The first three weekends of the new Premier League season have been the strangest in a long time. So many goals, so many obscure scorelines and not many historically big FPL point scorers consistently delivering.
Over the years it has been quite simple to find a template team, with eleven consistently high FPL points scorers and watch your boys collect 50-odd points a week on average. But this season is different. Chelsea’s big summer signings have not had the instant impact many thought they would, Manchester United’s big attackers have struggled and Pep’s Manchester City have been off the boil.
On the flip side, there have been surprising big scorers, with Everton and Crystal Palace both off to great starts, Leeds showing a lot of promise, Leicester scoring for fun and even Aston Villa picking up early points.
This means picking the right captain is more important than ever as we head into GW4. If you’re like me, you’re hanging all your hopes on a successful captain pick to revive an embarrassing start to the 20/21 FPL season, and these five are the ones I’m looking at more than anyone else ahead of Saturday's deadline…
Dominic Calvert-Lewin - £7.4m
Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton have started the season in fine form, winning all three of their outings so far and scoring eight goals in the process.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has five of those to his name and is already averaging four shots-per-game, feeding off the likes of James Rodriguez, Richarlison and Allan’s creativity.
The Toffees come up against Brighton at Goodison Park this weekend, and the Seagulls have conceded an average of two goals and 7.7 shots-per-game from their three opening Premier League fixtures. This suggests Calvert-Lewin will get chances in front of goal at the weekend and, given the form he’s in right now, you wouldn’t bet against him finding the back of the net for a fourth consecutive league game.
Raheem Sterling - £11.5m
Manchester City have had a mixed start to their campaign, opening up with an impressive 3-1 win at Wolves before being thrashed 5-2 by Leicester City at the Etihad, but it’s expected that Pep Guardiola’s side will react in anger this weekend at newly-promoted Leeds United.
Sterling has been a quiet cog in City’s attacking wheel, registering just one assist and an average of two shots-per-game so far, but is expected to continue to lead the line in Sergio Aguero’s absence.
The England international has had chances, though, and will be in Kevin De Bruyne’s creative crosshairs at all times, particularly from wide positions, and it’s only a matter of time before he opens his 2020/21 Premier League account.
And it could well come this weekend, with Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds starting life back in the top-flight in impressive, plucky form but still clearly fragile in defence. Leeds may have kept a clean sheet against out-of-form Sheffield United last weekend, but they did concede a combined seven goals in their first two league games of the season and have faced an average of 16.7 shots-per-game so far.
Man City will be desperate to react to last week’s shock hammering and are expected to attack Leeds from all angles, with Sterling being the focal point of attack.
Raul Jimenez - £8.6m
Wolves have been the surprise package so far in 20/21, and all for the wrong reasons. Having opened with a 2-0 win at Sheffield United, they’ve since gone on to be thrashed by Manchester City and relegation favourites West Ham respectively.
Still, Mexican forward Raul Jimenez has two goals to his name already and has averaged 3.3 shots-per-game so far this term. He remains Wolves’ main goal threat, despite them struggling in these early stages, and a home fixture against a leaky Fulham defence is the perfect opportunity for him to drag his side back into form.
Fulham have already conceded 10 goals this season, facing 11.7 shots-per-game on average, and Scott Parker has made no secret of his desire to strengthen his defence before the transfer window shuts next week, but it’s unlikely that will happen before his side travels to Molineux.
With Jimenez and Wolves eager to put right all the wrongs from their humiliating defeat in London last week, expect them to be ruthless in attack against one of the Premier League’s worst defences this weekend.
Mohamed Salah - £12.1m
Mohamed Salah seems like an obvious captain choice and many may consider giving him a wide berth after he failed to find the back of the net against Arsenal last time out, but do not be fooled.
The Egyptian has three goals already this term and is averaging 5.7 shots and 3.7 key passes-per-game respectively, which means he’s not only a goal threat but also likely to rack up assist points.
The Reds travel to an impressive Aston Villa side on Sunday, who have started the season with two wins and two clean sheets, but they have only faced Sheffield United and Fulham, both teams that have struggled to score and defend so far this season.
So this is Villa’s first big test of 20/21 and while they’ve looked impressive and strengthened well in the summer transfer window, the likes of Salah, Sadio Mane and co. will give them problems they haven’t yet faced.
Salah rarely goes more than two games without scoring, so it would not be a surprise to see him on the scoresheet at least once this weekend.
Alexandre Lacazette - £8.5m
Many FPL players will have even overlooked Alexandre Lacazette as a viable FPL selection given he rarely plays a full 90-minutes, but his output this season suggests he could be a shrewd addition as well as a viable option for the armband.
The France international has scored in all three of the Gunners’ league outings so far this season and is averaging more shots-per-game (2) than the more obvious Arsenal selection, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (1.3).
With that sort of form, it’s hard to look past Lacazette as a player capable of bringing in valuable FPL points, especially as he’s owned by just 5.4% of all FPL players, making him a very interesting differential option.
Arsenal face Sheffield United at the Emirates Stadium this weekend, with the Blades yet to pick up a point this term and having scored a grand total of zero goals. Their defence hasn’t been too leaky thus far but they have faced over 15 shots-per-game on average, suggesting Arsenal will have plenty of opportunities to find the back of the net, with Lacazette undoubtedly at the front of the queue.
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