FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 6 Preview

“After two consecutive blanks, it’s high time for Raheem Sterling, pictured above in training for England, to start firing again” (CC by 3.0) by Mattythewhite

So, we more than insisted on Raheem Sterling as the stand-out premium pick and captaincy candidate last week, with all the subsequent consequences. Our only comfort was the confirmation of what all FPL managers already knew: the Premier League is an unpredictable, at times heart-breaking beast and the official fantasy game just emphasises that. Besides the big shock of the gameweek (and perhaps of the season so far), Liverpool once again failed to keep a clean sheet, struggling Watford benefited from a second-half Gunners collapse, and Bournemouth put three past a usually pretty sold Everton. In other words, gameweek 5 was FPL chaos and a continuation of the craziness that is the 2019/20 campaign. An example of this is the number of goals that has already been scored by the top-five most prolific scorers over the past five gameweeks. There are currently five players with five goals or more who, together, have already scored 30 goals. For comparison, in previous seasons, this total after five games stood at 21 (last season), 21 (in 2017/18), 22 (2016/17), and 18 (2015/16). Players like Kane, Rashford, and Vardy are not among those first five, but each of them still scored 3 goals in five games, which is a decent return. In other words, this season got off to a crazy start, so don’t worry too much yet if you feel like your FPL team has been disappointing so far. Don’t spend too much time on how our picks for last week performed, it’s not very impressive, and let’s move on to our picks for gameweek 6.

Finally, don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 6 is set at 20h00 (BST), on  Friday, September 20th.

How did our picks for the previous gameweek fare?

PICK PLAYER OPPONENT POINTS
Premium Raheem Sterling Norwich (away) 2
Premium Mo Salah Newcastle (home) 9
Non-premium Ashley Barnes Brighton (away) 2
Non-premium Anthony Martial Leicester (home) Injured
Differential Seb Haller Aston Villa (away) 2
Differential Danny Rose Crystal Palace (home) 5
Captain Raheem Sterling Norwich (away) 4

Premium picks

We’ll be honest with you, even after two consecutive blanks, we would still like to recommend Sterling as a premium pick for gameweek 6. We decided to put our love for the England winger aside though, and go instead for his team mate in attack Sergio Aguero (£12.1m). The Argentinian striker should fear a bit more rotation now that Gabriel Jesus is back from injury, but he is still one of just three players this season to record a return in every game so far (5, 6, 13, 16, and 6 for a total of 46 FPL points). Jesus too the strain during midweek playing in the Champions League with Arguero rested on the bench so will be rested this Saturday. Watford are currently bottom in the league, in big part due to the 10 goals they have conceded in just five games, and Aguero’s personal record against the Hornets looks promising (for City, that is, not for Watford): 7 goals and 2 assists in 6 encounters, including a hat-trick two seasons ago. We wouldn’t be surprised to see him add to those total on Saturday.

Our second premium pick for gameweek 6 could be considered a little unexpected, but we believe that Everton’s Lucas Digne (£6.2m) could deliver big this weekend. We don’t base this belief on Everton’s last outing against Bournemouth though, where the Toffees put up a disappointing display, but on the team’s undeniable quality, the coming opponent’s relative struggles in front of goal, and Digne’s potential to deliver at both ends of the pitch on Saturday. The Frenchman has so far brought his owners a decent 23 FPL points, an average of 4.6 points per game, courtesy of 2 clean sheets and 2 assists in five games. Rolling up to Goodison Park this weekend are newly-promoted Sheffield United, who have been pretty decent so far (5 points from five games), but who have not exactly been prolific in front of goal (5 goals in five games). A second double-digit haul of the season might well be on the cards for Digne.

Non-premium picks

Ashley Barnes (£6.7m) and his Burnley team mates are facing the League’s leakiest defence this coming Saturday, and that could be the perfect opportunity for the English-Austrian forward to get back on the score sheet after blanking against Liverpool at home in gameweek 4 and Brighton away last weekend. Barnes started off the season in spectacular fashion, scoring 4 goals in the first three games of the season, bringing his owners a very nice 25 FPL points in the process. Saturday’s opponents Norwich are having a pretty positive return to the English footballing elite, with last weekend’s shock victory over reigning champions Manchester City the absolute highlight, but at the same time, the Canaries have conceded the most goals of all teams in the league (12 goals in five games). An additional plus of bringing in Barnes is that he has a kind run of fixtures coming up, with just one side from the big six (Chelsea at home in gameweek 10) coming up between now and gameweek 14.

Our second non-premium pick for gameweek 6 is Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino (£9.5m), who surprisingly started on the bench in gameweek 5 against Newcastle. The Brazilian all-round forward came on in the 37th minute though, after Divock Origi couldn’t continue, and he decided it was time to show why he should never be benched: 53 game minutes, 2 assists and 1 bonus point for a total of 8 FPL points. Over the first five games of the campaign, Firmino has scored 2 goals and provided 4 assists, while also recording 6 bonus points, making him the fifth-highest scoring forward in the game (35 points). Bobby did play 90 minutes in the disappointing 2-0 mid-week loss in Naples, but considering the short rest he got in gameweek 5, we expect him to start up front for Liverpool against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, who have conceded 11 goals in five games.

A differential pick or two

We mentioned Norwich before, but the Canaries aren’t the only ones with a leaky defence. True, Bournemouth have not let in as many (9 goals in five games, to be exact), but the Cherries still haven’t exactly been solid in the back this season. They are visiting Saint Mary’s in gameweek 6, which will have Southampton forward Danny Ings (£6.0m) hoping for a chance to add to his current tallies of 1 goal and 1 assist. The Saints have shown good form in home games so far, with one point from two games against Liverpool (1-2 in gameweek 2) and Man United (1-1 in gameweek 4), and they will be looking forward to their first three points of the season in front of their own fans. Ings looks certain of a spot in the starting eleven with Charlie Austin, Moussa Djenepo and Nathan Redmond all injured or doubtful for this weekend’s game, and with a current ownership of just 2.0%, he could be a great punt and will add to the interest in watching Friday Night Football.

Our second differential pick of the week is Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son (£9.6m) now that he can still be considered a differential (his ownership currently stands at 5.7%). The Spurs are visiting Leicester this weekend, who are no pushovers under any circumstance, and they will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing Champions League 2-2 draw against Olympiakos in mid-week. Last weekend, Spurs booked only their second victory of the season by thumping Palace 4-0, a game in which Son scored twice and recorded a juicy 16 FPL points. The Foxes have been a bit up-and-down so far this season, but the quality in their roster is abundant, so Spurs have their work cut out for them. We expect Son to lead the line together with Kane and if his performances in the past games is anything to go by, he could well be the differential factor at the King Power on Saturday.

The captaincy

When we recommended Raheem Sterling for his away game against Norwich last weekend, we were pretty convinced he was going to haul big. That, as we now know, didn’t happen. We haven’t lost faith in Guardiola’s goal-scoring machine though (don’t forget the Cityzens still scored twice against Norwich), so our pick for the captaincy in gameweek 6 is Sergio Aguero. The Argentinian has so far not failed to record returns in any of this season’s Premier League games and we doubt that a home game against struggling Watford is going to change that impressive run.

According to the FISO Forum FPL Captain Poll for GW5 the votes are about 50% for Sterling, 25% for Aguero and 25% split among the other candidates.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 5 Preview

“West Ham’s record signing has scored 3 goals in the last two games and is facing Aston Villa at Villa Park next” (CC by 4.0) by Steindy

With gameweek 5 coming up on Saturday after this season’s first international break, now is a good time to check the status of our FPL teams and go over some of the best picks for the weekend. Many heavy hitters and popular FPL assets travelled all over Europe and around the world to represent their national teams, with the associated risks of injuries, fatigue and changes in form a source of worries for FPL managers. We will take this into account when it comes to our picks for gameweek 5, but we still recommend to do some extra research before confirming your transfers this week. For those who are on Reddit, user vishal_jaiswal has posted a pretty useful overview of all players with international duties over the past two weeks, including call-ups for national U20’s and U21’s teams. Also remember to pay attention to interesting targets that were injured before the break, like United’s Anthony Martial and Liverpool’s Allison, because they will have had a couple of weeks to work on their return. Man City’s Laporte, Spurs’ Lo Celso and Brighton’s Trossard have been the main recent injury news.

Finally, don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 5 is set at 12h30 (BST), on  Saturday, September 14th. .

How did our picks for the previous gameweek fare?

PICK PLAYER OPPONENT POINTS
Premium Raheem Sterling Brighton (home) 3
Premium Sergio Aguerio Brighton (home) 16
Non-premium Teemu Pukki West Ham (away) 2
Non-premium Mason Mount Sheffield (home) 2
Differential Emerson Palmieri Sheffield (home) 1
Differential Sebastien Haller Norwich (home) 8
Captain Raheem Sterling Brighton (home) 6

Premium picks

For our first premium pick of the week, we’re starting with a simple table for comparison of some key stats in this season so far:

Manchester City     Norwich  
Total shots 77  (1st in league)   Total shots conceded 68  (3rd in league)
Shots in the box 56  (1st)   Shots conceded in box 47  (1st)
Shots on target 30  (1st)   Shots conceded on target 26  (1st)
Goals scored 14  (1st)   Goals conceded 10  (1st)

On paper, City’s away game against Norwich on Saturday has all the making of a goal-ridden bonanza, which is why Raheem Sterling (£12.3m) is our first pick. The young Englishman is in red-hot form, both in the Premier League (5 goals and 37 FPL points from 4 games) and for England over the international break (2 goals and 3 assists in two games), and he looks primed for a starting spot against the newly-promoted Canaries. On top of that, Sterling is the player with the highest expected goal and/or assist rating in the entire league, and he has fired the second-most shots in the box. He will also be our captaincy pick, as explained later on, though this gameweek offers plenty of excellent alternatives as well.

Sterling’s team mates Aguero and De Bruyne more than deserve a place in this list as well, but the Skyblues are not the only ones with high potential for point-scoring this weekend.. Our second premium pick is Liverpool’s Mo Salah (£12.5m), who is facing Newcastle at Anfield on Saturday. The Egyptian dribbler, whose national team had no duties over the international break, has already scored 3 goals (all of them at home) and provided 2 assists (one at home) this season. As far as his encounters with Newcastle go since he joined Liverpool in the summer of 2017, Salah has scored 3 goals and provided 1 assist in four games. The Magpies, who did bring about a shock victory over Spurs in London before the international break, have conceded 5 goals in four games so far and it’s hard to see them keeping a clean sheet at Anfield this weekend.

Non-premium picks

The fact that Ashley Barnes (£6.7m) is still owned by just 11.6% of FPL managers is a bit surprising, considering the fact that he has already scored 4 goals and recorded 27 FPL points this season, and that he has a favourable run of fixtures coming up, facing just one team from last season’s top six between now and gameweek 14. The Burnley forward is visiting a Brighton team on the rise, but the Seagulls have still conceded 7 goals in 4 games. Truth be told, four of those goals came against Man City at the Etihad. Still, Barnes has already recorded eight shots on target this season (8), which is the second-highest in the league behind Norwich sensation Teemu Pukki. With his nailed-on spot up front and his more than reasonable price tag, Barnes could turn out to be a real bargain.

Before his injury in the build-up to gameweek 4, Manchester United’s Anthony Martial (£7.7m) was starting to look like one of the potential best-value players of the season. The Frenchman started up top for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men while being listed as a mid-priced midfielder in the official game and he didn’t disappoint. Despite United’s wobbly performances, Martial recorded attacking returns in every game he played: a goal and 7 FPL points against Chelsea at home, a goal and 7 points away to Wolves, and an assists and 5 points in the disappointing home loss to Palace. Solskjaer seems to be counting on him to return to the fold for the home game against Leicester on Saturday as the Red Devils will be attempting to avert something of an early-season crisis. With a relatively kind set of fixtures coming up, at least from an attacker’s point of view, it’s wise to keep an eye on Martial.

A differential pick or two

West Ham’s Sebastien Haller (£7.5m) had a bit of a quiet start to the 2019-20 campaign, in large part due to the Hammers facing Man City in gameweek 1 and an injury keeping him out of the squad for gameweek 2. He made up for lost time in gameweeks 3 and 4 though, with 3 goals and 21 FPL points, courtesy of a double strike against Watford at Vicarage Road and a single goal in the victory over Norwich at home. In those two rounds, the French striker had the most shots from inside the box (8) and shots on target (5) of all players in the Premier League, and no other player recorded a better expected goals figure (2.89) over that period either. His ownership percentage is still pretty low (6.8%), considering the quality of his performances, his key role in a Hammers outfit with interesting attacking potential, and the attractive set of fixtures coming up for West Ham, so now could be a good moment to make a swoop for him.

Our second differential pick for gameweek 5 is quite a punt, not so much because of his quality as a player, but due to Tottenham’s average start to the 2019-20 campaign. Left-back Danny Rose (£5.5m) looked like he was on his way out this summer, but he stayed in north London and has once again managed to nail down his spot on the left flank. Spurs have not yet recorded a clean sheet this season despite having played home games against Villa and Newcastle, but the third time could be a charm when they host Crystal Palace on Saturday. The Eagles have concocted an excellent start to the season with 7 points from four games, but they have only scored 3 goals in the process. The home team will certainly have a majority of the possession on Saturday and there will be chances for Rose to join in attack. This potential for an attacking return in combination with the possibility of a first clean sheet makes him an interesting option for gameweek 5.

The captaincy

Like we wrote earlier, our recommendation for the armband this weekend is Man City’s Raheem Sterling. The English international just seems like he can’t stop scoring (and assisting) at the moment, and with a willing Norwich defence coming up next, it seems unwise not to captain him. Team mate Sergio Aguero is a very good shout as well, especially considering Gabriel Jesus’ ongoing hamstring struggles, and Kevin de Bruyne could, of course, haul big as well in his current form. The three of them seem sure of a spot in the starting eleven on Saturday, so it looks like the only question that remains is in regard to which of them will score the highest against the Canaries.

Do also have a look at the FISO Forum Captain Poll for GW5.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 4 Preview

Mané
“After Salah’s haul last weekend, is it Mané’s turn again this weekend?” (CC by 2.0) by Terry Kearney

After another relatively low-scoring FPL gameweek last weekend (average: 44 points), we’re looking forward to a fourth gameweek with a few tasty fixtures. There are home games for Chelsea and Man City, against Sheffield and Brighton respectively, and a Pukki-led Norwich are visiting a leaky West Ham who have conceded 7 goals in three games. The only team to concede more so far are the Canaries themselves. Sunday will be redemption day as Everton host Wolves (who themselves are hosting Torino for the return game of their Europa League play-off on Thursday) after losing 2-0 to Villa last weekend, while Spurs will be looking to bounce back against Arsenal at the Emirates after their more than underwhelming display at home to Newcastle in week 3 (0-1 loss). In other words, plenty to look forward to before the first international break of this season.

Don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 4 is set at 11h30 (BST), on  Saturday, August 31st..

How did our picks for the previous gameweek fare?

PICK PLAYER OPPONENT POINTS
Premium Raheem Sterling Bournemouth (away) 8
Premium Harry Kane Newcastle (home) 2
Non-premium Anthony Martial Palace (home) 5
Non-premium Aaron Wan-Bissaka Palace (home) 0
Differential Leandro Trossard Southampton (home) 2
Differential Gerard Deulofeu West Ham (home) 2
Captain Raheem Sterling Bournemouth (away) 16

Premium picks

Look, they say repetition is the key to mastery and we’re all trying to master the FPL, so we’re not ashamed about recommending Man City’s Raheem Sterling (£12.2m) for a third time in four weeks as our first premium pick. There’s just no getting around the Skyblue forward at the moment, thanks to his excellent form coinciding with favourable fixtures. He is currently the league’s top scorer with 5 goals from 3 starts and despite the promising stuff Brighton have shown under new manager Graham Potter this season, it’s hard to see the Seagulls returning home from the Etihad on Saturday without having conceded a few goals. The chances of Sterling having a field day against them are worth betting on, though the likes of Kun Aguero (especially now that Gabriel Jesus is injured) and creator-in-chief Kevin de Bruyne provide excellent potential as well if you want a bit of variation. As far as we are concerned, Sterling is the best bet and you will see his name again in our captaincy section later on.

With Liverpool facing a potentially tricky away fixture at Turf Moor, and Arsenal and Spurs disputing a London derby on Sunday, we are, as an exception, taking our second premium pick from the same team. City’s Sergio Aguero (£12.0m) wasn’t among the most popular picks ahead of the 2019/20 FPL season as a result of his participation in the Copa America, Pep Guardiola’s love of rotation and some fears (ungrounded, really) about his age possibly starting to affect his goal-scoring potential, but 3 games and 4 goals later, he’s back among the most-coveted FPL assets. With his main rival for a starting berth up top now out injured until at least after the international break and with 2 goals from his last away game at Bournemouth in the pocket, the Argentinian striker is one of the surest bets for gameweek 4. Aguero has scored 4 goals and recorded 24 FPL points in just 176 minutes of Premier League football, and he has registered attacking returns in 13 of his last 17 home games overall, so the Brighton defenders have their job cut out for them this weekend.

Non-premium picks

One of this year’s best parties has come early and it currently looks like it’s not going to end any time soon. Teemu Pukki (£7.0m) is, at this moment, the FPL’s highest-scoring and best-value player, and with good reason. The Norwich striker has made a devastating return to the Premier League by scoring 5 goals and providing 1 assist in 203 minutes of Premier League action for the newly-promoted Canaries. In just three weeks time, his price has risen by £0.5m and with an away game versus West Ham on the agenda for Saturday, both his attacking returns and his price tag could see further increases over the weekend although Norwich then have trickier fixtures coming up. Norwich are the only team to have conceded more goals than the Hammers (8 vs 7) in the opening three encounters of the season, while Manuel Pellegrini’s men have also allowed the second-most attempts on goal on average over that period (17.7 per game). Only Liverpool and Man City have scored more than Norwich’ 6 goals, so it’s hard to see them not scoring against West Ham and when they do, count on Pukki to be in the thick of it.

Our second non-premium pick is a bit of a gamble due to injury rumours, but Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has been giving positive updates on Mason Mount (£6.2m) this week. On top of that, the talented English midfielder/winger was pictured in training this week as well, so the hope is that he is fit from what reportedly was a dead leg (to his calf) and ready to continue firing on Saturday when the Blues face newly-promoted Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge. In the absence of Pedro last week, Mount was posted as a left winger and he showed that true quality attacking players can play anywhere by scoring a goal and picking up 8 FPL points in the process. In total, he has already scored 2 goals and recorded 4 bonus points for a total of 20 FPL points, and he has completed the 90 minutes in every league game so far. At his current price tag, he’s turning out to be one of the best-value assets in the game.

A differential pick or two

Our first differential pick for gameweek 4 is a team mate of Mason Mount and another player who has blossomed since the appointment of Frank Lampard. Emerson Palmieri (£5.5m) has emerged as Lampard’s first-choice left-back and with an ownership of just 2.5%, he represents a real differential. While it is true that his current 3 FPL points will hardly impress anyone, it’s worth noting that no defender in the Premier League has had more attempts on goal (6) or on target (4). A run of three difficult games to open the season (United away, Leicester at home, and a high-scoring Norwich away) has resulted in an absence of clean sheets for the Italy international, but his could change when the Blades roll up to Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Only five teams have scored less than Sheffield’s 3 goals, so a first shut-out could be on the cards for Chelsea.

West Ham’s record signing Sebastien Haller (£7.4m) finally opened his goal-scoring account last weekend and he did so in style (despite saying afterwards that he did not play very well!). The powerful French striker, who is owned by just 4.1% of FPL managers, scored a brace at Watford for a haul of 13 points and he’ll be looking to start something of a purple patch by netting again when Norwich visit the Hammers on Saturday. The Canaries, though entertaining, have shown to be far from defensively solid, which is illustrated by the 8 goals they have conceded in the first three games of the season. Haller has already seen his price drop by £0.1m this season, but a good performance against Norwich could very well be the spark that ignites a bit of a bandwagon fire. An early punt on the Frenchman might pay off handsomely, both in terms of returns and your squad’s value.

The captaincy

With Man City facing Brighton at home this weekend, the captaincy options seem quite clear. The pick of the bunch for us is Raheem Sterling, who is one of Guardiola’s most nailed-on starters, especially in his current form. Five goals, 4 bonus points and 34 FPL points in total make him both the the Premier League’s top scorer (together with Pukki) and FPL’s second-highest scorer (34 points vs Pukki’s 35). Brighton have looked pretty good so far and they seem capable of running a more than satisfying 2019/20 campaign, but it’s hard to see them getting anything but a hammering at the Etihad.

About three-quarters of the FISO Forum FPL GW4 Captain Poll also agree with Sterling for the captain’s armband this weekend.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 3 Preview

“Is this weekend’s away game at Villa the one for Sigurdsson (pictured above on set-piece duty for Iceland) to start offering some attacking returns?” (CC by 3.0) by Oleg Bkhambri

After a high-scoring opening gameweek and a pretty low-scoring second week (average of 41 points), we have already arrived at gameweek 3. With two datasets (read: rounds) under our belt, we can now start getting a better idea of what we can expect from each Premier League outfit this season. Most teams are settling into their preferred starting line-ups, the role of many new FPL assets is becoming more defined, and we can even see a few value picks emerge, at least for the first few weeks of the season. Besides big hitters like Sterling and Salah, players such as Burnley’s Ashley Barnes (£6.6m, goals, points), Norwich striker Teemu Pukki (£6.7m, goals, points) and Man United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.6m, points) are showing early form and medium to long-term promise. This weekend is lining up another tasty set of fixtures for us, so let’s move on to our picks for gameweek 3.

Don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 3 is set at 19h00 (BST), tomorrow, Friday, August 23rd..

How did our picks for the previous gameweek fare?

PICK PLAYER OPPONENT POINTS
Premium Raheem Sterling Spurs (home) 6
Premium P-E Aubameyang Burnley (away) 6
Non-premium Josh King Villa (away) 6
Non-premium Roberto Firmino Southampton (away) 8
Differential Teemu Pukki Newcastle (home) 17
Differential Jurgen Locadia West Ham (away) 0
Captain Raheem Sterling Spurs (home) 12

Premium picks

When you score 4 goals and record 26 FPL points in the opening two games of the season, and you face Bournemouth (away) in the third gameweek, you’re going to be a stand-out premium pick. We’re talking to you, Raheem Sterling (£12.2m). We recommended him for the very first round and we’re doing so again this week, simply because he’s on fire. Besides his goals, Sterling is also the player who has had the most big chances so far (5) and the most shots inside the box (10). As far as shots on target go, only Norwich sensation Pukki has recorded more (6 vs 7). Sunday’s opponent Bournemouth, on the other hand, has allowed opponents 6 big chances over the first two games, only West Ham allowed more (10). Sure, FPL is not an exact science, but… get Sterling.

Our second premium pick of the week is Tottenham’s very own, Harry Kane (£11.0m), who is facing a Newcastle side (at home) that has so far failed to make any real impression. The England striker had a frustrating 90 minutes last time out as he recorded exactly zero attempts on goal against City at the Etihad, but he did net twice in the dying minutes of the season’s opening game against Villa, for a total of 13 FPL points. Last weekend, Norwich kind of tore the Newcastle defence to shreds as Teemu Pukki scored three. With all respect to a Norwich side that is positively presenting itself amongst the English footballing elite, it does make us think: if the Canaries and Pukki can do that to the Magpies, what could Spurs and Kane be capable of in front of their own fans? It’s just hard to imagine Spurs (and Harry Kane for that matter) not scoring on Saturday.

Non-premium picks

As we said earlier, now that we are a few weeks into the season, some interesting options outside of the premium bracket are emerging. One of those options seems to be Manchester United’s Anthony Martial (£7.7m), who has already enjoyed two price rises as a result of his 2 goals and 14 FPL points from the season’s opening two fixtures. United’s start was far from easy, with Chelsea rolling up to Old Trafford before a visit to Wolves, but the Red Devils took four points from those games and Martial scored a goal in both. Out of all midfielders in the game, only City’s Sterling has had more touches (20) in the opposing penalty area than the Frenchman (15), which is largely thanks to his positioning as a forward. This makes Martial an out-of-position midfielder for a top-six club who is in good form and who has a pretty decent run of fixtures coming up next, starting with Crystal Palace at home this weekend. Expect more price rises for the United man over the coming weeks.

Our second non-premium pick for gameweek 3 is also a United player, namely £55-million signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.5m). This is not so much because we’re so impressed by the Red Devils, though they have shown plenty of positives in the first two weeks of the 2019/20 season, but simply because, like Martial, AWB has looked like good value in two difficult games and now has a good run of fixtures coming up. The young English right-back has brought his owners 9 FPL points from two games and their home fixture against Palace on Saturday seems to scream “Clean sheet!”. On top of that, the season’s first two games have shown that Palace’s left flank is something of a playground for opposing right-wingers, midfielder and right-backs. Everton right-back Seamus Coleman recorded 17 points in gameweek 1, while Sheffield’s right flank had a field day last weekend, which is best illustrated by John Lundstram’s 13 points. Coincidence? Possibly. Enough reasons to bring Wan-Bissaka into your squad? Definitely.

A differential pick or two

For our differential picks this week, we have gone with two players who, for different reasons, still need to get their engines properly running. The first is Brighton’s Leandro Trossard (£6.0m) was an unused substitute in the opening game, but introduced himself to the Premier League with a bang the next week by scoring a goal in his side’s 1-1 draw with West Ham and earning himself 7 FPL points in the process (the VAR also invalidated an earlier goal of his). The flashy Belgian was one of the most active Seagulls, as he took four shots on goal, three of which came from inside the area. No player on the pitch created more danger. Brighton under Graham Potter look more exciting than they have in a long while, while Saturday’s opponents Southampton have lost their first two Premier League games (3-0 at Burnley and 1-2 at Saint Mary’s to Liverpool). We expect Trossard to start against the Saints and we wouldn’t be surprised to see more attacking returns from him.

While Trossard’s ownership is extremely low (0.9%), Watford’s Gerard Deulofeu (£6.4) is owned by a few more FPL managers (4.1%). That’s still more than low enough to be considered a differential though, and the Spaniard is a proven FPL asset. Like Watford as a whole, he has had an underwhelming start of the 2019/20 campaign, with just 3 points from two games (Brighton at home, when he had to go off at half-time due to an stomach illness, and Everton away). Next up are leaky West Ham though, and we can see Deulofeu opening his goal account (or at least his assist account) against the Hammers. With 10 goals (and 5 assists), he was the Hornets’ top scorer last year, and with West Ham, he’s facing a side that has conceded six goals in the first two games of the season, more than any other team. His price has already dropped by £0.1m as a result of (too) quick judgement by many FPL managers, so you could get him cheaply before he starts returning points on a more regular basis again.

The captaincy

As far as the armband goes, gameweek 3 is offering plenty of interesting options, starting with Man City’s Raheem Sterling. The nimble dribbler is facing one of the most obliging defences on Sunday on the back of two consecutive wins in which he scored 4 goals and brought his owners a whopping 26 FPL points. Our money is on him getting in on the action again at the Vitality Stadium, making it three consecutive returns and unleashing a complete transfer frenzy in the FPL universe.

According to the FISO Forum FPL Captain Poll for GW3 it’s simply between Kane and Sterling with Salah and Martial afterthoughts.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 2 Preview

“City’s Raheem Sterling got off to a blistering start and is facing Spurs at home next”   (CC by 2.0) by Brad Tutterow

With an average score of 65, the 2019/2020 FPL season got off to a flying start. Some of this season’s most premium assets just needed one game to show why they are worth the investment. The likes of Mo Salah (12 points), Raheem Sterling (20 points) and Harry Kane (13 points) returned big, but they weren’t the only ones. Budget central defender Lewis Dunk (11 points), new Bournemouth recruit Chris Mepham (10 points) and Burnley’s star forward Ashley Barnes (13 points) (who we highlighted last week as a differential) defied their low price tags by delivering big hauls as well. With the star players being priced as high as they are this season, the search for consistent scorers in the lower and budget brackets is going to be crucial for a successful season. Gameweek 1 has shown that there are plenty of points potential outside the premium category, now Gameweek 2 will hopefully reveal a bit more about consistency and early purple patches.

Don’t forget: the deadline for Gameweek 2 is set at 12h30 (BST), on  Saturday, August 17th.

How did our picks for the previous gameweek fare?

PICK PLAYER OPPONENT POINTS
Premium Mo Salah Norwich (home) 12
Premium Harry Kane Villa (home) 13
Non-premium Callum Wilson Sheffield (home) 5
Non-premium Gylfi Sigurdsson Palace (away) 3
Differential Kyle Walker-Peters Villa (home) 2
Differential Ashley Barnes Watford (home) 13
Captain Salah Norwich (home) 24

Premium picks

We chose Salah and Kane as our premium picks last weekend over Raheem Sterling (£12.1m), as the young Englishman had an away game. Our picks brought in 12 and 13 points respectively, but Sterling took home the Player of the Gameweek award by scoring a hat-trick, winning 3 bonus points and recording a total score of 20 points. After such a performance and with Leroy Sané out injured while Pep seems to be easing Aguero into the starting eleven, Sterling is highly likely to start again this Saturday when City host Spurs. It’s not an easy game by any stretch (remember last season’s Champions League quarter-finals?), but on a good day, Pep’s men can demolish any kind of opposition, especially at home. As far as Sterling is concerned, he has played 14 times against Spurs in his career, with a current record of 7 goals and 3 assists. Miss out at your own peril just like with pokies syndicate.casino

We were considering Mo Salah as our second premium pick for gameweek 2, but seeing as the Egyptian just played an intense 120 minutes against Chelsea for the European Super Cup on Wednesday evening, we’re going with Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m). The Gabonese forward ended last season as the joint-top scorer with 22 goals and he continued his fine goal-scoring form against Newcastle. The Gunners found it difficult to break down the Magpies, but a single strike from PEA in the 58th minute was enough to take the three points back to the Emirates. Next opponents Burnley are one of Aubameyang’s favourite Premier League opponents, as underlined by his record against them: 6 goals, 1 assists and 42 FPL points in three encounters. With just two shots on target and three attempts off target, the Gunners failed to really impress against Newcastle, but we expect them to turn up in more convincing fashion for this season’s first home game.

Non-premium picks

Bournemouth somewhat disappointed in their opening game of the 2019/20 campaign by drawing 1-1 against newly-promoted Sheffield United at the Vitality Stadium. Thanks to their opening fixtures (Sheffield home, Villa away), several attacking Cherries assets were popular in the build-up to gameweek 1. Their meagre three shots on target will have caused some FPL managers to doubt their choices, but we would recommend sticking with your Cherries at least one more round. One of the players who disappointed a bit was Josh King (£6.5m). The Norwegian forward took one shot at goal and created one key chance, while he also completed three dribbles, the most of any players on the pitch. Bournemouth will be looking to redeem themselves at Villa Park and even though the Villains put on a more than decent display at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last weekend, they might well concede again against the Cherries on Saturday and King might well be involved. And cherries are sometimes involved in new slots games Australia.

Our second non-premium pick is actually on the border of higher-end mid-priced assets and lower-end premium assets. Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino (£9.5m) came on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in Wednesday’s European Super Cup final and his impact was immediately noticeable. He set up the equalising goal a few minutes into the second half and then provided another assists for the second goal five minutes into the extra time as well. The Brazilian attacker was unplayable for the Chelsea defence at times, and Salah (and especially Salah) benefited enormously from his introduction. In the Premier League’s opening game last weekend, Firmino also provided an assist to end the game with 5 FPL points. He had four attempts at goal that game, which is double the amount Mo Salah had (who recorded 12 points) and he also completed four dribbles, which is also double the amount of dribbles completed by his Egyptian team mate. Against a leaky Southampton back line, Firmino is expected to start and, if all goes well, rack up a few more attacking returns.

A differential pick or two

Norwich were welcomed back to the Premier League by a pretty rampant Liverpool side that put four goals past them in the first 45 minutes. In the second half, the Reds eased down and the Canaries managed to get back into the game which eventually resulted in a consolation goal by Teemu Pukki (£6.5m), last season’s Championship top scorer (29 goals). The Finnish forward recorded 7 FPL points, courtesy of his goal and 1 bonus point, and it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see him book attacking returns again coming Saturday when Norwich host Steve Bruce’s Newcastle. While it remains to be seen if the Canaries are defensively sturdy enough to survive in the Premier League, their first game of the campaign has shown that they can create chances and score goals. At his current price, Pukki could be a very decent budget option and a real differential pick.

Brighton impressed in their first official game under new manager Graham Potter. The Seagulls swept away an admittedly disappointing Watford at Vicarage Road three to nil and this weekend West Ham are rolling up to the AmEx. The Hammers were hammered by Man City in gameweek 1 and even though  that game might not be entirely representative of their true quality, it can’t have been too good for their confidence. Brighton, on the other hand, will be brimming with confidence and Dutch forward Jurgen Locadia (£5.5m) will be hoping to be involved in the action from the start again. Before being taken off in the 63rd minute, he made two attempts at goal, one of which was on target, and he generally looked lively on the left wing and up front. Competition is fierce in the Brighton attack, with new signings Neal Maupay and Leandro Trossard vying for starting spots as well, but it looks like Locadia will start again against West Ham on Saturday. His current price tag makes him an interesting option for the position of third striker in your squad.

The captaincy

Our suggestion for the armband this week is Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling. The sky blue dribbler had some serious competition from the likes of Aubameyang (home against Burnley), Mo Salah (away to Southampton) and this coming Sunday’s opponent Harry Kane, but his hat-trick away to West Ham last weekend convinced us. City did not seem to need any time to get their goal-scoring machine running and a 0-5 away victory will have definitely boosted their confidence. Facing Spurs at home is never an easy task, but the Cityzens can beat anyone at the Etihad at any time.

The FISO FPL GW2 Captain Poll does put Salah well ahead of Aubameyang and then Sterling but these are the 3 leading contenders for the armband this gameweek.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 1 Preview

Welcome back to the Fantasy Premier League! After our series of club previews to open the 2019/2020 season, we are now back with our first gameweek preview of the campaign. It’s possible that we say this every year, but this year, it looks more difficult than ever to put together a decent 15-man squad within the limits of our £100 million budget. In an effort to  help you during the build-up to gameweek 1 as well as throughout the season, we have made some minor changes to the structure of our weekly gameweek preview pieces. Instead of providing you with three premium picks, two differential picks and two captain picks each week, we will recommend two premium picks, two non-premium (say £9.5m or lower, more or less) picks, two differential picks and a general piece on our captaincy recommendation before the start of each gameweek. Considering the hefty price tags of many of the promising FPL targets, we figured it will be interesting to place a bit more focus on those non-premium, possibly budget-enabling picks this season that allow you to bring in as many premium assets as possible without ruining the price and points balance in your squad too much.

Don’t forget: the deadline for the first gameweek of the 2019/20 season is set at 19h00 (BST) tomorrow Friday, August 9th.

Premium picks

It’s hard to pick another premium asset than Liverpool’s Mo Salah (£12.5m) for gameweek 1. After a disappointing AFCON run, the Egyptian wizard has been back with the squad for some weeks already and everything points at him starting coming Friday as the Reds host new boys Norwich. Last season’s highest scorer in terms of FPL points (259, courtesy of 22 goals, 12 assists and 18 bonus points) is once again listed as a midfielder in the official game, while he is expected to turn up in Liverpool’s number nine position more often than not this season. Salah performed extraordinarily well against promoted teams last season, recording an average of 7.66 FPL points in those games. Add to that the facts that Norwich boasted just the seventh-best defence in their league last season (57 goals conceded in 46 games) and have kept just one clean sheet during their pre-season campaign, and Liverpool’s star man becomes something of a no-brainer.

With players like Raheem Sterling (away to West Ham) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (away to Newcastle) also lining up for favourable fixtures in the opening gameweek, there’s plenty of choice in this bracket, but our second premium pick is Tottenham’s very own, Harry Kane (£11.0m). Spurs are facing newly-promoted Aston Villa at their brand new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and they will be raring to go in front of their crowd. Due to injuries, Kane had his statistically least successful season since 2013/14 last year, but he still recorded 160 FPL points from 2423 minutes of Premier League football, thanks to 17 goals and 6 assists. The Villans finished fifth in the Championship last season and were promoted after winning the play-offs. During the regular season, they conceded 61 goals in 46 games, meaning that no less than ten other teams in the league could boast a better defensive record. Villa spent a whopping €148 million on new players already, so the team is going to a whole lot different to last year’s, but you can’t expect it to glue together perfectly from the get-go. It’s hard to see Spurs not putting a few past them on Saturday and when they do, Kane will most likely be in on the action.

Non-premium picks

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Bournemouth assets in the build-up to gameweek 1, thanks to their favourable opening set of fixtures and the way they hit the ground running at the start of last season. Cherries forward Callum Wilson (£8.0m) had an incredible season last year, as he scored 14 goals and gave 12 assists for a total of 168 FPL points. In combination with his price tag of £6.5m at the time, he quickly became as close to essential as a player can get in FPL. For the 2019/20 season, his price was increased by £1.5m, but he can still be more than worth it in our opinion. In the first gameweek, Bournemouth are hosting promoted Sheffield United before visiting Aston Villa in gameweek 2, both of which are games they are expected to win (comfortably). Wilson looks like he’s in form after scoring his third goal of the pre-season against French side Lyon last weekend, a game in which he also provided 2 assists, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him net on Saturday as well.

Everton’s creator-in-chief Gylfi Sigurdsson (£8.0m) has been an FPL favourite since his 2014/15 season with Swansea and he looks like a promising pick again this season. The Icelandic midfield maestro racked up a nice 182 points last season after recording 13 goals, 6 assists and 15 clean sheets for the Toffees. The acquisition of highly-rated players like Juventus striker Moise Kean and reigning world champion Djibril Sidibé should only boost Sigurdsson’s appeal, as he is a key part of Marco Silva’s set-up. He is also on penalties as well as on plenty of corners and direct free-kicks, so his current price tag could turn out to be something of a steal. With Crystal Palace (away), Watford (home) and Villa (away) as Everton’s opening three fixtures, Sigurdsson could start the 2019/20 campaign in spectacular fashion.

A differential pick or two

Our first differential could be a big one, at least in the opening gameweeks. Talented Spurs right-back Kyle Walker-Peters (£5.0m) looks set to feature from the start at home to new boys Aston Villa on Saturday, a fixture in which Spurs will definitely dominate and a clean sheet is a real possibility. With last season’s first pick at right-back Kieran Trippier gone, and both Serge Aurier and Juan Foyth currently out injured, it’s difficult to see how KWP would not be part of the starting eleven. That being said, even when fit, neither Aurier nor Foyth has the starting spot at right-back nailed down right now, which means that Walker-Peters could make the position his permanently if he performs well in the first few gameweeks of the season. Should that be the case, then we have got a relative bargain at our hands as part of last season’s third-best Premier League defence.

Our second differential pick had a pretty great 2018/19 season, his bargain price did not increase for the coming season and he should be on (most) penalties again this season. Burnley’s Ashley Barnes (£6.5m) scored 12 goals, gave 3 assists and recorded 13 bonus points for a more than decent total of 122 FPL points, which comes down to 18.77 points per million. The Clarets open the season by hosting Southampton, an outfit that conceded a worrying 65 goals last season, though it should be noted that the Saints have shown remarkable improvement since the appointment of manager Ralph Hasenhüttl at the start of December 2018. After the Southampton game, Burnley face Arsenal (away), Wolves (away) and Liverpool at home, which is not an easy run by any stretch (though there could be goals for Barnes in the first two games), but after that, the schedule clears up considerably until gameweek 12. Amongst others, they face Norwich at home, Villa away, Sheffield away and West Ham at home over that period. At his current price, Barnes could be an excellent option as your second or third striker, allowing you to spend budget elsewhere while he records some attacking returns as a nailed-on part of Sean Dyche’s Clarets.

The captaincy

For the first gameweek of this Premier League season, the most popular options for the armband will probably be Liverpool’s Mo Salah (at home to Norwich), Man City’s Raheem Sterling (and possibly Sergio Aguero, away to West Ham) and Spurs striker Harry Kane (at home to Villa) as demonstrated by the FISO Forum FPL GW1 Captain Poll. Each of these players represents a high probability of a big haul in the opening weekend, and they are all reliable candidates for the captaincy. If we have to choose, we would go with Liverpool’s Egyptian talisman, as he is last season’s top FPL points scorer facing off against a newly promoted team that wasn’t exactly known for its defensive solidity last season in the Championship. The same would go for Harry Kane though, in terms of opposition, while Sterling is facing a transformed Hammers side that could positively surprise us this season.