Fantasy Premier League

The Premier League season resumes for game week 8 after the second international break of the season, and with it, millions of managers scrambling for bargain and differential assets while we take stock of the casualties and unavailable players after exertions all over the globe. 

Meanwhile, games in the early hours of Friday morning in South American World Cup qualifying means that a number of stars are set to miss out this weekend. 

Despite all the uncertainties and lineup changes expected in game week 8, FootballCastle offers tips for differential and captaincy picks ahead of Saturday’s deadline at 11:00 BST.

First, we begin with the shot-stoppers.

Betway Nigeria


Ederson (£6.0m) 

The Brazilian is a safe route into Manchester City’s supreme defence ahead of a good run of fixtures. After conceding only 42 shots – by far the lowest in the league – their stinginess at the back continues with leading statistics in most defensive categories including expected goals conceded and attempts conceded in open play.

Aaron Ramsdale (£4.6m)

Arsenal have kept three clean sheets and conceded just one goal for the best defensive record in the league since Gameweek 4. Since making his debut against Norwich, Ramsdale is the top-scoring keeper in FPL with 24 points before he faces Crystal Palace who have failed to score in two of three away fixtures in 2021/22.


Joao Cancelo (£6.2m)

In a bid to indulge in Man City’s watertight backline, Cancelo has caught the eye as he carries a threat going forward compared to the ever-present Ruben Dias.

The Portugal full-back has started every league game so far and his ability to play on both sides of the defence makes him a hot pick combined with his massive assists and clean sheets potential.

Matty Cash (£5.1m) 

The defender has been very impressive since Aston Villa switched to a back-three formation in Gameweek 4 where the 24-year-old has enjoyed plenty of attacking freedom as a wing-back. Cash thus netted his first Premier League goal last month against Everton and now ranks second for penalty area touches (18), joint-eighth for goal attempts (7), and joint-ninth for successful take-ons.

17 tackles won and 11 interceptions suggest the defender could be a nice deferential pick with real potential for returns at both ends of the pitch.

Shane Duffy

Shane Duffy (£4.3m)

Perhaps this season’s best bargain defender is the eighth-highest scoring defender so far having kept three clean sheets already. The giant centre-half has had more goal attempts (13) than any other defender and his well-balanced flow of points from both ends is perfect for game week 8 against bottom side Norwich.


Phil Foden (£7.9m)

The Young Player of the Year was impressive in back-to-back starts since his return from injury and a versatile performer should pick up plenty of minutes over the upcoming run of fixtures.

Foden showed he is truly back to his best during international duty for England and his quality and output means the 21-year-old is set to rake in attacking returns whenever he plays.

Emile Smith Rowe (£5.4m)

The Arsenal number ten is a budget player who delivers having scored once and assisted another this season.

Although he should have registered more attacking returns by now, the upcoming games against Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, Leicester, and Watford point to ESR catching up in FPL terms.

Mohamed Salah(£12.7m)

The Egyptian king has scored nine goals in nine outings in all competitions this term and delivered another double-digit haul against champions Man City in Gameweek 7. An average of a whopping 10 points per game makes Salah’s strong case as a permanent captain as he is fixture-proof and on penalties.

Liverpool are the top scorers so far this season and Salah has recorded 24 shots inside the box and created 18 chances as his 6 goals and 4 assists contribute a remarkable 60% goal involvement in his team’s goals.

Mo Salah
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 03: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates after scoring the second goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on October 03, 2021 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Game Week 8 opponents Watford will not be optimistic as the Liverpool man has scored eight goals in six Premier League matches against them.

Raphinha (£6.6m)

The tricky winger already has three goals this season but 24 goal attempts and 14 chances created suggest he’s ready to explode any time.

Raphinha’s quality, strong underlying numbers, and a glance at Southampton, Wolves, Norwich, and Leicester as upcoming fixtures will fill his owners with optimism. However, a bit of caution must be taken in GW 8 as the 24-year-old started and scored in Brazil’s game against Uruguay on Friday morning.

Andros Townsend (£5.6m)

Three goals and two assists this term certainly make for good reading, and the underlying numbers suggest he can continue to prove a spectacular differential at well under 10 percent ownership. 

The Everton winger ranks joint-top for shots on target (eight) and second for chances created among bargain midfielders, worth your trust against West Ham? Absolutely 


Jamie Vardy(£10.5m)

He continues to retain low ownership despite six goals for an underperforming Leicester side. Yet, Vardy is the second-highest-scoring FPL forward and is behind only Salah at the top of the Premier League’s scoring charts.

Man United have kept just one clean sheet in 10 games in all competitions this season and injuries to both Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane increase Vardy’s chances of increasing his 10 attacking returns in 11 matches against the ‘big six’ last season.

Raul Jimenez(£7.5m) 

Raul Jimenez

After scoring for the first time since his horrific, life-threatening skull injury in GW6, the Mexican followed up by setting up both of Hwang Hee-chan‘s goals against Newcastle.

A dig into the statistics threatens more to come with 15 shots inside the box and a league-topping 19 chances created among forwards. Jimenez offers multiple routes to points and could yet be available for Gameweek 8 despite a late return from the international break.

Romelu Lukaku(£11.7m) 

Despite consecutive blanks in the last three game weeks, lack of faith in the striker could prove fatal.

The Belgian is the standout captaincy choice for GW8 and is already in over 35% of FPL teams ahead of upcoming matches against Brentford, Norwich City, Newcastle, and Burnley. Chelsea have struggled to create enough chances for Lukaku in recent weeks but that ought to change with a decent run of fixtures.


Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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