Another inevitably underwhelming international break has finally come and gone, which means Fantasy Football is once again at the forefront of proceedings.
If you have been wise with your transfers, like yours truly, you would have saved your free transfer last week in order to have two switches to make this time around following the end of the transfer window.
Although it is advisable that you avoid new foreign imports early in their Premier League careers, there are a few prospects that you may want to take a gamble on.
Simone Zaza from West Ham United, Leicester City’s Islam Slimani and Shkodran Mustafi of Arsenal all seem like decent bets – or you may favour an old favourite eager to make a new impression like Christian Benteke, David Luiz or Wilfried Bony.
However, building on consistency is key, which is why no Deadline Day signings make it into this week’s edition of 3 to buy, 3 to sell…
Erik Lamela – Tottenham Hotspur
The £30m man has taken a long while to adjust to Premier League life but it seems like he’s finally beginning to find a rich vein of consistent form. Whilst big names from Spurs’ impressive 2015/16 campaign have failed to shine, Lamela is one player who stands out above the rest with his trickery and eye for goal. His next three matches against Stoke, Sunderland and Middlesbrough present some strong opportunities to get even more points on the board. The Argentinian could yet be Tottenham’s star of the season.
Gareth McAuley – West Bromwich Albion
An unlikely name heads the top of the best scoring defenders chart – Gareth McAuley. West Brom, although not particularly impressive in an attacking sense, have been well drilled by defensive mastermind Tony Pulis to shut out the opposition time and time again. Not only has McAuley kept two clean sheets this season already, he’s also a big goal scoring threat at free kicks and corners. A reasonably kind run of fixtures presents FPL players with a great chance to grab lots of points for a low price – definitely one player to keep in your squad throughout the season.
Nolito – Manchester City
With Agüero and his elbow set to be missing from Premier League pitches for the next 3 games, much of the goalscoring burden will be on the shoulders of City’s new Spanish acquisition. Nolito has impressed on more than one occasion despite having limited game time. Although Iheanacho will be expected to replace Agüero up top for the foreseeable future, Nolito appears to have cemented his position in Guardiola’s starting XI. Assists and goals are at the forefront of his mind, and his appeal is only enhanced by the fact he’s listed as a midfielder rather than an attacker. A tough fixture against City’s Red Devil neighbours alongside games against Bournemouth and Swansea will give Nolito the perfect opportunity to flourish.
Sergio Agüero – Manchester City
Don’t attempt to second guess this one folks – take Agüero out of your team now. Don’t leave him on your subs bench until his ban finishes; there are so many different ways that his £13m can improve your squad. Instead, don’t use your free transfer in GW5 so that you can make two switches in GW6, easily allowing enough of a budget to slot the Argentinian back into your squad. Agüero will undoubtedly be the top scoring FPL player this season, but one can guarantee he will definitely score no points until late September…
Paul Pogba – Manchester United
Many were expecting Pogba to play in a more advanced role for United under Jose Mourinho, but this currently doesn’t seem to be the case. The world’s most expensive player probably does need to get himself further up the pitch in order to be a more effective point scorer, and could certainly exert a more creative influence to proceedings from such as a position. At the present moment however, Pogba has as much chance as Marouane Fellaini at scoring FPL points. Although a few key passes from the Frenchman may mean he will grab the occasional assist, he’s unlikely to have a fantastic points-to-value ratio.
Virgil van Dijk – Southampton
With the Saints without a clean sheet thus far and with Europa exploits still to contend with, their defenders will be the ones most likely to take regular point hits. van Dijk has a relatively high ownership percentage and for good reason – he’s a great defender who’s able to grab quite a few goals when he gets in the right position. Nevertheless, until the Southampton teams starts to click under gaffer Claude Puel, any Southampton defender is a rather risky prospect indeed. Upcoming away fixtures against Arsenal and West Ham United seem unlikely to yield any defensive shutouts.
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