Fantasy EPL — Can new boss Spur change?

Fantasy EPL — Can new boss Spur change?

So much for the final international break of the season being a quiet one! Tottenham stunned the soccer world by sacking manager Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday, less than six months after they contested a Champions League final. Jose Mourinho is the new man in charge and it will be fascinating to see what he does with his new squad, currently languishing in 14th place in the Premier League. Could this change at the top provide a boost for Tottenham’s underperforming players, like Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen? Certainly, but I’m going to wait and see how things pan out over the next couple weeks, at least.

At the top of the table, Liverpool now has an eight-point lead after a 3-1 win over Manchester City just prior to the break. The game was actually a relatively even one. In fact, Man City only outshot Liverpool 18-12, and topped them in terms of xG (expected goals) according to TruMedia’s model by a slim 1.76-1.26. margin. Liverpool simply was the more clinical side in terms of finishing.

Man City has actually dropped to fourth place, one point behind both Leicester City and Chelsea, the side they will host in the marquee matchup of this weekend. Despite facing such challenging opponents, I’m going with Man City’s Sergio Aguero as my Tier 1 forward and captain this week. Aguero did not score against Liverpool, and has fallen to third in the Golden Boot race, two goals behind Jamie Vardy and one behind Tammy Abraham. However, Aguero has played 162 fewer minutes than Abraham, and 345 fewer minutes than Vardy.

Despite that relative lack of playing time, Aguero is still tied with Mohamed Salah for the league-lead in shots with 40. He sits alone at No. 1 in xG (expected goals) at 8.41. Plus, as good as Chelsea’s results have been so far this season, they’ve still conceded 17 goals in 12 games. In fact, they have only the sixth-best defensive record in the league in terms of xG conceded.

Speaking of Salah, he actually may not be available for Liverpool’s game at Crystal Palace on Saturday due to injury. If that is the case, I’ll be picking teammate Sadio Mane as my Tier 1 midfielder instead. Both Salah and Mane scored against Man City prior to the break. Mane leads Liverpool with seven goals, and is also tied for ninth in the league in chances created with 23. If Salah is out, Mane should be Liverpool’s primary attacking outlet against Palace.

I thought about running with Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling as well, but I don’t want to double up on Man City players against a tough team like Chelsea.

Shooting stars

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