FPL Gameweek 8 – Projections

Much like Nelly in 2002, the FPL community faces its own dilemma for GW8. The return of Harry Kane (£12.5m) to fantasy relevance has left managers scrabbling to transfer him in for the upcoming GW when Spurs face Cardiff. Getting Kane means freeing up money and with Manchester City facing Liverpool, managers are contemplating a move from Sergio Aguero (£11.4m) to the Spurs hitman.

The choice initially seems a good one given Aguero’s niggling injury and woeful record at Anfield – 0 goals for Manchester City or Atlético – but any switch in the short term could hamper point scoring in the long term. Plus, there’s always Mohamed Salah (£12.9m) to think about…

Let’s see if the numbers can shed any light on the situation.

OPTIMUM SQUAD

GW7’s projected optimum team saw the squad rack up 66 points as six of the 11 suggested players provided some form of points return. Captain Sergio Aguero (£11.4m) chipped in with a goal and two bonus points but it was his City teammate Raheem Sterling (£11.0m) that top-scored for the team with 14 points. Sterling has now recorded 38 points in his last four matches. Owned by just 4.3% of managers, the Englishman offers excellent differential value.

The City pair were ably supported by Kyle Walker (£6.6m), Kieran Trippier (£6.2m) and Theo Walcott (£6.6m) who scored seven, 11 and six points respectively.

With City due to meet Liverpool in GW8, the projected best XI features some of the top players from the traditionally less featured fantasy sides in the Premier League.

Taking a leaf out of Antonio Conte’s playbook, the team lines up in a 3-4-3 formation.

Rui Patrício (£4.5m) is a capable last line of defence. The Wolves stopper has racked up 26 points in his last four appearances and will look to keep that run going against Crystal Palace.

In front of the Wolves stopper, Marcos Alonso (£6.9m) makes a return to the squad after being left out last week. Alongside Alonso is Trippier and José Holebas (£4.9m). Both are capable of big points on their day with the pair each having scored nine or more points in a single GW three times.

With the traditional midfielder powerhouses facing off against one another (Liverpool vs Manchester City), mid-price options rule in GW8. Johann Berg Gudmundsson (£5.9m) leads the way, as his good form hasn’t gone unnoticed. The Burnley winger captains the team and will be given every opportunity to put up big points against a porous Huddersfield side.

Leicester City’s James Maddison (£6.9m) has scored points in each of his last four matches, while Anthony Knockaert (£5.5m) has contributed a goal and two assists in his last four outings. The final midfield spot goes to Watford’s Roberto Pereyra (£6.3m), who will look to get back to scoring ways against Bournemouth.

Up top, the mercurially talented Marko Arnautovic (£7.0m) is paired alongside the guile of Alexandre Lacazette (£9.5m) and the battering ram approach of Aleksandar Mitrovic (£7.0m).

THE REST - GOALKEEPERS / DEFENDERS

In addition to Patricio, just three clubs are projected a clean sheet in GW8. As such, Kepa Arrizabalaga (£5.5m) and Hugo Lloris (£5.4m) are the only other two goalkeepers projected to score more than six points this GW. Best of the rest include Wayne Hennessey (£4.6m), Joe Hart (£4.6m) and David de Gea (£5.9m).

Hart in particular makes the list due to the amount of saves he records each match.

Three of the top five defenders – Matt Doherty (£4.5m), Willy Boly (£4.6m) and Jonathan Castro Otto (£4.4m) are from Wolves. Wolves are set to face a Crystal Palace side that has yet to find the net at home in the league this season. Danny Rose (£5.9m) is the top projected defender not in the projected best squad as Tottenham play Cardiff at home. Rounding out the top five is Chelsea’s César Azpilicueta (£6.4m), who is projected to keep a clean sheet against Southampton.

THE REST - MIDFIELDERS / FORWARDS

West Ham host Brighton with Andriy Yarmolenko (£6.8m) primed for a big match. The Ukrainian forward has managed two goals and an assist since forcing his way into the first team in GW4. Eden Hazard (£11.1m) is projected to continue his fine form away to Southampton. The final three spots in the midfield go to Aaron Lennon (£5.0m), Granit Xhaka (£5.3m) and Lucas Moura (£7.4m). Their opponents (Huddersfield, Fulham and Cardiff) have conceded the top three most fantasy points so far this season.

At the business end, Jamie Vardy (£8.9m) leads the way as Everton travel to the King Power stadium. Vardy could prove a shrewd investment over the coming weeks given his favourable run of fixtures.

Matej Vydra (£5.9m) has started the last two games for Burnley and FACES Huddersfield who have already conceded ten goals on their travels this season. Kane, Kelechi Iheanacho (£5.9m) and Luciano Vietto (£5.5m) complete the top five forwards list.