Mesut Ozil, Harry Kane, and N'Golo Kante can shine during opening weekend

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Football News

August is an edgy time in the Premier League calendar.

The new season is set to get underway, but with the transfer window yet to slam shut, most clubs still aren't quite sure exactly how their squad will look by the end of it.


With some huge deals already done, plenty of new signings will be hoping to impress over the first weekend of action since May.

Teaming up with fantasy football product DraftKings, we take a look at some of the key battles that could decide the opening day fixtures.

N'Golo Kante vs. Mark Noble (Chelsea vs. West Ham)

There's always only going to be one winner here. N'Golo Kante will make his competitive debut for Chelsea and we've no doubt he's going to run the midfield for Antonio Conte's side.

Mark Noble was one of West Ham's brightest sparks as they finished sixth last season and he'll want to continue that form. Old boss Sam Allardyce's appointment as England manager can only aid his chances of a Three Lions call-up, so he'll be really pushing for that in the coming months.

The big fantasy statistics for this pair are two that frequently go under the radar – interceptions (worth +0.5 fantasy points) and tackles won (+1 fantasy point). The words 'interception' and 'Kante' are basically interchangeable now anyway, so it's obvious who's the better choice.

Click here to select N'Golo Kante. 

Romelu Lukaku vs. Harry Kane (Everton vs. Tottenham)

Players score +10 fantasy points per goal on DraftKings, so last season's Golden Boot winner Harry Kane is a solid choice.


Kane spent the last term defying those who had called him a one-season wonder, but he's got to prove his doubters wrong all over again after his displays at the Euros.

He definitely won't be on corner kicks this time, so he can capitalise on Everton's shaky defence by grabbing a goal, assuming Ronald Koeman hasn't had time to perfect it just yet.

As for Lukaku, his future remains uncertain. Some centre forwards would take the opportunity to put themselves in the shop window, but the way the Belgian striker went off the boil after March suggests he might not be scoring regularly again until he gets his move.

On the final day of last season, he earned 2.8 fantasy points, compared to a year-long average of 10.8, so that tells you everything about how his mood can harm his game.

Click here to select Harry Kane. 

Mesut Ozil vs. Georginio Wijnaldum (Arsenal vs. Liverpool)

Liverpool may have splashed out on their new midfielder, but it's up to the Dutchman to prove they haven't overpaid. It's going to be hard for him to outshine Ozil, though, as the German playmaker is set for another year as ‘King of Assists’, with each one earning fantasy managers +6 points.

To put the two players in perspective, Wijnaldum got five assists last term, while Ozil racked up 19.

Nonetheless, Wijnaldum was one of the few Newcastle players to impress despite their relegation and also scored two in four for the Netherlands in their international friendlies this summer. Arsenal have a ridiculous number of players missing, with their defence seemingly in turmoil. 

The Gunners won't want to lose the ball or else Wijnaldum can add to the 11 goals he scored last season. For overall contribution, though, Ozil's the man here, particularly as Liverpool have their own defensive crisis to deal with.

Click here to select Mesut Ozil.

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Premier League
Romelu Lukaku
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