A lifelong Birmingham City fan, Tom relocated to Germany for five years after graduating from university, where his interest in the Bundesliga developed. He began writing about and betting on German football for FST in 2016. He's also an avid fantasy football player and closely follows the Premier League and European competitions.
Fantasy Premier League is back in full swing, as are the ups and downs that come with it, and after two matches things are beginning to take shape – some predictable, some less so.
Pre-season favourites Manchester City look unstoppable. Nearest contenders Liverpool look equally as dangerous. Chelsea, Tottenham, Watford and Bournemouth are all keeping pace, but the same cannot be said for Manchester United and Arsenal.
Gameweek 2 saw Sergio Aguero record the biggest haul of the season yet (well done to those of you that captained him), while Cardiff City keeper Etheridge recorded the joint second biggest score – another penalty save this weekend against Huddersfield Town would be a Premier League record. Which players will be pulling in the big points this weekend though?
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FST Gameweek 3 Line-up
GW2 Points: 79
Overall Points: 160
Overall Rank: 219,226
Total Players: 5,276,015
GW3 Squad Options
Sadio Mane (Liverpool, £9.8m)
Sadio Mane was a player that we (and many others) have had our eye on since the start of the season, and his performances against West Ham and Crystal Palace have only confirmed our suspicions. Mane has been arguably as dangerous as FPL favourite Mo Salah in both these matches – even though the Egyptian King is generally positioned further forward – and at almost £3.5m cheaper too. He also seems to find himself in many more scoring positions than the other Liverpool option, Roberto Firmino (£9.5m).
Mane has three goals, two clean sheets and five bonus points going into GW3 – he’s actually the top scorer overall in FPL at the time of writing – and he looks an absolute essential to every team going forward. The Reds look as dangerous as ever with Naby Keita pulling the strings in midfield and Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold providing the width. Liverpool and Mane WILL be scoring many more goals this season and you can expect him to be well worth the £9.8m as a long term investment for ANY fixture, with or without Salah in your team too.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal £7.1m)
Henrikh Mkhitaryan was the heart of Arsenal’s near comeback against Chelsea last weekend. Mkhi scored the Gunners’ first, provided an assist for their second, and earned the 2 bonus points in the eventual 3-2 defeat, but he could have had even more – we’re thinking he should have scored that attempt he smashed over the bar from just outside the six yard box. Anyway, Mkhitaryan’s total of seven chances created over Arsenal’s opening two matches is joint-top with Newcastle’s Jonjo Shelvey, but the Armenian midfielder is not just an output for creativity.
Mkhitaryan’s five shots on goal is level with team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who costs almost £4.0m more than him at the price of £11.0m. With strikers like Kane (£12.5m) and Aguero (£11.1m) giving us more in-form forward options, Mkhitaryan looks to edge Aubameyang as the go-to Arsenal player for their upcoming run of favourable fixtures – of course, the Gabon forward does remain another top option. Five of Arsenal’s next six matches are rated two in the Fixture Difficulty Ranking (FDR), starting with a West Ham side that have conceded six goals in two games. Get him in.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham, £6.5m)
After just two matches it would be fair to say that Fulham look generally more comfortable with the standard of Premier League football, so Aleksandar Mitrovic could prove a bargain option for Fantasy Premier League managers seeking a differential forward. He finished as Fulham’s second-top goalscorer in the 2017/18 season, despite featuring in just 17 Championship matches, and his stats as a lone striker this season are phenomenal.
He attempted seven shots on goal (three on target) in Fulham’s opening 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace and managed a further four shots on goal (one on target) against a tight Spurs defense, against whom he scored in their 3-1 defeat. His nerves should be settled after that goal at Wembley last weekend, and with few players holding up the ball up as good as Mitrovic, he should have some potential for both goals and assists against a Burnley defense that conceded three last weekend and three during the week in the Europa League.
Read More: 10 FPL Squad Templates
Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City, £6.1m)
World Cup winner Benjamin Mendy is living up to his name as one of the most expensive defenders in the world. After signing for Manchester City for £52m from Monaco, the Frenchman put in a few quality performances early in the 17/18 campaign before sustaining a season-long injury. His return to the City starting lineup at the start of this season has been phenomenal, providing two assists in a 2-0 win against the Gunners at the Emirates and another two (he should have been awarded three) in a 6-1 pummeling of Huddersfield Town at the Etihad.
His role in Pep Guardiola’s fluid flowing system sees him make very advanced movement up the pitch from his official left-back position – at times you’d have been forgiven for thinking he was a winger. Mendy’s regular overlapping runs on the left hand side and even through the middle at times, open him up for huge potential for both goals and assists in the future. At just £6.2m, you’re getting a defender that you’ll be happy to play in almost every fixture, not only as a way into the solid City defense, but also as a massive attacking threat.
Danny Ings (Southampton, £5.5m)
Southampton forward Danny Ings will probably be a player that most FPL managers will think nothing about – not many eyes are on Saints players at all from those not in the know – but he deservedly finds a way onto our list following his performance against Everton last weekend. On paper it just looks like he scored the only goal in Southampton’s 2-1 defeat, but his underlying stats show a lot more about how impressive he was – just one player in GW2 tallied more than his six attempted shots on goal, and that was Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero (9).
Unbelievably, no player has had more shots in the penalty area than Ings’ eight over the opening two Premier League matches, and Southampton’s 27 chances created so far is the third highest total in the Premier League after Manchester City and Chelsea. City and Chelsea have scored 14 times between them, Southampton just once. Perhaps the Saints have been unlucky, but Ings offers more than just goal threat – he’s the joint top forward for chances created too – and if Mark Hughes can get his teams’ fortunes to change, Ings should prove unbelievable value at £5.5m.
Read More: FPL 18/19 Budget Forward Options
Other GW3 Squad Options
David Silva (£8.4m) vs Wolves (A)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m) vs West Ham (H)
Callum Wilson (£6.1m) vs Everton (H)
Troy Deeney (£6.0m) vs Crystal Palace (H)
Marcos Alonso (£6.6m) vs Newcastle (A)
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