It is FPL GW5 and it is time for yours truly FPL Chef to go over my favourite picks for the upcoming gameweek. Last week I activated my wildcard and scored 101 points, I ended up with a overall rank of 436th. That had no bearing on todays article I just like writing it or saying it out loud.
Manchester City vs Norwich City
For me this is the key game this week, as we all have a variation of the Man City attack. Whether you have Aguero, Sterling, KDB or one of the Silva brothers, this game is captain material. Lets take a look at some of Norwich’s weaknesses.
First thing to consider is that Norwich have potentially 3 defenders out, Zimmerman, Hanley and Aarons all have accumulated injuries. This is already leaving an already porous backline that much weaker.
There is no other way to look at it but defensively Norwich are horrid. They’ve conceded on average 2.5 goals per game, with opponents creating on average 2.08 xG per game.
Teams seem able to attack Norwich at will, Liverpool recorded 41 positional attacks 10 resulting in shots. The graphic above shows how the xG was distributed and percentage of success that they had.
The above is the same graphic but from the Chelsea game, Chelsea had 40 positional attacks 16 of which resulted in shots. This tells us that Norwich are going to concede chances. Daniel Farke has also stated that he plans to remain true to his style of play throughout the season. Now whilst that may get him goals against the big boys they’re in for a long afternoon you would think. The problem is going to be who the hell do you pick!
The full purpose of my wildcard was to bring in the legendary Argentine. He has hit the ground running this season. 6 goals and 1 assist have seen him soar to the top of the scoring charts.
Still has scored every shot that he has taken this season which has hit the target which is some record. I expect that he will continue to improve his goal record against Norwich.
West Ham recorded 17 shots at goal 8 of which hit the target in their recent victory over Norwich. The above graphic shows just how much they got chances in the box. Now although they have Haller who is an adept target man, Manchester City’s style of play would also lead me to think they will get lots of joy in the box too. Aguero is my captain pick for the week, I think if you have either him or Sterling you have to out the armband on them. It will be a nervous game no matter who you own out of the two.
A quiet week for Sterling last week as he registered zero attacking returns against Brighton. These will happen from time to time, I profited from this as I switched out Aguero for him on my wildcard. But this week could so easily be the reverse of those points returns. Was not a good day at the office for Sterling however as he did not register a single shot or shot assist.
With the amount of injuries that Norwich have and also given how easily teams create chances against them, Sterling has to be one of the most captained players this week and with good reason. He is the one player I wish I could own this week.
Kevin De Bruyne – The Best in The World At What He Does
It’s that simple pick him, this is his heatmap for the season so far.
Liverpool also have a good fixture in GW5, they play Newcastle. They got ripped to shreds against Norwich but a surprise victory a Spurs followed by a draw against Watford shows that Toon still have some fight in them. They’re currently deploying a 5-4-1 formation, but when attacking would hope to play more in a 3-4-3. It is very much safety first for Newcastle and I expect much the same against Liverpool.
At the time of writing Salah is around 42% owned I expect he will also be a popular captain choice this weekend. Salah is ticking along nicely, 3 goals and 2 assists in FPL. Above is Salah’s heatmap against Burnley and within that the amount of successful and unsuccessful actions on the pitch. I would expect to see something similar against Newcastle in that he will look to get central as much as possible.
We finally saw that elusive Liverpool clean sheet last gameweek, and I expect that this will continue. Newcastle do not offer too much going forward, they have averaged just 0.89 xG on average so far this season. They’re not seeing too much of the ball either and have averaged just a shade over 38% possession.
I very much expect that this will be Liverpools second clean sheet of the season. The question here is which defender do you pick on your team if you’re on a wildcard or have spare funds.
The simple answer is either one of the fullbacks but the one I would be targeting is Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Above is Newcastles passmap for the game against Spurs, they had 23 percent possession in this match and spent much of it defending. I know that they won that game but given how much possession Liverpool tend to have I’d expect a similar setup. This difference between Liverpool and spurs is that Liverpool are ruthless.
The reason I would pick Trent is that Liverpool may need a quality cross or corner delivery to unlock this 5 at the back formation. Given how deep Newcastle will sit and how high up the pitch Trent tends to get I think there is the possibility that Trent sees attacking returns.
Leicester visit Old Trafford
Leicester visit Old Trafford and in years gone by you would be mad to consider bringing in there players. However I really do believe United are in bother, I feel that their recruitment was poor in the summer and letting Lukaku leave without bringing in a replacement was a bad move. United have 3 more players out this week, in Pogba, Martial and Shaw. This game represents a free shot at United for Brendan Rodgers and they have the perfect big game player in Jamie Vardy.
Vardy is the one I would be looking at if I had the funds, Leicester play Spurs after this match at home and will fancy getting a result. Rodgers is creating something exciting at Leicester and Vardy is a key part of this. He has had 6 shots on goal and scored 3 of those. What interests me more is his heatmap. So much time spent in the danger area, the other options are the midfielders but I’ll get to those.
The FPL Wildcard
GW5 was always my planned week to activate the wildcard. However my hand was forced with the Martial injury and I went a week early. I put a three figure point score up which is the stuff of wildcard dreams. It may not surprise you that my selections for this week would be pretty similar to last but I will talk you through the revisions.
As always do not just pick players willy nilly, I think too many people do that. Always have a plan, always have a couple of captain options, a couple of long term bets and a couple of short term bets. Always plan with at least the next 4 weeks in mind and personally I always make sure I don’t need to make a transfer the following week barring injury.
I have heard a lot been said over the summer about not spending money on premium forwards and whilst there is merit in what they’re saying its still frankly bollocks. If you’re building a season long team then yeah makes sense I guess but because I can make transfers every week that kind of thinking in my opinion seriously limits potential to climb ranks.
I think you need to build some of your side using value and those are your long term bets who will tick over nicely with points. But you also need some flexibility and to rotate your premium assets.
No real surprises here, I would be almost certainly be getting Aguero. As I spoke about last week I am making the short term bet that over the next two or three matches Aguero outscores Sterling. Now if you followed my advice last week you’re already 32 points to the good assuming you captained. As I mentioned above providing he starts another haul is on the card so for the Argentine.
Old Skool 2 premium forwards
You could go old skool for a couple of weeks in this wildcard, just look at those fixtures. Everyone should be looking at Arsenal assets for the upcoming gameweeks and if I was to utilise my wildcard this week I’d have been all over Aubameyang. Last seasons joint golden boot winner with absolutely plum fixtures. He is spending time out wide but even so he will get some important goals as Arsenal look to get some momentum in their quest for a top 4 spot.
I think the Leicester midfielders will offer some budget relief in the coming weeks. Not amazing fixtures on the face of it but Rodgers will be confident against United and Spurs. You may not want to stretch all the way to Vardy even though he is a big game player, but Maddison or Tielemans or even Perez could offer some points.
Above is Maddison’s heat map, he has been seeing a lot of action down the left it would seem. He already has 2 assists for the season and is ticking over. Even if you don’t fancy them in the next few games Maddison is definitely someone to consider down the line, currently recording on average 0.25 xA, 2.4 shot assists and 2.88 touches in the box a game, one for the watchlist certainly.
All this being said I would only really make a couple of tweaks from my wildcard last week. I would lose Abraham and take a chance on Maupay, it is a bit of gamble but would allow me to shift funds. Wolves have not been on it last few weeks but no Europa League and their record against the top 6 puts me off Abraham a bit also they play Liverpool the week after. I got my points out of him and I always had one eye on shifting him.
The funds I unlocked would then be used to change Emerson to Van Dijk, Emerson will probably start this weekend but Liverpool are a grand slam home run for a clean sheet in my opinion. It is double Pool defence just not as you know it. But I also get some attacking threat from the big Dutch man too. Lundstram just because really, can rotate 11th man and 1st sub with Maupay and Cantwell.
I would be keeping an eye on Aubameyang and Sterling premium wise. Sterling is the one I really wish that I could fit in but you cannot have them all. Man City play Watford next so you can easily roll your transfer next week provided no injuries KDB, Aguero and Ederson should have a decent shot at points again. It is probably the last match that I have Aguero for but whether I get Aubameyang or Sterling in his place remains to be seen.
One thing I have noticed in my research this gameweek is how Leicester fixtures swing in gameweek 9. This is good for us because one of the Liverpool defenders can easily become Soyuncu that week and limit your exposure during Liverpools run in weeks 9 through 12. It is also here where I will be targeting one of their midfielders.
The other player I will be keeping an eye on is Ben Mendy, the marauding full back is due back any week. I don’t care if he is only fit for five matches, he is coming into my side. The man equals points and at £5.9m is a bargain, I will keep an eye on him this weekend but Ederson out for one of the cheaper keepers like Pope and possibly upgrading Lundstram/Matip to Mendy is something I will look at (frustratingly I’m 0.1m short of Ederson to Allison and Matip to Mendy).
I hope you enjoyed this weeks article, really enjoying creating content this season and I had my best ever week last week with my score of 101 and sitting currently at 436th in the world. I fully expect that I will come back to earth with a bang this week but thats FPL! More and more content will be rolling out from my website as the weeks go by, will be looking at publishing some pure football stuff in the coming weeks. I have now set up a patreon so that you can support the website and my drinking habit you can find it below. Support it if you want to or if you don’t want to thats fine to I won’t lose sleep over it. I promise I’ll never lock FPL content behind a paywall like others do its just there if you want to buy me a beer!