Pro Pundit Teams

How formation changes got the best out of Salah and De Bruyne in Gameweek 17

One of the world’s best FPL managers, Tom Freeman, takes a closer look at advanced central roles for Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah in his latest Pro Pundits piece.


There are many ways to play Fantasy Premier League.

Some managers will be more aggressive in their approach, whilst others play a more patient game.

On Saturday, as Liverpool’s line-up leaked on social media ten minutes before the Gameweek 17 deadline, I saw an opportunity to make a gain.

The midfield was likely to be a two-man unit, with Jordan Henderson (£5.4m) starting alongside Georginio Wijnaldum (£5.4m), in an expected 4-2-3-1. 

Mohamed Salah’s (£12.2m) best goalscoring form has come when leading the line in a 4-2-3-1, with Roberto Firmino (£9.3m) positioned in the pocket just behind, and this trend continued against Watford, with the Egyptian not only scoring twice but also causing the Hornets defence problems all afternoon.

No player attempted more shots in the box than Salah’s seven this week.

The 2-0 win over Watford means Liverpool have scored two or more goals in 24 of their last 26 league outings. The 1-1 draw at Old Trafford and the 1-0 win at Sheffield United are the only games in which they failed to do that.

A Salah and Sadio Mané (12.2) attacking double-up, from Gameweek 19, is something I’m thinking about.

On Sunday, it was Pep Guardiola’s turn to shake things up. His favoured 4-3-3 surprisingly made way for a 4-2-3-1 (sounds familiar right?!), with two holding midfielders and Kevin De Bruyne (£10.3m) as a no. 10.

Unshackled, De Bruyne was on another level, and the most advanced Manchester City player:

De Bruyne’s 19-point haul, combined with Salah’s brace and a Sheffield United defensive double-up, contributed towards my Gameweek 17 score of 80 points, which has seen my overall rank rise to 50,107.

As I plan to activate my Wildcard soon, my next moves are essentially one or two-week punts, with Jack Grealish (£6.2m) and Adama Traoré (£5.2m) both under consideration.

Whilst there is a bit of worry amongst Aston Villa fans right now after several below-par team performances, Grealish still interests me, and I do think if Villa are going to score, he will be involved.

A slightly cheaper option is Traoré, who’s been playing on the right of Wolverhampton Wanderers’ front three in recent weeks. He’s a player who looks almost impossible to stop when he gets going and is also a bit of a differential, owned by only 5.4% of squads. 

Despite this, it’s worth noting that while an away trip to Norwich City sounds like a fixture to target, only Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City have given up fewer big chances than the Canaries over the last five Gameweeks. That suggests it’ll be a tighter game than many think.

Going forward, I’m also keeping Michael Antonio (£6.9m) in mind. Against Southampton, Antonio and Sébastien Haller (£7.0m) made their debut as a strike duo, in a 4-4-2, and thrived. The 1-0 scoreline could have been even better for West Ham United, had Antonio’s goal in the second half stood. It was the second time he’s seen a goal disallowed for handball in three weeks, having also had one ruled out at Chelsea.

Now, the Hammers have a nice break to refine the system before their next match at Crystal Palace in Gameweek 19.

So, here is how I’m currently set up ahead of Gameweek 18, with one free transfer and £1.3m in the bank. 

Grealish, Traoré, Richarlison (£7.9m) and Raheem Sterling (£11.8m) are all on the Watchlist, with one or two likely to come in ahead of Saturday’s deadline.

Re captaincy, I’m currently on De Bruyne, but Grealish is another candidate having returned 25 points over his last three games at Villa Park.

I currently have the vice captaincy on Dele Alli (£8.7m) but that will likely be removed. 

Alli does have more goals against Chelsea than any other club but I do have concerns about Spurs and their ability to control games with their current midfield options. I’m just not sure they’ll get the balance right when selecting two of Eric Dier (£4.9m), Moussa Sissoko (£4.9m), Harry Winks (£5.2m) or Tanguy Ndombele (£5.8m), but captaincy decisions will likely go right to the wire.

Thanks for reading… until next time.


Tom Freeman – aka avfc82 – comes onto the team to make most of us feel wildly insecure about our overall rank history. A long-time Fantasy Football Scout user, he has finished inside the top 1,000 a staggering five times since 2009.

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avfc82 https://fantasy.premierleague.com/entry/11211/history | https://fplgeneral.com/articles/elite-64-manager-profile-tom-freeman/”

1,206 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Jainica
    • 2 Years
    29 days, 4 hours ago

    PUKKI or JOTA?

    1. Amey
      • 1 Year
      29 days, 4 hours ago

      Pukki

    2. The 12th Man
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      29 days, 4 hours ago

      Like both.
      Jota, just

  2. dark91
    • 4 Years
    29 days, 4 hours ago

    People with a frontline of
    Abraham Jimi Vardy

    Would you sacrifice any of them to get Rashford in?

    1. 1569Tippins
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      29 days, 4 hours ago

      No

    2. Jainica
      • 2 Years
      29 days, 4 hours ago

      You could do abraham + Jimmy-> Rashford + Jota

      1. dark91
        • 4 Years
        29 days, 4 hours ago

        That is possible but I don't like Wolves' next 2 fixtures after this GW
        Would probably sell Jimi after this GW but not for Jota

    3. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      29 days, 4 hours ago

      No - think United could struggle next three

    4. The 12th Man
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      29 days, 4 hours ago

      Probably not.

    5. Team Cruel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      29 days, 4 hours ago

      Tammy. Chelsea have been shocking of late and fixtures aren’t as good as some think

      1. dark91
        • 4 Years
        29 days, 3 hours ago

        I agree. The problem is I have Mount too who I am planning to sell this GW. Not only are Chelsea not impressing but Mount has even more competition and chances of being benched compared to Abraham

  3. The 12th Man
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    29 days, 4 hours ago

    All set. -8

    Ryan
    Rico,Kelly,Lundstrum
    Son, KDB,Moura,Richarlison(c)
    Vardy,Rashford,Jimenez(vc)

    Button,Maddison,Söyüncü,TAA

    1. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      29 days, 4 hours ago

      Nice - another Rich captain!

      1. The 12th Man
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        29 days, 3 hours ago

        Yeh I’m wavering though. Early kick off. Not that it should make any difference.

        I’m at a memorial service during the early kickoff so will miss most of it.

        1. jia you jia you
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          29 days, 3 hours ago

          If Spurs were in the early ko and Everton in the last game I'd captain Richarlison! Silly I know...

          1. The 12th Man
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            29 days, 3 hours ago

            Guess it’s still having that hope that your captain will save a bad start to a game week.

            1. jia you jia you
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              29 days, 3 hours ago

              Yup, hate capping the early game when I plan a night in to watch three Saturday games!

    2. Jainica
      • 2 Years
      29 days, 3 hours ago

      Rich is NBNC for me, doesnt get bonuses and hardly ever more than two attacking returns per game, I think you're better off with Son or Rashford who mop up bonuses and are more reliable... just my 2 cents 🙂

      1. The 12th Man
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        29 days, 3 hours ago

        Thanks. Something to consider. Son was in consideration too.

    3. Amey
      • 1 Year
      29 days, 3 hours ago

      Biased © ehh 😉

      1. The 12th Man
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        29 days, 3 hours ago

        Just a little.
        Will probably take it off. If he blanks and we don’t win it’s a gloomy day.

        1. Amey
          • 1 Year
          29 days, 3 hours ago

          Ha ha
          You'll win i guess
          Not sure about Richarlison © though if I'm being honest 🙂

  4. the dom 1
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    29 days, 4 hours ago

    Bottomed....

    Who would you bring in for 1 week punt, Mane > ???

    a. Son (have Alli)
    b. Stirling (have KDB)
    c. Martial (have Rashy)

    This would be for free.

    Cheers

    1. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      29 days, 4 hours ago

      A

    2. The 12th Man
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      29 days, 3 hours ago

      A

    3. Team Cruel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      29 days, 3 hours ago

      Son is hardly a 'punt'. Go for him if you want to tread water. Go for Sterling if you want the higher upside but are willing to risk drowning in the process

    4. theodosios
      • 2 Years
      29 days, 3 hours ago

      Richarlison

    5. jia you jia you
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      29 days, 3 hours ago

      A

  5. Tamagotchi Massacre
    • 5 Years
    29 days, 3 hours ago

    Gazzzzz
    Targett, Rico, Lundy
    Grealish, Son, Alli, Cantwell
    Ings, Tammy, Vardy

    Chilly, Mane, TAA, 4m itb

    Think I got away with my 2 Saturday transfers afaik.

    Interesting food for thought with KdB and Salah blasting it last week. Got a couple of matches I reckon to assess whether a move back to those is the way forward. Certainly does look that way in the case of KdB, Salah less certain maybe.

  6. jia you jia you
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    29 days, 3 hours ago

    A busy day at work but almost the beginning of the weekend, yippee!
    Locked and Loaded, apart from captain who could be any of 8 players yet in my head atm!
    GL for the GW all and have a gud un!

    Henderson
    Lundy / Aurier / Rico
    Son / KDB / Alli / Richarlison
    Vardy / Rashford / Jimenez
    (Pope, McGinn, Kelly, Trent)

    1. The 12th Man
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      29 days, 3 hours ago

      Draw lots .
      Think anyone of them could blank or go off.

      1. jia you jia you
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        29 days, 3 hours ago

        I do that a couple of times per season anyway so might just do that mate!

        1. The 12th Man
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          29 days, 3 hours ago

          I think Jimenez should be your vice if you don’t captain him.
          Consistent flow of points to fall back on.

          1. jia you jia you
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            29 days, 3 hours ago

            he has been great, I call him my Mexican drip feed 🙂

  7. YoungPretender
    • 5 Years
    29 days, 3 hours ago

    GTG?

    Pope
    Aurier Kelly Lundstram
    Son KDB Mount Grealish
    Rashford(C) Tammy Vardy

    Button Tielemans Soyuncu TAA

  8. Old Man
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    29 days, 3 hours ago

    Lawro's predictions - no big scores as per usual..
    Everton v Arsenal 1-1
    Aston Villa v Southampton 2-0
    Bournemouth v Burnley 2-1
    Brighton v Sheff Utd 2-1
    Newcastle v Crystal Palace 2-0
    Norwich v Wolves 1-1
    Man City v Leicester 2-0
    Watford v Man Utd 2-1
    Tottenham v Chelsea 2-0

    What are your predicted scores? (please include the team names to make it easier to read.)

    1. theodosios
      • 2 Years
      29 days, 3 hours ago

      Everton v Arsenal 0-1
      Aston Villa v Southampton 2-0
      Bournemouth v Burnley 0-0
      Brighton v Sheff Utd 1-1
      Newcastle v Crystal Palace 2-0
      Norwich v Wolves 3-3
      Man City v Leicester 3-0
      Watford v Man Utd 2-2
      Tottenham v Chelsea 4-2

      1. SB8
        • 1 Year
        29 days, 3 hours ago

        CS for Arsenal? That must be shocking.

    2. jia you jia you
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      29 days, 3 hours ago

      Everton v Arsenal 3-2
      Aston Villa v Southampton 2-2
      Bournemouth v Burnley 1-1
      Brighton v Sheff Utd 1-2
      Newcastle v Crystal Palace 1-1
      Norwich v Wolves 1-3
      Man City v Leicester 3-1
      Watford v Man Utd 1-2
      Tottenham v Chelsea 3-1

      1. jia you jia you
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        29 days, 3 hours ago

        lol just noticed I fancy no CS!

    3. Eat my goal!
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      29 days, 3 hours ago

      Grealish or son cap is Lawros choice

    4. The 12th Man
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      29 days, 3 hours ago

      3-1
      2-2
      0-0
      1-1
      0-1
      2-3
      2-1
      1-2
      2-0

    5. Klein
      • 4 Years
      29 days, 3 hours ago

      Whoever lawro is thats a terrible prediction.

      1. The 12th Man
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        29 days, 3 hours ago

        Anti Everton hat on

      2. Old Man
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        29 days, 3 hours ago

        Mark Lawrenson, ex Liverpool defender
        https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50845219

    6. Amey
      • 1 Year
      29 days, 3 hours ago

      Everton v Arsenal 1-1
      Aston Villa v Southampton 2-1
      Bournemouth v Burnley 0-0
      Brighton v Sheff Utd 2-2
      Newcastle v Crystal Palace 1-0
      Norwich v Wolves 1-1
      Man City v Leicester 1-3
      Watford v Man Utd 1-3
      Tottenham v Chelsea 2-0

      1. Amey
        • 1 Year
        29 days, 3 hours ago

        Everton Arsenal 2-1 actually

        1. The 12th Man
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          29 days, 3 hours ago

          Injury time winner. Always the sweetest

        2. Old Man
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          29 days, 3 hours ago

          Love the Etihad stadium - just like 2015/16. Not sure we're going to repeat that but here's hoping! 😀

          1. Old Man
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            29 days, 3 hours ago

            *prediction

          2. Amey
            • 1 Year
            29 days, 3 hours ago

            You're too humble for current Leicester City fan 😉
            Your team is flying.
            Vardy is awesome in away games where he gets space in behind. At eithiad he'll get plenty. Just matter of finishing the chances

          3. The 12th Man
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            29 days, 3 hours ago

            Yeh it’s impressive. Only been there once.
            2004 I think when we beat City with a Tim Cahill goal. He then got sent off for taking his shirt off (2nd yc)

    7. F0oTBall GuRu
      29 days, 3 hours ago

      Everton v Arsenal 2-1
      Aston Villa v Southampton 1-0
      Bournemouth v Burnley 1-0
      Brighton v Sheff Utd 2-0
      Newcastle v Crystal Palace 0-0
      Norwich v Wolves 1-1
      Man City v Leicester 3-2
      Watford v Man Utd 0-2
      Tottenham v Chelsea 3-1

  9. FCRS BGD
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    29 days, 3 hours ago

    Guys
    Trossard or Fraser in FPL Draft?
    Thanks

    1. Klein
      • 4 Years
      29 days, 3 hours ago

      Trossard

      1. FCRS BGD
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        28 days, 23 hours ago

        Thanks

  10. unitednations
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    29 days, 3 hours ago

    No impressed by the Pulisic price drop but oh well, wasn't keen to make an early transfer...best moves here with 2FT and 0.2m and WC in gw20

    Pope -- Heaton
    Lundy Kelly Rico -- Taa Lascelles
    Mane Kdb Alli Pulisic -- Cantwell
    Vardy Rashford Ings

    A: Mane + Pulisic >> Sterling (c) + Grealish + 2m (to do Ings > Tammy gw19)
    B: Mane + Pulisic >> Son (c) + Martial + 2m (to do Ings > Tammy gw19)
    C: Mane >> Sterling (c) and carry FT and reassess next gw
    D: Mane + Taa >> Sterling (c) + Maguire + 2m (to do Ings > Tammy gw19)
    E: Mane + Taa >> Son (c) + Willems + 4m (to do Ings > Kane gw19)

  11. Hotdogs for Tea
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    29 days, 3 hours ago

    That’s it, no wasteful hits chasing points, locked and loaded

    Pope
    Lund PVA Aurier
    Son Alli KDB Maddison
    Vardy Ings Tammy
    Ederson Guendouzi Soy Clark

    #sayaprayer.for.PVA

    1. Amey
      • 1 Year
      29 days, 3 hours ago

      Very good team bro.

      1. Hotdogs for Tea
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        29 days, 3 hours ago

        cheers - no hits all season either 🙂

    2. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      29 days, 3 hours ago

      Be nice if PvA did come back but dubious.

      Think Ward is likely closer which isn’t bad news for Kelly as Ward may well slot in on the left - he actually displaced PvA for a couple of games last season

      1. Hotdogs for Tea
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        29 days, 3 hours ago

        Hodgson made some positive noises about PVA so I am hopeful he springs a surprise in the next few game weeks, not this one though ... had too many issues to waste a transfer on PVA with Soy, Lund & Aurier starting for me

        1. pingissimus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          29 days, 2 hours ago

          Oh missed that. Thanks

          Be great if PvA does return and not just for Palace - he’d be my Aurier alternative. Bit pricier but much better cs chances imo.

        2. Devo-McDuff
          • 1 Year
          29 days, 2 hours ago

          What were the noises? I brought him in for the game he got injured, doh. Was prepared to hold a while but finally caved for Kelly in this week, it was my first hit of the season as I did Cant to Grealish too. It was the lack of any sort of timeline on comeback that finally did it for me.

          1. Hotdogs for Tea
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            29 days, 2 hours ago

            Both Gary Cahill and Andros Townsend were missing, to accompany the likes of Joel Ward, Jeffrey Schlupp and Patrick van Aanholt on the sidelines. Roy Hodgson has now revealed that the duo are long term absentees and that former Chelsea star Cahill has had to undergo a minor operation. Hogson said in his press conference : "Patrick van Aanholt because it was a muscle injury, we're hoping that might not be quite so long. But Jeffrey Schlupp is a long term injury, Andros Townsend is a long term injury, Gary Cahill has had a minor operation and it will be a relatively long term injury and Mamadou Sakho has got one more game of his suspension."

            Latest here ...

            https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/patrick-van-aanholt-fit-festive-schedule-crystal-palace-battle-injury-crisis-a4317516.html

            1. Devo-McDuff
              • 1 Year
              29 days, 15 mins ago

              Thanks, doesn’t sound promising really so I don’t regret the decision. It’s a shame as he was set to be a nice differential.

              1. Hotdogs for Tea
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                27 days, 21 hours ago

                😉

  12. Sturridge Wars
    • 4 Years
    29 days, 3 hours ago

    Thoughts on trading mane out for 1 or 2 weeks for Martial then bring him back in? Or trade TAA for someone

    1. F0oTBall GuRu
      29 days, 3 hours ago

      do it

  13. Jet5605
    • 5 Years
    29 days, 2 hours ago

    Morning all, WC still intact and 1 FT with 3.1 ITB. Any thoughts on which GW I should WC and which transfer looks best for this week:

    A Ings > Rash
    B Mount > Alli
    C Pulisic > Son
    Other?

    Heaton
    AWB / Rico / Lund / Kelly
    KDB / Pulisic / Cantwell
    Tammy / Vardy / Ings

    Pope / Mount / Pereira / Mane

  14. Misteak
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    28 days, 17 hours ago

    would I be completely bananas to keep and play Pulisic for one more week?

    1. CroatianHammer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      28 days, 17 hours ago

      Yes, but I'll be bananas alongside you... 4-4 please...

    2. Hits from the Bong
      • 1 Year
      28 days, 17 hours ago

      Not at all, could return and he's already dropped in price