Welcome to the Fantasy Football Scout Guide to Gameweek 4, the final round of fixtures before the October International Break. It’s another 11:00 BST deadline before the action gets underway with Chelsea hosting Crystal Palace in the early kick-off.
This week’s Guide focuses on Manchester City’s enticing encounter with Leeds United, and offers advice from a selection of Fantasy Football Scout contributors on the best players for our FPL teams.
STOP PRESS: Sadio Mané (£11.9m) has been ruled out of Gameweek 4.
Diogo Jota (£6.3m) is Neale‘s tip to replace the stricken Senegalese in the Liverpool starting XI. The doyen of the Team News has made his informed line-up predictions ahead of the weekend matches.
Elsewhere, Jose Mourinho has been keeping FPL managers guessing. Having originally ruled Son Heung-Min (£9.0m) out with a hamstring injury until after the international break, the Portuguese later opened the door to an early return:
I don’t believe [he can play]. But because he is so optimistic and always trying to give us positive feelings and hopes, I don’t want to say he is completely out – because maybe he can surprise us.– Jose Mourinho
It makes sense just to go right down and if you’re in a 3-5-2 like we are Az, or if you’re not happy with your strikers anyway, you can get yourself a whole new forward line, get a load of attacking penalty takers.– Holly
It’s been a high-scoring start to the season but without doubt the headline over the first few weeks has been the number of spot-kicks awarded. Should we all be stocking up on penalty takers and turning our FPL teams into ‘Penalty FC’?
Neale took an in-depth look at the players we might consider targeting should the present rate of spot-kicks continue. However, a Premier League meeting on Tuesday resolved to allow referees “greater subjectivity within the existing rules” in regards to handball decisions.
Although the controversial penalty awarded against Eric Dier (£5.0m) would still have stood.
Penalties were also a topic touched on by Pro Pundit Lateriser this week. Following a disappointing start to his Wildcard in Gameweek 3, the three-time top 200 manager is considering saving a transfer ahead of the international matches.
As fellow Pro Pundit Zophar highlighted in the latest installment of The FPL Wire, some national teams are playing three times in the upcoming break, therefore saving a transfer could be a sensible decision.
And with three Manchester City players in his side, Lateriser is hoping for a green arrow to propel him up the leaderboard.
Pep Guardiola’s troops travel to Leeds United in what promises to be a high-scoring match. G-Whizz informs us that the Whites have just a nine per cent chance of a clean sheet but even that feels slightly generous given what we’ve seen so far.
Writing in Captain Sensible, Jan Sienkiewicz notes:
Unless Bielsa decides to play in a more defensive fashion against Manchester City, which I think is quite unlikely, we should expect to see plenty of goals in this game.– Jan
As a result, Jan feels that Kevin De Bruyne (£11.6m) and Raheem Sterling (£11.5m) can offer better explosivity this week than Salah and Mané.
Speaking in the Captaincy Video, David feels that it’s the Beligan who can deliver the bigger points tally out of the two:
I don’t think Man City are as dangerous when Sterling has to play the centre-forward role. So I also don’t think Sterling is as dangerous when he has to play the centre forward role because it’s not really what he’s used to… De Bruyne is playing this advanced role, his stats so far have been more rounded than Sterling – he’s created more chances than him: nine chances that he’s created and four shots on target, Sterling only with two.– David
Outside of the armband dilemma, Pro Pundit Tom Freeman has singled out Riyad Mahrez (£8.4m) as his headline differential pick.
Following his return from a positive COVID-19 test, the Algerian has completed 90 minutes in three successive matches. And he has the potential to deliver points as a goalscorer or creator, having registered 11 goals and 14 assists last year.
While an insight from Neale in his big numbers article offers further encouragement:
Fifteen chances conceded by Leeds United from their left flank this season, the highest total in the division from that side of the pitch. The Whites are up against Manchester City this weekend, and that possible weakness will be of interest to Riyad Mahrez (£8.4m) and, depending on the formation, Kevin De Bruyne (£11.6m).– Neale
The excellent form of Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.5m) makes him the most popular acquisition for the second successive Gameweek.
Zophar consulted the stats after three matches before making his transfer decision: the Evertonian joining for the yet-to-impress Timo Werner (£9.4m).
Fellow Pro Pundit Andy has a similar decision to make with German occupying a spot in his side, but is considering a move for Raul Jimenez (£8.6m) instead. While for Career Hall of Fame No 1, Fábio Borges, there’s no question of selling him just yet:
Werner is a world-class forward with two excellent home fixtures ahead of him. I think these two factors overshadow all the possible reasons to lose faith in him so soon.– Fábio
Concluding his research into the available forwards, the six-time top 5,000 manager, Zophar, agreed with Holly’s sentiment that 3-4-3 will be the successful formation this campaign:
The forward area certainly has more options than it did in previous years and I guess the only silver lining to the new handball rule is that it has made budget strikers more viable. I certainly plan to stick to my 3-4-3 formation going forward.– Zophar
Meanwhile, during her foray into the numbers, Pro Pundit Sam Bonfield has decided to give underperforming striker Che Adams (£5.9m) a stay of execution. She suggests that his expected goal involvement (xGI) of 1.52 makes him worthy of some loyalty. West Brom should offer further opportunities to score.
However on FPL Black Box, Fantasy Football Scout founder Mark revealed that he has shipped out the Southampton forward in favour of the popular Calvert-Lewin.
And using stats from the Members Area, Mark revealed how much Wolves have struggled this season – only West Brom have a worse minutes per expected goals (xG) tally.
Nonetheless, this hasn’t dissuaded him from adding Jimenez to his squad.
Earlier this week, the Best of the Community feature focused on Chelsea and player value to find the perfect squad. It’s also rounded-up all FFScout Mini-Leagues and Community Competitions.
And finally, for those interested in the Head-to-Head Leagues, the main page can be linked to here. The fixtures for Gameweek 4 can be found below:
Use the drop-down menus to show your league and division. To find out which league and division you are in, follow the instructions on the main Head-to-Head page.
Once the Gameweek starts, if you click on your opponent’s name you will be linked to their team on the FPL website.
May your arrows be green!