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)

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.