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Must-have pick – Eden Hazard
I recommended the Belgium international as an essential pick last week and I can’t look beyond him again for this Saturday. Eden Hazard demonstrated his attacking capabilities against a Newcastle United team in which he scored a brace and registered nine shots on goal.
Despite not starting in the league until Gameweek 7, he has now been directly involved in 25% of Chelsea’s Premier League goals for this season. He has been integral to their recent form during which they have won six of their last seven league games.
Chelsea are averaging more than two goals per game on the road. Their next opponents are West Ham at the London Stadium. The Hammers have conceded 11 goals in six games at home. Expect Hazard to take full advantage of West Ham’s defensive frailties.
Comeback pick – Roberto Firmino
Prior to last weekend, Liverpool’s lead striker had only scored one goal in his last 10 league appearances. During this time, his teammates had scored 20 goals between them. Roberto Firmino addressed this run of poor form with a brace against Brighton and Hove Albion.
He carried this momentum into Liverpool’s midweek Champions League game by scoring again and assisting another. Since August he has scored five league goals from 13 shots on target. I have no doubt that he will score more in the weeks’ ahead. In fact, he has a good opportunity to add to his tally in the Merseyside derby.
Liverpool may be facing a rejuvenated Everton team, but the Toffees have conceded almost two league goals per game on average. There should be enough opportunities for Firmino to continue causing problems in this fixture too.
Differential pick – Mamadou Sakho
Crystal Palace are unbeaten in their last four league games. This is in no small part due to Mamadou Sakho’s influence. He has helped them attain two clean sheets in their last two games and even scored a goal a few weeks back.
From a defensive perspective he has an 89% tackle success rate this season in the Premier League and has made 54 clearances. Under Roy Hodgson, he has become a linchpin to Crystal Palace’s defence. With this synergy, Bournemouth will struggle to score against them this weekend.
In fact, the Cherries have only scored four away goals this season. Expect Sakho to put in another important performance as Crystal Palace seek another win that will push them further away from the bottom of the table.