Last updated on September 14th, 2023
Who should be your priority players for the next Gameweek, position by position
Written by Keiran Trotter (@fpl_del)
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks off. I’d usually be travelling to watch England play but I was unable to get the time off work for the Scotland game and missed the ballot for the Ukraine game in Poland. Tickets secured for the next two International Breaks though.
All too quickly we are back into FPL mode and I’ve already turned my attention to my picks for gameweek 5.
Week 4 Review
With a grand total of 2 clean sheets in Gameweek 4, I doubt many of us banked too many points from our Keeper, especially when one of those clean sheets came from Matt Turner away at Chelsea. Despite being in many people’s squads I doubt the Forest Keeper made it off very many benches.
Alisson at Liverpool was the only other keeper to bag a clean sheet and also delivered 2 Bonus points, so kudos to you if you had him against a Villa team that had looked lively the previous 2 weeks. My choice Ederson again conceded against weaker opposition (Fulham) but he did at least pick up an extra save point for a total of 3.
My defensive pick of Ben Chilwell was even more disappointing. With Chelsea going down 0-1, he returned a 1 pointer after being booked and was lucky to get that point as he was hauled off in the 62nd minute. He did have 2 attempts at goal and created a big chance so the opportunities for points were there, justifying him as a pick. Trent Alexander Arnold topped the defenders charts with a clean sheet, an assist and all 3 bonus points. There were also 6 defenders on the scoresheet last week and 8 with assists.
My attacking picks fared better with Jarrod Bowen picking up his goal in the 1-2 win over Luton and was slightly unlucky not to get more than 7 points considering with 10 minutes to go he had a clean sheet and all 3 bonus points. Heung-Min Son was the star of the week with a hat-trick for Spurs and a 20-point haul. There were also 3 Midfielders (Billy Gilmour, Pedro Neto and Maynor Soloman) who logged a brace of assists.
My forward pick, Julian Alvarez, picked up a goal, 2 assists and 2 bonus points for City and was topped only by a hat-trick from Evan Ferguson at Brighton (we don’t consider Haaland in this category). His 14 points gave us a total of 25 from our 4 picks which isn’t too bad 🙂
Although there are still a few days of the International Break left, my thoughts are already turning to who might be the best picks of gameweek 5.
Predicting where clean sheets are coming from is very challenging at the moment. A look at the bookmakers odds for this week shows us that the favourites this gameweek are Spurs (46%), Fulham (40%), Man City, Newcastle and Forest (38%). At 46% Spurs are the highest-priced favourite so far this season showing that this week could be another week where the blanks are difficult to predict.
A home tie vs Sheffield United is just about as good as it gets though. Spurs kept a clean sheet in their only home game so far (a 2-0 win over Man United) and added another away at Bournemouth in gameweek 3. Sheffield United rank 19th for expected goals and 20th for expected goals away from home, though the data set is still small. Vicario is the #1 FPL keeper so far having added 5 save points (T2) and 3 Bonus points (T2).
There is doubt over Matt Turner’s place at Forest now after the arrival of Odysseas Vlachodimos on deadline day. So whilst a home tie against Burnley (20th for expected goals with only 3 in 3 so far) it’s too risky to pick either of Forest’s keepers this week.
Fulham rank 20th for expected goals conceded and 19th for actual goals conceded so despite playing Luton (ranked 18th for expected goals and 20th for actual goals) it’s really hard to put a case forward for picking Bernd Leno.
Manchester City and Liverpool are always going to be good options for a clean sheet but both play away this week with City facing an in-form West Ham. Alisson at Liverpool is a better option as they travel to Wolves (ranked 13th for expected goals and 14th for actual goals). Liverpool have only conceded 3 goals in 4 games but they have been in 3 separate games so they only have one clean sheet.
Brentford are ranked 1st for expected goals and 6th for actual goals, so despite playing away at Newcastle they have conceded 7 in 4 so far, it is fair to expect them to create chances again.
So based on all of the above, I’m picking the form keeper, with the best home fixture, so my Goalkeeper pick of the week is Guglielmo Vicario (£5.1m) at Spurs.
Having discussed how difficult it is to forecast clean sheets at the moment I want to focus on defenders that are showing the beginnings of consistent returns. There are currently 6 defenders with 2 or more goal involvements and a further defender with an expected goal involvement over 2 so far.
Spurs pair Destiny Udogie (£4.7m – 2 assists) and Cristian Romero (£4.7m – 2 goals) have that plum home fixture against Sheffield United so naturally come into consideration. I still favour Udogie over Romero as he is a more constant attacking threat. Romero’s goal against Burnley was a wonder strike that might happen once or twice in a Centre Back’s career, so we can’t expect that every week.
Chelsea pair Malo Gusto (£4.2m – 2 assists) and Ben Chilwell (£5.8m – xGI 2.15) travel to Bournemouth who are ranked 15th for expected goals and 18th for expected goals conceded so there is potential for points at both ends. I still favour Chilwell as I think he is less prone to rotation even though Reece James is still injured.
Pervis Estupinan (£5.3m – 1 goal, 2 assists) is T4 highest point-scoring defender so far with Matty Cash (£4.7m – 2 goals). Despite Manchester United’s struggles so far this season, I feel Cash’s Aston Villa have the better fixture this gameweek at home to Chelsea as opposed to Brighton being away at Old Trafford.
Serge Aurier (£4.5m – 2 assists) has an inviting fixture at home to Burnley so should be considered but as a Spurs fan, it’s really difficult for me to recommend him given the inconsistencies I’ve witnessed from him over the years.
I would (and may still be if we get positive news later this week) have been tempted by a ‘punt’ Trent Alexander-Arnold but with him missing England duty due to a sore hamstring I am reluctant at this point so my defensive pick of the week goes to Destiny Udogie.
I have a relatively short list of Midfielders on my radar this week.
Having not moved on deadline day I think Mohammed Salah (£12.5m) will have a massive point to prove to everyone. He’ll want to show Liverpool fans his heart is still in it and possibly his Saudi suitors that it’s worth them revisiting with a bid for him in January! Away to Wolves, who are ranked 16th for expected goals conceded, should provide him with ample opportunities to add to his 2 goals and 2 assists so far.
Bruno Fernandes (£8.4m) is ranked 2nd for expected goal involvements and whilst home to Brighton isn’t the best fixture by a long way this week Brighton have been more open this year ranking 17th for expected goals conceded this season (8.08 in 4 games).
But in all honesty, my decision is between 2 Spurs players, making it a hat-trick for Spurs so far in this week’s pick of the week. James Maddison has 2 goals and 2 assists so far for Spurs in what has been a sensational start to his career in North London, whilst Heung-Min Son returned to form in spectacular style with a hat-trick against Burnley. Honestly, I think either of these are great picks but given Son is likely to continue to play out of position in a forward role, I think he just edges it on goal threat, so Heung-Min Son is my Midfield pick of the week.
Forwards (minus Haaland)
The forward options aren’t so easy to distil this week. With City away to an in-form West Ham, I even think there is a case for moving the armband from Haaland to Son or Maddison.
I’m personally keeping faith with Nicolas Jackson (£7.2m) this week. Chelsea aren’t tearing it up going forward but he is still T2 for expected goals and expected goal involvements. He’s had 7 big chances and I’m backing him to start delivering for Chelsea.
Darwin Nunez (£7.4m) added 2 assists in gameweek 4 to his 2 goals in gameweek 3 and with Wolves to play this week I’m expecting more from him. He is still a slight rotation risk with Liverpool’s wealth of attacking options, but I would expect him to start.
Gabriel Jesus (£7.9m) returned to action in gameweek 4 and got his goal from the bench. With another couple of weeks of prep he should be pressing for a starting place and with a trip to Everton who are T16th for goals conceded and Arsenal ranked 5th for expected goals and T6 for actual goals, he will likely get chances. Given his injury record though, even if he starts he’ll likely be managed through the game.
So, with concerns over all of the above, I’m going for the slightly leftfield pick of Taiwo Awoniyi (£6.6m) as my forward of the week. He’s ranked T3 for big chances and goals and 3rd for expected goals. Forest have the home tie against Burnley who we’ve identified we should be targeting and Forest have done well to score 5 times so far this season, given their tough fixtures so far.
Picks of the Week
Guglielmo Vicario (Spurs GK £5.6m)
Destiny Udogie (Spurs DF £4.7m)
Heung-Min Son (Spurs MF £9.1m)
Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest FW £6.6m)
Best of luck for the week ahead and I’ll see you next week for another review and set of Picks of the Week.