Fantasy Premier League Planner – Week 5
The Premier League season is long, dark and full of terrors for draft fantasy soccer managers. The grind of staying current on injuries and anticipating squad rotation on a week-to-week basis is tedious, and often confusing thanks to a hefty dose of conflicting reports and misleading quotations. While flipping a coin to pick to decide between players is an effective strategy about 50% of the time, if you’re looking for long-term success in draft fantasy soccer, Fantrax has you covered 100% of the time.
This season, the Fantasy Premier League Planner will serve as your one-stop shop for everything you need to know going into each round of matches. No need to guess on a rotating fullback, FPLP has the inside scoop. Unsure about a player with a knock? FPLP will touch on that too. Rather than pandering on and on with more examples, let’s get down to business.
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Draft Fantasy Soccer Planner – Week 5
🗣 GOODBYE INTERNATIONAL BREAK pic.twitter.com/RnfptRD8FF
— Premier League USA (@PLinUSA) September 13, 2018
Tottenham vs Liverpool
Tottenham hosts Liverpool in the early kick-off on Saturday and will be hoping to bounce back after their first defeat of the season, a 2-1 loss at Watford before the international break. Spurs will be shorthanded following the news that Dele Alli and Hugo Lloris will miss out, while Heung-Min Son is back in contention but listed as questionable. If Son isn’t match-fit, Erik Lamela could return. Michel Vorm, meanwhile, will come in for Lloris. Lucas Moura, the reigning Premier League Player of the Month, is firmly in the starting XI given the list of unavailable players. Where he will remains to be seen.
👤 @dele_official (hamstring) unavailable this weekend.
👤 Hugo Lloris (thigh) unavailable and expected to be out for several weeks.
👤 @JuanMFoyth (thigh) returned to training last week.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 13, 2018
Liverpool sits top of the table thanks to their attacking trident of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, who have scored seven of the club’s nine goals. The high-powered attack has been supplemented by the Premier League top defense, with their lone goal conceding having been the product of a blunder by Alisson last time out. Saturday’s clash will be the first of seven matches for Jurgen Klopp’s side in a span of less than a month, during which they will take on PSG (UCL), Southampton (Week 6), Chelsea (EFL Cup), Chelsea (Week 7), Napoli (UCL) and Manchester City (Week 8). Squad rotation will undoubtedly come into play over the next few weeks, making now an excellent time to target Daniel Sturridge and Nathaniel Clyne in deeper Fantrax leagues.
Match Forecast: The list of absentees is a big concern against Liverpool and their explosive attack. There will be goals from both clubs, but the Reds should take all three points.
AFC Bournemouth vs Leicester City
Bournemouth will be slight favorites for the visit of Leicester in Week 5. The Cherries are unbeaten at the Vitality Stadium with a +2 goal difference, having beaten Cardiff City 2-0 and drawn 2-2 against Everton. Howe went with a 3-4-3 formation in defeat at Chelsea last time so it’s possible he could revert to back to a 4-4-2 against the Foxes. David Brooks could return with influential midfielder Ryan Fraser listed as doubtful, but left-back Diego Rico and central midfielder Jefferson Lerma should start following strong debuts. Fantrax managers in search of a defender should entertain Rico, owned in just 14% of all leagues.
Leicester City manager Claude Puel is set to make at least one change this weekend. Jamie Vardy will return from suspension to lead the line, meaning Demarai Gray will likely move to the left wing at the expensive of Marc Albrighton. Ricardo Pereira has stated both of Leicester’s home matches at right-back and two starts on the right wing on the road. If the trend continues, then Daniel Amartey will be in defense at the expense of winger Rachid Ghezzal, who scored against Liverpool.
Match Forecast: Bournemouth has scored four goals and conceded two at home this season, while there have been three goals in each of Leicester’s away matches. All signs point towards both clubs scoring, especially with Vardy fresh off his ban.
Chelsea vs Cardiff City
Chelsea has scored ten goals and conceded three in the process of taking maximum points from their first four matches. The Blues have scored at least two goals in each game this season and five in their two at home, furthering their appeal across all fantasy formats. The only real selection dilemma for Maurizio Sarri is the Willian/Pedro conundrum on the right wing. Based on the rotation trend and performance data, all signs point to Pedro getting the start this week.
– 7.6 FPL points per start
– Two goals in last 105 minutes at Stamford Bridge pic.twitter.com/mPIDCADnwU
— Sean Sullivan (@Sean_Sullivan_1) September 12, 2018
Cardiff City travels Stamford Bridge hoping to build off their first goals of the season in a 3-2 defeat at Arsenal. Speaking after the match, manager Neil Warnock was quick to insist that the Bluebirds will not park the bus against Chelsea. “If you shut shop at Stamford Bridge you’re going to get picked off and lose by two or three anyway,” said Warnock. “So you may as well have a go, you just have to hope you don’t leave yourself wide open to a pasting.” The comments suggest Warnock could stick with the same 4-4-2 formation and high-pressing approach used against the Gunners. Danny Ward scored on his first start of the season and should continue up front alongside Bobby Reid. Draft fantasy soccer managers scrambling in deeper Fantrax leagues should note both players are readily available.
Match Forcast: Cardiff is coming off their best performance of the season, but this one will likely be a multi-goal win for Chelsea. Cardiff scored twice and put 10 of their 14 shots on target against Arsenal last time though, so I wouldn’t back on the home side keeping a clean sheet.
Huddersfield Town vs Crystal Palace
Huddersfield Town enters the match following an encouraging performance in a 1-1 draw against Everton. David Wagner went with a defensive 5-4-1 set-up at Goodison Park, but the Town boss could revert to his high-pressing 4-2-3-1 formation for the visit of Palace. The big decision for Wagner will be figuring out how to jumpstart the attack, considering Town is bottom of the table in goals for (2) and shots per game (6.3). Reverting to a 4-2-3-1 formation and deploying Alex Pritchard in the central attacking midfield role is a possible option, while Ramadan Sobhi is in contention for his first start of the term. Elsewhere, Wagner is expected to stick with Jonas Lossl despite Ben Hamer’s return to fitness.
Since the start of the 2017/18 season, Crystal Palace has lost all ten league matches without the services of Wilfried Zaha. Zaha was a late omission from the squad in Week 4 as the Eagles fell 2-0 to Southampton, but reports suggest the talisman has overcome his groin strain and will be fit to face Huddersfield. The news is a timely boost as it coincides with the absence of Christian Benteke; meaning Alexander Sorloth could operate alongside Zaha. Palace also got an additional boost in defense, where James Tomkins could return after missing the past two matches.
Wilfried Zaha [groin] and James Tomkins [calf] took part in full training today. If neither suffers a reaction, then the pair should be available for the trip to Huddersfield. #CPFC
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) September 13, 2018
Match Forcast: Crystal Palace is averaging 15.8 shots per match and Huddersfield is allowing a shade over 17. A victory for Palace would be my pick.
Manchester City vs Fulham
Sterling Raheem withdrew from the England squad due to a back complaint, and Bernardo Silva picked up a knock in Portugal’s 1-1 draw with Croatia. Neither injury is believed to be serious. But with City preparing for a run of seven matches in less than a month, we could see Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez selected this weekend for the visit of Fulham. Draft fantasy soccer managers who own Vincent Kompany and Nicalos Otamendi stand to benefit from the fixture congestion, as Guardiola will likely rotate his defense to keep Laporte and Stones fresh.
With 12 new arrivals during the summer transfer window, Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic used the first four matches of the season to figure out his best XI. Aleksandar Mitrovic and Andre Schurrle have scored six of the club’s seven goals thus far. The defense has conceded at least two goals in each of their four matches, though the return of Alfie Mawson is a welcomed boost. Maxime Le Marchard looks set to partner Mawson at the Etihad, while Joe Bryan could return at left-back after being dropped for the draw with Brighton. Tom Cairney will come back into the side once fit, but this weekend’s match may come too soon for the central midfielder to return. Draft fantasy soccer managers should only trust Fulham attackers, as well as midfielder Jean-Michael Serri, this week.
Match Forcast: The line of thought here is goals. Manchester City has scored eights in their two home matches, and Fulham has conceded five across away outings against Tottenham (3) and Brighton (2). Citizen seems like a smart choice, although I am expecting a goal from Mitrovic.
Aleksandar Mitrovic is well and truly on fire! 🔥😳
The Serbian striker juggles the ball on the edge of the box before lashing the ball in! 💥⚽
Watch live on the Sky Sports Football Red Button now! 🔴 pic.twitter.com/4nO4dEf8kJ
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) September 10, 2018
Newcastle United vs Arsenal
Newcastle comes into this match with one point after a very rough run to begin the season. With the defensive 5-4-1 formation becoming a trend against stiffer opposition, Rafa Benitez could do the same against Arsenal. The other approach in the cards is the 4-4-1-1. Benitez used this set in the opening two matches and, most notably, in the victory over the Gunners last season. The Magpies will be without long-term absentee Florin Lejeune, but Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie could return at the expense of Ki Sung-Yeung and Ayoze Perez. Regarding player movement in Fantrax leagues, DeAndre Yedlin’s ownership is up 30% after playing a direct hand on each of Newcastle’s goals in the last two matches (one goal, one assist).
Any discussion of Arsenal must begin with Mesut Ozil. The former German international has been a significant disappointment in fantasy after commanding an Average Draft Position of 20.38 in the summer, ranking 95th amongst all midfielders with just 8.25 points. The other big talking points were the product of the 3-2 win over Cardiff City last time out; Ozil started on the right wing, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang played on the left, and Alexandre Lacazette operated up front. Lacazette should get another start after scoring the winner and assisting for Aubameyang on the second. Draft fantasy soccer managers invested in Henrikh Mkhitaryan, not Ozil, could be the ones left disappointed if Unai Emery sticks with the same approach.
Match Forecast: But any suggestion of this match being an easy one for Arsenal would be a significant overstatement. Newcastle got on the scoresheet in defeats to Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City. If I had to pick an upset this week, Newcastle would be my choice.
Watford vs Manchester United
Four matches, four unchanged lineups and four wins suggest Watford manager Javi Garcia won’t make any alterations for the visit of Manchester United. The Hornets play host with tons confidence after coming from behind in a 2-1 victory over Tottenham in Week 4. Draft fantasy soccer managers who invested in Watford have benefitted dramatically from the club’s early success. Jose Holebas is the third-highest scoring defender, Troy Deeney has played a hand on three goals (two goals, one assist) and Daryl Janmaat has produced three double-digit performances. The trio, as well as Roberto Pereyra and Will Hughes, have starting value this week despite facing a tough opponent.
Manchester United snapped a two-match losing run with a convincing 2-0 victory over Burnley last time out. After conceding seven goals in their opening three matches, the clean sheet could see Jose Mourinho stick with a very similar lineup. Diogo Dalot is closing in on full fitness after missing the start of the term, though it’s unlikely he will displace Antonio Valencia at right back. Ashley Young looked set to deputize at left-back for Luke Shaw, who suffered a suspected concussion on international duty. However, recent reports suggest the England international could be fit and ready to start.
Luke Shaw could be back sooner than some may have expected…
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) September 13, 2018
Match Forecast: There will be more than three goals at Vicarage Road.
Wolverhampton vs Burnley
Wolverhampton is riding a two-match winning streak thanks to a late strike by substitute Adama Traore against West Ham United. Traore, owned in 50% of all Fantrax leagues, will be hoping for his first start of the season and could be included this weekend with Raul Jimenez in doubt. Wolves kept their first clean sheet of the season so the rest of Nuno Espirito Santo’s squad should go unchanged. Defenders Jonny (25%) and Ryan Bennett (12%) are streaming options for draft fantasy soccer managers.
Adama Traore 28 minutes vs West Ham:
2 key passes
5 dribbles won
Monster. 😱 pic.twitter.com/hggvjZDFW3
— FootballTalentScout (@FTalentScout) September 1, 2018
Burnley is still searching for their first league win of the term. This had much to do with the club being stretched thin from injuries during their Europa League campaign. Draft fantasy soccer managers can expect better moving forward since they crashed out during qualification. This week, though, the Clarets face a tough task with Robbie Brady, Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Stephen Ward unavailable. James Tarkowski, Joe Hart and Chris Wood are the only players with starting value in 10-team Fantrax leagues.
Match Forecast: Burnley conceded only 1.03 goals per game last season. This season, the club has conceded 2.25 goals per game. I would back Wolves.
Everton vs West Ham United
Injuries have rocked Everton in the lead up to the visit of West Ham United. Seamus Coleman and Dominic Calvert-Lewin were added to the injury list over the international break, meaning Marco Silva will be forced to make a handful of changes. With 12 first-team players in the treatment room and Richarlison suspended, Everton is a destination for streaming options.
Most of Everton may be in the treatment room but that doesn't mean that there aren't options for the weekend. Guys available in most leagues are below along with their ownership percentages:
Lucas Digne: 56%
Mason Holgate: 6%
Jonjoe Kenny: 6%
Ademola Lookman: 0%
Kurt Zouma: 6%
— Fantrax FC (@Fantrax_EPL) September 13, 2018
Manuel Pellegrini is on the hot seat. The Chilean boss was always going to need time to before settling on his best XI, but the amount of tinkering has been hectic. Pellegrini has already used 20 different players, 17 of which have played at least 90 minutes, and only three outfielders have started in all four matches; Arnautovic, Jack Wilshere and Fabian Balbuena. In short, the Hammers lineup is by far the most unsettled in the league.
Match Forecast: Before the latest injury news, I was fully backing Everton. Now, however, my gut says draw.
Southampton vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Considering Southampton is coming off their first win of the season, manager Mark Hughes could name an unchanged starting line-up for Monday’s home clash against Brighton. Charlie Austin and Shane Long were absent from training during the international break, due to a hamstring issue, but Hughes is optimistic that both will be able to return to the group on Saturday. If neither striker can recover, Manolo Gabbiadini could get a start after failing to make the match-squad the past two matches. Danny Ings has scored two goals and taken 11 shots, five of which have been on target, across three consecutive starts.
'Danny Ings has a brain like Sheringham… Sooner or later he will get a chance.' 🧠🏴
Would you like to see Danny Ings called-up by Gareth Southgate? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/xRCIEYpdzz
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) September 5, 2018
Match Forecast: Danny Ings and Glenn Murray will get on the scoresheet in a 1-1 draw.
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