Welcome to AM's Perfect XI - Week 8 player picks. This column focuses on Togga's Perfect XI game which you can play via their IOS and Android app. Download the apps via the link below and make sure you update regularly to take advantage of the constant enhancements:
Once downloaded, open the app and register an account. Once registered, click the Fantasy tab at the bottom of the app screen. Then from the Fantasy screen, click the arrow at the top of the app screen to select Perfect XI.
We've set up a Rotoworld PL Private League where you can challenge myself and the rest of the RW PL team over the course of the season. To join it download the app and then click the below link from your device, or find us from the Featured Leagues tab:
Each week I provide a Perfect XI of my own for the upcoming gameweek of Premier League fixtures, recommending 11 players to consider along with some honourable mentions for each position. The main 11 players listed won't necessarily be the exact players selected for my own Perfect XI fantasy side. The point of this column isn't to tell you exactly who to pick; it's to present some ideas to get you thinking. Hopefully you'll find the advice useful, whether you're playing Togga's game or looking at potential transfers for your official Fantasy Premier League team.
It seems a long time ago now but I'm happy to report a vastly improved performance from my own PXI side back in Week 7 thanks to double digit returns from De Gea, Kolasinac, Trippier, Sigurdsson, Lukaku and Kane. 160 points was enough to move back in to the Top 1500 overall and left me feeling in a far better mood over the international break.
Week 8 begins with a standard Saturday 12:30 BST (British Summer Time) kick off and should be an absolute cracker as Liverpool host their arch-enemies Manchester United at Anfield. It's important to have your fantasy team locked in ready for this game but remember in Perfect XI you can swap out a player from your squad right up to one minute before their match kicks off and bring in an alternative player whose match is also yet to kick off. This wonderful flexibility allows you to avoid the pain of a surprise benching or unreported last minute injury and a big fat ZERO. Just make sure you keep an eye on the starting line-ups as kick off approaches each week by following the Rotoworld PL Twitter account.
Here are your Week 8 fixtures:
Saturday 14 October
Liverpool v Man Utd
Burnley v West Ham
Crystal Palace v Chelsea
Man City v Stoke
Spurs v Bournemouth
Swansea v Huddersfield
Watford v Arsenal
Sunday 15 October
Brighton v Everton
Southampton v Newcastle
Monday 16 October
Leicester v West Brom
As always we want to focus on the players from teams most likely to win their match ups comfortably. Tottenham at home to Bournemouth leap to the top of the list - despite "home" being Wembley, as do Chelsea travelling to rock bottom, point-less, goal-less Crystal Palace. Manchester City at home to Stoke aren't far behind, while Burnley defenders could be of interest as they host West Ham. The bookies have Arsenal and Southampton as big favourites to beat Watford and Newcastle respectively but I'm not as confident as neither match looks easy, while Liverpool v Manchester United is too close to call in either side's favour. Aside from that that there isn't a whole lot to get excited about, with low scoring draws predicted for Swansea v Huddersfield, Brighton v Everton and Leicester v West Brom. This could be one of those weeks where it's best to select your Perfect XI from just a few teams.
With that in mind, here are the picks:
Ederson - After a season of poor defensive displays during the last campaign Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City side have turned it around, conceding just two league goals in the opening seven matches of this season, including a magnificent display and clean sheet at Stamford Bridge before the international break. Ederson has been a huge reason for the improvement, with the Brazilian already showing he's a major upgrade on both Joe Hart and Claudio Bravo, and he can add to his five clean sheets in a comfortable win over Stoke.
Kyle Walker - With Benjamin Mendy likely to miss the majority of the season with that knee injury it pushes Walker to the top of the Manchester City defensive options for the foreseeable future. His trademark raiding down the right flank should ensure he picks up a plethora of points against Stoke, with a clean sheet thrown in for good measure.
Ben Davies - A 100% no-brainer for Tottenham's home match-up against Bournemouth, with Davies topping the scoring charts across all positions in the PXI game this season. Danny who?
Cesar Azpilicueta - Initially I wrote down Marcos Alonso as Chelsea defensive cover against Palace but after re-checking the statistics it became clear that Azpilicueta has been wiping the floor with his Spanish counterpart over the past three game weeks, returning an average of 10+ points per match more than his teammate. That's a trend too difficult to ignore and so Cesar makes it in to my column and line-up for the first time this season.
Ben Mee - As mentioned I fancy Burnley to keep a clean sheet against West Ham on Saturday and so it feels right to include a Clarets defender. That honour falls to Ben Mee who has been averaging almost 12 points per game in PXI thanks to a monumental number of clearances and aerial duels won, alongside three clean sheets.
Honourable Mentions: Marcos Alonso away at Crystal Palace, Kieran Trippier at home to Bournemouth, Nicolas Otamendi at home to Stoke, Harry Maguire at home to West Brom, Chris Schindler away at Swansea, Sead Kolasinac away at Watford,
Eden Hazard - Antonio Conte has been extremely cautious with Hazard so far this season as the Belgian has returned from injury but with Alvaro Morata and N'Golo Kante almost certainly missing for the trip to Palace he's sure to call on his star man from the start to avoid any unexpected slip ups at Selhurst Park. The attacking midfielder showed he's back to full fitness and sharpness with two goals during the international break and he can be the catalyst to inflict another defeat on the Eagles. Remember, he's also on penalties.
Christian Eriksen - Eriksen has been in phenomenal form this season, notching three assists and two goals for Spurs alongside four goals and three assists for Denmark as they comfortably qualified for the 2018 World Cup. The 24-year-old has also created 16 goal-scoring chances for this teammates and I wouldn't bet against him adding to both his assists and goals record at home to Bournemouth.
David Silva - Outstanding for Manchester City so far with an astonishing seven assists in all competitions, Silva is Pep's most important midfielder, so often the key to unlocking teams that sit back with 10 or even 11 men behind the ball. Stoke will struggle to keep him quiet.
Kevin De Bruyne - Yep, I'm doubling up on City midfielders by including the set-piece taking De Bruyne, yet another match-winner in this hugely talented squad and, like Silva, averaging a mightily impressive 16 points per match in PXI.
Honourable Mentions: Philippe Coutinho at home to Manchester United, Dele Alli at home to Bournemouth, Pascal Gross at home to Everton, Cesc Fabregas away at Crystal Palace, Robbie Brady at home to West Ham, Henrikh Mkhitaryan at away at Liverpool
Harry Kane - There's not much more to say about Kane; 15 goals in his last 10 games for club and country - including the two match winning goals to secure England's passage to Russia - is all you need to know. You must pick him for the clash with Bournemouth, obviously.
Gabriel Jesus - Choosing between City's strikers has been a tricky task so far this season so it's something of a relief that the choice is made for us this week due to Sergio Aguero's absence. It means Jesus will be the sole focal point of the most talented attacking unit in the Premier League and will surely get on the end of a couple of the chances against Stoke. This pick means my Week 8 PXI side is going to be extremely City-heavy, but given their form I feel ok with that.
Honourable Mentions: Michy Batshuayi (assuming Alvaro Morata is out) away at Crystal Palace, Jamie Vardy at home to West Brom, Chris Wood at home to West Ham, Romelu Lukaku at away at Liverpool, Mohammed Salah at home to Manchester United, Alexis Sanchez away at Watford
That's it for Week 8. Check out our Rotoworld Features page to access a host of fantastic content to get you ready for the weekend ahead. If you have any questions about the Perfect XI game or general questions about a player or your own team then feel free to post them below or ping me on Twitter (@nikarg) and I promise to get back to you.
Thanks for reading - good luck to all managers this weekend.