SPURS VS WOLVES
After observing both of Spurs’ Premier League games so far this season, it is clear that Antonio Conte has given enormous importance to the method that allowed him to win the title with Chelsea. In particular, the usage of offensive wing-backs has given Emerson Royal (£5.0m) and Ryan Sessegnon (£4.5m) the freedom to go further and join attacks at each chance, resulting in the two players collecting two assists and a goal thus far among them.
Against Wolves, the same is anticipated, and whoever starts in any of those wing-back spots could be very profitable from an FPL standpoint. Many FPL managers were shocked to see Ivan Perisic (£5.4m) benched over the first two gameweeks after contributing so significantly to Inter Milan’s Scudetto victory under Conte. Conte said that the Croatian wasn’t fully healthy.
However, it wouldn’t be shocking if Perisic started at left wingback against Wolves after replacing Sessegnon on the sidelines and having an instant impact by helping Spurs score the equaliser against Chelsea. While forward Harry Kane will be trying to score his first home goal of the year at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Emerson Royale has done enough to keep his spot on the opposing side. Consider adding Heung-Min Son to your squad. Son (£12.0m) hasn’t scored in two gameweeks, but it won’t be long before a player of his calibre racks up a huge FPL haul.
While Daniel Podence (£5.5m) and Morgan Gibbs-White (£5.5m) both missed golden opportunities, Pedro Neto (£5.5m) created chances without recording a single realistic chance. He was hastily ruled offside after one early attempt and didn’t actually shoot when provided with an open goal subsequently in the first half.
But the absence of a true finisher up top, with Hwang Hee-chan (£6.0m) and Goncalo Guedes (£6.0m), both of whom are expected to lead the front here, looks alarming. Their most selected defender, Rayan Ait-Nouri (£4.5m) is also going through a bit of a rough patch after scoring an own goal in Gameweek 1 and conceding a penalty in Gameweek 2 while still managing to get points for a clean sheet. However, the whole Wolves defence is a no-go from Gameweeks 3-10.
CRYSTAL PALACE VS ASTON VILLA
On the counterattack, Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m) gave Crystal Palace the lead after slipping past the Liverpool defence. Although it was Crystal Palace’s first attempt of the game at the moment, Patrick Vieira and his staff had evidently rehearsed the approach, as both Zaha and Eberechi Eze (£5.5m) mentioned after the game. In theory, Zaha should have added a second goal as well when his late shot hit the post and went wide. The £7.0m midfielder, who faces an Aston Villa team without Diego Carlos (£5.0m) in Gameweek 3, is showing promising indications.
Steven Gerrard’s pre-game remarks and Leon Bailey’s (5.0m) preseason performance were irrelevant because the winger’s stint in the starting lineup for Aston Villa only lasted one game. Due to the absence of a goal threat in Gameweek 1, Steven Gerrard brought back Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings at the sacrifice of Bailey and switched to a 4-3-1-2 formation. The strike partnership was promptly rewarded when partnering for Villa’s opening goal.
Although Bailey is undoubtedly not a perfect match for the narrow formation we witnessed against Everton, there is a notion that Gerrard is still trying to figure out his best starting lineup and formation. That was highlighted when Emiliano Buendia (£6.0m), an outstanding “number 10,” was called on to replace Philippe Coutinho (£7.0m), who suffered an injury at the hour mark.
Later, Bailey took Ings’ spot as a number nine and participated in a few chances on the counter, but with Ings and Watkins collaborating to great success against Everton, an “out of position” winger in a front two this weekend looks doubtful. Gerrard’s comment during the game that a two-man offensive approach was a strategy meant to counter a three-man defence—something that Gameweek 3 opponents Crystal Palace typically do not play with—offered the tiniest shred of optimism for Bailey owners.
EVERTON VS NOTTINGHAM FOREST
The Saturday lunchtime match at Villa Park steadily gained momentum but lacked true quality, particularly in attack as Everton once more used Anthony Gordon (£5.5m) through the centre with no striker. The visitors had several close calls, including Gordon having an attempt ruled off for offside and Demarai Gray (worth £5.5m) missing a chance from six yards out, but the Toffees ultimately relied on an own goal from Villa’s Lucas Digne (worth £5.0m) to cut the lead in half.
With 15 fresh arrivals already having made their way to the City Ground, Nottingham Forest have had a bustling summer. Because of this, it is impossible to predict how long it will take those newcomers to adjust, but Sunday’s events alone seem promising.
In Gameweek 2, Steve Cooper gave eight new acquisitions starts, including Taiwo Awoniyi (£5.9m). The former Bundesliga attacker started his Forest account with a close-range goal and continued to be a threat afterwards. He did lose momentum in the second half, but he had a significant impact when he was on the field since his teammates were constantly searching for his sprints in behind.
Neco Williams’ (£4.0m) outstanding wing play helped build Forest a serious menace driving forward. It should be noted that the Welshman was on set-pieces and finished the game with some eye-catching underlining figures, including four goal attempts, two shots inside the box, nine made crosses, and two chances created. His crossing, particularly early on, was impressive, and when West Ham’s (£5.0m) Lukasz Fabianski stopped his close-range shot, he recorded an Opta-defined “big chance.” Following up on his seven saves from Gameweek 1 with a huge 14-point performance, Dean Henderson (£4.5m) made a penalty stop, kept the score clean, and received the maximum bonus.
It must be acknowledged that Forest’s imminent schedule appears to be quite challenging, starting with a visit to Everton and continuing with matches against leaders Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. However, things start to get better after Gameweek 6 with matches against Bournemouth, Leeds United, and Fulham.
FULHAM VS BRENTFORD
When he squandered a decisive penalty at Molineux, Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.6m) wasted an ideal opportunity to reach the top of the FPL forwards’ points standings. Mitrovic, who was added by over 650,000 FPL managers prior to the Gameweek 2 deadline, added insult to injury for his owners as he ended the afternoon with a negative score after getting a late booking for being petulant. But with his boss giving him some strong support after full-time, there’s no chance of him surrendering his spot-kick responsibilities.
Apart from a visit to Arsenal in Gameweek 8, the Bees have quite a few favourable fixtures both before and after the International Break. After their solid starts, some warnings are probably necessary regarding the budget FPL midfielders Mathias Jensen (£5.0m) and Josh Dasilva (£4.5m). The former is not well-known for his attacking yield and only managed one return in the entirety of 2021–2022, while Dasilva has managed to score twice this season from an xG tally of 0.07. Given the good competition in the midfield and the fact that Dasilva’s minutes after a lengthy layoff are being monitored, it is too soon to determine if either is a “nailed-on” starter.
Ivan Toney (£7.0m), who grabbed two assists just after his opening-day goal, is gently slipping under the FPL spotlight while Bryan Mbeumo (£6.0m) narrowly scraped the post with his first goal of the season. With both of his assists going to Ben Mee (£4.5m) and Mbeumo, his season-long xGI number of 0.45 is an unjust representation of his impact against United.
Even though the centre-half line in front of him is lacking in two likely starts, there aren’t many goalies with better schedules than David Raya (£4.5m).
LEICESTER CITY VS SOUTHAMPTON
The Foxes have an opportunity to recover this weekend when they play Southampton, who have comparable weak defences. Although Jamie Vardy (£9.5m) hasn’t really found his groove yet and will be aiming to start his campaign against the miserable Saints, Ward (the cheapest starting goalkeeper in the game) hasn’t kicked into gear yet and clean sheets seem to be as infrequent as they were last season.
This season, Jamie Vardy appears to once again be the first-choice striker, remaining clear of Patson Daka (£5.9m) and Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.4m) in the ranks. In the first two games, he appeared to be in good physical shape, and he has already recorded one assist.
The Saints’ xGC is 3.8 and they have given up six goals so far. They also had one of the worst defences last season and haven’t made any changes to the backline’s roster. Vardy plays in a strong attacking side that finished sixth last season with 62 goals and an xG of 53.99. He is also on penalties.
A late switch to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s tried-and-true 4-2-2-2 formation helped turn the game around, with the extremely talented Joe Aribo (£5.5m) rushing off the bench to score one of the goals.
Aribo made three shots on goal in just 30 minutes, and after shining in the preseason while playing sometimes as a centre-forward who was “out of place,” he should be on your FPL watchlist if Southampton’s schedule improves. Although his Saints career is much more in its infancy than Aribo’s, Sekou Mara (£5.5m), who provided an assist here, also comes into this category, more monitoring time is required with him.
BOURNEMOUTH VS ARSENAL
For the 400,000+ FPL managers that sold Gabriel Jesus (£8.0m) in the previous week, it was a terrible afternoon as the Brazilian wreaked havoc upon Leicester City at the Emirates. The greatest single Fantasy score so far this season has been 19 points, but there could have been much more as Danny Ward (£4.0m) prevented FPL’s most-owned player twice, and he then missed a crucial opportunity to complete his hat-trick later on. As of this point in Gameweek 2, no player has surpassed Jesus’ overall numbers for penalty box touches, goal efforts, shots in the box, and big chances (BCT). Up next for Jesus are freshly promoted Bournemouth and Fulham.
With his sole shot of the contest, Gabriel Martinelli (£6.2m) netted for the second time in a row, but Bukayo Saka (£8.0m) was unable to capitalise on the scoring frenzy. However, he was, for instance, just a post width away from receiving an assist in the first half. There was unquestionably a feeling of him being pushed wider on the right, as well as a lot of Arsenal’s attacking game being channelled down the left flank; this is something to observe in the coming weeks.
Granit Xhaka (£5.0m), who played a more advanced position as a left-sided number eight for the Gunners, did profit from that somewhat asymmetrical strategy. Jesus’s stunning single goal hardly merited an assist, although he was in or near the six-yard box for both his goal and a previous headed attempt that hit the woodwork.
Due to the challenging starting schedule, we won’t be taking into account any of the Cherries’ personnel until Gameweek 5 at the earliest. The City setback was an outcome that was inevitable.
LEEDS UNITED VS CHELSEA
Chelsea had a tremendously successful series of games against Leeds last year, scoring three goals in each contest. The latter of those, in May at Elland Road, saw the Whites defeat their opponent 0–3, by which time Jesse Marsch had assumed control of the team. It is impossible to overstate the frustration the Blues will have felt after failing to win against Spurs, and it would come as no shock to see them take it out on their adversaries in West Yorkshire this coming Sunday. This is true in the sense of the defensive injuries that Leeds is presently dealing with.
Raheem Sterling (£10.0m) is an alluring choice after a Gameweek 2 assist as he searches for the first goal in Chelsea blue. Lacking a prolific striker, the FPL value in holding Chelsea assets comes primarily in their midfield in regards to offensive returns. Even though most FPL managers will be concentrating on the defence, Mason Mount (£8.0m) is also someone to keep an eye on after he started in each of the first two gameweeks.
Chelsea play similarly to Spurs in that their wing-backs move up in an effort to create attacking yields, which makes players like Reece James (£6.0m) and the recently acquired Marc Cucurella (£5.0m) prospective valuable assets. James has now scored two games in a row for seven points.
Rodrigo Moreno (£6.1m) of Leeds has had the most shots (10) and goals (three) in FPL this campaign, with the Leeds player scoring a brace in Saturday’s stalemate at Southampton. He netted six and seven goals in the last two seasons, respectively. However, he is no more operating as a “number eight” as he did under Marcelo Bielsa, but rather is being pushed farther up the field in this fresh Jesse Marsch team.
Patrick Bamford’s (£7.5m) first-half knock and Marsch’s decision to drop Daniel James (£6.0m) upfront undoubtedly benefited him, though Bamford isn’t anticipated to be out for very long. Jack Harrison’s (£6.0m) impact has been overshadowed by Rodrigo’s point total because the winger provided back-to-back assists and is now leading all Premier League stars in chances created in 2022–2023. Despite how good-looking he may be, Brenden Aaronson (£5.5m) is already falling behind in the fundamental statistics department.
WEST HAM VS BRIGHTON
At the City Ground, West Ham United wasted opportunities in front of goal, with Declan Rice’s (£5.0m) missed penalty in the second half. It wouldn’t be shocking if someone else stepped up the next time given that the England international has already botched two of the three penalties he’s attempted in the Premier League, including the previous two consecutively.
In other incidents, Michail Antonio (£7.5m) was subbed off early again and substituted by new recruit Gianluca Scamacca (£7.0m) after 69 minutes. Pablo Fornals (£5.5m) and Said Benrahma (£6.0m) both struck the post. The latter also had a goal disallowed for a foul in the build-up.
There were the typical, unsurprising storylines about Brighton being quite a team full of players who waste chances after the draw at the Amex. However, this was the first time in ten Premier League games that they had failed to convert, and Albion’s carelessness had just as much to do with the shutout as did Nick Pope’s (£5.0m) goalkeeping and some desperate defence by Newcastle.
The Seagulls’ greatest late opportunity was squandered by Pascal Gross (£5.6m), a German midfielder who is an unexpected third between all FPL players for xGI in 2022/23 after scoring a brace in Gameweek 1. He contributed another four opportunities against Newcastle in addition to his typical inventiveness from open play and dead-ball scenarios, but this season he is playing a somewhat more attacking role due to his efficiency in the final third and his early proficiency in the penalty area.
Solly March (£5.0m), who saw one attempt brilliantly saved and then another saved off the line, may have also charmed supporters of inexpensive midfielders. While he is currently in terrific form, there is always the lingering worry regarding Graham Potter’s penchant for rotation, especially with Tariq Lamptey (£4.5m) on the bench and a busy calendar of games ahead.
NEWCASTLE UNITED VS MANCHESTER CITY
In Gameweek 2, Erling Haaland (£11.6m) had fewer touches of the ball than Phil Foden (£8.0m), but the Norwegian wasn’t entirely inconspicuous in Manchester City’s rout of Bournemouth. Haaland nevertheless managed to make two shots, would have had a clear opportunity at the goal had Foden not greedily shot from a tight angle, and was also in a position to tap in when Foden scored by accident. The striker even had time to set up Ilkay Gundogan’s (£7.5m) goal to at least escape going scoreless.
With a dazzling effort of his own, De Bruyne (£12.1m) stole the spotlight, but Gundogan is an intriguing case and has been given a fair bit of attacking liberty in Gameweeks 1 and 2. Although the German has always excelled at making late dashes into the box, he isn’t always given the mandate to do so. However, as evidenced by the City’s opening goal, Haaland’s defence-occupying presence does create some room behind him. In Gameweek 2, Gundogan also had the most touches in the penalty area among his colleagues.
Joao Cancelo (£7.0m) provided the assist for the own goal that completed the scoring, and he was unquestionably broader and further advanced than he was the previous week.
With only four total shots, Newcastle didn’t offer much of a threat. It was concerning that Callum Wilson’s (£7.5m) goal was the only other goal scored by Newcastle. The Magpies are one of just two teams (so far) to maintain clean sheets in both of their first games, and their defence is even more astounding. With Matt Targett (£5.0m) out with a minor hamstring injury on Saturday, Dan Burn (£4.5m) stepped in to play left-back.
MANCHESTER UNITED VS LIVERPOOL
It doesn’t get any better for Erik ten Hag and his team, who are completely devoid of any morale, after what was possibly the most appalling display by a Man Utd team throughout the whole Premier League existence. The Red Devils’ greatest adversaries Liverpool will be eager to kickstart their Premier League season by stabbing them in the back when they visit Old Trafford after two consecutive draws. It’s important to note that Liverpool has defeated Manchester United by a score of 13 to 2 in their last three league meetings.
Mo Salah (£13.0m) won the match ball the last time he featured at the Theatre of Dreams by netting a hat-trick in a 0-5 thrashing of the hosts. It wouldn’t be shocking if the Egyptian ended up becoming the Gameweek 3 player with the most captaincies. Due to Darwin’s suspension, Salah and Luis Diaz (£8.0m), who last Monday tied the game against Crystal Palace in Gameweek 2, are expected to carry the load in front of goal. Once more, wing-backs are in the focus due to the offensive danger of Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) and Andy Robertson (£7.0m).