Team News

Line-Up Lessons – Gameweek 4 – Part Two

Slaven Bilic switches to three at the back and Andy Carroll up top to get West Ham’s season finally up and running, while Paul Clement goes the other way with Swansea City and suffers as a result.

Jose Mourinho tinkers at Man United, Mauricio Pochettino sticks with Kieran Trippier but hands a first start to Davinson Sanchez, with a number of other newcomers also making their Premier League debuts for their respective teams.

Here’s the second part of our look at Gameweek 4’s line-ups – the first can be found here.

Huddersfield Town

Starting XI: Lossl; Smith, Jorgensen, Schindler, Lowe (Malone 63); Mooy, Billing (Depoitre 83); Kachunga (Sabiri 75), Ince, van La Parra; Mounie. Subs not used: Coleman, Williams, Hadergjonaj, Hefele.

  • What we saw: David Wagner named an unchanged starting XI, sticking with the usual 4-2-3-1 formation. He handed a Premier League debut to Abdelhamid Sabiri during the second half and switched to a 4-4-2 late on, with fellow substitute Laurent Depoitre joining Steve Mounie in attack.
  • What we learned: While the Terriers suffered a setback at the London Stadium, it’s unlikely that Wagner will make too many changes for the home meeting with Leicester City on Saturday. Scott Malone did replace Chris Lowe at left-back and may perhaps push for a start against the Foxes. Sabiri provides a different option in the attacking midfield positions and could come into contention, given Huddersfield have failed to sore in their last two matches.

Current Status: Settled
Risk Areas: Left-back, attacking midfield

Manchester United

Starting XI: De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Bailly, Darmain; Herrera (Martial 72), Matic, Pogba; Mkhitaryan (Lingard 84), Lukaku, Rashford (Mata 72). Subs not used: Romero, Smalling, Blind, Carrick.

  • What we saw: Jose Mourinho decided to hand first starts of the season to Matteo Darmian and Ander Herrera, with Daley Blind and Juan Mata making way. In attack, Marcus Rashford replaced Anthony Martial, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan operating wider on the right in a 4-3-3 formation. Herrera joined Nemanja Matic in central midfield, freeing up Paul Pogba for a more advanced role. With the match level at 2-2, Mourinho switched to a more attacking 4-2-3-1 late on, following the introductions of Martial and Mata.
  • What we learned: After dropping points for the first time this season, and with a home encounter with Everton up next, Mourinho would seem set to revert to the 4-2-3-1 on Sunday. Rotation is possible on the left wing, with Martial a viable starter in place of Rashford. At left-back, Blind started in Europe, so Darmian could keep his start and changes in central defence are unlikely, with both Phil Jones and Eric Bailly suspended for tonight’s tie. Marouane Fellaini missed the match due to a calf injury, but returned tonight against Basel. In the light of Paul Pogba’s first half injury, he will vie with Herrera for a start in midfield against Everton.

Current Status: Fairly Settled
Risk Areas: Left-back, central midfield, flanks

Newcastle United

Starting XI: Elliott; Manquillo, Clark, Lascelles, Gamez; Hayden (Diame 69), Merino; Ritchie, Perez, Murphy (Atsu 59); Joselu (Gayle 78). Subs not used: Shelvey, Lejeune, Yedlin, Woodman.

  • What we saw: The Magpies lined up in the usual 4-4-1-1 formation, with Jesus Gamez taking over from the injured Chancel Mbemba at left-back. On the left wing, Jacob Murphy was surprisingly favoured over Christian Atsu who was presumably rested due to international exertions with Ghana.
  • What we learned: Following a second successive victory, the bulk of the starting XI should remain unchanged for the home clash against Stoke City on Saturday. Atsu may come into contention for a recall in place of Murphy, while both Florian Lejeune and DeAndre Yedlin were back on the bench following injuries. But the Magpies kept a clean sheet at the Liberty Stadium so the pair may have to be patient to break back into the starting XI.

Current Status: Settled
Risk Areas: Full-backs, central defenders, left wing


Starting XI: Forster; Soares, Stephens, Hoedt, Bertrand; Davis, Romeu; Boufal (Austin 71), Ward-Prowse (Tadic 46), Redmond; Gabbiadini (Long 69). Subs not used: McCarthy; Yoshida, McQueen, Lemina.

  • What we saw: Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino decided to make changes for the home encounter against Watford, with Wesley Hoedt getting a start in central defence at the expense of Maya Yoshida, while James Ward-Prowse and Sofiane Boufal replaced Mario Lemina and Dusan Tadic. They joined Nathan Redmond in the attacking midfield positions in the 4-2-3-1 formation. Southampton ended the match in a 4-4-2, with substitutes Charlie Austin and Shane Long combining in attack and Tadic stationed on the right wing.
  • What we learned: Pellegrino’s selection looks to have been influenced by international commitments, with Yoshida, Lemina and Tadic all heavily involved for their countries. So Yoshida may well come back into contention for a start against Crystal Palace on Saturday, at the expense of either Stephens or Hoedt. Virgil van Dijk could also be an option, although Pellegrino may leave out the Dutch defender for another week as he continues to build up his match fitness. The Dutchman did play 90 minutes for the U23s last night, though. Lemina should earn a recall in midfield, perhaps at the expense of Ward-Prowse. Tadic also looks to have a good chance of replacing Boufal, while Austin and Long are possible alternatives for Manolo Gabbiadini.

Current Status: Slightly Unsettled
Risk Areas: Central defenders, central midfield, attacking midfield, lone striker

Stoke City

Starting XI: Butland; Zouma, Cameron (Martins Indi 46), Wimmer; Diouf, Allen, Fletcher, Pieters; Shaqiri, Jese (Berahino 75), Choupo-Moting. Subs not used: Grant, Tymon, Sobhi, Adam, Crouch.

  • What we saw: Kevin Wimmer was handed his Potters debut in place of the injured Ryan Shawcross, while Geoff Cameron was favoured over Bruno Martins Indi in the three-man defence. Kurt Zouma and Mame Biram Diouf shrugged off knocks to start at centre-back and right wing-back respectively in the 3-4-3 formation. Jese was used as the central striker, with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scoring twice from the left.
  • What we learned: Cameron was substituted at half-time due, reportedly due to a hamstring problem, and is set to miss Saturday’s trip to Newcastle. Martins Indi is likely to take his place in the back three, with the rest of the Stoke side perhaps unchanged. Shawcross remains a major doubt due to a fresh back injury.

Current Status: Settled
Risk Areas: Central defenders

Swansea City

Starting XI: Fabianski; Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson; Sanches (Bony 69), Clucas, Carroll (Narsingh 85); Fer; Ayew, Abraham. Subs not used: Van der Hoorn, Nordfeldt, Routledge, Rangel, Roque Mesa.

  • What we saw: Having played with a three-man defence for the last two matches, Swans head coach Paul Clement switched back to the midfield diamond in a 4-1-2-1-2 formation against Newcastle United. Mike van der Hoorn dropped to the bench, with Renato Sanches handed a Premier League debut on the right of the diamond. Sanches did swap with Leroy Fer in the second half, though, moving to the tip of the diamond, before being replaced by Wilfried Bony. Ayew then took over the No 10 role, before shifting to the left in a 4-2-4 formation once Luciano Narsingh was brought on down the right flank.
  • What we learned: While Clement decided to change systems on Sunday, the fact the Swans travel to take on Spurs in Gameweek 5 suggests a switch back to a 3-1-4-2 may well be on the cards. Van der Hoorn could return, with Sanches appearing the most likely of the midfield quartet to drop to the bench. Bony provides a different option in attack, although the pace of Ayew and Tammy Abraham on the counter-attack may be preferred at Wembley.

Current Status: Slightly Unsettled
Risk Areas: Central defenders, central midfield, forwards

Tottenham Hotspur

Starting XI: Lloris; Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Trippier, Dier, Davies; Sissoko (Winks 78), Alli, Eriksen (Dembele 71); Kane (Son Heung-min 85). Subs not used: Vorm, Aurier, Walker-Peters, Llorente.

  • What we saw: Mauricio Pochettino opted for a 3-3-3-1 system against Everton, with Davinson Sanchez handed a first start in central defence. Kieran Trippier was preferred to Serge Aurier at right wing-back, while Moussa Sissoko joined Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen in the attacking midfield positions. The Spurs boss shored things up in midfield by bringing on Mousa Dembele for Eriksen, while Harry Winks replaced Sissoko. The France international was suffering with a minor calf problem, believed to be cramp.
  • What we learned: Pochettino tweaked things at Goodison Park, but the strong performance again hints he could well favour a three-man backline in the majority of matches this season. If Sissoko isn’t available for Saturday’s home meeting with Swansea City, Song Heung-min could be a viable alternative. The more defensive option would be to start with Dembele alongside Eric Dier in central midfield. If Trippier were to start again against Borussia Dortmund in midweek, Aurier could push for a first Spurs start at the weekend. That teamsheet should provide some clues as to who will be favoured to start at the weekend, although due to his European suspension, Dele Alli looks nailed on to face the Welsh side.

Current Status: Fairly Settled
Risk Areas: Right wing-back, central midfield, attacking midfield


Starting XI: Gomes; Femenia (Janmaat 62), Kabasele, Kaboul (Mariappa 61), Holebas; Doucoure, Chalobah; Carrillo, Cleverley, Richarlison; Gray (Deeney 84). Subs not used: Karnezis; Success, Watson, Capoue.

  • What we saw: Younes Kaboul returned to the Hornets’ starting XI following injury, while Andre Carrillo was handed a first Premier League start in place of Nordin Amrabat, who has joined Spanish outfit Leganes on a season-long loan. Carrillo was stationed on the right of the attacking midfield trio in the usual 4-2-3-1 system. Jose Holebas returned from suspension to start at left-back. Both Kaboul and Kiko Femenia were forced off with injuries during the second half, with the former suffering a leg injury, while Femenia came off with an unspecified problem.
  • What we learned: Following another strong away performance, Silva’s side looks in good shape, although they do entertain Manchester City on Saturday. Should both Kaboul and Sebastian Prodl (hamstring) be unavailable this weekend, Adrian Mariappa may start in central defence alongside Christian Kabasele. Daryl Janmaat returned with a goal at St Mary’s and provides an alternative to Femenia at right-back. Further changes appear unlikely unless Silva considers a more defensive formation against Pep Guardiola’s side, with Etienne Capoue potentially an option to help stiffen up the midfield.

Current Status: Settled
Risk Areas: Right-back, central defenders

West Bromwich Albion

Starting XI: Foster; Dawson, Evans, Hegazi (Gibbs 57), Nyom; Barry; Phillips, Livermore (Morrison 71), Krychowiak, Rodriguez; Rondon (Burke 57). Subs not used: Myhill, Yacob, Brunt, McClean.

  • What we saw: Baggies head coach Tony Pulis decided to hand Grzegorz Krychowiak a Premier League debut at Brighton, with the Poland international joining Jake Livermore in central midfield, leaving Gareth Barry in the defensive midfield role in a 4-1-4-1 formation. Jonny Evans returned from injury at centre-back, with Allan Nyom shifting over to left-back. But after falling 2-0 behind, Pulis decided to take off Ahmed Hegazi and Salomon Rondon, replacing them with Kieran Gibbs and Oliver Burke. Gibbs played at left-back as Nyom moved flanks and Craig Dawson went to centre-back. Burke operated on the right wing, with Matt Phillips switching to the left, leaving Jay Rodriguez as the lone striker.
  • What we learned: After coming on for his West Brom debut, Gibbs is set to push for a first start against West Ham United on Saturday. Hegazi’s start looks seriously at risk, then, with Evans, Dawson and Nyom perhaps more likely to retain their berths. Gareth McAuley is also back in training and should soon be a factor. But the presence of Andy Carroll in the Hammers line-up may just be enough to preserve Hegazi’s start for at least another Gameweek. Chris Brunt and James McClean provide further alternatives on the left wing, with Rodriguez an option to lead the line in place of Rondon. Nacer Chadli appears unlikely to feature against the Hammers, after missing Gameweek 4 with an unspecified knock.

Current Status: Unsettled
Risk Areas: Defence, central midfield, flanks, lone striker

West Ham United

Starting XI: Hart; Collins, Reid, Fonte; Zabaleta, Kouyate, Obiang (Rice 90), Cresswell; Antonio, Carroll (Sakho 82), Hernandez (Ayew 64). Subs not used: Adrian, Ogbonna, Byram, Masuaku.

  • What we saw: Slaven Bilic opted to switch to a 3-4-3 system, with the fit-again Andy Carroll flanked by Michail Antonio and Chicharito in attack. James Collins, Winston Reid and Jose Fonte formed the new-look back three.
  • What we learned: After picking up a first win of the season, Bilic is expected to keep faith with the three-man backline for Saturday’s trip to West Bromwich Albion. Andre Ayew grabbed a goal and an assist from the bench and is a viable alternative in attack, particularly if Carroll isn’t up to starting two matches in five days. Marko Arnautovic is also available again following his three-match ban and provides another alternative in the front three. Mark Noble missed out last night due to a knock and is an early doubt for Gameweek 5.

Current Status: Fairly Settled
Risk Areas: Flanks

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1,196 Comments Post a Comment
    1. Wild Rover
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      5 months, 13 days ago

      Good call 🙄 I bet you deleted something to bottom me

    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    5 months, 13 days ago

    What to do with Atsu? Out for a hit with 7.2 to spend?

    BDavies Jones Stephens
    Eriksen Pogba Atsu Mooy
    Kane Lukaku Firmino
    (Suttner Hunemeier Carroll)

  2. Karan14 - (Balegium)
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    5 months, 13 days ago

    Can Mourinho drop Mkhi this week?

    Martial Mata Rashford
    Matic Herera

    This could be the Front 6 if he decides to.

    1. Bob_the_builder
        5 months, 13 days ago

        Fairly possible but unlikely

    2. Iceball
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      5 months, 13 days ago

      If WC...Alonso Davies 2x4.5. Sell Hunemeier before drop and buy him back since 3rd on bench and save money. Good plan?

      1. ArmchairCritic
          5 months, 13 days ago

          Might as well get a fifth playing defender. Also, don't plan on wasting a later ft for some marginal .1 price gain.

      2. Black Panther
          5 months, 13 days ago

          Who to sell for choupo-moting, Ramsey or Willian?

          I'll wildcard GW6.

          1. Pariße
              5 months, 13 days ago


          2. RossT
              5 months, 13 days ago

              Advice please

              A) KDB and Morata
              B) hazard and Jesus

              B around a million more but feels more potent?

              1. Pariße
                  5 months, 13 days ago

                  Definitely Morata and KDB. They dominate the stats.

              2. TallestJohn
                  5 months, 13 days ago

                  Already brought in Elliot, Davies and Vardy for -4pts leaving me with:

                  Elliot, Fabianski
                  Kolasinac, Daniels, Davies, Lascelles, Löwe
                  Salah, Pogba, Ince, Gross, Carroll
                  Kane, Lukaku, Vardy

                  I'm coming off a great week and I like to stubbornly stick to my medium-term plan where possible.

                  Feel like the only option I've given myself is to take another hit to get Pogba out if he's gonna miss a few weeks.

                  1. ArmchairCritic
                      5 months, 13 days ago

                      I think u can go 433 this week pretty easy and reevaluate who to get for Pogba/save 4 points.

                      U had Gross, that's gross!

                  2. airborneaksai
                      5 months, 13 days ago

                      WC draft V 3.0 Phew!

                      Managed to get in Both Spurs Superpowers

                      Lossl (or a 4.5 gk still deciding) eliott

                      Davies Jones Clark Naughton 4.0 Mn Def

                      Eriksen Salah Gross Doucoure

                      Kane Luka Morata

                    • Whits
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      5 months, 13 days ago

                      Best option for next 3 gameweeks?

                      A) Vardy (Hudd A, Liv H & Bou A)

                      B) Firmino (Bur H, Lei A & New A)