However, let's start with the Erling Haaland corner of our weekly previews because that's what the section about who to captain for the upcoming round should be called. There has yet to be a reason this season to strip the Norwegian of the armband, and although it's getting tedious, nothing changes in that respect in this round. Unlike many of the other players, Haaland is not complaining of any injury, and on top of that, he is playing at Wolves, who are not among the league's best. Nothing to ponder over.
It's time to go from club to club and look at the situation in each medical room. Injuries have been the main topic for all FPL players this week and the number of them is truly striking. Of course, the most important thing in all this is the health of the players, not the number of points they score. One dreads to think how bad things will get in this department looking at the number of games that appear on the Premier League teams' schedules.
Unfortunately, for the most part, we didn't get too much clarity about the health of players from their managers in the pre-match press conferences. Said conferences were held before the teams' Friday training sessions, and most of the coaches said, as usual: "XYZ is not fully ready to play, but we still have training, so we will see. We'll keep an eye on him and make a decision tomorrow". FPL players will therefore be forced to play roulette this weekend. Are you betting on red or black? Fit or injured?
Here are the most popular players in the game who are injury doubts for the next matches.
Bukayo Saka (8.7) - The Englishman limped off in the previous league game against Tottenham and was then missing from the squad for the League Cup encounter with Brentford. By Friday morning, he had not yet returned to training. Therefore, it seems that we can at most hope that he starts the match with Bournemouth on the bench. However, there is no concern about it being a serious injury, so there is no need to rush to sell him.
James Maddison (7.9) - The main conductor in Tottenham's team also left the North London Derby with a mild injury, but he has managed to train with the team since then. Given the importance of the upcoming game, a clash with Liverpool, him starting seems quite likely. If, in turn, he starts on the bench, he should come on in the second half.
William Saliba (5.2) - The injury-prone Arsenal defender complained of a contusion during the week, which ruled him out for the match against Brentford. "We will keep an eye on him and see tomorrow" - this phrase to FPL players provides almost no information. Saliba is the leader of the Gunners' defence, so Mikel Arteta will surely be keen to see him play, but if he is not ready, he will simply be rested over the coming weekend.
Sven Botman (4.7) - There was quite a story with the Dutchman last weekend. News leaked to the media that he was not in the team's squad for the away game against Sheffield United, but he had no known injury. It turned out that he had misplaced his keys and therefore missed the trip. He eventually arrived in Sheffield separately and played in his team's game. This time though he is complaining of a mild injury; Eddie Howe is unsure whether to play him, but FPL players should gamble on the Dutchman being in the starting XI for the match against Burnley.
Alexander Isak (7.6) - In Newcastle, injuries have started to spread like wildfire this week. Howe named more than half the squad in his press conference after the midweek win over Manchester City when talking about fitness issues - among them was Isak, who's a doubt. However, a similar thing can be said about his rival in the squad, Callum Wilson (7,8), so one of them is likely to play.
Ben Chilwell (5,6) - Here at least we have no doubts. Chilwell is out for a few weeks due to a muscle injury. This has been confirmed by Mauricio Pochettino, so if anyone has Chilwell in the squad, it is worth looking around for a replacement now.
As far as injuries to popular players are concerned, thankfully that's it. Remember that the colours in the game, which communicate a player's chances of playing, are simply taken from the words of their managers at press conferences. You can interpret them in your own way, and information saying a player has a 75% chance of playing is no great reference. Personally, I think we will see most of the players on the list above on the pitch at the weekend.
However, a few other players who are important from an FPL perspective definitely won't play. Nicolas Jackson (6.9) has absurdly already seen his fifth yellow card of the season so is suspended, Rodri (5.6) is too for an equally absurd but fully deserved red card and Evan Ferguson (6.0) is complaining of illness.
Who to buy?
As I do every week, I invite you to read the buying advice I give with my Czech colleagues.
Moussa Diaby (6.6) - In Aston Villa's squad, only Ollie Watkins (7.9) has a higher xG+xA rating than Diaby. However, the Frenchman is more effective in his tackles and has been the biggest threat to his team's rivals in the first few rounds.
Carlton Morris (5.5) - Who would have thought I'd recommend a Luton player again? A rather crazy plan, but it has an explanation. Morris is his team's only reliable scoring player as he takes penalty kicks, and Luton also play twice this Gameweek, which makes this left-field option something to think about. Just have a plan to get rid of him quickly afterwards.
Jarrod Bowen (7.1) - Not a popular option, but in the shadow of other stars Bowen has already scored four goals and had one assist this season. He will play against Sheffield United next, who let in eight goals last time out, and will then avoid the strongest opponents until Christmas.
Filip Novak (11Hacks chief analyst)
Abdoulaye Doucoure (5.5) - if you're not going to hold on to your Wildcard until the 19th round, you'll probably use it in the coming weeks. If so, it's worth looking around for short-term options. A week ago I recommended James Tarkowski (4.4), who then scored 14 points, and today we look again at Everton's squad. A year ago, Doucoure played in the central midfield position, but now he operates just behind the striker, as can be seen by his attacking numbers. In terms of xG and xA, he ranks at the level of Julian Alvarez (7.0), and Everton's next two games will be against Luton and Bournemouth.
Moussa Diaby (6.6) - Although Aston Villa will only have a really good calendar from the eighth round, their players will not be a bad choice in the seventh round either. In it, Unai Emery's team will play at home against Brighton. The Seagulls boast the second-best xG ratio in the league, but also only the twelfth-best defence in terms of the same indicator. Diaby has his place in Aston Villa's attack, he is the team's best creator, and the upcoming game should showcase his ability. At his price, he is a very valuable choice.
Matty Cash (4.8) - The Villans' right-back is one of the most offensive defenders of the current season. He has maintained a rate of 0.31 xG per game through the first six friendlies, a performance that many wingers in the Premier League would not shy away from. Cash has already taken 13 shots, including 10 on target, which have resulted in two goals. Aston Villa's calendar? Wolves, West Ham, Luton, Nottingham Forest, Fulham, Spurs and Bournemouth. Not so bad.
Radim Horák (one of the best Czechs playing in FPL)
Carlton Morris (5.5) - We have our first double Gameweek of the season ahead of us, but the only Luton and Burnley player I would be willing to sacrifice a transfer and spend money on is Morris. He scored a goal from a penalty and hit the crossbar in the previous round and Luton's results are starting to look promising. Next up for him are Eveton and Burnely, two beatable teams.
Anthony Gordon (5.6) - Following the injury to Harvey Barnes (6.4), the left-wing spot has opened up for Gordon. The Magpies will rotate the squad for the Champions League games, but the Englishman's playing minutes should increase. He already has two goals and three assists this season and his game is looking very good. He will play against Burnley in the next round and his schedule for the coming weeks is also encouraging. However, there is one downside - he already has four yellow cards on his record and will be suspended after another.
Abdoulaye Doucoure (5.5) - Here's a player that not even 1% of players have in their squad! Doucoure has scored two goals recently, plus against Brentford he hit the crossbar. In addition, he ranks second among midfielders in the entire league in terms of creating great chances on goal. If you are not afraid to take risks, this selection is for you.