We take a look at a few goalkeepers and defenders who could be key to their club’s fortunes in the upcoming weekend in the Premier League.
Our attempt in this series will be to focus on key players heading into each gameweek of the Premier League. For the present one, we have decided to exclude the Chelsea vs Manchester City matchup, since it is a cup final and not part of the actual league calendar.
Let us dive straight into the thick of things.
Alisson Becker – Liverpool
A player we will not recommend you to make a part of your FPL team. But, all eyes will be on the Brazilian when Liverpool take on Manchester United on Sunday. While Liverpool won the last bout between the two teams 3-1, it was Alisson’s gaffe that allowed United to level the scores at one point of time.
Alisson himself will be aware of the magnitude of the game, with the prospect of regaining the lead in the title race at hand. The Manchester United attack has been on song recently, barring the PSG dud. Chances are bound to be created by the Red Devils and it will be up to the Brazilian to ensure he keeps his goal safe.
Victor Lindelof – Manchester United
Like Alisson, Victor Lindelof has his own share of nightmares from the first half of the season, when the player had several errors to his name. He has become a monumental presence at the back now for Manchester United, under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. But, this will be the litmus test for him as regards to how far he has come and whether he can be a reliable long-term option for United.
He has passed all his recent tests with flying colours and it will be interesting to see just how he fares against a Liverpool attack that is likely to consist of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, with the added flavour of Xherdan Shaqiri every now and then.
Jamaal Lascelles – Newcastle United
Now, this is a name that you can pick for your FPL team as well, if you haven’t already. Newcastle United will be up against a patchy Huddersfield side that are staring down the relegation barrel, with just 11 points notched up so far.
The Magpies will be aware they have been dragged back into the relegation battle and are in need of a win on Saturday in order to put some distance between themselves and the relegation zone.
Shkodran Mustafi – Arsenal
Southampton have earned a new lease of life under Ralph Hasenhuttl. While they have seeped back into the danger zone, the Saints will have form on their side when they face Arsenal on Sunday. The Gunners’ last clean sheet in the league came in the 2-0 win over Chelsea and they will be wary of the opportunity of potentially creeping back into the top four, if the Manchester United result goes their way.
Shkodran Mustafi has somewhat managed to return in Unai Emery’s good books and is a regular name
Daryl Janmaat – Watford
Cardiff City have become a scary proposition. With Watford now going to Wales to face the in-form side, Daryl Janmaat will be absolutely key to his side’s fortunes, both defensively and otherwise. Cardiff will be looking to attack Watford through the wings and Janmaat will have to be wary of the threat posed by Callum Paterson & co.