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. pls
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 7 days ago

    Which combo do you guys reckon scores more?

    A: Alli and Connolly/Soy
    B: Zaha and Mousset

    1. Edwardio
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 7 days ago

      B. Zaha is on fire and has great fixtures

      1. JustPark
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 7 days ago

        Fire is a strong word.

  2. Scratch
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 7 days ago

    Looking at WC next week. What would you do with 1 FT / £2.1m itb?

    Heaton
    Kelly, Lund, Rico
    KDB, Maddison, Dendoncker, JWP
    Rashford, Abraham, Vardy

    Tomori / Mane / Robertson

    Don't want to lose Mane as I bought him for £11.6

    Thinking just Robertson -> whoever, no standout options even for short term punts

    1. Athletic Nasherbo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 7 days ago

      Bigger upside is Dendoncker to Grealish if can afford

  3. RIDZ
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 7 days ago

    When is the last week using first wild card?

    1. SAY MY NAME
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 7 days ago

      before gw20 starts i think

    2. melvinmbabazi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 7 days ago

      The first wildcard will be available from the start of the season until Sat 28 Dec 11:30.

      1. RIDZ
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 7 days ago

        whoa thanks mate

  4. Edwardio
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 7 days ago

    Rashford or Son ?

    1. Athletic Nasherbo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 7 days ago

      Need to know the other player as one is a mid and one a forward.

      1. Edwardio
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 7 days ago

        Getting rid of Tammy for one of those two, don't matter with formation as i'm Sun DT....Rashfod, good form and nice fixtures but injury prone ???

        1. steven8991
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 7 days ago

          I ditch Tammy for Rashford.
          But I also have Son

  5. steven8991
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 7 days ago

    Play 2 from these:
    A. Aurier
    B. Soyuncu
    C. Kelly
    D. Otamendi

    1. Edwardio
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 7 days ago

      B,C for me

    2. JustPark
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 7 days ago

      CA or CD. Maybe A.

  6. KINGS
    2 months, 7 days ago

    If KDB is rated 9 out of 10, what’s the rating you would give to Maddison?

    1. ppv
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 7 days ago

      7

    2. Edwardio
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 7 days ago

      8

    3. Netley Lucas
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 7 days ago

      Generally? Well he's in the mid 5's ppm, so 7. 3rd tier.

  7. ppv
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 7 days ago

    Captain poll fail this week

    1. Bushwhacker
      2 months, 7 days ago

      Ironic as it would be the most interesting in a very long time!

      1. GOTHAM City F.C.
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 7 days ago

        You can still view the results.

  8. tafrère
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 7 days ago

    Cases for the following captains :

    Alli
    Son
    KDB

    Let's talk about it !

    1. Netley Lucas
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 7 days ago

      All decent options in a tight week. Maybe a good week to try something different?

      1. tafrère
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 7 days ago

        Who do you have in mind ? Vardy ?

    2. Bushwhacker
      2 months, 7 days ago

      Grealish
      Richarlison

  9. melvinmbabazi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 7 days ago

    What to do this week? 1FT 0.3 ITB

    Any Suggestions?

    Pope. McGovern
    TAA. Aurier. *Tomori. Lundstram. Rico
    Mane. Alli Madison Martial Cantwell
    Vardy. Jiminez. Rashford

    Thanks

    1. Lav
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 7 days ago

      Tomori out or Save

  10. Taegugk Warrior
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 7 days ago

    Maddison to Richarlison..?

    1. Lav
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 7 days ago

      Looking to shift Madders too, mainly to possibly fund Rash. I dont mind that move, Richarlison in form.

  11. Lav
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 7 days ago

    What is the consensus on Tammy v Rash?

    1. Balance
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 7 days ago

      Prefer Rashford if money is no issue

      1. Lav
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 7 days ago

        Ik we have talked quite a bit in last 24h. Feel like I need him, and Tammys influence will go down with Chels hard fixtures. Issue is dropping a Maddison to Grealish, or TAA to someone, or Jimi to someone.

  12. nibby
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 7 days ago

    Which striker would you punt for this week?

    1. osceola31909
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 7 days ago

      Kane

    2. Hot Toddy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 7 days ago

      Pukki

  13. ^Freedom Fighter^
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 7 days ago

    Guys your Captain ?
    Bench correct?

    Henderson
    Lund Aurier Target //
    KDB. Grealesh(v). Richarlison. Son
    Vardy. Pukki (c). Rashford
    ####
    Madison Kelly Pereira
    1.9 itb no Free

    Thanks

  14. white lightning
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 7 days ago

    Just after some advice please. I have already used my 2 ft's (Mane, Pulisic out & KDB, Grealish in). Which trade option do you like:
    (a) Abraham out - Jimenez in (swap back next gw) for a -4 hit or
    (b) Heaton out - Guaita in (play over Ryan) for a -4 hit or
    (c) take no hit & play as below

    Current team:
    Ryan
    Lundstram, Kelly, Rico
    KDB, Son (vc), Alli, Grealish
    Vardy, Rashford (c), Abraham

    Heaton, Cantwell, Soyuncu, TAA

    Thoughts & thanks.

    1. osceola31909
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 7 days ago

      That's a good team. C.

    2. goblin140
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Why are you even contemplating a hit. Easy save.

  15. osceola31909
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 7 days ago

    This is probably the toughest decision I have had this season. I have done well so far but last year things fell apart with the holiday fixtures.

    Ryan - Button
    TAA - Chilwell - Lundstram - Aurier - Kelly
    Mane - KDB - Maddison - Son - Cantwell
    Vardy - Abraham - Ings

    2 ft.. 0.9 in the bank.

    A. TAA, Ings --> Rico, Rashford (0.7 left itb)
    B. TAA, Cantwell --> Rico, Grealish (2.0 left itb)
    C. Mane --> Alli (4.0 left itb, 1 ft, but it would cost .4 to buy Mane back)
    D. Mane --> Sterling (0.9 left itb, 1ft, but it would cost .4 to buy Mane back)
    E. Hold

    1. baggs
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      sterling

  16. Disturbed
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 7 days ago

    Would you be happy with this team for the next few gws? 3m itb to get in Salah.

    Pope
    Dunk lund Rico
    Kdb son Alli Grealish
    Vardy rashford Tammy

    Button dendo soyuncu Taa

    1. osceola31909
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 7 days ago

      Good team. See how Tammy does the next couple of weeks. If he does not perform, you can downgrade him.

  17. YoungPretender
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 7 days ago

    Given that I will be using wildcard before GW20, are these moves worth a -8 as 'punts' for the next 2 GW's?

    TAA, Mane, Tammy, Greenwood > Maguire, Grealish, Kane, Rashford

    Would of course be wildcarding either one of Mane or Salah back in.

    Thanks

    1. Holmes (specialist in failu…
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Overall it looks fine. You can avoid dropping Abraham for Kane/Rashford and save 4pts. He has SOU next week as well.

  18. zhiren
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 7 days ago

    Anyone feeling insecure about Pope's upcoming fixtures? No money for Guaita and considering the following:

    A) Ramsdale
    B) Henderson
    C) Save FT

    1. Annie
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 7 days ago

      Bournemouth defence is rubbish, I’d stick with just Lord from Blades and save transfer

    2. baggs
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      save

  19. Hot Toddy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 7 days ago

    Painted myself into a corner this gw, fully aware a red arrow is imminent. Who to captain...

    A) Pulisic
    B) Vardy
    C) Abraham
    D) Ings

    1. Akshatjazz
      2 months, 7 days ago

      Ings

    2. Holmes (specialist in failu…
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Ings

    3. goblin140
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Tammy

  20. Akshatjazz
    2 months, 7 days ago

    Who to play ??

    Henderson/Pope ??

    1. Hot Toddy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 7 days ago

      Pope but it's a close call

    2. Holmes (specialist in failu…
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Pope

      1. Akshatjazz
        2 months, 6 days ago

        Who do you think I shld Captian??

        Rashford / Alli / kbd

        1. Holmes (specialist in failu…
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 6 days ago

          Alli

        2. Holmes (specialist in failu…
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 6 days ago

          Rashford is also good

          1. Akshatjazz
            2 months, 6 days ago

            I'm thinking for a punt to go for rashford as Captian and Alli as vice ??

            1. Holmes (specialist in failu…
              • 6 Years
              2 months, 6 days ago

              Should be fine

              1. Akshatjazz
                2 months, 6 days ago

                Thanks

  21. Binny
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Who to play this GW?;

    A) Hayden (NEW) v Palace
    B) Soyuncu (lei) v Man City

    appreciate any views...

    1. Akshatjazz
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Hayden

    2. Holmes (specialist in failu…
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Hayden

    3. Binny
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Thanks Gents

      1. Akshatjazz
        2 months, 6 days ago

        Anytime

  22. baggs
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    whats the 2 player best combo for the foreseeable? double liverpool, double city or a mix, and who?

    mane
    salah
    sterling
    KDB

    1. FF Red!
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Salah kdb

    2. Holmes (specialist in failu…
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Mix is better, fixtures not looking strong enough for double up

    3. Akshatjazz
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Mane & kbd

  23. FF Red!
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Captain:

    A) Son
    B) Ali
    C) De Bryne

    Thoughts?

    1. KINGS
      2 months, 6 days ago

      One of the Spurs

    2. the dom 1
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      KDB

  24. Inazuma X1
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Will Charlie Taylor start ahead of Erik Pieters?

  25. the dom 1
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Thinking of doing the following;

    Mane > Stirling (Have KDB) or Son (have Alli) for free.

    Then bring Salah back in for GW19 onwards.

    Thoughts?

    1. That Was Easy!
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Thought about this for sure. Salah surely looking as dangerous as in years past. My only issue is that it’s 2 FTs and going into GW21-22, you might feel the lack of transfers to fix other issues in your squad.

  26. That Was Easy!
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Might’ve felt the pressure of a bad week, but went TAA > Kelly to fund Maddison > KDB next week.

    Dropped KDB last week and don’t want to fuss about it because he costs more. Back into the team.

    1. Zico Senna
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      That’s what i did earlier, rectified an open mistake

  27. fcsaltyballs
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Who to captain:

    1. Jimenez (nor)
    2. Son (CHE)
    3. Alli (CHE)
    4. De Bruyne (LEI)
    5. Vardy (mci)

    Thanks

    1. That Was Easy!
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Going Son. Have Rashford too. MU just can’t break teams down when they need to. Son should get space. My only worry is a Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic midfield.

      1. fcsaltyballs
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 6 days ago

        Yep I’m on Son atm although have you seen Alli’s record v Chelsea? That said, Son seems the popular / sensible option this week... him and KDB

  28. Vasqujg
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Evidence that Pep Guardiola hates me:

    (1) I own Sterling and he gets pepped during the Watford 8-0 game
    (2) I don’t own De Bruyne he plays like a #10 with no limits to attack
    (3) when I own De Brunye he becomes a holding midfielder and gets out scored by McGinn and Ward Proswse over multiple weeks

    1. Amey
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 6 days ago

      1. After an IB when Raz played all games over it & previous gw'. It was almost everyone's mind that Raz will be rested

      2 & 3 are directly related to the rodri injury.

      Hard luck bdw 🙂

  29. Holmes (specialist in failu…
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    0.2 loss on Pulisic as well, exciting stuff! He has been registered in my alumni 😀

    1. Amey
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 6 days ago

      😀

  30. Live Lad
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Tammy to Rashford for a hit?