Gameweek 3 Fixture Preview
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Back again with the preview to the week’s fixtures ahead and what you should be looking out for from GW3. GW2 gave us the expected, with the Aguero hat trick vs. Huddersfield (those who stuck with him after Fridays scare tactics) and the surprising, with Etheridge being the highest scoring goalie after his, oh so late, penalty save against the Magpies.
The success of a lot of the high scoring managers this week was the consistency of selection with the highest scoring players from GW1 doing well again in GW2. The likes of Mane, Mendy, Richarlison and Alonso helped managers rack up the points and the likes of these should pay dividends again this week when looking ahead to the weekend.
Let’s dive into the weekend’s fixtures:
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City
The early kick-off on Saturday seems to be relatively straightforward and given City’s impeccable showings in the opening two weeks; no one would be surprised to see the juggernaut roll onto another 3 pts. The interesting thing will be the selection Pep sends out. Big players such as Sterling and Walker were left out vs. Huddersfield. Aguero captainer’s would be right to expect another big week, and the likes of Mendy and Bernardo Silva will look to continue their early season form. For Wolves, they will be hoping to improve on a disappointing performance at Leicester, and have already shown they will be open and attacking. Neves will be a threat from set-piece delivery and could again be a good bench option for us all. Many FPL players have been frustrated at the poor early season form of Jota after his impressive season in the Championship. What better time for him to step up than against the all-conquering champions visit to Molineux.
Arsenal v West Ham United
Two defeats out of two sounds depressing for you Gooners out there but you can seek solace in the fact that these first two games as arguably two of the toughest fixtures they will face this term. The comeback attempt vs. Chelsea gave glimpses of the form they will need to show going forwards this season. The FPL community has responded in kind, with over 270,000 players moving Mkhitaryan into their line up for GW3 as of the time of writing. The Armenian will be looking to carve open the defence and lay on for his strikers, giving Lacazette and Aubameyang chances to pick up points as well. West Ham started well but faded badly vs. Bournemouth, and they were well-beaten at Anfield on opening weekend. Arnautovic is selected by 20% of FPL managers and is clearly the main man for the Hammers. If they are to have a good day at the office, Fabianski and his defenders will need to step up and give a good showing.
AFC Bournemouth v Everton
The Cherries came away from the London Stadium with a good 3 points and will hope to build on that this weekend. Steve Cook made his way into the FPL official team of the week with 14 points after a goal and assist and the lucky 6.5% of bosses who selected him will have been rubbing their hands. Fraser and Wilson have been the other key men for Bournemouth early in the season and give good potential value for money options for your team. Everton have also had a strong start to the season and had another good win on Saturday vs. Southampton. Richarlison was again a high scorer for the community and former child star Walcott mucked-in with a goal as well. An intriguing game with some on form players, so will prob be a stick-on 0-0! ha-ha!
Huddersfield Town v Cardiff City
Huddersfield will still be battered and bruised from their mauling at the Etihad but will already be targeting this game as a 6-pointer, in the early season stakes. They have faced the last two seasons champions in their opening two fixtures so will hope that this fixture will be easier to navigate. Key player Mooy was unavailable at the weekend, so Wagner will hope to return this weekend. Neil Warnock’s men will have been happy to get their 1st point on the board. They will hope there are more heroics from Etheridge in goal – the stopper has earned himself 22 points already this season. A big game even this early for two teams tipped for the drop.
Southampton v Leicester City
Southampton were narrowly defeated at Everton on the weekend but will have been encouraged that Ings got off the mark for his new team. The Saints are already under pressure given their narrow escape from relegation last year and their slow start this term. They will look to Ings, Bertrand and Redmond to give them hope vs. the Foxes. Leicester have had a good start to the season and picked up a solid 3 pts vs. Wolves. Despite having Vardy unavailable after his sending off, their new signings seemed to have settled well. Maddison and Perieira had big gameweeks and will hope to continue into this game.
Liverpool v Brighton & Hove Albion
Saturday night’s game looks on the surface t be a very one-sided affair, despite Brighton’s big win vs. Man Utd. Liverpool are very strong at home and Brighton have struggled away from the AMEX. Liverpool’s big-name players such as Salah and Mane will again dominate a lot of selections, but Alexander-Arnold is quietly going about his business and took the majority of corners and set pieces in the win vs. Palace, so could bring points with an onslaught from the Reds. Brighton will hope that Glenn Murray can spark them up front and that their energetic midfield can keep them in the game. The loss of Duffy at the back though could prove vital though, and you fear for the Seagulls at an expectant Anfield.
Watford v Crystal Palace
Watford have 6 points in the bag and are the early season surprise package and they will hope to continue their form at home to Palace. The early season form of Pereyra has been impressive and with both Deeney and Gray scoring against Burnley means they have given a few managers unexpected returns in the 1st two game weeks. Palace gave a strong showing vs. Liverpool and were undone by late goals and the red card to GW1 favourite Wan-Bissaka. His unavailability gives 21% of us a dilemma on who to select this week but with a one game ban, I don’t see any cause for a knee-jerk selling. Zaha is also well selected but hasn’t brought many points so far, so this might be his week to shine. The brief sight of the “German Messi” Max Meyer from the bench on Monday could point to this talented player getting himself involved and that could be the spark Palace have been looking for.
Fulham v Burnley
The Cottagers returned to Wembley and the scene of their play-off victory last weekend but were on the end of a good Spurs performance and left with no points. Mitrovic did notch his 1st of the season and he will be key to Fulham’s season. He has been the striker who has taken the 2nd most shots from the strikers in the league so far, so he has threat levels that make him a potential game changer for Fulham. Sessegnon has all the potential to be a massive player too but hasn’t had too many chances to show it so far. Burnley have been fighting on two fronts thus far and the fatigue levels could play a part. The big trip to Greece in the Europa League could give them the dreaded European Hangover like it did in their 2nd half collapse vs. Watford. Their strong defence sees the likes of Tarkowski, Hart and Mee being their top point scorers thus far, so the defenders could be the best ones to look at for your team this week.
Newcastle United v Chelsea
Rafa will have been frustrated that his side missed a last-gasp Pen to grab the 3 pts at Cardiff after being reduced to 10 men. The Magpies got their 1st point on the board and face a tough test in the rejuvenated Blues on Sunday. Sarri’s men have full points and look strong this season early on – Newcastle will need to be sharp to get anything out of this game. Lascelles will need to continue his good early form and the creative influence of Ritchie in midfield will see their best chances of a result. For Chelsea, they will look to stay in the same vein and the encouraging early season form of Alonso and Pedro will please the manager. Morata got a massive monkey off his back with his goal vs. Arsenal and Hazard’s cameo off the bench promises much once the Belgian regains full fitness.
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur
The final game on Monday is fascinating, but for all the wrong reasons if you’re a United fan. After the massive shock at Brighton, the Red Devils fans and Jose will be hoping for a reaction from the team. The visit of Spurs should give them all the motivation needed, but then that is the $64m question… Can this Utd team turn it on even in this big match? The big names of Pogba, Lukaku and De Gea will need to be in top form to give Utd the boost they are looking for. Spurs, on the other hand, will be quite pleased with 6 out of 6 with Kane finally, finally, finally – scoring in August.
Trippier’s return to the starting line-up and spectacular free-kick gave a boost to many shrewd managers on Saturday. The quality of Trippier’s delivery has meant Eriksen’s has had to share set-pieces, depleting Eriksen’s appeal while at the same time, boosting the appeal of Trippier.
Trippier looks to be an excellent prospect for returns at both the front and back – he delivered the most crosses from open play in GW2 (14 crosses), while despite being one of the most active shooters of the game week, Eriksen was one of the top 5 most transferred out players this week.
That’s all for this week folks,
until next week.
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