WARNING: LOCKOUT IS FRIDAY 7PM GMT. Yes that was incredibly late on my behalf and mostly unhelpful to our Australian readers, unfortunately National Express had there say as to when the article would be completed. Anyway… Even if lockout has passed by the time you read it the info could still be useful! There was some big movers on the weekend, not to mention some big losers. Add on some very interesting European results midweek and there’s plenty to discuss in this weeks stock market!
On The Rise
Walker – I said after last week that Walker was looking a great option despite his withdrawal due to illness, and he repaid his owners in spades with a clean sheet, assist and 2 bonus points. Spurs have conceded just 2 goals so far this season, which added to his attacking threat makes Kyle Walker a standout option in the 5.5 bracket besides Valencia, Shaw and Baines. Investing in your defence seems worthwhile this season, consider him strongly.
Smith – I’ve always loved how Adam Smith goes about his footy, there’s honestly some similarities between him and Bale, although so far they go no further than his first couple of seasons at wing back. If Bournemouth’s defence was more trustworthy he would be an absolute lock for me, but question marks still surround their defensive qualities. A risk but he will certainly get you some goals and assists!
Baines – Everton are looking damn solid under Koeman, proof that a change in manager can change how a teams attack or defence performs. Roberto Martinez played a kamikaze style of football, passing it out from the back at all costs. Koeman has his side looking far safer and that makes guys like Baines and Coleman hugely relevant. Both will bomb forward, however Baines’ set piece duties (Including penalties) give him the edge. 5.5 is a bargain, with Everton’s fixtures shining kindly don’t hesitate to jump on!
Capoue – Who could believe that Capoue had failed to score a goal in his previous 2 seasons. He has now banged in 3 goals in the first 4 games!!! He’s playing in a slightly more attacking role and is thriving through central midfield. There’s one question that has to be asked here. Is he good enough to start on your field? The answer in my opinion is simple, no. I could be proven wrong and I’ll hold my hands up to be accountable if I am. I just don’t think he can maintain a scoring rate anywhere near this level. Sure he’s a bargain and makes for perfect bench cover, but a starter? I’m not yet convinced.
I currently own him, but want to play 5 midfielders… Talk about a dilemma. Everyone is shifting to 3 strikers with guys like Benteke and Bony putting their hands up, but I love the value on offer in midfield. At this stage I’m likely to be trading Capoue out… Call me crazy.
Antonio – This man is the reason why! I said at the very start of the season that Antonio would be my first picked at 7.0, it was value too good to pass up. Of course he played at right back during pre-season and in GW1 and forced our hands. Thanks for nothing Bilic. His ability to score headers off corners, set pieces or from open play is as good as having penalty duties. I’d be making him a priority. Gun.
De Bruyne – There’s absolutely no doubt that KDB is the best midfielder going around in the PL currently. Sorry Pogba. If only Ozil could be more consistent. De Bruyne is world class at the moment, and under Guardiola he’s thriving. As are Man City. I’m still not convinced 10.5 is great value, especially with Aguero looking like a must have. If you can somehow get both though… Go for it!
Cazorla – For anyone who may have underestimated how important Santi is to Arsenal, just go and watch the first 4 games this season. He’s absolutely critical to how the Gunners perform and he looks to be in top form. Importantly, not only does he have penalty duties in his locker but he takes set pieces as well. Yes he plays a little deeper than Ozil, but he still gets involved going forward and is ridiculous value at 7.7. I’m bringing him in for Ozil this week. Santi is robbing Ozil of a lot of set pieces the German was taking last season, so while they’re sharing duties I’ll back in the Spaniard.
Firmino/Mane/Lallana – I’ll make this simple, owning a Liverpool midfielder looks critical. Sure Coutinho has had a poor few weeks (Shock) but you can add him to the list as well. Klopp has Liverpool playing a brilliant brand of pressure football, and so far it’s conducive to a lot of goals! Lallana is in the form of his career and looks insane value at 7.1. Don’t hesitate to bring him in. Mane has been the buy of the summer in my opinion, I never thought he had this level of football in him but wow he has changed the dynamics of Liverpool’s front 4. He’s also brilliant value at 8.9. The pick of the lot in my eyes is Firmino. People wrote him off after his first 2 blanks, but sometimes you have to look at the underlying figures. He was playing up front when Sturridge didn’t start and had created the most chances in the league up until last week. Then he found the net twice. I avoided him due to Liverpool’s fixtures but now he’s too good to pass up at 8.4. Get on board people!
Costa – Here’s a man already on a scoring streak. Costa’s double on the weekend took his tally to 4 goals in 4 games and you can bet there will be plenty more where that came from. I have never had an issue with his goal scoring ability, it’s the rest of his game that worries me in FPL. 3 yellow cards in 4 games says enough, and quite frankly he was lucky not to be sent off in the previous 2 games. Despite scoring in 2 previous contests last weekend was Costa’s first bonus point haul. He’s yet to register an assist. I fear that whilst he may score 20+ this season, his points tally may not match up to his performance on the pitch. Even so, 9.9 does seem incredibly cheap. My two issues are that I can’t really fit both Costa and Hazard into a team, and Hazard seems the better option. There’s also no shortage of in-form strikers at the moment… Solid option though.
Aguero – Lastly we have to note Aguero’s midweek performance. He bagged his second Champions League hat-trick of the season at home to a solid Bundesliga outfit Borussia Mönchengladbach. That’s 9 goals in 5 games for him under Pep Guardiola, you’d be insane not to get him back in ASAP. He’s coming in for me next week and I seriously suggest you follow suit.
Bellerin – This isn’t really Bellerin’s fault, but there’s no way he’s worth 6.5 in this seasons FPL market. Walker, Shaw, Valencia, Baines, Coleman, Stones are all around 1.0m cheaper. You can’t afford to be wasting that kind of money on a defence that is hardly the most solid in the League. Trade.
Coutinho – He has been well and truly overtaken by his Liverpool teammates and it seems the inconsistent and occasionally brilliant Coutinho of old is here to stay. Firmino is well ahead of him in my opinion and Mane is well worth the extra 0.7. I’d even take Lallana ahead of Coutinho quite frankly. It’s disappointing but I’d be inclined to trade him to one of his in-form teammates. This could come back to bite me but I prefer consistency to occasional brilliance.
Barkley – He looked a great option after the first couple of gameweeks, however last weeks half time substitution was alarming. Even more alarming was the fact that Everton went on in the second half to romp home 3-0. With Bolasie a cheap route into Everton’s attacking options and Lukaku on fire, wasting a crucial midfield spot on Barkley doesn’t seem like good business.
Mahrez – I had Mahrez down as a loser this week but after his 2 goal haul in the Champions League his owners should re-consider. He seems a confidence player and this could spark him into life. Importantly he is still on penalties! Leicester should also be buoyed by their midweek result, give him this contest at home to Burnley to prove his worth.
Pogba – I’m not sure how Pogba will ever prove his worth… In my opinion he shouldn’t be criticised with regards to the 89 million pounds United paid for him. However here’s the hard truth, he needs to get his head out of his ass and start performing on the pitch before he worries about his off field antics. Gold Boots, Accessories, Stormzy, Adidas and whole lot of other bullsh*t makes me think he’s getting well ahead of himself. I wouldn’t put him in the top 10 midfielders in the League on current form, but the potential is certainly there… Let’s hope he turns it around and sorts out his priorities soon! Otherwise he’ll continue to be shown up in the Europa League.
Redmond – Nathan Redmond continues to play up front and whilst he does so I believe you need to maintain patience. However. Austin’s brace on Thursday night throws another spanner into the mix. Shane Long is a liability in front of goal and for that reason whilst Puel persists with 2 strikers Redmond remains fpl relevant. If he opts for a switch to 1 player up front then Redmond may shift out wide… For now he has to stay, I can see him scoring against Swansea! Mark it down.
Negredo – Lastly, the hype man of Gameweek 1 and 2 has fallen to pieces. He’s hardly getting chances and with Benteke and Bony switching clubs, Costa and Lukaku hitting form and Aguero and Ibra in beast mode, Negredo may be doing more harm than good for your squad. I’m trading him this week and switching to Antonio in midfield.
Player of the Week
Lukaku – We should all know by now that Lukaku is a form player. Last week said it all. He missed a sitter of a header just 10 minutes in, having not scored in his previous 11 Premier League games. However before that he had found the net in 7 consecutive games!!! It was therefore no surprise that he scored an 11 minute hat-trick after netting his first! I was a lucky owner and I strongly urge you to get on board with Everton’s fixture schedule. I think he’s about to go on a scoring streak…
That rounds things up ahead of GW5. Good luck everyone, let’s make it high scoring!!!