Gameweek 4 of the Premier League is fast approaching and even a fixture like “Bournemouth vs West Brom” sounds appealing after the international break. There weren’t too many shocks over Gameweek 3, with the favourites coming away with the win in most cases. Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Burnley saw Hazard take away his second goal of the season, Leicester’s 2-1 win at home to Swansea saw Jamie Vardy start his party, and Man United’s late goal from wonder-kid Marcus Rashford has led many to question whether he’ll ever earn himself a starting place in Mourinho’s lineup. There are plenty more exciting fixtures this weekend, including the HUGE Manchester Derby. Read more below to find out our recommendations for who to take and who to bench for the upcoming fixtures!
Join Our League!
FST Fantasy Football League!
— Football Super Tips (@FootySuperTips) 8 August 2016
If you haven’t joined the FST Fantasy Football League already then follow the link above to be in with a chance of winning weekly, monthly or even our yearly prize! Last week’s winner was Stephen King’s “Scuba Divers”, who bagged himself £20 in bet365 free bets and most importantly an FST Mug!
Last Weeks Winner!
FANTASY FOOTBALL WINNER – WEEK 3
Stephen King’s “Scuba Divers”
DM us to claim your £20 bet365 Free Bets & FST Mug! pic.twitter.com/UcFBtZydAZ
— Football Super Tips (@FootySuperTips) August 31, 2016
Who to Buy
Eden Hazard or Diego Costa (Chelsea) – Price: £10.2m and £9.7m respectively
Eden Hazard was potentially the biggest single flop for fantasy managers last season. Before the 2015/2016 campaign he averaged over two-hundred points per season, racking up more than most in the Premier League. Though he only managed five goals and four assists last year, the 25 years old has seemed revitalized and is adapting quickly to Antonio Conte’s way of football. He remains the third most expensive midfielder in EPL fantasy, but with two goals, an assist, and plenty of bonus points under his belt in the opening three matches, he is the highest scoring player so far and looks to have returned to his usual ways. Diego Costa is also a viable transfer for a replacement striker coming into this gameweek seeing as many will have money to spare with Aguero out for his three match ban (read more below). Diego has also taken two goals and an assist in the opening three matches and remains Conte’s first choice striker.
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) – Price: £11.0m
Despite missing a chunk of last season due to injury, Alexis Sanchez finished as the seventh best EPL fantasy midfielder with thirteen goals and five assists. As a midfielder, the Chilean international will score five points for each goal he scores instead of the usual four points per goal that a striker receives. Though he is the most expensive midfielder in EPL fantasy, he plays such a forward role that gives him the potential for huge point hauls, such as his massive 16 points score through a goal and two assists in Arsenal’s 3-1 win at Watford last time out. Only 12% of teams currently have him selected and with many people having extra money in the bank after transferring out Aguero (see below), the investment should soon pay off with fixtures against the out-of-form Southampton, Hull, and Burnley coming up.
Ross Barkley or Kevin Mirallas (Everton) – Price: £7.7m and £6.6m respectively
Ross Barkley is a much loved midfielder in Premier League Fantasy, not only thanks to his 158 point haul last season, where he tallied 8 goals and 9 assists, but also for his very reasonable price tag. He has earnt 17 points over the first three gameweeks, scoring one goal and providing one assist, and definitely overshadows our second choice player here, Kevin Mirallas. Mirallas looks transformed since the departure of Roberto Martinez at the end of last season. He is one of Everton’s most talented and creative players when he plays at his best, and Ronald Koeman has seemed to bring that out of him. With most people opting for Barkley (Mirallas is only selected by 4.4% of players), his equally impressive 16 point tally this season – also from one goal and one assist – definitely flies under the radar. Not to mention his even more reasonable price tag for a player of his calibre.
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) – Price: £9.9m
Jamie Vardy’s dynamic performances and energy last season definitely gave Leicester City faith and propelled them to their unbelievable 2015/2016 Premier League title win. He seemed invincible and an invaluable asset to most fantasy teams last year, where he finished the 2nd highest points earner overall, scoring twenty four goals and assisting eight. Though it took him 212 minutes to open his account this season, scoring the opener in Leicester’s 2-1 win against Swansea City last time out, there has never been a better time to swap him in. Most should have the budget spare with Aguero picking up a 3 match ban (see below) and the reigning champions should be full of confidence against an inconsistent and shaky Liverpool back four. Who remembers Vardy’s screamer against Liverpool last season?
Eldin Jakupovic or Curtis Davis (Hull City) – Price: £4.1m and £5.0m respectively
Hull City came into the Premier League as one of the firm favourites for relegation – how they’ve turned the general opinion around in the first three matches. Though they have kept just one clean sheet, goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic and defender Curtis Davis have more than earnt their paychecks. Hull City held their own in a valiant defensive performance against Manchester United last time out, with Jakupovic pulling off some spectacular saves which saw him earn four points despite a late winner from Marcus Rashford costing him the clean sheet. Curtis Davis, meanwhile, constantly got himself in front of the ball, blocking shots and making class tackles. Not only is his defensive prowess remarkable, but he also picked up a huge 12 point haul with a clean sheet and an assist in Hull’s 2-0 win over Swansea. Hull should be confident on their chances to keep a clean sheet against Burnley this weekend, who have scored just two goals so far this season.
Who to Bench
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Despite appeals to the Football Association panel from Manchester City, Sergio Aguero was found guilty of violent conduct after he elbowed West Ham’s Winston Reid in their 3-1 win last time out. Aguero will miss the next three matches, including the huge Manchester derby this weekend. Aguero is the most expensive player in Premier League fantasy at £13.0m, so to transfer him out and open up some funds to invest elsewhere would be wise until his return.
Simply put, Stoke are in awful form at the moment. Without goalkeeper Jack Butland they’ve been forced to play veteran Shay Given. Though Given hasn’t been awful, he is yet to keep a clean sheet this season and was VERY lucky to feature in the fantasy “Dream Team” last week. His penalty save, which rebounded off the post back on to him, resulting in an own goal, earnt him more bonus points than he lost for conceding. Stoke are also suffering without Glen Johnson and Xherdan Shaqiri, who remain doubtful for Saturday, lacking creativity down the right hand side. Striker Mame Biram Diouf, who scored 12 and assisted 3 in the 2014/2015 season, is also doubtful and will likely be replaced by new signing Wilfried Bony. While this is certainly a decent signing for the Potters, he’ll likely take some time to acclimatise himself to their style of football. Not to mention Stoke have a difficult fixture against Tottenham next weekend.
Southampton have had an equally disappointing start to the season considering their fixtures so far. The Saints have taken just two points, with 1-1 draws at home to Watford and Sunderland and a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United. Newly signed Nathan Redmond is the only Southampton player to be in the double figures for points earnt so far this season, and most of his points came from the opening match where he scored Southampton’s only goal. Jay Rodriguez trails close behind him on points thanks to his equalising goal against Sunderland after coming on late as a substitute – he hasn’t received much game time otherwise. With no clean sheets recorded and a fixture away to Arsenal this weekend, we don’t expect things to get much better for Southampton.
Kasper Schmeichel / Leicester City defenders
Claudio Ranieri has stated that Kasper Schmeichel should be fit before the next match after he was subbed off injured against Swansea City last time out – goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler would step up to be his replacement if he’s not fit in time. While Leicester City did keep a clean sheet against Arsenal in their second match, they looked vunerable against Hull and Swansea in their other two. Leicester face Liverpool away this Saturday. While the Reds have had some inconsistencies over the start of their season, Klopp’s high pressure attacking football style, which often leaves their opponents without a clean sheet, will no doubt make this a difficult fixture for the reigning champions.
Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Danny Rose (Tottenham), and Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke)
Luke Shaw, Danny Rose, and Mame Biram Diouf are the latest doubtfuls ahead of Gameweek 4, though there are, of course, plenty of other current injuries from past gameweeks to be aware of. Leaving doubtful players in your lineup is a gamble, but it can sometimes have its reward. If you choose to leave them in your lineup and take the risk that they’ll be fit in time then make sure to order your benched players. If a player doesn’t feature, your more valueable players will automatically be subbed on once all matches are over.
Free Entry – Win Weekly Prizes!
FST Fantasy Football League!
— Football Super Tips (@FootySuperTips) 8 August 2016