After a quite sensational gameweek in which three players scored hat-tricks and Manchester United were torn apart by Liverpool at Old Trafford, we are back for another helping of Fantasy Premier League. On a personal level, I was feeling incredibly smug after captaining Reece James instead of Mo Salah, until the Egyptian put on a 24 point masterclass in Manchester.
If you are one of the 31.2% of FPL managers who for some inexplicable reason do not own Mohamed Salah, then this game probably isn’t for you. He has scored in all but one gameweek and has now scored a remarkable 50 points in the last three gameweeks. He’s the best player in the world right now, so having him in your team is a given at any price point, yet the quandary comes when it comes to the captain’s armband.
The likelihood is that around half of all FPL managers will be captaining Salah at home to Brighton, but the Seagulls actually boast a much stronger defensive record than Manchester United having only conceded nine goals in nine. Liverpool are likely to win this one, and Salah may well score - but risking it by captaining another option could be a key differential this week if he does blank.
Bargain forwards are all the rage
With Mo Salah so strong in midfield, Romelu Lukaku out and Cristiano Ronaldo unconvincing under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the move towards bargain forwards is an obvious one for many managers. Luckily, there are many options that can tickle our fancy.
Josh King at £5.6m is hot property after his hat-trick at Goodison Park, but a smart option could be to back Hee-Chan Hwang of Wolves, who is just £5.7m and is now outscoring teammate Raul Jiminez. Odsonne Eduoard and Christian Benteke at Crystal Palace are £6.5m and £6.3m respectively but it may be worth until their fixture at the Etihad is out of the way before bringing them in. If I had to pick one of those four this week, it would be Hwang.
Raya injury opens door
Brentford, who have only conceded nine goals this term and impressed many with their defensive options received some unfortunate news this week as first-choice goalkeeper David Raya was ruled out for up to six months. However this does open up a potential option for managers.
The man to step into his shoes will be Spain’s Alvaro Fernandez (£4.5m), who already has an international cap to his name at the age of 23. If he can perform as well as Raya has behind the same defence, then it makes perfect sense to get him in as a straight replacement, and an early differential.