FPL Season 2020-21 – Gameweek 7 Preview

“On Saturday, the clash between Manchester United and Arsenal is taking place at Old Trafford” (Part of the Public domain). Image by Nev1.

The FPL universe was once again up to its most cruel trickery last gameweek with a majority of popular premium assets and big hitters blanking despite favourable outlooks in the build-up to the Friday evening kick-off. The likes of Mo Salah at home to Sheffield United, Raheem Sterling versus West Ham away and Aubameyang at home against Leicester all failed to record attacking return, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Tottenham’s dynamic duo Kane and Son did deliver something with an assist and a goal, respectively, while a few less-owned picks hauled as well. Outstanding performer of the week was, of course, Leeds hattrick hero Patrick Bamford with his 3 goals at Villa Park.

Many of the most-owned FPL assets are getting an immediate second chance though, thanks to an appealing calendar for gameweek 7. Liverpool are hosting West Ham, José Mourinho’s Spurs are welcoming Brighton to London and Wolves are opening the gameweek on Friday evening with a home game against Crystal Palace, just to name a few fixtures. On top of that, there is the clash of the weekend at Old Trafford on Saturday, as Arsenal visit Manchester United.

Finally, don’t forget that there has been European football this week, which could have an impact on starting lineups and performances over the weekend. Having said that, here are our fantasy picks for gameweek 7.

Don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 7 is set for 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, October 30th. Also do check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your transfer(s).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per October 29th, 2020)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKRyan (BRI), Nyland (AST), Pope (BUR)Martinez (AST), Mendy (CHE), Meslier (LEE) 
DEFDigne (EVE), Van Dijk (LIV), Alexander-Arnold (LIV)Chilwell (CHE), Saïss (WOL), Kilman (WOL)Digne suspension, Van Dijk injury, Alexander-Arnold not worth it. Saiss playing wing-back now very cheap Kilman at CB.
MIDRodriguez (EVE), Aubameyang (ARS), Grealish (AST)Zaha (CRY), Son (TOT), Grealish (AST)Some injury doubts surrounding Rodriguez, Auba not returning at a premium price, and Palace and Spurs with good fixtures.
FORMitrovic (FUL), Wilson (NEW), Maupay (BRI)Bamford (LEE), Kane (TOT), Calvert-Lewin (EVE)Strikers in form replacing strikers who have not been returning lately

Premium pick

Like last weekend, Liverpool’s Mo Salah once again represents an excellent premium fantasy option and a favourite for the captaincy, but for the sake of variation, we have gone with Harry Kane (£10.9m) for gameweek 7. The Spurs had to work hard for their victory at Turf Moor and the English striker got away with “just” an assist in the end, but that did mean his sixth consecutive attacking return in a row. Overall, only his teammate Heung-Min Son has recorded more FPL points than Kane’s current 65. The North London side are hosting Brighton on Sunday in one of the most appealing fixtures of the weekend from an FPL points of view. It takes a brave manager to leave Kane out of his considerations for this gameweek, especially because the man in form is also on penalties.

Non-premium picks

For our first non-premium for the upcoming weekend, we are sticking with Spurs. We already mentioned Son Heung-Min (£9.5m) just before and we are recommending him once more just before his price tag places him in our premium pick category. The Korean’s price has already risen by £0.5m this season and with good reason. He has been nothing short of spectacular so far, with an incredible 8 goals and 2 assists to show from six games. The forward has recorded double figures in the last three gameweeks and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him extend that streak this weekend against Brighton The Seagulls have already conceded a worrying 12 goals in the first six games of the season and 5 of those came in their last two away games, against Everton and Palace.

Wolves’ current attacking form is a bit worrying at the moment, as they sit in the bottom three teams for big chances created and expected goals since the start of the season. As a result, they have scored just 6 goals in six games, but 4 of those goals were scored by their star striker Raul Jimenez (£8.5m). Against Newcastle in gameweek 6, Nuno Espirito Santo’s men were the dominating team for most of the game, they just missed the accuracy in the final third. Still, their Mexican talisman managed to find the net for a second consecutive time, which confirms what we already knew: he can book attacking returns at any time and any place. Raul is the focal point of the Wolves attack and at some point, Wolves’ undeniable squad quality should start being translated into goals. We hope that happens this weekend at home to Crystal Palace.

The budget enabler

Where the Wolves offense is struggling a bit, their defensive assets look more appealing. In the past two gameweeks, no team in the league conceded less big chances than them and their immediate upcoming schedule looks good. With Crystal Palace coming to Molineux this weekend followed by a visit to Leicester and then a home game versus Southampton, this looks like a good moment to invest in Max Kilman (£4.2m). The former futsal player seems to have cemented his place in the starting lineup with good performances over the past couple of weeks, which makes him a great budget-enabler at just £4.2m (well done those who acquired at £4.0m). With the return to fitness of Marçal and the arrival of Rayan Ait Nouri, the upcoming Wolves starting defensive lines are a bit of a guessing game. Still, Kilman looks like one of the wisest budget picks available right now.

A differential pick or two

Despite not recording any returns in the home game against Chelsea in gameweek 5, Marcus Rashford (£9.5m) will be brimming with confidence for the home game against Arsenal this weekend. The Manchester United forward, who is listed as a midfielder in FPL this year, was the big man in United’s Champions League clash with last season’s semi-finalists RB Leipzig. The Red Devils thrashed the Germans 5-0 and three of those goals were scored by the Englishman. He as so far played 90 minutes in all of United’s Premier League games and many eyes will be on him when they face the Gunners. With a current ownership of just 7.5%, he looks like a powerful differential in a time when a template team is becoming more and more apparent.

With Sadio Mané, we’re repeating a differential fantasy pick, but with good reason. We just want to take as much advantage as possible from his extremely low ownership (just 9.5% at the moment) before the FPL community realizes that he is probably as good a pick as team mate Mo Salah, who currently sits in 47.5% of all teams. The Senegalese winger already has 4 goals and 2 assists to his name, and he has returned 14 FPL points over the past two gameweeks. For the home game against West Ham this weekend, we would even consider cashing in on his differential completely by handing him the armband. His price tag of £12.0m is, of course, a drawback, but he could be an excellent combination of a premium and a differential fantasy pick.

The captaincy

With Salah and Mané at home to West Ham, Kane and Son at home to Brighton, and Man United hosting Arsenal this weekend, it looks like the GW7 captaincy battle is going to be an interesting one. On top of that, Chelsea at Burnley and Man City at struggling Sheffield United could deliver big as well. For gameweek 7, we are giving the captain’s armband to Tottenham’s Korean topscorer as he will be looking to take advantage of a leaky Seagulls backline to build on his 8 goals and 2 assists.

There is more though, as a few more differential captains could also deliver big this round. What about Raul Jimenez against Palace on Friday, for example? If Wolves score, there is a 67% chance that the Mexican will be involved. The game between Aston Villa and Southampton at Villa Park could also see some goals, which brings Jack Grealish and Danny Ings into the picture. If you’re more into Monday evening picks for the real last-minute surprise effect, you could consider WBA talisman Matheus Pereira at Craven Cottage or last weekend’s best performer Patrick Bamford at home against Leicester.

FanTeam 2020-21: €250K Champions League Group Stage – Late Registration

The Champions League 2020-21 campaign kicked off last week and immediately got into full swing. This week, it’s time for round two of the group stage, but to those fans who did not manage to register for FanTeam’s huge €250K Champions League Group Stage tournament last week, worry not: late registration is still open! To make things even better, every late entrant will be awarded 57 FanTeam points to start with, just under gameweek 1’s average.

After our CL team entered on 19 October, we will also be entering a late entry this gameweek. Before going over our selection of picks, we’ll list of the tournament’s most important specifics here below.

  • Scoring is as usual on FanTeam.
  • As the name suggests, the 250K Champions League Group Stage tournaments spans over 6 gameweeks, in accordance with the 6 group games.
  • Each participant receives 2 free transfers in the build-up to each every gameweek.
  • You can save one week’s worth of transfers in order to have a maximum of 4 free transfers the next week.
  • Late entries start with 57 FT points, 90% of gameweek 1’s average.
  • Late entries compete equally for the prize pool, including the whopping €50K for first place.

OUR GENERAL APPROACH

In order to get started on FanTeam’s 250K Champions League Group Stage tournament, we needed to create a team of 15 players, consisting of 2 goalkeepers, 5 defenders, 5 midfielders and 3 forwards inside a budget $100 million. For our late entry, we have tried to create a balanced team, including a decent bench. With the corona issues impacting football all over Europe, a strong bench might become more important than ever over the coming weeks. For the majority of our fantasy picks, we have taken the coming three rounds into account with the idea of saving our free transfers next week. That way, we can plan a 4-transfer team overhaul if needed in the build-up to gameweek 4.

GOALKEEPERS

As far as our goalkeepers are concerned, we have focused on budget-enabling starters and fortunately, a few appealing picks were available. To start with, we have gone with Porto goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin, who faced English giants Manchester City in gameweek 1. The Portuguese side put up a good fight, but they still ended up conceding three goals. As a result, their Argentinian shot stopper did not start the 2020-21 campaign with a clean sheet, but he did record 1,5 FT points, courtesy of 3 saves. With Olympiakos at home followed by a double encounter with Marseille up next, Marchesin looks like an appealing pick in goal for just 4.5M.

As his back-up, we have gone with Barcelona goalie Neto, who is filling in for first choice Marc-André Ter Stegen until he recovers from injury. The Brazilian is facing Ronaldo and the rest of Juventus on Wednesday, but after that it’s Dynamo Kiev at home and away. It’s still unclear when Ter Stegen will be ready for action again, but until then, a starting Barcelona goalkeeper at just 4.5M is a bargain. Should our first-choice goalie Marchesin not make the starting lineup in the coming Champions League weeks for whatever reason, then we’ll have Neto to fall back on.

DEFENDERS

After Bayern Munich’s 4-0 thrashing of Atletico Madrid, we basically had no choice but to include a few of their players in our FanTeam €250K Champions League Group Stage, starting with defender Benjamin Pavard. The French left-back started 3 of the 4 Bundesliga games played so far this season and he got 25 minutes as a substitute in the one game he didn’t start. Pavard was also a starter for Bayern’s gameweek 1 clash with Atletico, in which he ended up recording 7 FT points. The Germans are heavy favourites in their group and have an away game against Lokomotiv Moscow followed by a double clash Salzburg coming up. The Frenchman should get the nod for the majority if not all of the games in the group stage.

Despite conceding four goals against Bayern last week, we have saved a spot for Atletico Madrid defender Stefan Savic. After all, any team at any time can lose big against the reigning European champions. In La Liga, Diego Simeone’s men seem to have once again formed a very solid defensive unit. Los rojiblancos have conceded just a single goal in five games. Should they win the two games they currently have in hand, they would be top of the table. In Europe, Atletico has a home game versus Salzburg coming up, followed by double encounter with Lokomotiv Moscow. Though Savic doesn’t tend to get involved a lot up front, we think there could definitely be defensive returns on the cards for him over the coming weeks.

At Juventus, coach Andrea Pirlo has to deal with a bit of an injury crisis at the moment, mainly in defense. Despite that, we have still gone with Merih Demiral as our third defensive fantasy pick. The Old Lady is facing a Barcelona side in transition at home on Wednesday, which might not end in a clean sheet, but the two games after that definitely could. In gameweeks 3 and 4, Juve are playing Hungarian champions Ferencváros. Once the usual starters Bonucci, Chiellini and De Ligt are fit again, Demiral might find himself on the bench again, but at 5.0M, the Turkish center-back looks like a wise FanTeam pick for the weeks to come.

The clash between Atalanta and Ajax could well end up being one of the most entertaining ones this week. Both teams always try to play a fast-paced, attacking kind of football and neither of the two is likely to adapt much to the opponent for this. In other words, there could be loads of goals in this one, but we have still gone with Ajax central defender Perr Schuurs. The talented Dutchman might not record a clean sheet in Bergamo on Tuesday, but the double encounter with Danish minnows Midtjylland after that might. At 4.5M, he provides good value as a fourth or fifth defender in our team.

Speaking of good value, Porto left-back Zaidu Sanusi might represent one of the bargains of the ongoing FanTeam €250K Champions League Group Stage tournament. With first-choice left-back Alex Telles moving to Manchester United on Deadline Day, the Nigerian looks to have cemented a spot as his replacement in the starting line-up. After Telles left, it was Sanusi who immediately got his first 90 minutes in the 2-2 draw with Sporting Lisbon in the league. The 23-year old Nigerian made a good impression with an assist and he followed that up with a good display in gameweek 1 of the CL against Man City. With Olympiakos at home this week followed by two games against French side Marseille, the fixture calendar has turned more appealing for Porto now and Sanusi could be one of the benificiaries of that.

MIDFIELDERS

As we wrote earlier, we have tried to look for balance when selecting our team for the FanTeam €250K Champions League Group Stage tournament, but we felt we could not leave out Mo Salah. At 11M, the Liverpool star is our joint-most expensive pick for our late-entry team, because he is simply that good. The injury of Virgil van Dijk has cast some shadow over the Reds’ defensive reliability, but we feel their attack will still be going at full speed. With Salah as the main man up front and on penalties, and with games against Midtjylland (home), Atalanta (away) and Atalanta (home) coming up, we find it hard to imagine not to see the Egyptian bag a few goals over the coming weeks. Mo is also our captain for GW2.

Where our star man Salah blanked against Ajax in gameweek 1, our Bayern Munich midfield ace Thomas Muller didn’t against Atletico Madrid. The German superstar did what he does best, namely provide an assist, which resulted in 6 FT points for him and his owners. Last season, he provided no less than 26 assists in 50 games for Bayern Munich and this year, his total already sits on 4 assists after five Bundesliga games. On top of that, Muller has 3 league goals to his name as well. After their 4-0 victory over Atletico in GW1, we believe that Bayern are probably one of the best teams to back over the coming weeks, with games against Lokomotiv Moscow (away) and Salzburg (home and away) coming up next.

Up next is Ivan Rakitic, who we felt was available at quite a bargain price considering his quality and his key role in an excellent side like Sevilla FC. He returned to the Andalusians this summer after nine years at Schalke and then Barcelona, and he has slotted right back into the starting eleven. He has so far started all five of Sevilla’s games, and he managed to score 1 goal and provide 1 assist (in the European Super Cup against Bayern). In Group E, the Spaniards started with 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge and they will now host French side Rennes on Tuesday. After that, they have the double clash with Russian side Krasnodar coming up. As reigning Europa League champions, Sevilla will be the favourites in each of these games and Rakitic should be getting a few returns over that period.

Though Lazio Roma are by no means a side anyone should underestimate, their emphatic 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund did come as a bit of a surprise. Despite this result, we have still gone with two Dortmund assets for our FanTeam €250K Champions League Group Stage squad, starting with wing-back/midfielder Raphaël Guerreiro. He played the full 90 minutes against Lazio in gameweek 1 and after missing the first round of the 2020-21 Bundesliga season due to injury, he has started in 3 of the 4 league games after that. Dortmund have some making up to do after the defeat in Rome and with Zenit (home), Club Brugge (away) and Club Brugge (home) up next, they will get the opportunities to do so over the coming weeks.

We mentioned earlier how Group D could be full of goals, which is why we have gone with Ajax winger Antony as our fifth midfielder. The hugely talented Brazilian has hit the ground running in Europe after transferring to Amsterdam for €22 million. He missed the first Champions League game against Liverpool last week, but in the Eredivisie, he already has 4 goals and 2 assists to his name. Ajax made a good impression against the English champions in GW1 and were unlucky to concede an own goal, but they will get their chances to make up for it. They are first visiting Atalanta on Tuesday, followed by a double encounter with Midtjylland. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Antony score his first Champions League goal over the coming weeks and with a current ownership of just 1%, he’s a great differential.

FORWARDS

Like for our gameweek 1 team, we are opting for a front three led by Dortmund goalmachine Erling Haaland for our late entry into the FanTeam 250K Champions League Group Stage tournament. With 44 goals and 10 assists in 40 official games last season, the Norwegian international was one of the most in-form players on the continent and it doesn’t look like he’s going to slow down this year. After 8 games in total, he has already recorded 7 goals and 3 assists, including the only goal in the defeat against Lazio last week. With these numbers and an upcoming Champions League run of Zenit Saint Petersburg at home, Club Brugge away and Club Brugge at home, we felt we had no choice but to spend 11.0M of our budget on the 20-year old. Haaland is our vice-captain for GW2.

Our second forward pick is Atletico Madrid striker Luis Suarez, who left Barcelona on allegedly unfriendly terms in the summer. Whatever happened, in Madrid he has continued with what he has been doing for years and that is scoring goals. With 4 goals and 1 assist from five Primera División games, the Uruguayan has been directly involved in no less than 50% of Atletico’s league goals. He has started all but his debut game for the rojiblancos this season and we feel he is a snap at 8.5M. With two appealing home games (Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow) and an away game against Lokomotiv Moscow over the next three, we’re hoping for a haul or two from Luisito.

Our final striker is one we feel is a bit of a bargain as well at just 6.5M and a big differential with a current ownership of 0%, especially when he plays for Portuguese giants FC Porto. Moussa Marega is the first-choice man up front for the Dragões and they have a good set of fixtures coming up: Olympiakos at home, followed by a double clash with Marseille. No easy games by any means, but definitely games in which Marega will get chances to book some attacking returns. He has so far scored 2 goals and provided 1 assist in five league games (though this weekend he played just a single minute) and he completed the 90 minutes in gameweek 1 of the Champions League against Man City. That’s why the French-Malinese forward completes our late-entry squad for the FanTeam €250K Champions League Group Stage tournament.

FanTeam 2020-21: €50K Weekly Monster – GW6 – Sat 24 Oct 2020

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. This series will focus on FanTeam’s Premier League Classic Event, a daily fantasy league based on the EPL games using classic fantasy football rules. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for this weekly tournament to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) Main Event. The winner takes home a cool €7,500. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool for those who prefer to play with lower stakes.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Our team for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 6

Formation: 4-4-2

General approach

Once again, we felt we needed to stretch the available 100m budget to its maximum in order to field a representable team of eleven players for gameweek 6. Of all “Available” players, 11% were priced between 11m and 15m, while of all players in the game (meaning including players of any status), just 45% were priced at 7.5m or less. As a result, we have opted for a 442 formation in which we focus largely on Wolves for their home game against Newcastle, on Brighton for their home game versus West Brom and, of course, on Liverpool’s ultra-premium assets as they host Sheffield United at Anfield.

In order to facilitate this core of favourites, we had to make some concessions and fill out our team with a few budget picks. We have gone with fantasy assets who we feel might be able to produce individual returns, even if their teams are classified as heavy underdogs by FanTeam. Before we move on to our picks, don’t forget that the deadline for the FanTeam Weekly Monster this weekend is set at 12h30 (UK time) on Saturday, October 24th.

WOLVES

The Wolverhampton Wanders are our main supplier of fantasy assets for gameweek 6 as we’ve gone with three Wolves players. In defence, we have doubled up on central defender Willy Boly and fit-again Brazilian newcomer Marçal. Both set us back about 8.5m, but they have a promising fixture coming up with Newcastle rolling up to Molineux on Sunday. The Magpies have scored 7 goals in five games so far, but 5 of those goals came in just two games. At the same time, Wolves have already recorded three clean sheets this season, more than any other team in the league. If Marcal does not start then Kilman should be our automated sub.

Neither Boly nor Marçal have produced any attacking returns yet, but we haven’t picked them for goals or assists, though in the few games that fitness allowed the Brazilian to start did show some assist potential. For gameweek 6 though, they represent for us a combination of budget-friendly price tags and a decent chance on a clean sheet. Should that scenario pan out, then we’ve got 14 points in the bag already, minus the Stacking Penalty, which would be a decent return.

Our third Wolf is winger Pedro Neto, who FanTeam has classified as a midfielder for this one. The Portuguese youngster seems to be the main beneficiary of Diogo Jota leaving for Liverpool, as he has started all five of this season’s games so far. Over that period, he scored a goal and provided an assist for a total of 23 FT points. At 10.7m he is far from cheap, but his out-of-position status, added point for a clean sheet and kind fixture this weekend convinced us to pick him for our squad. Neto is also our vice-captain for gameweek 6.

BRIGHTON

When looking at the current Premier League ranking, Brighton sit in 16th, but that really doesn’t do them justice. They have played well so far this season, but the Seagulls too often forgot to reward themselves. The defeat against Manchester United back in gameweek 3 is probably the most illustrative example of that, as Graham Potter’s men hit the woodwork no less than five times.

Three of those attempts came off the nimble feet of winger Leandro Trossard. Despite his high positioning on the pitch, often even higher up than striker Maupay, he has been classified as a midfielder by FanTeam. The Belgian dribbler already has 1 goal and 2 assists to his name, and we feel he is one of the ones to watch in the upcoming game against West Brom at home. His price tag is heavy, but Brighton are favourites here and Trossard is primed for a sixth consecutive start in a row.

Joining him in our gameweek 6 team for FanTeam’s €50K Weekly Monster is Tariq Lamptey, the defender with most assists to his name (3) at the time of writing this piece. The former Chelsea talent has had a great start to the season and looks set for another decent haul this weekend. The Baggies boast the lowest number of shots on target of all teams in the league, while they have also created the least chances. In other words, Lamptey could be in for a star fantasy performance on Monday with potential for returns at both ends of the pitch.

LIVERPOOL

One of the reasons that budget was again a bit of a problem for us this week is our wish to include Mo Salah in our team. He looks like one of the players most likely to perform in a big way in gameweek 6 and FanTeam knows it well, hence his 15m price tag. Liverpool are playing at home against a Sheffield United side that are struggling to find some of last season’s great form. The Blades have scored just 2 goals so far and they have uncharacteristically conceded 7 already. In Salah, they are facing an attacker in form as the Egyptian has already scored 6 goals and provided 1 assist in the first five games of the season. He is the main man in our team for gameweek 6 and our captain as well.

Considering Sheffield United’s sub-par scoring record so far, we figured investment in a Liverpool defender was warranted as well. All of Liverpool’s defensive assets were priced at a premium, which makes sense, so we ended up going with the second-least expensive of the bunch, Joe Gomez. Only Matip cost less than him, but the Cameroonian has some fitness issues and might be a doubt for Saturday’s game as well. Seeing as Fabinho is his most likely replacement in case of absence, picking Matip for our team would mean risking a lost fantasy spot. Gomez, on the other hand, looks certain of a starting spot and we’re hoping for at least a clean sheet and an impact point from him this weekend.

THE INDIVIDUAL (BUDGET) PICKS

As far as our goalkeeper selection is concerned, we can be brief. Aaron Ramsdale is an excellent shot stopper, but what convinced us to include him for gameweek 6 is the fact that he was the cheapest starting goalkeeper available. He is visiting Anfield with Sheffield United on Saturday, where the Blades are not expected to take any points. Liverpool will dominate the game and our hope is that Ramsdale will get the opportunity to accumulate some save points for our FanTeam squad.

To complete our four-men midfield, we needed to find a budget-friendly pick who is a nailed-on starter and who has potential of a surprise attacking return. As a result, we ended up with West Ham’s Tomas Soucek, who is playing at home against Manchester City on Saturday afternoon. The Czech midfielder has so far completed the 90 minutes in each of West Ham’s five Premier League games and he currently sits on a total of 19 FT points, courtesy of a goal, 2 clean sheets and 2 impact points. The Hammers have had a good start to the season, especially compared to last season, and they are currently in 9th, two places above opponents Man City. That, of course, won’t be the case at the end of the season, but it does reflect on each team’s fortunes so far this campaign. West Ham are the underdogs in this one, but a surprise result with a key role for Soucek is not impossible.

Our forward line this week is led by none less than Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, who looks to have recovered from an injury that kept him out of the squad last weekend. Should he not be fit after all to face Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday, then the FanTeam Safety Net will automatically select his most likely replacement Kelechi Ihaenacho for us. Both teams have won 9 points from five games so far and this encounter could go both ways. One thing that’s sure though, is that Vardy will be on the prowl against an Arsenal side that has not recorded a clean sheet since the season opener versus Fulham away. This week, last season’s Premier League topscorer is our joker.

Our final fantasy pick for gameweek 6 is Aleksandar Mitrovic, the main danger man up front for strugglers Fulham. The Cottagers have a home game against Crystal Palace up next and they will be hoping to get something from that game after having won just one point from their first five games. With a brace back in gameweek 2 against Leeds, the Serbian forward has been responsible for half of Fulham’s goals in those games. Only Burnley and Sheffield United have scored less, but the hope is that the Londoners will improve on their tally this weekend against a Palace side that has already shipped 8 goals this campaign. Penalty duties add to Mitrogol’s appeal, though he did miss one last weekend against Sheffield United.

Do check out FanTeam’s Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs before finalising your team. You will only be able to see the starting line-ups for the 1st fixture of the GW – Chelsea v Southampton.

FPL Season 2020-21 – Gameweek 6 Preview

“On Friday at Villa Park, the home team will chase their fifth consecutive victory to make it 5 out of 5 since the start of the season” (CC by 3.0). Image by: Radi1981.

As if the FPL wasn’t enough of a minefield already this year, we will need to start taking European football into account from gameweek 6 and onwards. With Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea playing in the Champions League on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Leicester, Spurs and Arsenal coming into action in the Europa League on Thursday, many popular FPL assets will come into the weekend with just a few days of rest. Considering the impact this can potentially have on their spots in the starting lineups and their in-game performances, we highly recommend to keep an eye on the European competitions this week.

On top of that, gameweek 6 is not looking as straight-forward as many would like. It’s surprise package versus surprise package on Friday, followed by a few hard-to-predict encounters, including Man United hosting Chelsea, Leicester visiting Arsenal and hot-and-cold Man City going to an in-form West Ham side. Spurs playing at Turf Moor looks tasty considering the form of Harry Kane and co, but it could be a trap as the Claretshave just come off their first trademark clean sheet of the season. It’s probably the home games of Liverpool, Wolves and Brighton that will appeal most to FPL managers, though this Premier League campaign so far has been nothing if not unpredictable.

Don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 6 is set for 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, October 23rd. Also do check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your transfer(s).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per October 21st, 2020)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKAlisson (LIV), Nyland (AST), McCarthy (SOU)Martinez (AST), McCarthy (SOU), Ederson (CIT) 
DEFVan Dijk (LIV), Alexander-Arnold (LIV), Söyüncü (LEI)Chilwell (CHE), Mings (AST), Digne (EVE)Injured and expensive defenders being replaced by in-form defenders.
MIDDe Bruyne (CIT), Aubameyang (ARS), Willian (ARS)Son (TOT), Grealish (AST), Rodriguez (EVE)KDB’s injury and underperforming Arsenal assets replaced by the many in-form midfielders.
FORVardy (LEI), Richarlison (EVE), Mitrovic (FUL)Kane (TOT), Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Werner (CHE)Expensive and injured forwards replaced by in-form attackers.

Premium pick

Despite Liverpool’s wobbly start to the season, it’s now 6 goals and 1 assist form five games for Mo Salah (£12.3m). With an ownership of close to 50%, the Egyptian is about the furthest from a differential as can be, but he is turning into an essential fantasy pick. This weekend, the Reds are hosting a struggling Sheffield United side and there could very well be attacking returns for Salah once again. The Blades have won just a single point so far and with just two goals to their name so far, it’s hard to imagine them causing trouble at Anfield. Liverpool will have the upper-hand in this one and Salah will be a captaincy favourite amongst FPL managers. He has returned in both home games this season (a hattrick against Leeds in GW1 and an assist vs Arsenal in GW3) and looks set to do so once again on Saturday evening.

Non-premium picks

As one of the most under-priced fantasy assets this season, Jack Grealish (£7.2m) will probably be featuring in this category a lot more often over the course of this season. Especially considering the red hot form Aston Villa are in at the moment. Last season’s strugglers have started the 2020-21 campaign in style, winning their four first games by scoring 12 goals and conceding just 7. As best player and main source of offensive creativity, Grealish has been directly involved in exactly 50% of those goals, with 3 goals and 3 assists. This weekend, Villa are facing Leeds, who have shipped 9 goals in five games, followed by Southampton who conceded 9 over that same period as well. Both of these games are at home and both of these games look very appealing for Grealish. The Villains are brimming with confidence at the moment and the young Englishman is playing some of the best football of his career, so we feel more FPL points are on the way for him.

Our second non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 6 is less explosive and plays for a less explosive team as well. Wolves striker Raul Jimenez (£8.5m) is nonetheless one of the most reliable FPL assets around. Despite the team still trying to find a bit more of its groove, the Mexican has already scored 3 goals with a total of 24 FPL points from five games as a result. He slotted the only goal of the game past Leeds goalie Meslier on Monday and has three plum home fixtures coming up in the next four: Newcastle, Crystal Palace and Southampton. That could be just the kind of run that Wolves need to build their confidence and start flowing a bit more freely in attack, of which Jimenez would be the main beneficiary.

The budget enabler

For this round’s budget enabler, we’re looking at Brighton as they host new boys West Bromwich Albion on Monday. The Seagulls’ current position in the rankings does not really do justice to how well they have been playing so far. No team in the league has conceded less shots in the box than them and just one side has conceded less shots on target. This weekend’s opponents, on the other hand, are the team with the least shots on target and the least big chances created. In other words, a clean sheet looks more than possible for Brighton, which is why we figured Tariq Lamptey (£4.7m) could be an excellent budget pick. On top of the promising defensive stats of his team, the English right-back has 3 assists to his name already, more than any other defender in the official game, so there could be returns at both ends of the pitch for his this weekend.

A differential pick or two

It feels strange to write about Sadio Mané (£11.9m) being a differential pick in FPL, but he really is at this moment. His partner in crime on the other wing has been taking up most of the spotlight so far, but the Senegalese powerhouse has not been sitting still, either. On the contrary, he has already scored 4 goals this season and sits on a total of 31 FPL points. At the moment of writing and with a home game against Sheffield United coming up, Mané has been selected by just 8.1% of FPL managers. That’s 0.1% less than Burnley’s Dale Stephens, to give you an idea of the Liverpool ace’s differential status. He did, of course, feature in the Champions League encounter with Ajax in Amsterdam on Wednesday night, but we don’t see why he would not be starting again against the Blades on Saturday, just like we can’t imagine him remaining eligible for our differential category much longer.

The same largely goes for Marcus Rashford (£9.5m), who currently sits in just 6.2% of all teams while being classified as a midfielder this year. Up until last weekend,he was having a slow start to the season, but last weekend he rose and led the Red Devils to a very welcome 1-4 victory over Newcastle with a goal and 2 assists. Following that man-of-the-match display, the young forward also scored a 87th-minute winner in the Champions League outing against PSG to set United off to a perfect start in Europe’s most important competition. Rashford now has just over three days to rest and prepare for the home game against Chelsea, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him continue his good form against the Blues. Having conceded 9 goals in five games so far, Frank Lampard’s men are once again suffering from a fragile defence, which makes Rashford a very appealing and potentially explosive differential pick for GW6.

The captaincy

With Liverpool expected to dominate most if not all of the game against Sheffield United on Saturday, we have placed the captain’s armband on Mo Salah‘s reliable arm for gameweek 6. The Egyptian talisman has already scored six times and assisted once this season, and a struggling Blades outfit looks like a great opportunity for him to improve on those tallies. He is looking sharp and gets into plenty of scoring positions, even when Liverpool are not playing their best game. On top of that, he’s on penalties, so we expect him to be the most-picked candidate for the captaincy this GW6 weekend.

Should you not have Salah in your team and be unable to afford his more than premium price tag, worry not. As well as probably the next most-popular choice, Harry Kane, the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and even Timo Werner or Kai Havertz could deliver big in the clash between United and Chelsea on Saturday. At home to Newcastle, Wolves star Raul Jimenez looks set to get chances as well, just like Jack Grealish and Ollie Watkins against Leeds on Friday. For a bit more of a high-risk-high-reward kind of pick, Danny Ings (at home to Everton) and Neal Maupay (at home to West Brom) look like decent picks.

FanTeam 2020-21: €250K Champions League Group Stage

In about 24 hours, it’s that time again. On Tuesday, October 20th, at 17h55 (UK time), Zenit Saint Petersburg and Dynamo Kiev are kicking off the 2020-21 Champions League, at home against Club Brugge and Juventus, respectively. Of course, this calls for a serious FanTeam tournament and we were not disappointed – FanTeam’s huge €250K Champions League Group Stage tournament has a buy-in of just €25 a pop. Naturally, we have created a team again for this one, but before we go over our selection, we’ll list the tournament’s most important specifics here below.

  • Scoring is as standard on FanTeam.
  • Max 3 players per club.
  • 15 players including 4 subs.
  • As the title suggests, the tournament spans gameweeks, in accordance with the 6 group games.
  • You receive 2 free transfers in the build-up to each gameweek.
  • You can save one week’s worth of transfers in order to have a maximum of 4 free transfers the next week.
  • Too late? Has the Champions League already started? No problem, the FanTeam 250K Champions League Group Stage tournament has a “Join late” option, as long as you join before gameweek 2 has started. You will also get compensated for missing the first gameweek with points worth a very generous 90% of the average score in gameweek 1.

OUR GENERAL APPROACH

In order to get started on FanTeam’s 250K Champions League Group Stage tournament, we needed to create a team of 15 players (includes 4 subs), consisting of 2 goalkeepers, 5 defenders, 5 midfielders and 3 forwards inside a budget $100 million. We have tried to build in a bit of balance in the team and the plan, at this moment, would be to use the team below to compete in the first two gameweeks saving our GW2 transfers so we can execute an overhaul in the build-up to gameweek 3 with 4 free transfers.

GOALKEEPERS

For the goalkeepers, our focus has been on budget-enabling starters and as a result, we found both of them in the Bundesliga. Despite Roman Bürki’s availability, Borussia Dortmund’s Marwin Hitz has started the last two league games for the German side and kept a clean sheet in each of those games. He has left a very decent impression so far and it looks like the 33-year old will be in goal for the opener at Lazio Roma as well. After that, it’s Zenit at home, followed by a double face-off with Belgian champions Club Brugge.

Should Bürki regain his starting spot on Tuesday, then Hitz will be replaced by RB Leipzig goalie Peter Gulásci in our team. The Hungarian shot stopper is available at a bargain price on FanTeam and is a sure starter for the current Bundesliga leaders. On top of that, Leipzig start with a home game against Istanbul Basaksehir, followed by an away game at Old Trafford against a hot-and-cold Manchester United side. Gulásci will be in goal for gameweek 1, Hitz will most likely be our starter in gameweek 2.

DEFENDERS

We’ll be starting gameweek 1 of the 2020-21 Champions League with a 3-men defence. First in line is Inter Milan right-back Achraf Hakimi who will be facing Borussia Mönchengladbach at the Guiseppe Meazza on Wednesday. The Spanish-Morrocan defender is a key part of manager Antonio Conte’s defensive and attacking plans, as dynamo on the right-most side of a 5-men defence. He gets plenty of freedom to bomb forward to join in attack, in part because the Inter centre is guarded by one of the best defences in Europe. As a result, he already has a goal and 2 assists to his name after just 4 Serie A games.

He is joined by a fellow Serie A star in the person of Juventus mainstay Leonardo Bonucci. The Old Lady will once again be approaching this Champions League campaign as one of the favourites and the Italian veteran plays a key part in those plans. He missed the clash with Napoli on October 4th, but he played for 90 minutes in the other three league games so far and we expect him to start against Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday as well. After that, it’s Barcelona at home followed by a double meeting with Hungarian side Ferencvaros.

Hakimi and Bonucci are joined in defence this week by Bayern München defender Benjamin Pavard. The French left-back started 3 of the four Bundesliga games played so far this season and he got 25 minutes as a substitute in the one game he didn’t start. Pavard was also part of the starting line up for both the European Super Cup and the German Super Cup, both of which were won by Bayern. The Germans are heavy favourites in a group with Atletico Madrid, Lokomotiv Moscow and Salzburg, and the Frenchman should get the nod for the majority if not all of the games in the group stage.

Our two defenders starting on the bench this week are both budget-enablers with excellent perspectives of a starting spot in the coming games. RB Leipzig defender Lukas Klostermann started all but one game for last year’s Champions League semi-finalists this season and he is facing Istanbul Basaksehir this week, followed by Manchester United away the next. We don’t expect to call him for these games, but he’s excellent back-up in case of a last-minute issue.

Speaking of Manchester United, their Deadline Day purchse of Porto left-back Alex Telles has opened up a spot in the Portuguese starting lineup for Zaidu Sanusi. While the former was still part of the Porto roster, the latter replaced him twice in the league. After Telles left, it was Sanusi who immediately got his first 90 minutes in the 2-2 draw with Sporting Lisbon. The 23-year old Nigerian made a good impression with an assist and he looks set as Porto’s left-back for the foreseeable future. After Man City in gameweek 1, it’s two consecutive home games for Porto, against Olympiakos and Marseille.

MIDFIELDERS

For our midfield selection, we have gone for direct goal involvement more than pure goalscoring power, though Mo Salah is the exception. The Liverpool star is our joint-most expensive pick for FanTeam’s 250K Champions League Group Stage tournament, because he is simply that good. The injury of Virgil van Dijk has cast some shadow over the Reds’ defensive reliability, but we feel their attack will still be going at full speed. With Salah as the main man up front and on penalties, and with attacking sides Ajax, Atalanta and Midtjylland in their group, Salah is probably one of the wisest investments you can make at this point.

Though we stated earlier that our focus for the midfield has been on goal involvement more than goalscoring, the truth is that Thomas Muller offers both. Last season, the German superstar provided no less than 26 assists in 50 games for Bayern Munich, and this year his total already sits at 4 assists after four Bundesliga games. On top of that, Muller has 3 league goals to his name already. Bayern are up against Atletico Madrid in gameweek 1 before it’s Lokomotiv Moscow away and a double clash with Salzburg in the next three for the reigning European champions.

Up next is Ivan Rakitic, who we felt was available at quite a bargain price considering his quality and his key role in an excellent side like Sevilla FC. He returned to the Andalusians this summer after nine years at Schalke and then Barcelona, and he has slotted right back into the starting eleven. He has so far started all five of Sevilla’s games, and he managed to score 1 goal and provide 1 assists (in the European Super Cup against Bayern). Group E looks like a group with potential for goals and Rakitic could be among a few of them. Sevilla start with an away game at defensively fragile Chelsea before hosting French side Rennes at home and then playing two games against Krasnodar.

Attacking midfielder Dani Olmo is the third RB Leipzig fantasy asset in our FanTeam 250K Champions League Group Stage squad. The Spaniard has started all five of his team’s games so far and he has been good for 4 assists over that run. We feel he could improve on that tally in the home game against Istanbul Basaksehir in gameweek 1 of the Champions League, which is why he will be in our starting lineup this week. After that it’s Man United away and a double clash with Paris Saint Germain, the team that eliminated them in the quarter-finals of the Champions League last year.

Our midfield five is completed by Ajax all-rounder Davy Klaassen, who came to the club where it all started for him years ago just before the end of the transfer window. The 27-year old Dutchman was brought in to add some experience to the very talented, but young Ajax midfield and we expect him to start most if not all of the group stage games. Last season, as key player at Bundesliga side Werder Bremen, Klaassen scored 9 goals and provided 7 assists in 39 games, while this season he scored a penalty in his first game back at Ajax last weekend.

FORWARDS

For gameweek 1 of the FanTeam 250K Champions League Group Stage tournament, we are opting for a front three led by Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland. With 44 goals and 10 assists in 40 official games last season, the Norwegian international was one of the most in-form players on the continent and it doesn’t look like he’s going to slow down this year. After 6 games, he has already recorded 5 goals and 3 assists. With the away game against Lazio Roma, followed by a home game versus Zenit and then a double encounter with Club Brugge, Haalands looks like a bit of a must-have.

Similar words could be used for Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian forward has played 4 Serie A games so far this season and he is leading the league’s topscorer ranking with 4 goals. After scoring a record 13 games  in a row in the Europa League, the final of which Inter lost to Sevilla, Lukaku will now have his eyes set on scoring goals in the Champions League and a home game against Gladbach looks like a good fixture for him to get off the mark this season. After that it’s Shaktar away, which means that we might well see a couple of goals behind his name by the time we start planning for our four free transfers in the build-up to gameweek 3.

Finally, we reserved a decent part of our budget for Barcelona starlet Ansu Fati. The still only 17-year old winger has already become a major part of Ronald Koeman’s new project at Barça and with reason. After four La Liga games, of which he started three, Fati already has 3 goals and an assist to his name. We would be surprised not to see him start at home to Ferencvaros in the club’s first game of the 2020-21 Champions League. After that, it’s Juventus away, followed by a double encounter with Dynamo Kiev. We’re seeing chances for the youngster in this group.

FanTeam 2020-21: €100K Weekly Monster – GW5 – Sat 17 Oct 2020

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. This series will focus on FanTeam’s Premier League Classic Event, a daily fantasy league based on the EPL games using classic fantasy football rules. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for this weekly tournament to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€100k prize pool) Main Event, which has a maximum entry limit of 6,332 participants. Every week, we’ll report back on how our team performed in the previous week. A finish in the top 1,264 would see us win part of the prize pool of which the winner takes home a cool €10,000. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool (of which the winner should get about €1,300) for those who prefer to play with lower stakes.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Our early team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 5

Formation: 3-4-3

General approach

Gameweek 5 is a particularly hard one to predict in terms of results and potential star performers. The teams that would usually be considered clear favourites (Chelsea, Man City, Spurs, Leicester etc) are all either facing in-form opposition or have shown us over the past four weeks that their form is far from consistent at the moment. As a result, we are left with an abundance of expensive to very premium options carrying a relatively large risk of blanking. The question, most of all, was to what extent we wanted to stretch the very tight budget this weekend in order to bring in risky favourites and then compensating with very low-priced, no-expectation picks to fill out our 11-men squad.

One thing we do know this season is that goals are being scored and penalties are way up compared to previous seasons. Match of the Day even dedicated a short segment to it in one of their last episodes. Goals have been scored for fun this campaign and clean sheets have been rare, so we decided to try and pick a FanTeam squad based on these trends. The core of our team consists of Sheffield United and Manchester City picks, combined with a Spurs premium ace and a cheap goalkeeper as budget enabler. The rest of the squad is built up of picks based on individual (goal-scoring) ability and penalty duties. In other words, players who might not see 3 points coming their way this weekend, but who are likely to be involved in the goals should their teams score.

MANCHESTER CITY – The favourites

One of the main talking points in the FPL world in the build-up to gameweek 5 is the fitness of Man City star Kevin de Bruyne. The midfielder was withdrawn in the 73rd minute on Sunday in the Nations League encounter with England and then sent back to Manchester for further examination. Whilst several sources, including Belgian national team coach Roberto Martinez, confirmed that these were precautionary measures more than anything and recent reports have stated that the player has been suffering from muscle stiffness, Pep has today said that KDB will miss the Arsenal match. With KDB not fit for the game, then we’ve gone with Raheem Sterling. Should Sterling not start either, then Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva are next in line.

Our second Man City pick is winger Riyad Mahrez, this round’s fourth-most expensive FanTeam asset. The Algerian wizard started in the last two Premier League games for Pep Guardiola’s team and looks set for another start against the Gunner with injuries and fitness doubts surrounding a number of attacking City assets. Besides that, the former Leicester star is simply a very good player who deserves a starting spot. He has a goal and an assist to this name so far, which both came against Leicester in gameweek 2, for a total of 12 FT points. Mahrez played two games and 180 minutes for Algeria over the break, and scored against Mexico, but both games took place in Northern Europe and he looked fit for his return to England.

SHEFFIELD UNITED – The defence

The 2020-21 campaign is looking like a tough one for Sheffield United, one of potential consolidation or suffering after a stellar return to the Premier League last season. The Blades were perhaps too hesitant this summer to bring new faces into the already rather stretched squad, though they did secure Rhyan Brewster’s signature towards the end of the window. In any case, it’s zero points from four games for them so far, with just a single goal scored and five conceded. Despite the disappointing start to the season, we find it hard to believe that all of last season’s qualities have just disappeared overnight and this weekend’s home game against Fulham presents a good opportunity for them to book the first points of the season.

The Cottagers are last at the moment, without points and a negative goal difference of -8, result of conceding 11 goals and scoring just 3. All three of those goals were scored in the 4-3 away loss against Leeds, by the way. That’s why we feel Sheffield United has one of the best chances on a clean sheet this weekend, and why we have doubled up on their defence: George Baldock and Jack Robinson. The former already has an assist to his name and ranks third amongst all defenders for touches in the penalty area, while the latter is the cheapest starting defender for the Blades. In case of a clean sheet, the Stacking Penalty will be applied, but a Sheffield United defensive double-up looks like a wise use of limited funds.

SOUTHAMPTON – The bargains

Besides Manchester City and Sheffield United, our FanTeam fantasy selection for gameweek 5 contains a third double-up, but for different reasons. Southampton are facing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and despite being the clear underdogs in this one, the Saints roster does offer some potential, not in the last place due to the budget price tags of their players.

First off is goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, who’s been very good so far this season. Apart from the 5 goals conceded against Spurs in gameweek 2, the Southampton defence have conceded just 1 goal in three games. Their last two games ended with clean sheets and as a result, McCarthy currently sits on 18 FT points. Just three goalies have recorded more this season. Even though a clean sheet away at Chelsea would be considered a major surprise and a super achievement, it’s not completely out of the question. We have picked him for the combination of his low price tag, good individual quality and considerable saves potential. He has, so far, recorded 8 saves and even in the very possible absence of a clean sheet against Chelsea, we do count on a few save points from the Scot.

The story for our selection of Danny Ings is a bit similar, though instead of save points, we’re hoping for a goal. As we wrote earlier, Chelsea are the favourites here, but that doesn’t mean that the Saints don’t provide any potential for points. Where the Blues have already conceded 6 goals in four games, Southampton have scored 5 goals in four games. In other words, this encounter could end up being a high-scoring one and in that case, we want Ings on our team, especially at his current bargain price. He played 90 minutes over the international break and scored against Wales, while he already has 3 goals to his name in the Prem. With penalty duties in his pocket as well, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the score sheet against Chelsea.

THE INDIVIDUAL GUNS

As we said in our introduction, for various reasons, our team for gameweek 5 also contains a few picks based on individual qualities and the (offensive) importance of each of these players to their respective teams.

We’re starting with our captain for this round, Tottenham’s very own Harry Kane. Spurs have had a pretty spectacular start to the season with 2-5 and 1-6 victories away at Newcastle and Manchester United, combined with rather underwhelming home results against Everton in GW1 (0-1 loss) and Newcastle (1-1) in GW3. The consensus seems to be that Mourinho’s men thrive against teams playing a high defensive line, but suffer more against teams setting up a deeper-lying defensive block. This weekend’s visitors West Ham are in good form and expected to rely on a tight defensive set-up at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, so we definitely don’t expect this one to be a walk in the park for the home team. Still, Harry Kane is Harry Kane and in his current form, he seems hard to stop. He already has a whopping 3 goals and 6 assists to his name from just four games, and he has created more chances than any other player in the league so far. On top of that, No other player in the league has a higher expected goal involvement than the English international.

Our decision to go for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this weekend is very similar to the one justifying picking Danny Ings. The Gunners are the underdogs in Saturday’s away game against Man City, but it’s not like the home team has been so incredibly invincible so far this season. Guardiola’s men have taken just 4 points from their first three games and perhaps even more worrying, they have conceded 7 goals in the process. As a result, they currently boast a very uncharacteristic -1 goal difference. That’s also why we feel that, while City work on their defensive stability, the Gunners might be able to sneak in a goal or two this weekend and if they do, Auba is likely to be involved, especially because he takes the pens as well. Like Chelsea versus Southampton, this could end up being another high-scoring affair.

Next up is Matheus Pereira, the orchestrator of almost all of West Bromwich Albion’s attacking moves. The Brazilian is a bit of an outfield pick, especially at a relatively expensive 9.0m, but that has more to do with the team he’s part of than his individual qualities. The Baggies have had a tough start to the season with just 1 point from four games, but Pereira has been one of their positive talking points. After registering an incredible 16 assists in the Championship last season, he currently sits on 2 assists and 1 goal, giving him a direct goal involvement in no less than 60% of all of West Brom’s goals. There won’t be a lot of games this season in which the Baggies won’t be the underdogs, but this weekend’s home game against struggling Burnley might be one of them. The Clarets have taken just 1 point from the first three games and they have conceded 8 goals in the process. Again, this one could go both ways with two teams in dire need of points facing each other, and West Brom’s playmaker could be the one to mark the difference.

Picking Leandro Trossard to complete our midfield set-up has gone pretty much along the same lines, with the major difference being that Brighton are a better team than West Brom. The Seagulls are showing clear signs of improvement in comparison to last year and they were unlucky not to get more than their current 3 points from four games. Against the Man United back in GW3 alone, they hit the woodwork an incredible five times. Three of those attempts were launched by Trossard. The Belgian is generally positioned very high up the pitch, at times even higher than Brighton striker Maupay, and he is on several set-pieces as well. He has delivered returns in three of this season’s four games for a total of 21 FT points already and this weekend it’s Crystal Palace away for the Belgian. The Eagles have come off two back-to-back defeats against Everton and Chelsea, and even though there is no clear favourite for this encounter, an attacking return from Trossard is far from off the cards.

FINAL PICK

After selecting the above ten players, we still had one defensive spot left to fill and 6.1m to make it work. We ended up going with Wolves’ new acquisition Marçal, who is expected to return from injury and slot right back in at left-wingback. The team has had a bit of an underwhelming start to the 2020-21 campaign, but that is mainly due to their hampering attacking output. Defensively, they have conceded 7 goals, but all of those goals came in two games, namely the 4-0 defeat at West Ham and the 1-3 home loss versus Man City. The games against Sheffield United in GW1 and Fulham in GW4 ended with clean sheets. This weekend, the Wolves are up against Leeds at Elland Road. The Whites have been one of the revelations so far this season and they could very well end up putting a few past Wolves keeper Patricio, but with the remaining budget, Marçal is probably the pick with the highest points ceiling. Apart from the chance of a clean sheet as part of a pretty sound defensive set-up, he could also be involved in some attacking moves, as Leeds do leave spaces to exploit in every game.

Do check out FanTeam’s Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs before finalising your team. You will only be able to see the starting line-ups for the 1st fixture of the GW – Chelsea v Southampton.

FPL Season 2020-21 – Gameweek 5 Preview

“On Saturday, Goodison Park is the scene for the 235th Merseyside Derby” (CC by 2.0). Image by: Michael Graham

So goals seem to be a given for the time being, with gameweek 4 offering another incredible tally: 41 goals in total. A whopping 16 of those were scored in just two games! The 1-6 thumping of Man United at Old Trafford by Spurs was rather unbelievable but the 7-2 home victory of Aston Villa over reigning champions Liverpool in the following game was possibly even more baffling. As a result, there was another wave of hauls last gameweek, with Villa playmaker Jack Grealish delivering a shocking 2 goals and 3 assists for 24 FPL points, his teammate and Villa striker Ollie Watkins recording a hattrick and an assist for 19 FPL points, and the threesome of Heung-Min Son, James Rodriguez and Ben Chilwell all delighting their owners with 18 FPL points.

Gameweek 5 is going to be an interesting one (certainly for those playing FanTeam’s GW5 Monster) and a particularly hard one to predict, in a big part due to the current international break being the first one in the corona era. News reports, some more trustworthy than others, have already been coming in about Premier League players either testing positive or having been in close contact with a national team mate who tested positive, but we’ll only know the real truth once all players have returned to their clubs later this week. Just be aware of the fact that the resurging coronavirus can and most likely will have an impact on the Prem and therefore FPL over the coming weeks. See it as another unpredictable variable in your FPL planning schemes.

For the moment, professional sports leagues are continuing and that’s the most important thing of all.  Saturday starts off with a promising Merseyside Derby and later that day, Man City host Arsenal at the Etihad. From a fantasy point of view, Chelsea at home to Southampton, Spurs at home to West Ham and Leeds vs Wolves are just some of the appealing fixtures. We’re hoping all players return safely from their international duties and that the Premier League can continue in full, goal-scoring force this weekend.

Don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 5 is set for 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, October 17th. Also do check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your transfer(s).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per October 14th, 2020)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKAlisson (LIV), Nyland (AST), Pope (BUR)Martinez (AST), McCarthy (SOU), Mendy (CHE) In form cheap Goalies.
DEFAlexander-Arnold (LIV), James (CHE), Van Dijk (LIV)Chilwell (CHE), Castagne (LEI), Saïss (WOL)Premium Liverpool defenders not really delivering.
MIDDe Bruyne (CIT), Aubameyang (ARS), Zaha (CRY)Son (TOT), Rodriguez (EVE), Grealish (AST)Injury doubts for KDB and Auba, excellent recent performances by the top-3 transferred-in midfielders.
FORWerner (CHE), Martial (UTD), Mitrovic (FUL)Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Kane (TOT), Wilson (NEW)In-form strikers bering brought in, non-scoring strikers being sold + Martial red-card ban.

Premium pick

It was strange what happened to Liverpool at Villa Park two weekends ago and manager Jurgen Klopp will surely have identified the glitch that caused their 7-2 loss by now, but as FPL managers, one of the main things we’re sticking with from that game is the brace scored by Mo Salah (£12.2m). Despite his team conceding seven, the Egyptian still managed to score two goals and record 13 FPL points in the process, including a bonus point. That puts him at 5 goals and 1 assist from four games this season, resulting in 41 FPL points. Only Spurs’ dynamic duo Son and Kane have collected more points each since the start of the campaign. Liverpool are gearing up for a visit to Goodison Park for a crowd-less edition of the Merseyside Derby next. With the Toffees in good form at the moment, this game is hard to predict, but we do feel there will be goals in this one. Neither of the teams has been particularly solid in defence so far (Everton have conceded 5 in 4 games, Liverpool 11 in 4), which could spell good news for the likes of Salah coming weekend.

Non-premium picks

Our first non-premium pick for gameweek 5 is one who might not be eligible for this category much longer. At the moment of writing, Heung-Min Son (£9.1m) has just risen £0.1m in price after two huge hauls in four weeks time, but with games against West Ham (home), Burnley (a), Brighton (H) and West Brom (a) in the next four, the Korean forward might continue this trend over the coming weeks. With 45 FPL points, he is currently the highest-scoring player in the official game, courtesy of 6 goals and 1 assist. All of these returns were recorded in away games though, while this season’s two home games resulted in just 3 FPL points. This weekend, Spurs are hosting an in-form West Ham side in North London, so this suggestion does come with a bit of caution and derby games are never easy to predict at the best of times. The Hammers recorded two impressive victories and two clean sheets in the last two gameweeks, against Wolves at home and Leicester away. Still, after their 1-6 destruction of Man United in GW4, Spurs are favourites for this one, just like they will be for the three games after that.

Our other non-premium fantasy pick combines decent form with a decent fixture, at least from an offensive point of view. Crystal Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha (£7.2m) has enjoyed a good start to the FPL season with 3 goals and 26 FPL points from the first four games. The Eagles started the campaign with two victories, but their last two games ended in defeats, against Everton at home (1-2) and versus Chelsea away (4-0). Zaha’s returns followed this trend, with just 3 FPL points from the last two, but he is now facing a set of more appealing fixtures again, starting with Brighton away. The Seagulls have had a difficult start to the season, but they are certainly showing some promise. One of their issues is their defence though, as they have conceded 10 goals in the first four games of the campaign. Result-wise, the Brighton – Palace game could go either way, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see Zaha back amongst the attacking returns this weekend.

The budget enabler

We know it’s early to have a good idea of his real (potential) impact on his new team, but former Liverpool talent Rhian Brewster (£4.5m) could become an enormous FPL bargain and budget enabler after his transfer to Sheffield United. The Blades paid around £23.5 million for the 20-year old striker on their quest for goals. Despite the fact that he has not yet featured in the Premier League yet and that Sheffield United aren’t exactly a free-flowing attacking side, a £4.5m-striker with serious chance of playing minutes is definitely worth considering. On top of that, with McGoldrick and Burke being injury doubts at the moments, his playing chances increase further. In any case, Chris Wilder’s men really need to start scoring soon (they have scored just a single goal so far) and Brewster’s transfer fee coupled with a 5-year contract indicate serious confidence in the youngster. As a third striker in your squad, he could be a very useful budget pick.

A differential pick or two

West Brom have so far not particularly impressed this season and the new boys sit on just 1 point from four games, but the upcoming fixture list gives reason for hope. The Baggies are facing Burnley (home), Brighton (away) and Fulham (away), which looks like a good little set of games to work on their points tally. Should they do so, then attacking midfielder Matheus Pereira (£6.0m) will most likely have a lot to do with it. With a goal and 2 assists, he has been directly involved in three of the team’s five goals, and he has been one of the positives of West Brom’s campaign so far. The Brazilian is their main attacking outlet, and the combination of his current 3.4% ownership and the upcoming favourable fixtures make him an interesting differential pick for the short to medium term.

Earlier, we wrote about Crystal Palace versus Brighton being an unpredictable encounter this coming weekend, but one in which there could be goals. The away team’s Leandro Trossard (£6.0m) has rather quietly been making a really good start to the season with a goal and 2 assists from the first four games. His only blank came in the home game versus Manchester United, but he did hit the woodwork an unbelievable three times in that encounter. Nonetheless, the Belgian still sits on 20 FPL points at the moment of writing, while being part of just 2.2% of FPL teams. Between coming weekend and gameweek 8, the Seagulls are facing Palace away, West Brom at home and Burnley home. In his current form and as part of a Brighton side that definitely seems to have improved since last season, Trossard should definitely be on your watch lists as a major differential.

The captaincy

For a long time, we were going to put the armband on Spurs forward Heung-Min Son, especially when considering the fact that he did not have any games during the international break. The Korean has been in explosive form this season, but what worries us a little bit is the reality that he has blanked in this campaign’s two home games so far. West Ham is coming to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this weekend and with the Hammers in good form, Son might end up disappointing us. Might. Instead, we’ve gone with Liverpool superstar Mo Salah, who plays away at Everton on Saturday in what could well become a goal-laden Merseyside Derby.

Of course, neither of these players has a clear “favourable fixture”, so you might want to place your faith in another fantasy asset. Kevin de Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez could be good picks at home to Arsenal, Vardy could deliver against Aston Villa at home and Kai Havertz could be up for his first goal at home versus Southampton after recording an assist in each of his last two Premier League games. For a bit more of a punt, Raul Jimenez away at Leeds, Matheus Pereira at home against Burnley, and the on-fire Dominic Calvert-Lewin at home versus Liverpool could be captaincy picks to see you gain ground this weekend.

England vs. Belgium 2-1 Highlights

Despite facing the Number 1 team in the national league and one of the best across the globe, England managed to win the game 2-1. The first half penalties saw Rushford and Lakaku swap strikes. 

The Red Devils took control of the game with the first goal by Yannick Carrasco, but it was ruled offside. England had faced a challenging game for most of the half, but they got their redemption when Henderson was pulled to the ground, and Marcus Rushford equalized for the lion through a penalty. 

There are several lessons that could be noted from the game, such as the amazing performance by Lukakau and Kevin De Bruyne. 

Encouraging performance by Belgium Stars 

Thomas Meunere showed excellent skills after creating a good pass for Yannick Carrasco in the 10th minute, which led to a spectacular goal, despite being ruled out as an offside.

The Inter Millan star player showed his prowess as he bossed the England defense in the first half of the game. Lukakau scored his 53rd goal for his nation, showing good power, persistence, a fine touch, and willingness to dribble past the lion’s defense when an opportunity arose. The Belgium forward showed his expertise with the 9th-minute header that went over the post, but he managed to score the firsts goal. 

Kevin De Bruyne proved to be a major threat to the lion’s defense throughout the game. The Manchester City player proved to be a great threat after his first shoot just 36 seconds after the game began, followed by a powerful strike in the 18th minute. It’s no wonder De Bruyne is becoming popular among people who bet on esports and fantasy football enthusiasts. 

 A stunning performance from England 

While England might be ranked as No. 1, they couldn’t hold with the systems of playing introduced by the Lions. England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford showed he is a force to reckon with after saving Kevin De Bruyne’s shot in the first half of the game and showed tremendous goalkeeping for the rest of the game. 

Although he did not play to his level best, his strike helped to calm the nerves of most betway punters when they had lost 0-1 to Belgium. The Manchester player has been shining off the field after receiving an MBE. 

 Rushford proved that he is a utility player after switching sides, which brought about an excellent effect on the attacking line, which encouraged Betway bettors. Mason showed stunning performance through his 64th strike, which gave England the win.

 The win brought about an impressive change for Gareth Southgate’s men as they moved up on the table with seven points, which marks the first defeat for The No: 1 team. However, the win was a source of pride for England’s coach, given that Belgium had defeated them twice during Russia 2018. 

Bottom Line

The most memorable highlights for the game between England vs. Belgium include Manson’s goal in the 64th minute. The Belgium stars showed a significant performance by keeping the lions under pressure in the first half of the game. Belgium got their lead through Lukakau, but Southgate’s men showed an intense effort after Rushford equalizing the strike. 

Football Betting Guide for Beginners

There is no doubt that football betting comes with lots of thrills and excitement. But for beginners who are trying to figure out how betting works, it might be quite difficult to enjoy football betting at first. Every experienced bettor started as a novice. It might be rough at the beginning of their betting career, but they kept on going and learning from their mistakes. Luckily, there are plenty of guides available Chezacash, and amateurs can learn from experts before the dive into betting full-time.

Contrary to what most people believe, you don’t need a lot of money to start betting. It is recommended you start with stipends, to reduce the risk in the early stages. Several reputable Kenyan betting websites offer new players bonuses which can be very useful to newbies. Betlion can be one of the best places to start your football betting career.

The football betting terms

There a several terms you are likely to come across when betting on football. To avoid the initial confusion or making wrong assumptions, here are the most common football betting terms to look out for:

  1. Stake: This generally refers to the money a bettor places on a bet.
  2. Accumulator: This is also referred to as a parlay bet. This is a cluster of single bets which is won by predicting all bets correctly.
  3. Handicap: This is a bet placed on a team that is given an advantage over the other. Using a handicap bet, there is a benefit to the underdog.
  4. Scorecast: This refers to a wager placed on a player who is the bettor predicts to score the first goal in a particular event.
  5. DNB: Also referred to as Draw No Bet is a situation where the bookie returns the bettors money if the match is a draw. The chances of a DNB is quite low because football matches rarely end in a draw.
  6. 24-hour rule: Some bookies have a 24-hour rule which voids all bets placed on a postponed match that is not played within 24 hours.

Choosing Your Preferred Bookie

Getting into football betting means finding a good number of bookies to place your wagers with. We don’t recommend you stick to only one bookie, as one bookmaker cannot offer everything you need. One gambling site might be great with sports offers and the number of bet markets they offer, another might have great promotions. However, before you sign up with any gambling establishment, be sure to do a little research on their credibility and license. Also, read trusted reviews from several sites as this is the best way to read objective opinions about them.

How to Place Your Bets

If you are just making a debut into football betting, here are some helpful tips to guide you along the way.

Bet with Your Head and Not Your Heart

The golden rule of betting is staying logical and avoiding placing wagers with clouded judgment. Don’t assume a team will win because they are your favorite.

Manage Your Expectation

Bettors often expect more once they hit a lucky streak or predict a couple of games correctly. Don’t get too confident and take risks you cannot bear.

Be patient

It is crucial to be patient when placing bets. Afterall, you have no control over the outcome.

Betting on draws: Which football league is best for draw bets?

In football betting, the easiest bet to make is the win bet. When making the win bet, you simply choose which team you believe will win the fixture. When selecting a win bet – sometimes called a 1×2 bet – you have the option of betting on the teams to draw. A large number of professional bettors use the draw bet as part of their strategy.

When these bettors find a team or teams that manage draws, they exploit the clubs by wagering on them often. Fans are anticipating the start of the 2020-21 Champions League and debating which teams will progress from the group stage. Football bettors can visit Easyodds.com for the latest odds, match previews and bet bonuses before making a wager on the games.

So, looking at the top four leagues in Europe – Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga, and La Liga – let us investigate which teams are most likely to draw games.

Premier League

The Premier League 2019-20 season saw 10 teams hit double digits in draws. Wolverhampton Wanderers, Arsenal, and Brighton led the way in the league. The three clubs each tallied 14 draws. Looking at the 2018-19 Premier League season’s final table, you won’t see any of the three teams at the top. However, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brighton did finish that campaign with nine draws from 38 games. The figure tied them for second-most in terms of draws. Meanwhile, Arsenal tallied seven draws from 38 league encounters.

La Liga

It doesn’t take a genius to know that Diego Simeone’s defensive style at Atletico Madrid leads to draws. In 2019-20, Los Colchoneros bagged 16 draws. Ten other teams managed double-digit draws in La Liga last season. The lack of quality goalscorers at teams outside the top six makes draws a strong possibility. Unbelievably three quarters (15 teams) of La Liga’s teams finished with double-digit draws in 2018-19. If you fancy a punt on a draw as part of your strategy, this is a league in which a large number of stalemates occur.

Bundesliga

Just four teams in the 2019-20 Bundesliga hit double digits in draws. RB Leipzig, Schalke, Fortuna Dusseldorf and Wolfsburg all tallied over 10 draws. Remember that the Bundesliga has two fewer teams than the other major leagues in Europe – 18 in total – and play four fewer matches. The previous season, one team stands out as a draw master: RB Leipzig. They tallied nine draws in 2018-20. After two matches in the 2020-21 season, RB Leipzig have already registered a draw. Schalke also hit the nine-draw mark as well in 2018-19.

Serie A

Serie A has long been known as a defensive league. Based on that cliche, you would expect a large number of draws. Five teams reach double digits in 2019-20 with Hella Verona and Fiorentina each registering 13 draws.

The 2018-19 campaign ended with 12 of the league’s 20 teams finishing with double-digit draws. A trend emerged as Fiorentina topped the table in draws with 17. La Liga and Serie A are the two leagues to feature the most draws of the top four leagues. In 2020-21, La Liga has already seen seven matches out of 24 at the time of this writing end in draws. Serie A has played 17 fixtures with three draws. Will these trends continue? Expect La Liga to continue to post matches ending in draws.