We start off these predictions with a selection that I am not all that comfortable with. Without a shadow of doubt, the strongest two goalkeepers this week both came from La Liga, but as we know, EA are very unlikely to feature both, and with the lack of Premier League players included so far, I believe we could see Pickford sneak in. Everton edged out a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday, and while Pickford only made 3 saves, his penalty save to deny Palace the lead, is arguably the foundation that they built upon to win the game.
France is our next stop, where we find Lyon playing hosts to Nimes for their Ligue 1 fixture. The game itself was fairly straight forward, as the hosts went on to secure a comfortable 2-0 victory. Usually EA tend to look for a goal from their nominated defenders, ignoring many other stats, but with the lack of players fitting this criteria, Marcelo with a clean sheet and an assist has a great chance of making the cut.
Dortmund continued their incredible start to the season with another win, and another game where they simply couldn’t stop scoring. They brushed aside Stuttgart 4-0 on the day, with goals from the usual suspects of Reus, Alcacer and Sancho. Piszczek however is the man who makes our list, with a clean sheet and an assist to his name, it may just be enough to see him make the final cut.
Defenders were extremely difficult to narrow down this week, as most of the stronger performances came from lower tier games, and we all know how EA love to include a variety of players from the top tiers of international football. Luis is definitely a stretch here, and if we see EA take this route there are a whole handful of La Liga full backs who secured a goal for their side. Atletico only managed a 1-1 draw against Villarreal on the weekend, and while the goal for Luis goes massively in his favour, the lack of a clean sheet is what really disheartens me.
Manchester City continued their domination this week, with yet another huge 5-0 win at home to Burnley. When it comes to selecting the inform however, things get a little tricky as there are simply so many possible candidates. Mendy with a clean sheet and an assist, Silva with 2 assists, or even Mahrez with a goal and the highest rating on the pitch. However, for Fernandinho to maintain the clean sheet, score and provide an assist, it simply becomes too much to ignore.
Over to the Chinese Super League now, where we could possibly see yet another superstar enter the inform race. We have already seen upgrades for Talisca and Hulk this year, by adding Paulinho we are going to be seeing some disgusting hybrids featuring all three! Guangzhou Evergrande brushed aside Beijing Renhe with a comfortable 6-1 victory on Saturday, and while there are plenty of nominations to choose from, the fact that Paulinho provided a goal, assist and man of the match, is enough for us to put his name forward.
We remain in Germany here, for yet another possible Bundesliga selection. Gladbach were comfortable winners over Mainz on the weekend, picking up a 4-0 win and ensuring they took all the points from the match. Now on any other week, Hofmann scoring a hat-trick from a central midfield role, would be an absolute lock, but due to his recent inform, we are forced to look elsewhere. Hazard on the wing was incredible on the day, scoring once and assisting a further two, while picking up an almost perfect match rating along the way.
Over to Italy now, where Atalanta made easy work of Chievo, as they picked up a 5-1 away win. There were some incredible performances across the team, however only one possible selection when it came to these predictions. Ilicic played out on the wing, and scored not once, not two, but three goals, to secure his hat-trick and help his team lock up the points.
Across to the Premier League again here, where Manchester United were away to an unbeaten Chelsea. With just seconds left in the match, it really looked like United were finally going to pick up some crucial points this season, however true to their form, a 90th minute equaliser found its way into the mix. Martial however had been substituted by this point, and with the 2 goals that initially gave United the lead, he has every chance of making this weeks predictions.
PSG seem to be firing on all cylinders again this year, and they once again showed their dominance with a 5-0 win over Amiens. With the goals split evenly across 5 players, picking a nomination for this match becomes incredibly tough. It is likely to feature a coin flip between Marquinhos who provided a goal alongside his clean sheet and Di Maria, who provided 2 goals and wrapped up the man of the match award. We have opted to go with Di Maria here, but don’t be surprised to see it fall the other way!
Our final spot in the starting eleven goes towards a superstar, one of the greatest strikers in the world, and the second Polish player to make the cut. Bayern were 3-1 winners over Wolfsburg on Saturday, and with Lewandowski playing a part in all the goals, bagging 2 himself and providing an assist for the third, it seems like this guy is a lock.
Substitutes and Reserves
Onto the substitutes now, where we head across to Spain for some Friday night football. Deportivo Alaves were on the road to Celta Vigo for this match, and despite picking up the points in a 1-0 win, things were far from smooth sailing on the day. Celta Vigo bombarded the opposition with shots, possession and control, however Pacheo, the hero between the sticks, pulled off save after save to ensure the clean sheet remained and that his side took the points.
SPAL were away to Roma for their fixture on Saturday, and in a game that provided plenty of unexpected twists, it was the visitors who took all the points. Despite getting their goalkeeper sent off, and going down to 10 men, SPAL held on to secure the points and maintain a clean sheet. Bonifazi was a man who played a massive part in both of these achievements, scoring once and dominating at the back.
Excelsior were 2-0 winners over Vitesse on the weekend, and there was only one man who could reach these predictions from the match. Mattheij put in a fantastic defensive performance throughout, and when we also add the goal he scored into the mix, he has to be in with a shout for an upgrade this week.
PSV have been a team in form so far this season, securing some massive wins and scoring for fun. This weekend was no exception, as they obliterated FC Emmen 6-0 at home. Now a lot of people will be expecting to see Lozano, who secured a goal, 2 assists and a perfect rating, however with his first inform still fresh in people's minds, there is a good chance EA look elsewhere for this selection. Jong up top scored twice, but our selection goes with Pereiro in midfield, scoring 2 himself and dominating the match throughout.
It feels like this could be a big week for Bundesliga fans, with a whole heap of possible informs and nominations. Werder Bremen were away to Schalke for their fixture on Saturday, and during a 2-0 victory, Eggestein was the superstar on the pitch. Dominating the midfield throughout, and scoring both the goals, this is usually more than enough for a midfielder to make the cut.
Next up we see the first of three MLS players to make this week's predictions, and if we are honest and a mixture of players wasn’t required, we could have very well seen a few more sneak in. Seattle were away to Houston for their weekend fixture, and in a game that provided 5 goals, it was the guests who took the points in a 3-2 win. Now, Lodeiro may not have scored, but he was the man behind each and every goal, providing 3 assists and the man of the match award too.
Thursday saw the return of domestic football with the MLS, with a match between Vancouver and Kansas City. It was all one way traffic on the day,with the visitors picking up an extremely comfortable 4-1 victory. Salloi was a man in form, scoring twice and terrorising the oppositions defence from start to finish.
It's rare that a match provides us with two players, who achieve perfect ratings, however when Frankfurt obliterated Fortuna Dusseldorf on Friday, this is exactly what went down. Haller was incredible on the night, securing 2 goals and 2 assists, a performance that would secure his position on almost any other week, however with not one, not two, not three, not even four, but five goals, Jovic is a certainty here.
Moving on from a match where the striker scores 5 was always going to be tough, and while Sala didn’t quite hit these highs, his performance is equally as deserving of an inform card this week. Nantes were comfortable 4-0 winners over Toulouse on the weekend, and Sala was the man behind 3 of these goals, securing his hat-trick, and alongside it his place within our predictions.
Anderlecht were at home to Cercle Brugge for their match on Sunday, and in a game that provided the viewers with 6 goals, it was the hosts who took the points in a 4-2 win. Dimata was a man possessed on the day, locking up his hat-trick and securing his spot amongst our predictions.
Over to the Danish Superliga now, where FC Midtjylland were away to FC Nordsjaelland. In case you haven’t guessed the recurring pattern with most of the strikers, it seems to be that you need at least a hat-trick to make the cut this week, a feat accomplished by Onuachu. Scoring three times to lock up the points for the visitors in a 4-1 win, this man makes the short list and could be on track for a fairly large upgrade too.
We wrap up these predictions with a man who has constantly just missed out on an inform week after week, and with the MLS heading towards a close, I cannot in good faith accept that fact that he may not receive one. DC United were 3-1 winners over New York FC on the weekend, and while Rooney may have only scored twice, including once from the spot, the constant success and form of this man cannot go ignored. With a week that appears to be fairly quiet with superstar strikers, could this be his chance to make the cut?