Premier League defenders, you have a lot to answer for.
Fantasy Premier League managers were greeted by a sea of sluggish returns last weekend, with many hyped premium assets performing miserably. It was a meager week of play for the lads in defence, but a rich one for the midfielders with eight players scoring 10 or more points.
For the second straight weekend, an Arsenal player topped the FPL charts for most points of the round and Martin Odegaard followed in Gabriel Jesus’ footsteps. Budget defender William Saliba also delivered a big score and it’s no surprise managers are flocking to Arsenal facilities as they are the only club left with a 100 per cent track record.
There are sure to be some wildcards activated ahead of Gameweek 4, too, considering the first three weekends scored relatively few. Starting wildcard early this season could be a smart move given managers have been given unlimited transfers throughout the World Cup anyway.
Last week’s top performers
- Martinez (Aston-Villa) – 10
- Lloris (spurs) – 9
- Sanchez (Brighton) – 8th
- Saliba (Arsenal) – 14
- perisian (spurs) – 12
- Veltman (Brighton), Llorente (Leeds) – 8th
- Odegaard (Arsenal) – 16
- Harrison (Leeds) – 14
- Rodrigo (Leeds) Bernard (Man City) Saint Maximin (Newcastle) – 13
- zaha (Crystal Palace) – 12
- MacAllister (Brighton) – 11
- Raschford, Sancho (both Manchester United) – 10
- adams (Southampton) – 12
- Johnson (Nottingham Forest) – 9
- Toney (Brentford) – 8th
I‘s team consists of three players from the London derby between Arsenal and Fulham, while two Liverpool players (yes, really) make the cut ahead of Bournemouth’s visit to Anfield. If you want FPL tips straight to your inbox before each game week deadline, sign up for ours Fantasy Football Newsletter here.
The closing date for entries this week is Saturday at 11:00 a.m.:
Game week 4 games
Saturday 27 August
- Southampton vs Man Utd
- Brentford vs Everton
- Brighton vs Leeds
- Chelsea vs Leicester
- Liverpool vs Bournemouth
- Man City vs Crystal Palace
- Arsenal vs Fulham
Sunday 28 August
- Aston Villa vs West Ham
- Wolves vs Newcastle
- Nottingham Forest v Spurs
David Raya (Brentford)
Brentford’s defensive form has been a bit up and down so far, but any team facing Everton should be confident of keeping a clean sheet given their lack of punch in attack. Frank Lampard’s options will be further exhausted if Anthony Gordon joins Chelsea ahead of the weekend. David Raya kept a clean sheet and earned a save point in his last home game in the 4-0 win against Manchester United in the second week of play.
Price: £4.5 million Points: 12 Game week 4 game: Everton (h)
Ivan Perisic (spurs)
Managers who stuck by Ivan Perisic after a frustrating few weeks were rewarded for their patience as the Croatian recorded a 12-point victory in his first Premier League start in Matchweek 3. Perisic grew into the game against Wolves and, along with Dejan Kulusevski, created the most chances in Tottenham’s team with three. Despite playing just 111 minutes, Perisic is the leader among defenders for big chances created with two, alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has played every minute in Liverpool’s games.
Price: £5.4 million Points: 17 Game week 4 game: Nottingham Forest (a)
Kieran Trippier (Newcastle)
Kieran Trippier is fast becoming the Premier League’s most efficient free-kick taker. The right-back’s spectacular display against Manchester City at the weekend saw him convert three of his four attempts into Newcastle’s black-and-white streak. Trippier won’t score every week but his appeal as an FPL asset is boosted by Newcastle’s defensive record during Eddie Howe’s tenure: Manchester City, Liverpool and Spurs are the only clubs to have kept more clean sheets as the Magpies since his first game in charge.
Price: £5.1m Points: 20 Game week 4 game: wolves (a)
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Tyrell Malacia (Man Utd)
Tyrell Malacia had a game on Monday. The left-back was one of four new additions to Erik ten Hag’s starting XI for the Liverpool game and was the most impressive of them all, captivating Mo Salah for a long time throughout the game. The Dutchman’s defensive tenacity was evident and encouraging from an FPL perspective, he took two of United’s six corners.
Judging by the quality of that performance, the left-back’s position is that of the Dutchman at risk of losing and he could prove exceptionally good value at just £4.4million.
Price: £4.4 million Points: 4 Game week 4 game: Southampton (a)
Trent Alexander Arnold (Liverpool)
Trent Alexander-Arnold has entered the Last Chance Salon. It is the third new signing for the right-back I‘s FPL picks this season and on the last two occasions he returned just a measly point. That lack of potency, coupled with Monday night’s horror show against Manchester United, is why he’s currently the second best-selling player this week.
As tempting as it may be to get rid of him, sticking with him is the sensible play as he leads defenders in chances created (at eight). Liverpool’s next opponents Bournemouth, meanwhile, have not scored in consecutive games and have the lowest expected total goals (xG) in the division.
Price: £7.5 million Points: 4 Game week 4 game: Bournemouth (h)
Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal)
Gabriel Martinelli was outshone Martin Odegaard (£6.4m) in Gameweek 3 but still maintained his record of returning in every game by assisting the Norwegian’s opener. Although Martinelli’s scoring streak came to an end at Vitality, he has had more shots on goal (four) than any other Arsenal player, showing the confidence he is playing with these days.
Although the price has increased by £0.4million since the start of the season, the winger is still one of the best-priced players in the game.
Price: £6.4 million Points: 22 Game week 4 game: Fulham (h)
Inconsistency has dogged Rodrigo’s time at Leeds but he has started the campaign in superb form and is the early leader in the FPL scorers’ charts. The Spain international has scored 13 goals in 57 games in his first few league games for Leeds but has already scored four in his first three games of 2022-23.
Rodrigo had more shots in the box than any other midfielder (at 12) and has the third-highest non-penalty xG behind Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez, according to Understat.
I‘s top tip: If Rodrigo is just out of range, grab his teammate Jack Harrison (£6.0m) instead. The winger has created 12 chances this season, second only to Mo Salah (13).
Price: £6.3 million Points: 35 Game week 4 game: Brighton (a)
Kevin de Bruyne (Man City)
Kevin De Bruyne is the only player in the FPL to surpass Mo Salah in a single season since the Egyptian joined Liverpool in 2019-20, but his popularity as an asset has since waned due to a significant surge in price in subsequent seasons.
However, he’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore after picking up where he left off in late 2021-22. The Belgian combined four goals with four assists in his last five games last season and has one goal and three assists to his credit for his efforts so far this term.
Price: £12.1m Points: 25 Game week 4 game: Crystal Palace (h)
More Fantasy Premier League
Mo Salah (Liverpool)
FPL managers are losing patience with their Liverpool fortunes after this performance at Old Trafford. A winless start to the season has prompted a forensic analysis of Liverpool’s woes: they are simultaneously suffering from a protracted injury crisis, a lack of investment in central midfield, the departure of Sadio Mane and a hangover after the Champions League final.
Certainly the slump cannot last much longer and Jurgen Klopp will be expecting a reaction from his out-of-form side against Bournemouth. Mo Salah has looked livelier than most in his first few weeks in a Liverpool shirt and has an impressive record against the Cherries, in which he has scored eight goals in six games.
Price: £13.0m Points: 22 Game week 4 game: Bournemouth (h)
Gabriel Jesus’ supporters could have celebrated a second straight double-digit win had the Brazilian delayed his shot into the box by just a split second. Jesus finished confidently only to have his shot ruled out for the most marginal offside decisions.
Despite that disappointment, Jesus still managed an assist, meaning only the aforementioned Rodrigo has accumulated more FPL points in the first three rounds. The captaincy debate is wide open this weekend, but Jesus seems as strong an option as anyone.
Price: £8.1m Points: 25 Game week 4 game: Fulham (h)
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham)
We support the goals at the Emirates, with Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic completing an attacking treble from that game. Don’t blame us if it ends 0-0…
Despite Arsenal having the second-best defensive record in the division behind Brighton, they are being tested by Mitrovic, who has proved a handful in Fulham’s early games. The Serb’s offensive stats are exceptional: he is the best of any player in shots (15), shots in the box (14) and shots on target (eight).
Price: £6.6 million Points: 18 Game week 4 game: Armory (a)