The fate of Tottenham’s Son Heung-min as a Fantasy Premier League asset this season has been representative of the uncertainty in the Premier League itself.
The South Korean was the most transferred out player in GW2 after his poor show against Everton. But in GW3 he was the most purchased player after his four goals against Southampton. An injury against Newcastle in GW3 once convinced FPL managers to axe him, making him one of the most discarded players ahead of GW 4.
Recovering in time for Manchester United game, Son made those that transferred him out regret with two goals and an assist.
With shock results aplenty, GW4 saw an average points tally of just 48 points. Results like United’s 1-6 defeat against Spurs, Liverpool’s 2-7 loss against Aston Villa that followed Manchester City’s 2-5 defeat to Leicester a week before have left FPL managers scratching their heads.
Son is once again the most purchased player so far this week and it could be one of the reasons to not buy him the way this season has gone.
The international break and the injuries that come along with it, in addition to the rising coronavirus cases among touring international players, is expected to increase the headache of FPL managers ahead of GW5.
The big ins and outs
Player sales and purchases are good indicators of the likely top performers in the coming gameweeks but this parameter also tends to be volatile. Performances in just one gameweek can affect the ownership of players. However, the price rise/fall of a player depends directly on the movement in the player market in FPL, so it’s an important factor to look at when you are trying to maximise your squad value.
Most transferred in players
Most transferred out players
Fixture difficulty for all teams GW 5-8
|Teams||GW 5 Fixture||*Difficulty level of next three GWs|
|Arsenal||Manchester City (A)||3, 4, 3 - 15|
|Aston Villa||Leicester City (A)||2, 2, 4 - 12|
|Brighton and Hove Albion||Crystal Palace (A)||2, 4, 2 - 11|
|Burnley||West Brom (A)||4, 4, 3 - 13|
|Chelsea||Southampton (H)||4, 2, 3 - 11|
|Crystal Palace||Brighton (H)||2, 3, 2 - 9|
|Everton||Liverpool (H)||3, 3, 4 - 14|
|Fulham||Sheffield United (A)||2, 2, 3 - 10|
|Leeds United||Wolves (H)||3, 3, 3 - 12|
|Leicester City||Aston Villa (H)||4, 3, 3 - 13|
|Liverpool||Everton (A)||3, 3, 5 - 15|
|Manchester City||Arsenal (H)||3, 3, 4 - 14|
|Manchester United||Newcastle (A)||4, 4, 3 - 14|
|Newcastle United||Manchester United (H)||3, 3, 3 - 13|
|Sheffield United||Fulham (H)||5, 4, 4 - 16|
|Southampton||Chelsea (A)||3, 3, 2 - 12|
|Tottenham Hotspur||West Ham (H)||2, 2, 2 - 8|
|West Bromwich Albion||Burnley (H)||3, 2, 4 - 12|
|West Ham United||Tottenham (A)||4, 5, 2 - 15|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||Leeds (A)||2, 2, 4 - 11|
Tottenham and Palace have the easiest runs in the coming weeks and it might be a good time to bring in their assets. Brighton, Chelsea, Leeds and Aston Villa are other teams who also seem to have a relatively favourable run of fixtures.
Southampton, Fulham and West Brom players may also be considered purely from the fixture point of view.
As far as the teams to avoid, West Ham and Sheffield United lead the way, although the former have displayed great form over the last two weeks. Manchester United also have a tough run of matches and considering their form, their players are best avoided. City, who have usually been fixture proof have struggled lately, and with injuries to Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Kevin de Bruyne, you might be fine without City players for next few weeks. They’re no longer the must-haves.
Top picks for GW5
Harry Kane (Tottenham): While Son-Heung min is the more preferred Tottenham pick for this weekend, his captain Kane should be on your radar. Kane’s numbers this season have been simply fabulous. Kane has the highest xG + xA in the league this season (expected goals, expected assists) and has created the most big chances to score. Although most of those have been for Son, all of those have come away from home where Spurs have had space to run behind opposition defences.
Against West Ham who have been strong defensively, Son is unlikely to find spaces behind the defence to run into while Kane is likely to be the focal point of the attack. Moreover, the English captain has a stellar record against West Ham. He has scored 9 goals in 15 appearances against the Hammers. Kane has also matched up to his xG this season and it’s probably time he’ll correct that against West Ham.
Callum Wilson (Newcastle): Wilson has settled well at Newcastle after moving from Bournemouth. With four goals and one assist to his name already, he is the fourth most prolific striker in FPL ahead of GW5. Facing a Manchester United side that have leaked a lot of chances to their opponents, Wilson will fancy himself to get on the scoresheet again. In terms of xGA (Expected Goals Allowed), United are only better than Leeds United and West Brom in the Premier League.
Wilson is perhaps the best player to pounce on any United errors with the Newcastle striker having an xG tally of 3.6, a figure only bettered by Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Ben Chilwell (Chelsea): The Chelsea left-back had a dream Premier League debut against Crystal Palace, netting 18 FPL points thanks to a goal, assist and a clean sheet. Chilwell, who was one of Frank Lampard’s prime targets this season, was quite advanced throughout the game and was very much involved in Chelsea’s attacking play. He also got an assist in Chelsea’s League Cup win over Barnsley last month despite only a cameo appearance.
The Blues though leaky on the goals have been largely solid at home. Chelsea have kept seven clean sheets in their last ten home games. The only occasions where they allowed the opponents to score was against Liverpool, Manchester City and Bayern Munich. Against Southampton, who have scored only five goals so far, the Blues would fancy their chances for another shutout.
Having already seen his price rise, it might be a good time to buy Chilwell as a long-term option before the price goes up further.
Wilfred Zaha (Crystal Palace): Zaha started the season well with three goals in the first two matches before blanks against Everton and Chelsea. But with Palace facing an easy run of games starting with Brighton at home this weekend, Zaha is pretty much a must-have. Brighton have conceded ten goals so far this season. With Luka Milivojevic not a starter any longer, Zaha is also on penalties. He also has the highest xG among all Palace players this season.
Sadio Mane (Liverpool): Mane is back after recovering from coronavirus and would be keen to get onto the scoresheet as the Reds look to shake off a shock 2-7 loss to Aston Villa. Mane has averaged 1.3 goal involvements per ninety minutes this season (second best) and netted a brace in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Chelsea. Mane has a decent record against arch-rivals Everton, scoring four and assisting twice in 12 games against the Toffees. After a good rest, Mane could be the man to make the difference for Liverpool in a Merseyside derby again as he did in the Reds’ last win at Goodsion Park.
Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United): The former Liverpool starlet is set to begin his Sheffield United career and he couldn’t have asked for a better fixture than Fulham at home. Scott Parker’s men have lost all games so far and Brewster who was in goalscoring form for Liverpool in preseason might be too hot to handle for the Londoners. Owned only by 6.4% FPL managers, Brewster could be a steal at just £4.5 million.
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City): You’ll rarely find Sterling in this category but he’s owned only by 6.3% of FPL managers. Up against an Arsenal defence that leak goals especially away from home Sterling could be a fine differential pick. He has a good record against the Gunners scoring six goals and assisting thrice in 16 games. The only obstacle could be his price of £11.5 million, but if he gets going he could deliver huge returns.
Ross Barkley (Aston Villa): The Chelsea loanee had a fine debut for Aston Villa against Liverpool and could have had a lot more than just a one-goal return. Up against Leicester City, Barkley could be a player that could make a difference to your team with just 1% ownership. At £5.9 million, he could be a great bargain.
Sergio Reguilon (Tottenham): Spurs have great fixtures ahead of them and are likely to keep a few clean sheets in the coming games. Reguilon who is an attacking full-back assisted Spurs’ goal in their penalty-shootout win over Chelsea in the League Cup. Considering his instincts, Reguilon is likely to have more attacking returns as the season progresses. Owned by only 1.5% FPL managers, it would be a good time to get him in your team.
Captaincy is the most important decision ahead of any FPL gameweek and your score heavily depends on your captaincy choice. The Tottenham duo of Kane and Son would be front-runners for the armband but against an in-form West Ham side who haven’t conceded many chances, Spurs may not be as free-scoring as they have been in previous games.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah’s consistency means he is always a good option but the fixture against Everton may deter FPL managers from handing him the armband. Wolves’ Raul Jimenez, who faces Leeds, is not in good form for FPL managers to trust him with the armband.
Differential options like Zaha, Jamie Vardy and Patrick Bamford might be worth considering given there are no sure-shot options available. Chelsea options range from Christian Pulisic to Tammy Abraham but there’s too much uncertainty over Lampard’s line-up at the moment to be absolutely certain.
Lot of Aston Villa options like Jack Grealish and Ollie Watkins might be an attractive bet for captaincy but it would be worth waiting a few more games before jumping onto the Aston Villa bandwagon.
FPL Deadline for GW5: 3:30 PM IST, Saturday, October 3, 2020
(Stats Courtesy: Fantasy Premier League website, FBref.com)