FPL Team of the Week: Gameweek 4

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 4

Simon: GKs and Defence

Alex McCarthy (£4.5m)

Sam Johnstone was particularly good in the game between Saints and WBA, wracking up an impressive 6 saves, and had he managed to keep a clean sheet, we’d have chosen him, but given McCarthy made 3 decent stops, contributing to a clean sheet, we’ve opted for him.

Saints have kept back to back clean sheets in the Premier League now and look a good bet for clean sheets, with only 4 teams having a better xGC (expected goals conceded) than Saints (4.56) despite conceding 5 to Spurs.

Serge Aurier (£5.2m)

In Spurs’ demolition of Man United, Aurier was able to wrack up an impressive 12 point haul from scoring a goal and providing an assist.

Man United were defending so narrowly, allowing the full backs so much room, and it was all too easy for Aurier to get in on numerous occasions, leading to 3 shots on goal, more than any other defender in GW4, 1 of which he buried beyond DDG.

With Doherty unimpressive early on, Aurier came in and took his chance very well which will give Mourinho something to think about going forward.

Aaron Cresswell (£4.9m)

No defender created more chances (4, 2 big chances) than Cresswell in GW4, as he went on to provide 2 assists in another impressive West Ham display.

His excellent delivery landed it perfectly on Antonio’s head at the back post which he expertly stuck away. His second assist was a rather fortunate one, as he cleared his lines forward, but good movement and positioning from Fornals combined with a very high Leicester line meant that Cresswell’s clearance put Fornals into a great position through on goal, which he controlled very well and finished.

Despite a rather fortunate second assist, Cresswell was good value for the 2 assists, with an xA of 0.18, only Chilwell and Bellerin recorded an xA value higher for that gameweek.

Ben Chilwell (£5.6m)

Of all the defenders, Chilwell was the most impressive I watched. Not only did he take his goal very well and provide the cross for Zouma’s goal, but in general, his play was excellent.

He was calm in possession under pressure and was able to create 3 chances for his teammates, resulting in the highest xA (0.32) of any defender in GW4.

With his quality of crossing, adding in the fact he takes corners and Lampard allows the full backs to push high up the pitch when in possession, Chilwell could be an excellent asset going forward.

James: Midfielders

Allan Saint Maximin (£5.3m)

The French winger turned in a man of the match performance against Burnley on Saturday night to the delight of his patient owners.

Saint Maximin was on it from the first minute. He was direct, sharp and most importantly he had the end product that he has sometimes been accused of lacking.

Both his goal involvements were real moments of quality. His jinking run and finish for his goal demonstrated his attacking flair, before a sensational cross gave Callum Wilson a tap-in midway through the second half.

He collected two bonus points to put the icing on an impressive haul. His owners will now be hoping he can produce a similar performance against a shaky Manchester United defence in GW5.

Heung-Min Son (£9.1m)

Son was a doubt for Spurs’ GW4 trip to Old Trafford, but he punished sellers with an explosive 18 point haul as Tottenham demolished Manchester United.

Son’s first goal was a moment of genius. Harry Kane was fouled by Harry Maguire. He took the free-kick quickly and slipped in Son, who capitalised on the sleeping United defence and dinked David De Gea to give Spurs the lead in the 7th minute.

The South Korean then returned the favour for Kane, setting him up inside the six yard box as Spurs ran rampant. Tottenham’s two star men have struck up an almost telepathic partnership that bodes extremely well for their FPL prospects moving forward.

From an FPL standpoint, it was Son’s third goal that impressed me the most. His clever movement got him half a yard at the front post and he got a faint touch to take the ball through De Gea’s legs to seal a memorable haul.

If Son can continue to add those kinds of poacher’s goals to the impressive finishes we have become accustomed to seeing from him, then I think he could be up there amongst the Premier League’s top scorers this season.

Jack Grealish (£7.0m)

I certainly didn’t think I would be writing about an Aston Villa midfielder this week, let alone one that scored 24 points against Liverpool. 2020 continues to astonish.

In all seriousness, Villa were full value for their win and Grealish was integral to it. There was a hint of fortune about a couple of his 5 (FIVE!) returns, but I saw enough to know that there will be more to come from the England international in the coming weeks and months.

Grealish is Villa’s talisman and although often starts on the left wing, he is allowed to drift inside to pick up the ball. This means he is difficult to mark and picks up dangerous positions between the opposition’s defence and midfield. This is evident in Ross Barkley’s goal to make it 5-1 to Villa. Grealish receives the ball from Barkley and then neatly exchanges a couple of passes with him. Barkley shoots and scores to give Grealish the assist, but could have slipped a pass into Grealish who had made a darting run into the box.

Grealish’s position on the left wing also allows him to cut in and shoot. There was a touch of fortune about his opener, but the intent was there, which is promising for his future prospects. His second goal was a composed finish that shows he has the attributes to become a real goal scoring midfielder for Villa this season. His price has gone up after the masterclass against Liverpool, but I am certainly considering bringing him in ahead of Villa’s trip to Leicester in GW5.

James Rodriguez (£7.8m)

There were doubts about whether Rodriguez’ undoubted quality would translate to FPL points when he arrived from Real Madrid this summer. However, an 18 point hail against Brighton certainly went a long way to quelling those doubts.

The Colombian took his two goals with real authority. The first, a controlled volley on a wet surface, illustrated his ability to make difficult skills look very simple. The second was a similar finish but again was more complex than it looked.

His assist for Yerry Mina’s goal also demonstrated his quality on set pieces, and I don’t think it will be the last time those two combine for a goal this season.

James’ involvement in Everton’s play means he is likely to bag returns whenever the Blues score. After his 12 pointer at home to West Brom in GW2, it’s fair to say he’s enjoyed playing at Goodison Park so far. Jt will be interesting to see how he fares as a wounded Liverpool side make the short trip across the city for a mouth-watering Merseyside Derby in GW5.

Vizzy: Forwards

Ollie Watkins (£5.9m)

Another GW and another hat-trick to talk about. This week’s treble hero was Ollie Watkins starring in Aston Villa’s wild 7-2 win vs Liverpool.

The first – from his perfect hat-trick – came from him pressing Adrian into misplacing a pass. As Grealish laid the ball back, Watkins had the freedom of Villa Park to steady himself and show the composure needed, one touch and hit with his weaker left foot.

The second showed great confidence in driving at Gomez at pace to then brilliantly rifle his effort into the top corner leaving the GK no chance.

The third goal showed more of Watkins’ poaching instincts – a headed effort inside the 6-yard box. Add to this an assist and two glorious sitters missed, we could be writing more about the Villan.

Harry Kane (£10.6m)

Tottenham’s talisman was looking sharp and back to his best in the 6-1 demolition of Man Utd at Old Trafford.

His 6th assist (in just the last three games), for Son’s first goal showed their partnership is blossoming once again.

Kane opened his account moments later with a brilliant one touch side footed finish with Son supplying the ammo on this occasion. A perfectly dispatched penalty rounded off a great day for the Tottenham ace.

Callum Wilson (£6.5m)

Wilson showed again to FPL managers the potential of selecting a differential in their squads by providing two goals and one assist against Burnley.

As provider, Wilson strongly won an aerial duel to chest down his assist for Saint-Maximin. As goalscorer, he made sure he was in the right place to meet ASM’s cross that was fizzed into the 6 yard area. Newcastle’s new signing then calmly slotted home a penalty.

With an xG of 2.10, Wilson took his chances and continued his impressive form for the Magpies. That’s just one blank in his opening four fixtures.

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