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.
Last week was one eventful and surprising Gameweek. With the new season coming back swiftly, we’re headed for an international break to slow things down and let us take note of what has happened so far. This week I’ve gone for a team based on fixtures more than form on most occasions after last weeks potential outlier. Fulham and West Brom are fixtures to target each week and should be a common theme each Gameweek unless the pair can adapt to England’s top tier.
Gameweek 4 Team
Arsenal’s restored number one is in between the sticks this week as he faces the only side who are yet to hit the back of the net. Sheffield Utd’s underlying stats aren’t terrible but their lack of recruitment up front has meant that they are continuing on with the end of last season’s shortage of goals. They’ve ended up playing Burke, listed as a midfielder in FPL up top although this looks to be resolved with the imminent signing of Brewster who won’t play this week. Leno’s defence has been bolstered with a couple of new signing and Arteta’s side has shown some signs of improvements. Nonetheless, I’m basing this pick more on the opposition than the Gunner’s defence.
The Liverpool wingbacks look a great bet this week and after Robertson opened his goal-scoring account last week he takes a spot in the XI. Liverpool have conceded the joint least amount of shots inside the box (10) but their opponents have been extremely clinical, scoring four times this campaign while mustering the same number of big changes. Unlike last season Robertson is taking more corners than his opposite wing-back; he’s taken 16 corners, the only defender to be in double digits and the second-highest in the league. Villa are yet to be truly tested and I don’t think we’ll see their four goals in two games increase this weekend.
Chelsea’s defence had a disastrous first half against West Brom last week but I’ve decided to stick with James this week for his attacking potential. The full-back attempted the most amount of crosses this week and has attempted the second most amount this season behind Robertson. His accuracy is only at 27% but this has led to the most successful crosses (8), so assists should be on the way.
Semedo had a very quiet debut last week before he was brought off with 20 minutes to go. He gets his place this week for his position and opposition. I’m banking on the wing-back to be in with a chance of an attacking return with the opposite wingback spot looking uncertain at the moment. I think £5.5m is a bit steep at the moment but with Fulham’s primary tactic of trying to find Mitrovic in the box, I believe he’s got a high ceiling this week.
I’ve backed a Man City double up in midfield for the second week running even though it was a calamity last week; and once again it’s the same pair. Leicester stunned the Etihad and managed to keep the Cityzens at bay for most of the game allowing them just two big chances. De Bruyne managed just two shots from outside of the box whilst Foden managed none in 64 minutes. Foden was rested midweek in the Carabao Cup and hasn’t been called up for the national team so I can’t see him getting another breather against Leeds with his value is also a key factor. De Bruyne’s explosivity can’t be ignored and with Leeds inside the top three for shots conceded, shots inside the box conceded, big chances conceded and xGC, a goal-fest could be on. As a result, I’m backing the fixture more than the form. A reason I opted for the Belgian over Sterling was due to his likely start at false nine. I’d much rather him playing wide and feel his potential is slightly hampered here.
For the first time in a while Mane beats Salah for my Liverpool attacking choice with Mane has looked more threatening in my opinion over the last couple of games from the eye test. Salah was also given the task of playing 60 minutes midweek in the Carabao Cup while the former was given the night off. Both players tend to do better at home with a much sharper drop in performance coming in the Egyptian’s camp on the road. Mane’s edged Salah when it’s come to big chances this season (4 vs 2) but the lure of penalties is a slight worry to go without. Villa have picked up back to back clean sheets but Liverpool are their first opponents with a strong attack.
Leicester’s current form is the antithesis to the end of last season and one of their more budget-friendly finds his way into the team. Barnes has somewhat gone under the radar while Vardy took the plaudits. Barnes has attempted the second-highest amount of shots inside the box (12) for midfielders and has registered the most on target (7), while he’s underperformed his xG. West Ham looked much improved with an xGC of 2.64 being the league’s third-lowest. However, as we’ve seen last week, Leicester can be clinical going forward.
The league’s most in-form striker has to get keep his place in the XI. Calvert-Lewin topped off his 5th goal of the season with his second hat-trick of the season in the Carabao Cup. Talk about form! The only downside at the moment is the fact he’s not on penalties. One other slight concern is that Everton picked up a couple of knocks midweek which isn’t ideal for the team fluid chemistry. In the number nine role, he’s still a steal at £7.5m who’ve created the second most amount of big chances. Brighton haven’t looked bad defensively and the stats show that but they’ve conceded six goals yet conceded just four big chances. Everton’s form is too good to ignore but I’ve just gone for one this week.
Despite Wolves’ shocking performance against West Ham, a Wolves attacker was a must-own for one reason this week; Fulham. Jimenez is the talisman and taking penalty duties for Wolves making him even more attractive. The Fulham defence have looked like strangers on numerous occasion this season and look inept at defending. If there were more clear cut attacking options with guaranteed minutes at Wolves, I’d definitely double up.
Finally, Ings takes the third spot against another promoted club. Similar to Fulham, the Baggies have struggled to keep the ball out of the net so far and while that continues I’ll continue to target them. West Brom have conceded the most goals, have conceded the most big chances (11) and have the highest xGC (8.46). Danny Ings doesn’t need much to sniff out a goal, so he’ll be licking his lips if West Brom continue to concede the number of chances they have so far.
Steer, Walker-Peters with a plum fixture, new signing Stephens and Mitchell all take a spot on the bench.
Gameweek 4 Captaincy
De Bruyne is this week’s skipper. Leeds concede plenty of chances and I think this will be more of an open game than Aston Villa vs Liverpool. Bielsa won’t park the bus and this will be a very interesting watch.
The Chelsea attack is absent this week against Crystal Palace. With Pulisic and Ziyech still not fit to start, I’ve decided to avoid Werner while he’s being pushed wide and Havertz takes a bit more time to settle in.
Vardy’s in brilliant form but misses out against West Ham. I prefer the current three strikers to him this week with West Ham showing more solidity at the back. I haven’t gone Leicester-less but with budget still being a concern at this early stage into the season, I think there’s better value this week. Vardy continues to outperform his underlying stats with a goal conversion rate of 83%. This is surely unsustainable?
Arsenal haven’t been blowing teams away but with a fixture against Sheffield United Aubameyang looks a very good option this week. His price is the main reason he doesn’t make the cut. Willian hasn’t hit the heights of Gameweek 1 and I’m slightly worried about competition for this spot.
The Man Utd vs Spurs matchup has been completely ignored in the team. I think it’s going to be hard to call with players potentially missing such as Son. I don’t think it’s going to be a high scoring affair with Mourinho trying to keep it tight.
With the news that Mane is out for Gameweek 4, I’ve replaced him with Salah. To fund that £0.2m, Laptey comes in for James and sits on the bench.
James/Mane to Lamptey/Salah