Somehow, I have ended up with this team after Gameweek 3. As you can see, I do not have some top performing players like Mkhitaryan and Pogba, or defenders like Alonso or Hegazi. I am sure some of you will not be happy with your teams right now. Let’s see what can be done to improve the performance of our fantasy teams in the coming gameweeks.
I normally play the 3-4-3 formation. For Gameweek 4, I have just the 1 Free Transfer and 0.5m in the bank. Let’s look at the possible changes position-wise.
I have Courtois (5.5m) in goal. He didn’t have much to do in the game against Everton and made exactly zero (0) saves. Next up for him is Leicester away, which can be a tricky fixture. But Chelsea’s strong defensive showing last time out convinces me that they can handle the likes of Vardy and Mahrez. I am staying put with him. Although Chelsea’s fixture in Gameweek 5 is against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, the poor form and run that Arsenal is in, I am not sure whether to spend a transfer on this position.
Transfer Made: None
A lot of issues at the back currently. Although Bailly and Valencia have kept 3 clean sheets out of 3, it is not advisable to keep all your eggs in one basket, or 2 out of 3.
I am contemplating a change in the department with Valencia sitting out. His crossing has been poor, and is seldom found in goal scoring areas, however Bailly is up there when United take corners. This would also give me the liberty to take another Manchester United player, if I wish to.
In place of Valencia, I wish to buy a less expensive defender and looking at the options, I have Zanka (4.6m) and Schindler (4.5m) from Huddersfield, who surprisingly have not conceded in 3 matches and defenders from West Brom who travel to goalless Brighton. Hegazi (4.8m) is a threat from set pieces as well and has conceded just once in three games. West Brom then welcome West Ham who have not won a single game.
I am going ahead with Hegazi which leaves me with 2.2m in the bank.
Transfer made: Valencia out, Hegazi In
My main headache is the midfield department. Mane definitely stays, Eriksen is in the team on the basis of his record in last many seasons as he is a proven points-earner. He might have had more points in the 3 games, had Harry Kane converted his chances and ended his August curse. But, it is September and Eriksen is potent.
Willian! I am not sure if he will start with Eden Hazard returning. Bakayoko and Kante are sure starters. Fabregas has been amazing and has linked brilliantly with his fellow-countryman Morata, so I don’t think he will be benched. Between Pedro and Willian, Don Conte prefers Pedro in my opinion. I will be making a change here, although it will cost me 4 points.
With 9.2m to spend, I have the following options in my mind to choose from: Salah (9.0m), Mahrez (8.5m), Sigurdsson (8.4m), Mkhitaryan (8.3m), Pogba (8.2m), David Silva (8.1m) and Fabregas (6.9m).
I personally want to get Mkhitaryan due to his top form but seeing United’s record at Stoke, I have apprehensions. Will it be foolish to not buy him? I guess. But, if I go with Fabregas, I will have 2.3m at my expense.
I want to transfer out Rooney as well. With Fabregas in, I can go for Morata but UCL is around the corner and remember that Costa is not in Chelsea’s UCL squad. Conte might play Costa in the PL and Morata in the UCL. That is another equation that needs to be kept an eye on!
Salah might be rested due to their UCL match with Ox as an available substitute. Roma too rested him before Europa League matches. Mahrez is up against Chelsea, Huddersfield away and Liverpool as his next three fixtures. Although Sigurdsson is against Spurs and United in the next fixtures, and does well against bigger teams, I am not sure about Everton’s performance after what we saw last weekend.
It boils down to the United duo and City’s Silva. Silva is a proven magician with Jesus/Aguero at the top to aim at. Mkhitaryan is finding his feet in the PL looks menacing in every attack. Pogba is surely justifying his price tag with performances off-late. A difficult choice but I will still go with Mkhitaryan over the other two. Sometimes you got to go with your gut feeling!
Transfer Made: Willian out, Mkhitaryan In
I am not disturbing Lukaku and Firmino in any case as of now. I would like to change Wazza for someone, maybe Bony who is back at Swansea and is up against newly promoted Newcastle United at home.
In Wayne Rooney’s defence, he has scored in 2 out of 3 games. He will also be on Penalty Duties. I have already take a 4-point deduction. Spurs at Wembley, have not made a good start. I will just stick with him for one more gameweek and hope he gives me points!
Transfer Made: None
Captain for the Gameweek:
Looking at the team, I have Mane, Firmino, Mkhitaryan and Lukaku in mind for the captaincy. I am excluding Eriksen because the Everton side has yet to concede at home in all competitions this season. Also, in 2016/17, the Toffees had the third best home defensive record, behind Spurs and Manchester United.
Liverpool is away to City. United is away to Stoke. Difficult games for both of them.
Between Firmino, Salah and Mane, anybody can end up popping a goal but City have allowed the least shots in the box and crosses of any side over the opening three games. But, Liverpool’s record against top six sides under Klopp has been outstanding with 5 wins and 5 draws last season and a 4-0 hammering of Arsenal last time out.
Manchester United striker Lukaku has failed to score in 7 of his 10 league appearances against the Potters. But with the midfield in such a form that they are, the odds are in his favour. Mkhitaryan might even struggle against the physical play of Stoke City, but his pace and trickery will trouble them for sure.
Weighing all pros and cons, I will go ahead with Mane as my captain for Gameweek 4. Him being a midfielder earns more points, and he is sure to create nuisance at the back of City’s defence.
Captain: Sadio Mane
Valencia Out, Hegazi In
Willian Out, Mkhitaryan in
Cost Incurred: 4 points
Money in the bank: 0.9m
As I said, I usually play 3-4-3 in the fantasy, but with the fixtures for my defence in mind, I am going to play 4-3-3 in this gameweek. Mee is against a goalless Crystal Palace side. Hegazi will play Brighton, Bailly is away to Stoke and van Aanholt travels to Burnley.
This also solves my midfield issue of Loftus-Cheek who is not a sure starter this week as he is out with injury and Chalobah is against a determined Southampton defence.
The forwards take their natural positions.
My Final Team
I hope I have made suitable changes, suggestions and comments are most welcome! Happy selecting!