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It’s been a good start to the season for a majority of FPL managers, with an average score of 56 points in Gameweek 1 followed by a 60-point average last week showing that plenty of coaches are thriving at the beginning of this Premier League campaign.
And with some of the league’s star players already in top form, there are points on offer for most managers as long as they get their picks right.
Whether the next round of fixtures is about continuing a good start or turning around a poor one, there are plenty of options to make your team a winning one this weekend.
Here are our expert picks for Gameweek 3.
CAPTAIN – SERGIO AGUERO | MANCHESTER CITY| 11.1M
We picked Sergio Aguero for captain last week. He only went and bagged a hat-trick as Manchester City routed Huddersfield 6-1 at the Etihad Stadium. The Argentine also hit the woodwork once, and took a total of nine shots.
With form like that, there’s no reason to pick anyone else in Gameweek 3. Plus, he’s got a ringing endorsement from his manager, with Pep Guardiola insisting that this is the fittest the striker has been in a long time – a scary prospect given that he’s been one of the Premier League’s top forwards over the last seven seasons anyway.
The 30-year-old has the second-most hat-tricks in league history, with nine, behind only Alan Shearer on that particular list, and there’s every chance he can grab a few more goals this weekend with the way the champions are playing.
City face newly-promoted Wolves, and even though the fixture is away from home, the former Atletico Madrid ace will fancy his chances of racking up the goals against a defence still getting used to the Premier League. He may even hit consecutive trebles – would anyone put it past him?
SADIO MANE (9.8m)
The way Liverpool have started the season has seen their players become hot property on FPL, with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah especially vying for managers’ attention. With a home game against Brighton coming up, the Reds can again be expected to be on the front foot in attack, giving their forwards more chances to bring points. Mane currently has more goals, 3 to 1, and more overall points, 26 to 17, but the biggest reason to pick the Senegalese attacker is the price. Salah is listed at 13m, making Mane a much more affordable option.
MARCOS ALONSO (6.6m)
Marcos Alonso has carried on from where he left off last season, taking his perch atop the points rankings for defenders after two weeks of the new campaign. The Spaniard scored against Arsenal last weekend, and should be good for more points in Gameweek 3, when Chelsea travel to face a struggling Newcastle side. The Blues lost 3-0 in their last trip to St. James’ Park on the final day of last season, so they’ll be looking for revenge, and the nature of their attacking play should give Alonso plenty of chances to add to his points tally.
PAUL POGBA (8.0m)
Paul Pogba put the onus on himself after Manchester United‘s shock defeat to Brighton last weekend, saying his attitude wasn’t right in that game. He’ll want to back up his words with a strong performance, especially given United’s opponents this gameweek are Tottenham. The first significant match of the Red Devils’ season is the perfect time for the French star to come good.
TWO TO WATCH
HENRIKH MKHITARYAN | ARSENAL | 7.1M
Henrikh Mkhitaryan kick-started his season against Chelsea last weekend, scoring a goal and providing an assist in Arsenal‘s 3-2 loss. Given the Gunners’ kind run of fixtures coming up, starting with West Ham on Saturday. Their following five games include encounters with Cardiff, Newcastle, Watford and Fulham, with a home date with Everton the only tough-looking fixture on paper. It’s a run that should allow the Armenian playmaker to discover his best form.
DANNY INGS | SOUTHAMPTON | 5.5M
Ings impressed when coming on for his Southampton debut in Gameweek 1, then followed that up by scoring in his first start for his new team last week. The Saints face Leicester City at home this weekend, and the Foxes were one of the league’s poorer travellers last season, with Ings set to benefit from his opponents’ poor away form. Southampton have a kind run of fixtures coming up as well, making the Englishman a solid option for the coming weeks.
TWO TO AVOID
HARRY MAGUIRE | LEICESTER CITY | 5.5M
Leicester City have three away games in their next six, a worrying fixture list for a team that wasn’t good on the road last season. And one of their home matches is against Liverpool, making the coming weeks a tough time for the Foxes, and especially for the defence. Harry Maguire hasn’t hit the heights of last season yet, and it might be too much to expect him to do so immediately given his side’s upcoming fixtures.
DAVID DE GEA | MANCHESTER UNITED | 6.0M
United have let in four goals in their opening two games of this campaign – a mark it took nine games to reach last season. Not good signs for any goalkeeper behind that defence, even if that keeper happens to be David de Gea. And the Spaniard’s own form is in question, having conceded 10 times from the last 14 shots on target that he’s faced since the start of the World Cup.
Dimitar Berbatov is certain that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will turn things around and somewhat bemused by the negativity surrounding his former club.
Old Trafford has found itself in the eye of a storm in the wake of Sunday’s shock 3-2 defeat at Brighton, with odds on the Portuguese departing tumbling.
Questions over Paul Pogba’s happiness continue to hang over United, while a group of fans are said to be planning to have a plane fly over an upcoming match calling for the exit of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
It is all rather unpalatable and leaves ex-United striker Berbatov calling for calm amid what he believes has been an excessively emotional response.
“Blame is a strong word, I don’t like to use it,” the two-time Premier League winner said.
“I think everybody – Jose, the players, Edward Woodward – is working for the better of Manchester United.
“I don’t understand all this criticism going towards Paul Pogba. Anyone can have a bad game.
“Nobody wants to play bad football in a game, everybody wants to win, and every player wants to show how good he is.
“But, you know, sometimes you simply have a game where nothing is happening. Sometimes it’s stuff outside of football that affects your performance, we just don’t know.
“And as for Jose, it’s not easy to be in charge of a team as big as United with all the seagulls around you, so many players who all want to play.
“It is incredibly stressful, trust me. He can definitely turn it around.”
The intense scrutiny following the Brighton defeat has heightened the interest in Monday’s return to action against Tottenham at Old Trafford.
Berbatov finds it hard to call the clash between two of his former clubs but is clear when it comes to the importance of not overreacting.
“It’s not been a good week for Manchester United and now they have a tough fixture to get through, but I really don’t think we can – or even should – pass judgement on my old team yet,” the Betfair ambassador said.
“I didn’t expect the defeat at Brighton. No-one did. United didn’t play well and they lost because Brighton wanted it more than them, simple as that.
“That’s not a good thing but please don’t overreact to one defeat so early in the season.
“The positive thing about the defeat is that it’s still only the second game of the season so there is a long way to go.
“I remember losing our second game in 2009-10, 1-0 at Burnley, and we finished second that season, one point behind Chelsea.
“Nobody was crying after that defeat, Sir Alex (Ferguson) was very calm. We beat Wigan 5-0 away from home in the next game and won eight in a row.
“United’s season will not be defined by one defeat in mid-August. Come on, it’s the second game of the season!
“Every team can lose at any time and every team will lose again this season. The point is to take the lessons from the loss and not repeat those mistakes. It’s as simple as that.
“Manchester United have unbelievable players in their squad and they can absolutely put this right.
“Sometimes against the underdog you can lose because they want it more. It happens to every team.
“I do wonder if all this negativity is necessary but obviously football is a business, and a little bit of politics.
“You have people causing trouble, spreading ‘fake news’, rumours and it all gets repeated and becomes truth. But this is kids’ stuff and it doesn’t help anyone.”
Everton new signings Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes will not be ready for first team action until after next month’s international break according to boss Marco Silva.
The Portuguese said it will be another three and a half weeks before the pair, who joined on deadline day – Mina in a £27.1million move – will be in contention because of minor injury problems.
“It looks maybe after the international break they can start working with us,” he said.
“We will see next week how they are and after I can give a different update but it is possible after the break.”
Everton’s start to the season, with two victories, means Silva has not had to press the new arrivals into service too early.
But he knows he needs competition for places in order to sustain their positive start.
“It is important if everyone is ready to play. We are working to put everyone on the same level because all together we will be strong,” the 41-year-old added.
Another August arrival, Bernard, could come into contention for his first appearance in a matchday squad for this weekend’s trip to Bournemouth.
Lucas Digne, an £18million signing from Barcelona, has recovered from a knock – which will be timely as midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin will miss out with a minor injury.
“Lucas is working with us, he had a small problem but everything is OK now, Bernard is improving his condition and doing well and tomorrow I will take a decision,” said Silva.
“Schneiderlin will be ready to start to work with us Monday or Tuesday.
“It is not good news for us because he is started the season well, winning confidence is important for him, but it is only a small issue.”