Premier League: GW4 Starting XI

This article could have been posted on Monday as patience went out the door while Gameweek 3 was still in full swing, after Richarlison was sent off with a red card. No real surprise, I followed the herd and knee jerked Theo Walcott into my squad, after wild card activation last week. Now a day before kickoff, the outstanding concern is Marko Arnautovic, who’s still flagged with a muscle injury, but indications are he will start against Wolves.
Ahead of Gameweek 4, it appears it will be the fourth different formation I have started, if I follow through with a 4-3-3. Aaron Wan-Bissaka returns, off suspension from a red card in Gameweek 2 and based on reports Arnautovic will be in the starting XI when the Hammers face Wolves at London Stadium. That could potentially leave some big name players on the bench.

 

GOALKEEPER

Ederson will mind the net for the second week in a row, as I brought him in on my wild card last week. He should have finished with a CS last weekend, but two non-calls on Wolves lone goal and he was left with just 3 points to show for his effort, in which he made a single save. Still, I favor the Man City defense at the Etihad against Newcastle, however Newcastle has been shut out just twice in going back to 2015. Not sure they have enough up top, with a City defense that is playing very well at both ends of the pitch.

DEFENDERS

The back three of Benjamin Mendy, Andrew Robertson and Marcos Alonso remains unchanged for the second week in a row. These defenders all have favorable match ups, but it’s being their attacking returns that have powered this trio into a template, which is owned by 22.7% of managers in the top 1000! Owning Mendy and Robertson since the beginning and adding Alonso last week, have a combined score of 65 points, an average of 7.8/PPG! By way of comparison, my midfielders are averaging just 4/PPG. Wan-Bissaka will return to my starting lineup this week, as Crystal Palace welcome Southamption to Selhurst Park, as the Saints have scored just twice on the season. He’s currently own by a massive 75.3% managers in the top 1000.

MIDFIELDERS

It’s a tough decision to make ahead of Gameweek 4, but it appears James Milner and Pedro will start one, two on the bench this week, as I shift to a 3-man midfield for the first time this season. No surprise to see Mo Salah grab top billing, as Liverpool visit the KP Stadium, as Leicester have just one CS on the season. Should be another good week for the Egyptian, as he’s been an consistent attacking return to start the season. Arsenal have set sail on their sea of green as they face 15th place, Cardiff, who’ve put together back to back clean sheets, however don’t expect that trend to continue this week. Henrikh Mkhitaryan should be a strong play, as he seems to be the favored midfielder, over Mesut Ozil, who continues to have problems. The final spot is occupied by Walcott, after a rash decision to bring him in, the Toffee’s wide man face Huddersfield, who have surrendered 9 goals on the season.

FORWARDS

It’s a BIG gameweek for Sergio Aguero, who’s got some ungodly numbers against Newcastle, 14 goals in 11 games, including 5 goals in the 2015/16 season and a hat trick last season. I’ve considered activating the Triple Captain Chip for this match, taking a punt on Aguero to post excellent returns again. Much like activating the wild card last week, could it be too early to for chip activation?

In addition to Aguero, Arnautovic and Wilfried Zaha will lineup in a 3-man attack. West Ham host Wolves, who haven’t been able to stop anyone to date, as Palace host So’ton, another team who’s given up four goals to start the season. Both attackers looked good last week and each come off a goal, as expectations are high for another week worth of returns.

OVERALL

Bottom line for Gameweek 4, is it worth activating the TC chip and do I have the formation correct, going 4-3-3, opting for Wan-Bissaka over Milner or Pedro? As it stands now, the Palace defender gets the nod, but that will be contingent on the fitness of James Tomkins, as that defense didn’t looks as strong with Martin Kelly in. If I move off Wan-Bissaka, then it’s game on with Pedro and the home fixture against Bournemouth. Big week going into the first international break, while it won’t make for break the season, hitting the average would be a great start to the break.

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