Captain Tips For Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 4
The Fplbet pundits share their captain tips for Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 4. See who they’ve selected as their best bet, differential and defender captains.
If you take a moment to cast your memory back, through the never ending international break and to a time where Premier League football was last played on the weekend, you’ll remember a game week where the main captain picks didn’t go completely to plan.
The golden question was Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Sergio Aguero, and come Saturday evening those who opted for the latter were gloating their shrewd managerial skills. Sunday, unfortunately, didn’t go to plan either with Aguero failing to play a direct part in any of City’s three goals against West Ham.
It was a Gameweek that favoured the courageous, those who opted for the likes of Hazard (22) or Sanchez (32), rather than one of the seemingly unstoppable attacking duo. Following Aguero’s suspension, it seems to be a three horse race this week with Ibrahimovic, Hazard or Sanchez the main topic of debate.
Our brand new captaincy competition is off to a flyer. Each week we challenge our readers to share their three captaincy picks (best bet, differential & defender) for a chance to win a place on our writing team for the coming month. If the highest scoring user at the end of each month beats the Manager of the Month from the previous month then they will replace them the upcoming month. “With great highs come even bigger lows” seems to be the a fitting quote that represents the competition so far for TongueInLoftus. Last week’s champion managed to only clock up a measly 10 points in GW3, raising questions about his legend status he acquired in GW2.
Luckily, jamieFPL – also known as Mr. Consistent – was on hand to remove the flag from TongueInLoftus in a hasty fashion and hold it high above his head for the Fplbet team. His decision to captain Sterling was shrewd, unmatched and resulted in a whopping 30 points.
User Rm115 tied with jamieFPL in first place for Gameweek 3 after going against the grain and opting for Eden Hazard as his best bet captain. His defensive option, Leighton Baines, also added to his tally with an assist. Unfortunately, Anthony Martial was unable to provide difference returning just a couple of points.
NaturalFootyFan’s 20 points courtesy of a Branislav Ivanovic clean sheet was enough to push him into safety and make him the second highest scoring pundit last game week. Meanwhile, poor displays from CallumRead & InsiderFPL means we’ll be saying goodbye to one of them this week.
Congratulations to our August Manager of the Month: Jimmyo
Jimmyo tied with jamieFPL at the top of the monthly leaderboard after achieving a total score of 72 points from two game weeks. We’ve therefore welcomed Jimmyo to replace CallumRead (the lowest scoring pundit) on the writing team for the month of September.
The highest scoring user from September will replace Jimmyo, should he beat his score, whilst CallumRead has a chance to return to the writing team should he redeem himself by outscoring one of the pundits this month.
Captain Tips For Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 4:
Fplbet Pundit: @jamieFPL
Approach: A man of his statistics.
Best Bet: Ibrahimovic vs. Man City (H)
Differential: Benteke vs. Middlesbrough (A)
Defender: McAuley vs. Bournemouth (A)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is undoubtedly up there with the best modern day footballers, but that didn’t stop many people doubting his transition from Ligue 1 to the Premier League. Three weeks in and all of the doubters (including myself) have disappeared and he now finds himself the most widely owned player within FPL. So far he’s managed to score three goals in three games, and although he didn’t score last game week, he still managed seven shots and looked a constant threat. To fully win over his home fans all he needs to do is find the net against rivals Man City. The stage is set this weekend, as Guardiola’s City travel to the red side of Manchester.
My choice of differential last week was an absolute masterstroke if I say so myself. Sterling returned me a whopping 30 points with his brace against West Ham, which sent me top of the overall leaderboard. This week I’m trusting the services of Christian Benteke, who I’m certain will leapfrog out of the differential category (under 5%) after this gameweek. Anybody who watched his debut against Bournemouth will have seen the impact he had on the team and with a suggested formation change of 4-4-2 to accommodate both Benteke & Remy up top, I can really see Palace ending their goalscoring slump this weekend.
There’s no surprise that after three matches, one of the most secure defences in the league belongs to Tony Pulis. Two clean sheets from three matches has seen their defenders take a spike in ownership and at the forefront of that is Gareth McAuley. Big Gazza has so far managed a 6.6 PPG average with a goal sandwiched between two clean sheets. Bournemouth have only managed to create one big chance so far this season and are yet to score on the road (alright, you caught me, the sample range is only 1 match). Deliver the goods for me Gareth, I trust you.
Fplbet Pundit: @TongueInLoftus
Approach: Close your eyes and hope for the best.
Best Bet: Hazard vs Swansea (A)
Differential: Rondon vs Bournemouth (A)
Defender: Baines vs Sunderland (A)
Aguero out. Ibrahimovic to play Man City. You might recall that last GW I predicted that, for most of the season, FPL captaincy choices will boil down to one of these two players. Well, Neo from the Matrix won’t be bending spoons in my waiting room any time soon, because The Oracle I am not. One GW later, and I don’t particularly fancy either of them. My only joy in an otherwise terrible week for captaincy predictions is that I was right about Zlatan: Hull figured him out and kept him penned in. Like a huge, Swedish sheep.
Eden Hazard, however, cannot be penned in. For me – and I know I’m not alone here – he is the best player in the Premier League at the moment. Back to his usual self, but this time with even more incision and confidence. Combine that with the frailties of Swansea – a team unlikely to park the bus but defensively vulnerable – and you have a recipe for points that Nigella would be proud of.
Somewhere in the ether – probably, in fact, on this site – there are a lot of stats that support the widely-held belief that Salomon Rondon is the greatest forward of all time. I trust stats about as much as I trust to Sam Allardyce to lead England to another major trophy, but when the man has 3.8% ownership, they become hard to ignore. He’s scored one so far – which I guess explains his low ownership – but the man has had more shots than Jamie Vardy on a weekend in Ibiza. The point I’m trying to make is that I think Rondon is standing on the precipice of glory, in the form of one or two goals against a Bournemouth side still finding their feet this season. I know Pulis is Pulis, but even he’s aware that goals need to be scored in order to win matches.
There’s something about Leighton Baines that makes me think of a gangster film set in the 60’s. In my imaginary film, Leighton plays an extra, and he’s leant up against a wall, wearing a leather jacket with an upturned collar, smoking a cigarette. Maybe it’s the sideburns. Either way, Leighton Baines strikes me as a hard bastard. I’d call him if I needed someone “sorting out”. He’s probably a massive softie, but my conjured image of him has instilled a bias within me, one that gives me an inexplicable and totally unjustified amount of trust in his footballing ability and decision making.
Not that his footballing ability and decision making are poor. Quite the opposite, in fact. There’s just something in those sideburns that lulls me into a false sense of security. Those sideburns scream 3 bonus points. He plays Sunderland. I actually quite like Sunderland, contrary to basically every football fan I know. Sunderland have an uncanny ability to scrape results, and they have spatterings of huge talent dotted throughout their workmanlike squad. But I think Everton can keep them at bay, and if Baines is still entrusted with penalties, he could well rack up much more than just a clean sheet.
Fplbet Pundit: @InsiderFPL
Approach: Takes the occasional risk.
Best Bet: Sanchez vs. Southampton (H)
Differential: Benteke vs. Middlesbrough (A)
Defender: Souaré vs. Middlesbrough (A)
One of the biggest grievances of fantasy managers has to be the streakiness of Alexis Sanchez. One month he’s hot, the next he’s cold. It’s a cycle that has frustrated all of us at one point, but after getting off the mark last gameweek with a goal and two assists, the winger should be back to his best. Sanchez’s confidence will be sky high, which should bode well for his upcoming performance since Ozil will be ready for a full 90 minute match, and the return of Giroud will allow the Chilean to return to his native position as a left winger. Although Southampton are a decent enough side, they won’t be able to contain the in-form Alexis Sanchez.
Crystal Palace have long been crying out for the services of consistent striker and it now appears as if Christian Benteke is ready to answer that call. The Belgian striker was immediately thrown into Palace’s lineup and you could see the great effort that was put into forming a style of play that suits Benteke. At any given chance, the Palace wingers and fullbacks would try and loft crosses into the box for the big striker. All of those crosses only lead to three shots by Benteke, but the match should have served as the final tune-up as target man attempts to get his season up and running. With two matches at his new club under his belt, Benteke is now ready to revitalise his career.
This week I’ve opted to go with two Crystal Palace players, which is a bit of a risk, but I believe it will pay off this week. Pape Souare is one of the more attacking-minded defenders in the league and I believe that he’ll be one of the biggest beneficiaries of Palace’s new signings. The fullback loves to get forward and bomb in crosses from the left flank, which could see him collect a few assists now that Christian Benteke and Loic Remy have joined the side. The Senegalese international even lead Palace with 10 crosses last gameweek, two of which were key passes. Of course quality is more important than quantity, but as Souare becomes familiar with the new faces at Selhurst Park his game should improve, as well. Not to mention, Crystal Palace have a great opportunity to pick up their first clean sheet of the season against a rather dull Middlesbrough attack.
Fplbet Pundit: @NaturalFootyFan
Approach: Trusts his gut.
Best Bet: Hazard vs. Swansea (A)
Differential: Townsend vs. Middlesbrough (A)
Defender: Alderweireld vs. Stoke (A)
Eden Hazard is the obvious candidate for the armband, with Zlatan facing City and Aguero serving a three-match ban for giving Winston Reid the Fellaini treatment. The Belgian travels West to face a Swansea side who have conceded four times in the last two gameweeks. FPL is all about form and a player’s confidence and Hazard has an abundance of both at the moment. His form is second to none with two man of the match awards, six-bonus points, two goals (of course coming in the GW’s I didn’t captain him) and an assist. While the fact he’s attempted more dribbles per game on average (5.7) than any player in the league, is a clear sign that he’s brimming with confidence. Overall he holds the perfect ingredients for a big performance, and as much as I want Chelsea to lose, I’ll always enjoy watching Hazard.
Crystal Palace have only found the net once this season, but have managed to gain popularity through the arrival of Benteke. The physical striker has set his sights on replicating Scott Dann’s scoring prowess, but without the right supply, he’ll be as fruitless as he was at Liverpool. This is where Andros Townsend comes into play. Alan Pardew has fielded the Englishman on the left-wing, which is an obvious hint for the left-footer to whip the ball in at every opportunity. With Benteke’s aerial presence, I’m getting flashbacks of him powering in headers for Villa, along with Palace’s reliance on width, Townsend is likely to be amongst the points. On a more individual note, he is ranked 5th equal alongside Ibrahimovic for average shots per game (4) this season.
For my defender, I’m going with Toby Alderweireld. The primary reason being he’s a serious goal-threat, but I’m also backing Tottenham for a clean sheet at The Britannia. Alderweireld was part of the team who dismantled Stoke 4-nil in this fixture last season and I think he’ll play a similar role once again. Stoke have conceded 12 attempts from set-plays in their first three fixtures and Alderweireld has had most attempts (6) on goal of any defender. He’s seen a chance fall his way every 47.3 minutes, which is more often than Andre Gray.
August’s Winner: @J_owens (Jimmyo)
Approach: Play it safe.
Best Bet: Sanchez vs. Southampton (H)
Differential: Benteke vs. Middlesbrough (A)
Defender: Azpilicueta vs. Swansea (A)
Alexis Sanchez has long been one of my favourite players on Fantasy Premier League. He is one of only a few players who can, in any given gameweek, explode and bag himself a monstrous points total. With players like this, it can be tempting to get rid of them when they aren’t bringing home the points, but you can be sure the week you do, that’s when he will. This is the exact reason I (almost) always captain Aguero if he is fit, and in his absence, Sanchez takes the reins. Arsenal have improved in every game they have played, and with players like Cazorla and Ozil returning to the team recently, a home fixture against a far from convincing looking Southampton, I can see Arsenal having a good game with Alexis leading the team (from a FPL perspective of course, he was awful leading the line-up on the pitch in the opening games of the season).
As a Liverpool fan I have experienced in a one year period the euphoria of signing Christian Benteke; the hope and optimism around having a quality forward to deputise for Sturridge who would spend the season perpetually injured, the incredible overhead volley he scored against Manchester United, and then the long, slow, decline which saw him sold in the summer; let’s be clear, Benteke was not sold for lack of quality, he was sold because he did not fit into Klopps system. Benteke is a quality striker. With a team built around him, that plays to suit him, and with the likes of Townsend and Zaha capable of providing service, I think Benteke is going to have a very good season. Palance have not looked very good so far, but in my opinion they have a good team and it’s only a matter of time (hopefully this weekend) until their efforts result in goals, and Benteke is the man to do that.
Finally, my defensive pick is Cesar Azpilicueta. The golden rule of fantasy premier league is form over fixtures, but if there is one area of the pitch that fixtures mean the most it is the defence. A goal can come from anywhere, United could lose to City this weekend but it could still see an in-form striker like Ibrahimovic score, however an in form defence gets nothing in a loss (barring attacking returns which can’t be relied on). Chelsea have a fantastic defence, a great keeper, Kante sitting in-front of them, and a defensively minded Italian manager – what’s not to love about Chelsea’s defensive potential? When picking defenders, unless they provide attacking returns you will want one who is part of a solid defence, and Azpi covers that. Swansea have scored a mere two goals in the Premier League so far this season and their striker is someone I think is massively overrated. I find it unlikely that Swansea will score against Chelsea, and therefore think Azpilicueta is a safe defensive option for the captain pick who can hopefully add a nice 12 points to my weekly total.
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Best Bet: Any player.
Differential: Any player with less than 5.0% ownership.
Defender: Any defender.