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FPL Matthew is arguably the best FPL manager in the world, with three top 500 finishes and a further six top 10k finishes. He has recently taken his FPL skills to try his hand at Footstock on a budget. Read on to find out Matthew's planned teams for the forthcoming gameweek.

A veteran of FPL, I have recently started to play Footstock as well, which combines football card trading with fantasy football.

Most of the content for Footstock seems to revolve around people with large expensive collections - I want to show how its perfectly possible to have fun and make money playing Footstock on a budget that is relatively small and without taking big risks.

Thinking of joining Footstock?

I think this is a great time to join, with players prices currently very reasonable, the Talksport marketing campaign (featuring Chris "Kammy" Kamara!) underway, the launch of the £100k Freeroll Tournament and more excellent sounding developments announced this week to control card circulation - great for traders. If anyone has any questions about Footstock, my Twitter DMs are open (@FPL Matthew).

Contest Strategy: Footstock on a Budget

Once you've built up a collection of player cards (including your bonus cards if you've just joined), its time to start entering some Contests. As I'm playing Footstock on a budget, I am focusing only on the Freeroll (because, why not?) and the "Bronze" Contests, which cost just 50p or £1 to enter. It's important to understand Footstock's scoring matrix. With the Bronze Contests, you can only select players rated at 1 and 2 star, meaning that you won't be competing with the likes of Bruno Fernandes or Kevin De Bruyne. Hence, they're a brilliant leveller for those on a budget. You also have to include at least one Basic 1-Star rated player.

Like most fantasy games, goals are very important: with 20 points for every goal, as well as assists to a lesser degree (10 points). Clean sheets are also important to goalkeepers (10 points), who also get points for saves, meaning that decent keepers in worse defences can also do well. Clean sheets have less of an impact for defenders, who only get five points, so attacking returns are more key overall. Various underlying statistics also attract points, as you can see from the matrix above, although two key ones seem to be 'contests won' (successful dribbles) and crosses. Players also get a bonus six points if their team wins the match, meaning that it's important to try and identify winnable fixtures. Also, because there are (currently) no substitutes in Footstock, you'll want to pick players who you think have a good chance of starting the game.

Gameweek 5

In this article each week I will be focusing on the Bronze Contests and any Freeroll Contests. I will carefully select which to enter based on the fixtures and my own collection. This week there is a choice of a Saturday only contest, a Sunday only one and one covering the whole weekend. There is also the weekly Beat Kammy Freeroll. In addition, there are also Single Match contests, starting at 50p entry and the new "Single Player" and "Two Player" contests, costing a pocket-friendly £2 to enter.

This week, looking at the fixtures and my own collection, I have decided to go for the Sunday/Monday Bronze contest as well as the Beat Kammy Freeroll, which covers the whole weekend.

So, these are my two planned Contests for this weekend:

Footstock on a budget

Footstock on a budget

Matthew's planned GW5 contests

GW5 Sun/Mon Bronze

This will be my first priority this weekend, so let's look at the fixtures involved:

Footstock on a budget

GW5 Sun/Mon Fixtures

I think this is a really unpredictable set of fixtures. For example, normally you'd say that Spurs, Leicester and Wolves should be clear favourites in their matches, but their opponents West Ham, Aston Villa and Leeds respectively have all been playing really well.  Given this, I am just going to select players that I fancy could do well rather than target particular 'obvious' teams for a win.

In this contest, I need to select six players of one or two-star rating (at least one one-star) and at least one defender and one midfielder.

This week, instead of bookies odds, I thought I'd look at team attacking and defensive stats in the four gameweeks so far, using the Hub's Opta Stats Tool:

First attacking - I've sorted by 'shots in the box' but also included a few other key team attacking metrics (all per game):

Now, defensive - this time sorted by 'shots in the box conceded' (all stats per game again):

Looking at these relative stats against the match-ups above, the teams that look promising for goals include:

  • Brighton
  • West Ham
  • Aston Villa
  • Burnley
  • Leeds
  • Wolves (possibly if they wake up)

And, in terms of clean sheet chances (not that there are many this season):

  • Sheffield United (ish)
  • Brighton
  • Burnley

Here is my shortlist with my main choices in bold and the one-star options with an asterisk:

Footstock on a budget

GW5 Main Contenders

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