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Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 5

Preview
The conclusion of the first international football window of 2019/20 means the return of the Premier League, and a round of fixtures that begins when first-placed Liverpool host Newcastle. Elsewhere on Saturday afternoon, Manchester United host Leicester, Tottenham welcome Crystal Palace and Chelsea visit Wolves, while Brighton host Burnley, Southampton visit Sheffield United and, in the late game, Norwich welcome champions Manchester City.

On Sunday, Quique Sánchez Flores’ second reign as Watford manager begins when Arsenal visit Vicarage Road, while Everton travel to Bournemouth. Finally, on Monday night, Aston Villa host West Ham. That’s a lot of competitive fixtures and some difficult tests for many of the division’s leading teams – and that means a difficult fantasy week to predict…

Captain’s pick

Manchester City’s main goal threat already has six Premier League goals this season – and that is likely to increase this weekend against Norwich, who carry an attacking threat but are vulnerable in defence. Nine of the 11 goals they have so far conceded have been scored from the centre of their penalty areas.

The £12.1m Agüero’s predatory instincts in that range therefore make him a probable goalscorer. His ability to find space between opposition defenders and anticipate where the ball is likely to be played (above) means he can be expected to capitalise on Saturday afternoon.

Value pick

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Harry Wilson has made a promising start to his loan spell at Bournemouth, making him their second highest points-scorer, behind namesake Callum, so far. Establishing himself as one of the wingers in Eddie Howe’s current 4-4-2 shape, he has already contributed two goals.

Wilson costs a modest £6m but is a set-piece specialist – witness his superb strike in his side’s 3-1 home defeat by Manchester City – who could take advantage of opponents Everton’s propensity to concede fouls in dangerous areas. He is also capable when shooting from distance, as shown by his goal against Aston Villa (above), and may be gifted space behind full-backs Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne, both of whom regularly look to advance.

Medium-term club watch

Villa have had a difficult start to the season, taking only three points from a maximum of 12, but in their next five fixtures they meet West Ham, Arsenal, Burnley, Norwich and Brighton. Their results from that run will likely do much to determine whether they succeed in preserving their newly regained Premier League status.

Midfielder John McGinn offers a goal threat (above) and represents good value at £5.6m, while £4.5m defender Tyrone Mings also looks likely to prove his fantasy worth over the course of the season.

Both will be crucial if they are to overcome Manuel Pellegrini’s visitors to Villa Park on Saturday afternoon.

Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 5

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