Goal takes a look at the best players to select or avoid, the bargain buys, and the top choice for captain's double points ahead of this weekend's Premier League action
|START 'EM - WHICH PLAYERS SHOULD YOU PICK?
With three goals in his last two home league games, Tottenham midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson (6.0) is finally showing the natural, final-third predatory instincts that saw him score or assist 12 goals in 18 appearances while on loan from Hoffenheim at Swansea. Given only a brief cameo in the Europa League against Anzhi, the Iceland international will be fresh for the visit of struggling West Ham on Sunday.
Coming up against a Crystal Palace side who have failed to score in 66 per cent of their league outings this season, and who sit second-bottom of the table, Liverpool defender Jose Enrique (5.0) looks a good bet to keep a clean sheet this weekend. The Spaniard also presents a considerable attacking threat from left-back – or left wing-back, as Brendan Rodgers continues to dabble with a 3-4-3 formation that grants the 27-year-old even greater freedom.
Since returning to action following a calf injury, Loic Remy (7.5) has looked in fine form for Newcastle – even if the Magpies have yet to win a match in which he has scored. The France international struck twice against Hull City, though his side would lose 3-2, before netting against Everton, only for the Magpies to suffer the same fate. On Saturday, Remy faces a Cardiff side that have kept just one clean sheet in the league this term.
Few teams boast as poor an away record as West Ham; Sam Allardyce's men have not won on the road since March 2, nor have they scored in their last four away games. On Sunday they face a Tottenham team who have conceded in just two of their 11 games this season in all competitions, and attack-minded Jan Vertonghen (6.5), who scored five times last term and was rested for the Europa League tie, cannot be ignored.
|SIT 'EM - WHICH PLAYERS SHOULD YOU AVOID?
Sent off against Tottenham, and now ruled out with a knee injury for three weeks, Fernando Torres (8.0) should be given a wide berth for the forseeable future. The Spaniard showed flashes of his old self at White Hart Lane, though his tally of one Premier League goal in 2013 remains rather pitiful. The stage is set for Samuel Eto'o to nail down the lone striker role at Stamford Bridge in Torres' absence.
Swansea captain Ashley Williams (4.5) missed the club's midweek Europa League victory over St. Gallen with an ankle ligament problem and is a major doubt for the club's trip to Southampton on Sunday. Michael Laudrup's side have struggled even with their skipper, with only three sides conceding more goals this term, while the Saints have been in excellent form recently, with both frontmen netting in their last outing.
Coming up against the second-placed team in the division, whose in-form strike partnership scored three times last week, optimism is not high regarding Crystal Palace's chances of causing an upset against Liverpool. Julian Speroni (4.0) & co. have not kept a clean sheet this season, and that run is likely to continue at Anfield against a Liverpool side that are threatening to rack up a cricket score.
Everton may be the only unbeaten side in the Premier League, but an away trip to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City looks set to end that run. Coming up against a fearsome strikeforce, the Toffees' less creative defensive options, such as Phil Jagielka (5.5) should be avoided. The side will also be hampered by the absence of midfield enforcer and defensive shield Gareth Barry, who is ineligible to play against his parent club.
|THE BARGAIN BASEMENT
West Brom midfielder Morgan Amalfitano (5.0) has sparked the Baggies to life since joining on loan from Marseille. Steve Clarke's men were winless and goalless before the Frenchman arrived, but are unbeaten since. The 28-year-old, selected by just 0.03% of players, scored a delightful goal against Manchester United last weekend, his second of the season, before setting up Saido Berahino's winner.
Swansea boss Michael Laudrup this week likened summer signing from Real Betis, Alejandro Pozuelo (4.5), to Liverpool's Brazilian playmaker Coutinho. The 22-year-old, who has already struck twice in the Europa League, has impressed for the Swans, predominately off the bench, but is likely to be given a more prominent role in the coming weeks, especially as the Welsh side contend with a number of injuries.
Ross Barkley (4.0) has enjoyed a fantastic start to the new season – a campaign which has seen Everton so far remain unbeaten – and showed signs of a hugely promising partnership with loan signing Romelu Lukaku. Playing in advanced, attacking role, the 19-year-old is sure to be amongst the goals this term, though Saturday's match against Man City will test his ability to the maximum.
|CAPTAIN'S CHOICE - TOP TIP FOR DOUBLE POINTS
Liverpool's controversial striker Luis Suarez (10.0) marked his Premier League return from a 10-game suspension with a double against Sunderland. The Uruguay international showed no rustiness at all against the managerless Black Cats and looks primed to match, or even better, his 23-goal haul last season.
On Saturday, the Reds have a favourable home tie against Crystal Palace, who have the second worst goal difference in the division and have not kept a clean sheet this season. The Eagles' defence is something of a work in progress, and the fleet-footed and tricky Suarez should prosper against Palace's immobile and leaky backline.
|GAMEWEEK 7 - BEST XI
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