By 90Min
August 31, 2018

It is about this time of the year where those who were persistent on joining your fantasy football league during pre-season begin to drop off the face of the earth - particularly those who triple-captained Sergio Aguero last weekend or opted to leave out Harry Kane due to his August hoodoo. 

However, for the hardened regulars, things are only just starting to get interesting, and with no top six sides meeting one another this weekend, it may be the time to ring those changes you have been contemplating since the opening day. 

With that in mind, let's take a look at who is pushing for inclusion and who needs to be pushed out the door...


Goalkeepers


Who's Hot

Alisson BeckerYet to concede a goal this season, Liverpool's Alisson Becker is certainly one who should be in your XI if finances permit.

The Brazilian is the only stopper remaining in the league to have not picked the ball out of his net, and with a trip to Leicester City scheduled on Saturday - a side who, on average, have recorded less than four shots on target per game so far this term - the 25-year-old could hold the key to those crucial clean sheet points. 

Jordan PickfordAlthough Everton have not set the world alight at the back so far this term, Jordan Pickford may well be in line for his first shutout of the campaign this weekend with Huddersfield Town swapping east for west as they head to Goodison Park. 


The Terriers, across all four of their competitive outings so far this season - including their 2-0 Carabao Cup defeat to Stoke City in midweek - have recorded just four shots on target in 360 minutes of football. 


In truth, David Wagner's outfit look incredibly blunt going forward, and the England international should be a solid pick for matchweek four. 

Dan Istitene/GettyImages

Who's Not


Martin DubravkaConceding a last-minute own goal does nobody's confidence any good; however, doing so, then preparing to face Manchester City the following weekend may be enough to send a goalkeeper over the edge.

The north east outfit are not expected to take the game to the reigning Premier League champions on Saturday evening, and it would be one of the shocks of the season to see the Slovakian leave of the Etihad Stadium with a clean sheet intact. 

Kasper Schmeichel Although Leicester City'Kasper Schmeichel has managed to record one shutout so far this term, it would be a shock to see history repeat itself this time around. 


Conceding six shots on target against Manchester United during the opening weekend should be enough warning to see that Liverpool are going to be given chances, and with Mohamed Salah still portraying his world-beating form of last year, it is hard not to see the Reds netting at least once. 

Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Defenders


Who's Hot


Aymeric LaporteDespite a somewhat under the radar first six months in English football, Manchester City's Aymeric Laporte has begun to showcase why Pep Guardiola holds him in such high esteem this season. 


And although City have managed to keep just one clean sheet from their opening three games, a consultation with xG ahead of their clash with Newcastle United is the reasoning behind the Frenchman's inclusion this week. 


The Magpies' 1.62 xGA from corners highlights just one area of weakness in Rafa Benitez's side this season, and as the 24-year-old showed us all last weekend; he's not bad at attacking a dead-ball situation inside the opposition area. 


Marcos AlonsoPlaying another key role in Chelsea's latest victory, defender Marcos Alonso has to be in contention at the back this weekend as Bournemouth make the trip to Stamford Bridge on Saturday. 


Although the Cherries remain undefeated, a backs-against-the-wall approach may be crafted by Eddie Howe in an attempt to stifle the controlling Blues, allowing plenty of opportunity for the Spaniard to get on the front foot. 

Sam Bagnall - AMA/GettyImages

Who's Not


Arthur Masuaku - If you have West Ham United's Arthur Masuaku anywhere near your team at this point, you really need to walk away from fantasy football. 


The Hammers - currently rooted to the bottom of the table on zero points - have shipped nine goals so far this term, and an attacking-minded Wolves visiting the London Stadium may well spell further heartache for the west Londoners. 


Ben Mee - Although Burnley's Ben Mee received high levels of praise alongside James Tarkowski last season, the pairing have struggled to juggle life in the Europa League and domestic football so far this term. 


And despite the Clarets' European dream now being over, facing off against a scorned Manchester United outfit could prove a difficult test again this weekend. 

Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

Midfielders


Who's Hot


Lucas Moura - Following his famous brace at Old Trafford on Monday night, Tottenham Hotspur's Lucas Moura is hotter than the sun at this present moment in time. 


The age-old Arsene Wenger 'he's like a new signing' quote seems to have shone true in the Brazilian's case, and Watford's defence should be concerned with their challenge ahead this weekend. 


Mohamed SalahAlthough now associated with a goal-scoring role, Salah's midfield roots still stand firm in fantasy football, and you don't need me to tell you why he should be included in your XI. 

Clive Mason/GettyImages

Who's Not


Jonjo Shelvey Often good as a low-cost option, Newcastle United's Jonjo Shelvey is not the man you need this weekend, partly due to the fact he most likely won't be playing, and, even if he does, will be up against Manchester City. 


Although aesthetically pleasing in possession, the Englishman does not often hold the key to breaking sides down, with nothing tangible yet added to his one goal and three assists from last year. 


Leroy SaneLast season's PFA Young Player of the Year has continually found it difficult to break into Guardiola's XI this season - recording just 30 top-flight minutes during the defence of the title he was so influential in capturing last year. 

Harry Trump/GettyImages

Forwards


Who's Hot


Aleksandar Mitrovic - A brace last weekend during Fulham's 4-2 win over Burnley allowed Aleksandar Mitrovic to reach an average of one goal per game so far this season. 


Following his underwhelming time at Newcastle United in the Premier League, many expected the Serb's showings to lack similar steel. Yet, so far, he is proving his worth and may be handy for some extra points this weekend. 


Pierre-Emerick AubameyangDespite failing to find the back of the net so far this season, Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finds himself currently simmering with a visit to Cardiff City in the offing. 


The Gabon international has yet to recapture his form from the second half of last term, but don't be surprised to see him break his duck in Wales on Sunday. 

Henry Browne/GettyImages

Who's Not


Kenneth Zohore - The epitome of a Championship striker; Kenneth Zohore will be up against it this weekend when the Gunners travel west for their Premier League showdown. 


The Dane registering just four shots from his opening three games as a sole striker shows why it is unsurprising to see the Bluebirds still yet to find the back of the net in the league.


Christian Benteke - After being overlooked for this summer's World Cup, Crystal Palace's Belgium international Christian Benteke has not yet found the form to prove Roberto Martinez's decision wrong; failing to get off the mark during his 238 minutes of league football so far this season. 


Although Southampton, who have been as equally poor going forward as the Eagles during the 2018/19 term, are this weekend's opposition, it seems Wilfried Zaha is the only player who possesses the talent to find the breakthrough in the south Londoners' forward line.

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