FPL Team of the Week: Gameweek 3

In this brand new series, covering all LIVE games, team FPL Connect will choose their team of the week from an FPL perspective to help you plan your transfers/moves moving forward each gameweek

Introducing the concept

In team FPL Connect, we have contributors that range from university graduates in Sports Psychology/General Psychology, to former professional youth players (Spurs), to sports data analysts, not to mention some consistently high performing FPL players with collective best ranks of 1k, 2k, 9k and 11k.

We thought it would be interesting to, as a group, pick a TOTW (team of the week) from the previous GW based on a mix of the eye-test and any eye-catching underlying numbers.

We will be able to cover every LIVE Premier League football match each weekend and thus, will be able to give you the most insightful, and well-rounded view of the events each weekend, detailing who are the stand-out options each GW.

With our justifications and analysis to compliment each player we choose, you’ll be able to follow and keep up with the key takeaways every GW – as it’s difficult to keep up with every game – and will be able to use it to perhaps predict some bandwagons/help you plan your transfers moving forward.

3 writers each week from team FPL Connect will set our their justifications and analysis for the players from the matches they watched, giving you a balanced view of the events, rather than just one writer writing from one perspective.

Criteria for inclusion in the TOTW

For us, it’s not simply about goals and assists. We will centre our selections around 2 key points:

  1. Future potential of the FPL player regardless of points scored in GW.
  2. Price of the FPL player in relation to his performance/FPL points.

Some players can have a brilliant game, show plenty of potential to be a great scoring FPL asset, but are simply a little unlucky in the game in that they hit the woodwork or their teammates couldn’t finish their chances.

For example; we did a mock TOTW for GW1 which included James Rodriguez, who stood out in GW1, creating 5 chances for his teammates, but only scored 2 points, as Richarlison, in particular, was wasteful with the chances he got, assisted by Rodriguez.

There will also be instances where we include players that return less than others, but their return came in a match with greater difficulty.

For example; a low/mid priced asset playing well and scoring against Liverpool/City would be held in higher regard and would be more likely to be included in our TOTW than say, a higher priced asset scoring a brace at home to WBA/Fulham.

Basically, the higher the price, the more they have to do to earn a spot in our TOTW.

We all know about what Aubameyang, Salah, Mané, KDB, Sterling, Bruno etc can provide, it’s about finding those hidden gems that can get us those good/great returns for a lower price – this is what we’re hoping our article series can provide.

So, without further ado…

TOTW – GAMEWEEK 3

FPL Jess (DEFs/GK):

Illan Meslier (£4.5m)

Both goalkeepers in the Yorkshire derby were brilliant, but for us, the young Frenchman Illan Meslier edges it, with the clean sheet being a main deciding factor.

The 20-year old stopper took away all 3 bonus points at Bramall Lane, helping him to a total of 10 points for GW3, and he made 4 crucial saves in the game.

His most notable saves, however, came in the first half; firstly to deny John Lundstram from 10 yards out, before clawing away the strike of George Baldock with a strong left hand.

There was a corner in the second half which I felt he should perhaps have come for, and Leeds were very lucky to escape with their clean sheet intact, after that particular chance fell to Jack Robinson, who didn’t look wholly like he was expecting the chance to go his way.

No doubt the former Lorient man will learn from situations like that, but his shot stopping was second-to-none in this game, and he’s a worthy inclusion in this 11.

Timothy Castagne (£5.7m)

In a game where careless and tame defending was the order of the day, Leicester City’s wing backs were exceptional performers, and Timothy Castagne gets our vote once again, collecting 4 points in a performance which will be talked about by Leicester fans for a long time.

Playing as a wing-back at the Etihad, the Belgian was a brilliant attacking force, especially in the second half, when he got the assist for Jamie Vardy’s crafty second goal, after being involved all the way through the build up.

Defensively, he was solid too; he wasn’t dribbled past in the game, and he positioned himself so well to defend that I genuinely forgot Phil Foden was even on the field, until he was taken off. Even when Ferran Torres was brought on, Castagne neutralised him brilliantly.

Tyrone Mings (£5.0m)

A man who has become a defensive linchpin for the Villains – Mings has now got a goal to add to the assist he managed in GW2. The former Bournemouth and Ipswich defender gained 12 points at Craven Cottage, taking his total to 22 for the season so far, in just 2 games

And with 2 clean sheets in as many games, Mings and Villa are already looking much more stable at the back than they did last season. It was another commanding display from the England international, who seems to be a real organisational influence on Villa’s defence.

Like Castagne, Mings wasn’t dribbled past in the game, and he made 12 clearances and won all 3 of his aerial duels.

Mings does have the make-up of a future captain for this Villa side, and a proper captain’s display was capped off with a goal – an easy flick from a poorly-defended free kick taken by Conor Hourihane.

Tariq Lamptey (£4.6m)

Despite perhaps being outperformed by his opposite wing back, Solly March, Lamptey makes our TOTW for the second week in a row after another performance in which he passed the eye test with flying colours.

The fact he was fouled for the penalty which put the Seagulls ahead now means that he has an assist in FPL for each of his 3 appearances this season, and it would be silly to suggest that he won’t add to that total in the near future, given the form he is on at the moment.

His attacking runs caused no end of problems to Luke Shaw on the Man Utd left, and he initiated the break from which Leandro Trossard hit the bar in the second half, continuing his run brilliantly beyond Alireza Jahanbakhsh to leave Trossard acres of space on the other side.

In many ways, Lamptey reminds me of Victor Moses in Chelsea’s last title-winning season, in a sense that he defends very well in that wing-back role, but looks so much more comfortable when he’s bolting forwards to support or create an attack.

There were points in the game where he did appear a little bit vacant in terms of defensive positioning, but once in position, Lamptey wasn’t dribbled past in the game, and generally was a solid performer on the right side for Brighton.

Andrew Robertson (£7.0m)

It was a bit of a highs and lows game for Andrew Robertson, but he definitely picked himself up well after a horrible error which let Alexandre Lacazette score the opener in the game.

It was, in fact, Robertson’s goal which put the Reds into the lead, stabbing home at the back post from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross.

Robertson had 125 touches on Monday night, the bulk of which in the Arsenal half, and had a pass completion rate of 89.5%. The Scottish international also put in 12 crosses and made 2 key passes in what was a very good attacking display, having brushed that defensive error aside.

The fact Robertson is also taking more of Liverpool’s set-pieces definitely raises his appeal, and the performance he put in against Arsenal is one which will surely re-ignite the “TAA vs Robbo” debate for many FPL managers.

Simon (MIDs):

Leandro Trossard (£6.0m)

As a Man United fan watching this game it was a tough watch, as Brighton carved open our defence time and time again, with Trossard being the main threat.

Trossard had 4 goal attempts, 3 of which hit the woodwork and the last one, was a big chance from 6 yards out as the ball broke to him in the box, but under pressure, he had to take the shot fast and could only fire it straight at David De Gea.

He looked lively all game and really ought to have scored 1 of his 2 chances inside the area. The shots outside the box were fantastic efforts that had David De Gea beaten.

John McGinn (£5.5m)

The industrial centre midfielder John McGinn makes it into our GW3 TOTW after impressing in Villa’s 3-0 dismantling of Fulham, registering 2 assists.

His first assist for Grealish came from deeper, picking the ball up half way into Fulham’s half, dinking a sumptuous ball over Fulham’s backline into the path of Grealishs’ well timed run, who was able to finish it first time.

Playing as a box to box CM in Villa’s 433 system, McGinn had plenty of freedom/licence to push forwards to support the forwards and he did so to great effect for their second goal, as he pushed into the box, where he received a lovely pass from Grealish, laying into the path of Hourihane who finished off the move.

He registered 4 penalty area touches in the match, having 2 shots himself, 1 inside the area. At his price, and given his licence to get forward, he could be great value with a decent fixture run.

Mason Mount (£6.9m)

Mason Mount was without doubt Chelsea’s best player. Chelsea slumped to a 3-0 deficit inside half an hour, but going forwards, they were producing chances, and Mount was the catalyst to their comeback.

Only Harry Kane (8), registered more goal attempts than Mason Mount in GW3, and it was 2 of his 7 goal attempts that contributed to two of Chelsea’s 3 goals. Not only did he carry a significant goal threat, but he also created 4 chances for his teammates, one of them being a ‘big chance’ for Timo Werner, who could only clip the crossbar from Mount’s low cross.

The first, and the catalyst that sparked the comeback, was a terrific 25 yard strike that stunned WBA GK Sam Johnstone that much he didn’t even move for it. Mount picked it up inside on the left from Azpilicueta, and hit it true beyond the helpless keeper.

He registered 5 penalty area touches, and it was his last that proved the most significant, as he picked up the controversial knockdown by Kai Havertz (controversial because it did appear to come off his arm), and fired in a shot toward the far corner of the goal, which was parried by Sam Johnstone into the path of Tammy Abraham who tapped in the equaliser.

Jarrod Bowen (£6.3m)

West Ham’s right midfielder makes it into the final spot in our TOTW after West Ham’s quite incredible 4-0 demolishing of Wolves, in a game where the majority expected a Wolves win.

Bowen, excellently took his chance, running 1 on 1 at Saiss, after being released by the clever Fornals taking a quick free kick, where he used the defender’s body to bend it around into the keepers far corner.

He was then on the end of a Pablo Fornal’s shot that came back off the post and landed at his feet in the area to tap home for his second.

His xGI (expected goal involvement) of 1.25 in GW3 was only beaten by Kane, Vardy and Mané.

He registered 5 penalty area touches and cut in from the right hand side often, letting Fredericks overlap him on the right to provide the width. Once West Ham’s tough streak is over, Bowen could be worth a punt at a reasonable price of £6.3m.

Vizzy (FWDs):

Jamie Vardy (£10.0m)

Scoring a hat-trick away to Man City is no mean feat, especially when the forward only managed 21 touches that accumulated to a goal every 7 touches.

Despite despatching two penalties, Vardy earned them by playing on the shoulder of his marker and being able to get goal side showing how threatening he is inside the opponent’s box.

The second of his goals showcased his poaching ability with a brilliant run ahead of Garcia and an audacious finish which capped off a great team move.

Vardy’s instincts could be vital for FPL points whilst being surrounded with creativity from Maddison, Barnes, Perez and Castagne with two potential kind home games to follow.

Callum Robinson (£5.5m)

The new West Brom striker’s appearance in GW3’s TOTW is down to his two clinical finishes against title contenders Chelsea. His 2 goals from 2 shots on target gave him low xG of 0.16.

The first of his goals came from running into space and collecting a pass from Pereira, despite not having the desired first touch, Robinson set him self and rifled in a great finish into the far side netting with his weaker foot.

The second, coming from him pressing Thiago Silva into a mistake, put him 1 on 1 with Kepa and he cooly slotted it beyond the Spaniard.

Both goals displayed great attacking ability, one, a great strike from range and the other, composure and a nice finish however, he’s unlikely to hit too many of his first goals and won’t get too many experienced CBs like Thiago Silva handing him a 1 on 1, so whilst his GW3 performance deserves recognition, it might not be too wise to choose the WBA FWD moving forward.

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