With the international break offering a brief period of respite from the hectic schedule of the Premier League, fans all over the country will have to get their football fix from elsewhere. Whether it’s watching the Nations League qualifiers, enjoying video slots in a responsible gaming environment or taking stock of their options for their fantasy team once the Premiership resumes, there’s still plenty to get your teeth into.
Regarding that last particular diversion, the international break is a great time for managers unhappy with their squads to play their wildcard. Not only will they have two whole weeks to benefit from any price rises as players are shipped in and out by the FPL community, but they can also tweak their selection according to performances and injuries in the interim. For those looking to undertake major surgery on their squad, a star striker is a must-have: but which to choose?
Aguero and Auba leading the pack
When it comes to slightly more affordable strikers, this season has offered up some interesting options in the shape of Teemu Pukki, Tammy Abraham, Ashley Barnes and Wesley. However, any top fantasy team worth its salt should pack at least one high-profile forward to ensure maximum returns, and with Harry Kane’s Tottenham faltering in recent weeks, the only options worth considering for the role are Man City’s Sergio Aguero and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Aguero is currently joint top scorer (with Abraham on eight goals) and consistently finds the net, making him one of the safest bets in the league. City also have three eminently winnable games on the horizon (Crystal Palace away, followed by Aston Villa and Southampton at home), all of which offer the potential for big returns for the Argentine. And having been left out of the current national squad, he won’t feature in Argentina’s games against Germany and Ecuador, making him likely to be fresh and chomping at the bit. On the other hand, it seems no one is safe from ‘Pep Roulette’ and Aguero could easily find himself benched for one or more of those games, infuriating countless FPL managers in the process.
Aubameyang, meanwhile, is only one goal behind his rival on seven for the season. He has also played every minute of every league game so far (Jamie Vardy is the only other striker to have done so in the league) and finished joint top scorer with Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah last season. Perhaps most attractively of all, Arsenal have a mouth-wateringly winnable set of games coming up: according to the FPL Difficulty Ratings, none of Arsenal’s next eight opponents score higher than three. As the focal point of that attack, Aubameyang is sure to be amongst the goals over the coming two months.
The Gabonese gets the nod
It’s that attractive run of games, alongside Aubameyang’s apparent undroppability, which makes him that much more desirable than Aguero. Factor in a £1.2 million price differential in the Gabonese’s favour and it’s clear that astute managers looking to get the most bang for their buck should plump for the Arsenal striker ahead of his Man City counterpart. In fact, given that advantageous set of fixtures, managers might even want to double or triple up on their Emirates contingent by throwing Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos or even David Luiz into the mix as well.
That being said, Aguero fans are unlikely to come away empty-handed from the next few weeks in the Premier League schedule. When he’s fit, they seldom do. However, those looking to load up their squad with players from the reigning champions might be best advised to look elsewhere. Ederson remains perhaps the only sure bet in their starting eleven, while their defensive injury woes mean that Nicolas Otamendi is also a guaranteed starter at the moment. If Kevin de Bruyne can shake off his injury, the assist-merchant also represents serious value for money.