FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 3 Preview

“Is this weekend’s away game at Villa the one for Sigurdsson (pictured above on set-piece duty for Iceland) to start offering some attacking returns?” (CC by 3.0) by Oleg Bkhambri

After a high-scoring opening gameweek and a pretty low-scoring second week (average of 41 points), we have already arrived at gameweek 3. With two datasets (read: rounds) under our belt, we can now start getting a better idea of what we can expect from each Premier League outfit this season. Most teams are settling into their preferred starting line-ups, the role of many new FPL assets is becoming more defined, and we can even see a few value picks emerge, at least for the first few weeks of the season. Besides big hitters like Sterling and Salah, players such as Burnley’s Ashley Barnes (£6.6m, goals, points), Norwich striker Teemu Pukki (£6.7m, goals, points) and Man United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.6m, points) are showing early form and medium to long-term promise. This weekend is lining up another tasty set of fixtures for us, so let’s move on to our picks for gameweek 3.

Don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 3 is set at 19h00 (BST), tomorrow, Friday, August 23rd..

How did our picks for the previous gameweek fare?

Premium Raheem Sterling Spurs (home) 6
Premium P-E Aubameyang Burnley (away) 6
Non-premium Josh King Villa (away) 6
Non-premium Roberto Firmino Southampton (away) 8
Differential Teemu Pukki Newcastle (home) 17
Differential Jurgen Locadia West Ham (away) 0
Captain Raheem Sterling Spurs (home) 12

Premium picks

When you score 4 goals and record 26 FPL points in the opening two games of the season, and you face Bournemouth (away) in the third gameweek, you’re going to be a stand-out premium pick. We’re talking to you, Raheem Sterling (£12.2m). We recommended him for the very first round and we’re doing so again this week, simply because he’s on fire. Besides his goals, Sterling is also the player who has had the most big chances so far (5) and the most shots inside the box (10). As far as shots on target go, only Norwich sensation Pukki has recorded more (6 vs 7). Sunday’s opponent Bournemouth, on the other hand, has allowed opponents 6 big chances over the first two games, only West Ham allowed more (10). Sure, FPL is not an exact science, but… get Sterling.

Our second premium pick of the week is Tottenham’s very own, Harry Kane (£11.0m), who is facing a Newcastle side (at home) that has so far failed to make any real impression. The England striker had a frustrating 90 minutes last time out as he recorded exactly zero attempts on goal against City at the Etihad, but he did net twice in the dying minutes of the season’s opening game against Villa, for a total of 13 FPL points. Last weekend, Norwich kind of tore the Newcastle defence to shreds as Teemu Pukki scored three. With all respect to a Norwich side that is positively presenting itself amongst the English footballing elite, it does make us think: if the Canaries and Pukki can do that to the Magpies, what could Spurs and Kane be capable of in front of their own fans? It’s just hard to imagine Spurs (and Harry Kane for that matter) not scoring on Saturday.

Non-premium picks

As we said earlier, now that we are a few weeks into the season, some interesting options outside of the premium bracket are emerging. One of those options seems to be Manchester United’s Anthony Martial (£7.7m), who has already enjoyed two price rises as a result of his 2 goals and 14 FPL points from the season’s opening two fixtures. United’s start was far from easy, with Chelsea rolling up to Old Trafford before a visit to Wolves, but the Red Devils took four points from those games and Martial scored a goal in both. Out of all midfielders in the game, only City’s Sterling has had more touches (20) in the opposing penalty area than the Frenchman (15), which is largely thanks to his positioning as a forward. This makes Martial an out-of-position midfielder for a top-six club who is in good form and who has a pretty decent run of fixtures coming up next, starting with Crystal Palace at home this weekend. Expect more price rises for the United man over the coming weeks.

Our second non-premium pick for gameweek 3 is also a United player, namely £55-million signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.5m). This is not so much because we’re so impressed by the Red Devils, though they have shown plenty of positives in the first two weeks of the 2019/20 season, but simply because, like Martial, AWB has looked like good value in two difficult games and now has a good run of fixtures coming up. The young English right-back has brought his owners 9 FPL points from two games and their home fixture against Palace on Saturday seems to scream “Clean sheet!”. On top of that, the season’s first two games have shown that Palace’s left flank is something of a playground for opposing right-wingers, midfielder and right-backs. Everton right-back Seamus Coleman recorded 17 points in gameweek 1, while Sheffield’s right flank had a field day last weekend, which is best illustrated by John Lundstram’s 13 points. Coincidence? Possibly. Enough reasons to bring Wan-Bissaka into your squad? Definitely.

A differential pick or two

For our differential picks this week, we have gone with two players who, for different reasons, still need to get their engines properly running. The first is Brighton’s Leandro Trossard (£6.0m) was an unused substitute in the opening game, but introduced himself to the Premier League with a bang the next week by scoring a goal in his side’s 1-1 draw with West Ham and earning himself 7 FPL points in the process (the VAR also invalidated an earlier goal of his). The flashy Belgian was one of the most active Seagulls, as he took four shots on goal, three of which came from inside the area. No player on the pitch created more danger. Brighton under Graham Potter look more exciting than they have in a long while, while Saturday’s opponents Southampton have lost their first two Premier League games (3-0 at Burnley and 1-2 at Saint Mary’s to Liverpool). We expect Trossard to start against the Saints and we wouldn’t be surprised to see more attacking returns from him.

While Trossard’s ownership is extremely low (0.9%), Watford’s Gerard Deulofeu (£6.4) is owned by a few more FPL managers (4.1%). That’s still more than low enough to be considered a differential though, and the Spaniard is a proven FPL asset. Like Watford as a whole, he has had an underwhelming start of the 2019/20 campaign, with just 3 points from two games (Brighton at home, when he had to go off at half-time due to an stomach illness, and Everton away). Next up are leaky West Ham though, and we can see Deulofeu opening his goal account (or at least his assist account) against the Hammers. With 10 goals (and 5 assists), he was the Hornets’ top scorer last year, and with West Ham, he’s facing a side that has conceded six goals in the first two games of the season, more than any other team. His price has already dropped by £0.1m as a result of (too) quick judgement by many FPL managers, so you could get him cheaply before he starts returning points on a more regular basis again.

The captaincy

As far as the armband goes, gameweek 3 is offering plenty of interesting options, starting with Man City’s Raheem Sterling. The nimble dribbler is facing one of the most obliging defences on Sunday on the back of two consecutive wins in which he scored 4 goals and brought his owners a whopping 26 FPL points. Our money is on him getting in on the action again at the Vitality Stadium, making it three consecutive returns and unleashing a complete transfer frenzy in the FPL universe.

According to the FISO Forum FPL Captain Poll for GW3 it’s simply between Kane and Sterling with Salah and Martial afterthoughts.