FPL GW5 tips: The best fixtures, who to captain, Merseyside derby assets

Quick Reads

The first international break is traditionally Wildcard time, so GW5 could see dramatic changes within your mini-leagues. Confident?

This round of Nations League fixtures might not have been particularly relevant to your FPL fortunes.

Timo Werner and Kai Havertz looked sharp, but you probably sold them weeks ago to buy Dominic Calvert-Lewin and James Rodriguez.

Meanwhile Harry Maguire and Fabian Schar were competing to put in the worst centre-back performance since Jonathan Woodgate’s debut for Real Madrid… affecting precisely nobody’s FPL plans.

Aleksandar Mitrovic can still score penalties though. So there’s that.

In truth, the onset of GW5 represents something of an FPL reboot. Two weeks is a lifetime in the quarantine era, and many a Wildcard will have been deployed over that period, changing the makeup of the game.

And that historic Sunday, 4 October 2020, felt like a conclusion to something. Defending? Luke Shaw? The world as we know it?

This GW surely won’t provide as many shocks as the last, but its an intriguing one nonetheless, with your entire Saturday occupied by massive fixtures.

Here are our FPL tips for GW5:

Best fixtures

Chelsea – Southampton

Chelsea have good home form and will be buzzing to face Southampton despite the Saints’ positive recent results.

Although Frank Lampard will likely have to call upon Kepa or Willy Caballero, his fully fit attack should more than compensate for a dodgy stopper.

In addition to their expensive Germans, Chelsea could deploy Christian Pulisic (£8.3m) and new signing Hakim Ziyech (£7.9m), while Mason Mount (£6.9m) was one of England’s better performers in the international fixtures.

Goals are almost guaranteed.

READ: Comparing Christian Pulisic’s debut season at Chelsea to Eden Hazard’s

Newcastle – Man United

However bad Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team look — and that’s very bad, in case you’ve forgotten — a mini-comeback looks sort-of inevitable here.

Steve Bruce has won one of his 24 games as manager against Man Utd, and a Newcastle victory here would be too dramatic even for 2020.

Right?

Marcus Rashford (£9.5m) may have to lead the line, while Mason Greenwood (£7.4m) should be hungry for goals following his England exile.

And Bruno Fernandes (£10.5m) remains a consistent source of points even as United get worse and worse.

READ: Mothercare beware: Marcus Rashford sold the biggest dummy of the year

Leicester – Aston Villa

Take your pick.

This game could go either way, but the array of attacking talent on show should make it quite the spectacle: both sides are scoring 3+ goals per game at the moment.

Popular new boy Timothy Castagne (£5.8m) and the in-form Harvey Barnes (£7.1m) can aid Jamie Vardy (£10.1m) for Leicester.

But the interplay between Villa’s Jack Grealish (£7.1m) and Ross Barkley (£5.9m) was arguably the most thrilling football we saw in GW4. And that’s saying something.

Kasper Schmeichel is a potential stick-in-the-mud after excelling against England on Wednesday, so let’s hope he has a bad day.

Who to captain

Sadio Mane

Lads, it’s Pickford.

This could be Liverpool’s toughest derby in years, but Sadio Mane (£11.9m) is reliable in the biggest games and has just had a well earned rest — of sorts.

Mane was the only superstar forward to face Everton at Anfield last December, and he duly helped out Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri and Adam Lallana in Liverpool’s 5-2 win.

If he tests negative, we’re positive he’ll score.

READ: Comparing Sadio Mane’s Premier League record to Cristiano Ronaldo’s

Harry Kane

Gareth Southgate tried to use Harry Kane (£10.6m) sparingly over the three England fixtures, but he didn’t count on Harry Maguire getting sent off and everyone else — strikers included — having to run their bollocks off against Denmark.

That being said, Kane should be fresh enough for a home fixture against West Ham.

Son Heung-Min (£9.1m) might be better value, but Kane’s consistency and penalties make him the obvious captaincy choice.

Riyad Mahrez

For once, Pep Guardiola’s Man City look short on attacking options.

Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus remain out, while minor injuries to KDB and Raheem Sterling marginally reduce the chances of those two starting.

Step forward… Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m)?

The Algerian scored a cold-as-ice goal against Mexico in the week, and although he’s had to travel, he could reward his tiny 4.1% ownership against an Arsenal side shorn of the self-isolating Kieran Tierney.

The Merseyside derby

Most FPL squads have multiple assets from both Everton and Liverpool, which could cause a potential headache Saturday lunchtime.

The sensible course of action is to keep all the attackers and enjoy the show.

Mane and Thiago (£6.0m) could both return for Liverpool to trouble an injury-hit Everton defence, while Everton’s usual suspects like Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.6m) and Richarlison (£7.9m) — whose grit might just be more effective than James Rodriguez’s guile here —will be happy to face Adrian instead of Alisson.

But the form of Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) in particular could be a worry. He’s not currently justifying his price tag, and a clean sheet looks unlikely.

Our advice is to stick with him for the upcoming home fixtures against Sheffield United and West Ham, then take stock ahead of the big GW8 fixture versus Man City on 7 November.

READ: Where are they now? Both XIs from Everton’s last derby win v Liverpool

How we fared last week

Given the batshit events of GW4, we’re not totally ashamed of our predictions. It could have been worse.

What we got right:

  • Hector bloody Bellerin bossing it with a MOTM performance against Sheffield United
  • DCL continuing to score, obviously

What we got wrong:

  • Burnley and Newcastle keeping a low scoreline
  • Sadio Mane getting out of bed
  • Everything else

By Benedict O’Neill


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