Written by @IamtheMarkus. Follow him on twitter for regular FPL insights!
International breaks suck. They break all the momentum and players invariably come back with mysterious knocks or worse these days. I can’t imagine the press conferences will be too useful either. Truth be told, it has been so long I’ve almost forgotten what happened in GW4. The answer was a lot or don’t you remember either. Most of us were probably a little bit shocked to see the manner in which Man City continue to struggle without a focal point, maybe not so shocked to see Chelsea score four with Werner nowhere to be seen. The juggernaut that is Everton continued their march to the top. West Ham turned Leicester over and whilst Arsenal and Wolves limped over the line in their victories the best results of the weekend were truly saved for last. It was refreshing to see Manchester United turned over for a 6, even with a full complement on the pitch there was a sense that it was not to be the Red Devils day. This was somehow topped by Liverpool being outplayed and outscored 7-2 with Villa turning in an outstanding performance.
Those who held faith in Kane / Son were duly rewarded. James Rodriguez chipped in quite nicely and those who had DCL as their main man were probably quite happy with his goal. Those who started Grealish / Watkins / ASM / Jorginho / Wilson please let me know next week’s lotto numbers. Despite Liverpool’s 7-2 loss, Salah picked up a handy brace as my captain so I felt vindicated with last week’s hunch. 54 pts from the 4 weeks selections makes for pretty average reading so we are looking for a few more braces over the coming weeks to get our heads over the total of 600pts we have set ourselves.
My © will be Salah over Son. Both Salah and Son had no international involvement. Everton have shown themselves in a better light by getting the results and points but I still feel there are a few too many queries at the back and expect Liverpool to take away the unbeaten streak. Mina’s absence will be key. There are questions about West Ham’s most recent defensive resolve over the previous two games, despite conceding zero they have brought in extra cover at the back. Question marks over KDB take him out of the equation for me this week, but I think there are plenty of options out there.
Looking forward to GW5…
- A Merseyside derby from the off, Chelsea are to entertain Southampton’s high line of defence.
- Man City turn up to Arsenal with more injury doubts
- Man United with a chance to right some of last weeks’ wrongs with a visit to the usually amenable Newcastle.
- Spurs and West Ham to compete for London’s top team of the week.
- Leeds vs Wolves looks a particularly intriguing matchup in terms of style of play, though who knows what will be left of the Wolves squad if their Portuguese contingent are forced to isolate post CR7s positive test.
- The remainder of the fixtures all look pretty open and entertaining.
My squad has quite a few matchups against each other making it tricky to select a captain.
Son – TSB ~ 30%
After an exodus sparked by his manager, Son duly delivered his second double-digit haul against United. Next up is West Ham who have been promising in each of their previous two games scoring 7 and conceding zero. It remains to be seen if this is related more to the lacklustre nature of their opponents or a new-found defensive resolve.
Son will be expected to produce by his manager, even if he keeps telling Son that Kane is the star. A London derby can always be a bit feisty and I expect both teams will want to win emphatically. I expect a return but not maybe a double-digit one (purely gut-based).
Salah – TSB ~ 44%
A break over the internationals is likely to have helped him out as well and though the manner of the defeat against Villa was pretty damning, Salah still managed to bag himself a brace.
Only DCL is owned by more, Salah will be keen to make sure he is the man to end Everton’s winning start to the 2020 campaign. Everton, for all their winning ways, have yet to look secure at the back. Opportunities have been there for their opponents to hit the back of the net in each game and I’d expect a player of Salah’s quality to take advantage (same goes for Mane too). Sounds like Mina is out, Allan is back and I’ve not seen anything about James Rodriguez getting an earlier flight so am expecting a different lineup from Everton.
My gut is leaning this way.
You can’t have them all, but here are a couple of players who are not in my squad and I will be watching from behind the sofa as they look likely to cause serious damage this weekend.
Bruno Fernandes – TSB 20%
When not starting fights with his own back-line or giving away penalties in his own box he will be looking to drive MU forward – I expect a strong showing from him. Also by his own account today, he is not, in fact, arguing or fighting with any of his teammates or managers.
Pulisic – TSB ~ 3%
Secretly lurking in the wings (or not so thanks OFPL), he will be keen to take his place back in the 11 assuming no further training knocks. He probably should be eased back in but Lampard will likely roll the dice in order to get his starting 11 into their preferred slots asap. Southampton have been playing a very high line so far this year, Chelsea should get past this pretty easily.
It’s a bit of a gamble, but if he starts, I’d expect a return. Those of you with Werner as well, I’d be urging you to hold out if you have made it this far.
Mitrovic – TSB ~ 15%
A fixture against Sheffield United has promise for Mitro and Scott Parkers Fulham,
At the heart of all forward play and likely to knock a goal in here against a Sheffield defence who have yet to really settle in their second season.