Hello everyone and welcome to the Football Fallout edition of everything you need to know looking ahead into gameweek 3, justified by a number of data points along with some expert opinion.
My principle is that every selection/decision has to be supported by numbers. With that in mind, this article will take you through GW3 key fixtures to target, players to target and my team reveal.
My fpl strategy is to target 90 points per gameweek. GW1 I got 93 points and GW2 I got 74 points (Falling short of the target by 16 points, which in hindsight, would have been met by fielding in Duffy whom I had benched). Therefore as the season progresses, it is a tough order to accumulate > 90 points considering GW2 points averaged 56.
To achieve the 90 points, I split the points according to match days. GW3 has two match days, with the bulk of the matches being played on Saturday. Therefore, on Saturday we can target > 60 points and > 30 points on Sunday. To meet our expectations, we need to target winning teams as our key fixtures and goal scorers or goal involvement as our key players.
- Aston Villa vs Brentford
Villa has a team xG of 2.32 against Brentford’s 2.60. Villa has a mode of 8 (This mode is the value that appears most often in a set of 8 fixture difficulty ratings (FDR) tools from various reliable providers that I use to determine the nature of the match) which indicates a very high chance of winning. Winning team: Aston Villa
- Newcastle vs Southampton
The reverse fixture results were 3-2 with goals from J. Willock, Almiron, James Ward and Che Adams. Newcastle has a team xG of 2.31 against Southampton’s 1.17 and the FDR carries a mode of 4 which shows both teams will score. Callum Wilson, their current main man has an xG of 1.38 which is higher than Southampton’s team xG. Winning team: Newcastle
- Norwich vs Leicester
Leicester haven’t been fluid lately, however Norwich has been worse. This match has Leicester as one of the highest clean sheets this gameweek at 0.55. Leicester has a mode of 7 which indicates a high chance of winning. Winning team: Leicester
- Westham vs Crystal Palace
The reverse fixture results were 1-1 but given the current form, the high flying hammers have been excellent and are destroying teams, so far scoring 8 goals in 2 games. Coming from 2 wins in a row, they face a Crystal Palace side that is yet to win. This entitles them to the highest xG of 5.3 and a CS of 0.45. Crystal Palace’ team xG of 0.93 indicates a poor attack form and implies the hammers will maintain a clean sheet. Winning team: Westham
- Liverpool vs Chelsea
Expecting this match to be very tight since both teams have a team xG of 4.43 and 4.93 respectively and both have an expected clean sheet of 0.4 indicating a strong defence against each other. However, Chelsea’s main man Lukaku boasts an xG of 1.73 which is higher than any Liverpool player. The reverse fixture results were 0-1 with the goal from M. Mount. Chelsea offer so much width via their attacking wingbacks. Winning team: Chelsea
- Burnley vs Leeds
The reverse fixture results were an overwhelming 0-4 with 2 goals from Rodrigo, Bamford and J. Harrison. With a team xG of 1.63, expect Bielsa’s men to put up a similar show and maintain that previous record against Burnley, with goal involvements from Raphinha, considering he has the highest xG of 0.48. Leeds has a mode of 5 which indicates a likelihood of winning. Winning team: Leeds
- Tottenham vs Watford
The return of Harry Kane in the Spurs lineup will shift the team to higher gears in terms of goal expectancy. With a current team xG of 2.47 and a mode of 8, expect the Spurs score to go above 2.5. Winning team: Tottenham
- Wolves vs Manchester United The reverse fixture results were 1-2 with goals from Mata, Rashford and Semedo. With the current form, Manchester United has a team xG of 3.9 and this match boasts of a clean sheet record of 0.51, which is second highest from Leicester. United will be keen to maintain that previous record against Wolves but this time round, with a clean sheet to boost ranks. United has a mode of 5 which indicates a likelihood of winning. Winning team: Manchester United
(Stats collected from understat.com)
Players To Target
Since we have now determined our possible winning teams, to reap from the bumper harvest of goals and glory, we need to target key players who will be involved in those goals.
- El Ghazi (6.0)
As a budget mid with an xG of 0.81, I expect him to be involved in a goal for Villa.
- Callum Wilson (7.5)
He is at a decent price and with an xG of 1.38 which is higher than Southampton’s team xG, I expect him to be the main scorer for Newcastle.
- Schmeichel (5.0)
With a possible Leicester clean sheet, I expect him to bring home the 6 points.
- Pereira (5.5)
This match is awarding Leicester the highest clean sheet of 0.55 which means that we need to own their assets. He is a great attacking fullback with the highest xA of 0.11 in the team and only defender in their team with an xG of 0.07, thus with a Norwich side that has conceded 4 more chances down their left, he might be involved in a goal.
With 3 goals and 3 assists in 2 games proves to be a great asset. He has an xG of 2.76 which is among the highest so far. He is my favourite pick for captaincy given that this record is expected to be consistent during the Palace match.
He has a budget mid with an xG of 1.05 and has been involved in one goal. In the reverse fixture where the hammers scored 1-1, the goal came from Tomas Soucek.
- Benrahma (6.2)
With 2 goals and 2 assists in 2 games proves also to be a great asset at that price. He has an xG of 1.0.
- Lukaku (11.5)
With an xG of 1.73 which is higher than any Liverpool player, I expect big Rom to live up to the expectation. With 47 Seria A goals, 34% (16) were against top 8 rivals. Thus, this should come as notice that big Rom scores against big teams too.
Another popular player among FPL managers. He had a quiet opener against United, but got his campaign underway last week against Everton. Now he faces a Burnley side who conceded the most shots in GW2 (27). He has an impressive 8 goal attempts over the first two games (more than Son, and on par with Greenwood).
- Son (10.1)
Son is up against newly promoted Watford, and with Kane possibly in the line up, he could do damage. With a possible 2.5 goal score, Son will be involved in every one of the goals and looks promising for a captaincy option. A good alternative of a possible blank from Salah.
- Reguilon (5.1)
With Spurs having kept 2 clean sheets, he offers great threat for maintaining another clean sheet. Amongst the Spurs defence, he shows the most potential for attacking returns. But first, we need those CS 6 points.
- Greenwood (7.6)
2 goals in two games, he has been an exceptional start into the season. With united seeking to maintain their reverse fixture record of 1-2, Greenwood has to be involved in either one of the goals.
United has a high clean sheet of 0.51, I expect Shaw to bring home the 6 points. Additionally, Shaw has an xA of 0.59, which is the highest in te United defence.
My Team Reveal
I will go with a 3-5-2, to capitalize on the potentials of >10 points from the mid.