Lessons Learned: FPL Gameweek 3

In a brand new weekly feature, we’re going to be reviewing the Gameweek just gone by in order to pinpoint the foremost interesting lessons learned to take forward into the next FPL gameweek 

United and Spurs struggle to create 

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United fired 22 goal attempts at Crystal Palace’s goal but struggled to create clear-cut chances at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Jesse Lingard, in 56 minutes operating behind the striker, created just 1 chance, had no attempts on goal and had no penalty area touches.

When teams sit deep, United seem to really struggle to break teams down and create the better goalscoring opportunities. The 4-0 dismantling of Chelsea came about because they played on the break and were afforded space in behind.

I’d steer clear of them until they fix their creative woes, which could easily be solved by moving Pogba into CAM or even by having Mata there, a much better creator and technical player than Jesse Lingard!

It seemed a similar story for Spurs, who had 17 goal attempts but only created 1 ‘big chance’ against Newcastle.

Eriksen did not start again for some reason but with Eriksen in their team, they are a much better side, but right now, something seems to be going on between him and Pochettino for him not to be selecting the Dane for the starting 11 (likely the contract situation) so I’d be keen to offload Kane until we know more, as without Eriksen in that team creating, Spurs look very lacklustre in attack.

Salah provides a lesson in patience, Alexander-Arnold continues to provide value, optimism for Robertson owners

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It was documented that 456,599 managers transferred out the Egyptian ahead of GW3, as they looked towards Sadio Mané and De Bruyne to do the business for them.

Unfortunately for them, Mo Salah was on fire against Arsenal:

  • 11 penalty area touches
  • 5 total goal attempts
  • 4 inside the box
  • 3 big chances
  • 2 goals
  • 1 chance created

His excellently taken penalty into the top left hand corner and his brilliant solo goal that made David Luiz look like an under 12s player, cumulated in a 15 point haul (the highest scoring of any player that GW), ensuring that managers who sold him would be regretting it for some time.

Whilst Liverpool looked very dominant and in control against Arsenal, aside from a Pepe counter derived from a Henderson error, they managed to concede again, meaning no clean sheet in any of their games however, Trent Alexander-Arnold put in another solid performance from an attacking perspective.

The right full back put in 13 crosses against Arsenal – more than any other player in GW3 – and created 6 chances – only Trossard created more in GW3 with 7 – with 1 of them resulting in a goal for Joel Matip.

Those with Andrew Robertson should hold firm, as the left full back is still performing well, putting in 10 crosses and creating 3 chances in the game against the Gunners. Considering he doesn’t take set-pieces like Trent does, those are good numbers that should see assists soon.

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He’s also getting into the penalty area often (6 times – more than any defender in GW3), and is shooting more than last season, with 6 goal attempts so far this season (the joint most of all the defenders).

Value in Norwich and Chelsea assets, but steer clear of defence!

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It seems very clear from their opening matches that both Frank Lampard and Daniel Farke are going to attack with their teams this year.

Chelsea have fired in the joint second highest amount of goal attempts (55) of any team in the Premier League so far, whilst Norwich have scored the joint 3rd highest amount of goals of any team so far this year, despite playing against Liverpool and Chelsea in their opening 3 matches.

This is great news for us FPL managers, as both sides’ attacking options are cheap but are providing returns, making them brilliant value.

However, both sides sit at the top for goals conceded, with Norwich having conceded the most (8), with Chelsea right behind them with 7 goals conceded, and considering the attacking philosophies of the managers, it really does make both defences a bit of a Chernobyl zone.

Mason Mount (£6.2m), Tammy Abraham (£7.1m) in particular from Chelsea, are turning the heads of managers, after both have impressed early on. Mason Mount has demonstrated extreme maturity for his age and has taken both of his goals extremely well, as has Tammy Abraham.

Teemu Pukki (£7.0m) and Todd Cantwell (£4.7m) are the ones offering great value so far this season from the Canaries. Pukki has been electric so far, scoring 5 and assisting 1, gaining £0.5m in price in just 3 GWs! He’s fired in more shots inside the box (12) than all other players aside from Raheem Sterling so far this year and has an intelligence about his game that brings others into play.

Cantwell on the other hand, has provided 2 assists and a goal so far in his first 3 games, making a mockery of his initial £4.5m price tag. With Onel Hernandez out long-term, and Cantwell performing as well as he has so far, he should be a safe pick and one we can definitely start week in, week out as a 5th midfielder.

Haller comes into contention

Sebastien Haller came into the Premier League with high expectations, off the back of an excellent season at Frankfurt, with 15 goals and 9 assists in his 23 (6) games in the Bundesliga.

After a gruelling game against City and then a benching in the 2nd game, Haller started the 3rd match against Watford and performed much better, with 6 penalty area touches, 4 goal attempts, all of which inside the box, and scoring 2 goals.

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Haller’s next 9 GWs

With favourable fixtures coming and a reasonable price tag of £7.4m, Haller could pair nicely with Pukki for the foreseeable future should West Ham build off their 3-1 win against the Hornets.

Agüero reminds us of his FPL credentials

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After throwing a bit of strop when Pep took him off around the 65th minute for Gabriel Jesus in the game against Spurs, Sergio Agüero played 90 minutes against Bournemouth and was right at it, scoring a well-taken brace to serve us a timely reminder of what he can do!

As well as having 7 penalty area touches, 4 shots (3 inside the box), Agüero was top of the forwards list for chances created with 3, including a big chance created for Kevin De Bruyne, who’s curling shot inside the box just skimmed the outside of the post.

Whilst the majority are focusing on Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne for their City attackers, Agüero is going slightly under the radar at 19.2% ownership, going quietly about his business with 4 goals in his first 3 GWs.

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