Fantasy football: Tips for picking your Premier League team

Dele Alli
The Premier League is back this weekend and it looks like Dele Alli is quite pleased about it

The Premier League returns this weekend after England sealed a finals spot in the inaugural Nations League during the third international break of the season.

So, who impressed on duty for their country? And who should be fresh after resting this week?

Normal service resumes for fantasy football managers across the country this weekend. We haven't got all of the answers - but we do have five tips that might help you fill a void.

A sprinkling of Spanish magic

Manchester City have picked up where they left off last season and are two points clear at the top of the table.

The defending champions have already found the net 17 times in all competitions this month, and a trip to West Ham on Saturday gives the league's top scorers the chance to add to their tally of 36.

City have won all four games they have played at London Stadium and Pep Guardiola's men have scored four goals in their past two away games at the Hammers.

Strikers Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus pose a threat in any game, but David Silva has an impressive record against Saturday's opposition and he could be the one to unlock the door with a touch of Spanish magic.

The midfielder, a World Cup winner who retired from international football in August, has been directly involved in eight goals in 11 Premier League games against West Ham (four goals, four assists).

Is Chelsea's unbeaten record under threat?

Marcos Alonso
Defender Marcos Alonso has played every minute of Chelsea's Premier League campaign so far

Chelsea have started better than most expected they would under Maurizio Sarri, and the Blues are one of three unbeaten teams in the Premier League so far.

The 2016-17 champions have conceded just eight goals in their 12 games, and only Liverpool and Manchester City have let in fewer with five.

The Blues have kept 21 clean sheets against Tottenham in the Premier League, but this weekend's London derby might be the time to take any Chelsea defenders out of your team.

The tide is changing in this fixture and Mauricio Pochettino's side have won three of their past seven league games against Chelsea - as many as they had won in their previous 49 top-flight games against them (W3 D18 L28).

Sarri's side have won only two of their past 12 matches at Spurs in the league, although they did claim three points in this fixture last term with a 2-1 win.

If you decide to remove Chelsea defenders, you might want to think about bringing Tottenham's Dele Alli in the other direction - the England midfielder has scored five goals in his past four games against the Blues.

Wilson's bubble shows no signs of bursting

Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson is in fine form after opening his international account on his England debut against USA at Wembley earlier this month.

The 26-year-old has seven goals in all competitions for the Cherries this season, although he drew a blank in his last outing - a 2-1 defeat by Newcastle at St James' Park.

However, if you were tempted to drop him from your squad, you might want to think again.

On Sunday, Bournemouth face Arsenal, a side Wilson has scored against in all three of his Premier League appearances.

It has been quite a season for the forward - and it could get even better.

Premier League top goalscorers (2018-19)
Sergio Aguero8
Eden Hazard7
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang7
Raheem Sterling6
Callum Wilson6
Mohamed Salah6
Harry Kane6
Anthony Martial6
Glenn Murray6
Sadio Mane6

Ings to spoil Ranieri's welcome party?

Manager Mark Hughes is under pressure at Southampton. The Welshman helped the club avoid relegation last season but they are now one place above the relegation zone after 12 games, just one goal better off than 18th-placed Cardiff City.

With Saints playing bottom side Fulham this weekend, their striker Danny Ings could be a cost-effective choice, having been directly involved in 63% of Southampton's eight goals this term (four goals and one assist).

However, the 26-year-old might be reduced to an impact role off the bench because he is yet to fully recover from the injury which forced him to limp off against Watford before the international break.

Fulham have lost their past six top-flight matches and, with 31 goals conceded, have the worst defence in the league.

The Cottagers have not beaten Southampton at home since 2004, but Claudio Ranieri - who guided Leicester City to their remarkable title win in 2016 - is now at the helm. Will his appointment give Fulham just the boost they need to kick-start their campaign?

Everton favourites to overcome Bluebirds

Cardiff City have not beaten Everton in a league game since 1956 - so it might be time to stock up on Toffees players.

The Bluebirds have scored fewer away goals than any other side in the top four English leagues this season (two), so Everton defenders Michael Keane, Yerry Mina, Lucas Digne and Seamus Coleman could be sensible choices at the back.

But it is players at the other end who could rack up big points.

Brazilian Richarlison has scored the most goals for Everton in the top flight (six), while Gylfi Sigurdsson (five) has offered valuable support.

Gylfi Sigurdsson in action for Everton
Gylfi Sigurdsson has scored six goals for Everton this season

The Iceland midfielder has been directly involved in more league goals than any other Toffees player (nine goals, five assists) since his move from Swansea in August 2017.

However, if you're feeling maverick and fancy going against the form book, why not take a look at Cardiff defender Callum Paterson, who has scored in three of his past four Premier League games?

For the Bluebirds, the best form of defence could well be to attack.

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