The FPL Gameweek 5 Snapshot!

Hello all! After what feels like a ridiculously pointless Interntional Break given what’s happening right now, domestic football is back!

It was a very weird GW4 with some freak results, which looking back now seems normal given other results that have been thrown up. Another week of data is in the books, and so we’re back to preview GW5!

As always, stats are courtesy of both Fantasy Football Hub and Fantasy Football Scout and the article focuses on:

  • Positional matchups, such as the wingers vs the fullbacks for FPL relevant players.
  • Fantasy Points Against and Player Form
  • Key stats, such as Shots, xG, xGC, Big Chances created by teams/conceded by teams
  • Saves, shots faced etc

Let’s dive in…

Everton vs Liverpool

Goalkeepers:

Jordan Pickford (£5m) isn’t a FPL asset in my opinion. Whilst Everton are hot right now, Pickford isn’t. I just don’t trust him. Also – and I dont want to be “That guy”, but as soon as it was announced that Adrian (£4.5m) was to start, I did predict that he’d be at fault for a goal and that Villa would get something out of the game. No one expected what happened next as little old Aston Villa completely turned The Champions over. He isn’t an FPL asset to consider as he is nowhere near the level of Alisson, but he did save 66% of the shots on target he faced when he had an extended run in the team last season. Essentially though, Liverpool’s back line will need to play differently with Adrian in goal as he isn’t a sweeper keeper. Check out the difference in average position:

Whilst you can see the centre backs are also playing deeper, this seemed to because of how much Villa were pressing. The high line could be punished if players can beat the Offside Trap. Liverpool will need to set up slightly differently whilst Adrian is in goal.

Defenders:

Interesting battle this week as the Dynamic Duo of Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) and Andy Robertson (£7m) come up against Seamus Coleman (£5m) and Lucas Digne (£6.1m) in what could be the game of the weekend. With Everton, a whopping 70% of their crossing comes from the left hand side, meaning TAA will have his work cut out dealing with both Digne and Richarlison. This does mean that there will be space in behind Digne, and this is shown by the fact 44 of the 72 crosses conceded by Everton have been down that flank. Going the other way, 60% of their crossing comes from Liverpool’s left hand side as well, so Coleman will need to be doing his utmost to stop the ball getting in. In respect to chances created, 34.6% of Liverpool’s are from their right hand side, and 48.1% centrally. So despite the high crossing on the left, most of the chances are actually created elsewhere. For Everton, 36.6% of their chances created come from their left hand side. Liverpool’s right flank appeared to be targeted by Aston Villa and if this is becoming a weak area, we could see this become common place. It’s also worth noting that of all Defenders, Trent has had the most shots, with 8. None on target, but it’s only a matter of time, right?! Robbo is joint top for shots in the box with 4. I wouldn’t come off the Liverpool wing backs just yet.

Midfielders:

This week I am extremely intrigued about where James Rodríguez (£7.8m) lines up. Against Brighton he appeared to play as part of a front 3, as players like Allan (£5.4m) and Andre Gomes (£5.5m) were missing. He had a great day at the office with 2 goals, 1 assist and max bonus. He’s looked sharp in all 4 games and although that’s not always turned into returns, he looks like he’s back to his best. Only Salah, Son and De Bruyne have played more key passes than him so far. Both Sadio Mane (£11.9m) and Mo Salah (£12.2m) should play after recovering from COVID-19 (Mane) and not being called up for International Duty (Salah). This should mean Liverpool’s front 3 are at full strength and as always these guys are hard to stop. Only Salah (19) has had more shots than Mane (13) for Midfielders, and Mane’s recent history against Everton is good, with a goal and 2 assists against The Toffees in the 5-2 win last season. This will only be Salah’s fourth appearance against Everton, with just 1 goal so far. They’ll hope to keep him quiet again this time around. With Thiago (£6m) also back, Liverpool will hope that he can help unlock an Everton defence that have conceded 5 goals. Only Aston Villa (2) and West Ham (4) have conceded less.

Forwards: Despite Roberto Firmino (£9.3m) bagging a brace for Brazil against Bolivia, I’d want to see more attacking returns from him before considering him in FPL. Dominic Calvert-Lewis (£7.6m) on the other hand is in scintillating form, with 6 league goals to his name already. Only behind Salah and Harry Kane for shots in the box, he’s being used as the “Fox in the Box” by Ancelotti, and to good effect. Richarlison (£7.9m) should be back in the line up after recovering from an ankle injury. Only 3 of his 14 shots have been on target to date, and with DCL coming in at a cheaper option, he’s one that won’t be making many squads right now.

Chelsea vs Southampton

Goalkeepers:

Edouard Mendy (£5m) is out of the game, after he sustained a thigh injury whilst on International Duty. This opens the door for Kepa (£4.8m) who simply isn’t an FPL asset right now. Southampton have only scored 5 goals but I wouldn’t be considering Kepa at all. Alex McCarthy (£4.5m) has now kept back to back clean sheets (after I sold him on Wildcard – you’re welcome guys) and also got max bonus in his last game. He’s a decent budget option but with Chelsea potentially getting the likes of Ziyech and Pulisic back for this game, he might be busy. Only Leeds, Liverpool and Spurs have had more shots on target than Chelsea, so this might be a prime spot for save points.

Defenders:

Ben Chilwell (£5.6m) got off to a flyer on his Chelsea debut, with a goal, assist, clean sheet and max bonus. This has already seem him go up £0.1m, but the news that he’s returned back to Chelsea early from International Duty with a pre-existing foot problem could be concerning for his new owners. Latest news indicates he should start. Many of these new owners may be those who sold Reece James (£5.1m) after he was rested for the 4-0 win over Palace. As an owner myself, hopefully James can come straight back into the starting 11 and pick up where he left off. 66% of Chelsea’s crosses come from their right hand side, with 40% of their chances created also coming from that side. Southampton have conceded 8 chances down their left flank, of 20 chances total. Both Ryan Bertrand (£5m) and Kyle Walker-Peters (£4.5m) have improved in line with Southampton’s new found defensive stability, but it’s worth noting that they’ve only conceded 4 shots on target total in the games against Burnley and West Brom. Chelsea over the same period are averaging 8 shots on target per game, with only Spurs having more shots on target in that time frame. I feel like this could be a real test of The Saint’s defensive resilience, especially after Chelsea’s performance against Crystal Palace. Kurt Zouma (£5m) could be another option for the Chelsea back line if they do shore up. 4 shots in the box (joint top) and 2 goals in 3 appearances, he’s been a big threat from set pieces.

Midfielders:

With Christian Pulisic (£8.3m) fit and Hakim Ziyech (£7.9m) ready to impress off the bench we could finally see how Chelsea want to line up at full strength. Whilst this game could be too early to see them at full throttle, it should give us a good indicator going forward. Southampton are just outside the top 5 teams for FPL Points conceded by midfielders, mainly due to Son’s 24 point haul in GW2, but this can highlight the damage that can be done down Southampton’s right hand side whilst Walker-Peters plays so far forward. Whoever is playing on the left could find some joy. Chelsea have been awarded 4 penalties already this season, with Jorginho (£5.2m) scoring 3 and having 1 saved. He’s proved a popular add but is a boom or bust FPL asset, as without penalties he doesn’t provide many returns. Kai Havertz (£8.4m) now has 2 assists to his name, and my assumption is that he will play “Number 10” behind Werner when Pulisic and Ziyech are back fit. Chelsea attackers as a whole are now a wait and see for me, as I want to see how they line up and play. There could be value to be had there. Stuart Armstrong (£5.5m) is probably the only Saints midfielder to consider as an FPL asset right now, but he’s not on my immediate radar. It will also be interesting to see how Theo Walcott (£5.8m) fits in following his move on loan from Everton.

Forwards:

Timo Werner (£9.3m) is still stinking out my team, and he’s an option for the chop ahead of GW5. The only reason I’m considering holding him is the potential return of both Pulisic and Ziyech to the Chelsea team. 9 of his 11 shots have been in the box, but Southampton have conceded a league low 20 shots in the box so far. Aside from Harry Kane’s 21 point haul against them in GW2, they’ve only conceded 8 FPL points to Forwards. The sensible move is probably to move off of him. With a goal and an assist in 191 minutes, Tammy Abraham (£7.3m) might mean Lampard considers this himself. Danny Ings (£8.5m) has actually had less shots than Werner with 8, but 6 of those have been on target and he’s proving more clinical with 3 goals. Che Adams (£5.8m) has had 8 shots as well, with 7 on target – but no goals. Surely it’s just a matter of time for Che? With Kepa likely to start, it could be this week.

Man City vs Arsenal

Goalkeepers:

Emerson (£6m) managed to pick up 2 save points in the 1-1 draw with Leeds, highlighting how busy he was! Leeds’ xG was 2.83 in this game, so with 8 saves you can see that he earned his corn. For me though, a £6m keeper isn’t part of my FPL strategy. He also takes up a City spot. Looking at this week, he comes up against Arsenal who to date have only had 30 shots on goal, but 17 of these have been on target. Ederson has saved 8 of the 15 shots on target he has faced so far, but is yet to keep a clean sheet. Bernd Leno (£5m) has only kept 1 clean sheet in 4 games, and only been eligible for save points in his game against Liverpool. However, as someone who was making a lot of saves last season, he is still doing this, saving 10 of the 15 shots on target he’s faced. Depending on City’s injury woes and if they have their shooting boots on, I expect Leno to be busy. Whilst a clean sheet is probably too much to ask, I’d bet on him for space/bonus points.

Defenders:

Nathan Ake (£5.5m) is City’s top scoring defender after 3 games, with 8 points. This is because he’s scored a goal. City have conceded 29 shots so far in their 3 games, 15 of these on target. Arsenal have only had 30 shots on goal (17 on target), only more than Man United and West Brom. City have conceded the least chances down their right flank of the whole league so far, with 4. Kyle Walker (£6m) has had 4 shots, which is the most of the City defenders. He will likely come up against Sead Kolasinac (£4.9m) as Kieran Tierney (£5.4m) is in quarantine. He didn’t offer much of an attacking threat, but his average position was quite high. This could mean Walker needs to be careful to avoid being caught out on the break, as Aubameyang also plays on that side. Walker will need to try and keep Auba on this weaker foot, which is easier said than done. Aymeric Laporte (£6m) and Ruben Dias (£5.5m) should now be the first choice pairing at centre back for City and I generally notice City become more solid defensively when Laporte is playing. I do expect some more clean sheets, albeit maybe not this week. Dias looked solid himself and nearly got on the scoresheet, so he could be an option as he was a key target at set pieces. Moving across to the opposite flank, we may see a first start from Joao Cancelo (£5.4m) as he has returned from injury. Benjamin Mendy (£6m) would be the one to make way, and this could offer City a bit more defensively stability, as 11 of the 23 chances City have conceded have been down that left flank. Going the other way Hector Bellerin (£5m) has impressed me over his first 4 games, with plenty of attacking intent and 2 assists in his last game helping him to get max bonus points. City will have to be careful not to let him in behind in this game.

Midfielders:

With Kevin De Bruyne (£11.6m) being a doubt for this game, many a manager are in a bit of a pickle. Do we keep? Do we sell? As I type, we don’t have much news on him, although Pep Guardiola is hardly likely to make it clear for us is he 😂 so we will have to make a late decision. Despite a couple of FPL blanks, KDB is still top for key passes with 14, and is still passing the eye test. When he’s fit he’s the best player in the league, so until we know more, there isn’t much more to say. Update: KDB has now been declared out of the game. A goal and an assist in 3 games for Raheem Sterling (£11.5m) has been a decent start, but it could be more. He couldn’t do anything with a one on one vs Meslier against Leeds and of his 9 shots, just 3 have been on target. Of the 31 chances Arsenal have conceded, these are evenly split across the 3 areas of play. Depending on where Sterling plays determines how effective he could be, but in his last 4 games against The Gunners, he has 3 goals and an assist. Both Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m) and Phil Foden (£6.6m) have seen fairly consistent minutes since the Gabriel Jesus injury, with Mahrez scored a worldie against Leicester, and Foden, retaining his place despite 2 blanks after a goal and 2 bonus points against Wolves. You always get the impression it’s just a matter of time until City click into gear, and at the moment they’re just not being clinical enough. The last 2 league games have been 3-0 wins for City, so Arsenal could be the best possible opponents for City to get back on track. After a goal and an assist in his first 2 games, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.9m) hasn’t delivered on his price tag. Both of his shots against Sheffield United were on target though, which is something at least? He isn’t on my radar for FPL right now, which is actually the case for all Arsenal midfielders.

Forwards:

We could see Sergio Aguero (£10.4m) back from injury for this game, and as always, when he’s fit he’s immediately part of the FPL discussion. Stay tuned to the press conference for any hints about his availability, but my bet is that he’d be named on the bench and given a cameo this week. 8 goals and 2 assists in 14 appearances against The Gunners could however force Pep to throw him in from the start for 60 minutes or so. Alexandre Lacazette (£8.5m) scored a goal in each of his 3 games before being dropped/rested against Sheffield United. Strange to see but probably due to fixture congestion this season. He’s only had 6 shots all season though, so with this in conjunction with the rotation risk, he’s not someone I’m considering right now.

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

Newcastle vs Man United

Goalkeepers:

Karl Darlow (£5m) has saved 20 of the 24 shots on target he’s faced, and is the 2nd highest FPL point scoring keeper behind Martinez at Villa. Only Newcastle themselves have had less shots on target than their opponents, Man United, this weekend. With Martial suspended and new signing Edinson Cavani unavailable, United are also missing some firepower. Darlow will hope that any shots that do come his way are easy enough in order to continue his solid start to the season. David de Gea (£5.5m) will be hoping for a quieter game after conceding 6 last week against Spurs. Whilst Newcastle don’t carry the same attacking threat, Callum Wilson has the joint most a Big Chances (6) despite only having 9 shots. Man United will need to improve defensively and whilst I expect them to, Wilson will be sniffing around ready to pounce if not.

Defenders:

I’m very keen to see how Alex Telles (£5.5m) fits into Man United’s line up, as he arrives from Porto with an impressive reputation. Telles, who registered two key passes, created two chances and completed one successful cross in a cameo for Brazil against Peru. Last season he got 11 goals and 8 assists, although he won’t be on as many set pieces for United. Besides that, none of the other defensive players in either team interest me from a FPL point if view, so I’ll leave it there.

Midfielders:

Unless Man United roll out Odion Ighalo up top, they’ll be going with either Marcus Rashford (£9.5m) or Mason Greenwood (£7.4m). I’d imagine that Rashford leads the line myself. 3 shots (2 in the box) and 1 goal for Rashford so far, which isn’t exactly promising, but whenever he’s played up top for United he’s done quite well. This would leave Greenwood on the right hand side, and Newcastle have conceded 14 chances down their left flank, where Greenwood does his damage. Only Leeds and Crystal Palace have conceded more chances down that side. This could mean Daniel James (£6.4m) gets the nod on the left flank. He’s only had 45 minutes of action and could burn Newcastle with his pace, but isn’t an FPL asset worth consideration. The most popular option, Bruno Fernandes (£10.5m) is also their best performing midfielder with 2 goals and an assist so far. He’s also had 8 key passes, but with players like Son at a cheaper price and more explosive, Bruno isn’t as popular as the end of last season. However, it’s worth mentioning again that only West Brom (31) have conceded more shots on target than Newcastle (24). A goal, assist and 2 bonus points for Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.3m) means he retains a spot on our watchlist as a budget midfielder, but with a few tough fixtures coming up, that’s probably as close as he’ll get to my team. He has the pace and ability to cause problems for a Man United, and his average position indicates he’ll be going up against Wan-Bissaka, which could be a tricky battle. Man United have conceded the 5th most FPL points to midfielders and whilst this is a small sample size, is something to consider.

Forwards:

Odion Ighalo (£6.3m) likely isn’t in your FPL thoughts and I’m not surprised, so I won’t waste time talking about him. We’ll revisit this if he A) plays and B) plays well this weekend. Callum Wilson (£6.5m) has made a decent start to his Newcastle career, with 4 goals from 6 big chances. 2 have been penalties as is the theme so far this season, but with confidence high, he could do well again this week. Man United have conceded the most Big Chances (14) in the league, despite playing a game less than most teams.

Sheffield United vs Fulham

Goalkeepers:

With 13 saves from 20 shots on target, Aaron Ramsdale (£5m) isn’t doing too badly. He had big boots to fill after Dean Henderson returned to Man United, but Sheffield United (SHU) as a whole haven’t looked great. He comes up against a Fulham side that, with 13 shots on target and 3 goals so far, badly need to get their season going. Whether they have the quality or not to do so against SHU, I’m not sure of. Alphonse Areola (£4.5m) has saved 9 of the 17 shots on target he’s faced, and comes up against a SHU team that have had 9 shots on target and 1 goal so far this season. The signing of Rhian Brewster from Liverpool could help them, but their lack of creativity might mean he struggles for chances.

Defenders:

You’ll see in my article here that the “Using FPL Points as a Metric” team I help my wife with has chosen Joe Bryan (£4.9m), based on numerous stats of their next few opponents. He comes up against George Baldock (£5.4m) and SHU have conceded 19 chances down their right flank. Only Wolves have conceded more. Going the other way, Enda Stevens (£5.4m) comes up against Ola Aina (£4.5m) who is on loan from Torino. 40% of SHU chance creation is on their left hand side (37% right hand side) and you feel that if SHU are to regain some form they need the fullbacks firing. Both Fulham and SHU are the top 2 for most FPL points conceded to defenders so far, so a 0-0 wouldn’t surprise me.

Midfielders:

I don’t think anyone is considering either SHU or Fulham midfielders right now, so I won’t go into any detail here.

Forwards:

With 16 shots, Aleksandar Mitrović (£5.9m) is only behind Salah and Kane (both on 19) so far this season. He’s only been able to turn those into 2 goals so far, as only 6 of those have been on target (13 have been in the box). Only Fulham, Newcastle and West Brom have conceded more shots on target than SHU, so Mitrović will need to start producing if Fulham want anything out of this game. David McGoldrick (£5.4m) scored SHU’s first goal of the season against Arsenal, but got injured on International Duty. As I don’t expect many are considering him as an FPL asset, I’ll move on. Rhian Brewster (£4.5m) however, will be on people’s radars following his move from Liverpool. Just under 120k transfers in so far this week plus any that are bringing him in on wildcard, he’s one to watch as a budget enabler.

Crystal Palace vs Brighton

Goalkeepers:

Vicente Guaita (£5m) has saved 13 of the 20 shots on target faced so far this season, and had only conceded 3 goals prior to the 4-0 defeat against Chelsea. He comes up against a Brighton side who are 4th for shots on 55, scoring 8 of their 17 shots on target. Neal Maupay has made a good start to the season with 4 goals from 6 shots on target. Mat Ryan (£4.5m) has conceded 10 goals from 14 shots on target faced, and currently doesn’t appear to be the best option at the £4.5m price point. Brighton’s xGC is 5.68, so to have conceded 8 gives you the impression they’ve been unlucky. Palace have only scored 5 goals this season, but with Brighton’s style of play they could be exposed a few times.

Defenders:

Patrick van Aanholt (£5.4m) has declared himself fit which could see Tyrick Mitchell (£4.1m) relegated to the bench, causing numerous FPL managers headaches. Whoever plays on that left side likely comes up against Tariq Lamptey (£4.7m) who has had a good start to the season. Brighton have conceded 11 chances down their right flank and only 5 on the left, which could illustrate how much Lamptey likes to get forward. 57% of Brighton’s cross have come from that right hand side and 34% of their chances created also come from that side. Palace have conceded the most chances down their left flank in the league with 16, so I think Lamptey may find some joy here. Palace are also third overall for chances conceded from set pieces so the likes of Adam Webster (£4.5m) and Ben White (£4.5m) could profit from corners etc. Only Fulham and SHU have conceded more FPL points to Defenders than Palace.

Midfielders:

Leandro Trossard (£6m) looks like good value at his price point. A goal and 2 assists in his first 4 games, he’s joint top for shots (12), joint 2nd for Big Chances created (2), joint 2nd for Key Passes (8) for midfielders £6m and under. Looking back at his average position against Everton he was the furthest player forward most of the time! I also like Solly March (£5m) as a potential budget enabler. His 5 shots on target are only behind Tomas Soucek (9) for midfielders £5m and under. He was playing pretty far forward too and could be getting the odd goal. With Wilfried Zaha (£7.2m) playing up front despite being classified as a midfielder, he’s always worth a mention. However, in his last 2 games he’s only had 4 shots and 0 on target. This could be based on the fact he’s staying at Palace and in the last game at Chelsea he has been visibly sulking a bit more frequently, so might start to fade away again. Andros Townsend (£6.1m) has also made a good start and could exploit the space in behind March given how far forward March has been playing.

Forwards:

As mentioned earlier, Neal Maupay (£6.6m) has made a good start to the season and has seen his popularity rise just under 100k net transfers in ahead of GW5. For forwards £6.6m and under, he’s 3rd for shots behind Mitrovic and Antonio and joint 2nd for shots on target (behind Antonio again). He’s joint top for goals with Callum Wilson on 4, although both of these guys have scored 2 penalties. Only 3 teams have conceded more shots on target than Palace so Maupay could get on the scoresheet again. In the last 2 games, Jordan Ayew (£5.8m) hasn’t recorded any shots. He does have some decent fixtures coming up, but for now, I’ll leave it there.

Spurs vs West Ham

Goalkeepers:

Hugo Lloris (£5.5m) has yet to keep a clean sheet but has saved 9 of the 14 shots on target he’s faced. I’m really interested to see how West Ham play here, as they are coming to Spurs off the back of 2 great wins, and now playing a new system. Only Spurs themselves and Liverpool have had more shots and more shots in the box than West Ham, so we could see an in form West Ham team get on the scoresheet again. Lukasz Fabianski (£5m) has saved 4 of the 7 shots on target he’s faced this year. In fact, we have an interesting battle this week as we see the team with the most Big Chances so far in Spurs (17), play one of 2 teams that has conceded the least Big Chances in West Ham (4). Fabianski will need a Karl Darlow type performance to keep the likes of Son and Kane out.

Defenders:

Despite not registering any FPL returns, Sergio Reguilon (£5.5m) had 2 shots (1 in the box) and played 4 key passes in the 6-1 drubbing of Man United. He’s one I’ve got my eye on after impressing in the League Cup game as well. He is likely to come up against Vladimir Coufal (£4.5m) who made his debut in the 3-0 win against Leicester. If not, Ryan Fredericks (£4.4m) will slot back in. Fredericks is still 2nd for West Ham for Key Passes on 9, despite being out last week. On the other side we expect to see Matt Doherty (£5.9m) come back into the side and go up against Arthur Masuaku (£4.5m), who is expected to pass a fitness test and regain his place. This could be a fascinating battle, with Masuaku hovering on the halfway line most of the time and getting forward at any opportunity. We know Doherty likes to do the same, so both defenders will need to have their wits about them. Only Brighton have conceded less chances than both Spurs and West Ham down their respective left flanks, with West Ham being marginally more susceptible to chance concession down their right flank. I’m eager to see how this game unfolds. Quick shoutout to Aaron Cresswell (£4.9m) off the back of a 15 pointer against Wolves – getting 2 assists, a clean sheet and max bonus. He has played 10 key passes in 4 games, the most of any defender £5m and under.

Midfielders:

The midfield trio of Jarrod Bowen (£6.3m), Pablo Fornals (£6.4m) and Tomas Soucek (£4.9m) have impressed in the last 2 games. Soucek especially is a legitimate enabling option, with the other 2 being in the cheap weekly start conversation. For me, Bowen is the pick, with 5 shots in the box last 2 games and all 3 of his big chances equalling goals. Fornals plays slightly deeper and is more of a creator than Bowen. Soucek with 9 shots in the box in 4 games is also worth a watch when the fixtures get better. Heung-Min Son (£9.1m) is a legitimate captaincy option this week, although his stats are unlikely to stay at their current level. He’s joint top for shots on target of all midfielders on 7, and all 6 of his Big Chances have resulted in goals. His xG is only 2.96 but Son is an elite finisher, who frequently exceeds his xG. The Hammers have only conceded 7 shots on target in 4 games, but a player of the quality of Son should really put them to the test. We may even see the first start or the first cameo from Gareth Bale (£9.5m) and I for one am keen to see how Spurs line up when he’s fit and starting. If there is any indication he will be starting this weekend he could be a lovely differential option.

Forwards:

Above we mentioned Son as a legitimate captaincy option this week, and feel free to put Harry Kane (£10.6m) in this bracket as well. Top for shots (19), top for shots on target (10) and only behind Salah (15) for shots in the box (14), he is a man in form. He’s also racking up the assists now with 6 in 4 games (top amongst forwards), adding a new dimension to his game. West Ham present a decent test in what has been a crazy season so far, being one of the stingiest defences around so far. Michail Antonio (£6.3m) is proving a decent budget acquisition so far, despite only scoring 2 goals. 15 shots (12 in the box) 8 of which have been on target isn’t bad at all in a run that, on paper, looked a bit tricky. Spurs are pretty middle of the road defensively but I wouldn’t bet against Antonio getting a goal here.

Source: theguardian.com

Leicester vs Aston Villa

Goalkeepers:

Kasper Schmeichel (£5.5m) hasn’t kept a clean sheet since opening day, and comes up against a Villa side full of confidence after beating The Champions 7-2. He’s saved 10 of the 17 shots on target he’s faced and after West Ham turned them over in GW4, I think Villa will also give them a tough time. Emi Martinez (£4.7m) has saved 9 of the 12 shots on target he’s faced, and has only conceded 2 goals in 3 games. He comes up against a trigger happy Harvey Barnes and Jamie Vardy, who has scored 4 penalties and a delicate flick to bring him to 5 goals for the season. I feel like Martinez is the best keeper sub £5m and will likely have him all season.

Defenders:

Timothy Castagne (£5.8m) is looking like a great asset at the moment. With an impressive start of 1 goal and 3 assist in 4 games, he comes up against Matt Targett (£4.5m) this week. Villa have conceded more chances down their left flank (10) than their right flank (7), and Leicester make roughly 50% of their crosses each side. So Castagne might be able to exploit that Villa flank. We’ve yet to see much attacking intent from Targett, despite high chance creation at his price point last season. However, Leicester have given up 14 chances down their right flank, so this could be the week Targett kicks on. On the other side we see James Justin (£4.7m) come up against Matty Cash (£5m). Both sides give us less chances down this flank, so Castagne vs Targett could be the key battle instead. With 2 clean sheets in 3 games, a quick shoutout has to go to Tyrone Mings (£5.1m) and Ezri Konsa (£4.6m) as they have potential at both ends of the field. Only Fulham, Palace, Newcastle and West Brom have conceded more chances from set pieces than Leicester, so we could see either of these guys getting on the end of a corner or free kick. With injuries to Jonny Evans (£5.5m) and Caglar Soyuncu (£5.5m) on International Duty, there is potential that Leicester could be light at the back, which doesn’t bode well either.

Midfielders:

Harvey Barnes (£7.1m) has 1 goal and 1 assist from his opening 4 games. He was disallowed a goal against West Ham as well, but on the whole he’s looking good value. 13 shots (11 in the box) and 7 on target. This Villa team will be a really good test for Leicester as a whole after the performance against West Ham. James Maddison (£7m) could be back from injury as well, and he always looks dangerous when he’s in the team. When it comes to Villa, we can’t start by looking at anyone other than Jack Grealish (£7.1m). After getting a goal at Fulham, he followed that up with 2 goals and 3 assists and max bonus against Liverpool. Granted that 3 of the goals against Liverpool were deflections and one was due to a mistake from Adrian, but Villa played well and Grealish was key to that. 10 key passes in 3 games, 9 shots (8 in the box) with 3 on target, he has started the season well as have Villa. We don’t know which Leicester will turn up but this will be an interesting game. Ross Barkley (£5.9m) had a great debut for Villa as well, and he adds a new dimension to Villa’s creativity. If you can’t stretch to those, I also think John McGinn (£5.5m) could be a good pick at his price point. At £5.5m he’s the midfielder to have created the most big chances and also is 2nd for key passes on 8.

Forwards:

Jamie Vardy (£10.1m) at a basic view looks good, with 5 goals in 4 games. But 4 of those have been penalties and he’s only had 7 shots total. Villa have only conceded 34 shots total, so Leicester will need to up their game to get something here I think. Ollie Watkins (£5.9m) had 5 shots and 0 on target before the Liverpool collapse. He’ll now be a man full of confidence coming up against a Leicester team who have just conceded 3 at home to West Ham. Only 4 teams have conceded more shots than Leicester so the opportunities will likely be there for Watkins and co, they just need to make sure they hit the target.

West Brom vs Burnley

Goalkeepers:

Sam Johnstone (£4.5m) has made 19 saves from 31 shots on target. Burnley have had 10 shots on target in 3 games. If West Brom are going to stay up, these are the sort of games they need to pick points up in, so Johnstone is going to have a key role. Nick Pope (£5.5m) has made 5 saves from 12 shots on target and so far has struggled to replicate last seasons form, including giving away a penalty against Newcastle. This week he faces the team who have had the least shots overall and the least shots in the box. All the stats point to a clean sheet for Burnley here, as Burnley have conceded the least shots, least shots in the box and only West Ham have conceded less shots on target. Lots of goals have been scored this season, but this could very well end up 0-0.

Defenders:

Only Wolves have conceded more chances down their right flank (20) than West Brom. This means Charlie Taylor (£4.5m) could get some success in his battle with either Dara O’Shea (£4.4m) or Darnell Furlong (£4.5m). As Baggies defenders probably aren’t on the agenda for anyone I won’t go into any detail on them, especially as it looks like some of them are now rotation risks. West Brom have conceded the most chances from set pieces as well, so we could see the likes of James Tarkowski (£5.4m) getting some attacking chances.

Midfielders:

Whilst Matheus Pereira (£6m) isn’t setting the world alight in his price bracket, he is The Baggies’ talisman, and as such has to get a mention here. The same applies to Grady Diangana (£5.5m) – if West Brom are going to score goals, these boys are likely to be involved. Ashley Westwood (£5.4m) got the consolation goal (a cracker) against Newcastle and both him and Dwight McNeil (£6m) could do well here, with West Brom being 4th for most FPL points conceded to midfielders. I can’t recommend them as FPL assets currently, with fixtures against Spurs and Chelsea on the horizon.

Forwards:

Aside from 2 goals against Chelsea, Callum Robinson (£5.5m) hasn’t done anything to make me think he’s an FPL asset. Even scoring against Burnley, there are that many options at Forward right now, it likely wouldn’t make me consider him. I can see Chris Wood (£6.4m) having a good game this week, as per the stats I mentioned previously. Whilst Wood has only had 6 shots in 3 games (4 on target), West Brom have conceded the most shots on target and the 2nd most shots in the box overall. We also see Ashley Barnes (£6m) back from injury now and with Burnley’s style of play, I think they could make life difficult for West Brom.

Source: premierleague.com

Leeds vs Wolves

Goalkeepers:

Illan Meslier (£4.5m) has saved 11 of the 18 shots on target he’s faced so far this season, and City really should have tested him more. Of their 23 shots (16 in the box!) only 2 were on target. Meslier also stopped Sterling in a one on one situation in what was a good day for Leeds. Wolves are middle of the road in terms of their attacking stats but like to play on the counter, so Meslier might find himself busy. Rui Patricio (£5.5m) has saved 13 of the 20 shots on target he’s faced so far this season, and he picked up his 2nd clean sheet of the season against Fulham in GW4. He only had to deal with 2 shots on target against Fulham, but Leeds have recorded 26 shots on target in 4 games. Only Liverpool and Spurs have recorded more. I think we’re due another entertaining game at Elland Road.

Defenders:

Both Luke Ayling (£4.5m) and Stuart Dallas (£4.5m) are popular at this price point and for good reason. For defenders £4.5m and under, Dallas is top for shots with 4 (all on target!), 2 in the box and 2 big chances. Sometimes he plays in midfield as well, so he already looks like great value. Of those £4.5m or less defenders, Ayling is joint top for big chances created with 2. Of the 2, I currently prefer Dallas for his goal threat. Wolves have conceded 20 chances down their right hand side, and if Dallas is playing as part of the defence, this is his area. He’ll be coming up against Nelson Semedo (£5.5m) who has impressed already for Wolves, filling Matt Doherty’s shoes nicely. Leeds have conceded the most chances on their left hand side, so both Dallas and Semedo could find joy this weekend, or cancel each other out! Wolves create 48.5% of their chances down Semedo’s side, so he is one for the watchlist. 40% of Leeds chance creation is through the middle, but Ayling bombing forward means whoever plays on the left side for Wolves could be busy themselves.

Midfielders:

Pedro Neto (£5.5m) got the winning goal against Fulham and may have done enough to secure a starting spot again this week. Neto is joint top of the Wolves midfielders for shots with 7, and top for key passes with 8. This could be bad news for Daniel Podence (£5.6m) who may have to make do with the bench, especially as Adama Traore (£6.4m) is the favourite to start on that right wing. Podence himself has had a good start with 2 assists in 3 games, but a double act of Traore and Semedo is exciting and could be a nightmare for Leeds. In respect to Leeds midfielders, Helder Costa (£5.7m) seems to be the pick of the bunch. 4 shots, all in the box and 3 on target, with 2 goals. Mateusz Klich (£5.6m) also has 2 goals but both have been penalties. When looking at creative players, Kalvin Phillips (£5m) has played 9 key passes so far and plays a “Quarterback” role for Leeds to good affect.

Forwards:

Patrick Bamford (£5.8m) is joint top for shots on target (6) for Forwards under £6m, and 2nd for shots in the box (10). He has scored the most goals on 3. Rodrigo (£5.8m) has also started to work his way into the team with some good cameos, and it’s difficult to say who will start this week. Only 4 teams have conceded more shots in the box than Wolves, and only 3 teams have conceded more shots on target. Only Spurs and Liverpool have had more shots on target than Leeds. I can’t see this being a simple game for Wolves. Raul Jimenez (£8.6m) is still a good bet to get on the scoresheet this week. He’s had 13 shots (11 in the box) and 5 on target. Leeds have conceded the most shots in the league (73) and most shots in the box (49) of all teams. Another high scoring game could be in store if both teams can hit the target.

Conclusion & Top Picks

So there we have it, I hope this has been useful. A bit of feedback I got was to provide a top pick at each position based on my research, so I’ll give that a go this week:

Goalkeeper: Nick Pope – West Brom have had the least shots overall and the least shots in the box.

Defender: Nelson Semedo – He’s looked impressive so far and Leeds have conceded the most chances in the league on the left hand side of their team.

Midfielder: Raheem Sterling – In decent form already, and in his last 4 games against The Gunners, he has 3 goals and an assist.

Forward: Harry Kane – The man in form, he comes up against a resilient West Ham, but I think he’ll be too much for them. Top for shots (19), top for shots on target (10) and only behind Salah (15) for shots in the box (14), plus he is top for assists of all forwards with 6.

May your arrows be green!

@RichP_FPL

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