After a sub-par gameweek 2 which had an average points return of 41 points, Fantasy Premier League managers can look forward to a possibly rewarding GW 3 with many of the top-six teams playing weaker teams. And yes we know Liverpool host Arsenal. But given how the trio of Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have practically made Arsenal their personal whipping boys over the past two seasons, it is safe to say that having any of the three will hold you in good stead.
Liverpool relish hosting Arsenal
Goals, goals and more goals. Liverpool vs Arsenal has been one of the most entertaining fixtures in the Premier League and has dished out quite a few classic matches over the years. Who could forget Andrei Arshavin smashing in four goals in the 4-4 draw way back n April 2009 or Roberto Firmino netting a hat-trick in the Reds’ 5-1 win just last year? Since Jurgen Klopp’s arrival, the fixture has been a lopsided one with the Reds running riot each time they have hosted the Gunners. It is not a surprise that Arsenal manager Unai Emery doesn’t want to face Liverpool at all ever again.
Having any or all (if you can) of Salah (£12.5m), Mane (£11.5m) and Firmino (£9.5m) is a no-brainer. Since January 2016, the trio has scored 12 of the 15 goals scored by Liverpool against Arsenal. However, it is doubtful that the defence led by Virgil Van Dijk (£6.5m) can come away with a clean sheet for Arsenal have also assembled a fearsome attacking trio of their own. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyand (£11.5m), Alexandre Lacazette (£9.5m) and new-signing Nicolas Pepe (£9.4m) have it in them to replicate the goal-scoring exploits of the Liverpool stars and the risk-taking managers amongst you can take a punt on either of the Gunners’ attackers.
Raheem Sterling primed to continue goal-scoring form
Sterling (£12.2m) got his season off to a flying start notching a hat-trick in the opening weekend against West Ham followed by a goal against Spurs. And he is poised to add to his goal tally (and your points) when he and his Manchester City side travel to the south coast to take on Bournemouth. Sterling has scored in all but one fixture against the Cherries. In seven matches, Sterling has scored eight times while also assisting two goals. Having the England star is a no-brainer given City will face Brighton, Norwich, Watford and Everton after the international break. That is if he doesn’t injure himself playing for the Three Lions.
Apart from Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne (£9.6m) is another City player to bank on. The Belgian got among the points with two delightful assists against Spurs and will be relishing the prospect of playing against a Bournemouth side who didn’t get going against two promoted sides in Sheffield United and Aston Villa. Bernardo Silva (£7.9m) was among the must-have players last season around given his relatively low price and the trust Pep Guardiola placed in him. However, he didn’t feature in the West Ham match and didn’t do much against Spurs so it might seem to make sense to dump him. However, given his quality, expect him to come good against Bournemouth.
Top picks for GW 3
Roberto Firmino (£9.5m): The Brazillian has scored seven times in Arsenal's last four visits to Anfield including a hat-trick last season. Even though the much-ridiculed Shkodran Mustafi won’t be on the pitch, Firmino still can do a lot of damage to an Arsenal centre-back pairing of Sokratis and David Luiz. At 9.5, he is cheaper than your Kanes, Aubameyangs and Agueros and can be backed to deliver given the opposition on the night.
Teemu Pukki (£6.8m): What an impact the Finnish striker has had so far! He scored at Anfield and followed it up with a hat-trick against Newcastle. Pukki and Norwich play hosts to Frank Lampard and Chelsea on Saturday with the Blues struggling early on in the season and one can expect the Finnish forward to add to his goal tally.
Mason Mount (£6.1m): The Chelsea youngster had a dream home debut when he scored against Leicester last week. Lampard trusts Mount a lot and would be eager to give the 20-year-old an extended run of games.
Lucas Digne (£6.0m): The Everton full-back has continued from where he left off last season and is the highest point-scoring defender so far with 17 points. The Toffees travel to winless Villa on Friday and Digne can add a third successive clean sheet while also adding to his solitary assist.
Salah, Mane and Firmino are good bets to hand the captain’s armband and so is Spurs’ Harry Kane (£11m) who travel to Newcastle United. However, given the opponents and his form, Raheem Sterling is my top pick for captain this week.
Updated Date: Aug 23, 2019 18:10:27 IST