The build-up to gameweek 3 has seen a hectic time regarding price changes and tested the patience of many managers. The emergence of players like Pukki, Ceballos and Martial has seen the pre-season ‘template’ change. Now the games begin!
Before we delve into our gameweek 3 final team, it’s worth noting our recent guest Q&A featuring FPL Prince and LetsTalkSoccer. In this article we have answered all of the hottest topics including whether to play an early wildcard, buying Pukki and captaincy picks.
Gameweek 3 Thoughts
Usually we recommend managers holding their transfers as late as possible to gain as much information from press conferences. However, during the opening gameweeks price changes are at their most volatile, with players emerging and early wildcards being activated.
Due to this, we had to go against our own rule and move early on transfers to avoid the price rises. Having not played an early wildcard, we can justify taking more of a risk buying a player earlier in the week. While we still advocate making transfers as close to the deadline as possible, when price rises are so extreme an early transfer can be justified to maintain team value.
Following on from gameweek 2, we had a number of players on the chopping block ahead of this weekend. These included Sigurdsson, Perez, Wilson and King. With 2 free transfers, it became a case of which players could be sold to afford the players on our watch list.
We narrowed down our gameweek 3 watch list to:
- De Bruyne
De Bruyne has been in sensational form at the start of this season, assisting 3 goals and picking up 4 bonus points in 2 matches. From an eye test perspective, he is ticking all the boxes and is the best player on the pitch. If we were wildcarding, he would be in our side in a heartbeat. We highlighted the potential of De Bruyne during preseason:
Not too sure why De Bruyne isn’t getting more #FPL love ❤️
Excluding last season due to injuries, his stats are very good for a £9.5m midfielder:
👟Averaged 2.69 sh90
🔑Averaged 3.13 kp90 #FPLCommunity
— FPLFootballAdvice (@FootballAdvice5) July 13, 2019
We held on purchasing Martial in GW2 to provide more data on whether him and United assets have FPL potential. While United didn’t blow us away with their performance against Wolves, another 90 minutes for Martial in the forward role was exciting, topped off with another goal.
His underlying stats weren’t necessarily good, taking only 1 shot and an xG of 0.11. However, we think that it was testament to the solid Wolves display, and with his upcoming fixtures will have more attacking potential. At £7.6m, the decision was whether to invest in him or double up with City assets and go for De Bruyne.
While De Bruyne was the better choice in our eyes, the balance of the side was negatively affected, while Martial provided a natural replacement. While Sigurdsson was up for debate for sale, the horrendous underlying stats of Perez made the decision easy to sell the Leicester man. We still think he could prove good value over the season, but the stats aren’t supporting any reason to hold.
So Perez to Martial was the first move picking him up at £7.6m.
To fund this transfer, we had to make the sale of Callum Wilson. A reluctant transfer as he has already registered an assist in each of his opening 2 games, but the fixtures ahead aren’t necessarily appealing. Man City at home this weekend followed by Leicester away doesn’t scream FPL value, especially when owning double Bournemouth forwards.
As mentioned, Pukki was the only real forward on the watchlist after his hat trick against Newcastle. Norwich’s fixtures aren’t appealing on paper; however, Chelsea haven’t been impressive defensively. The decision to own Pukki was mainly based upon his impressive underlying stats, including the risk of not owning.
When a player rises soo aggressively, we view it as whether it is a risk to not own him. With the current team structure, we don’t have the luxury of going into a premium striker. Therefore, the options are £8.0m or below, and the options are very limited. The conclusion was that while Pukki might not have the data to justify his price rises, no other option justifies being picked over him. The risk was too high going for the likes of Jota (£6.5m) when he hasn’t showed any form to justify his pick.
So Wilson to Pukki is the second transfer to fund Martial. Much happier with the side ahead of gameweek 3, with some exciting fixtures for the likes of Martial and Sterling.
Outside of the transfers for the team, the big decision has been which player to start. The decision has been between Lundstrum (home to Leicester), King (home to City) or Dendoncker (home to Burnley).
This decision still hasn’t been fully made, however we are currently leaning towards Bournemouths Josh King. Man City look outstanding so we are making the assumption that Bournemouth won’t be creating too much. However, being on penalties King has the potential for getting on the score sheet.
It might be crazy to bench 14-point Lundstrum but we saw enough from Leicester to think they will score against Sheffield United.
Wolves played in their Europa League fixture yesterday, Dendoncker playing 90 minutes. Also he has decent stats for his position, we think it will be a tough game against Burnley who have shown they are regaining their resilience.
The choice of King could very well change, but as of right now he makes up the final spot in the side. Incoming another 14-point Lundstrum!
Our recent article highlights the best captaincy options for managers, that you can check out here.
For our team, there is only one candidate and that is Raheem Sterling. 4 goals in his last 2 league matches are good enough stats, but his underlying stats also show how well he’s started the season. Averaging 5 shots per 90, 1 key pass per 90 and an xG of 2.47. He will have the armband with Salah as vice.
Gameweek 3 Final Squad
Good luck everyone! Hope you have a great gameweek and you climb those overall ranks.
For any last minute tips, be sure to check out our recent video: