It’s the first-midweek matchday of the season in Fantasy Premier League, and here are some of the big talking points in FPL ahead of Gameweek 5.
There isn’t an obvious transfer to make in Gameweek 5 with plenty of players performing and most FPL teams filled with underpriced players from the big six clubs. However, one player who has underperformed compared to their price to start the new FPL season is Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo.
The Portuguese is the second-most expensive defender in Premier League fantasy football after Trent Alexander-Arnold but has not looked as attacking in the first four games of the EPL season. With Haaland coming in, Guardiola has requested his full-backs to tuck in and invert rather than bomb forward, and this has negatively affected Cancelo’s attacking output.
If he doesn’t get into good positions in the box, Cancelo is not worth the 7.0m premium you are paying for him as an FPL asset, and it may be prudent to transfer him out and use those funds elsewhere. The best value pick in defence right now is Arsenal centre-back, Gabriel. The Brazilian has scored the most goals amongst defenders since the start of last season (6), and Arsenal currently hold the best defensive record in the league in terms of xGA.
With City playing Nottingham Forest at home this week, selling Cancelo may not be the short-term move. But Gabriel does offer better value for the funds, and that 2.0m could be spent on upgrading a forward or midfield spot.
Pervis Estupinan (4.5M)
Pervis Estupinan has only started one game in the Premier League, but the Ecuadorian defender could already be one of the best value buys in the game. The former Villareal full-back replaces Marc Cucurella at Brighton this summer and will be the Seagulls’ first choice left-wing back.
Brighton holds one of the best defensive metrics in the league under Graham Potter, conceding just one goal and only 4.0 xG in the first four games of the season. Additionally. The Ecuadorian created the most chances in the game (3) in his only start for the club last weekend against Leeds, and he could be one of the best cheap attacking full-backs in Fantasy Premier League this season.
Brighton also have a favourable run of fixtures coming up, with Graham Potter’s side facing Fulham, Leicester City, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace in their next four matches.
NPxGi per 90
Salah (13.0 m)
Newcastle United (H)
Haaland (11.7 m)
Nottingham Forest (H)
Jesus (8.0 m)
Aston Villa (H)
Rodrigo (6.5 m)
FPL managers who captained Mohammed Salah last week got the short end of the stick as the Egyptian winger didn’t get a single goal or assist in Liverpool’s 9-0 win over Bournemouth. To make matters worse, Erling Haaland scored a second-half hat-trick against Crystal Palace to finish with 17 points.
Haaland is more likely to score more than Salah this week as well with City taking on Nottingham Forest at home, but the biggest question about the Norwegian over the mid-week fixture is the guarantee of his starts. Pep Guardiola went on the record to say Haaland won’t start every game when they play every three days, and a home game against promoted opposition does sound like the best time to offer their star signing a rest ahead of a busy schedule ahead.
Salah is more likely to start and play at least 60 minutes against Newcastle at home, and the Liverpool forward might be a safer captain choice this week. Gabriel Jesus is also a viable captaincy option in Fantasy Premier League this week. The Brazilian was unlucky not to return against Fulham at home last weekend, but the Arsenal forward has another favourable home fixture against a struggling Aston Villa side in midweek.
One differential option for FPL managers in Gameweek 5 is Rodrigo. The Spaniard is a midfielder in FPL who is playing out of position as a striker for Leeds United and has had a tremendous start to the new season, racking up .81 nPxGi per 90 so far this season.
Shivaan’s FPL Team Selection for GW5: Ward (4.0m) to Iversen (3.9m), Salah Captain
GW4 was another strong week for my FPL team, with a third consecutive green arrow and 75 points, taking me to an overall rank of 437,000. With my team performing so well and not many fires to put out, there isn’t a lot I can do with my two free transfers. The only three players I am considering transferring out of my FPL team are Aaron Ramsdale, Joao Cancelo, and Pedro Neto. However, each of those three players has good fixtures in Gameweek 5 against Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, and Bournemouth.
One possible move is to remove Pedro Neto and Joao Cancelo for Ilkay Gundogan and Pervis Estupinan. But those transfers don’t make much sense for this week considering the fixtures. I am currently undecided on what transfers to make, and if nothing concrete arises, my most likely move is to swap my 4.0m goalkeeper for a 3.9m one, saving 0.1m in cash to reinvest in the squad. Marginal gains.
As for the captaincy, I am sticking with Salah. I expect Julian Alvarez to start instead of Haaland for Manchester City, while Salah will get at least 70 minutes versus Newcastle United. Best of luck for Gameweek 5!