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)

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.