FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 8 Preview

19 Merci Arsène - Celebrating Iwobi's goal
“Is Aubameyang going to make it 8 goals in eight against Bournemouth on Sunday?” (CC by 2.0) by Ronnie Macdonald

Gameweek 7 turned out to be another difficult one as far as FPL captaincy choices go, with none of the ten most captained players returning a double-figure haul. Arsenal’s Aubameyang and our choice, City’s De Bruyne, were the stand-outs in this category, with 9 FPL points each. Most heartbreaking was the benching of City top scorer Sergio Aguero, though the Argentinian did come on in the 76th minute to grab an assist. We now have the second international break in our sights after gameweek 8, so do keep that in mind when considering injured players like De Bruyne or Martial. Another thing to pay attention to when making your transfers this week is, as usual, the mid-week European games. Man City, Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea and Wolves all had Champions League and Europa League group stages to deal with, which will surely have some influence on the starting line-ups for the coming Premier League weekend.

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 8 is set at 11h30 (BST) on Saturday, October 5th.  .

How did our picks for the previous gameweek fare?

Premium Harry Kane Southampton (home) 8
Premium Mo Salah Sheffield (away) 3
Non-premium Tammy Abraham Brighton (home) 2
Non-premium Kevin de Bruyne Everton (away) 9
Differential Chris Wood Aston Villa (away) 7
Differential Ricardo Pereira Newcastle (home) 13
Captain Kevin de Bruyne Everton (away) 18

Premium picks

In the FPL world, the term “Pep roulette” has become a somewhat universal way to indicate the high risk of rotation that sticks to Man City players since the arrival of Pep Guardiola. Point in case: the last time we recommended Raheem Sterling (£12.1m) as a premium pick and captain, back in gameweek 6, Pep benched him out of nowhere. We’re confident this won’t happen this time, though, because he tends to start for City (he played for at least 85 minutes in all other games) and he’s now had his rest. The young Englishman was also partly rested during the mid-week game against Dinamo Zagreb in which he came on in the 56th minute, and promptly decided it with a goal and an assist. In the Premier League, Sterling recorded his first return in four weeks last weekend by scoring a goal and bringing his owners 7 FPL points. He is now on 6 goals, no assists and 4 bonus points from six games. This weekend, Man City are hosting Wolves at the Etihad, and with them having scored 14 goals in their three home games so far this season, while Wolves conceded 7 goals in their four away matches this campaign, it’s hard to not see City put a few past the visitors. When they do, expect Sterling to be involved.

Our second premium pick of the week is Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0) or ‘PEA’. The Gabonese striker has been phenomenal for the Gunners this season, scoring 7 goals, providing 1 assist and recording 53 FPL points in the process. As a matter of fact, he has booked attacking returns in each of the seven games played in the current campaign: 6, 6, 5, 9, 13, 5 and 9 points. That’s incredible consistency and with Arsenal’s favourable run of fixtures coming up, we could see PEA extending this run for some time to come. First up are Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth, who have shipped 12 goals in seven games so far. Aubameyang scored in both the home and the away game against the Cherries last season, and he has also scored in six of his seven last home games overall. This fixture has seen plenty of goals in the recent past, with Arsenal putting eleven goals past the Cherries on the last three occasions (5-1, 3-0 and 3-1), and we don’t see why this would not be possible coming Sunday.

Non-premium picks

We already recommended Sterling as a stand-out premium asset and we will be highlighting a teammate of his a bit later on, so picking a third City player feels quite risky considering the chances of rotation, but Kevin de Bruyne made us do it. The Belgian seems to have been ruled out of action this weekend with a groin injury that needs rest, which makes it likely for David Silva (£7.6m) to take over main playmaking duties. The living City legend has started five out of seven games so far, completing the 90 minutes on three occasions. In those 408 minutes of Premier League football, he scored 1 goal and provided 5 assists, resulting in 37 FPL points. As it currently stands, ‘Dilva’ is actually the third-most valuable City player when looking at points per million. He’s worth 4.8 points per million, a ratio that’s beaten only by De Bruyne (5.5 points) and Bernardo Silva (4.8 points). The hope is, one, that David Silva starts against Wolves on Sunday, and two, that he is pushed up the field as a result of De Bruyne’s absence to increase his potential for a big haul. With an ownership of just 9.9%, a punt on the Spaniard could mean a world of difference for your rankings.

Speaking of points per million, Norwich midfielder Todd Cantwell (£5.0) currently represents a ratio of 6.2 points per million of his price. He is the fourth-highest scoring midfielder in the category of midfielders with a maximum value of 7.5m, with only Chelsea’s Mount (39 points), Villa’s McGinn (38) and West Ham’s Yarmolenko (33) recording a higher total. After his teammate Buendia, Cantwell is the player who has created the most chances (10 vs 17) for the Canaries this season, while these two also share second place for shots on goal (9) and shots on target (4). Cantwell is already owned by 27.3% of FPL managers, but with a pretty favourable run of fixtures coming up, which includes home games against Villa and Watford and away games versus Bournemouth and Brighton over the next five, his ownership could very well increase in the coming month or so. He looks like a bargain gem at the moment, and bringing him in frees up funds, while assuring you of a very interesting option for the spot of fifth (or even fourth) midfielder in your squad.

A differential pick or two

Our first differential pick for gameweek 8 has it all: the form, the (home) fixture and the relatively high chance of starting in Pep’s roulette. Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez (£8.6m) is currently kind of hard to ignore, thanks to his 2 goals, 2 assists and 25 FPL points over the past two gameweeks. These hauls (15 points vs Watford and 10 against Everton) were already his second and third haul of 10 points or more, after his hat-trick of assists and 14 points against West Ham in the opening week of the 2019-20 campaign. In four starts so far, Mahrez has scored 2 goals, provided 5 assists and gotten 45 FPL points, which is more than decent for a winger who is classified as a midfielder in the official game, who has a price tag of £8.6m and who is currently owned by just 5.2% of FPL managers. Of course, the question with City players is always whether they will start or not, so a differential from their roster could be risky, but a punt on Mahrez could pay off big this weekend when current number thirteen in the league Wolves roll up to the Etihad.

Our second pick is Bournemouth’s left-back Diego Rico (£4.1m), who represents a differential from a different category: his form is pretty good, with 2 assists over the last three games, and his upcoming fixture calendar is reasonable, though this weekend the Cherries are visiting the Emirates, a game in which they will not be expecting a clean sheet. After that, it’s Norwich at home, Watford away, Newcastle away and Wolves at home over the next five games, which could mean clean sheets and the occasional assist for the man who has stepped up as Charlie Daniel’s replacement after the latter got seriously injured in gameweek 3. The main reason why we are including the Spaniard in our list this week though, is that he represents a starting option in a decent team with some potential for assists at a bargain price of just £4.1m. In gameweek 7, there was actually no player who created more than his six chances across the board. In a season in which the FPL budget feels more strained than ever and at a moment in which many managers seem to be considering moves away from the early-season template (and towards a new template, perhaps?), a budget asset like Diego Rico can come in very handy. Therefore, he is more of a medium to long-term, budget-enabling pick for us, and not one from which you should expect immediate impact. An alternative is Chelsea’s Tomori (£4.6m) who has just been called up by England in their hunt for a great Central Defender. Other options are discussed on this fiso forum FPL transfers for GW8 topic.

The captaincy

With Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal playing at home, gameweek 8 immediately offers some interesting options for the captaincy. Out of the three, Liverpool are facing the toughest opponent in Leicester, but Salah at home is rarely a bad shout (4 goals, 1 assist, 36 FPL points in 3 home games this season). For Man City at home to a pack of underwhelming Wolves, the likes of Sterling, Aguero and even Mahrez tickle the fancies, if any of them play, of course. Our choice for the armband this week is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang though, who has started the current campaign in the same fashion as he ended the previous: by scoring goals. Not only has the Gabon forward scored 7 goals in 7 games, he has also yet to play a Premier League game this season in which he does not return points for his owners. This game will inevitably come, but we don’t believe it’s at home to Bournemouth this Sunday.

The FISO Forum Captain Poll for Gameweek 8 consensus though is for Sterling or Aguero ahead of PEA, Salah and Pukki.