If there’s one thing I didn’t mind about the international break, it was a welcome rest from messing around with my Fantasy Premier League team. Here we are though, recharged and ready for game week five. Last time out, I scored 44 which was bang on the average of 44. What a time to be alive.
My ranking tumbled to 691,177th which can’t be construed as good even from the most positive of people. Still, it’s early days, a marathon not a sprint and yes, the early bird catches the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese and I am feeling very mousey about the week ahead. Worst intro ever? Let’s look at some football fixtures.
I am more than familiar with the term “peaking too soon” and so too is this weekend. We kick off with Tottenham vs Liverpool, a heavyweight clash and a fine way to start us off. We are here to talk about FPL though and in many ways, this is a pain in the backside.
Dele Alli is out for Spurs which should at least secure the starting berth for Lucas Moura, who is making an early play to be this season’s bargain, whilst Lloris is still out so expect to see Vorm in goal again.
It’s a game where I can’t pick a winner which makes suggesting any FPL players a bit tricky, I’d say if you have the likes of Salah, Robertson, Mane, Eriksen, Trippier and other certain starters then keep a hold of them, but don’t go out and get them especially for this game.
There are, however, points to be had elsewhere. Man City host Fulham in what looks like a goal fest. Fulham are a fun team to watch but they don’t seem the type to shut up shop, nor are they capable of doing so. Aguero seems a solid bet, whether he is paired with Jesus again or Pep shuffles the pack, don’t even try and guess.
What’s important though is that neither has been on International duty and with David Silva also having had two weeks off, they’ll be raring to go. The enigma that is Leroy Sane now has the added chaos of a baby (congratulations Leroy) but their multitude of options remain a headache for FPL managers everywhere.
Chelsea host Cardiff in another one side looking content, Eden Hazard has been in exceptional form for Belgium and it’s hard to look past him contributing towards a Chelsea win on Saturday. Marcos Alonso remains a “must have” from left-back, as he seems intent on playing more like a centre-forward, whilst Willian and Pedro continue to scrap it out for the other wide role.
Arsenal are at Newcastle and we are still unsure of either team’s credentials this season. All we’ve learned so far is that Newcastle aren’t as good as Tottenham, Chelsea or Man City whilst Arsenal seem quite adept at scoring against weaker sides but are still a bit of a soft touch. In summary, Arsenal attacking options are good, but don’t rush for their defenders.
That leaves Man Utd, who responded to their crisis with a convincing win over Burnley an eternity ago. Romelu Lukaku is finding form after two goals in that match followed by scoring in both of Belgium’s games. With Rashford banned, he has even less competition for places. However, a trip to Watford will be an interesting game. The Hornets have a 100% record to protect and it won’t be straightforward for Mourinho’s men. There’s still a huge question mark over the defence and the bargain Luke Shaw’s place is under threat following a concussion sustained on England duty. We need another break.
On paper, Bournemouth have a wonderful set of fixtures ahead which makes Callum Wilson a potential bargain at £6.2m. He does, however, appear to have lost penalty duties to Josh King who will set you back £6.4m, a marginal increase. Crystal Palace also seem to have a decent run of games and now with Benteke out the way…perhaps that’s cruel, but Wilf Zaha (£7m) is hoping to be fit for the trip to Huddersfield this weekend and beyond. Aaron Wan-Bissaka had a bit of a shocker against Southampton but as he’s mega cheap we’re all hoping he keeps his place.
Their fixtures coming up are a bit of a nightmare but I would feel I had let you down if I didn’t mention that Danny Ward is a £4.5m in the FPL game but started up front (and scored) for Cardiff last time out.
Take your pick – Aguero or Hazard? Aguero has had a rest whereas Hazard has the form. Both have European commitments in midweek but I doubt Hazard will play in the Europa League. Still, it’s hard to separate them for this weekend. Right now I’m considering spending four points to bring Hazard in (I’ll explain later) and I prefer to have a midfielder as captain – more points for goals, the potential clean sheet point and so on, but on the other hand if Aguero pops he really pops.
Last week was poor but all three of my “premium defenders” contributed an assist, so maybe my plan will work. It will need more from my attacking outlets though. We’ve come back from International duty with three doubts – Coleman looks definitely out, Walcott seems unlikely whilst Zaha they seem optimistic on. Ho hum.
Begovic, Mendy, Robertson, Alonso, Wan-Bissaka, Salah, Silva, Walcott, Aguero, Wilson, Zaha. Subs: Coleman, Neves, Hughes, Fabianski.
So my plan…I can afford to bring in Hazard for Silva if I sell Coleman for any £3.9m defender. I say any, there are three options and none of them play. But frankly, I don’t care. If Walcott misses out we have Neves. If Zaha is out we have…Will Hughes. It could be worse. Honest.
Sometimes the games after the International break are a bit hit and miss. But on the face of it, it looks like a points fest. I can’t wait to find out how wrong I am. Whatever you choose to do, I wish you luck and may all your arrows be green.
Until next week…