This article is part of our FPL Best XI series.
Along with West Ham adding Manchester City to their impressive list of road victims that already included Arsenal and Liverpool prior to Gameweek 6, last weekend's round of the Premier League was headlined by Chelsea controversially defeating Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.
Reeling from that frustrating result, the Gunners are pitted with another tough away trip in Gameweek 7, as they visit the King Power Stadium to take on third-place Leicester City this Saturday.
In fact, Saturday's slate is jam-packed with eight matches, starting with an intriguing Manchester City at Tottenham tie.
The Citizens boast a bevy of top fantasy performers so far this season, but with favorable matchups elsewhere as well, let's dive into the Best XI for Gameweek 7.
Fresh off registering an uplifting eight saves in West Ham's win at mighty Man City last weekend, Adrian should return home full of confidence ahead of Saturday's match against Norwich City. Despite missing three games already due to suspension, Adrian has still tallied 18 saves, giving him a league-high average of six stops per match. That ability should come in handy this weekend, as Norwich's nine goals only trail three teams. Nonetheless, only two teams have secured more than West Ham's three clean sheets, a defensive record that could remain strong now that Adrian is back between the posts.
With Liverpool enduring rocky recent times, Saturday's home matchup against an Aston Villa outfit that has gone winless since the opening weekend is at least cause for encouragement. The Reds have held the Villains scoreless in two of their past four league meetings, and Villa failed to score at home last weekend, making a defender like Clyne a decent prospect for this round. While it's worth noting that Villa have not lost in their past four trips to Anfield, the pressure mounting on the men in Red should inspire more defensive focus to ease the burden on their toothless attack.
After starting the season with three straight clean sheets, Smalling and Manchester United have faced a trio of relatively difficult matchups – at Swansea City, home to Liverpool and at Southampton – but should find life easier this Saturday at home against Sunderland. Currently ranked last in the standings, the Black Cats have failed to score in their last two league outings and are averaging only 9.2 shot attempts per game, the second fewest in the Premiership. That certainly bodes well for Smalling, who not only helped blank Sunderland at Old Trafford last season, but is also the only member of the Manchester United defense to have played all 540 minutes this season.
The leading scorer on a Chelsea defense much maligned prior to last weekend's 2-0 victory over Arsenal, Azpilicueta now finally has a clean sheet to go with a goal and an assist this season. On the back of that semi-rebound, the Spaniard and his teammates travel this weekend to Newcastle, where Chelsea's unbeaten streak to begin last season ended. Fortunately for the Blues, the Magpies seemingly pose fewer problems this time around, as manager Steve McClaren's side currently sit 19th on the table and have scored a league-low three goals. Combined, those factors line up well for an encore clean sheet from Azpilicueta in Gameweek 7.
Along with Chelsea, Hazard seemingly kick-started his season by scoring against Arsenal last weekend. Surprisingly, that marked the first of goal the campaign for Hazard, who earned last term's Player of the Season honor. With that monkey off his back, the Belgian can now look forward to facing Newcastle, who he has scored four goals from Chelsea's past six games against. In abysmal form, the Magpies have lost three consecutive Premier League matches and were bounced from the League Cup on Wednesday with a home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday. Such futility from the opposition, and teammate Diego Costa's absence due to suspension, gives Hazard an even better opportunity to build a scoring streak this weekend.
Kevin De Bruyne
Hazard's countryman and former Chelsea teammate, De Bruyne scored his first career Premier League goal last weekend against West Ham, already proving more effective in his second stint in England. With new teammate David Silva sidelined, De Bruyne made his contribution from the coveted No. 10 role in Manchester City's setup, where he also played while scoring in midweek League Cup action at Sunderland. This comes after De Bruyne sensationally supplied 10 goals and 20 assists for Bundesliga side Wolfsburg last term. Such supreme service could prove fruitful this weekend when Man City visits Tottenham, an opponent the Citizens have dismantled for 16 goals in only their past four meetings.
Ranked second in points among midfielders on the Premier League's fantasy game, Payet has taken England's top-flight by storm, scoring three goals to go with two assists so far this season. Those totals include an assist at Manchester City last weekend and two goals against Newcastle the week prior, evidencing his impact in putting West Ham in third place. With a head full of steam, the French playmaker should relish this weekend's home matchup versus Norwich City, who have fielded the Premier League's third-worst defense thus far, conceding 10 goals. Additionally, the Canaries have failed to win 13 of the club's last 14 away matches in the Premiership.
Yet another marquee summer signing in this week's midfield, Memphis has gotten off to a comparatively slower start than De Bruyne and Payet, as he's yet to score through his first six Premiership appearances. However, that doesn't tell the Dutchman's whole story, since he has supplied three goals in Manchester United's Champions League schedule so far. Moreover, the 21-year-old recorded his first assist of the season last weekend at Southampton. With that bit of momentum, Memphis should be fired up for Saturday's visit from Sunderland, who have allowed a league-high 13 goals and surrendered four goals in cup play this week to Manchester City.
Sergio Aguero (C)
Although he has only scored once this season following last term's 26-goal haul, Aguero stands a chance of absolutely exploding on the fantasy scene this weekend. That's because, along with providing an assist in Gameweek 6 and scoring in midweek League Cup action, Aguero is gifted with a Saturday match against Tottenham, whose defense has endured nightmares against him in recent seasons. To that point, the Argentine scored all five of Manchester City's goals in two games against Spurs last season, which came after he scored three goals against them the year prior. With at least one goal in four straight tries against Tottenham, Aguero is undoubtedly this weekend's Best XI captain selection.
Aguero's cross-town No. 10 counterpart, Rooney has also yet to produce at his usual level this season, only holding one assist. However, with a home matchup against last-place Sunderland, the Englishman is another candidate to right the ship thanks to an awesome matchup. Not only did Rooney bag a brace against Sunderland when they visited Old Trafford last season, but heading into Saturday's latest away encounter, the Black Cats have conceded at least two goals in all three of their road matches in the league this season. Meanwhile, Man United have scored three goals in their past three domestic competitions, including this week's cup win over Ipswich, when Rooney notched United's opener.
After an unbelievable streak of scoring one goal in six straight Premier League games toward the beginning of last season, Sakho's final tally of 10 goals suggested he ran out of fuel. While that pattern may be something to watch for as the current campaign unfolds, he has once again started well, scoring two goals in West Ham's past three games. Tied for the Premiership's highest scoring team with 13 goals, the Hammers are led by Sakho's 14 shot attempts, which could climb further this weekend when he takes on Norwich City. As previously mentioned, the Canaries carry the league's third-worst defense, which contrasts with West Ham's third-best average of 10.5 shot attempts per game to seemingly set Sakho up for some scoring opportunities Saturday.
GK: Tim Howard
With three clean sheets and 24 saves, only West Brom's Boaz Myhill has outscored Howard at the goalkeeper position in the Premier League's fantasy game so far. Incredibly, neither player has allowed a goal on the road this season, which gives Howard the edge for this weekend's matchup at Myhill's West Brom.
DEF: Simon Francis
Although his team's road defense has been shaky, Francis is coming off his first clean sheet, which should provide a boost ahead of this Saturday's match at a Stoke City outfit that is winless so far and has failed to score in two of its past three league games.
MID: Yaya Toure
As discussed earlier, Manchester City's attack has destroyed Tottenham over the course of the past two seasons, which gives Toure a good chance to add to his current marks of two goals and two assists.
MID: Riyad Mahrez
The fantasy star of this season, Mahrez scored and assisted last weekend at Stoke to bring his totals to five goals and three helpers through six appearances. In such outstanding form, the Leicester attacker could capitalize on Arsenal being without key defensive-minded players Francis Coquelin (knee) and Gabriel (suspension) Saturday.
MID: Theo Walcott
Despite some defensive absentees, Arsenal's starting lineup is still expected to include Walcott at center forward, which delivers an uptick to his midfield-based fantasy stock, particularly since only three teams have allowed more goals than Leicester so far.
FWD: Odion Ighalo
A sleeper selection on the rise, Ighalo has scored three of his four goals this season in Watford's past two contests, which shapes up nicely ahead of Sunday's home date with Crystal Palace.
FWD: Romelu Lukaku
Returning to West Brom, where he spent the 2012-13 campaign on loan from Chelsea, Lukaku scored last season in his most recent visit to the Hawthorns, where Everton will aim to preserve their undefeated road record this season on Saturday.