Just when many FPL managers were celebrating their fat returns from GW-1, GW-2 ushered us back to reality. After a week when the two most widely-owned players (Bruno Fernandes and Mo Salah) racked up 20 and 17 points respectively, those two garnered just 2 and 6. That just shows you what FPL is all about, and emphasizes the importance of having a good enough squad to make up for weeks when your captain selection flops.
GW-2 offered very few surprises; Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham all won their matches while Man United had to settle for a draw at Southampton. After a protracted transfer negotiation, Romelu Lukaku made his second Chelsea debut (the first was a decade ago), while Arsenal had to deal with more COVID woes after Ben White tested positive.
I had a less impressive GW-2 compared to the 100 points I garnered in GW-1. With only Michail Antonio yet to play in my team at the time of this writing, I might have to settle for exactly half of my GW-1 points.
Reminder: the FPL deadline is 11:00 BST on Saturday 28 August.
NB: League Cup fixtures will be played midweek, so we should wait for the aftermath of those matches before committing transfers.
Kasper Schmeichel ( £5.0m Norwich vs Leicester)
Leicester travels to Carrow Road to face a Norwich team that is yet to score a Premier League goal this season. The Canaries hardly had a sniff at goal against Man City, striker Teemu Pukki feeding on scraps. Leicester looks primed to add another clean sheet in this fixture, so it might be wise to double up on the Leicester defense.
David Raya ( £4.5m Villa vs Brentford)
Two clean sheets (Arsenal and Crystal Palace) says everything you need to know about Brentford’s shot-stopper Raya. The Spanish professional has looked assured when called upon, and this has helped the newcomers keep things tight at the back. Priced at just £4.5m, Raya at Aston Villa is a risk worth taking if he maintains his current form.
Daniel Amartey ( £4.0m Norwich vs Leicester)
Taking up my earlier advice about doubling up on Leicester defense, Amartey comes at the very affordable price of £4m, making him a sensible pick to enable upgrades elsewhere. The preseason injury to Wesley Fofana let Amartey stake his claim for a starting place, and he hasn’t put a foot wrong since. Amartey’s impressive 17.8% ownership shows that a lot of managers are placing faith in him, and Norwich might be the perfect fixture to add him to your team. Just be aware that Jannik Vestergaard is expected to return to training this week and could pose a threat to Amartey’s place in the lineup.
Luke Shaw ( £5.5m Wolves vs Man United)
FPL’s most owned defender (52.6%) is yet to hit the heights of his England Euro 2020 performance, but he still did enough to earn himself two bonus points in the Red Devils’ draw against Southampton. Although the Reds Devils have yet to keep a clean sheet this season, they face a Wolves team yet to score a goal, so now might the perfect time to take the plunge by adding Luke Shaw to your team.
Aymeric Laporte & Ruben Dias (£5.5m & £6.0m Man City vs Arsenal)
Coming off a 5-0 win against Norwich, the Man City welcomes disoriented Arsenal to the Etihad. The fixture doesn’t bode well for the Gunners who possess a woeful record against the Citizens: Arsenal failed to score in either the home or away fixture last season. They have also failed to score a goal in two games this season. Everything points to another win and clean sheet for EPL title holders Man City.
Dias has been a mainstay in Pep Guardiola’s ever-changing back line, and he will be expected to once again lead the defense against the Gunners. Laporte got a goal last week against Norwich, while Dias notched an assist in the same fixture. For those worried about Laporte’s susceptibility to Pep Roulette, the gaffer had this to say after Saturday’s game: “The guys who played good today are going to play the next game.” (si.com)
Tyrone Mings ( £5.0m Aston Villa vs Brentford)
Two assists and a clean sheet in Aston Villa’s last match against Newcastle sees Mings make our FPL team for GW-3. The Englishman with 8.5% ownership rewarded the managers who placed faith in him, earning an impressive 15 points. With Villa hosting Brentford this week, it might be wise to rely on him for further clean sheet points.
Japhet Tanganga: ( £4.5m Tottenham vs Watford)
“Two games, two clean sheets” tells you all you need to know about Tottenham’s back line. Nuno’s arrival as manager has seen Spurs become harder to break down, and Tanganga in particular has been eye-catching. His impressive start to the season has seen him displace Serge Aurier and Matt Doherty as the club’s starting right-back, and he therefore makes our Player Picks for the second week in a row.
Jack Grealish ( £8.0m Man City vs Arsenal)
Jack Grealish finally opened his account for Man City last week against Norwich. The former Aston Villa captain was impressive in that fixture, so barring a Pep Guardiola rotation, he is expected to once again lead the Citizens’ creative department in the absence of playmaker Kevin De Bruyne. Grealish was pivotal in helping Aston Villa rip into Arsenal last season, so it might be unwise to bet against him now that he’s on a much better side this time around.
Mason Greenwood ( £7.5m Wolves vs Man United)
At just £7.5 million, Greenwood looks like an inexpensive but reliable prospect. The youngster has backed up his impressive prior season by scoring in the first two games for the Red Devils this season. Greenwood was instrumental in helping Man United salvage a draw in its last match against a stubborn Southampton. Greenwood’s ability to feature in multiple positions means that Edinson Cavani’s imminent return might not directly impact Greenwood’s playing time. United’s next five Premier League fixtures are against Wolves, Newcastle, West Ham, Aston Villa and Everton, which makes Greenwood a good investment for the foreseeable future.
Bruno Fernandes ( £12.0m Wolves vs Man United)
Can one really select an FPL team without Bruno Fernandes? Bruno blew hot and cold in his opening two matches. After opening the season with a hattrick against Leeds, he failed to influence proceedings in Reds Devils second match against Southampton. Man United travels to the Molineux to face Wolves in GW-3. Fernandes will be relied upon to lead the team with goals and assists.
Mo Salah ( £12.5m Liverpool vs Chelsea)
Just like Fernandes, Salah is able to do the impossible at any moment, so it’s hard to ignore him in one’s FPL selection. Salah also began the season with aplomb by scoring a goal and adding two assists in his first match, but just like Fernandes, he was unable to directly impact the result of his club’s second. Although Liverpool has a tough fixture against the team with the division’s meanest defense in the last seven months, Salah is still capable of rewarding faithful managers with a goal or two against any opponent.
Harry Kane ( £12.4m Tottenham vs Watford)
Last season’s Golden Boot winner, Harry Kane finally began his season when introduced as a second half substitute in Spurs’ 1-0 victory over Wolves. Kane’s run-out should see him fit enough to lead Tottenham from the start against Premier League new-boys Watford. Kane will be eager to pick up from where he stopped last season which saw him contribute 23 goals and 14 assists.
Danny Ings ( £8.0m Aston Villa vs Brentford)
Aston Villa Striker Danny Ings has been nothing short of sublime for a Villa team that is just recovering form the loss of former captain Jack Grealish to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester. Ings’ magnificent goal via overhead kick against Newcastle is already being touted as a strong contender for EPL goal of the season. The Englishman looks primed to add to his two goals scored in two appearances for Villa against Premier League newcomers Brentford.
Michail Antonio ( £7.5m West Ham vs Crystal Palace)
When fit, it’s hard to keep Antonio away from your FPL team. Priced at an affordable £7.5m, Antonio presents a very good value for money compared to other strikers around his price range. The Englishman began the season with bang by scoring a goal and adding two assists. West Ham hosts a Crystal Palace team still in transition following the arrival of Patrick Vieira, the perfect opportunity for Antonio to add to his goals and assists.
Romelu Lukaku ( £11.5m Liverpool vs Chelsea)
Lukaku crowned his second Chelsea debut with a well-worked team goal against London rivals Arsenal. Lukaku was a thorn in Arsenal’s defense, Pablo Mari in particular finding it very hard to track his runs and prevent him from turning towards goal. Lukaku will face a sterner test against a VvD-powered Liverpool defense yet to concede a goal this season, but it would be unwise to bet against him getting on the score sheet.
What players have I overlooked? Are there other budget players that are good options for GW-3? Which player will have the highest points this week? Which highly owned star will let us down? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Who is the best captain for GW-3?
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