With gameweek 5 coming up on Saturday after this season’s first international break, now is a good time to check the status of our FPL teams and go over some of the best picks for the weekend. Many heavy hitters and popular FPL assets travelled all over Europe and around the world to represent their national teams, with the associated risks of injuries, fatigue and changes in form a source of worries for FPL managers. We will take this into account when it comes to our picks for gameweek 5, but we still recommend to do some extra research before confirming your transfers this week. For those who are on Reddit, user vishal_jaiswal has posted a pretty useful overview of all players with international duties over the past two weeks, including call-ups for national U20’s and U21’s teams. Also remember to pay attention to interesting targets that were injured before the break, like United’s Anthony Martial and Liverpool’s Allison, because they will have had a couple of weeks to work on their return. Man City’s Laporte, Spurs’ Lo Celso and Brighton’s Trossard have been the main recent injury news.
Finally, don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 5 is set at 12h30 (BST), on Saturday, September 14th. .
How did our picks for the previous gameweek fare?
|Premium||Raheem Sterling||Brighton (home)||3|
|Premium||Sergio Aguerio||Brighton (home)||16|
|Non-premium||Teemu Pukki||West Ham (away)||2|
|Non-premium||Mason Mount||Sheffield (home)||2|
|Differential||Emerson Palmieri||Sheffield (home)||1|
|Differential||Sebastien Haller||Norwich (home)||8|
|Captain||Raheem Sterling||Brighton (home)||6|
For our first premium pick of the week, we’re starting with a simple table for comparison of some key stats in this season so far:
|Total shots||77 (1st in league)||Total shots conceded||68 (3rd in league)|
|Shots in the box||56 (1st)||Shots conceded in box||47 (1st)|
|Shots on target||30 (1st)||Shots conceded on target||26 (1st)|
|Goals scored||14 (1st)||Goals conceded||10 (1st)|
On paper, City’s away game against Norwich on Saturday has all the making of a goal-ridden bonanza, which is why Raheem Sterling (£12.3m) is our first pick. The young Englishman is in red-hot form, both in the Premier League (5 goals and 37 FPL points from 4 games) and for England over the international break (2 goals and 3 assists in two games), and he looks primed for a starting spot against the newly-promoted Canaries. On top of that, Sterling is the player with the highest expected goal and/or assist rating in the entire league, and he has fired the second-most shots in the box. He will also be our captaincy pick, as explained later on, though this gameweek offers plenty of excellent alternatives as well.
Sterling’s team mates Aguero and De Bruyne more than deserve a place in this list as well, but the Skyblues are not the only ones with high potential for point-scoring this weekend.. Our second premium pick is Liverpool’s Mo Salah (£12.5m), who is facing Newcastle at Anfield on Saturday. The Egyptian dribbler, whose national team had no duties over the international break, has already scored 3 goals (all of them at home) and provided 2 assists (one at home) this season. As far as his encounters with Newcastle go since he joined Liverpool in the summer of 2017, Salah has scored 3 goals and provided 1 assist in four games. The Magpies, who did bring about a shock victory over Spurs in London before the international break, have conceded 5 goals in four games so far and it’s hard to see them keeping a clean sheet at Anfield this weekend.
The fact that Ashley Barnes (£6.7m) is still owned by just 11.6% of FPL managers is a bit surprising, considering the fact that he has already scored 4 goals and recorded 27 FPL points this season, and that he has a favourable run of fixtures coming up, facing just one team from last season’s top six between now and gameweek 14. The Burnley forward is visiting a Brighton team on the rise, but the Seagulls have still conceded 7 goals in 4 games. Truth be told, four of those goals came against Man City at the Etihad. Still, Barnes has already recorded eight shots on target this season (8), which is the second-highest in the league behind Norwich sensation Teemu Pukki. With his nailed-on spot up front and his more than reasonable price tag, Barnes could turn out to be a real bargain.
Before his injury in the build-up to gameweek 4, Manchester United’s Anthony Martial (£7.7m) was starting to look like one of the potential best-value players of the season. The Frenchman started up top for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men while being listed as a mid-priced midfielder in the official game and he didn’t disappoint. Despite United’s wobbly performances, Martial recorded attacking returns in every game he played: a goal and 7 FPL points against Chelsea at home, a goal and 7 points away to Wolves, and an assists and 5 points in the disappointing home loss to Palace. Solskjaer seems to be counting on him to return to the fold for the home game against Leicester on Saturday as the Red Devils will be attempting to avert something of an early-season crisis. With a relatively kind set of fixtures coming up, at least from an attacker’s point of view, it’s wise to keep an eye on Martial.
A differential pick or two
West Ham’s Sebastien Haller (£7.5m) had a bit of a quiet start to the 2019-20 campaign, in large part due to the Hammers facing Man City in gameweek 1 and an injury keeping him out of the squad for gameweek 2. He made up for lost time in gameweeks 3 and 4 though, with 3 goals and 21 FPL points, courtesy of a double strike against Watford at Vicarage Road and a single goal in the victory over Norwich at home. In those two rounds, the French striker had the most shots from inside the box (8) and shots on target (5) of all players in the Premier League, and no other player recorded a better expected goals figure (2.89) over that period either. His ownership percentage is still pretty low (6.8%), considering the quality of his performances, his key role in a Hammers outfit with interesting attacking potential, and the attractive set of fixtures coming up for West Ham, so now could be a good moment to make a swoop for him.
Our second differential pick for gameweek 5 is quite a punt, not so much because of his quality as a player, but due to Tottenham’s average start to the 2019-20 campaign. Left-back Danny Rose (£5.5m) looked like he was on his way out this summer, but he stayed in north London and has once again managed to nail down his spot on the left flank. Spurs have not yet recorded a clean sheet this season despite having played home games against Villa and Newcastle, but the third time could be a charm when they host Crystal Palace on Saturday. The Eagles have concocted an excellent start to the season with 7 points from four games, but they have only scored 3 goals in the process. The home team will certainly have a majority of the possession on Saturday and there will be chances for Rose to join in attack. This potential for an attacking return in combination with the possibility of a first clean sheet makes him an interesting option for gameweek 5.
Like we wrote earlier, our recommendation for the armband this weekend is Man City’s Raheem Sterling. The English international just seems like he can’t stop scoring (and assisting) at the moment, and with a willing Norwich defence coming up next, it seems unwise not to captain him. Team mate Sergio Aguero is a very good shout as well, especially considering Gabriel Jesus’ ongoing hamstring struggles, and Kevin de Bruyne could, of course, haul big as well in his current form. The three of them seem sure of a spot in the starting eleven on Saturday, so it looks like the only question that remains is in regard to which of them will score the highest against the Canaries.
Do also have a look at the FISO Forum Captain Poll for GW5.