FPL Gameweek 4 round-up: Saturday goals, assists, bonus and injuries
Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.5m) bagged a double-digit haul on his second Manchester United debut as the Portuguese veteran’s 2.2 million owners were rewarded for their investment on Saturday.
No player has racked up more FPL points than the United number seven in Gameweek 7 so far, although Romelu Lukaku (£11.5m) went stride for stride with his fellow premium forward and matched that 13-point tally.
The Red Devils’ 4-1 thrashing of Newcastle United was one of eight Premier League matches that took place on a busy Saturday, the main talking points of which we’ll discuss in this our first Gameweek 4 round-up.
Our usual, more detailed Scout Notes will follow for all of the day’s games but in the meantime, our resurrected Scoreboard series rounds up the key goings-on.
GOALS, ASSISTS, PROJECTED BONUS
KEY FPL TALKING POINTS
- Deprived of the services of Son Heung-min (£10.1m) and Steven Bergwijn (£6.0m) and lining up in a diamond formation, Tottenham Hotspur managed only two shots in the whole of their clash with Crystal Palace (none in the first half) and have the worst expected goals tally (0.09) in Gameweek 4 so far. The Eagles, by contrast, topped Saturday’s xG table with 3.00.
- Odsonne Edouard (£6.5m) scored twice on his debut and Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m) seemingly consolidated his position as Palace’s first-choice penalty taker, stepping up to take the Eagles’ spot-kick with Luka Milivojevic (£5.4m) on the field. Of just as much interest from an FPL perspective was the performance of budget midfielder Conor Gallagher (£5.5m,), who delivered two attacking returns for the second Gameweek in a row. On free-kicks and corners, he was involved in nine of the 18 shots that Palace had.
- Mason Greenwood (£7.7m), Paul Pogba (£7.7m) and Bruno Fernandes (£12.5m) are all set to be tied on 31 points in FPL if the bonus points are delivered as expected. No midfielder has more this season.
- Shane Duffy (£4.2m) is now the joint-best ‘value’ player in the game, returning 5.2 points per million spent. He was part of a Brighton defence that kept their second shut-out in four matches in a 1-0 win over Brentford.
- Last season’s best two backlines, Manchester City and Chelsea, are now joint-top along with Spurs for clean sheets this season (three each) despite the pair being in the bottom half of our Season Ticker over the opening four Gameweeks. Chelsea struggled from set plays against a lively Aston Villa, however, and they’ve now allowed 17 chances from dead-ball situations to be conceded over the last two Gameweeks.
- Pep Guardiola named an unchanged starting XI for the third successive match, the first time he has ever done that at City. It’s safe to assume that more changes will be in the offing once the Champions League starts in midweek and indeed Thomas Tuchel’s tinkering has already begun in earnest, with the benched Mason Mount (£7.5m) and Andreas Christensen (£5.0m) two of six changes that the Chelsea manager made.
- Dean Smith paired Danny Ings (£8.0m) and Ollie Watkins (£7.3m) in the same side for the first time, turning to a 3-5-2 to accommodate both strikers. Watkins was heavily involved and registered three times as many touches of the ball than his strike partner, who was hooked midway through the second half. Watkins also had six shots to Ings’ one.
- Marcal‘s (£4.5m) two attacking returns in Wolves’ 2-0 win over Watford were his first ever in FPL. The left-back banked two assists despite not creating a single chance in Opta’s eyes: a Marcal cross was first turned into his own net by Francisco Sierralta (£4.4m), before the Portuguese defender’s blocked shot was converted by debutant substitute Hee-Chang Hwang (£5.5m). Marcal and fellow wing-back Nelson Semedo (£4.9m) had three of the six big chances that Wolves created.
- Arsenal have had 52 attempts on goal in their two meetings with non-big six sides this season. Thirty of those came in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Norwich City.
INJURIES AND BANS
Michail Antonio (£8.0m) and Japhet Tanganga (£4.5m) will both miss Gameweek 5 through suspension after being sent off for two bookable offences on Saturday.
On suspension tightrope watch, meanwhile, Paul Pogba (£7.7m) has reached three yellow cards after just four Gameweeks. Another two bookings before United have played a total of 19 league matches and he’ll be suspended for one game.
Brighton’s win came at a cost, with Adam Webster (£4.5m) limping off with a hamstring problem – something that may aid Shane Duffy‘s (£4.2m) chances of staying in this Albion side, however.
The Seagulls were also without Pascal Gross (£6.0m) and Enock Mwepu (£5.9m), who were both self-isolating.
“I need to see but he said [Webster] felt something there but we will see how bad that is. Enock was pinged from a flight and Pascal is just self-isolating.” – Graham Potter
Edinson Cavani (£8.4m) missed Manchester United’s win over Newcastle with a knock that isn’t expected to keep him out for long, while Rob Holding (£4.3m) was absent from Arsenal’s win over Norwich with a bruised knee.
Son Heung-min (£10.1m) and Steven Bergwijn (£6.0m) were absent from Spurs’ defeat at Crystal Palace, while Eric Dier (£4.6m) was forced off after just 11 minutes of the loss at Selhurst Park.
Nuno Espirito Santo was, as ever, a bit thin on details after the game:
“I don’t know. [Son] doesn’t look well. Stevie, let’s wait and see this week. Hopefully, they will improve and be available for the next game, let’s see.
“Let’s wait and see [on Dier].” – Nuno Espirito Santo
Among the more notable returnees on Saturday were Jonny Evans (£5.4m) and Jannik Vestergaard (£4.9m), who shared 90 minutes of game-time between them.
Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m) and Phil Foden (£7.9m) were unused substitutes for Manchester City.
Callum Wilson (£7.4m), missing with a thigh injury, will be “touch and go” to feature in Gameweek 5, meanwhile.
FPL OWNERSHIP AND CAPTAINCY – TOP 10K
Ronaldo’s ownership shot up from nought to 65% in the top 10k over the last fortnight and he was the most-captained player among these leading managers, with just over half handing him the armband.
Ronaldo and Lukaku were the only players in the above ‘most popular’ list to bank double-digit hauls so far but the Belgian is a veritable differential by comparison.
While almost 99% of the leading FPL managers had to stomach Antonio’s red card, over 7% endured the double ignominy of captaining him.
There was a big spike in Wildcard usage in Gameweek 4, with over 17% of the top 10k deploying the chip.
The Brighton goalkeeper double-up, bargain-bin defenders and ‘out of position’ mid-price midfielders are features of the template squad, with over 85% also opting for Ronaldo.
STAT WATCH – GAMEWEEK 4
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