Fantasy football advice: Week eight

Sports Mole highlights which players we feel would be the best and worst picks for fantasy football ahead of this weekend's Premier League action.

Yes everyone is pleased that England have secured their spot at next year's World Cup, but if we are being honest, we've all missed the Premier League, haven't we?

Thankfully, it returns this weekend, which will also mark the domination of fantasy football back into the thoughts of many people.

Our tips from last time did okay, with both Romelu Lukaku and Luis Suarez finding the net. Also, Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye put in an eye-catching performance against Cardiff City.

We also told you to avoid Julian Speroni and Chico Flores, who were part of teams that conceded three and two goals respectively.

So, as we look to improve upon our selections, below is who we believe will be worth adding and leaving out of your side this weekend.

Who to pick

1. Oliver Giroud: There was little doubt that Arsene Wenger was keen to add a striker to his squad during the summer - after all, he unsuccessfully chased the likes of Suarez, Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema. It had a positive impact on Giroud, though, who has responded to his manager's desire to replace him by scoring eight goals for club and country so far. On Saturday the Frenchman will no doubt fancy his chances against a Norwich City defence that has shipped nine goals in seven outings this term.

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrates with team mates after scoring the opening goal against Sunderland on September 14, 2013© Getty Images

2. Dwight Gayle: The 23-year-old may have struggled for goals during his first few weeks as a Premier League footballer, with only a converted penalty against Sunderland back in August to show for his efforts. However, last time out against Liverpool he scored his first goal from open play, which is bound to instill some confidence. On Monday evening Crystal Palace take on Fulham, who are not blessed with pace in defence - an accusation that cannot be aimed at Gayle. What's more, in terms of fantasy football prices, he will be a cheap acquisition.

3. Michel Vorm: Swansea City may have shipped eight goals at the Liberty Stadium this season, but they have faced Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal. This weekend they will play host to Sunderland, who have not exactly found goals easy to come by since the start of the campaign. They may have new manager Gus Poyet on board, but with Swansea expected to dominate possession, it's unlikely that the visiting Black Cats will carve out too many opportunities. For that reason alone, Vorm must be confident of keeping a clean sheet.

4. Oscar: While Eden Hazard and Juan Mata have endured spells on the bench, Brazilian international Oscar has been Jose Mourinho's star pupil since his return to Stamford Bridge. Although primarily an attacking midfielder, the 22-year-old has scored six goals for the Blues and Brazil so far this season. The fact that he looks to play in between the lines whenever possible makes him difficult to mark - a problem for Cardiff City this weekend. The Bluebirds have conceded nine goals already and last time out against Newcastle United they were particularly poor at the back.

Chelsea's Oscar celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Basel during their Champions League group match on September 18, 2013© Getty Images

5. Kieran Gibbs: The left-back's ability has never been in question, but in the past concerns over his fitness have been raised. The 24-year-old's 11 appearances so far this campaign suggest that he may have finally shaken off the injury-prone tag. While there is a fair chance that Arsenal will keep a clean sheet against Norwich, Gibbs is also a defender that likes to get forward whenever possible. With that in mind, an assist or even finding the back of the net is not out of the question.

Who to avoid

1. John Ruddy: The reasons as to why Giroud and Gibbs have been included above could also be used to explain why Norwich goalkeeper Ruddy finds his name on this list. The England international is rightly regarded to be one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League, but there can be no escaping Norwich's recent record away at Arsenal. From their last four trips to North London, the Canaries have returned to Norfolk having shipped 15 goals.

2. Jozy Altidore: When the American joined Sunderland in the summer, he spoke of his desire to prove himself following a disappointing spell with Hull City a couple of years earlier. It's not quite happened for him, though, having scored just once and that was during a League Cup tie against the MK Dons. His side will be up against Swansea in Wales, where opposition sides more often than not see less of he ball, which in turn means that goalscoring chances are few and far between. Also, new manager Poyet has hinted that Steven Fletcher may return from injury, which could relegate Altidore to the bench.

Sunderland forward Jozy Altidore in action against Fulham on August 17, 2013© Getty Images

3. Steven Caulker: The Cardiff defender is widely regarded to be one of England's brightest prospects, but he could well have his work cut out at Stamford Bridge. The hosting Blues have averaged two goals from each of their three home matches so far this season and they are heavily fancied to at least match those statistics when the Bluebirds visit.

4. Ricky van Wolfswinkel: Norwich fans can be forgiven for thinking that we have a bit of a vendetta against Mr Van Wolfswinkel. This is the third time in as many weeks that he has appeared on the 'avoid list'. To be fair to the Dutchman, he proved us wrong against Chelsea when he laid on an assist for Anthony Pilkington. This time, though, he is likely to be feeding off scraps against Arsenal. Add to that the fact that Gary Hooper could be given the nod ahead of him and once again it may well be beneficial to omit RVW.

5. Papiss Cisse: He may have burst on to the scene with a string of wonder goals towards the back end of the 2011-12 season, but since then the Senegal frontman has failed to replicate those heights. This season he is yet to find the net in the Premier League and looks to be a centre-forward bereft of confidence. The fact that he will come up against a Liverpool side that has had three shut outs in total to date will do little to boost his morale.

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Liverpool's Luis Suarez in action against Man United during their League Cup match on September 25, 2013
Read Next:
Fantasy football advice: Week seven

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