It’s been a great week, football aside as I have did not record for the Pitch & Pint Podcast or FPL Roundtable, as I’ve been concentrating efforts at home. Rest assured both shows will return, if not over the international break, then ahead of GW5. Coming off a very successful wild card that a final score of 62 points, 18 over the weekly average, I shot up the OR as I looked to get back on track after a rocky start to the season.
With the wild card played, I’ve got players I can run with for another 8-10 weeks, possibly longer. The plans rolling into GW4 is to hold my free transfer, to allow me 2 FTs coming out of the international break. After playing the wild card, I can’t see burning ANY transfers in GW4. As I review my starting XI, I am very pleased with what I see and don’t have any outstanding problems.
One could look upon the defense, which was downgraded from Robertson and van Dijk to Wan-Bissaka and Keane. At this point, very few defenses are keeping clean sheets and it felt right to shift more budget into a playing 5-man midfielder. The fifth bring Cantwell, who will rotate with Lundstram depending on their fixture. Last week however, the decision to sit Cantwell was the wrong one, as he scored, while Lundstram and the Blades conceded two goals. There will be weeks like that with any sort of rotation in your team.
Since we haven’t see many CS to start this season, I’ve stuck with teams that have combined for a total of four through three weeks, led by Everton with a deuce. The other teams, United, who returned to their shitty defensive form and Man City. Rest assured they are the strongest of the three teams I have, but Zinchenko’s viability will be short-lived depending on the return to fitness of Ben Mendy. Still feel I’ve got a month before we see that happen.
I head into GW4 with an unchanged starting XI. Defensively, Pope will have a difficult game at Anfield, hopefully can picked up a few save points, but I see this game as one way traffic (I am NO expert!). Depending on how Wolves come off their midweek Europa fixture against Torino, Everton might have have an outside shot of a clean sheet. The Wolves have scored just two goals in two games, fatigue playing an issue?
AWB and United face Southampton, a team that I don’t except much from. The lose of Luke Shaw defensively could be a weak point for the Saints attack, but feel confident United could have CS potential. Then again, I think we’ve said that for a few weeks now. City against Brighton, should be one way traffic, another game I expect the City defense to come through unscathed.
On paper, the midfield five is strong, anchored by five of the league’s highest scorers; Sterling (34), Salah (30), KDB (23), Mount (20) and Cantwell (19). This was a midfield I wild carded into, which means it probably won’t be a long term move, as I could see moving off Mount and Cantwell for similarly priced options. Looking at the match ups, I honestly expect big points from all the midfielders. I do feel Norwich could surprise this week, as West Ham have conceded seven goals in the first three games.
Burnley has conceded just three goals in the opening three games, but Liverpool has too much firepower to be slowed down and see them winning by at least two goals. Salah still has some strong numbers and is coming off a great GW3. The City duo of Sterling and KDB combined for 21 points last week! That’s three weeks in a row De Bruyne has picked up points but the first he didn’t score any bonus points. Mount in excellent form and looks the part for Chelsea as they host Sheffield United. Could be another good game for the youngster and looking for big points for Chelsea.
Up front, I thought about moving Harry Kane for Seb Haller, but Kane has 8 goals in 10 games against Arsenal and it’s just too good of a match up to avoid. He’s coming off a poor performance against Newcastle that did feature a questionable take down by Lascelles in the penalty box but Kane’s numbers are still top five material, but many managers won’t pay a premium price with other, cheaper forward performance. That leads to Teemu Pukki, now owned by 38% across FPL, he won’t be a differential any longer, but you got to run with Finn until he and Norwich slow down.
It should be another excellent week with some favorable fixtures. The key for the week will be defense, let’s see which one bring their clean sheet boots. Wolves vs Everton are my biggest concern. Looking for 18-20 points from the defense.
The premiums have some great fixtures as well, Liverpool could be a real test for Burnley and which defense will show up this season. I do like City cleaning up a rather soft Brighton defense on the road, while Chelsea gets the call against a newly promoted teams. Hoping for 45-50 points from the midfield.
Finally the forwards with a real thought of triple captaining, Pukki away to West Ham. While City play the leagues worst defensive team (goals conceded) in GW5, Norwich has a chance to post a big return, as the Hammers have conceded a league leading 41 shots inside the box, 16 on target! Could be a party in London for Pukki and the Canaries. Kane, as I continue to bang him as a keeper for the season, even at £11.1. Looking at 12-18 points for this duo, of course if the TC chip goes down, it will be a late decision. I expect to score 75-88 points this week, but it could be another week with a very high average, if the highly owned players return and defenses step up.