The Bargain Bin has reopened its doors after an eventful and suspense-filled international break. The shelves here have been emptied of Romelu Lukaku now that he has become too expensive to be kept in our inventory. Hopefully you were able to pick him up at a bargain price before his value started to rise. However, that does not mean we are short of options here. There are still plenty of valuable players available at low cost, and they even included a couple of Lukakuís teammates.
Owners are beginning to see good return on their investment here, as last week saw Artur Boruc make seven saves en route to keeping a clean sheet. Also joining him in clean sheet territory were fellow teammate Jose Fonte and Fulham midfielder Pajtim Kasami. Also providing good value wasJose Enrique, who picked up an assist as well, giving him unexpected value from the defender position.
This week could see a bunch of tired players returning from international duty. Between that and the knocks that were picked up over the break, you may be looking for some cheap players to fill some rosters spots. If you find yourself in that situation, you have come to the right place. Here are the players featured in Week Eight of the Bargain Bin:
Tim Howard travels back across the pond after suiting up for the U.S. national team during qualifying. He was in goal for Team USAís win over Jamaica and got some rest for the match against Panama. Itís a good situation for Howard, as he was able to stay sharp during the layoff but was not over-worked prior to this Saturdayís match against Hull City. The Tigers have managed to score in only one of their three trips away from KC Stadium and face a stingy Everton squad looking to collect their third clean sheet at home this season. Hull City rank near the bottom in shots and shots on target while on the road and the lack of chances should help Howardís fantasy owners pick up some points by way of a clean sheet.
If itís good for Tim Howard, that must also mean itís good for Seamus Coleman. The clean sheet potential for Coleman is high this week, as was previously discussed. But beyond that, did you know that no other defender has more shots on target this season than Coleman? In addition, only three teams have allowed more shots to opposing defenders than Hull City this season.
Kieran Gibbs is the only defender for Arsenal to have featured in the Starting XI for all seven Premier League matches this season. Heís been a mainstay in the back line for a Gunnersí squad that have allowed just two goals in their last four home matches spanning all competitions. This week, they play host to a Norwich City team that have scored just one goal on the road this season. Gibbs should be plenty rested after being an unused substitute in both of Englandís qualifying matches during the break and will be ready to try and blank the Canaries when they come to town Saturday.
Manchester City have struggled on the road so far this season; they have yet to earn a win and have allowed an average of two goals in each of their away matches. This week they travel to West Ham to take on a Hammers squad that has found some success playing at home. West Ham are much better at creating chances in the friendly confines of Boleyn Ground and that is very apparent in Mohamed Diame. The midfielder has taken four shots in each of his home matches this season. Heís been the team leader in shots this season by a wide margin and there is no need to think that trend will stop. This week heíll get to take those shots on a visiting Manchester City squad with a goalkeeper that played in two high-stress international matches this past week.
Fulham hope welcome back injured goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg this week when they travel to Crystal Palace for a Monday evening showdown. Not only will Crystal Palace benefit from a raucous home crowd, but they will get to face a stale goalkeeper that allowed twice as many goals on the road compared to at home last season (although that was with AS Roma of Serie A). Regardless of the team, Stekelenburg wonít have much help in front of him, as no team in the Premier League has allowed more shots than Fulham, and no one on Crystal Palace has taken more shots in home matches than Jason Puncheon. The midfielder has taken an average of three shots per game in Palaceís home matches this season. This week he will face a Fulham squad that struggles to mark up players outside of the six-foot box and are regularly scored upon by opposing midfielders.
Wilfried Bony has been a different striker when he plays at home this season compared to when Swansea City travels. Heís averaging over 3.5 shots per game at home compared to 1.7 shots per game on the road. This week, Swansea City play host to Sunderland and Bony should continue to pepper the net against the team that has allowed the most goals so far in this Premier League season. Bony will be plenty rested when Swansea take the field, as his native Ivory Coast did not have World Cup qualification over the break, which should help him as Swansea look to improve upon their fourth-ranked goal scoring unit while playing at home.
Marko Arnautovic is new to the Premier League this season, so he may be new to you as well. The striker has spent the past seven seasons playing in the Netherlands, Italy, and Germany. Heís shown the ability to score and has had average to above-average conversion rates in all three leagues. Even though he has yet to score a goal in the four matches since joining Stoke City, that is likely to change if he continues to put shots on net at his current pace. Since making his Premier League debut four weeks ago, Arnautovic has averaged over three shots per game. In fact, while playing in just four games, he already leads the team in shots. What better week to get his first goal than when the Potters play host to West Bromwich Albion this week. West Brom have been without normal starting keeper Ben Foster since he sustained a stress fracture in his foot back in August. Boaz Myhill has filled in for the Baggies but has provided a much lower save percentage in the process. Arnautovic has a good opportunity to pick up his first Premier League goal Saturday.