Premier League: GW5 Starting XI

FPL is back! The international break is over and we are poised on the edge of Gameweek 5, which begins with the match of the week, as Spurs host Liverpool. While many fantasy manager activated their wild card, I on the other hand haven’t done much tinkering at all over the last two weeks. Having already played my wild card, I was unable to roll a FT over into the break, leaving me with the weekly free. Injuries were a bit of concern, but I have held steady and made no transfers.
Lots of speculation ahead of this week, as MANY managers have made some very aggressive moves, as over 424k managers have moved Wilfried Zaha. Another 269k dropped Theo Walcott, while 234k more have decided it will be “no Salah” moving forward. The Walcott fire sale, I can understand, however I continue to hold him, but the Zaha and more importantly, Salah are questionable. Zaha has been flagged the last two weeks, after a last minute scratch ahead of GW4. Salah, continues to produce good numbers but did post his first, no return when Liverpool played Leicester City.

This week is like sitting around with a fiver in my pocket, but nothing to spend it on. Knowing the entire time, I want something, but just can’t put my finger on it. If I wait, that fiver becomes a ten next week and allow me twice as much. Realistically, I feel confident in my starting XI this week, even if Jan Hamer is out with Walcott and Zaha flagged. Based on what I have been reading, Zaha is starting, which allows me a handful of options.

GOALKEEPER

As it has been since he was brought in on the wild card, Ederson will get the call between the sticks. Yes, I am quite aware he and his wife enjoyed the birth of their son midweek. Fingers crossed he will kiss his wife and son and post a clean sheet at home to Fulham. City hasn’t been very stout on defense this season, as they have kept a single clean sheet. While Fulham has been offensive, I feel they run into a buzz saw this weekend on their travels. Good to see Hamer is no longer flagged, but I don’t believe he will get his job back.

DEFENDERS

The back three defenders are unchanged, as run out Ben Mendy, Marcos Alonso and Andrew Robertson. I keep faith in Liverpool, this week away to Spurs, who are banged up, battered and sobering up.  Mendy and Alonso have been men among boys, showing some amazing offensive prowess. In fact, Alonso has the VC on his this week. There was an inkling to captain him, but it’s just too difficult to look beyond Aguero, who had time off over the break. Should see a few clean sheets and hoping for more offensive returns, as this group continues to post excellent returns.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka was initially included as a starter, but decided to put him as my first bench players and Ryan Bennett as the second. While I feel confident Wilfried Zaha will play, we could see Henrikh Mkhitaryan dropped again. If that happens, Wan-Bissaka becomes my automatic substitute.

MIDFIELDERS

I have no intentions of transferring Salah out and following the 234k who thought there were better options out there. At 50.4 TSB%, he is just too highly owned to move off him, especially if he hits wearing the captain’s armband. Good luck to those moving to Eden Hazard. Pedro, Mkhitaryan and James Milner are all unchanged from GW4. There was a question to start Wan-Bissaka over Milner, however a stat from @SpursStatMan read, “There have been more penalties awarded in Premier League matches between #thfc and Liverpool (22) than there have in any other fixture in Premier League history.” Bodes well for Milner, if he’s on the pitch, he’s on PKs! Mkhitaryan is a strong player, but is Arsenal stronger without him starting? They looked good with Ozil, Lacazette and Aubameyang, so not sure what to expect from the Gunners on their trip to St. James.

FORWARDS

It’s all about Sergio Aguero, who dons the captain’s armband again, for the second weekend in a row. At home to Fulham and a defense that has conceded 9 games in the first 4 games. Joining him up front will be Marko Arnautovic, who will get one more chance to impress, against a very average Everton team that has injury concerns. Finally, Zaha, flag and everything will hopefully get the start. Zaha faces Huddersfield, who has been very poor defensively as well.

CONCLUSION

So the start could align at both ends of the pitch this weekend, as the match ups look good on paper. However, that hasn’t worked to my advantage yet. Out of the break, the squad feel right. No transfer is required this week, so I will roll it to GW6 and look to potentially make 2 FTs next week. Wishing all fantasy manager green arrows as we come out the break.

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