I cast my eye back towards the rest of Gameweek 3’s action and talk about the major points of debate from the week. If you haven’t read Part I, you can do so by clicking here.
Chelsea 2-0 Everton
After a disappointing start to the season, Chelsea got their second successive win as they outclassed Everton 2-0. Cesc Fabregas (£6.9m) and Alvaro Morata (£10.1m) scored, while Morata and Cesar Azpilicueta (£6.5m) bagged the assists. If we didn’t have a torrid time between Lukaku, Kane, Lacazette and Jesus already, it seems as if Morata wants to make matters worse. The Spaniard bagged his second goal and second assist at home, in two games. This comes despite having come on as a substitute in the opener against Burnley. Chelsea have mixed fixtures with LEI (A), ARS (H), STO (A), MCI (H), CRY (A) in the next 5. If you’re tempted to shift to a different direction than Kane, Morata might certainly be worth a look-in.
Fabregas might seem like a good option at that cut-price following his red card against Burnley, but there are still questions over his spot. I expect Antonio Conte to go with Ngolo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko as his first choice pairing in midfield. With the new addition of Danny Drinkwater, Fabregas might not get regular game time. Another Spanish player worth considering though, is Marcos Alonso (£7.1m). He was again a livewire on the left flank. Even though he did not manage to repeat his brace against Spurs, he still bagged a clean sheet. This is the great thing about Alonso. You’re basically paying £7.1m for a midfielder, who also takes direct-free kicks, who also gets points for clean sheets. In case he doesn’t contribute offensively, there’s a good chance he’ll do so defensively. Chelsea haven’t signed a replacement left-back, which means his spot is set in stone.
As far as Everton are concerned, I’m going to say what I’ve been repeating since July. Avoid them till their fixtures turn in Gameweek 5.
West Brom 1-1 Stoke
West Brom almost did what West Brom do best, for the third time in a row – eke out a 1-0 win. However, it was not to be this time, as Peter Crouch netted late to cancel Jay Rodriguez’s opener. Allan Nyom and Ramadan Sobhi got into the assists. It was extremely disappointing to the large ownership of Ben Foster and Ahmed Hegazi. However, investors into the West Brom defense should not be too disheartened. West Brom have BHA (A), WHU (H), ARS (A), WAT (H) and LEI (A) in their next 5, which means they should be worth a few more clean sheets. Their defense has also been bolstered by the addition of Kieran Gibbs from Arsenal. Their attack remains sporadic at best, and the Baggies didn’t look at their best going forward. I would avoid their offensive options for that reason.
Stoke have a horror run in the next 5, coming up against Man Utd, Chelsea and Man City during that run. Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting (£5.5m) played up front at the Hawthorns, however, he is listed as a midfielder in FPL. Once this run subsides, he could be worth a punt. Jese Rodriguez (£6.0m) could also be a decent option going forward after Gameweek 8.
Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal
The performance of the weekend came from Liverpool, who absolutely blitzed through a completely hapless Arsenal 4-0. Roberto Firmino (£8.6m) and Mohamed Salah (£9.0m) bagged a goal and an assist, while Sadio Mane (£9.6m) and Daniel Sturridge had to be content with a goal. Joe Gomez (£4.5m) also bagged an assist. Firmino has underlined his credentials as a top pick, with his second goal and second assist in 3 games. With James Milner only in and out of the lineup, the Brazilian striker will be on penalty duties as well. This bolsters his appeal massively, and the way Liverpool are playing right now, even if he was £10.6m I’d fancy him. He’s excellent value for money at the moment, and you should be looking to get him in.
If your squad structure does not support Firmino’s acquisition, Mane is also an excellent pick. He’s the top scorer in the league with 3 goals in 3 games. The Senegalese winger was one of my top pre-season picks, and he’s been more than backing that up so far. Firmino and Mane’s outputs should only be increased with the assistance of Phillippe Coutinho, who looks set to stay at Anfield after a protracted transfer saga involving Barcelona. Unlike two of their front 3, Salah might be a pick fraught with risks. The Egyptian was benched at Crystal Palace. With Liverpool’s fixture congestion only getting tougher after the international break, he might be in and out of the side in the league. The signing of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain only makes matter worse for Salah.
Arsenal may not be a poisoned chalice, after all
Arsenal might be in complete turmoil, but I’m actually backing them to come up with the goods after the league resumes. The Gunners have BOU (H), CHE (A), WBA (H), BHA (H), WAT (A) in the next 5. With 3 plum home fixtures in the next 5, surely there will be a reaction to this scathing defeat. Alexandre Lacazette (£10.5m) was benched at the Anfield, but he did have a good start to the season, scoring against Leicester and having a goal incorrectly ruled offside against Stoke. There’s surely no way Arsene Wenger can bench his £52m man for any longer. Lacazette is due a price fall some time this week as well, and he may well be worth a punt.
The main news from the Emirates though, is the return of Alexis Sanchez (£11.9m). Somehow, the Chilean has managed to stay at the Emirates after all. He was the top points scorer in FPL last season, and only in 2.4% of all teams so far, he could be a great differential too. But he cut a forlorn figure last Sunday, and there are questions about his motivation to play for Arsenal given the events of this transfer window. I don’t think he’s the kind of player who’d let that come into his way, but with Lacazette £1.5m cheaper, I’m waiting and watching on Sanchez. Nacho Monreal (£5.4m) could also be a great discounted pickup for defense with those fixtures.
Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Burnley
Spurs’ frustrations at Wembley continued with a draw against Burnley. Dele Alli (£9.5m) scored them, while Chris Wood’s late, late equalizer on Burnley debut grabbed the Clarets a point. Robert Brady assisted for Burnley. It was yet another disappointing outing for Harry Kane. It seems like the most expensive player in the game just does not have his stars aligned correctly in August. He had one great chance you’d expect a two-time Golden Boot winner to bury in his sleep, but when it’s not meant to be, it’s not. Spurs have EVE (A), SWA (H), WHU (A), HUD (A) and BOU (H), certainly a great run of fixtures. With August over, could Kane’s misfiring be over too?
Personally, I’d only get rid on a wildcard, and opt for Alli/Christian Eriksen (£9.6m) in midfield. It doesn’t seem as if Kane is worth the extra £3.0m over the midfield duo, an amount which can be used for repairs elsewhere. If you’re not wildcarding, it might be prudent to keep. Kane isn’t the most pressing issue you can have, and with such good fixtures ahead, it’s definitely just a matter of time about him finding his scoring boots. The matter is, just, whether he will be worth the gigantic pricetag or not. Spurs may have conceded late on, but you shouldn’t want to get rid of their defenders already. With Serge Aurier signing, Kieran Trippier’s spot might be in danger. There is a good possibility though, that Aurier will be the Champions League/Cup right-back, while Trippier starts in the league. One to keep an eye on.
For Burnley, they were perhaps lucky to get the point, given just how dominant Spurs were. They were languid in attack, and aside from Sam Vokes, it doesn’t seem prudent to invest in their attackers. They have CRY (H), LIV (A), HUD (H), EVE (A) and WHU (H) in the next 5. With three plum home games, it could be worth investing in one of their £4.5m defenders if you can get another defender to cover for the tough fixtures.
If you have any suggestions for articles I should cover in the international break, do let me know in the comments. As always, feel free to use the comments for any tips you need with your Fantasy sides.