Gameweek 3 was another weekend of clean sheet wipe-outs. Nick Pope’s in the 96th minute against Wolves was the most painful of all. Only FPL would have you sweating over a Burnley clean sheet on a Sunday afternoon.
In the last two Gameweeks, there’s been just five clean sheets out of a possible 40. Managers who invested heavily in defence are getting frustrated and impatient with their backlines.
Patience is likely to be rewarded though. Manchester City (who have just one clean sheet so far) face Brighton, Norwich and Watford next while Liverpool (who are yet to register a shutout) play Burnley and Newcastle in their next two matches.
Shipping the likes of Andrew Robertson (£6.9m) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.5m) could come back to bite you over the next few games. Give them time to deliver, it’s only been three weeks.
Going into an international break is a good time to save a transfer if you can (unless you plan to activate the Wildcard during the break). If you don’t have any major fires to fight in your squad, sit on your hands this week and look forward to having two frees for Gameweek 5.
Injuries often occur during internationals (most of which turn out to be nothing more than a sore toe) but it is comforting having those two frees available if you do get unlucky with a few knocks.
Two weeks is a long time in FPL, a lot can go wrong. In my case, I’d love to ship the disappointing Diogo Jota (£6.4m) out this week but I value the two frees for Gameweek 5 more than any of the replacements I can get for the Wolves man.
Anthony Martial (£7.7m) owners may want to ship him this week if he’s ruled out of the Southampton game by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (his press conference is on Friday). If it’s not a long-term injury however, he could just be put on your bench for Gameweek 4 if you have a decent replacement to save you a precious transfer.
Mason Greenwood (£4.5m) is on a lot of benches and he could get a start if Martial misses out. The youngster played 34 minutes in the defeat to Crystal Palace last weekend. Hopefully, Solskjaer will have us Fantasy managers in mind in Friday’s press conference and make things clear, something like “Anthony is out, Mason will start” would be great Ole.
There is probably one player this week I’d favour bringing in as opposed to saving the transfer and that’s Teemu Pukki (£7.0m). If you don’t have him yet, don’t avoid him out of stubbornness. I learned that lesson during Leicester’s title-winning season refusing to bring in Jamie Vardy (£8.9m).
Pukki faces a West Ham side yet to keep a clean sheet. With his high ownership, he will hurt your rank again this weekend if he continues his excellent form and his price will continue to rise during the break. This is not one to overthink.
What is up with Spurs? They looked devoid of ideas in trying to break Newcastle down last week. It’s not a rosy camp at present which is not good for their FPL prospects. Until the Christian Eriksen (£8.9m) saga comes to an end, avoiding Spurs players may be the best thing to do. It’s very odd that Jan Vertonghen (£5.3m) is not getting starts too. He’s their best defender. Harry Kane (£11.1m) owners were left frustrated against the Magpies but I can see him doing well against Arsenal so it might be worth giving him one more week at least.
Like Spurs, Manchester United slipped to a shock defeat in Gameweek 3, turned over by Crystal Palace at Old Trafford. United assets were the talk of the town last week in Wildcard squads, but that enthusiasm has quickly died off. As a United fan, having watched the Palace game, Martial and Marcus Rashford (£8.7m) are the only two options on my Watchlist and even at that, I worry about where the service is going to come from.
Good luck in Gameweek 4 and enjoy the international break. It’s a good time to take stock of what has happened over the first four Gameweeks. Use the extra time to good effect.
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