EPL Game Breakdown: October 29th

Saturday marks the beginning of the 10th weekend of the season for the Premier League and there is one unbeaten side left in the shape of Tottenham Hotspur. Down the other end Sunderland are still searching for a win and they are two of 14 sides playing in a packed slate of seven games.

One thing to remember is that there are EFL Cup games in the days preceding these fixtures and then a full programme of Champions League and Europa League games in the week after. That in mind, expect rotation.

The following article looks at each game one-by-one, taking into account current form and recent results. It also gives set piece takers and player picks for every team. As always, you can hit me up on Twitter @JamieHinksDK.

NOTE: This article will be updated with any injuries/suspensions as and when the news breaks.

(Salaries will be added for Sunderland vs Arsenal when they become available)

Sunderland vs Arsenal

Arsenal v Sunderland - Premier League

Stadium of Light, 12:30 BST (07:30 EST)


Sunderland Breakdown

It’s now seven Premier League losses for David Moyes and Sunderland, the latest one courtesy of an injury time goal at the London Stadium against West Ham on Saturday. The Wearside club have scored just six goals this season, the lowest of any side, and have not notched in the last two games. There are real problems defensively and this is backed up by their 140 tackles won, the third lowest total in the top flight. Jermain Defoe has not scored in three league games and the Black Cats struggle to score any goals when he isn’t heavily involved.

Sunderland Set Piece Takers

Corners – Wahbi Khazri

Penalties – Jermain Defoe

Sunderland Player Picks

Jordan Pickford – After Vito Mannone went down injured, Moyes eventually turned to Pickford and he has now made 33 saves in seven appearances.


Arsenal Breakdown

Arsene Wenger saw his side fail to score on home soil for the first time this season and it was very much two points dropped against a Middlesbrough side in freefall. It was their fourth clean sheet of the season and 19 goals scored is the third highest total in the Premier League behind only Liverpool and Man City (both 20 goals). Their build up play is unlike other sides in that it doesn’t rely on wide play and the Gunners are unbeaten on their travels having scored eight goals, winning the last three games.

FRIDAY UPDATE: The good news is Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey are both in the squad. The bad news is that Theo Walcott, Nacho Monreal and Santi Cazorla all face late fitness tests on Friday and could miss out. Lucas Perez is out for six to eight weeks after an injury he picked up against Reading.

Arsenal Set Piece Takers

Corners – Santi Cazorla

Penalties – Santi Cazorla

Arsenal Player Picks

Theo Walcott – It’s five Premier League goals for Walcott this season and he averages 3.6 shots per game, the most of any Arsenal player.

Alexis Sanchez – Sanchez has been involved in seven goals already this campaign, the joint highest of all Arsenal players along with Walcott.

This Saturday’s EPL Sweeper contest kicks off at 3pm. Don’t miss out!


Man Utd vs Burnley


Old Trafford, 15:00 BST (10:00 EST)

Man Utd

Man Utd Breakdown

Things are back to hitting full crisis mode once again after Jose Mourinho’s first Premier League visit to Stamford Bridge as a visiting manager saw United lose 4-0. It puts the Red Devils in seventh place, five points off the top four having won just once in six Premier League games. United are now third in the Premier League in crosses with 222 in total, but have dropped back in the shot department. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has not scored in five Premier League games for the club. Eric Bailly is expected to be out for some time after suffering a knee injury and there’s no news on how serious Wayne Rooney’s injury is.

Man Utd Set Piece Takers

Corners – Daley Blind

Penalties – Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Man Utd Player Picks

Zlatan Ibrahimovic ($7,300) – No player has had more than Zlatan’s 43 shots in the Premier League this season and Burnley is one of the easiest home fixtures you can get.

Ander Herrera ($4,800) – Whilst the goal threat from Herrera is very low, he is averaging 3.1 tackles and 3.4 interceptions per game, both numbers among the best in the Premier League.


Burnley Breakdown

All 10 of Burnley’s points this season have come on home soil, Saturday’s last gasp 2-1 win over Everton pulling them up to 14th place in the Premier League. Sam Vokes and Scott Arfield scored the goals in that one, Vokes now on three for the season. Burnley have made just 136 tackles this season, the lowest of any Premier League team but are second in interceptions (168). The Clarets have lost all three of their away matches thus far, scoring just once and conceding nine. They will carry a bigger goal threat as Andre Gray has now served his four-game suspension and will be champing at the bit to return.

Burnley Set Piece Takers

Corners – Johann Berg Gudmundsson

Penalties – Andre Gray

Burnley Player Picks

Tom Heaton ($3,600) – Heaton made another seven saves in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Everton and is miles out in front of any other keeper with 42 total saves.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson ($5,400) – The Icelandic midfielder is growing in influence at Burnley, takes most of their set pieces and is never afraid to shoot from distance.

Read more ahead of Saturday’s games…

EPL Targets – The very best player picks sorted by position

EPL Winning Line-up – How last week’s winning line-up was built

EPL Bargain Hunt – Struggling for cash? Fill out your line-up with these absolute gems!

Middlesbrough vs AFC Bournemouth

Arsenal v Middlesbrough - Premier League

Riverside Stadium, 15:00 BST (10:00 EST)


Middlesbrough Breakdown

Middlesbrough moved out of the relegation zone by drawing 0-0 at Arsenal on Saturday and it was just the second clean sheet of the season for a side that excelled at doing just that in the Championship. The more worrying aspect of Boro’s play is that they don’t seem to be able to convert at the opposite end, seven goals scored the second lowest in the league. Saturday’s stalemate made it four draws and that is the joint highest total of any team. Boro are yet to win a home game this term and three of their four losses have been at the Riverside. One thing in their favour from a fantasy perspective is the 214 tackles they have won, the highest total in the Premier League.

Middlesbrough Set Piece Takers

Corners – Stewart Downing

Penalties – Grant Leadbitter

Middlesbrough Player Picks

George Friend ($4,700) – One of the busiest defenders in the top flight, Friend averages 3.3 tackles and 4.1 interceptions per game.

Stewart Downing ($6,600) – Downing has 1.6 key passes and 1.2 shots per game this season, and no other Boro player creates more opportunities for his team than the former England international.


Bournemouth Breakdown

Eddie Howe and Bournemouth made it four games unbeaten in the Premier League by drawing 0-0 at home to Tottenham Hotspur and it was also the South Coast team’s third clean sheet of the season. The Cherries are one of just four teams not to win on their travels and have conceded eight of their 12 goals away from home. Jack Wilshere is firmly entrenched as the team’s number 10. Andrew Surman has recovered from an illness and is ready to return, Howe admitting that he will make a late call on Junior Stanislas.

Bournemouth Set Piece Takers

Corners – Jack Wilshere, Jordon Ibe

Penalties – Junior Stanislas

Bournemouth Player Picks

Callum Wilson ($6,300) – Wilson has three goals already this season, averages 2.2 shots per game and is leading the line well for Bournemouth.

Junior Stanislas ($6,800) – The wide forward missed the draw against Spurs and already has three goals and two assists in the Premier League this season.

Got an unbeatable fantasy footy team? Get involved in this Saturday’s EPL Sweeper contest!


Tottenham Hotspur vs Leicester City

Arsenal v Leicester City - Premier League

White Hart Lane, 15:00 BST (10:00 EST)


Tottenham Breakdown

Spurs are the only Premier League side yet to lose a game this season yet are without a win in two games following successive draws against two sides in West Brom and Bournemouth, who they should be beating. Mauricio Pochettino’s side have the best defensive record in the Premier League having conceded just four goals and five clean sheets is more than any other side has. Tottenham have had a total of 163 shots this season, second to just Liverpool (165), and top the league in corners (69). Moussa Sissoko is likely to miss this one due to a suspension that he picked up in the Bournemouth game.

Tottenham Set Piece Takers

Corners – Erik Lamela

Penalties – Vincent Janssen

Tottenham Player Picks

Erik Lamela ($7,400) – Lamela fired off five shots in last week’s draw against Bournemouth and takes corners for the North London side.

Danny Rose ($5,400) – Rose has 4.2 tackles and 1.8 interceptions per game and is always a threat thanks to his relentless attacking.


Leicester Breakdown

Claudio Ranieri’s side earned a long overdue league win last time out, the 3-1 win over Palace achieved through goals from Ahmed Musa, Shinji Okazaki and Christian Fuchs. It means that their unbeaten run on home soil rolls on, the record stretching back to September of last season. It was not enough to lift them out of the bottom half, Leicester remaining in 12th place. Much of that is down to a wretched away record that has seen them lose all four games, conceding 13 goals and scoring just three. One quirk to Leicester is that they have kept 35 saves, the fourth highest of any Premier League side.

Leicester Set Piece Takers

Corners – Riyad Mahrez

Penalties – Riyad Mahrez

Leicester Player Picks

Islam Slimani ($7,000) – The Algerian centre-forward has two goals and one assist in the Premier League since arriving from Porto in the summer and is being preferred to Jamie Vardy, for now.

Riyad Mahrez ($8,100) – Slimani’s countryman remains the heartbeat of this side, averaging 2.4 shots per game – the most of any Leicester player.

How should you build your line-up? Check out last weekend’s winning line-up for some helpful pointers!

Watford vs Hull City


Vicarage Road, 15:00 BST (10:00 EST)


Watford Breakdown

Watford earned another point towards Premier League survival by taking a draw from the Liberty Stadium on Saturday and in the process kept their first clean sheet of a season now nine games old. The Hornets have lost just one of their last six games in the English top flight, the surprise loss a 2-0 defeat at Burnley, and have scored in every home game so far this campaign. Manager Walter Mazzarri is sticking with a three centre-back formation that uses attacking wing backs in the shape of Jose Holebas and one of Juan Zuniga, Daryl Janmaat and Nordin Amrabat

Watford Set Piece Takers

Corners – Jose Holebas

Penalties – Troy Deeney

Watford Player Picks

Jose Holebas ($5,500) – Holebas made more tackles (4) and crosses (4) than any other Watford player in the draw at Swansea and is averaging a tidy 10 FPPG.

Odion Ighalo ($6,600) – Ighalo consistently has more shots than any other Watford player and is averaging 2.5 per game this season. It’s only a matter of time until he builds on the one goal and one assist he already has.

Hull City

Hull Breakdown

Hull’s form has been nosediving since the opening weeks of the season and it was not a surprise to see them lose 2-0 to Stoke City, making it five straight losses in the Premier League. None of those five games have been close and the recently promoted team have now conceded 22 goals – the most of any side in the league. Hull have also scored just eight goals and there aren’t many that have a worse record than that. Only Burnley have had less shots than Hull’s 81, but they do rank in the top five for tackles (182) and saves (42).

FRIDAY UPDATE: Eldin Jakupovic could return in goal in place of David Marshall after impressing against Bristol City in the EFL Cup. Adama Diomande’s selection is in doubt due to an FA charge hanging over him. Hull will definitely be without Robert Snodgrass, Andy Robertson, Dieumerci Mbokani, Alex Bruce, Moses Odubajo and Allan McGregor

Hull Set Piece Takers

Corners – Robert Snodgrass, Sam Clucas

Penalties – Robert Snodgrass

Hull Player Picks

Robert Snodgrass ($6,900) – Even though he may miss the game through injury, there is no Hull player more trustworthy than Snodgrass on the attacking side of things.

David Marshall/Eldin Jakupovic ($4,200/$4,100) – Whoever plays in goal for Hull City is usually good for plenty of saves and it will be no different this time around.

This Saturday’s EPL Sweeper contest kicks off at 3pm. Don’t miss out!


West Bromwich Albion vs Manchester City

Arsenal v Manchester City: Pre-Season Friendly

The Hawthorns, 15:00 BST (10:00 EST)

West Brom

West Brom Breakdown

It’s just one win from the last six games for Tony Pulis and West Brom, Liverpool the latest team to overcome the Baggies in a 2-1 win at Anfield. Gareth McAuley scored Albion’s only goal and it came after a corner from the returning Chris Brunt was not dealt with by the home back four. It saw West Brom slip to 13th place, but they still have a goal difference of zero having scored and conceded the same number of goals (10). It means they’ve scored for five successive games and in front of them are a City side that has been disappointing at the back this season. Pulis is worried about knocks to one or two players but refused to reveal any names in the Friday press briefing.

West Brom Set Piece Takers

Corners – Chris Brunt

Penalties – Nacer Chadli

West Brom Player Picks

Ben Foster ($3,900) – Another goalkeeper who loves to make saves, Foster will be a busy man against a City attack that is in the top five for shots.

Nacer Chadli ($6,900) – You feel that if any player is going to score from open play it will be the one who already has four goals and two assists since arrival in late August.

Man City

Man City Breakdown

Pep Guardiola’s perfect start to life in the Premier League is long gone and it’s now three games without a win following Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton, substitute Kelechi Iheanacho scoring their only goal of the game. It marked yet another game where City have failed to keep a clean sheet, their only blank coming against Bournemouth in a 4-0 win. City have scored the joint highest number of goals this season (20) and have had the fifth highest number of shots (151), therefore remaining one of the Premier League’s most potent attacking forces. Even so, Sergio Agüero has not scored in five games for City and the temptation to drop him in favour of Iheanacho could prove too much.

Man City Set Piece Takers

Corners – Kevin De Bruyne

Penalties – Sergio Agüero

Man City Player Picks

David Silva ($7,600) – The Spanish midfielder has been more reliable than Aguero and De Bruyne for the last couple of weeks and ended Sunday’s draw with 12 fantasy points.

Kevin De Bruyne ($8,800) – It’s very rare that the Belgian midfielder has more than a couple of bad games in a row and a trip to the Black Country will give him the opportunity to put up yet more fantasy points.

Crystal Palace vs Liverpool

International Champions Cup 2016 - Chelsea v Liverpool

Selhurst Park, 17:30 BST (12:30 EST)

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace Breakdown

Palace had more shots than Leicester City, yet ultimately could not apply the finishing touch on enough occasions and ended up losing 3-1, their late consolation coming courtesy of Yohan Cabaye. The result meant that it’s now no wins in three for Alan Pardew’s men and the South Londoners are yet to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League this season. What they have got in their favour is the fact they are ranked high up in a number of categories that are fantasy relevant including first place for crosses (264), third for corners (62), and fourth for tackles (180). As long as Christian Benteke is at centre-forward, all wide players for Palace are incredibly relevant from a fantasy point of view.

FRIDAY UPDATE: Scott Dann is fit to return but the fitness of midfielder Jason Puncheon is in doubt.

Crystal Palace Set Piece Takers

Corners – Yohan Cabaye, Andros Townsend, Jason Puncheon

Penalties – Christian Benteke

Crystal Palace Player Picks

Christian Benteke ($7,600) – Up against his old side, Benteke faces a defence that has kept just a single clean sheet this season and the centre-forward already has three goals since moving South.

Wilfried Zaha ($6,700) – Zaha made it four double-digit games out of five by getting an assist in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Leicester City.


Liverpool Breakdown

Jurgen Klopp earned his and Liverpool’s sixth win of the season on Saturday by overcoming West Brom 2-1, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho grabbing the goals. Klopp continues to play with a raft of attacking midfielders and no recognised central striker up front, Roberto Firmino the closest they come to having one. Of the top five teams, Liverpool are the only one to have conceded double figures for goal (11), eight of them coming away from home. The Reds lead the league in shots (165) and passes (5,516), but do not rank in the top five for crosses or tackles.

FRIDAY UPDATE: James Milner missed the EFL Cup win over Tottenham due to an illness and will be assessed on Friday to see if he can return.

Liverpool Set Piece Takers

Corners – James Milner

Penalties – James Milner

Liverpool Player Picks

Philippe Coutinho ($8,400) – Coutinho has reached double-digit fantasy points in four out of his last five games for Liverpool and is joint top scorer with four goals.

Sadio Mane ($8,000) – Mane helped himself to 22 fantasy points in the win over West Brom after playing a part in both goals (one goal, one assist).