What is the best FPL Gameweek 5 Wildcard team? Jian Batra shares his best FPL Wildcard tips for those playing it, following a Gameweek 4 which provided many curveballs.
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Overlap From Previous Wildcard Article:
I wrote an article following a similar structure to this one for a Gameweek 4 Wildcard. I’d imagine I’ll be doing this for the next three gameweeks at a minimum, given so many variables are likely to rapidly change.
As such, there’ll be overlap between articles, because it’s unnecessary for me to overcomplicate the reasoning for a player simply because I discussed them a week earlier. I’ll add references to previous gameweeks when I can, but for some players, the bulk of the information will be repetitive.
However, whilst there may be some overlap, a few different transfers in a Fantasy Premier League side can have huge initial and long term compounding effects.
Should we Wildcard? – FPL Best Gameweek 5 Wildcard Team
It’s a very relative matter. There’s no definitive criteria to wildcarding unless your team is in total disarray.
@FPLStrategist – “One of the single most underrated moves in FPL is wildcarding a good team”.
The best advice I can give is to do what’s right for your team. Some teams are hamstrung my injuries, suspensions and players that have now been dropped. For those, a Wildcard is likely the best option: it’s important not to fall behind.
Other managers may be giving into FOMO too easily: a Wildcard is too valuable to be used on just two or three players alone. Particularly when we still have such a small pool of underlying stats and other information.
Mini Conclusion – if you need to use your Wildcard now, don’t panic. It appears everyone else is wildcarding. With that said, having it in your back pocket when just the right amount of information and clarity appears will be gold dust. Trust me, it will appear.
Individual Player Analysis – Best FPL Gameweek 5 Wildcard Team
Goalkeeper and Defence – Best FPL Gameweek 5 Wildcard Team
Wolves Double up:
José Malheiro de Sá (£5.0m):
Currently I think he’s the best goalkeeping option.
Wolves face a favourable fixture run until Gameweeek 15, which allows you to employ “Buffet Theory” – something I discussed in one of my earlier articles.
The fact you are unlikely to have to spend a transfer on him for a while is advantageous for the rest of your squad too. Through the eye test it’s very clear that Wolves have been very good under Bruno Lage.
The intricacy and physicality (mainly 0f Adama Traore (£6.0m)) of the Wolves front three on the counter means that teams often leave their pivot slightly deeper to accommodate. That makes it harder to break Wolves down.
It’s the reason Manchester United struggled against Wolves: they had Fred rather than a quality Number. 6.
Until a standout goalkeeping option like Emiliano Martínez (£5.5m) comes to the fray, I see no reason to not spend money on the rest of the squad. This is why I’d avoid a premium goalkeeper for the time being.
Nelson Semedo (£4.9m)
I won’t go into too much detail as I’ve discussed the Wolves defence above.
Semedo’s potential to acquire attacking returns makes him a real gem. The eye test against Watford was an exemplification of how similar Semedo could be to Matt Doherty. His attacking runs were often through inside channels with a greater focus on getting into scoring, rather than assisting, positions.
An xG of 0.8 is uplifting for current and prospective owners.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m)
I understand with all the premium options in the other two categories it may seem beneficial to abandon him for the time being. But it’s not. Attacking premiums can be replaced by attacking premiums, yet there is no replacement for Alexander-Arnold.
He’s head and shoulders above every defender in terms of his ceiling. Trent has amassed an Expected Assists of 2.37 in the first four gameweeks, which is first amongst any player. Michail Antonio (£7.9m) is second and his is at 1.99.
He also has the third-most points of any player so far in the game: you simply can’t go without.
The only negative I see is, with Harvey Elliot’s (£5.5m) injury, it remains to be seen if Alexander-Arnold still occupies the wide number 8 role he did when Elliot provided the width.
It’s clearly been advantageous for himself and Liverpool, but my gut feeling is that he will start to be deployed slightly wider. None of the midfielders are as good in the wide tight spaces as Elliot – primarily due to their agility.
With all the above considered, I’m confident he’ll have the most points among defenders at the end of the season and find himself in the top 10 points scorers overall. Comfortably.
Chelsea Double up – Best FPL Gameweek 5 Wildcard Team
Chelsea are defensively the best team on the planet, alongside Manchester City. The eye test highlights the difficult nature of creating good goal scoring chances against them.
However, it must be said that I haven’t been particularly impressed by their two latest defensive displays against Aston Villa and Zenit St Petersburg.
The ball retention in the midfield hasn’t been to the usual standard, and there has been too much space in between the last two lines and also over the top. Zenit very nearly used the ball over the top to great success, and Villa also troubled Chelsea in the left channel.
Antonio Rüdiger (£5.5m)
In regards to the two players selected, Rüdiger is the most nailed on Chelsea player and Thomas Tuchel has an excellent relationship with him.
Both wing-back spots alongside the right centre-back spot are up for rotation, but Rüdiger has the left side solidified as his own.
Chelsea are soon to reward him with a new contract and it clearly shows their intention of keeping him happy. He also offers attacking contributions in the form of goals, likely to be headers from set pieces. The German could rack up a few goals this season.
Reece James (£5.6m)
Similar to Alexande-Arnold, James has a very high ceiling. Whilst he will be subject to some rotation, I imagine he’ll keep his place for the majority of games, especially if he upholds the standard of performance he’s been showcasing.
His quality is backed up by the stats. He’s ranked 4th for xA (0.68) and 9th for xG (0.54) amongst defenders.
However, the main reason I’m getting him is the eye test. To reference the game against Zenit specifically, you could see the intention for Chelsea to consistently create space out wide for James to either drive but mainly cross.
With his quality of delivery I’m sure he’ll rack up a fair few goal involvements and improve from his previous attacking output numbers.
For an extended tactical analysis on why James (and the wing-backs) will flourish more this season, please refer to the article below.
Midfielders + Forwards – Best FPL Gameweek 5 Wildcard Team
Budget Options: Demarai Gray (£5.7m) and Ismaila Sarr (£6.0m)
Given the structure of the squad there were always going to be two players who needed to be slightly cheaper to facilitate the rest. These players normally pick themselves due to the fact there isn’t a plethora of high quality assets to choose from at this price point.
I’ve essentially hedged my bets here, going for one who is in fantastic form (Gray) and another who has fantastic fixtures (Sarr) in the short run. It must be said there is certainly some overlap between the two variables for both players.
Sarr has arguably the three best fixtures in the league in a row, and has looked good individually. He’s recorded an xG of 0.77 and an xA of 0.59 which isn’t bad in any sense, all things considering.
Gray has similar underlying statistics (0.89 xG and 0.39 xA), however he’s in fantastic form. As I learnt with Jesse Lingard last seasonm sometimes it’s better to ride these things out and not try to be too clever with them, hence the short analysis.
Mohammed Salah (£12.5m)
Simple; he is the best asset in the game, and he’s irreplaceable.
Salah can play poorly and still haul, simply due to Liverpool’s over-reliance on him and Sadio Mané (£11.5m) to score goals.
Similar to Michail Antonio (£7.9m), everything points in his favour and over the course of the season you can bet your bottom dollar he finishes in the top five point scorers at the very least.
The Egyptian is a must have in my opinion.
It’s unnecessary for me to overcomplicate it or throw statistics your way, apart from the fact that yet again he has the 2nd-most points in the game.
Diogo Jota (£7.7m)
This is more of a two week punt against Crystal Palace and Brentford as Roberto Firmino is expected to return after that. Not much to be said: a very good player with favourable fixtures, playing in a central attacking role in a fantastic side.
Brentford are poor at picking up the space between the two midfielders and three centre-back’s which is exactly where he will operate.
Before writing off Leeds due to a poor start, their tough fixtures must be considered. Gameweeks 5-10 have very different opposition in store for them.
I expect Marcelo Biesla to employ the 3-3-3-1 formation across this good fixture run. The high pressing brings a sense of chaos to these games and that’s something which Leeds thrive on.
It’s also highly beneficial for FPL managers because, through the chaos, the side set up in the low-block is more likely to counter press and try to play out from the back.
Firstly, they aren’t used to this and are likely to struggle as a result. Secondly, the method of play significantly increases the risk of getting caught on the transition and thus out of shape.
Patrick Bamford (£7.9m)
Bamford racked up the second-most points for a forward last season. The Leeds talisman is on penalties and his conversion of big chances is improving steadily.
I expect him to score more as a result and also acquire a greater amount of assists this season. This is due to a slight tweak in the system which brings him slightly deeper and more involved in the build up play so far this season.
He performs far better against the “lesser sides” and if he is injured Raul Jimenez (£7.4m) or Raphinha (£6.5m) moving to a 3-5-2 formation would be my replacement.
Michail Antonio (£7.9m)
I’m not going to overcomplicate this as it’s very simple. My analysis on Antonio prior to the season was just as short: buy him.
In Mohammed Salah’s (£12.5m) record breaking season, he took six Gameweeks to score 40 points. Antonio has done it in three matches.
Every single underlying statistic – and the eye test – point to the fact that pound for pound, he’s the most valuable asset in the game right now.
A small selection of underlying numbers highlight Antonio’s excellence (from Gameweek 1-3):
- 13 shots in the box (1st)
- 9 big chance involvements (1st)
- 3.39 xG (1st)
- 5.3 xGI (1st)
Honestly, I could keep on going but it’s worth holding onto him for a long period of time providing he stays injury free. He doesn’t face Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester City until Gameweek 11.
I don’t believe there’s any defence apart from those mentioned that can contain him, given his form. There’s also the creativity and form of the players behind him.
Romelu Lukaku (£11.6m)
I spoke at length about Lukaku in my earlier article, which I’ll link here.
Ben Foster (£4.0m) – I’m very sure I will never want triple Watford so Foster doesn’t block potential future moves.
Tino Livramento (£4.1m) – Southampton have looked better defensively as of late: he looks nailed on and may potentially play out of position in a more advanced role.
James McArthur (£4.5m) – a nailed on £4.5m midfielder who will chip in with the odd goal or assist: can’t ask for much more.
Final words – FPL Best Gameweek 5 Wildcard Team
I’d just like to reiterate this is a team built for longevity. I understand there are obvious omissions but unfortunately we can’t have them all. I’m very open to other Wildcard teams and this is just my current preference.
In about 10 Gameweeks, when every side has faced the test of tough fixtures and consistency, the template is likely to be very different. Yet it will remain fairly set and that’s a good time to “settle” with your team.
Stay open minded, it’s still very early days.
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