FPL Lessons Learned: Gameweek 7

Ricardo Pereira announces himself as an attacking threat

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Ricardo Pereira has well and truly announced his potential on the FPL scene, after a rocky start to the 2019-20 season.

The Portuguese full-back has now notched 2 goals in his last 2 games for the Foxes, and displayed a massive amount of attacking potential on Sunday against Newcastle.

Admittedly, the Geordies didn’t take the fight to Leicester City, but Pereira capitalised brilliantly on this by getting into brilliant attacking positions throughout the match, and almost playing as a wing-back, rather than the standard full-back.

Heat map for Ricardo Pereira vs Newcastle

With Leicester facing a run of 9 games after the international break, in which the only top 6 side they play is Arsenal (straight after a UEL week), it would seem like now is a better time than ever to load up on Leicester’s assets.

And, if you’re not already convinced about Leicester, 5 of those 9 games are at the King Power Stadium, which is where Jamie Vardy has scored 4 of his 5 goals this season, and where Ricardo Pereira has notched both of his goals.

John McGinn the main threat for Villa?

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After notching Villa’s first goal of this season, John McGinn has seemed an almost constant threat from the centre of midfield.

The Scottish international has 3 goals and one assist in his opening seven matches. Yes, it doesn’t really set the world alight, but there seems to be much more about him than just the goals we see popping up in the PL app every weekend.

McGinn seems to have an incredible ability to put a shot close from any range. He demonstrated this a lot in the first few games, and it looks like a skill that could catch even the best keepers in the world off guard.

The former Hibernian man is a brilliant attacking midfielder, and perhaps has been relieved of any defensive duties by the recent inclusion of Zimbabwean holding midfielder Marvelous Nakamba in the starting 11.

This means that the Scot is free to make use of his brilliant attacking prowess, and with Norwich next for Villa, there is more than a chance that Villa will score, and therefore that McGinn will be involved in a goal.

Hudson-Odoi hits the ground running

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Now, onto a player who is regarded as perhaps Chelsea’s brightest starlet – Callum Hudson-Odoi is showing no signs of a loss of form after his devastating injury in April.

The 19-year-old managed an assist in his first PL appearance of the season, a 2-0 win over Brighton, and followed that up with a superb cross to set up Willian for Chelsea’s winner at Lille on Wednesday night.

It might not be that Lampard feels the England international can start a full first team match yet (with no disrespect meant to Grimsby, of course), but with form like that, he’ll surely leap right into the starting 11.

This may mean, however, that Mason Mount ends up dropping back into a deeper midfield role, as part of a 4-3-3 formation, which is a common selection for Lampard as of late, while the other possibility is that Mount lines up in the central 3 of a 4-2-3-1, with CHO on the left side.

Either way, CHO stands at just £5.9m right now, which will surely rocket as he starts more matches. He looks more than good enough for Chelsea’s starting 11, he just has to carry the performances through, and keep racking up the assists (and goals!).

Bukayo Saka; a future threat?

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Onto another young prospect breaking through in London, we turn our attentions, finally, to Bukayo Saka.

The youngster has started both of Arsenal’s last 2 matches, seemingly taking up a role on the opposite wing to Nicolas Pepe, and he has definitely jumped at the chance to play for the Gunners.

After being hooked at half time against Aston Villa, Arsenal’s number 77 played 79 minutes as part of a front 3 at Old Trafford, and provided the assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s much-talked about equaliser.

During that match, Saka made 2 key passes, and would have had a goal, but for a deflection off Victor Lindelöf. He also tested David De Gea in the first half, with an effort that the Spaniard had to tip away from his bottom corner.

While Alexandre Lacazette seems to be nearing a recovery, it might soon be that Saka’s time in the starting 11 is limited, although I would really fancy this young prospect to be starting most of, if not all of, Arsenal’s league games until the Frenchman returns.

Saka notched 5 goals and 7 assists in 20 PL2 games last season, although he did only average around 58 minutes per match in the reserve competition.


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