17/04/2024

Ivan Toney celebrates his first hat-trick of the season. (Image: Official FPL/Twitter)

Managers enjoyed a break from the FPL drama, following several disruptions causing a plethora of postponements.

Many decisions are on the table. Due to the postponed matches in gameweek eight, managers may opt to activate their wildcard chip. If not, they may struggle in comparison.

Updates

The Queen’s death postpones football

Two days prior to the start of GW7, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passed away, aged 96. Due to her passing, the United Kingdom entered a 10-day mourning period, hence pausing the upcoming gameweek.

All 10 fixtures from GW7 will be rescheduled, therefore down the track managers will face a mouthwatering double gameweek.

The upcoming funeral for the late Queen had also caused disruption going into GW8. Because of collisions with the funeral, Chelsea vs. Liverpool and Manchester United vs. Leeds United, will also be rescheduled.

Brighton and Hove Albion and Crystal Palace’s GW8 fixture will also be postponed, due to “planned industrial action on the rail network”.

Tuchel sacked, Potter appointed

Chelsea made a shock announcement prior to GW7 – the sacking of head coach Thomas Tuchel. Tuchel won three major trophies and had a win rate of 60 per cent, but was shown the door.

The switch in gameplay might be what managers were searching for, from an FPL standpoint. Reece James was playing at right centre-back in Tuchel’s system, prior to the purchase of Wesley Fofana. Under Potter, James may get the chance to thrive as a right wing-back.

Potter earned himself a move to a big club, finally, after a positive start to the 2022/23 season with Brighton. He got the Seagulls into fourth position after six games, before leaving for Chelsea.

This leaves Brighton in a spot of bother. Under-21s coach Andrew Crofts will conduct interim head coach duties alongside midfielder Adam Lallana. What the future looks like for Brighton, is unknown.

New assets

Diego Costa – Wolves: £5.5m (Forward)

Managers saw one addition to FPL during the unexpected break. Wolves signed free-agent Costa on a one-year contract.

Costa last played in the Premier League in 2017 for Chelsea. Over five years since his last Premier League match, a lot has changed since.

During his time at Chelsea, Costa scored 52 Premier League goals from 89 appearances. Now he is five years older, and the game has evolved.

He boosts the strike-force of Wolves, whom have struggled so far this season. Wolves have only scored three goals in the first six fixtures, with Daniel Podence and Ruben Neves the only goalscorers in the Premier League.

More FPL News

Gameweek Six Preparation

Hot or Cold – Gameweek Four

Captaincy Selection – Gameweek Four

Hot or Cold:

Hot – Ivan Toney: 17 points vs. Leeds United

Toney scored his first hat-trick of the season, boosting his tally to five goals.

The haul granted a massive score – the second-highest of the gameweek, 17 points. That of course included three bonus points.

Brentford has good fixtures upcoming after Arsenal in GW8. It doesn’t have a postponed game in GW8, meaning Toney could become a favourable asset.

In its next seven matches, Brentford faces three teams rated two on the FDR; Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Wolves.

Hot – Nick Pope: 12 points vs. Crystal Palace

It isn’t often that goalkeepers score double-digit hauls, but Pope has now done it twice this season.

Pope has raked in bonus points this season, despite only keeping three clean sheets. His main source of points seems to derive from the saves he makes, which is the most in the Premier League.

Newcastle appears to be a popular choice for assets coming into GW8. Players such as Kieran Trippier, Allan Saint-Maximin and Alexander Isak are all good options.

Pope now seems to be the best goalkeeper option. This is especially due to the fact that Brighton and Robert Sanchez will miss GW8, followed by tough fixtures.

Cold – Gabriel Jesus: One point vs. Manchester United

Arsenal failed to keep its perfect start to the season alive, falling 3-1 to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Going into the season full of hype, deservedly due to his pre-season form, Jesus has only returned in three matches. For his price, some managers are now seeing it as unforgivable, showing him the door.

Managers may now begin to look at cheaper assets who are perhaps overachieving in the forward line, as wildcarding could be a strong option if possible.

Cold – Trent Alexander-Arnold: One point vs. Everton

Liverpool’s defence has ultimately underachieved so far in the Premier League this season. As a collective, it achieved just its second clean sheet of the season, but Alexander-Arnold missed out on the points by a matter of seconds.

Alexander-Arnold was subbed out of Liverpool’s derby against Everton in the 58th minute, 90 seconds away from reaching the clean sheet threshold.

Unfortunately for managers, Alexander-Arnold only claimed one point. But perhaps his time had come, as Liverpool may be getting a tad too unreliable in defence.

Captaincy selection

Erling Haaland vs. Wolves

There is no question to suggest against captaining Haaland – the man is simply a machine.

Haaland has already netted 10 Premier League goals this season, four more than the next best. He has broken records for his rate of goals, and doesn’t look like slowing down.

Managers should be wary, as Wolves are notorious for shutting shop and locking down their defence. They has proven it against the good teams before, and it can happen once again.

Harry Kane vs. Leicester City

Kane has undoubtedly been Tottenham’s best attacking option this season. Alongside Leicester’s weak defensive showing this season, he becomes a strong option.

The Englishman has scored five goals and provided one assist this season; an average of one attacking return per match.

Tottenham appears to be set to explode, and it could come from any avenue. Heung-min Son is still yet to score this season, and will be itching to get on the board.

Nick Pope vs. Bournemouth

Newcastle looks likely to keep a clean sheet against a depleted Bournemouth side. As seen this season, when Newcastle keeps a clean sheet, Pope scores well. He will be one of the bonus point options, considering he is expected to make saves too.

If managers have faith in the Newcastle defence, Pope could be a differential shout, in order to split themselves from the rest.

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