Last updated on September 22nd, 2023
Who should be your priority players for the next Gameweek, position by position
Written by Keiran Trotter (@fpl_del)
Week 5 Review
To put it mildly, personally, gameweek 5 was a car crash!
Spurs conceded ruining the clean sheet for both my keeper and defender pick. Vicario picked up 3 points whilst there were 5 clean sheets on offer elsewhere, with Robert Sanchez and Murara Neto the pick of the keepers, each logging 10 points.
Destiny wasn’t fulfilled for me with Udogie picking up only 2 points whilst Andy Robertson’s goal and 3 bonus points for Liverpool made him the top defender with 11 points. 9 other defenders managed more than 6 points with Sven Botman and Timothy Castagne also banking the 3 bonus points in their fixtures.
I transferred in Heung-Min Son and captained him in my own team and was rewarded with a paltry 4 points (2 appearance points x 2) as Spurs pulled things round after he left the field. As a Spurs fan, I wasn’t too bothered but it hit my own team and my weekly selections really hard as 8 other players managed a 10-point plus haul. Bernardo Silva logged a goal and assist and all 3 bonus points for City with a 13-point haul. There were 2 more assists for Mohammed Salah.
Slightly better news from my forward pick with Taiwo Awoniyi at least registering an assist as he picked up 5 points. Only 8 others bettered that tally with Julian Alvarez’s 9 points making him the pick of the forwards.
So a grand total of 12 points from my 4 picks was definitely not what we were looking for, but we go again this week, ready to claw some of that back. Personally, I’ve pulled the trigger on the Wildcard this week with substantial issues that needed dealing with, so I’m fully invested in my picks for this week.
The top most likely clean sheets this week according to the Bookmakers odds are, Man City (55%), Newcastle (39%), Palace (37%), Brentford and Brighton (36%).
Brighton are yet to keep a clean sheet this season and rank 14th for expected goals conceded though they do face Bournemouth who rank 15th for expected goals. Brentford have a single clean sheet and face slightly better opposition for expected goals in Everton (12th). At Palace, there is doubt over who is the first choice. Whilst Sam Johnstone kept his place last week, it is still under threat from new arrival Dean Henderson.
Manchester United away at Burnley is an attractive fixture on paper but with how things are at United at the moment I am really not keen on any of their defensive assets.
So that really leaves us with a choice between Nick Pope (£5.5m) and Ederson (£5.6m). The Newcastle fixture is 4th ranked for expected goals conceded vs 19th for expected goals and the Manchester City fixture is 1st ranked for expected goals conceded vs 16th for expected goals so it is pretty even. I think with City having the home fixture that swings it for me, so my goalkeeping pick of the week this week is going to be Ederson (£5.6m). Newcastle have conceded 7 goals from 6 big chances this season in comparison to City who have conceded 3 goals from 6 big chances.
So far this season there isn’t a single defender with more than 2 clean sheets and the top 14 defenders have all registered at least one goal or assist in the first 5 games. So based on this we need to keep prioritising defenders most likely to get attacking returns whilst any likelihood of a clean sheet should remain secondary. Based on this the following are the defenders I am considering this week.
Matty Cash (£4.7m) continues to play effectively as a winger at Villa and has logged an impressive 11 attempts at goal with 3 big chances and 2 goals. For context, Mohammed Salah has had only 4 more attempts, 1 more big chance and has the same amount of goals! Whilst Villa are away at Chelsea this week, it isn’t an ideal fixture but with Chelsea deploying similar attacking fullbacks, Cash should get some more joy. Luca Digne (£4.6m) also comes into the reckoning having created 12 chances so far this season but I feel Cash is the better, more secure option.
Newcastle pair Kieran Trippier (£6.5m) and Sven Botman (£4.5m) have impressive attacking stats so far. Tripper has created 12 chances and Botman has had 4 attempts at goal and created 2 big chances. Both should see further opportunities for success this gameweek.
Pervis Estupinan (£5.3) should return to the Brighton lineup this week after being rested due to international travel. He’s registered a goal and 2 assists in his 4 appearances so far this week and a home tie against Bournemouth who rank 16th for big chances conceded should provide him with plenty of further opportunities to add to that. Bournemouth rank 17th for goals, 16th for big chances created and 15th for expected goals so there is clean sheet potential there too.
Joachim Anderson (£4.6m) has picked up more bonus points than any defender so far (6). With a goal and a clean sheet to his name already he’s ranked 3rd out of all defenders so far and has a home fixture with Fulham this gameweek, though for me personally, this is a case of a small data set. His goal has come from an expected goals of just 0.2 and only 3 attempts at goal and he only got 1 all last season. So my defender pick of the week this week will be Pervis Estupinan.
The Midfield pick feels like a really tough one this week. With Spurs playing Arsenal this week 2 of the best-performing midfielders so far, James Maddison (£7.9m) and Bukayo Saka (£8.7m) go head to head. Whilst players of their quality can always produce in the big games, I feel like there are better options out there this week with better fixtures.
Mo Salah (£12.5m) is proving to be a model of consistency at the moment with 2 goals and 4 assists in his 5 starts so far. As the more budget options establish themselves and the Wildcards start to kick in I think Salah is going to find his way into more and more squads. I fully expect him to return with a home fixture against West Ham but I’m thinking it will be more of the same rather than a mega haul this week.
Bryan Mbeumo (£6.9m) is still the highest-scoring midfielder with 4 goals in 5 games and Brentford welcome Everton this gameweek though whilst they have been poor so far this season, defensively, they don’t concede buckets. They are 13th for goals conceded, 12th for big chances conceded and 10th for expected goals conceded so there may not be too many chances for him to add to his tally.
When we look at goals conceded, big chances conceded and expected goals conceded in the 5 games so far, 2 teams consistently feature. Wolves rank 16th for expected goals conceded, 19th for goals conceded and 19th for big chances conceded. They do however play Luton this gameweek so whilst they are likely to concede again, there aren’t really any standout options from Luton. Fulham rank 20th for expected goals conceded, 18th for goals conceded and 20th for big chances conceded. They are away at Palace this gameweek and after getting his first goal 2 weeks ago Eberechi Eze (£6.3m) is the man most likely to profit from a leaky Fulham defence. He’s had 15 attempts at goal and created 6 chances in 5 games so far and could be set to turn those numbers into returns this week.
Bournemouth rank 18th for expected goals conceded and travel to free-scoring Brighton this week. This throws us plenty of options given the creativity and goal threat within Brighton’s Midfield and, for my money, Kaoru Mitoma (£6.5m) is the pick of them. He has a goal and 2 assists already, however, there are 5 other Brighton midfielders who have 2 or more attacking returns so far and Roberto De Zerbi has said this week he will pick specific attacking players for specific fixtures, so we can expect plenty of rotation.
So you can see the dilemma this week. My punt would definitely be on Eze this week but given last week’s car crash my midfielder pick of the week is going to be a safe one with Mo Salah!
Forwards (minus Haaland)
Given the fixtures this weekend and the current form of some of the Strikers in the Premier League there are some immediate standout options.
Odsonne Edouard (£5.6m) is ranked T2 for goals, 6th for expected goals, 7th for big chances and faces the Fulham defence that we identified as weak in the previous section. He is clearly first choice for Palace and is the 3rd highest-scoring forward behind Haaland and Alvarez.
Julian Alvarez (£6.9m) is the leading forward this season ahead of even his teammate Haaland. He has 2 goals, 4 assists, 5 bonus points and has a home tie against Forest this week. Forest are fairly sound defensively but this is City at home, goals will not be a problem and barring rotation, Alvarez is highly likely to be involved.
Newcastle are away at Sheffield United this week so there is definitely a case for including Alexander Isak (£7.6m) or Callum Wilson (£7.8m). They both have 2 goals so far, Wilson’s coming more recently and from his first start last match, so I favour him, however there is definitely a minutes risk against both of them and with how Sheffield United performed at Spurs last week, I don’t see this being a goal fest.
I have similar rotation fears over Evan Ferguson (£6.0m). He has 3 goals from 2 starts but missed last week after picking up a knock on International duty and Brighton are also in Europa League action before this gameweek kicks off. He has a great fixture at home to Bournemouth, it’s just too much of a risk this week, with the potential for rotation.
So like my midfield pick, my forward pick of the week is going to be a safety first option with Julian Alvarez getting the nod over Odsonne Edouard. I do think the Palace boys could be in for a good weekend though.
Picks of the Week
Ederson (Man City GK £5.6m)
Pervis Estupinan (Brighton DF £5.3m)
Mohammed Salah (Liverpool MF £12.5m)
Julian Alvarez (Man City FW £6.9m)
Best of luck for the week ahead and I’ll see you next week for another review and set of Picks of the Week.