The worst part of every season must be this first international break! Just when it all starts we have two weeks off. Some people say that this time is the best time to use wild-card, and I won’t oppose that view. However, if you decide to use it, you’d better wait until Friday, for everyone to be back to their teams from international duty. And how “smart” of me to advise you that 10 days into the international break!
In Gameweek 3 all eyes were probably on Harry Kane – we all waited to see if he would finally score in August. Since it’s already September, and Kane managed to score a brace at the hostile island of Malta, you may all bring him back to your squads if you already transferred him out.
Miguel Britos brought us one of the most dangerous tackles we’ll see in the entire season. Good thing is that Knockaert is not injured, so Britos will sit out his suspension, while someone even suggested that his future at Watford is at stake with 3 red cards in 32 games. This is probably a time for me to brag about my predictions, since after Gameweek 1 when he scored against Liverpool, I told you that this was just a fluke, and you should all be avoiding him.
On the other hand, Raheem Sterling was punished for scoring a winning goal. If he was stripping his shirt off, I would understand the decision – this has been a big no-no for years, and I really cannot understand how players are still doing it. However, he was just celebrating with his supporters, and I really cannot say that I understand the referee’s decision… even though I’m not fond of Sterling at all!
Finally, the biggest let down of the previous Gameweek has to be Romelu Lukaku. In a comfortable United win, probably the most captained player missed his penalty. Well, I won’t say you made a mistake by giving him the armband, but I will only say that you should not be so surprised with Lukaku missing a penalty. As far as I remember, Lukaku was never actually first choice penalty taker whilst at Everton. His spot-kick record currently stands at 11 scored and 5 missed throughout his whole career (if we include both miss against Leicester, and score against Gibraltar), and it has been 7 seasons since he has taken a penalty kick for the first time. Anyway, besides here’s a picture that nicely presents how some of the most expensive forwards did in GW3:
Okay, let us jump to our GW3 recap:
- Hennessey – 1 pt – 0 saves, 2 goals conceded
- Lloris – 2 pts – 2 saves, 1 goal conceded
- Pickford – 2 pts – 5 saves, 2 goals conceded
Well, in general GW3 goalkeepers didn’t perform particularly bad. Besides Hennessey who scored 0 saves, Lloris who is expected to do better for some-would-say title contenders, and Pickford in top 3 with 5 saves are pure statistical information.
- Britos – -2 points – 1 red card, 1 goal conceded
- Holding – -1 point – 1 yellow card, 4 goals conceded
- Bruno – 0 points – 45 minutes, 1 yellow card, 1 goal conceded
Defenders are pretty straight forward. Britos is becoming a red card champion, whilst Holding got demolished by Liverpool (as well as the whole of Arsenal), and he was probably thinking about going back to Bolton Wanderers. Bruno is a type of players to avoid (or to pick in anti.football). Came off at half-time with one yellow card in his pocket.
- Cabaye – 0 points – 32 minutes, 1 yellow card
- Murphy – 1 point – 1 minute played
- Ramsey – 1 point – 45 minutes played
Pretty obvious here, right? As I said before, avoid players that are likely to get subbed early or are coming off the bench. Okay, Ramsey had scored off the bench in the first gameweek, but if you have a feeling that he’s not gonna play from the start, you should better avoid that player. It is to much of a risk, and there are players out there for the same price that play a full game almost every gameweek.
- Sakho – 0 points – 20 minutes, 1 yellow card
- Lukaku – 0 points – 1 missed penalty
- Calvert-Lewin – 1 point – 28 minutes
Well, besides Lukaku, who remains one of the best forwards and one of the “must-haves” in the game, there you go with Sakho and Calvert-Lewin. Came off the bench, did nothing. Ok, Sakho even got a yellow card. However, I was surprised with Calvert-Lewin on the bench to be honest.
Top 5 worst choices in GW2:
Top 5 worst choices so far this season:
OK, now let’s try to make some predictions about GW4, and play dead in the next weeks article when I get most of the things wrong:
- Man City – Liverpool: This gameweek starts with its biggest game. It can be a tricky one to predict because many of the most important players are coming back from international duty in the last minute from other continents (Man City: Aguero, Jesus, Fernandinho, Otamendi ; Liverpool: Mane, Salah, Firmino, Coutinho; to name a few). Baring in mind that both clubs play Champions League next Wednesday we could also see some players rested – even though it would be a bold move in such a big game. Just to mention that Liverpool managed not to concede a goal in their last 2 PL games, so we’ll see if their defence lives up to their shaky reputation. Anyway – big game where anything can happen. I would personally avoid Liverpool’s defense for the certain future. Also, if Liverpool plays in its full attacking force, City’s defenders should be avoided. We are of course yet to see confirmations on Pep’s first choice forward.
- Arsenal – Bournemouth: After the disastrous loss against Liverpool, Arsenal did nothing to improve their squad. They even managed to come out of the transfer window with a weaker squad. Will Arsene continue to put 130+ million pounds worth of players on Arsenal’s bench, it remains to be seen. Bournemouth are yet to record their first point this season. Can they do it against a knock-out giant? It may be the perfect chance to get their season back on track.
- Brighton – West Brom: Brighton tried but didn’t improve their attacking options. I would be really surprised if I don’t see West Brom getting all 3 points out of this game. It’s not like you ever considered putting some Brighton player in your team, but if you are by any chance on some recreational drugs – DON’T!
- Everton – Tottenham: After 13 years of international duties, Wazza Rooney didn’t know what to do during his nights of, so he decided it would be good choice to drink and drive. We’ll see what Koeman will decide to do with his star. There were talks about bringing Costa in on loan until January, but that didn’t happen, and I have to say – Everton’s attacking options really looks weak. Tottenham on the other hand have already lost a lot of points this season. I would be surprised to see Spurs not scoring a goal in this game, so I would avoid Everton’s defenders. And if you are one of about 10.000 managers that have Janssen in their squad, take him out, for heaven’s sake!
- Leicester – Chelsea: I doubt that Leicester can take much from this game, even though I would like to see it happen. They will have to cope with the loss of Drinkwater, and they’ll meet him in their first game after the transfer was made. More than 25.000 managers still have Costa in their squad, which is really amazing. The same amount have Michy, but even he can get some minutes. Leicester do have better attacking options than Everton, so they should be able to make some problems to Chelsea’s defense, but it would be good bet to put Chelsea’s defenders in your squad (especially having in mind their attacking skills), and to avoid Leicester’s forwards.
- Southampton – Watford: With Watford’s transfer policy, I don’t really know what to expect from them. Southampton do not give me much confidence in their ability of scoring, however Watford’s defence can find a way to get some cards and mess it up, so I would avoid them.
- Stoke – Man Utd: Stoke invested a lot in their defence this summer, but I don’t think they will be able to get out this game without conceding a goal. Man Utd has the easiest schedule ever at the beginning of the season, so I think they’ll continue to score goals. And Chupo-Moting and Jese are really not players you can put your confidence in to score every game, so – I would avoid them too.
- Burnley – Crystal Palace: A chance for Frank de Boer to survive. He brought Mamadou Sakho – not like he was there last season when Mamadou was there. Honestly, I don’t really like how Palace’s squad looks like, but maybe they will be able now to concede less. On the other hand, Burnley managed to get a point away at Wembley, so I suppose they will be able to get some chances again.
- Swansea – Newcastle: Newcastle got their first win because they played against a poor West Ham. And West Ham are playing even worse than Swansea. The Swans managed to get Renato Sanchez on loan, but I would be careful with bringing him to the squad. Personally, I like how he played in the Euro’s last summer, but he was not so good for Bayern, and he’s now in south Wales to get a chance for regular play and development. He’s cheap though. Regarding Newcastle, I don’t know really what to say. They are playing Swansea, so they have chance to get 6 points from 4 games, which would be like a dream for a squad this bad.
- West Ham – Huddersfield: With the way both clubs are playing this season, I think Huddersfield are miles ahead of West Ham right now in terms of quality. Bilic looks more and more like a person that does not know what he’s doing. Luckily he still has some players like Antonio and Chicharito, but I would be really sad to see Huddersfield’s streak of good results to end here.
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