Previous Rank: 26,091. Free transfers: 1
GW Points: 62(-4). GW Average: 44. GW Rank: 377,208. Overall Rank: 15,630
It’s always nice to have a decent GW going in to an international break. A score of 62(-4) moved me up to 15k, the highest rank I’ve ever been at this stage of the season. After GW4 last season I was ranked 1.5 million, and ended up in the top 5k, so if you have had a rough start don’t panic, keep making logical moves, let others make the mistakes, and you will rise up the ranks.
Attacking Full backs
The stars of the season so far have been the left backs, who make up four of the top five point scorers overall. This supports the three premium defender strategy that I’m currently adopting.
Alonso (6.7) 44, Mane (10.0) 39, Holebas (4.8) 34, Robertson (6.1) 32, Mendy (6.4) 32.
That’s a huge 11 point average per game for Alonso. As well as playing for defensively strong teams (making clean sheets likely), these left backs are essentially playing like left wingers and look like they’re going to get attacking returns every game. This is backed up by the stats, with each player top of the defender charts for key metrics over the first 4 GWs. Alonso has the most shots with 12, Mendy the 2nd most crosses with 27, Holebas the most successful crosses with 10, and Robertson and Holebas the most chances created with 9.
I would recommend owning at least two of the premium options of Alonso, Mendy and Robertson, if not all three. Holebas is also a good option if you’re on a WC, not sure I’d spend a transfer on him though.
At the start of the season I decided to go with a Watford / Wolves 4.5 keeper rotation. The rotation has resulted in two clean sheets out of a possible four, which is a pretty good return. Even more promising is that Watford and Wolves have both recorded strong defensive stats over the first 4GWs. They’ve conceded the third least big chances with 4 (level with Man City), the fourth lowest shots in the box with 23, and Watford have conceded the joint lowest shots on target with 8. Also bear in mind that Wolves have played Man City and Watford have played Spurs, so it’s not like they’ve just had easy fixtures.
This rotation gives me [BUR, ful, SOU, BOU] in the next four before the next international break (when I’ll probably WC). But even beyond that the fixtures read [WAT, HUD, new, sou, HUD, lei, CHE, new]. The only undesirable fixture being Chelsea in GW15. If you’re considering rotating keepers on your WC the Patricio / Foster rotation is one to look at, I don’t think there’s one that i prefer more at this time.
Zaha Injury and Replacement Options
Zaha missed GW4 with a Quadricep injury he picked up in training on the Friday. Rumours are he could be out for 4 weeks, however they are just rumours. I’ll wait for team news before making a decision as to whether replace him or not. If he is confirmed out I’ll be looking at downgrading to Callum Wilson (6.2). Wilson looks central to Bournemouth’s attacking play, and has the form (2 goals and 1 assist), stats (top for shots in the box (14) and big chances (7)), and fixtures [LEI, bur, CPL, wat] to support his selection.
The only other option I would consider is Mitrovic (6.7), he has the form (4 goals, 1 assist), stats (2nd for total shots (18), top for shots on target (9)), but his fixtures aren’t the best (mci, WAT, eve, ARS). If you have money to upgrade you could look at Vardy (8.9), as he comes back from suspension, ahead of fixtures against [bou, HUD, new, EVE]
GW5 Transfer Thoughts
My initial thought for GW5 was to transfer in Hazard (10.7) for his fixture against Cardiff for Mane, so I don’t have triple Liverpool vs Spurs. However I’ve gone off that idea, as Liverpool will play Saints in GW6, where Mane could punish me, his price has also gone up to 10.0, so I would lose value if I transfer him out.
I also may have a couple of fires to put out. Zaha may be injured and Mkhitaryan may again be benched. If Zaha is confirmed out I’ll likely downgrade him to Wilson, as discussed above. I’ll then be very tempted to take a hit to upgrade Mkhitaryan to David Silva (8.5) (who I would then be able to afford) or Lucas Moura (7.3). However if Zaha is confirmed fit I’ll likely hold the transfer, and have 2FTs for GW6. If he’s neither confirmed injured or fit, I’ll have a decision to make.
Despite blanking in the last 2GWs, Silva (8.5) is joint top for chances created (13) with Salah amongst midfielders, even though he’s only played in 3 games. I think Silva is fairly nailed on in Pep’s system (the risk of rotation is always there though), and there is a good chance of decent points with fixtures of [FUL, car, BHA, liv] in the next 4GWs.
Lucas Moura (7.3) has delivered attacking returns in his last three fixtures, and has [LIV, bha, hud, CAR] to come in the next 4GWs. He sits 2nd in the overall points for midfielders with 29, and was the furthest player forward in Spurs’ last game vs Watford. However his stats aren’t that great, having scored from every shot on target he’s had, the only metric he ranks at the top for is big chances, where he ranks joint 2nd with 3. I’ll probably wait for GW6 if I decide to go this route.
I’m happy enough with the make up of my team so no need to WC. If your team looks decent and you have most of the in form highly owned players, then I would recommend holding off on wildcarding until GW8 or beyond. If not then now is a good time to WC to get those key players into your team. I will post the WC team I would go for, if I were on a WC, on social media sometime this week, so keep an eye out for that.
I hope you all manage to get through the international break unscathed. Only 7 days to go!