Fantasy Premier League: Captain Arsenal's Mesut Ozil and two ins, two outs for Gameweek Four

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Each week, Sport360 will bring you tips for the English Premier League’s official fantasy football game. Fancy pitting your wits against us? You can join “Sport360 Fans League” using the code 2529004-595062.

With the international break done and dusted, it’s time to look ahead at Gameweek Four of Fantasy Premier League.

The transfer window is shut as well and a few new faces have entered the game since the previous Gameweek.

Plenty of wildcards may already be in play, so there is plenty to consider.

Here are a few pointers to guide you ahead of Gameweek Four.

CAPTAIN – MESUT OZIL | ARSENAL | 9.5M

Harry Kane (12.4m) was the captain pick in the last round with but his August curse rumbles on for another year. He came close again, producing a couple of good saves from the keeper, but it wasn’t to be.

Despite then scoring twice for England during the international break, Tottenham face Everton away this week.

Instead, another gamble in Mesut Ozil is the pick for the armband this week. Like Kane, he hasn’t delivered yet but boasts some of the finest stats in the game.

That may come as a surprise as his performances at first glance hasn’t been up to standard but the fact of the matter is, he’s been the most creative player in the entire game this season.

The German boasts a Creative Index of 178.6 and has created 12 chances so far but is yet to register an assist.

Meanwhile, Henrikh Mkhitaryan (8.3m) has emerged as one of the most popular players in the game, but has a Creative Index of 176.2. He’s managed to create only one more chance than Ozil, but in contrast, has five assists to his name, the most in the league.

It’s only a matter of time until the Arsenal man’s efforts translate into points and playing Bournemouth at home could be the right time for things to click into place.

He offers a great differential as well with only 2.4% of FPL managers opting for the German playmaker.

Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil

ALTERNATIVE

He’s back! He may not be too thrilled about remaining at Arsenal this summer, but there’s no doubting ALEXIS SANCHEZ’S (11.9m) quality. He’s been waiting in the wings for a while and barely got a look in against Liverpool. Could he announce his return to the fold in emphatic fashion against Bournemouth?

BOLD CHOICE

CHRIS WOOD (6.5m) played just 33 minutes on debut in Gameweek Three but managed to get on the score sheet. He’s proved to be a prolific Championship striker and Burnley face a leaky Crystal Palace defence at home.

TWO INS

KYLE NAUGHTON | SWANSEA CITY | 4.5M

With Swansea opting for wing-backs at the moment, Kyle Naughton should be at the top of every FPL manager’s transfer lists, if he isn’t already part of their squad.

He’s already picked up two clean sheets in three games this season and is getting forward a lot more as well.

He even managed an assist in his last outing against Palace.

Kyle Naughton

Kyle Naughton

ALVARO MORATA | CHELSEA | 10.1M

Alvaro Morata looked a bit rusty in his brief appearance for Chelsea in the Community Shield as he didn’t have the benefit of a proper preseason with his new team.

Since then though, he has steadily improved and already has two goals, two assists and five bonus points. He looks like being their main goal-getter this season and is settling into the new system slowly but surely.

His price is only going to rise as it already has by 0.1m. It’s worth bringing him in sooner rather than later.

Alvaro Morata

Alvaro Morata

TWO OUTS

KEVIN DE BRUYNE | MANCHESTER CITY | 9.9M

Most FPL managers have given Kevin De Bruyne every opportunity but it’s now finally time to drop the Belgian. It’s a shame because he’s been one of City’s best players this season and is likely to pick up eventually.

However, Pep Guardiola has used him in a more withdrawn role so far. He’s dictating play but isn’t having much of an influence in the final third. He’s dropped in price to 9.9m but is still to expensive for someone who isn’t showing enough promise at the moment.

Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne

KYLE WALKER | MANCHESTER CITY | 6.5M

Despite his sending off in GW2, Kyle Walker still boasts a 12.5% ownership but that loyalty in the City defender seems ill-advised.

While they do have largely good fixtures over the next seven rounds, Guardiola’s side has been less than convincing.

The availability of Danilo as well complicates matters as the Spaniard tactician is bound to use him as part of his rotation policy particularly in Champions League weeks.

For a 6.5m defender, you have to be certain of their starting position and Walker’s is definitely up in the air.

Kyle Walker

Kyle Walker

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Philippe Coutinho and Alexis Sanchez seek to overcome transfer disappointment

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Philippe Coutinho.

Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are proponents of crowd-pleasing attacking football which should make Saturday’s Premier League clash between Manchester City and Liverpool an eye-catching affair.

However, both City’s Guardiola and Klopp at Liverpool are under pressure this season to turn the attractive styles into silverware.

With both clubs on seven points and unbeaten after three matches they will hope their players haven’t gone off the boil after being away on international duty.

Both trail Manchester United by two points with Jose Mourinho’s side, yet to concede a goal this season, away to an unpredictable Stoke managed by former United star Mark Hughes.

For several players it will be a case of starting competitive life with their new club — the transfer window having closed during the international break — or for some a case of turning out after their team refused to sell them.

Here AFP Sports looks at five players who made the headlines for better or for worse during that frenetic period:

Boy from Brazil

Philippe Coutinho could make his first appearance this season for Liverpool and interest will be focused on his mood after he failed to secure the move to Barcelona.

Jurgen Klopp says that is all good with the 25-year-old Brazilian and he is not sulking, despite Liverpool rejecting several huge offers from Barcelona after he put in a transfer request.

That bodes well for the German as he needs Coutinho fit and on top form if he is to have a chance of delivering their first Premier League title.

He is most likely to start on the bench however.

Gunners pray for a positive Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez is even more integral to Arsenal and embattled manager Arsene Wenger’s hopes of silverware.

However, the 28-year-old Chilean’s frame of mind, after Arsenal refused to let him leave for Manchester City, will be crucial as to whether they enjoy some success.

A home match with Bournemouth, who have yet to earn a point, this season presents a golden opportunity for him and the Gunners to bounce back after the 4-0 drubbing they suffered at Liverpool which left Sanchez looking miserable.

Wenger is certain Sanchez is in the right place mentally. “I have no doubt about Alexis’s mind and mentality,” said Wenger on Thursday.

Alexis Sanchez.

Alexis Sanchez.

Sigurdsson under pressure to deliver

Unlike Sanchez and Coutinho, Gylfi Sigurdsson succeeded in gaining the £45 million ($58m, 49.4m euros) move he desired from Swansea to Everton.

However, Everton fans will be looking for far better things, starting with Saturday’s home game with Tottenham, than the anonymous performance he put in in the limp 2-0 defeat to Chelsea.

Spurs fans have bitter experience of Sigurdsson flattering to deceive when he was with them so Everton manager Ronald Koeman will hope that is an extra motivating factor for the Iceland international.

Not least because the pressure is also on the Dutchman who made him his main target in the close-season.

Sobering experience ahead for Drinkwater

Timing is everything and Danny Drinkwater’s couldn’t have been worse for some as his first match for new club Chelsea could be on Saturday away to former employers Leicester.

Despite his sterling performances when they won the title in 2016 Foxes fans are not so happy about him decamping to Chelsea, like his midfield partner N’Golo Kante the year before, for a reported £35 million.

It could prove to be a baptism of fire for the 27-year-old if Antonio Conte throws him straight in and rests some players for the Champions League clash next Tuesday.

Klopp faces ‘Ox’ dilemma

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will hope to find a joie de vie at Liverpool following his £35 million transfer from Arsenal.

The 24-year-old England international, who apparently rejected the offer of higher wages from both Arsenal and Chelsea, should make his debut against City.

He will hope his move has gained him a place in his preferred role in midfield — though Klopp has several options there — rather than wing-back where Wenger had played him in recent months.

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Paul Dickov: Man City's strength in depth could lead them to Premier League glory

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With the attacking players both sides have, I think it will be an open game. Roberto Firmino’s in good form, Mohamed Saleh, Sadio Mane, there’s a lot of pace in the Liverpool team going forward, a lot of strength in midfield.

But I do feel they’re a bit suspect at the back and, depending on what formation Pep Guardiola picks, it’s going to be interesting to see. But it’s two top teams going at it, two top managers.

Jurgen Klopp’s not going to come to the Etihad and sit back. He’ll want to play so it’s going to be great to watch.

But I think with the firepower City have, they’ll have too much. The main area is going to be wide. We’ve got Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy, two quick, powerful boys who are up against Mane one side and Saleh the other, so I think that’s where the game could be won and lost.

There were a lot of people last season who said maybe City struggled because Pep was surprised by how tough Premier League is, but I don’t buy into that at all. I keep having arguments with people about this.

He would have known. He’s a really intelligent guy and his knowledge of football is fantastic. It would have been impossible for him to come in last season and get rid of 25 players and bring another 25 in. I think he strengthened where he could last summer.

This summer the manager came out and said that the money has been spent where it needed to be spent. This summer was probably a one-off because money needed to be spent, particularly with the four full-backs gone.

If you look at the squad, the majority of the players in the starting 11 or first 18 were over the age of 31 last season.

The Premier League is a tough title to win and I think it’s virtually impossible with players the wrong end of 30 to go and do that. The manager’s addressed that fantastically well.

And it’s the ages of the signings that have impressed me, it shows you he’s buying for now but the ages of Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, they’re frightening now so just imagine in three or four years time. There’s a lot of players who could be here for a long time.

The signings we’ve made have been fantastic and the ages we’ve signed them at, if you look at the majority of them, even last season with Sane, Jesus and John Stones. Walker’s a little bit older but Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva are fantastic players, we’ve signed some top, top players.

I think the big difference for me from last season is the strength in depth the squad’s got now. City dropped some points last year and if you look at all the games this season, you could say all of them, Brighton, Everton, Bournemouth, in each of the games you’ve had Sane, Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Sergio Aguero coming off the bench if something’s not quite working with 25 minutes to go.

The firepower we’ve got or the manager’s got to change things is a bit scary for everybody else.
I think what City and Pep’s struggles last season prove is that the Premier League is the best league in the world.

There’s no other league like it. Look at the other leagues and there’s two teams, really, in each league. Apart from when those two teams play each other you virtually know what the results are going to be, and you can’t do that in the Premier League.

Anybody can beat anybody at any given time and it’s tough. Everybody’s strengthening, there’s a lot of money going into it, even the clubs in the bottom half, they can afford to go and spend £30m on a player now and that was never the case before.

For the last 15 seasons the best players have flocked to the Premier League and now, arguably, I think we’ve got the best managers coming here, add Conte, Koeman and Pochettino to Pep, Klopp and Mourinho.

As a City fan, I’m feeling confident about the season. I think this will be one of the most open title races in years. United, Liverpool look very goof going forward, Everton have made some great signings, Arsenal will come good. There’s Tottenham, Chelsea, it’s going to be good.

Four or five years ago you were talking about a nailed on top four. Last season it was a top six, this season it’s probably a top seven, all fighting for the four Champions League places.

It will be difficult but I just feel City’s strength in depth this season could be the difference. So absolutely, I’m tipping them for the title.

*Paul Dickov was speaking at a football camp run by Mundipharma, whose BETADINE range is the official healthcare product partner of Manchester City.

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