The nuclear button has been activated!
GW2 hasn’t yet finished, however we have decided to wildcard ahead of GW3. Predicted price rises and falls for players in our squad was the main reason for our GW3 wildcard. Before going into our transfers and thoughts, we’d like to mention that this was not a snap decision, and instead a long term plan.
There isn’t a perfect time to play a wildcard, and you shouldn’t be put off from activating it so early in the season. The decision should be based on the balance of your squad with an eye to the long term fixtures for those players.
A reminder of our GW2 squad, and a total score right now of 65 points with Salah, Robertson and Zaha to play. From the squad, we identified a number of players that we felt have either difficult future fixtures or aren’t performing well.
Here is the current wildcard squad:
So the only players that have made the wildcard squad from GW2 are Robertson, Mendy, Salah, Richarlison, Aguero, Zaha and Wan-Bissaka. We felt that these players have performed well over the opening fixtures and reflected in their price rises. These players will remain as template players for the foreseeable future.
Pickford and Hamer have replaced Patricio and Stekelenburg for the GW3 wildcard squad. Wolves don’t seem like they have gelled together yet, and this is having an effect on their clean sheet potential. Although their underlying stats aren’t terrible, difficult fixtures means a change was needed in the sticks. Hamer comes in as our £4.0m, mainly because he is starting for Huddersfield and provides rotation options.
Notable additions in defence is Marcus Alonso and Nacho Monreal, replacing Shaw and Peltier. Alonso’s goal against Arsenal and constant attack on the left side showed that the return to a back 4 has not stopped his goal threat. Coupled with Chelsea’s fixtures, it seems a transfer that can return high scoring points.
Our 4th left back to join the defence is a controversial choice in Monreal. Although Arsenal’s defence looked like a Sunday league pub team, the fixtures for them are amazing and we feel they will preform better defensively against these teams.
The big decision for us was taking Bernardo Silva out of our squad. The main reason behind the decision was the Guardiola roulette that saw Sane, Sterling and Mahrez dropped over the weekend. Although Man City fixtures are great, this rotation is making it harder to own a starting midfielder. This is only a draft wildcard however, so we won’t be surprised if we are tempted back into owning Silva, just right now we are trying another option.
In his place we have chosen Mkhitaryan, who scored in the 3-2 lose to Chelsea. The Arsenal man looked great throughout the match, missing a easy chance before assisting the equaliser for Iwobi. At £7.5m, he is a straight swap for Silva and gets our squad into the Arsenal attack going into the appealing fixtures.
Sanchez’s poor opening game performance has been compounded with both injury and future price drop. A easy transfer for us here, providing valuable funds to give balance throughout the squad, notably the defenders we picked. Pedro (£6.6m) has replaced Sanchez, after a wonderful start to the season scoring 2 goals. As mentioned about Silva, Pedro is a future rotation risk, however we wanted a Chelsea attacker in this squad over the fixture schedule. And with his great start to the season, we can’t see why he would be the fall guy to Hazard in this moment in time.
Fraser (£5.5m) completes the midfield transfers, replacing Cardiff’s Gunnarsson. Fraser has started the season well, with 1 goal and 1 assist in the first 2 games. He seems to have cemented his position in the team, and will provide valuable rotation options as the 5th midfielder.
As mentioned previously, Zaha and Aguero have remained in the wildcard squad. Josh King has been outshone by his attacking partner Calum Wilson over the past 2 game weeks, and hasn’t posted the best underlying stats. At £6.5m, there are other budget forwards who are performing a lot better than the Bournemouth man. Danny Ings (£5.5m) is the budget alternative that we have chosen to replace King. The Saints striker started the opening game from the bench and performed well in the 30 minutes he had on the pitch. On Saturday, Ings started the match up top with Austin and scored in the second half of the match. That goal should see Ings start the next few games, and as our rotation striker, he will provide goal threats in the upcoming fixtures.
So that’s our current GW3 wildcard squad, and we expect to make some changes before the Saturday deadline. We will post an updated article later in the week with a final squad for the next game week.