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A surprising week in the Premier League prior to the international break with some shocking results from fan-favorite clubs Man United and Liverpool. At Old Trafford, former Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho made a triumphant return as Tottenham knocked in 6 goals, while current league champions Liverpool conceded 7 goals against an Aston Villa club which just barely escaped relegation last season. It’s still quite early in the current season so perhaps too soon to tell if there are more systemic issues, but players will return from the break with a lot to think about as clubs prepare for the next 4 gameweeks ahead of the next round of international matches in November.

Gareth Bale is back in London and recently started training for Tottenham ahead of the London derby against West Ham, while new teammate Heung-Min Son had the entire international break off and hopefully put any injury concerns to rest. New signing Edinson Cavani joins Man United but will be unavailable for the trip to Newcastle as the Uruguayan striker must self-quarantine following his arrival in England. Sadio Mane returns to training for Liverpool following his COVID-19 diagnosis prior to GW4, but all eyes on Wolves now after superstar Cristiano Ronaldo contracted the virus with no symptoms but put all Portuguese players at risk of exposure as they return from international duty.

GKs – Brighton goalkeeper Matt Ryan continues to offer strong value with a single clean sheet so far this season, and can be paired with either backup Jason Steele or Christian Walton as the cheapest FPL combination available. Other low-priced goalkeepers include Southampton’s Alex McCarthy and West Brom’s Sam Johnstone, either as rotation with Ryan or set-and-forget choices. Still no standout premium goalkeeper options are worth consideration, although perhaps Hugo Lloris would be the most secure route into a questionable Tottenham defence with favorable fixtures nonetheless.

Defenders – Wolverhampton and Liverpool assets continue to dominate the defender tables despite everything, with Romain Saiss and Willy Boly bouncing back from a shocking defeat in GW3 to keep the clean sheet against Fulham just prior to the international break. Liverpool teammates Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, and Virgil Van Dijk will all bow their heads in shame after conceding 7 goals to Aston Villa, but remain attacking threats from a top club defense. Meanwhile, defender Timothy Castagne continues to fly under the radar for Leicester with a clean sheet and 3 attacking returns so far this season.

Midfielders – Tottenham superstar Heung-Min Son once again defies the odds and not only made a surprise recovery from injury in time for the visit to Old Trafford, but also delivered big-time with a brace and assist in the dismantling of the Red Devils. Marcus Rashford and the entire Man United lineup disappointed in the shocking 6-1 loss to former boss Jose Mourinho, and it’s unclear if teammate Bruno Fernandes will be available for the next match.

Despite the crunching defeat to Aston Villa, Mo Salah stepped up for Liverpool and delivered a brace, lending further credence to the belief that he delivers stronger results in the absence of teammate Sadio Mane. Jack Grealish provided a Man of the Match performance with 2 goals and 3 assists for Aston Villa, and Ross Barkley completes his move to Aston Villa in style with a goal against Liverpool. Brighton playmaker Leandro Trossard continues to provide value in the midfield with another assist against Everton.

Forwards – After struggling on-and-off with injuries over the last few years, Harry Kane finally seems to be cruising again with 3 goals and 6 assists so far this season and Tottenham continue with a favorable run of fixtures until the next international break. Also following a hot start, Leicester talisman Jamie Vardy came away empty in the surprise home shutout loss to West Ham and will look to bounce back against a revamped Aston Villa.

Brighton striker Neal Maupay is flying under the radar this season with attacking returns in 3 of the first 4 matches, and Everton youngster Dominic Calvert-Lewin continues to deliver with goals in every match ahead of the Merseyside derby. Serbian international Aleksandar Mitrovic looks to find the net again after his second week brace, and Burnley striker Chris Wood continues to present great value for FPL Managers.

Several Premier League players have either missed international duty through injury, necessary rest and recovery, or COVID-related quarantine. In particular, the risk of exposure for some teams is higher and may require unexpected absence, much like the surprise with Liverpool’s Sadio Mane in the last match against Aston Villa. For these reasons, we believe it even more crucial than ever for FPL Managers to save free transfers as much as possible, play the game for the long-term with flexibility to adapt, and hold off on making any early transfers ahead of team news and press releases.

Alex “The Analyst” Potier
On behalf of The Transfer Algorithm

A new leader this week as Jerome Holland’s The Fire Martial takes top spot, despite not having Martial in his team. Salah (c), Rodriguez, Wilson and Kane were his high scorers, gaining an incredible 76 points between them. Full standings available here.

The UPTV Transfer Guru is Mikkel Tokvam, developer of the Transfer Algorithm.

About Mikkel: Fantasy football is full of noise. Too much information slamming around about statistics like players being “big-game”, “fixture-proof”, “better away than at home” or “needs this or that player to deliver returns” (like the Kane – Dembele conspiracy a few years ago).

Motivated by this nonsense, I have let the machine load the data. Tonnes of data. And compute what matters in predicting the future by observing the past.

Since its inception in 2014, the Transfer Algorithm has produced exceptional results and helped propel FPL Managers to new heights, including some of the most talented and successful competitors around the world. With dozens of key statistics considered for each player and data sets spanning many years of historical performance, the Transfer Algorithm is set up to provide a close to perfect point-expectation for future returns, comparing one with other available players, and responding with simple value metrics for choosing the optimal players for future returns on a limited budget.

This season’s top prize is a signed, framed Eric Cantona shirt, courtesy of A1 Sporting Memorabilia!

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