FPL Gameweek 5 – Wildcard Special

With the international break among us, many FPL players have decided to push the wildcard button. This could be in an attempt to ram home their strong start to the season, or to give themselves a boost after a few low-scoring gameweeks.

With many premium assets available for purchase and not enough money to get them all in, our “FPL experts” here at TSZ towers have put together their own personal wildcard squads and given reasons for why their selected players made the cut. You can listen to our bonus edition of The Stats Zone’s FPL Weekly podcast above, where we discuss our wildcard squads in more detail.

TIM'S WILDCARD SQUAD

Prices may differ to current FPL values due to price changes

It’s clear following the first four gameweeks that three Man City players is essential going forward. Following the long-term injury to Aymeric Laporte, a now seemingly nailed Nicolas Otamendi (£5.4m) provides not only defensive cover, but also an attacking outlet with his ability to score from corners and free kicks. Tim sees a Man City defender as vital given their penchant for clean sheets and friendly run of fixtures going forward.

The midfield sees Harry Wilson (£6.0m) come in, with the Liverpool loanee boasting two goals already this season and Bournemouth have an enticing run of fixtures coming up. Mason Mount (£6.4m) provides a cheap attacking midfielder for a high-scoring Chelsea team, whilst Mo Salah (£12.5m) is the preferred Liverpool midfielder over Sadio Mane. Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz (£4.6m) however is preferred instead of a second Man City midfielder to go alongside Raheem Sterling (£12.3m).

The attack is headed up by the highest FPL points scorer of the season so far in Sergio Aguero (£12.1m), an expensive FPL asset but one who has proved his value time and time again in FPL over the years. With Jesus currently an injury doubt, Aguero seems an absolute must-own for any wildcarders. The attack is completed by Norwich’s Teemu Pukki (£7.0m) and Man Utd’s 17-year-old striker Mason Greenwood (£4.5m), who has so far been reduced to appearances off the bench for the Red Devils.

TRYSTAN'S WILDCARD SQUAD

Prices may differ to current FPL values due to price changes

Unlike Tim, Trystan has decided to go without Man City coverage in defence in favour of three attacking outlets. Instead, he has preferred a more budget defence, with the exception of Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk (£6.5m). Brighton’s Lewis Dunk (£4.6m) and Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings (£4.5m) both provide a goal threat from defence and complete the defence alongside the two popular bargain basement assets in John Lundstram (£4.2m) and Martin Kelly (£4.1m).

To counter the cheap defence, Trystan has loaded up in midfield with two Man City assets in Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne (£9.8m) alongside Salah. These three are the current highest scoring FPL midfielders after four gameweeks. Two cheaper budget options complete the midfield with the form of Man Utd winger Daniel James (£6.1m), who has three goals already this season, getting him in the squad alongside Norwich midfielder Todd Cantwell (£4.8m).

Once again, Sergio Aguero heads up the forward line, with Teemu Pukki as his partner. In order to save money, Arsenal's Eddie Nketiah (£4.4m) completes the strikeforce despite him being certain not to feature in FPL at all the season, following his season long loan move to Leeds Utd.

ALEX'S WILDCARD SQUAD

Prices may differ to current FPL values due to price changes

My team has been structured to fit in the most important FPL assets from each position, with a key talking point regarding the midfield. In defence, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.0m) represents the premium option. Alongside being a part of last season’s best defence, the right-back has been involved in 15 goals since the turn of the year in the Premier League (the most for a defender).

Another right-back in Chelsea’s Reece James (£5.0m) is set to return from injury after the international break. James is set to complete the trifecta of youth players integrated into the Chelsea first team setup alongside Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham following a successful season-long loan at Championship side Wigan Athletic last season. Kelly, Lundstram and Leicester City centre half Caglar Soyuncu (£4.5m) complete the defence, with Soyuncu showing attacking potential in Gameweek 3 when he registered an assist away at Sheffield Utd.

The big move in midfield compared to the other two wildcard squads above is Sadio Mane (£11.5m) getting the nod over Mo Salah. After some deliberation, I believe that the 1m saved by selecting Mane over Salah is worthwhile. Mane finished joint top-scorer in the Premier League last season and will provide enough attacking returns over the season to justify the 1m being invested elsewhere. Like Trystan, Alex prefers going for two Man City midfielders rather than a defender, with Sterling and De Bruyne both getting the nod. The two budget options in Mason Mount and Todd Cantwell fill out the midfield. Cantwell has proven to be an excellent option for anyone looking to own KDB, Sterling, Mane/Salah and Aguero.

For the third squad running, Aguero spearheads the frontline with the guarantee of goals, justifying his premium price. Yet again, he is partnered by Pukki and Greenwood. It’s an identical strikeforce to Tim’s wildcard team.

COMMON GROUND

So, after looking through all three wildcard squads, a few points become clear that each TSZ “expert” agreeS on.

Aguero is a must-own!

The striker has been selected in each FPL squad and after starting the season IN such destructive fashion, it’s a no brainer to bring him in on a wildcard.

One Liverpool midfielder will do!

Both Mo Salah and Sadio Mane will provide their weight of goals and assists this season. Salah is likely to once again end up with the bigger FPL points return over the entire season, but at 1.0m cheaper, Mane could be a more than worthwhile replacement if you wish to put that money elsewhere in your squad.

Pope the best of the rest!

If you’re looking to save money and plump for a budget keeper over the more expensive options like Ederson, De Gea and Alisson, then Burnley’s Nick Pope (£4.6m) is the best option given the friendly run of fixtures in prospect for a Clarets side known as one of the more reliable mid-table Premier League sides for keeping clean sheets. Pope’s record of returning consistent save and bonus points could see him reward the FPL managers who put their faith in him instead of the likes of Mat Ryan and Dean Henderson.

TSZ Latest