The Fantasy Premier League season continues to give us plenty to ponder. Clean sheets were a premium in Gameweek 3 with only Aston Villa, Southampton and Newcastle United able to keep their opponents at bay.
An average score of 44 was just three better than GW2 while Raheem Sterling and Teemu Pukki continued to their fine start to the Premier League campaign. Sergio Aguero also got in on the act though while Mohamed Salah was the top-scorer with 16 points.
This weekend, Manchester United and Liverpool face tricky trips to Southampton and Burnley respectively while Chelsea host Norwich. Manchester City have the most appealing fixture as they play Brighton at the Etihad.
Here are a few tips to help guide you.
CAPTAIN – RAHEEM STERLING | MANCHESTER CITY | 12.2M
Having been a consistent threat this season, there’s no reason to doubt Sterling. He’s just one point behind top-scorer Pukki so far and boasts an ICT Index (Influence Creativity Threat) of 50.8 which is the highest in the game.
With five goals already, Sterling looks well on course for another superb season and at home to Brighton is just the kind of game where he could yield massive returns. He’s had 10 shots from inside the box which is exactly the kind of volume you want to see from an attacker.
In the last six home games, Sterling has managed six goals and an assist – better returns than any other City player.
TEEMU PUKKI (7.0m) is no longer a ‘bold’ pick. He’s a legitimate captain candidate. With 35 points so far, he’s the top-scoring player in the game. Only Ashley Barnes has had more shots than his 12 this season and all of those efforts have come from inside the box with nine of them on target. He faces West Ham who have conceded 13 big chances so far, more than anyone else in the league. The Pukki party continues!
SERGIO AGUERO (12.0m) is something of a differential at the moment with an ownership of less than 20 per cent at the time of writing. He’s scored in each of the opening three games this season and really came alive with a brace at Bournemouth in GW3. Gabriel Jesus’ injury saw him play the full 90 minutes and with the Brazilian still out of action, that could well happen again.
JAMES MADDISON (7.0m) is continuing to be one of the best creative forces in the Premier League. He’s a bold pick though because of Leicester’s midweek excursions in the League Cup where they defeated Newcastle on penalties. That said, Maddison did score from a free-kick and converted during the shootout with a panenka.
ONE TO GET
TODD CANTWELL | NORWICH CITY | 4.7M
Only Sterling, Mohamed Salah, Kevin De Bruyne and Mason Mount have scored more points from midfield than Todd Cantwell. He was our bargain buy last week and delivered with a goal against Chelsea to add to his two assists so far. He’s made eight key passes this season and faces the Hammers this time around who are proving to have a weak defence.
ONE TO AVOID
GYLFI SIGURDSSON | EVERTON | 7.8M
Everton have some superb attacking options on paper but Marco Silva is struggling to fit all the pieces together at the moment. Gylfi Sigurdsson is clearly the central figure in that number 10 role but hasn’t been effective.
He’s struggled to create chances and Everton as a whole haven’t looked threatening going forward. It’s time to get rid of the Iceland international as he’s losing value fast. The midfielder has dropped by 0.2m already and there are far too many good options within his price range to consider keeping patience.
MARTIN KELLY | CRYSTAL PALACE | 4.1M
The value of a 4.0m defender playing every week can’t be overstated. Martin Kelly has surprisingly proved to be just that. Even with Gary Cahill coming into the side in GW3, Kelly kept his place and has seen his price rise to 4.1m.
He’s still great value and a means to an end when it comes to bolstering your squad in other areas. He’ll pick up his share of clean sheets as well so provided you use him wisely, he could deliver some decent returns even though that’s not what he’s there for.
Watford manager Javi Gracia was pleased to be able to give Danny Welbeck his first Watford start, but knows the striker is still some way off his best.
Gracia named the former Arsenal man in his starting XI for the first time in the 3-0 Carabao Cup win against Coventry and he got 90 minutes under his belt.
It was his first start since breaking his leg playing for the Gunners in November and the game time will be invaluable.
The Hornets won through goals from Ismaila Sarr, Daryl Janmaat and Adalberto Penaranda to give them a first success of the season on a night where only a Welbeck goal would have made it better.
Gracia was just pleased to get him out on the pitch.
“He needs to compete, he needs to play,” he said. “In my opinion he is not in his best condition and he needs time like players like Roberto Pereyra, Sarr.
“They all need time to improve and the best way is not only training but playing as well. When we have this opportunity we have to do it.”
Welbeck’s inclusion was one of 11 changes made by Gracia, who says all of his squad will have a chance to impress this season.
He added: “We played on Saturday and all of my players are ready to compete in different competitions we have.
“We did it last season as well. They deserve the chance to play in different competitions. All of the squad is ready to do it.
“I can choose different players during the season, I try to do it properly and try to know when some of them are in a better moment than others.
“It is something they have to show me in games like today and training sessions. But they are ready because they are good professionals.”
Sheffield United goalkeeper Simon Moore believes Ravel Morrison can play a key role for the club this season after his man-of-the-match display against Blackburn.
The Blades handed Morrison a route back to the Premier League in July when he signed a one-year deal following spells in Italy, Mexico and Sweden.
The former Manchester United and West Ham forward made an encouraging full debut in the Blades’ 2-1 Carabao Cup win, which included an assist for their second goal scored by Oliver Norwood – another United product.
“Rav has shown in training the qualities he’s got and he’s obviously going to be wanting to play more football and the more he plays the better he’ll get,” said goalkeeper Moore, who was one of 10 changes made by Chris Wilder.
“I was really pleased to see him get 90 minutes and hopefully that will kick-start him to go on and do better things for this football club.
“I think he’s just got to keep his head down, work really hard. We all know he’s got so much ability.
“If he keeps his head down and continues to work hard like he has done then I don’t see why he’s not going to do good things for the club.”
Moore, who will play the support role again this season behind on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson, played his part in the Blades’ win by saving an early penalty from Adam Armstrong.
“I haven’t played a lot of football over the last year or so, it’s been very difficult to get any sort of rhythm going,” Moore added.
“As a goalkeeper you want to be playing week in, week out, but I’ve got a young English goalkeeper, who’s on the verge of a senior call-up, in front of me, so my job’s a little bit difficult.
“Deano’s a fantastic goalkeeper, who’s only going to get better and better and I’ve just got to make sure I push him day in, day out.
“But I’m also there for him as well. If he needs any advice or help then I’m there to support him because ultimately we want the best for this football club.”