Last updated on August 23rd, 2023
Who should be your priority players for the next Gameweek, position by position
Written by Keiran Trotter (@fpl_del)
Week 2 Review
So it was a mixed week for my selections in Gameweek 2. Goalkeeper Alisson Becker had a shocking first 10 minutes, giving away a silly goal inside 2 minutes only to be saved by the offside flag. His clean sheet barely lasted a minute longer as Bournemouth shocked Liverpool by being quick out of the blocks and the situation wasn’t helped when he was booked for a foul, after needlessly trying to dribble the ball out after 8 minutes. Liverpool recovered to win 3-1 with Alisson making 4 saves to pick up an extra point and finish on 2 for the game. 7 other Goalkeepers picked up clean sheets with Vicario of Spurs making 6 saves and collecting 3 Bonus Points to finish as the top keeper. Just goes to show, there is no such thing as a dead cert clean sheet and explains why most of us don’t bother with a Premium Goalkeeper.
Pervis Estupinan fared much better as my pick for Defender of the week as he scored one and assisted another. Despite Brighton conceding a second-half consolation goal to Wolves in 4-1 victory. Estupinan finished as the top defender of the week with 11 points.
My Midfield pick of the week Luis Diaz rewarded his owners with a goal for a 7-point haul but there was better value to be had elsewhere with Solly March and Brian Mbeumo both notching braces and full bonus points whilst Kaoru Mitoma and Leon Bailey added an assist to their goal.
My forward pick of the week Joao Pedro was even less successful than my goalkeeping pick as he was benched and then picked up nothing more than a yellow card when he eventually got on the pitch. 20 points from 4 players isn’t a disaster but given the fixtures, it does feel slightly disappointing. Putting that aside, we now look forward to Gameweek 3 with positivity!
The Bookies favourites for a clean sheet this week are Chelsea (52% home to Luton), Arsenal (47% home to Fulham), Man City (45% away to Sheffield United), Man United (45% home to Forest) and Brighton (38% home to West Ham).
It feels like a relatively easy choice for me this week. Whilst Chelsea are the Bookies favourites I am a little concerned at them conceding 3 against West Ham despite them only having 24% of the ball. Luton are fresh from a week off and whilst I don’t expect them to get anything out of the game, it wouldn’t be a shock if they got on the score sheet.
Arsenal are a good shout this week. Fulham have started slowly creating only 2 big chances in 2 games, scoring once. However, the threat of David Raya looms large and is going to cast a shadow over Aaron Ramsdale until the expected happens. It makes it very difficult to recommend Ramsdale as a pick at any point this season.
Manchester City have bagged 2 clean sheets out of 2 so far. They are ranked 1st for expected goals conceded (0.62) and are playing Sheffield United who are ranked 19th for expected goals (1.01). Given the concerns I have over the previously mentioned keepers, my Goalkeeping Pick of GW3 is Ederson (£5.5m) of Manchester City.
We’ve already seen the clean sheet odds for this so straight away our eyes are drawn to Manchester City and Arsenal defenders given their fixtures. The difficulty with Manchester City defenders is that firstly, it is difficult after only 2 games to understand which is their settled defensive line. Only Walker and Akanji have started both games so far. Secondly, Man City defenders don’t pose a massive attacking threat. Walker and Akanji have a combined xGI of 0.41 between them in their 2 starts.
Similarly, out of all 7 Arsenal defenders to appear so far this season, Tomiyasu has the highest xGI at 0.08 in 111 minutes of football, and he will be suspended after his red card on Monday night.
So instead my thoughts turn to defenders that have acceptable fixtures, and who are already showing plenty of attacking potential. Rico Henry (£4.6m) made the short-list last week and added a clean sheet to his assist from GW1. He’s currently ranked 8th for xGI with 0.71 from his 2 games. Brentford entertain Palace this week and his pace against 33-year-old Joel Ward could be a vital source of Brentford attacks.
Aaron Wan Bissaka (£4.6m) has started both Man United’s opening games at Right Back and is ranked 5th for xGI so far. If United can bounce back after defeat at Spurs he has excellent clean sheet and attacking point potential when they face Forest at Old Trafford.
It’s only GW3 and it already feels like Pervis Estupinan (£5.2m) is going to become a permanent consideration in this section. With a goal and 2 assists in his first 2 games, he is hard to ignore, especially if Brighton can turn excellent performances into clean sheets.
Just piping Estupinan to this week’s defensive pick of the week is Ben Chilwell (£5.7m).
Estepunian’s performances so far this season have been sensational but is only just behind him in xGI ranked 2nd (1.25 to 1.1). I think from an attacking perspective the home fixture vs Luton is too good to ignore whilst Brighton face a West Ham side showing signs of considerable improvement on last season’s showing.
The Midfielder of the week pick feels tricky this week. There are some very obvious choices, players that have done well in their first 2 games that have a good solid fixture this week.
Bryan Mbeumo (£6.7m) has 3 goals in his first 2 games and is on Penalties for Brentford. He has an xGI of 3.53 so far, nearly 1.5 better than the 2nd ranked player. Palace have looked tough to break down so far but it’s difficult to ignore him here.
Likewise, Brighton’s Solly March (£6.6m) has also bagged 3 goals. However, those 3 goals have come from an xG of just 1.28 and his xGI is actually lower than his teammate Kaoru Mitoma (£6.6m) at 1.44 vs 1.81. Both are proving great options for their owners this season.
Luis Diaz (£7.7m) has 2 goals in 2 starts and is establishing himself as first choice for Liverpool on the left of the front 3. However, a trip to Newcastle is a tough assignment this week and more often than not, in the big games, it’s a certain Mohammed Salah (£12.5m) that stands up for Liverpool. With a goal and an assist (despite his missed pen) I think this could be the week Salah rewards his owners, especially since I’ve transferred him out!
Slightly controversially, my pick of the week for Midfield is going to go to someone who is yet to register a goal or an assist. Despite this, Bruno Fernandes (£8.5m) has an xGI of 2.12 and is ranked 2nd overall. He missed a golden opportunity against Spurs and I’m backing him to get his season up and running in style this week as United take on Forest. This is a bit of a gut feel pick, however, I feel he could have easily hauled a couple of times already and I think this is the week he and United really get going.
Forwards (minus Haaland)
Despite his blank last week, it would be a brave man to bet against Haaland being the leading forward this week as City travel to Sheffield United. Instead, my attention turns to a couple of budget options and a couple of mid-priced options.
Eddie Nketiah (£5.6m) has a goal and an assist so far for Arsenal making him the 5th-ranked forward and with a home tie against Fulham I am expecting more points from him. There is a slight rotation risk with the options Arsenal have but I think he has done enough so far to warrant starting again.
Yoane Wissa (£6.1m) is currently the leading forward with 20 points. He’s bagged 2 goals and an assist so far and amassed 5 Bonus points. He’s also creating a chance every 75 mins to add to his points potential. Brentford welcome Crystal Palace this weekend and will be hoping to add to their impressive start.
Despite blanking in their tie vs Manchester City last weekend, Alexander Isak (£7.7m) should not be underestimated. Even though they face tough opposition again, in Liverpool, he should be in line for some chances. Liverpool have conceded 8 big chances in their 2 games so far including 3 against an unfancied Bournemouth. Isak has bagged 2 goals in his first game from an xG of 0.74 so whilst it’s only a small data set he managed 10 goals from an xG of 8.3 so he’s a man that doesn’t need too many opportunities. His minutes are a slight concern as he’s been replaced in both matches by Callum Wilson, but is clearly Eddie Howe’s first choice at present.
My forward pick of the week this week goes to Nicolas Jackson (£7.0m). He’s yet to reward his owners with a return but with an xG of 1.33 in his 2 games so far this is the week I expect him to get off the mark. Luton conceded 6 big chances vs Brighton and shipped 5 goals. Chelsea have created 6 big chances in total over 2 games despite only converting one of them and I think this is the gameweek Pochettino starts to get his Chelsea side really moving.
Picks of the Week
Ederson (Manchester City GK £5.5m)
Ben Chilwell (Chelsea DF £5.7m)
Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United MF £8.5m)
Nicolas Jackson (Chelsea FW £7.0m)