• Ojas Sharma

Fantasy Premier League: Game Week 5 Preview

After a week of no Premier League (PL) football, it returns this weekend. The international break has been kind so far with no major injuries reported yet. The international break usually is a good time to use your wildcard if you want to make more than 5 changes in your squad or have had a bad start to the season.

One of the main reasons why using wildcard right now is a good idea is because players' prices have not risen too much within the 4 game weeks, as opposed to using it in December. However, if you are confident with your squad and feel only a few players need to be moved around then avoid using it. There is an advantage in using the wildcard in December as well. You need to have a strong squad near Christmas as there are games every few days. Maximum rotations happen during Christmas. So using wildcard then also has its advantages. You have to use it anyways by the end of December or your wildcard will lapse.

Before going to Fantasy Premier League (FPL) game week 5 plan, let us review how my team did in game week 4. For me, it was a disaster. One of the best ways to judge your game week is to see how far off you are as compared to the average score. I would say if you are just around the average score then you have had a bad game week. If you are far ahead of the average score then you have had a good game week. If you are quite behind the average score then consider it a disaster game week.

In game week 4, the average score was 57 points and my FPL team just scored 50 points. This has shifted me from 97,728 in the last game week to 289,461. That is a massive drop and things are not going well. By ranking perspective, my FPL squad is a good contender for a wildcard but I just feel that my team is good and just needs a few tweaking. Having faith in Manchester United players has backfired with another lackluster performance against Southampton. Both Marcus Rashford and Aaron Wan-Bissaka just returning 2 points each. It is time to move these players out.

My game week 4 was saved completely by defenders. With Liverpool and Manchester City getting clean sheets and Trent Alexander-Arnold and Lucas Digne getting an assist each. My midfield and strikers were completely useless with only Mohamed Salah getting 6 points. Yet again, my captaincy choice seems incorrect as my vice-captain Mohamed Salah outscored captain Raheem Sterling. I knew I had to make a move and fix a few things.

When it comes to such gaps in between, like the international break, there are 2 main strategies you can go with while making transfers.

  1. Go early for the player you want. The advantage of doing this is that you are saving at least 0.1 - 0.2 million pounds. The risk of doing this is that the player you picked goes for international matches and may get injured. Many times the injury may even keep the player out for a few weeks. Of course, if you are going for a player who is not selected for the national team, then always go early.

  2. Go very late for a player you want. If the player you want is not going for international duty, then this strategy should not be used at all. If the player is going for international duty and you want to be sure he is fit to play, then this is the best strategy. Sometimes, even if the player is fit, he might not play in the weekend, if he is traveling from far off country. So to be on the safer side you take the call on Saturday. However, the player price might have increased by 0.1 - 0.2 million pounds by now because of so many FPL managers playing their wildcards.

I went in early for my change because the player I got in was Kevin De Bruyne, who is in a sizzling form right now. I had done this change as soon as Manchester City’s game week 4 match was over, knowing well that FPL managers will go for him when they use the wildcard. His price has increased by 0.1 million pounds and has been brought in by 324,317 managers so far, making him the third most transferred-in player.

To make this change, I have moved out Leander Dendocker and Marcus Rashford and got in Kevin De Bruyne and Mason Greenwood. This does leave me with 0.9 million pounds in the bank which I will use to upgrade Joshua King. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is another player who has to be moved out. With Antony Martial and Aaron Wan-Bissaka injured, I think Mason Greenwood might get a start this weekend.

For captaincy choice this weekend I have 3 options: Raheem Sterling, Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne. Liverpool has a home fixture against Newcastle while Manchester City has away fixture against Norwich. One important thing to consider here is that Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne heavily featured for their international teams while Mohamed Salah had a good rest. However, Norwich has been plagued with a ridiculous amount of injuries. Also, Norwich manager has confirmed that they are not going to park the bus and will try to play attacking football as they usually do. This might become a goal fest for Manchester City players.

It will be difficult to guess between Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne for captaincy armband. Knowing my luck off late, my vice-captain will outscore the captain. Kevin De Bruyne is in 35.3% squads as opposed to Sterling in 46.2%. So, I will be going ahead with Kevin De Bryune as my FPL captain. If I am lucky, Kevin De Bruyne will outscore Raheem Sterling and this will boost my FPL ranking as he is in lesser number of FPL squads.

Here is how my FPL squad will look for the Fantasy Premier League game week 5. Keep checking my articles every week for more such tips and tricks.