Last updated on August 16th, 2023
Who should be your priority players for the next Gameweek, position by position
Written by Keiran Trotter (@fpl_del)
According to the Bookies, the top 5 most likely teams to keep a clean sheet are Liverpool (49%), Arsenal (45%), Aston Villa (44%), Manchester City (42%) and Nottingham Forest (38%). Excluding Matt Turner (14.2% owned) who is likely to be a lot of manager’s backup Keeper, Alisson, Ramsdale, Martinez and Ederson have a combined ownership of 52.2% so I imagine for those the decision is going to be a pretty easy one this week.
For those that do have Matt Turner, myself included, this is a good justification to play him over our ‘first choice’ Keeper this week (unless they happen to be one of the aforementioned Keepers). Forest play host to Sheffield United who managed only 1 shot on target against Palace at home last week. Fulham, Everton and Palace (who have popular £4.5m priced Keepers) all have a less than 1 in 4 chance of a clean sheet this week so I think Turner is a decent enough upgrade on those.
It’s unlikely that anybody is going to be looking to make a Goalkeeper transfer ahead of Gameweek 2 but if you have had a bit of a shocker, Fabianski and Raya owners, I’m looking at you here, Alisson (£5.5m) would be my first choice pick. Bournemouth blanked 9 times away from home last season and Liverpool kept 9 of the 14 clean sheets at home last year.
As detailed above, we know which teams are most likely to keep clean sheets this week so straight away Trent Alexander Arnold (£8.0m) jumps out as a potential option. However, looking at his stats from the Chelsea game (0 shots and an xA 0f just 0.02 – the assist for the Salah offside goal is ignored) I’m not desperate to get him. Instead, I am drawn to 5 other fullbacks.
Matty Cash plays at home vs Everton this week. Despite Villa losing 5-1, Cash was a threat going forward registering 2 attempts on goal giving him an xG of 0.72. I’m expecting a response from Villa this week and he should get more opportunities against an Everton side who only had 41% of the ball at home to Fulham.
Chelsea pair Reece James (£5.5m) and Ben Chilwell (£5.5m) re-emerged as FPL options and both were a threat against Liverpool. James created 2 big chances to Chilwell’s 1, whilst Chilwell also had a big chance and a goal disallowed. My preference would be Chilwell as he appeared to be playing further forward and is slightly less injury prone compared to James.
Rico Henry (£4.5m) was a constant threat against Tottenham down the left creating 2 big chances, 1 of which led to Wissa’s goal. Brentford travel to Fulham this Gameweek so are less likely than others to keep a clean sheet but given Henry’s involvement in Brentford’s attacking play, I expect him to continue to pose a threat.
Pervis Estupiñán (£5.0m) also created 2 big chances and registered an assist but had nearly 3 times as many successful passes in the final third compared to Henry. On top of that, he also had 3 attempts at goal, 2 from inside the box. Brighton were unfortunate not to keep a clean sheet conceding a very soft penalty and away at Wolves are rated as a 36% chance of a clean sheet. That said, Wolves were very impressive against Manchester United and extremely unlucky not to score at least once.
Based on his attacking prowess, Estupiñán is my defensive pick of the week. Given he’s already nearly 55% owned I’m also going to give a secondary nod to Matty Cash who is only 7.6% owned.
Eberechi Eze (£6.5m) was a big preseason favourite and owners will not have been disappointed with his display vs Sheffield United as he created 7 chances (1 big chance) and had an xG of 0.51 from 8 attempts at goal, although he was unable to convert this into FPL points. Palace face sterner opponents in Arsenal this week but he’s definitely one to keep an eye on.
Jarrod Bowen also had a busy afternoon creating 3 chances (1 big chance) and having 6 attempts at goal converting 1 of them. West Ham also face tougher opposition in the guise of Chelsea this Gameweek, so again, he’s another to keep an eye on.
Moussa Diaby’s debut was a high note on a disappointing day for Villa as he converted one of his 3 attempts at goal and created 2 more chances for Villa. He’ll be looking to repeat that at home to Everton this week.
Brian Mbeumo repaid the faith that nearly 10% of us showed in him, calmly slotting his penalty away and it could have been so much better for his owners as he missed a further big chance. His xG of 1.4 was the highest of the Gameweek and he’ll be looking to build on that as Brentford travel to Fulham this week.
Given Liverpool play host to Bournemouth this week, my Midfield pick of the week had to be a Liverpool player. But, despite me being a Salah owner, I’m actually going to opt for Luis Diaz as my pick of the week! Diaz slotted one of his 2 big chances and 4 attempts at goal for Liverpool against Chelsea. He also looked to get involved more centrally than Salah who, despite logging an assist, it was the only chance he created and he was hooked with the game locked at 1-1, causing a petulant response from him. We’re yet to hear what that means for him in Gameweek 2.
In order to keep this relevant, I am going to call this section the ‘minus Haaland’ section. Given the Norwegian is now nearly 91% owned there seems little point in me including him as a recommendation, as he obviously is.
We’ve identified Liverpool as having the best fixture in Gameweek 2 but they started versus Chelsea with Diogo Jota (£8.0m Midfielder) through the middle and Cody Gakpo (£7.5m Forwards) in Midfield. Darwin Nunez (£7.5m Forward) came off the bench replacing Jota but failed to make an impact.
Alexander Isak was the pick of the Forwards in Gameweek 1 converting 2 of his 3 big chances. However, there is always a minutes worry with him, he was replaced by Wilson just after the hour mark and Newcastle go away to City this Gameweek so he should find opportunities much more limited.
Whilst accepting Haaland is a given his teammate Julian Alvarez (£6.5m) is also proving a valid option. He started in the ‘10’ role behind Haaland and is likely to retain that position given the injury to Kevin De Bruyne who would be natural competition for him in that role. The Argentine had 3 attempts at goal and created 6 chances registering an assist – giving a combined xGI of 0.72. Newcastle should prove more stubborn than Burnley but I still expect Alvarez to get plenty of opportunities to add to his 5 points from Gameweek 1.
Odsonne Edouard (£5.5m) made a bright start to his campaign against Sheffield United. The Palace frontman finished neatly from close range as well as spurning another big chance whilst also creating 2 chances for his teammates. Arsenal will prove a much more difficult test, but at £5.5m he’s definitely going to be someone to keep an eye on playing ahead of the creativity of Eze.
The 15% of Managers that own Nicolas Jackson will have been pleased, if not rewarded, with the Senegalese Forwards Premier League debut. He took up some great positions hitting the target with 2 out of his 3 big chances registering an xG of 0.55. West Ham is a kinder fixture than Liverpool but owners will want to start and see him convert some of those chances if he is going to become a real FPL gem.
This week’s Forward pick of the week is a relatively low-budget £5.5m option. Brighton’s Joao Pedro converted from the spot in their 5-1 win over Luton and missed another big chance whilst also creating a chance to give a combined xGI of 1.38. Brighton are away at Wolves and I am backing Pedro to reward his owners.
Picks of the Week
Alisson Becker (Liverpool GK £5.5m)
Pervis Estupiñán (Brighton DF £5.0m)
Luis Diaz (Liverpool MF £7.5m)
Joao Pedro (Brighton FW £5.5m)