up against Bournemouth and Norwich.
Be weary of Everton players, who have a very difficult October following this weekend’s Merseyside derby: they then take on Manchester United (H) and Arsenal (A).
Southampton have got a tough October: Chelsea (A), Leciester (H) and Liverpool (A).
Injuries, doubts etc
Here’s a full rundown of those that either won’t be playing this weekend or are facing those tricky last-minutes fitness tests.
Out: Rosicky, Zelalem, Wilshere, Welbeck
Doubts: Koscielny, Flamini
Out: Okore, Gardner
Doubts: Crespo, Ilori, Agbonlahor
Out: Elphick, Mings, Gradel, Arter, Wilson
Out: Courtois, Costa
Out: Ward, Delaney, Jedinak, Williams, Wickham, Chamakh
Out: Baines, Hibbert, Cleverley, Mirallas, Piennaar, McAleny
Doubts: Coleman, Besic, Stones
Out: Moore, Dyer, James, Lawrence
Out: Flanagan, Lovren, Firmino, Henderson, Benteke
Out: Clichy, Mangala, Delph, Bony, Iheanacho
Doubts: Kompany, Toure
Out: McNair, Rojo, Shaw
Doubts: Valencia, Carrick, Herrera
Out: Darlow, Good, Taylor, Tiote, Armstrong, Cisse, Riviere
Doubts: Dummett, Haidara, Aarons, Colback
Out:, Andreu, Odjidja-Ofoe, Mulumbu, Hooper
Out: Forster, Gardos
Doubts: Wilson, Shaqiri
Out: Bentaleb, Dembele, Mason, Pritchard
Out: Ekstrand, Behrami, Smith
Doubts: McAuley, Olsson
Out: Burke, O’Brien, Ogbonna, Song, Valencia
This post was written by Fantasy iTeam