The international break has allowed us another opportunity to provide some detail on our Watchlist.
It highlights which Fantasy Premier League players we think are worth monitoring for inclusion in our squads and can be found on the sidebar of our website.
Each option has various factors explaining their ranking which we have detailed in this article.
After looking at goalkeepers and defenders last week, it’s the turn of midfielders now.
Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) has to top the Watchlist for the next few weeks. The Egyptian has delivered returns in three of the first four Gameweeks and we can’t see much to convince his consistency will drop any time soon. Salah has registered more shots than any other midfielder thus far, has recorded more in the penalty box and tops the charts for chances created too. We’ve had to attach the factor of Unfavourable Fixtures to him as Liverpool face Tottenham (away), Chelsea (away) and Manchester City (home) in the next four Gameweeks. However, Salah still managed seven goals in eight matches in all competitions against those sides last season.
Eden Hazard (£10.7m) also has a strong case for inclusion hence his status as second-place on the midfielders Watchlist. The Chelsea man has registered an attacking return in every appearance so far this season, totalling two assists and as many goals in four Gameweeks. That sort of form couples very well with Hazard’s upcoming opponents, with Cardiff coming to Stamford Bridge in Gameweek 5. The Blues also travel to West Ham and Southampton in Gameweeks 6 and 8 respectively.
With Liverpool still one of the most ruthless sides in the Premier League right now, Sadio Mané (£10.0m) retains his place on the Watchlist in spite of Salah’s inclusion. The Senegalese international has proved an effective secondary Liverpool asset in the first four Gameweeks of the campaign, running his Egyptian colleague close for shots in the box and efforts on target. Like Salah, Mané has Unfavourable Fixtures attached to him.
The fact that Pedro (£6.8m) has registered attacking returns in three of the first four matches, without even starting in Gameweek 4, warrants his place high up on the list. The Spaniard has actually shot more times than Hazard this season, has registered more efforts in the box and has double the number of accurate shots. Considering those favourable fixtures and the fact that, at time of writing, Pedro is £3.9m cheaper than Hazard makes him very worth considering for Fantasy squads.
Ryan Fraser (£5.6m) keeps his place high up on the Watchlist in spite of doubts over whether he will play in Gameweek 5. The Scotsman missed out on playing for his country on Monday night but is yet to be ruled out of a home match against Leicester by Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe. In the meantime, that means we can focus on the fact that he is in the top five for chance creation among midfielders, has favourable fixtures and has two attacking returns so far.
David Silva (£8.5m) is our chief Manchester City midfield option right now. With just one attacking return so far we couldn’t afford him better form than B and of course, he does carry some rotation risk as one of Pep Guardiola’s players, however slight. The fixtures do continue to look appealing though, with a leaky Fulham defence at home up next for the champions. After that, it’s a trip to Cardiff followed by the visit of a travel sick Brighton side. Silva’s role in set pieces could be hugely important and the fact that he is joint-top for chances created with Salah.
Lucas Moura‘s (£7.3m) form warrants his inclusion as the top Tottenham midfield asset for now. The former PSG man has four attacking returns in his last three matches, hence receiving an A for his Form Factor. Spurs’ fixtures look neither favourable nor unfavourable over the next six matches with Liverpool and Man City book-ending Brighton (away), Huddersfield (away), Cardiff (home) and West Ham (away). Moura has to come with a Rotation Risk factor considering the advent of European football and the fact that Son Heung-min (£8.3m) is expected to return to the club soon.
Aaron Ramsey (£7.4m) replaced Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£7.2m) on our Watchlist after the surprise benching of the Armenian for Gameweek 4. By contrast, the Welshman seems more assured of a start in the Arsenal side for Gameweek 5 with a little less competition for his place. Ramsey may not have delivered any returns yet, but he comes with a Favourable Fixtures tag as the Gunners still have Newcastle (away), Everton (home), Watford (home), Fulham (away), Leicester (home) and Crystal Palace (away).
We continue to watch Roberto Pereyra (£6.3m) with great interest, and the next six matches will prove an interesting experiment on the age-old debate of form vs fixtures. The Watford man is currently the third-top scoring midfielder with 28 points accrued from three goals in four matches. However, the Hornets are set for a run of fixtures which, on the surface, look very tough. We have recently analysed Pereyra’s chances of scoring against tough opposition, with mixed results. A few more attacking returns should definitely shoot the Argentinian up our Watchlist.
A favourable run of matches is what largely underpins James Maddison‘s (£6.5m) place on the Watchlist. The Foxes play just three of last season’s top six in their next 15 matches and are set to get Jamie Vardy (£8.9m) back from suspension this weekend. A goal and assist so far for Maddison is to his credit but some punters may want to see some improvement in the underlying numbers before believing his output is sustainable. Maddison may be on set pieces for Leicester but only Wolves have had fewer efforts from such situations than the Foxes so far.
With nothing indicating Jose Mourinho will take him off Manchester United penalties, Paul Pogba (£8.2m) gets a place in the Watchlist. The Frenchman has two goals to his name this season, hence a B for his form. We know he can be inconsistent at times but the fact that he doubled his chance creation tally for the season against Burnley in Gameweek 4 shows what he can be capable of. Pogba has also had the same number of shots this season as Hazard and Mané, matching the latter for efforts on target and doubling the Chelsea man’s tally in that department. Of course, we must remember that Man United still have favourable fixtures, ranking fifth overall on our Season Ticker right now.
Andre Schürrle (£5.9m) earned his place on the Watchlist after building on his impressive Gameweek 3 tally by scoring against Brighton the following week. The German international registered 11 of his 14 shots so far this season in that 4-2 win over Burnley, which has him considered an outlier by some. But the fact that he still managed to net in back-to-back games warrants us monitoring him. back Schürrle also comes with the Unfavourable Fixtures factor with Manchester City up next and Arsenal in Gameweek 8.
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