FPL Season 2020-21 – Gameweek 10 Preview

“On Sunday, it’s London derby time at Stamford Bridge when Chelsea host Spurs” (Part of the public domain). Image by: Alexdeangelis86

In a gameweek largely dominated by injuries and COVID-19-related absences, some of the season’s performers still delivered. An 11-point haul from Man United talisman Bruno Fernandes, a brace by Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin and a goal from Spurs star Heung-Min Son are good examples of that. Still, Gameweek 9 gave us the lowest-scoring ‘player of the week’ with 13 FPL points (DCL vs Fulham) and we honestly don’t see the uncertainty regarding starting lineups and team performances decreasing any time soon, especially not now the European competitions have resumed again.

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Having said that, this weekend has all the making of becoming a high-scoring one, with fixtures such as Man City at home against Burnley, Everton versus Leeds at Goodison Park and a Leicester side with a point to prove hosting Fulham. If you’re following the FPL pundits and FPL forums, you’ll also have noticed the focus on the considerable fixture swings that are taking place around this gameweek. This could very well lead to increased transfer activity and wildcard or free-hit activation in the build-up to GW10. All in all, plenty of things to take into account when making your transfers (or carrying your free transfer over to next week) as it looks to become another rollercoaster of a weekend.

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). And don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 10 is set for 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, November 27th.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per November 25th, 2020)

GKMartinez (AST), Ryan (BRI), Pickford (EVE)Mendy (CHE), Fabianski (WHU), McCarthy (SOU) 
DEFAlexander-Arnold (LIV), Saiss (WOL), Lamptey (BRI)Chilwell (CHE), Robertson (LIV), Zouma (CHE)All transfers out are unavailable for at least 1 game, while the Chelsea and Liverpool defences have made good impressions.
MIDZaha (CRY), Salah (LIV), Rodriguez (EVE)Jota (LIV), Fernandes (UTD), Grealish (AST)Mostly in-form mids being brought in, Zaha injury, Salah doubt.
FORWilson (NEW), Kane (TOT), Bamford (LEE)Vardy (LEI), Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Bamford (LEE)In-form strikers brought, Wilson injury, Kane difficult fixtures and premium price tag.

Premium pick

Picking Jamie Vardy (£10.2m) as our premium pick last weekend as he faced a depleted Liverpool defence kind of backfired when the Reds showed the world once again why they are deservedly called one of the best squads in the world this decade. The Englishman blanked for the third time this season, but we are nevertheless repeating our pick for GW10. Leicester will be hosting a leaky Fulham side on Saturday and we find it hard to imagine a fourth Vardy blank of the season coming from this one. The Leicester star already has 8 goals and 2 assists to his name, while no team in the league has conceded more goals than Fulham’s 18 so far. If there was ever a chance of another classic Vardy party, this is it.

Non-premium picks

Thanks to a starting price of £7.0m, it’s very well possible that Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.9m) will remain in our non-premium fantasy picks category for the rest of the season. The England youngster is quickly starting to look like one of the most under-priced FPL assets in recent memory with 10 goals and an assist to his name already after 9 league games. He has blanked in just one game so far this season, away at Southampton back in gameweek 6. Last weekend, he needed a bit less than a minute to get on the score sheet once again and just under half an hour to make it a brace, which was enough for him to become FPL player of the week. Saturday’s home game against Leeds has all the makings of a goalscoring spectacle, as both sides have combined powerful attacks with at times fragile defensive displays this season. We’re not sure what the final score will be, but we’re pretty sure DCL will have an impact on it.

For a defender, we consider £5.5m the maximum for this category, though it can be seen as expensive already when looking at the plethora of well-performing, less expensive defenders in the official game right now. Still, we feel that the combination of his individual performances and the upcoming fixtures swing make Man City fullback Joao Cancelo (£5.5m) an interesting option for many squads. The Portuguese international hasn’t missed a minute of Premier League football since gameweek 5 and accumulated 25 FPL points since then, courtesy of 2 clean sheets and 1 assist. Over the next four games, the Skyblues are facing three of the four most goal-shy teams in the league, which sounds like more points for Cancelo. There is, of course, the ever-present risk of rotation in Pep Guardiola’s squad, so do keep an eye on tonight’s Champions League lineup, but the versatile defender looks like a wise investment in any case.

The budget enabler

At £6.1m, we were doubting if we could still include Patrick Bamford in our budget enabler category, but considering his nailed-on status in one of the league’s most attacking sides and the fact that he can be played with confidence most of the gameweeks, we figured we could. The Leeds forward has already scored 7 goals and provided 2 assists this season for a total of 60 FPL points, which is quite incredible for a striker who started out with a price tag of just £5.5m. To make things even better, the Englishman ranks amongst the overall top two for several key offensive statistics, including shots on target, shots in the box and big chances. The upcoming away game at Goodison Park is by no stretch an easy one, but the Toffees are not currently known for their defensive solidity. After that, it’s Chelsea away, followed by West Ham and Newcastle at home. Not the easiest of runs, but at his price and with Leeds in the form they are currently in, the striker represents a great budget-enabling opportunity.

A differential pick or two

Leicester forward Harvey Barnes (£6.9m), who is classified as a midfielder in the official game, is a differential pick for a reason. While his quality as a player is undeniable, he is still lacking some efficiency in front of goal or at least, in the final third. He gets into dangerous positions and has the teammates to supply him with ammunition, but he sits on just 2 goals and 1 assist this season. That’s also the main reason why he is currently part of only 3.8% of all teams, but those managers who have kept faith in the youngster might be rewarded this weekend. In Fulham, the Foxes are facing a team that currently sits in the bottom four when it comes to goals conceded, shots on target conceded and big chances conceded. Barnes will get his chances on Saturday, he just needs to finish them.

Our second differential pick of the week is one who just missed out on the Golden Boot last season with 20 goals (and 6 assists, for that matter). Raheem Sterling (£11.5m), like the rest of the Cityzens, has not been having a great season so far and that’s reflected by his numbers: 7 games started, 2 goals scored, 1 assists provided. Like the legend John Cruijff once said though, every bad thing has its good side, because as a result of his underwhelming performances, Sterling currently sits in just 4.6% of FPL teams with a nice run of fixtures coming up. Starting with Burnley at home this weekend, the Englishman is facing Fulham, West Brom and Newcastle at the Etihad in the five weeks after that. If there was ever a moment for City to get back to winning ways, it’s now and Sterling could become a major GW10 differential fantasy pick in the process.

The captaincy

Our captaincy pick for gameweek 10 is Jamie Vardy. After blanking against Liverpool, we can’t help but feel that the attacker will be looking to bounce back in style at home against an insecure Fulham defence. Vardy will probably be one of the most transferred-in fantasy assets come Friday evening’s deadline and most, if not all, managers who own him will be placing the band on his arm.

Having said that, the upcoming round offers plenty more good options for the captaincy besides Vardy. At City, we have Kevin de Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus and even Joao Cancelo as they host a largely toothless Burnley side. At Goodison Park, there is the encounter between Everton and Leeds, which puts Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Bambam Bamford in the mix. Finally, there is also the (likely) return of Mo at the AmEx in Brighton and Hove, as Seagulls host Liverpool with Salah likely part of the starting lineup once again after testing negative for COVID-19 earlier this week.

FPL Gameweek 9 – Review

Injuries, fatigue, and a few surprising results. Gameweek 9 had it all for the Fantasy Football manager with prize stakes to play for and it has only just finished. Burnley beat Crystal Palace by 1-0 and Southampton drew 1-1 against Wolves at Saint Mary’s on Monday. Neither of these games will be taken into account below, though we do want to mention that Palace star Wilfried Zaha was left out of the squad due to an unknown injury. The weekend offered us plenty of talking points nonetheless as do 1xBet promo with promotional ideas and guidance to help take advantage of betting on sport. In this piece, we’ll be highlighting a few interesting points from gameweek 9 in the build-up to GW10.

Liverpool squad strength

Many fans, pundits and FPL managers saw Sunday’s encounter between Liverpool and Leicester at Anfield as a chance for the Foxes to capitalise on the injury crisis ravaging the Reds at the moment. The likes of Van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho and, of course, Mo Salah were all absent from the squad this weekend, so it looked like a perfect opportunity for Leicester to confirm their status of outsiders of the season. That didn’t happen, though.

In an open and entertaining game, the Reds grabbed a lucky lead through a Johnny Evans own goal and a Diogo Jota header on an inch-perfect cross from Andy Robertson before the half. In the second half, Roberto Firmino made it 3-0 with his second goal of the season and that’s how it ended. Liverpool showed that they can cope for the moment and that their squad depth is sufficient to book impressive results, even when key performers are ineligible.

As far as FPL goes, Leicester are up for games against Fulham, Brighton and Everton at home, and Sheffield United away over the next four, so fantasy assets like Jamie Vardy, James Justin and even Harvey Barnes look appealing. In terms of the Reds, Mo Salah should be back for next weekend’s away game versus Brighton, while Sadio Mané looks like a decent premium pick as well. Diogo Jota has been excellent so far, with 4 goals in 392 Premier League minutes and a very attractive £6.6m price tag, but he does carry benching risk.

Spurs in the lead

For the firs time since August 2014, Tottenham Hotspur are leading the Premier League, courtesy of a 2-0 victory at home against Manchester City. As usual, Heung-Son Min and Harry Kane were once again involved in the goals, with the former scoring the first goal and the latter assisting the second. Despite a difficult set of fixtures coming up, keeping one or either both of these Spurs superstars feels justified at this point. They are simply too clinical right now.

Having said that, the Spurs defence warrants some attention as well. José Mourinho’s men have rather quietly constructed the most reliable defensive unit in the league as well. Spurs have so far conceded 9 goals in 9 games, a tally only matched by Wolves, who are facing Southampton this evening still. The relative problem with Spurs defenders is that they are quite pricey in FPL, but still, the likes of Sergio Reguilón and Toby Alderweireld (if his injury is minor) are worth considering.

Then there is Man City. Looking at the numbers, the Skyblues from Manchester are seemingly a long way off from their title-candidate form of the past years. In 9 games, they have scored just 10 goals and conceded a worrying 11 already, with a more than disappointing 13th place as a result at the time of writing. The heavy prices tags and elevated rotation risk of their fantasy assets is putting a lot of FPL managers off investing in them for the moment, but do note that in the next four games, they are playing Burnley, Fulham and West Brom at home. That might just be what Kevin de Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus and Aymeric Laporte need to get back to title-challenger ways.

Everton here to stay

OK, it’s still relatively early in the season and the Toffees did just come off three consecutive defeats, but it looks like they will be playing for a European spot this season. With Richarlison and James Rodriguez returning to the starting lineup after some ongoing fitness niggles, Everton booked a 2-3 victory at Craven Cottage. The defence is still not as solid as manager Carlo Ancelotti would like, but offensively, his men are amongst the best in the country.

One of the protagonists in that attack is front man Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who scored his 9th and 10th goal of the Premier League season within half an hour against Fulham. He is already making a mockery of his FPL starting price of £7.0m and at his current price of £7.8m, he is still one of the biggest bargains out there. With the support of Richarlison, James and Doucouré, just to name a few, the young Englishman, he looks to be competing for the Golden Boot this season.

West Ham unusually solid

Compared to the past few seasons, that. With their 0-1 victory over Sheffield United on Sunday, the Hammers booked a second clean sheet in a row and their 4th one for the season. At the same time, they also recorded their fourth victory, which lifted them into 8th place with 14 points from 9 games. Their upcoming schedule is a bit of a mixed bag, but it does feature three home games in the next four, against Aston Villa, Manchester United and Crystal Palace. The away game during that run takes place at Elland Road.

FPL Season 2020-21 – Gameweek 9 Preview

“A seriously depleted Liverpool side are visiting the King Power on Saturday evening” (CC by 4.0). Image by Pottercomuneo.

A combination of a more jam-packed schedule than ever and a new wave of COVID-19 all over Europe on top of an intense international break might well result in one of the more chaotic, unpredictable FPL weekends in recent memory. Popular and potentially interesting fantasy assets such as Mo Salah, Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Danny Ings, Callum Wilson, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling and Ben Chilwell are all currently flagged in the official game, just to name 8. Whether this third international break was really the best idea considering the circumstances is something for people more knowledgeable for us to judge, but one thing is certain: no one is getting out of it unscathed.

Having said that, gameweek 9 does offer a very interesting set of fixtures from a fantasy point of view. Many of the popular teams up until now, such as Liverpool, Spurs and Leicester are facing strong competition, whilst the likes of Chelsea (away at Newcastle), Man United (home vs West Bromwich Albion) and Everton (at Craven Cottage) will be expecting nothing less than three points this weekend. It’s going to be an interesting one, that’s for sure, so here are our fantasy picks for gameweek 9. Oh and by the way, be patient with Mo Salah. He might miss this one (and is currently the most sold player this GW with over 400,000 transfers out, but he’s still the best FPL performer out there over the last three seasons and he should continue to be once he tests negative again.

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). Don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 9 is set for 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, November 21st.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per November 18th, 2020)

GKNyland (AST), Martinez (AST), Schmeichel (LEI)Martinez (AST), McCarthy (SOU), Fabianski (WHU) 
DEFAlexander-Arnold (LIV), Mitchell (CRY), Saiss (WOL)Chilwell (CHE), Vestergaard (SOU), Zouma (CHE)Injuries + Saiss no longer nailed-on for Wolves, Chelsea improving defensive form.
MIDSalah (LIV), Son (TOT), Rodriguez (EVE)Ziyech (CHE), Fernandes (UTD), Grealish (AST)Salah corona doubts, Son and Rodriguez replaced with midfielders with more favourable fixtures.
FORIngs (SOU), Wilson (NEW), Jimenez (WOL)Watkins (AST), Bamford (LEE), Vardy (LEI)Ings and Wilson injuries, Wolves difficult upcoming fixtures

Premium pick

Considering the fact that Leicester are hosting the reigning the champions on Saturday evening, our premium fantasy pick of the week was definitely not based on fixture. When your name is Jamie Vardy (£10.1m) though, fixtures seem to matter less. When quality is undeniable and practically fixture-proof, form is essential and the Leicester man has it at the moment. The English forward, who did not have to be on international duty these past two weeks, has recorded 25 FPL points in the past three gameweeks, courtesy of 3 goals and 2 assists. Bare in mind that this total also includes a missed penalty in GW8. The Foxes are rather quietly having a great start to the season once again and their opponents will be missing Van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez and possibly Robertson, which is basically their entire starting backline. They won’t be looking forward to facing Vardy in a few days time.

Non-premium picks

Since his return to fitness, Chelsea summer signing Hakim Ziyech (£8.2m) has kind of been setting the Premier League on fire. He started in the last two gameweeks and repaid that trust handsomely, not only with a couple of fantastic displays, but also with a goal, 3 assists and a total of 25 FPL points. Up next are Newcastle at Saint James Park, who conceded 6 goals in their last three home games. As a matter of fact, the Magpies have not kept a clean sheet at home this season. The former Ajax Amsterdam star also shone for his national team as he got 3 goals and 2 assists from two games against the Central African Republic in the qualification phase for the Africa Cup of Nations. As a result, his minutes might be managed by Chelsea coach Frank Lampard, but it’s hard to see the living Blues legend not starting his ‘man of the moment’ on Saturday.

Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.8m) is a frequently returning fantasy pick in our gameweek previews, but that’s what happens when a player returns points week after week. Only gameweek 6 against Southampton saw the young Englishman blank, but the rest of the gameweeks saw him return a minimum of 5 FPL point every time for a total of 57 points over the season until now. DCL currently sits on 8 goals and a single assist and the Toffees are visiting Fulham on Sunday afternoon. The Cottagers have already conceded 15 goals in 8 games, and they are facing an Everton offensive line bolstered by the return of Richarlison and James Rodriguez. Calvert-Lewin played a total of 84 minutes for England over the international break spread over two games and scored a penalty goal against Ireland. This should only add to his form and confidence, and therefore his FPL appeal.

The budget enabler

Over the past weeks, there has been a lot of talk about the West Ham defence as an interesting destination for your precious FPL funds as their fixtures are slowly clearing up. Aaron Cresswell is the name that is mentioned most and with good reason considering his underlying numbers, but he does cost £5.1m. New right-back Vladimir Coufal has been talked about a lot as well, but the one we feel has been left out of the discussion a bit is left-back Arthur Masuaku (£4.5m). The 27-year old is a nailed-on piece of coach David Moyes’ defensive setup and carries a very attractive price tag. On top of that, he often pops up in the attacking third, especially now that the Hammers are playing with five in the back. The situation regarding his off-the-radar FPL status probably would have been a lot different had he slotted home the huge chance he got early on against Fulham in gameweek 8. With an attractive set up fixtures coming up over the next months, Masuaku represents very good budget-enabling value.

A differential pick or two

A little earlier, we already briefly discussed Liverpool’s injury issues, which are not just limited to their defence. Fabinho, Henderson and Thiago will be absent for this weekend’s clash with Leicester at Anfield, as will be Mo Salah. The “good” thing about all of this misery, from a fantasy point of view at least, is that it will give other players the opportunity to shine and we think that one of those players could well be Diogo Jota (£6.5m). Mainly as a substitute, the summer signing already managed to score 3 goals and record 28 FPL points this season. With an ownership of 9.5%, the Portuguese international can still be considered a differential, which is always interesting when the Reds play at home, no matter the opposition. Actually, Jota has scored all of his goals at home so far and even though Leicester will make it a serious contest, we feel he could be a match-winning pick for GW9.

With Pulisic and Havertz sidelined, Time Werner will probably start out wide again for Chelsea when the Blues face Newcastle this weekend. This means that Tammy Abraham (£7.2m) will be handed his third straight start and in all fairness, why not? The English striker delivered a goal and an assist over those two games, and sits on 2 goals and 2 assists for the season already. He will be rolling up to Saint James Park as the lone striker for the Premier League’s most prolific side, against a team that conceded 8 goals in their last four outings. Apart from his low current ownership of just 2.3%, his price is more than reasonable as well.

The captaincy

In a gameweek ravaged by absentees and injuries, the GW9 captaincy might have a huge impact on the rankings all over. We feel there could be more than a few differential picks set for hauls this weekend, while most of the available usual suspects are either just coming off a set of games with their national team, facing fierce opposition, or both. Our pick of the week is Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin as he faces Fulham at Craven Cottage, but there is something to be said for plenty of other picks as well.

What about this season’s top performers Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son at home to Man City, for example? Or Jamie Vardy playing a seriously debilitated Liverpool defence at Anfield? Aston Villa play Brighton at home, which brings the ever-present Jack Grealish into the picture, while Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are playing against strugglers West Brom at home. At the same time, the previously mentioned Tammy Abraham and Hakim Ziyech could put down big performances at Saint James Park. Whoever you end up picking in the end, our advice is to go with a fantasy asset that is at least fit and sure to start.

FPL Season 2020-21 – Gameweek 8 Preview

“On Sunday, the Etihad Stadium will be the scenario for the clash between Manchester City and Liverpool” (CC by 2.0). Image by: Cléria de Souza

Gameweek 7 was another one mainly dominated by differential fantasy assets, as only two of the highest-scoring players were owned by more than 18% of all managers and only one by more than 30% (Jamie Vardy with 14 FPL points at 19.1% and Jack Grealish with 15 points at 30.9%). With Fulham defender Ola Aina, Wolves left-back Rayan Aït Nouri, Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse, Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans and Chelsea technician Hakim Ziyech, no less than five players in the GW7 Team of the Week were owned by 5% or less of FPL managers.

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This weekend offers another exciting set of fixtures, including a few high-level clashes. There is, of course, the clash of giants between Man City and Liverpool at the Etihad on Sunday but Everton vs Man United at Goodison, Leicester against Wolves at the King Power and Arsenal hosting Aston Villa could go either way. At the same time, an in-form Hammers side host Fulham and strugglers West Bromwich Albion welcome a surprisingly attacking Spurs side. Combine this with the impact of European football mid-week and it’s clear that we’re in for another weekend full of surprises.

Don’t forget: the FPL deadline for gameweek 8 is set for 16h00 (UK time) on Friday, November 6th. 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 November 4th, 2020)

GKMartinez (AST), Pickford (EVE), Ryan (BRI)Mendy (CHE), McCarthy (SOU), Martinez (AST) Chelsea not conceded a goal for a while now.
DEFCastagne (LEI), Alexander-Arnold (LIV), Saïss (WOL)Zouma (CHE), Chilwell (CHE), Kilman (WOL)Improved Chelsea defence, Castagne injury, Saïss loss of starting spot
MIDRodriguez (EVE), Jorginho (CHE), Foden (CIT)Ziyech (CHE), Grealish (AST), Jota (LIV)Form midfielders replacing midfielders with injury doubt or rotation risk
FORIngs (SOU), Jimenez (WOL), Calvert-Lewin (EVE)Wilson (NEW), Bamford (LEE), Kane (TOT)Ings’ injury, form of budget strikers, difficult fixtures for Wolves

Premium pick

Together with his team mate Heung-Min Son, Spurs number ten Harry Kane (£11.0m) will undoubtedly be amongst the most-captained fantasy picks in gameweek 8. After the 2-0 defeat at the hands of Fulham last Monday, the Baggies are now the team with most goals conceded in the entire league (16 in 7 games). Spurs, on the other hand, are the most prolific side with 18 goals over that same period. Kane was directly involved in an incredible 14 of those goals with 6 goals and 8 assists, so recommending the English striker, who is playing a bit deeper this season, is a no-brainer. He has not failed to return since gameweek 2 and it’s very hard to see that run getting interrupted at the Hawthornes in GW8.

Non-premium picks

The fact that our first non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 8 is Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.7m) as the Toffees host Manchester giants United on Saturday is indicative of several things. First of all, of DCL’s status as top forward this season, based on 8 goals from 7 games so far. In fact, he only blanked once, back in GW6. Second of all, of United’s fragile state, especially defensively. The Red Devils lost 2-1 against Champions League new boys Istanbul Basaksehir and in the first six Premier League games this season, they have already let in 13 goals. And third of all, of our trust in the Toffees’ capacity to score anywhere under the guidance of coach Carlo Ancelotti and super star summer signing James Rodriguez (who is a slight doubt for the match). Watch DCL at Goodison Park this weekend.

Clean sheets have been few and far between so far this season, but we did decide to recommend a defender as a non-premium suggestion for GW8. Together with Burnley, Sheffield United have scored the least goals of all teams in the league, with just 3 goals in 7 games. To make it even worse, those goals came in three different games, so it’s safe to say that the Blades have a goalscoring issue. As a result, we think Chelsea central defender Kurt Zouma (£5.2m) could be a shrewd investment when Sheffield United visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The Frenchman is actually the highest-scoring defender in the game right now with 46 FPL points, courtesy of 3 clean sheets, 3 goals and 6 bonus points. On top of that, the Blues visit Newcastle in gameweek 9, which could mean two clean sheets in a row.

The budget enabler

Patrick Bamford (£6.0m) turned out to be one THE budget-enablers over the first six weeks of this 2020-21 campaign. Starting with a price tag of just £5.5m, the former Chelsea man is Marcelo Bielsa’s number nine of choice at Leeds and with good reason. He has already recorded 51 FPL points this season, courtesy of 6 goals and 2 assists, which explains his FPL price rise. Still, at just £6.0, Bamford still represents excellent value as the starting striker of a team as offensively oriented as Leeds. This weekend, Bielsa’s men are visiting Selhurst Park to face a Crystal Palace side that has already conceded 11 goals in 7 games. The Eagles haven’t kept a clean sheet at home since gameweek 1, while the Whites have netted 7 times in 3 away games this season. As a third striker in your squad, Bamford could be the ideal budget-enabler.

A differential pick or two

Due to injury issues, it has taken a few weeks before we could realistically include Hakim Ziyech (£8.0m) in a gameweek preview article, but finally here we are. The Moroccan international was purchased from Ajax Amsterdam this summer for £33 million and he burst onto the Premier League scene last weekend with a goal and an assist at Turf Moor. This helped him record 14 FPL points and we feel more fantasy points will be following. The former Ajax men is an extremely gifted attacker and he could become sensational once Chelsea’s attack really starts to click. On top of that, he is currently still owned by just 5.4%, a percentage that could well be growing over the coming weeks. Do keep in mind that he also started for the Blues in the mid-week game against Rennes, so rotation could be lurking.

Despite a very difficult opening set of fixtures, including away versus Leicester, Spurs and Liverpool and at home against Wolves and Man City, West Ham still managed to collect 8 points. The fixture calendar is now turning friendlier for the Hammers, which is how winger Jarrod Bowen (£6.3m) has come onto our radar. The 23-year old Englishman is a nailed-on part of coach David Moyes’s starting eleven and has already scored 3 goals this campaign, including a brace at home against Wolves. In gameweek 8, Fulham are visiting the London Stadium, which looks like a good opportunity for Bowen to build on his tallies. Only Liverpool and West Brom have conceded more goals than Fulham’s 14, so we’re hoping for a goal-ridden West Ham victory in this one. Note: Bowen currently sits in just 2.2% of all teams.

The captaincy

Sometimes, the captaincy decision is a complicated matter with many possible options. Sometimes, you should just keep it simple, especially when the league’s best attack are playing against the league’s worst defence. This is the case on Sunday, when Spurs visit the Hawthornes. As we wrote earlier, Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane will be two of the most popular captaincy picks this weekend, and we have gone with the latter. He currently sits on 6 goals and 8 assists, he’s an absolute nailed-on starter for José Mourinho’s team, and he’s on penalties as well. Having said that, Son is an excellent choice as well, with 8 goals and 2 assists to his name so far.

There are some interesting picks outside of Tottenham as well, though. Timo Werner against a struggling Sheffield United is one of them, as is Kevin de Bruyne who is up against a surprisingly leaky Liverpool side. Dominic Calvert-Lewin could be a differential captaincy pick at home to Man United, while Salah and Mané could both record returns at the Etihad. For the real differentials, there are Neal Maupay with Brighton at home against Burnley and gameweek 6 hattrick here Patrick Bamford at Selhurst Park, to name a few.

FPL Season 2020-21 – Gameweek 7 Preview

“On Saturday, the clash between Manchester United and Arsenal is taking place at Old Trafford” (Part of the Public domain). Image by Nev1.

The FPL universe was once again up to its most cruel trickery last gameweek with a majority of popular premium assets and big hitters blanking despite favourable outlooks in the build-up to the Friday evening kick-off. The likes of Mo Salah at home to Sheffield United, Raheem Sterling versus West Ham away and Aubameyang at home against Leicester all failed to record attacking return, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Tottenham’s dynamic duo Kane and Son did deliver something with an assist and a goal, respectively, while a few less-owned picks hauled as well. Outstanding performer of the week was, of course, Leeds hattrick hero Patrick Bamford with his 3 goals at Villa Park.

Many of the most-owned FPL assets are getting an immediate second chance though, thanks to an appealing calendar for gameweek 7. Liverpool are hosting West Ham, José Mourinho’s Spurs are welcoming Brighton to London and Wolves are opening the gameweek on Friday evening with a home game against Crystal Palace, just to name a few fixtures. On top of that, there is the clash of the weekend at Old Trafford on Saturday, as Arsenal visit Manchester United.

Finally, don’t forget that there has been European football this week, which could have an impact on starting lineups and performances over the weekend. Having said that, here are our fantasy picks for gameweek 7.

Don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 7 is set for 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, October 30th. 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 29th, 2020)

GKRyan (BRI), Nyland (AST), Pope (BUR)Martinez (AST), Mendy (CHE), Meslier (LEE) 
DEFDigne (EVE), Van Dijk (LIV), Alexander-Arnold (LIV)Chilwell (CHE), Saïss (WOL), Kilman (WOL)Digne suspension, Van Dijk injury, Alexander-Arnold not worth it. Saiss playing wing-back now very cheap Kilman at CB.
MIDRodriguez (EVE), Aubameyang (ARS), Grealish (AST)Zaha (CRY), Son (TOT), Grealish (AST)Some injury doubts surrounding Rodriguez, Auba not returning at a premium price, and Palace and Spurs with good fixtures.
FORMitrovic (FUL), Wilson (NEW), Maupay (BRI)Bamford (LEE), Kane (TOT), Calvert-Lewin (EVE)Strikers in form replacing strikers who have not been returning lately

Premium pick

Like last weekend, Liverpool’s Mo Salah once again represents an excellent premium fantasy option and a favourite for the captaincy, but for the sake of variation, we have gone with Harry Kane (£10.9m) for gameweek 7. The Spurs had to work hard for their victory at Turf Moor and the English striker got away with “just” an assist in the end, but that did mean his sixth consecutive attacking return in a row. Overall, only his teammate Heung-Min Son has recorded more FPL points than Kane’s current 65. The North London side are hosting Brighton on Sunday in one of the most appealing fixtures of the weekend from an FPL points of view. It takes a brave manager to leave Kane out of his considerations for this gameweek, especially because the man in form is also on penalties.

Non-premium picks

For our first non-premium for the upcoming weekend, we are sticking with Spurs. We already mentioned Son Heung-Min (£9.5m) just before and we are recommending him once more just before his price tag places him in our premium pick category. The Korean’s price has already risen by £0.5m this season and with good reason. He has been nothing short of spectacular so far, with an incredible 8 goals and 2 assists to show from six games. The forward has recorded double figures in the last three gameweeks and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him extend that streak this weekend against Brighton The Seagulls have already conceded a worrying 12 goals in the first six games of the season and 5 of those came in their last two away games, against Everton and Palace.

Wolves’ current attacking form is a bit worrying at the moment, as they sit in the bottom three teams for big chances created and expected goals since the start of the season. As a result, they have scored just 6 goals in six games, but 4 of those goals were scored by their star striker Raul Jimenez (£8.5m). Against Newcastle in gameweek 6, Nuno Espirito Santo’s men were the dominating team for most of the game, they just missed the accuracy in the final third. Still, their Mexican talisman managed to find the net for a second consecutive time, which confirms what we already knew: he can book attacking returns at any time and any place. Raul is the focal point of the Wolves attack and at some point, Wolves’ undeniable squad quality should start being translated into goals. We hope that happens this weekend at home to Crystal Palace.

The budget enabler

Where the Wolves offense is struggling a bit, their defensive assets look more appealing. In the past two gameweeks, no team in the league conceded less big chances than them and their immediate upcoming schedule looks good. With Crystal Palace coming to Molineux this weekend followed by a visit to Leicester and then a home game versus Southampton, this looks like a good moment to invest in Max Kilman (£4.2m). The former futsal player seems to have cemented his place in the starting lineup with good performances over the past couple of weeks, which makes him a great budget-enabler at just £4.2m (well done those who acquired at £4.0m). With the return to fitness of Marçal and the arrival of Rayan Ait Nouri, the upcoming Wolves starting defensive lines are a bit of a guessing game. Still, Kilman looks like one of the wisest budget picks available right now.

A differential pick or two

Despite not recording any returns in the home game against Chelsea in gameweek 5, Marcus Rashford (£9.5m) will be brimming with confidence for the home game against Arsenal this weekend. The Manchester United forward, who is listed as a midfielder in FPL this year, was the big man in United’s Champions League clash with last season’s semi-finalists RB Leipzig. The Red Devils thrashed the Germans 5-0 and three of those goals were scored by the Englishman. He as so far played 90 minutes in all of United’s Premier League games and many eyes will be on him when they face the Gunners. With a current ownership of just 7.5%, he looks like a powerful differential in a time when a template team is becoming more and more apparent.

With Sadio Mané, we’re repeating a differential fantasy pick, but with good reason. We just want to take as much advantage as possible from his extremely low ownership (just 9.5% at the moment) before the FPL community realizes that he is probably as good a pick as team mate Mo Salah, who currently sits in 47.5% of all teams. The Senegalese winger already has 4 goals and 2 assists to his name, and he has returned 14 FPL points over the past two gameweeks. For the home game against West Ham this weekend, we would even consider cashing in on his differential completely by handing him the armband. His price tag of £12.0m is, of course, a drawback, but he could be an excellent combination of a premium and a differential fantasy pick.

The captaincy

With Salah and Mané at home to West Ham, Kane and Son at home to Brighton, and Man United hosting Arsenal this weekend, it looks like the GW7 captaincy battle is going to be an interesting one. On top of that, Chelsea at Burnley and Man City at struggling Sheffield United could deliver big as well. For gameweek 7, we are giving the captain’s armband to Tottenham’s Korean topscorer as he will be looking to take advantage of a leaky Seagulls backline to build on his 8 goals and 2 assists.

There is more though, as a few more differential captains could also deliver big this round. What about Raul Jimenez against Palace on Friday, for example? If Wolves score, there is a 67% chance that the Mexican will be involved. The game between Aston Villa and Southampton at Villa Park could also see some goals, which brings Jack Grealish and Danny Ings into the picture. If you’re more into Monday evening picks for the real last-minute surprise effect, you could consider WBA talisman Matheus Pereira at Craven Cottage or last weekend’s best performer Patrick Bamford at home against Leicester.

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.

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.

FPL Season 2020-21 – Gameweek 4 Preview

“On Sunday, Manchester United are hosting Spurs at Old Trafford” (CC by 1.0). Image by: Ank Kumar

The Premier League season for 2020-21 campaign has gone off to even more of a crazy start than normal. After several more and less expected hauls in each of the previous gameweeks, GW3 saw Vardy score a hattrick against Man City for 17 FPL points, midfielder Jarred Bowen bag a brace against Wolves for West Ham, and West Brom’s Callum Robinson score two against Chelsea in just 65 minutes for a very differential 13 FPL points. On top of that, Villa’s Conor Hourihane chipped in with a goal, an assist and a clean sheet for 14 points.

If gameweek 3 is anything to go by in terms of what to expect of coming weekend, then hold on to your hat, because it’s going to be another good one. Gameweek 4 contains a bunch of juicy fixtures from an FPL point of view, with entertaining Leeds hosting a Man City side looking for a return to form, Wolves facing Fulham at Molineux and Spurs rolling up to Old Trafford on Sunday for the clash of the week, just to name a few. There are plenty of interesting fantasy picks out there, in all brackets, so here we go.

Don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 4 is set for 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, October 2nd. 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 AM October 2nd, 2020)

GKPope (BUR), Ryan (BRI), Pickford (EVE)Martinez (AST), Alisson (LIV), McCarthy (SOU)Two clean sheets out of two for Aston Villa. 
DEFDoherty (TOT), Alexander-Arnold (LIV), Wan-Bissaka (UTD)Castagne (LEI), Lamptey (BRI), Justin (LEI)Premium defenders possibly not worth their investment yet, while other options are performing.
MIDSon (TOT), Aubameyang (ARS), Saint-Maximin (NEW)Rodriguez (EVE), Zaha (CRY), Barnes (LEI)Son and ASM are injured, Arsenal tough fixtures coming up.
FORWerner (CHE), Martial (UTD), Mitrovic (FUL)Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Bamford (LEE), Vardy (LEI)Budget strikers have been performing, Vardy as well, while more expensive options haven’t really yet.

Premium pick

On Saturday, the 12th of September 2020, the Premier League campaign 2020-21 kicked off and now, about three weeks later, it looks like we’re right back where we left the last season a few months ago. Well, at least in terms of Jamie Vardy (£10.0m) that is. Last season’s Golden Boot winner is back where he left off, at the top of the rankings (though sharing the spot with a later pick of ours) with 5 goals from three games. He made up for a slightly disappointing showing at home to Burnley in GW2 by netting thrice at the Etihad last weekend and bagging 17 FPL points in the process. The English striker is a slight injury doubt in the build-up to this weekend’s home game against West Ham, but we feel he could well be up for another goal or two against an admittedly improved Hammers side. They won’t be looking forward to visiting the lion’s (or better said, the Foxes’ den) with the main man up front in such blistering form.

Non-premium picks

Our two non-premium picks for this weekend are strikers as well, starting with Wolves talisman Raul Jimenez (£8.6m). After a blank plus a very unfortunate own goal last weekend versus West Ham, we feel this is just the moment to hold on to the Mexican striker. He is, after all, one of the most consistent FPL performers of the last decade. Jimenez scored a goal in each of the first two gameweeks for a total of 14 FPL points before his surprising 0-point hit last weekend and this weekend it’s Fulham at Molineux for the Wolves. The Cottagers are off to another rocky start in the Premier League this season with 10 conceded goals in the first three games and they are visiting a Wolves side that’ll be aching to set some things straight after their painful 4-0 loss at West Ham in GW3. Unless manager Scott Parker has somehow found a solution to the defensive fragility of his team this week, we can see a few goals being scored here coming weekend and Jimenez being among the scorers.

We already mysteriously mentioned Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.5m) as “the pick currently on top of the Golden Boot rankings” together with Leicester’s Jamie Vardy, which explains why we really couldn’t leave him out of this section. The young Englishman seems to be one of the most under-priced FPL assets of the 2020-21 season, a theory underlined by the fact that he has already risen by £0.5m since the start of the campaign. No player saw his price tag increase by more. DCL has so far returned in every game, with his hattrick and the ensuing 17 FPL points versus West Brom in GW2 as the stand-out performance so far, and he is playing Brighton at home next. The Seagulls have had a decent start to the season in terms of their performances, though home games against Chelsea and United in the first three weeks saw them record just 3 points so far. Still, Carlo Ancelotti’s improving Toffees at Goodison Park will likely be a bit too much for them and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Calvert-Lewin return for a fourth time in a row.

The budget enabler

Burnley haven’t had the best of starts to this season with defeats against Leicester and Southampton, and this season might be one where the Clarets will need to battle more for Premier League survival than they’ve gotten used to over the past few years, but their fixture calendar has cleared up a bit now. They are facing Newcastle and West Brom in the next two weeks, and, albeit away from home, these look like games where they can grab their first points, as well as their first clean sheet. This brings budget enabler Jimmy Dunne (£4.0m) into the mix for those managers looking to free up a bit of budget over the coming international break. Of course, this comes with a major risk, as the young Irish defender filled in for the injured James Tarkowski up until now. The England international has now seemingly recovered and manager Sean Dyche is likely to revert back a central duo consisting of him and Kevin Long, but Dunne has definitely established himself as an FPL asset to watch. He is actually Burnley’s highest-scoring defender at the moment, thanks to his goal in GW2 against Leicester, and considering how highly Dyche rates him, he is definitely now a bad shout as fifth defender in your squad.

A differential pick or two

At Leicester, and as usual, star man Jamie Vardy is the talk of the town, especially after his hattrick away at Man City, but he’s not the only Fox off to a great start. There are, of course, defenders Timothy Castagne and James Justin who’ve been fantastic so far in terms of FPL, but we’re talking about Harvey Barnes (£7.0m). Despite not being amongst the goals or even the FPL returns during the 2-5 thrashing of City, the young forward had a very good game at the Etihad. With James Maddison still working back to fitness and form, Barnes seems to be Leicester’s main attacking outlet behind Vardy, which makes him an appealing fantasy pick. He has a goal and an assist to his name so far, for a total of 18 FPL points, and his price tag sits at a very affordable £7.0m. Combined with a current ownership of just 6.0%, the speedy winger represents quite a lot of differential value in our opinion.

The Leicester midfield looks like a bit of a differential goldmine at the moment, because besides Barnes, Belgian international Youri Tielemans (£6.4m) can represent excellent value as well. With the return to fitness of Maddison, the young midfielder will likely be playing a bit more central, but he will still be involved in plenty of attacking moves. His current price tag in combination with his upcoming fixtures (West Ham and Aston Villa, both at home) allows for a bit of a gamble and he currently sits in just 2.0% of all teams. He played the full 90 minutes in each of Leicester’s first three games and recorded his first attacking return last weekend when he scored against City. He is less attacking than the previously mentioned Barnes, but he also costs £0.6m less and could be a shrewd investment for the coming gameweeks.

The captaincy

As we wrote at the beginning of this piece, gameweek 4 offers us plenty of appealing fixtures and therefore an abundance of good captaincy picks. For our FPL GW4 Captain pick, we have personally gone with Wolves striker Raul Jimenez for his home game against leaky Fulham, but it wasn’t an easy choice. Kevin de Bruyne away at Elland Road was on our minds as well, as well as Jamie Vardy at home to West Ham and Sadio Mané for the away game at Aston Villa.

If you’re looking for a bit more of a risk-reward situation, there are some decent options available as well. We’re not sure Calvert-Lewin can still be considered a “risk” in his current form and with a home game against Brighton coming up, but he is definitely worth considering. Alexander Lacazette has scored in each game of the season so far and is facing a struggling Sheffield United side at the Emirates this weekend, which brings him into the mix as well. Danny Ings against West Brom and even the on-fire Patrick Bamford at home to City (why not?) could see you soar up the rankings as well after coming weekend.

FPL Season 2020-21 – Gameweek 3 Preview

“The clash of the week takes place at Anfield this week as champions Liverpool host Arsenal” (CC by 4.0). Image by: Rodhullandemu

With Man City, Man United, Burnley and Aston Villa also off the mark after their blank gameweek 1, the FPL 2020-20 season is now well and truly underway. Gameweek 2 saw a boat load of goals with no less than six games featuring 4 goals or more and an incredible four games seeing a minimum of 6 goals. As a result, we saw plenty of hauls, with Spurs star Heung-Min Son (24 FPL points), his team mate Harry Kane (21 points) and Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin (17 points) forming the top-3 performers.

Gameweek 3 offers yet another set of juicy fixtures, including top-of-the-table clashes between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield and Man City and Leicester at the Etihad. Spurs could build on their 5 goals at Saint Mary’s with a home game against Newcastle, while from an FPL point of view, the Wolves game at West Ham and the Chelsea game at the Hawthorns offer plenty of potential. Before we move on to our picks for the weekend, don’ forget to check the lineups and results of the mid-week games in the League Cup. We don’t expect them to affect the lineups too much this weekend, but do keep them in mind nonetheless.

Don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 3 is set for 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, September 26th. 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 September 24th, 2020)

GKMcCarthy (SOU), Ryan (BRI), Pope (BUR)Martinez (AST), Ryan (BRI), Guaita (CRY)Disappointing Saints and Clarets, defensively at least.
DEFAlexander-Arnold (LIV), Doherty (TOT), Egan (SHE)James (CHE), Mitchell (CRY), Castagne (LEI)Replacement of premium defenders for more budget-friendly picks after few clean sheets in the first gameweeks.
MIDAubameyang (ARS), Saint-Maximin (NEW), Son (TOT)Son (TOT), Rodriguez (EVE), De Bruyne (CIT)Looks largely fixture-based, with form included as well.
FORWerner (CHE), Ings (SOU), Mitrovic (FUL)Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Bamford (LEE), Kane (TOT)Performing budget-friendly options

Premium pick

Just two gameweeks is not a large sample to base trend predictions on, but with one home game and one away game played for Liverpool, Mo Salah (£12.1m) seems to be continuing his habit of saving his best performances for the home crowd. The Egyptian scored a hat trick and 20 FPL points at Anfield in GW1 and then blanked last weekend away to Chelsea. Last season, he scored 19 Premier League goals and 15 of those came at Anfield. This weekend, the Reds are hosting an Arsenal side that has conceded just a single goal so far, but their opponents have been of quite another calibre than Liverpool, namely Fulham away (0-3) and West Ham at the Emirates (2-1). The Gunners did not look particularly impressive against the Hammers last weekend, and there could be goals in this encounter on Monday. Finally, it doesn’t say that much, but last season, this fixture took place in GW3 as well and saw Salah scoring a brace.

Non-premium picks

Another player who seems to be continuing where he left off last season is Wolves striker Raul Jimenez (£8.5m). The Mexican netted 17 times and provided 7 assists over the 2019-20 campaign, and already has 2 goals to his name this season. He scored in the opener at Bramall Lane and then repeated that feat against Man City at Molineux last weekend. Simply said, there are very few FPL assets as reliable as Jimenez, though he is not generally the go-to man for a big haul. He usually bags a goal plus a bonus point or two. This weekend, Wolverhampton are visiting a West Ham side that has started the campaign with two defeats. In total, the Hammers conceded 4 goals against Newcastle and Arsenal, and to make matters worse, regular starting centre back Issa Diop will be missing on Sunday due to a positive Covid-19 test. Sounds like a good moment to bring in Jimenez if you haven’t yet.

One player we have been following closely since gameweek 1 is Everton’s new star James Rodriguez (£7.6m). The Colombian is a world class operator, there is no doubt about it, but we just wanted to see how fit he was after a few slow years and to what extent he would immediately fit into Carlo Ancelotti’s side. Well, he seems quite fit and the Italian manager seems to consider him as a key piece of his Toffees puzzle. James started with a modest 3-pointer against Spurs in gameweek 1, but followed that one up with a 12-point haul last weekend, courtesy of a goal, an assist and 2 bonus points against West Brom at Goodison Park. He seems to have quickly established himself as Everton’s main creative force and only Salah has attempted more assists than his 7 over the first two gameweeks. He also created more big chances than any other player bar Harry Kane since the start. Up next is an in-form Crystal Palace side, but Everton are showing good form as well and we feel they could make it 9 points out of 9 at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

The budget enabler

In the budget category, Wolves forward Daniel Podence (£5.6m) has been making some waves in the first two weeks of this season. With the acquisition of Nelson Semedo, the club may have found a definite replacement for Matt Doherty at right-back , meaning that Adama Traoré is freed up a bit more to be deployed up field in place of Podence, but the ex-Olympiakos looks safe for now. He has started the season in more than decent form with 2 assists in two games and a total of 11 FPL points. The Portuguese dynamo is classified as a midfielder in the game, which means he gets an extra point per clean sheet, and is up against West Ham on Monday. In our opinion, this is one of the most favourable fixtures in gameweek 3 and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him add a third assist to his total this round. Or who knows, maybe even a goal.

A differential pick or two

A bit to our surprise, considering the many new recruits arriving at Stamford Bridge this summer, academy graduate Mason Mount (£6.9m) has played every single Premier League minute so far for Chelsea. Manager Frank Lampard tends to start him as a left winger from where he has the freedom to either stay out on the wing to provide width or to come inside and combine with the likes of Werner and Havertz. The young Englishman hasn’t yet returned in terms of the FPL, but an away game against an out-of-sorts West Brom side is as good a fixture as any for him to get off the mark. The Baggies have so far played against Leicester and Everton this season, and conceded a worrying 8 goals in the process. At Chelsea, the new pieces will probably still need a bit more time to glue together nicely, but this encounter with West Brom could definitely boost the confidence. At £6.9m and with an ownership of just 6.2%, Mount could be a great punt for gameweek 3.

After just very narrowingly escaping relegation last season, Aston Villa started off their 2020-21 campaign with a good 1-0 win over Sheffield United. Remember, the Villains blanked in gameweek 1. Up next for them are Fulham at Craven Cottage and considering the Cottagers’ first two displays this season, Villa could be making it a very nice 6 points out of six this coming Monday. That is also why we are recommending their talisman Jack Grealish (£7.0m) to those looking for a differential with potential for gameweek 3. The English midfielder did not manage to get any attacking returns against Sheffield United, He did have two shots from inside the box in that game and we think he’ll have at least as many against a Fulham side that has conceded 7 goals in the first two games of the season. On top of that, Grealish is on most of Villa’s set-pieces. The game on Monday looks like the perfect opportunity for him to record the first returns of the season after scoring 8 goals and providing 7 assists last season.

The captaincy

Gameweek 3 offers a few very interesting fixtures from a fantasy football point of view and with them, a few appealing GW3 FPL captaincy candidates as well. We have gone with Momo Salah for this one as he faces an Arsenal defence we still consider a bit leaky, but there are good alternatives for the Egyptian as well. Kevin de Bruyne as playmaker at number 10 at home to Leicester is never a bad pick, while Salah’s team mate Sadio Mané is just coming off a brace against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. We also think Raul Jimenez’ right arm is a good spot to place the armband this round.

For those managers looking for a bit more of a punt, in order to play early-season catch-up for example, Spurs stars Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son are very good options at home to Newcastle after their dynamic duo display against Southampton. With Chelsea facing West Bram at the Hawthorns, there could also be a first goal for Timo Werner and/or Kai Havertz as the Blues are working hard to make the many new faces form a solid unit. 

FPL Season 2020-21 – Gameweek 2 Preview

“After a 16-year absence, Premier League football returns to Elland Road this weekend” (CC by 4.0). Image by: Boxingfan1995

And we’re back! After a simply crazy 2019-20 campaign, the 2020-21 campaign was set into motion last weekend and it’s promising to be an amazing year once again. It didn’t take long for English football to remind us of the roller-coaster kind of league it truly is, with new boys Leeds almost matching Liverpool in a goal-scoring spectacle; Arsenal showing some serious promise against Fulham and Everton immediately setting the tone under Ancelotti with a 0-1 away win at Spurs, just to mention a few encounters. From an FPL point of view, we hope you had Momo Salah (as captain).

For this season, we have adapted our gameweek preview format just a little bit. We will recommend player picks in the build-up each week, as usual, and we’ll do so based on four categories instead of the previous three. We will pick a premium player each week (meaning priced £9.5m or higher, which at the moment are 9 players), two non-premium picks, 1 budget pick (the price to be included in this category can vary a bit based on position, but needs to be considerable as a budget enabler), and two differentials (because what’s more satisfying, really, than hauling with a player owned by 0.1% of all managers?). To end each piece, we’ll also quickly go over our captaincy thoughts.

Gameweek 2 offers a few juicy fixtures, so let’s get started! Welcome back!

Don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 2 is set for 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, September 19th. 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 September 17th, 2020)

GKMcCarthy (Sou), Alisson (Liv), Ryan (Bri)Pickford (Eve), Leno (Ars), McCarthy (Sou)Could be fixtures, plus improved clean sheet potential after GW1
DEFAlexander-Arnold (Liv), Doherty (Tot), Egan (She)Gabriel (Ars), Justin (Lei), Mitchel (Cry)Shift to budget defenders who performed well in GW1
MIDSon (Tot), Mané (Liv), Aubameyang (Ars)Fernandes (Utd), De Bruyne (MC), Willian (Ars)The return to action of United and City premium options, Willian’s haul against Fulham
FORWerner (Che), Ings (Sou), Mitrovic (Ful)Bamford (Lee), Martial (Utd), Calvert-Lewin (Eve)Shift to scoring budget strikers, United’ return to action

Premium pick

Obviously, after starting the season with a hattrick, Mo Salah is an excellent premium pick for gameweek 2, despite his away fixture against Chelsea. We’ve gone with another “midfielder” though, one who is, strangely being dumped by a lot of managers this week. Arsenal got off to a good start, beating Fulham 0-3 away from home and star man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£12.0m) notched one of those goals for a total of 7 FPL points. It’s true that he is expensive this season, but it’s also true that he is classified out-of-position as a midfielder, when in reality he will be the most dangerous Gunner most of the time. His yellow card was a shame, but he did get an extra point for his goal in comparison to a forward and another one for the clean sheet. In GW2, the Gabonese attacker is combining what looks like decent form with a strong home fixture against West Ham and he’s on penalties as well. Auba is not only our premium pick for gameweek 2, but our captain pick for as well.

Non-premium picks

Traditionally, we’re a bit wary of going big on Everton at the start of the season, as the Toffees can be deceitful at times. They usually boast plenty of talent and promise, but their performances are not always on par. This season though, we’ve got some hopes for them. It’s the first full season under seasoned manager Carlo Ancelotti and he seems to have wasted no time on moulding the team to his wishes. One player who could definitely benefit from the fresh Italian breeze at Goodison Park is striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.1m). The young Englishman got off the mark just after the break, scoring the only goal with a majestic header against Spurs to bring the three points back home. As you can see, he has already risen by £0.1m and we wouldn’t be surprised to see that trend continue for a while to come, especially if he delivers again versus West Brom this weekend. The Baggies didn’t look quite ready for the Premier League yet in GW1 against Leicester, and with the likes of James Rodriguez, Richarlison and Allan feeding the Everton attack, DCL might hurt them this Saturday as well.

Leicester’s Harvey Barnes (£7.0m) is another more than affordable player who could become a very appealing FPL asset. Out of all the players who didn’t get an attacking return last weekend, the young winger is probably the one who should have. The Foxes overwhelmed West Brom and Barnes could’ve netted a couple had he been a bit more clinical in front of goal. He got 8 touches in the penalty box, a joint third-best of all players, and he fired 5 shots in the box, a total bettered only by hattrick hero Salah. These are some very promising offensive stats, though worthless when not converted in returns. Barnes passed the eye test with flying colours nevertheless and despite coming weekend’s Burnley not being a fragile opponent by any chance, we feel he could be a good pick for GW2.

The budget enabler

In gameweek 1, there were a few serious budget picks that delivered points. The likes of Jeff Hendrick and Jorginho hauled at bargain prices, as did Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford (£5.6m). Thanks to his goal against Liverpool, after good pressing and a subsequent mistake by Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, his price has already risen by £0.1m. In the crazy 4-3 encounter, Bamford managed to snatch a single bonus point for a total of 7 FPL points. Up next for Leeds is fellow newly-promoted club Fulham and the West Yorkshire side will feel that this weekend presents a good opportunity for the first three points of the season. The club brought in Spanish international Rodrigo to bolster the forward line and Bamford’s starting spot might come under pressure at some point, but for the moment we can’t imagine manager Marcelo Bielsa dropping the Englishman. With a price tag of £5.6, he represents a huge potential bargain.

A differential pick or two

Newcastle had an excellent opening of the 2020-21 season by booking a 0-2 victory at the London Stadium against West Ham. The Magpies started the game with a four-men defence and it was former Norwich defender Jamal Lewis (£4.5m) who impressed on the left side. Against the Hammers, the talented Englishman created three chances for his team mates, which ranks him amongst the top three for defenders in gameweek 1. Next up for Newcastle are Brighton at home and based on last season’s defensive performances at Saint James’ Park, a second consecutive clean sheet is definitely a possibility. Last season, the club booked seven clean sheets at home, on par with Manchester United and Liverpool. Lewis currently sits in 3.1% of all FPL teams, which makes him an attractive differential and budget-enabling pick for GW2.

Gameweek 2 might also very well be the last time to see our second differential pick in this category. Manchester United’s top scorer Marcus Rashford (£9.5m) was re-classified as a premium midfielder for this season and that offers possibilities for FPL managers. The English superstar scored 17 goals and provided 8 assists last season, and he is facing Crystal Palace at Old Trafford for his first Premier League game of the season this weekend. Rashford is currently selected by just 6.0% of FPL managers, in big part due to the fact that United had a blank in gameweek 1, which creates a huge differential asset. We absolutely expect him to start against the Eagles and he will get some chances, coming in from the left side as part of a forward line containing Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood, and possibly new star Donny van de Beek. He has a great set of fixtures coming up, so get him while still a differential.

The captaincy

As we wrote earlier, our FPL captaincy pick for gameweek 2 is Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gunner talisman combines a favourable fixture (home vs West Ham), a decent opening form coming off a goal in his first match of the season, and an out-of-position classification that we find too hard to ignore.

Of course, he is quite expensive, but fortunately, there are plenty of appealing alternatives this weekend. Martial and Rashford could explode against Palace in their first PL game of the season, while Salah could very well build on his hattrick with a good return at Stamford Bridge. Jamie Vardy is facing Burnley at home and is a pretty dependable pick for the captaincy as well. For those managers looking for an early-season punt, Calvert-Lewin (at home against West Brom), Bamford (at home versus Fulham) and whoever plays as left winger for Chelsea against Liverpool could represent fantastic differential value.