Starting Eleven: Saturday Premier League Breakdown

Starting Eleven: Saturday Premier League Breakdown

This article is part of our Starting Eleven series.


7:30 a.m: Chelsea v. Manchester United
10:00 a.m: West Ham v. Tottenham
10:00 a.m: Wolverhampton v. Watford
10:00 a.m: Manchester City v. Burnley
10:00 a.m: Bournemouth v. Southampton
10:00 a.m: Newcastle v. Brighton
10:00 a.m: Cardiff city v. Fulham
12:30 p.m: Huddersfield v. Liverpool


Eden Hazard is the early favorite for player of the season, and he's a fantasy asset you can play in any matchup. Manchester United will be organized in defense, but they are coming off a match when they allowed Newcastle to score two goals in the opening 10 minutes, a shocking outcome given they came in with three goals in seven games. Willian and Olivier Giroud will be less owned but don't possess the chalkiness that Hazard does.

There have been very few details about the injury situation in the Liverpool attack, as Sadio Mane (broken thumb) and Mohamed Salah (knock) are dealing with injuries heading into their match with Huddersfield. Roberto Firmino is likely the safe choice, while Daniel Sturridge or Xherdan Shaqiri could play a role in the starting XI due to injuries.

Harry Kane has been in top form over the past few weeks, scoring four goals in four Premier League and Champions League matches, and he also added two assists during a 3-2 win over Spain over the international break. His Tottenham side will look to make it four consecutive Premier League wins as they travel to face Marko Arnautovic's West Ham side. Arnautovic came out of the international break unscathed and could be a sneaky pick against Spurs.


The key battle in Saturday's most-anticipated matchup between Chelsea and Manchester United will involve Paul Pogba and Jorginho. United perform only as well as Pogba plays, which is considerable given the Frenchman hasn't played up to his best. He was forced into a deeper role in the win over Newcastle as United clawed back from two goals down, and that could hurt his playmaking abilities if it repeats against Chelsea. Jorginho, on the other hand, has kept value due to his passing abilities. He is far and away the league leader in passes completed (776), which is the main reason he holds value on Starting Eleven.

Anthony Knockaert has been pacing Brighton's attack, as he's been involved in four of their nine goals this season. Up next is a trip to Newcastle, who are currently sitting in the relegation zone. Knockaert has been able to contribute in other areas as well -- 15 shots (six on goal), 48 duels won -- and shares set-piece duty with Pascal Gross (ankle). The matchup with Newcastle will be enough for me to take a flyer on him in my midfield setup.

As I note almost every week, the Manchester City midfield is often a good source of fantasy points. The hard part is determining who will start. Ilkay Gundogan has already been ruled out, which should keep both Bernardo and David Silva in the starting XI. Kevin De Bruyne is nearing full fitness and could be a tilting play, though it's unlikely he lasts the full 90.


Both Liverpool and Manchester City have favorable matchups against Huddersfield and Burnley, respectively, with City having the highest clean sheet odds on the slate. Benjamin Mendy appears to be nearing full fitness after returning against Liverpool prior to the international break, and he should be your first consideration on defense. Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold should have plenty of space and will likely be the key if Liverpool can unlock a hunkered down Huddersfield team.

Aside from Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, no side has been stingier defensively than Wolverhampton, who have allowed just six goals. It's the main reason they find themselves in the top half of the table as they haven't been all that prolific in front of net. Willy Boly, Matthew Doherty and Jonny have been a main reason for their early returns, and a matchup against Watford presents another chance to position themselves higher up the table.

Kieran Trippier has taken the majority of free kicks for Tottenham this season, which is partially due to Christian Eriksen being sidelined, but also due to the England defender's quality on the set pieces. It's helped him become a top defensive option, and Trippier is one of the safer plays on the slate, especially with Marcos Alonso having a tough matchup against Manchester United.


Joe Hart will be in line to retake the saves lead from Lukasz Fabianski (36 saves), as he's expected to be very busy against Manchester City. I wouldn't bank at all on a clean sheet from Hart, but a high volume of saves could make him a sneaky play. On the other side, Ederson has the best clean sheet odds on the slate and is currently in the lead for shutouts with Liverpool's Alisson, who also has a good matchup at Huddersfield.

As mentioned in the defenders section, Wolverhampton have been a fortress in their first eight games. Along with their back line, Rui Patricio has been a key part of that, as he's kept four clean sheets and made 29 saves (sixth-most in the Premier League). He'll be a more contrarian pick than Ederson and Alisson, but he has proven to be a asset worth considering.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Christopher Owen plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: owenc8888 (DraftKings, FanDuel), RotoCrook (Yahoo!).
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Christopher Owen
Chris covers fantasy soccer for RotoWire. In his free time he enjoys watching Jurgen Klopp celebrate goals on the touchline and beyond.
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