Welcome to another week of FPL hell, the fourth round of Premier League games. After a promising start, things have already started to unravel. My week 3 score of 42 was well below the average of 50 and saw me take an enormous drop to 607,181st. Crikey. Can I find a solution to stop this slide? I’m reaching for the wildcard…but what are we up against this week?
There’s no “Clash of the Titans” this week but there are still plenty of headaches to navigate around. The weekend starts at The King Power, where Liverpool are the visitors. This game traditionally has seen plenty of goals and incident and even if Leicester are without Vardy, I don’t think they will change the way they approach the game. Roberto Firmino has been a little disappointing so far this season but Salah and Mane have contributed goals and assists to keep them as prime assets, whilst Andy Robertson is starting to look a must-have in defence.
The mystery over Chelsea’s assets is starting to clear up. Hazard’s return to fitness saw him take a prominent role in the win at Newcastle whilst Pedro got the nod over Willian. To be honest, you might as well just get Marcos Alonso. Sure, £6.7m is pricey for a defender but he’s practically playing left wing and his attacking returns so far are far greater than the likes of Pedro and Willian. So why not? It’s looking more and more like attacking fullbacks are the way forward this season in FPL. The Blues face Bournemouth on Saturday so, provided they avoid a repeat of January’s horror show, they will be confident of notching another win.
The evening kick-off is another promising one for points. Man City host struggling Newcastle and the Citizens boast a great record against the Magpies at the Etihad Stadium. Sergio Aguero in particular likes to fill his boots – Newcastle are the team he has scored the most league goals against including two hat-tricks. Elsewhere, Benjamin Mendy remains an attacking full-back whilst David Silva seems the least likely to be rested in the sea of rotation that is Man City’s midfield. As ever, tread carefully with Pep but surely it would even be beyond him to rest players heading into an International break.
Sunday lunchtime will see Neil Warnock’s Cardiff attempt to score a Premier League goal against visiting Arsenal. Cardiff have at least managed two consecutive 0-0 draws but they have not played opposition of Arsenal’s calibre yet and even with the defensive problems plaguing Emery’s side, it’s hard to see past an away win here. Can we rely on Arsenal for FPL points though? Bellerin (£5.5m) is getting forward plenty from full-back but Aubameyang is yet to score this season – surely it is only a matter of time? The midfield puzzle remains unsolved which makes most options a risk but Henrikh Mkhitaryan seems as good a pick as any at £7m.
Tottenham’s Lucas Moura is just £0.1m more expensive and found himself playing practically as a striker against Man Utd. If Pochettino keeps the same tactics for Tottenham’s trip to Watford it could be another lucrative day for owners of the Brazilian midfielder. Though Tottenham have so many attacking options it’s hard to pick one over any other without taking price into consideration. Alli and Eriksen both looked lively on Monday whilst Harry Kane has two goals in August now, finally putting that myth to bed once and for all. Watford have a 100% start to the season so it’s not an easy game for Spurs but you always expect them to score and they usually do.
Where do we even start with Man Utd? Humbled at home on Monday and now off to Burnley, who have not started well at all are struggling with the Thursday-Sunday arrangement. For that reason I expect Man Utd to win here but we might get a good idea of just how deep the Old Trafford crisis is. In terms of FPL picks, wow. Luke Shaw at left-back (£5m) seems to be getting a lot of praise which should at least secure his place in the team. But you would be a brave man to predict the team or formation at the moment.
Thanks to Richarlison’s stupidity everybody is reaching for the Theo Walcott emergency kit. He has started the season well and with Everton facing Huddersfield, it’s an easy swap to bring in the former Arsenal man. Everton’s fixtures remain favourable and Cenk Tosun (£7m) seems to have gone under the radar a bit as a striking option. There’s also a good argument for Mitrovic from Fulham, he’s in form and under £7m. Away to Brighton, this weekend will be a test of his credentials but Fulham like to attack and they play to the big man’s strengths.
Aguero loves playing against Newcastle so he’s getting my armband this week, though I think there’s also a good case for Hazard against Bournemouth as he completed 90 minutes against Newcastle and confirmed he still has penalty duties.
Wildcard ahoy! I’ve thought about this and I’m going for a change of tact from recent seasons where it’s been better to play 3-4-3 and front load with expensive midfielders and forwards. The value just hasn’t been there so far, whether it’s because of the World Cup or whether the pricing is just a bit harsh, I’m not too sure. I’ve decided it’s better to plump for attacking defenders based on the sample size of three weeks and will now sit back and wait for things to go wrong.
Draft wildcard team is currently:
Salah/Walcott/D Silva/Neves/W Hughes
I wanted an Everton defender in for the visit to Huddersfield which is why Coleman is in, he is not a long-term solution. The three premium midfielders are backed up by three fullbacks who spend most of their time in the opposition half, whilst Aguero and, Zaha are mainstays and Callum Wilson has a reasonable run of games after the International break. I await it biting me in the backside, but until then…I am full of confidence. Honest. Oh and there’s money in the bank too.
That’s it from me this week. You’ll have to wait two weeks to find out how badly this went wrong thanks to the International break. But whatever you decide to do, I wish you luck and may all your arrows be green.