The third weekend of the Premier League season brought the usual twists and turns.
Chelsea and Manchester United both recorded wins after shaky starts to the season and Liverpool pulled off a shock comeback against Newcastle United despite being down to 10 men.
Manchester City survived a scare against Sheffield United to keep their 100 per cent record and remain top of the league.
As ever, we will cover the main talking points of the weekend’s action and the implications from an FPL perspective…
Chelsea triple-up looks essential
Chelsea won comfortably at home to Luton Town and it was an old favourite Raheem Sterling (£7.1m) who stole the show, with a monster 19-point haul via two goals and one assist.
He was the best player on the pitch and we know he is a proven FPL asset, with 78 goals and 54 assists in his five seasons at Manchester City.
At his price and looking at Chelsea’s upcoming fixtures, he will be a popular acquisition for Gameweek 4. His FPL price has already risen by £0.1m since he played on Friday night. For those with Manchester United and Arsenal midfielders, it will be tempting to bring the England forward in.
Malo Gusto (£4.1m) was transferred in by over 66,000 managers ahead of the Luton game. At a starting price of £4.0m, he was always going to be good value and with Reece James (£5.4m) out injured, he should continue to start. Gusto picked up two assists and a clean sheet and ended up with 14 points.
I mentioned in my article last week that although he is decent value, Gusto isn’t nailed on for a place as Axel Disasi (£5.1m) can play at right-back, too, while James might be back after the international break.
Even with all those drawbacks, however, if he does lose his spot, he can easily be a bench player for our teams at his cut price.
Sterling and Gusto are both solid picks going forward and going with three Chelsea players for the medium term looks like a good idea.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side play Nottingham Forest (H), Bournemouth (A), Aston Villa (H), Fulham (A) and Burnley (A) in their next five.
Spurs recorded another impressive win and also kept a clean sheet for the second game in a row. James Maddison (£7.6m), who was an injury doubt heading into the game, started and rewarded his faithful owners with a goal and 10 FPL points.
Maddison put in another commanding performance as he managed four shots and one chance created with an xG (expected goals) of 1.08 and an xA (expected assists) of 0.44. He could be a game-changing pick considering he’s not only a goal and assist threat but is also on set pieces. It’s not too late to bring him in.
Destiny Udogie (£4.6m) was another who impressed and was touted in our ‘Budget Options’ piece. He managed to grab an assist and a clean sheet against Bournemouth, scoring 12 FPL points.
It looked like he came off with a knock, but Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou claimed post-match that he “was fine’’. If he is fit and ready for Gameweek 4, he is a great buy as Spurs play Burnley (A) and Sheffield United (H) in their next two.
They don’t have the easiest of matches following that — Arsenal (A) and Liverpool (H) — but then play Luton (A), Fulham (H) and Crystal Palace (A). If you are looking to acquire Udogie, make sure you have someone in your team who can rotate with him for those two tough games.
Arsenal’s penalty conundrum
Arsenal dropped points against 10-man Fulham and the big talking point here from an FPL perspective was Bukayo Saka (£8.7m) taking the penalty Arsenal received instead of Martin Odegaard (£8.5m).
The Norwegian took and scored the spot kick in Gameweek 2 against Crystal Palace and said after the match: “When we got the penalty, me and Bukayo talked and I asked if I could take it. I was feeling good and he gave it to me, so thanks to Bukayo for that.’’
I think we can conclude from this that Saka is still the main penalty taker but Odegaard may take some depending on the state of play. For me, Saka is still the best attacking option for Arsenal, with Odegaard second.
They have some difficult fixtures coming up, but their attack is so threatening that I wouldn’t be in a rush to sell them.
I wouldn’t be against moving on their defenders, though. If you still own Gabriel (£4.9m), he has to go after being benched for the first three games by Mikel Arteta. I would say William Saliba (£5.2m) could be sold, too, but it isn’t a priority if you have another player who can rotate with him during the hard games.
Arsenal play Man United (H), Spurs (H), Man City (H) and Chelsea (A) in four of their next six games.
Patience is a virtue…
If you kept the faith with Bruno Fernandes (£8.5m) and Marcus Rashford (£9m), then you would have been rewarded with some respectable scores. United didn’t look entirely convincing as they had to claw back a two-goal deficit after going behind early.
Fernandes and Rashford, however, are still worthy assets and will continue to score well. They have a hard fixture next with Arsenal (A), but then play Brighton (H), Burnley (A), Crystal Palace (H), Brentford (H) and Sheffield United (A), which are all games for attacking returns. I would keep hold of them if you own them.
If you have Man United defenders in your FPL back line, then I would certainly look to transfer. If you still own Luke Shaw (£5.4m), he is a priority sell with him being out injured.
West Ham beating Brighton away was one of the surprises of the weekend and Jarrod Bowen (£7m) scored 12 points with a goal and an assist. He now has two goals and one assist in his first three games and we know he can be a significant asset. He scored 12 goals and provided 17 assists in the 2021-22 season.
West Ham also play Luton (A) next but then have a couple of tough fixtures against Man City (A) and Liverpool (H). I would look at him from Gameweek 7 onwards when West Ham start a fantastic run of games.
If you own Brighton assets, I wouldn’t worry as they only managed to score one goal due to the heroics of Alphonse Areola (£4.0m). Roberto De Zerbi’s side had 10 shots on target with an xG of 1.5.
Aston Villa assets are still on the menu
Unai Emery’s side continued to impress with a 3-1 away to Burnley. Matty Cash (£4.5m) scored a rare brace and Moussa Diaby (£6.6m) scored a goal and registered an assist. Both are exceptional value, but I wouldn’t be rushing to buy them just yet.
Villa play Liverpool (A) and Chelsea (A) in their next three and I would be looking to them from Gameweek 7 onwards when they begin a winnable run of games.
Ollie Watkins (£8m) and Alex Moreno (£5.0m) will also be quality options during that run (if the latter is back from injury by then).
If you own these Villa assets, they are all keepers.
(Top photos: Getty Images)