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Fantasy EPL: Go with the Pep squad

Pep Guardiola has liked what he's seen from his Manchester City side so far this season. Fantasy managers should be just as elated. AFP/Getty Images

Liverpool going up against Leicester City is the standout fixture this weekend in the Premier League -- the final round of games before the October international break. Liverpool maintained its perfect start -- seven wins in a row -- with a 1-0 victory at Sheffield United last week. Leicester City sits third in the table, following their 5-0 thrashing of Newcastle. These two teams also share the best defensive record in the league, with both sides having conceded only five goals. While that's very impressive, it also means this matchup probably won't be great from a fantasy perspective.

The team sandwiched between them in the standings, Manchester City, is a heavy favorite at home against 13th-place Wolves. They've scored 27 goals already this season -- nine more than any other team. That's where my focus was when building my fantasy lineup this week. In fact, I'm planning to go with five Man City players when all is said and done.

Sergio Aguero did not start in last week's 3-1 victory at Everton and he may not start again versus Wolves, considering he played nearly the full 90 minutes in Man City's 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League on Tuesday. However, if Aguero does start, he'll be my Tier 1 forward and captain. Aguero remains the Premier League leader in both goals (8) and shots (27). He did not score against Dinamo Zagreb, but took a team-high four shots.

Additionally, Aguero probably should have had at least one penalty kick as former Premier League referee Peter Walton said Man City should have been awarded two penalties. Note that if Aguero does not start on Sunday, you'll still have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang available for a switch. Aubameyang is one goal behind Aguero, after scoring his seventh of the season in Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Monday.

Raheem Sterling did not start against Dinamo Zagreb, but was the man of the match nonetheless, scoring the opening goal and providing the assist on the other after coming on in the 56th minute. Sterling is tied for fourth in the Premier League in both goals (6) and shots (22). I'm planning to have him as my Tier 1 midfielder -- and there are other Man City options available if Sterling does not start.

David Silva is still available at Tier 2 midfielder. He only has one goal so far this season, but is tied for second in the league with four assists. He will probably shoulder more of the play-making responsibilities if Kevin De Bruyne remains out due to injury. I'm planning to have Silva in my lineup, as well as Nicolas Otamendi, who will be my Tier 1 defender. Otamendi is sixth in the league in passes completed, averaging 71.3 per game, including 163 total passes completed over the past two weeks. Man City leads the league in possession (62.3%), while Wolves rank just 16th (43.7%). Otamendi could post a huge passing total this week.

Finally, Ederson will be my goalkeeper. He's one of three keepers in the league with three clean sheets already. Plus. he's posted two clean sheets in Man City's first two Champions League matches. His team will have two extra days of rest, with Wolves having to play at Besiktas in the Europa League on Thursday.

Other picks

  • Callum Wilson, Bournemouth (Tier 2 forward): Wilson has now scored in four straight games. He also took six shots in last week's 2-2 draw with West Ham. Bournemouth is the underdog at Arsenal, but Arsenal has already conceded 11 goals this season. In terms of xG (expected goals) conceded, Arsenal has been the sixth-worst defensive team in the league at 13.33.

  • Luka Milivojevic, Crystal Palace (Tier 3 midfielder): Crystal Palace's opponents this weekend, West Ham, are even worse defensively than Arsenal according to the underlying numbers. They have conceded nine goals, but have an xG conceded total of 14.65, third-worst in the league. Milivojevic scored from the penalty spot last week, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Palace draw another penalty against this poor West Ham defense on Saturday.

  • Ben Godfrey, Norwich City (Tier 2 defender): Godfrey is 19th in the league in passes completed, averaging 50.6 per game. He is also tied for seventh in clearances with 37. That has led to consistently solid fantasy production, and Norwich City plays at home this week against Aston Villa.