In this Fantasy Premier League series FPL Junior (four top 13k finishes in last four seasons) shares his FPL tips by selecting a team each week to try and score as many points as possible. In essence, he will be “free hitting” every single Gameweek. Rather than selecting longer-term options, he’ll solely focus on players with the best form and fixtures for the upcoming Gameweek.
So far this season it doesn’t seem hard to build a strong XI with the sheer amount of value already on show. With goals and penalties on the rise, I’ve been pumping the resources further up the park to exploit this. There aren’t that many standout fixtures this week with only one promoted club facing a ‘top 6’ side. Let’s see how the Hub XI is shaping up this week!
Gameweek 3 Team
Aston Villa’s new number one didn’t take long to slot straight into the first XI and made his mark right away. At £4.5m Martinez looks the best pick out of a rather mediocre bunch. Aston Villa was one of the worst defences in the league at times last season but they turned it around during the final nine Gameweeks as Dean Smith tightened up in order to steer them to safety. This week’s opponents, Fulham, are a team I’ll be looking to target on a weekly basis. They’ve had the second-lowest amount of shots inside the box with Mitrovic looking like their only saviour.
With Kepa soon to be banished to the sidelines and Thiago Silva looking to imminently make his Premier League debut, the Chelsea defence is beginning to look viable. Reece James has been the pick of the Chelsea backline looking the most attacking and starting ahead of his skipper, Azpilicueta. West Brom averaged the lowest xG over the first two Gameweeks and failed to attempt a single big chance.
Wolves embark on a cracking spell of fixtures with West Ham first up. The Hammers won’t be able to have ideal preparation after the news of three positive COVID-19 tests, including their manager. Wolves’ backline is in transition with injuries and sales hampering Nuno from having a settled back five but Roman Saiss looks safe and has registered the most number of shots inside the box for a defender so far (3).
It was a tough decision for the final defensive spot as there wasn’t a lot of standout options. Goals are also flying in so I’ve opted for someone with a chance of an attacking return in Micheal Keane although If I had £1.0m to spare I’d have stretched to the creative Digne. The centre-back has attempted two shots inside the box (joint second highest) and is joint first with a single big chance. He’s already 50% of the way to his highest every goal-scoring season so I’m not expecting big things but with more quality coming from set-pieces from a certain Colombian I wouldn’t be surprised to see him net a couple more this season.
One of the easiest choices this week was De Bruyne. Man City didn’t take long to get back into their stride with a victory over Wolves on Monday night. De Bruyne looks to be starting in a more advanced role than last season. Another major factor is penalties. This season has already shown penalties are on the rise with the new interpretation of the handball rule and Man City’s tricky players should only see their number of penalties rise. At a price of just £6.5m Foden helps out with the budget and allows a second Man City attacker. He took his goal nicely against Wolves and was getting into some great position on the edge of the box. He looks to be taking Mahrez’ place at the moment as he returns to full fitness. There’s always a slight risk with him but it’s one I’m willing to take this week. Like the end of last season, Leicester are struggling at back for personnel. Ndidi is set to be on the sidelines for a number of months and replacements such as Justin haven’t impressed defensively.
Last weeks most sold and highest-scoring player Son has to get a spot in the side this week. Newcastle will not make the same mistake as Southampton last week, so I’m not expecting another huge haul but with the confidence from last week, I do see a return. Newcastle won’t allow the space in behind like last week and will sit deep but if they concede the will begin to open up for Son. He was more advanced than his teammate Kane and was unbelievable clinical in front of goal.
Salah completes the midfield four for his game against Arsenal. Liverpool’s forward seems to strive at home and struggle more away, so I’m confident he can break down Arsenal’s seemingly improving defence at Anfield. Last week’s data is hard to read into considering they were up against a 10 man parked bus for 45 minutes but I expect the spoils to be regularly shared between himself and Mane.
Calvert Lewin is in red hot form at the moment after scoring a poachers hattrick last week. Ancelotti is getting the best out of the number nine and the new signings behind him have only helped his performances. Only his teammate Richarlison has more shots inside the box so far but the English striker is joint top for big chances with three. Solely Mo Salah has a higher xG in the first two Gameweeks and I can only see his current price go up. Everton are a much-improved unit overall and only Liverpool can boast about having more shots inside the box than their Merseyside rivals. Crystal Palace will be a tougher affair than West Brom but Roy’s men haven’t been watertight at the back even though they’ve just conceded once. This can be seen from their xGC of 2.97.
As previously mentioned West Brom are on my list of fixtures to target so Werner was a no brainer this week. However, I’m not as confident with both Pulisic and Ziyech unfit to play. That doesn’t mean I think he won’t do well, it’s just that Chelsea won’t be playing to their full potential and the German may start out on the left with fellow countryman Havertz starting centrally. Granted the Baggies played with 10 men against Everton for 45 minutes last week, they’ve conceded the most amount of goals (8), the third most amount of shots (30) and joint-most shots inside the box (24). This has lead to the highest amount of xGC (5.76) too. That spells goals.
Mr Consistent is back after a less than consistent end to the season. Jimenez started the campaign brilliantly with a goal in each game. West Ham haven’t been as bad as the newly promoted clubs at the back but they are still presenting opportunities that he will eat up. Wolves are aiming to be more attacking this season in order to try and increase the number of goals they score to push themselves up the table to get back into Europe. The manager’s plan will be music to the number nines ears and I can see another season of the Mexican ticking over week in, week out.
Steer, Burke, Mitchell and Dunne all take a spot on the bench. Sheffield Utd played the £4.5m upfront so we have the potential of an OOP budget midfielder. However, Sheffield Utd aren’t the most attacking of teams but he’s one to monitor.
Gameweek 3 Captaincy
Mohamed Salah takes the armband this week. It was close between him and De Bruyne but I’ve gone with the Egyptian who’s predicted to be the highest scorer on the Hub’s predicted points tool.
No Manchester Utd players make it into the side this week but I don’t expect that to be the case for much longer. During the restart last season, this fixture was full of points for their attackers but I’ve opted against them this week. The side looked very rigid and lacklustre last week without the strongest XI playing and Brighton have looked very solid at the back with Lamptey and White improving their defence. Once I see similar performances and confidence as the end of last season they’ll be back in the Hub XI in no time.
James Rodriguez misses out as I decided that Calvert Lewin was the one I wanted to own most out of the two. I try not to triple up on teams either unless it’s a plum fixture.
Likewise, with Harry Kane, I preferred Son who’s cheaper and looking more threatening in the midfielder spot. I think there’s so much better value upfront in the mid-price range that you don’t have to spend above £10.0m to get a good frontline.