So, August is behind us and with it, the first four Gameweeks of the new FPL season. So as we head unto the International Break it’s time to take a look at the season so far, the good, the bad and the sometimes ugly. Which players and teams have delivered, which have underperformed and who should we be keeping an eye on for the future?
Patrick Van Aanholt
If you had gone and asked 100 FPL players before the start of the season to name the top-scoring defender at the first international break you may have got Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aymeric Laporte or Lucas Digne. It’s doubtful many, if any, would have picked the Palace man. Yet, here we are and there he is, the Dutchman has, to quote himself ‘been doing bits.’ Two clean sheets, a goal and two bonus points see the Dutchman sit a point clear of Digne and two clear of Alexander-Arnold. Given Palace’s awful pre-season, injuries to both Dann and Tomkins (or maybe Tomkins just joined West Ham, at least according to Matt ‘Bowstring’ Kearney) such a situation seemed almost impossible. It feels impossible that it will last much longer but for now, PvA is firmly glued to the top of the defender standings
Kevin De Bruyne
What can you say about the Belgian maestro? When the prices were announced he was picked out as potential bargain and so far he hasn’t disappointed. He isn’t quite top of the midfield standings but he is only one point behind team-mate Raheem Sterling (for a cool 2.5m less) and level with Salah. Unlike those tow heavy hitters, de Bruyne has returned in every game so far notching up one goal, five assists and six bonus points. With City’s kind run of games cØntinuing the likelihood of the points continuing to flow for the new Ginger Prince (though he’ll never be Paul Scholes) is high.
Many people, including myself, have been forced to eat humble pie. I admit I didn’t think the Finn would make it at Premier League level. With only last season behind him with any real goalscoring record, I had my doubts. The Norwich marksman cast aside those doubts. He sits second in the overall striker standings (and joint second for overall points with Raheem Sterling) and has 100% goal involvement having scored five and assisted one of Norwich’s six goals so far, collecting six bonus points into the bargain. A blank last time out doesn’t bode well with City up next (though he did score for Finland) but after City, it’s a very kind run for Norwich so those who have held on to him could reap the benefits.
No surprises here (well actually there is but we’ll get to that.) City have the top two scoring players in Aguero and Sterling with de Bruyne sitting equal third so City have, as expected been a great source of points. Even next man in the scoring, David Silva sits fifth for midfielders. So if you put your faith in City, chances are you have been rewarded. Well mostly. Pre-season bandwagon Bernardo Silva has just ten points so far and the defence has been a real let down. Ederson, with 17 is the highest-scoring member of City’s defence. The highest-scoring defender is, surprisingly, Kyle Walker. But his 16 sees him level with Ainsley Maitland-Niles who has conceded five goals in his last two games and Willy Boly, who has a red card to his name. Things will surely pick up, it’s City after all, but it’s been a surprisingly poor start
Again, no prizes here. Salah, Mane and Firmino all sit high in the overall standings and Alexander-Arnold and Van Dijk sit high on the defenders list. Liverpool have done exactly what we expected them to do, deliver a bucket-load of FPL points. Aside that is from last season’s top-scoring defender, Andrew Robertson who has just one clean sheet and nothing else to his name. With a difficult run of games incoming, it could see many choosing to abandon the Scotsman
Now he’s one maybe you didn’t expect but Burnley have been great value for FPL. We all knew what potential Nick Pope had to offer and he’s delivered, whilst Ashley Barnes has continued his astonishing form from last season to claim four goals. But the real surprise package here is defender Erik Pieters. With a clean sheet, two assists and two bonus points amassed so far, it’s been an impressive start for the new arrival from Stoke.
Oh dear, Kurt Zouma. A promising loan spell at Everton looked to have done wonders for the Frenchman but it’s all gone horribly wrong this season. After four games the Chelsea man has a total of ONE point, having started and finished every game so far yes he has scored -1 twice in four weeks. With two tough games, incoming things don’t look like improving any time soon. Can he make amends when Chelsea’s fine fixture run kicks in?
A shockingly bad bandwagon. Perez returned zero goals or assists in the first three games before being dropped for the fourth. Perhaps the only good thing he has given his owners was a failure to turn up for that one which allowed an auto-sub. He’s also suffered THREE price drops. Truly a disaster
Another popular pre-season pick the Spaniard has been a real let-down. Only 45 minutes in week one and just eight last time out he was also subbed early in his two starts and also has zero goals or assists so far. A terrible pick who has also suffered two price drops
The worst part? I owned two of these.
In fairness to Deulofeu, it’s not just him. Watford as a team have been poor. So far only Ben Foster, Will Hughes and Andre Gray have managed to get over the six-point mark and with Arsenal and City next up the signs aren’t promising
Bournemouth have been, well, Bournemouth. Totally unpredictable, the draw with Sheffield United, beat Aston Villa before losing to Manchester City (fair enough) and Leicester. But the real issue here is the spread of points. It’s been a hard job to get points from any Bournemouth asset not named Callum Wilson (and that’s probably because I don’t own him). Bournemouth as a team are on my never again list for FPL
It seems a bit harsh given Digne is the second-highest scoring defender and Richarlison just got a brace. But prior to Wolves, it had been tough to own Everton assets, at least the attackers, with them scoring just once in the opening three. But with Marco Silva’s front four finally established and a few kind fixtures things may be about to turn.
A little unlucky not to score against Norwich the Brazilian comes up against an even more porous defence next time out in Aston Villa. In fact, barring a Gameweek Nine trip to Everton, the Hammers have a favourable run until Gameweek 14. He could prove a sound investment
If you can’t trust Anderson after last season, how about another Brazilian? A brace last time out announced the return of Richarlison and Everton also have a great run of fixtures bar a game with City in Gameweek Seven
If you happen to have a Liverpool spot free, maybe Firmino is the man to look at. Two goals, two assists already this season, the Brazilian has a better record in games against the Big Six then both of Salah and Mane. With Chelsea, United and Spurs in his next six, it could be Bobby’s time in the spotlight.