The dreaded Gameweek 7 is upon us, with the best attacking FPL assets taking on the best defensive assets in the Liverpool against Manchester City showdown at Anfield, while injuries to many top-performing assets will make the Wildcard chip that much more enticing this Gameweek.
Gameweek 6 turned out to be a disaster for me, as everything that could’ve gone wrong has gone wrong. I’ve been playing FPL since the 2018/19 season and, by and large, this has to be one of my lowest Gameweek hauls of all time. A tally mere 36 points has resulted in my ranking doubling and plummeting down to 400k.
Although, I had certain plans in place for this coming Gameweek by preserving two free transfers. With three of my back five going down in the same week, all my plans have been thrown out of the window. That being said, I’m still confident that the midfield and the forward line will fetch me crucial results this coming week, but the defence certainly needs shaking up.
Moreover, there is a strong possibility that I’d be using the Wildcard chip pre-Gameweek 8 or for Gameweek 11-12, depending on what shape certain players will return from their international breaks.
The positives from the four-point hit that I’m willing to take outweighs the negatives if I keep making smart changes every single Gameweek from hereon, thus saving my Wildcard chip for the thick-and-fast November and December fixtures.
Taking all of this into account, here, in this article, I bring to you the best squad and playing XI to go with which can be moulded back with a similar profile of players without incurring too many hit points.
Gameweek 7 Deadline: Saturday, 2 October at 3:30 pm IST.
BEST FPL TEAM SUGGESTED FOR GAMEWEEK 6:
Gameweek 6 Score – 36
Gameweek 6 Rank – 6,022,401
Overall Rank – 406,157 (↓ 201,962)
Chips Activated: None
Gameweek 7 of the 2021/22 Premier League season kicks off with Manchester United hosting Everton at Old Trafford. The Toffees won comfortably against Norwich last weekend, while Manchester United were made to rue their chances as Aston Villa registered a memorable away 1-0 victory at Old Trafford.
Burnley came agonisingly close to registering their first away win of the season, but a VAR-disallowed goal meant they left the King Power with just a solitary point. However, hosting Norwich, who are yet to register their first points of the season, Sean Dyche will look at this fixture as a must-win game.
Chelsea were simply outclassed by Manchester City last week, and what’s more baffling was Thomas Tuchel’s reluctance to open up and push forward. However, they’re entering a fixture swing which should see them go on a decent run. They host Southampton, who, despite losing some key players, have played more than decent football and aren’t as defensively vulnerable as many believed.
Leeds United can’t seem to catch a break at the moment. They have started their campaign poorly and now that they have a relatively easy set of fixtures coming up, one by one most of their key assets have gone down injured. They welcome Watford this weekend in a crucial Gameweek for both Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds in general, as they are languishing down at the foot of the table and Watford with their counter-attacking threat will cause them some serious problems.
Another team who haven’t started the campaign on the right note is Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City. The Foxes narrowly escaped with a 2-2 draw against Burnley and now face an in-form Crystal Palace side, who in recent weeks have slowly gathered cohesion in the middle of the pitch. Thus, coming away with three points won’t be plain and simple this time round for Brendan Rodgers.
Raul Jiménez (£7.5m) scored his first goal in over a year since coming back from his horrific head injury last season. Moreover, he is one of the select few forwards in the Premier League who are putting in consistent creative numbers. Thus, facing a struggling Newcastle United side at home, Wolves are expected to bag all three points. However, which Wolverhampton Wanderers turn up on that given day remains to be seen.
And in the last game of our Gameweek 7 Saturday night action we have two teams who are defensively strong but only slowly finding their feet offensively. That being said, Arsenal will be slight favourites against Brighton & Hove Albion, though Mikel Arteta is yet to register his first win as an Arsenal manager at the Amex Community Stadium following two previous meetings (1D 1L).
Crystal Palace threw away two points last weekend as Brighton pegged them back in the dying stages of the second half, though they’ve certainly improved since their first outing, and I believe they’ll continue to do so in the coming weeks. Leicester City, on the other hand, have lots to ponder as they’ll feel they have missed out on what was a relatively easy set of fixtures to start the season with.
Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur look like they’ve dug themselves a hole that they don’t know how to get out of. Three games, three defeats, nine conceded with just the one in reply. Nuno Espírito Santo needs to shake things up and fast as the Spurs players look clueless on the pitch. Aston Villa will feel they’ve got a great opportunity to bag their second top-six scalp in as many games.
Elsewhere, both West Ham United and Brentford are coming into Gameweek 7 brimming with confidence. The Hammers got back to winning ways following a 2-1 victory at Elland Road, while Brentford surprised European heavyweights Liverpool with a 3-3 draw last weekend. This could turn out to be a really entertaining watch.
Last but not the least, we have two of the recent English heavyweights in Liverpool and Manchester City going head-to-head in a battle of the very best England has to offer. Liverpool are, by a country mile, the best-attacking team in the Premier League this season, while Manchester City hold the best defensive record in the league, accumulating a staggering five clean sheets from their first six fixtures.
Manchester United v Everton (5:00 pm)
Burnley v Norwich City (7:30 pm)
Chelsea v Southampton (7:30 pm)
Leeds United v Watford (7:30 pm)
Leicester City v Burnley (7:30 pm)
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Newcastle United (7:30 pm)
Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal (10:00 pm)
Crystal Palace v Leicester City (6:30 pm)
Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa (6:30 pm)
West Ham United v Brentford (6:30 pm)
Liverpool v Manchester City (9:00 pm)
All timings IST
Best FPL XI for Gameweek 7
FPL Team suggested for Gameweek 7
Budget Remaining: £0.7m
Free Transfers Available: None
Transfers made: Three (possibly) [Reece James, Luke Shaw, Emmanuel Dennis ‹—› Antonio Rüdiger, Ben White, Raul Jiménez]
Point Hits (if any): -4 pts
Captain: Cristiano Ronaldo
Vice-captain: Michail Antonio
I know Manchester United enter a tough run of fixtures from Gameweek 9 and that many FPL managers are throwing Cristiano out of their teams on the back of one defeat against Aston Villa. So, let’s dissect this further: Ronaldo is playing Everton at home while Romelu Lukaku (£11.6m), the other primary Captaincy candidate, is playing at home against Southampton. When I looked at all the underlying numbers, both Southampton and Everton have registered identical defensive numbers. However, the key takeaway from their numbers is that Southampton have had the tougher set of fixtures, making Everton a weaker defensive unit than Southampton.
With Liverpool entertaining the Champions at Anfield, I have refrained from giving the Vice-captaincy to Mohamed Salah (£12.6m). Thus, Michail Antonio gets that role this Gameweek. West Ham United play Brentford this weekend, who, despite their heroics against Liverpool last week, remain vulnerable defensively.
Elsewhere, Raul Jiménez (£7.5m) against Newcastle United, Jamie Vardy (£10.4m) away to Crystal Palace, and Ismaïla Sarr (£6.2m) against Leeds United, are all decent Captaincy picks this weekend. Moreover, the makeup of the fixtures suggests most games will be tightly contested, indicating another low-scoring weekend.
Robert Sánchez (£4.5m) will keep his place in our 15-man squad and will be our No. 1 going forward at least for the foreseeable future. The Brighton & Hove Albion keeper has amassed 19 FPL points with two clean sheets and 11 saves to his name. However, his run of two saves in the last four consecutive Gameweeks has really been a source of frustration for most of his owners.
The second-choice goalkeeper, for the time being, remains Jason Steele (£4.0m), Sánchez’s No. 2 in the Brighton setup. This is something I’d be looking to make changes to only when I use my first Wildcard chip, with either Aaron Ramsdale (£4.5m) or Illan Meslier (£4.5m) as my preferred options to share the burden with Sánchez for the rest of the season.
Like I said at the start of the article, everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong last Gameweek. Both Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) and Luke Shaw (£5.5m) got injured, and to make matters worse, Luke Ayling’s (£4.5m) time on the sideline turned out to be more than what was assumed at first glance.
The decision to sell Luke Shaw was predetermined: I’ve had enough of him basically. £5.5m means a premium price for a defender, and the Manchester United fullback has failed to live up to any expectations.
Thus, the decision to at least make two defence-related transfers is a necessity rather than something to be put off for another Gameweek. The two players that I’m thinking about bringing in have freed up funds to upgrade my third forward as well.
Chelsea are entering a favourable fixture swing, which is why almost every FPL manager is looking at ways to incorporate Chelsea assets into their FPL teams. While Andreas Christensen (£5.0m) remains a rotation risk with Thiago Silva (£5.4m), the addition of Antonio Rüdiger (£5.7m) and Kieran Tierney (£4.9m) provide more than decent defensive options to bag a handful of clean sheet points with the run of fixtures both Arsenal and Chelsea are about to embark on.
Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rüdiger have Southampton, Brentford, Norwich, Newcastle United and Burnley as their next five Premier League fixtures. Based on their defensive structure and the attacking potency of the opposition they are due next, Chelsea can easily three-four clean sheets from these five fixtures.
Similarly, Ben White (£4.4m) and Luke Ayling (£4.5m) have a decent run of fixtures coming up for their respective teams and clean sheets, in particular, Arsenal, who have looked very decent in the back in the last couple of weeks. If Leeds United can sort out their defensive vulnerabilities, with the run of fixtures they’ve got coming up, they should be able to carve out at least one or two clean sheets in their next four-five games.
The same goes for Tino Livramento (£4.2m): the Southampton fullback has put in decent performances against some of the very best attacks in the league, and Southampton themselves have looked more structured than at the start of the season and, after their encounter with Chelsea, enter a fixture swing where they’ll be facing the likes of Leeds United, Burnley, Watford, Aston Villa and Norwich City.
Although the middle of the pitch has been left unattended to for now, I have certain plans in place to revamp it in the coming weeks. Mohamed Salah (£12.6m) won’t be one of them who will be ousted in the coming weeks as he’s someone I’m hoping to keep hold of for the entirety of the season.
Diogo Jota (£7.6m) and Mason Greenwood (£7.7m) would have been my preferred transfers this Gameweek had Reece James and Luke Shaw both not gone down with an injury at the same time. As Diogo Jota scored his third goal for the season last week, Roberto Firmino’s (£8.8m) mid-week brace against Porto in the Champions League means his minutes leading the Liverpool forward line could be numbered in the coming weeks.
Mason Greenwood is a similar case to that of Jota’s. As per reports, Marcus Rashford has started isolated individual training, while Edison Cavani (£8.4m) too looks like regaining full fitness and will surely be in contention after the international break.
Apart from Raphinha (£6.5m) and Patrick Bamford (£7.9m), none of the Leeds assets have performed anywhere near the standards they set last season. Jack Harrison (£5.8m), like most Leeds assets, has failed to deliver thus far, albeit with a hard run of fixtures to start the season with and injuries that have pushed Leeds further back. This might be the final Gameweek before I bring in someone else in place of Harrison.
Saïd Benrahma (£6.4m) is someone I was willing to let go of by Gameweek 6, but as time wore on and looking at the data of the other assets in my squad, my stance on him has changed at least till I use that Wildcard chip. His tally of 42 FPL points from six games is staggering for a £6.0m-priced midfielder, who with his performances has moved on to be valued at £6.4m presently.
As I mentioned at the start of the article, the biggest talking point heading into Gameweek 7 is whether to keep Cristiano Ronaldo or Romelu Lukaku or both. What I would suggest is if you have either of them, keep hold of them. Don’t swap one with the other. If you have both in your squad, flip a coin, draw some chits or whatever; whoever you choose to Captain this week will reward you. My preference: Ronaldo.
I feel Southampton are a better-structured defensive unit than Everton at the moment. The “Mason Holgate-Micheal Keane” partnership has really been sloppy in their decision-making, and a forward like Cristiano Ronaldo will punish them nine times out of ten.
Michail Antonio (£7.9m), on the other hand, returned to his best as he scored the winner against Leeds to give them all the points. Just like Ronaldo, Lukaku and Salah, Antonio is someone you must have in your team if he’s fit, simply because he’s that good. His five goals and four assists in five Premier League games is unparalleled, and even the likes of Ronaldo, Salah and Lukaku have some way to go before they match his numbers.
Raul Jiménez (£7.5m) is someone I’ve always been a fan of. His physicality, technique and control are very underrated in the Premier League. His goal against Southampton last week epitomises everything I just said about him. That was his first goal in over a year after coming back from his head injury.
Moreover, like Michail Antonio and Patrick Bamford, Raul Jiménez falls in that rare breed of #9s who are producing consistent creative numbers week in, week out. However, the Mexican is not helped by the fact that he has players like Francisco Trincão (£5.9m) and Adama Traoré (£5.9m) who have wasted more opportunities than any other duo in the Premier League so far. That being said, players like Daniel Podence (£5.5m) and Hwang Hee-chan (£5.5m) have shown in recent weeks that they are better finishers than the previous duo and thus, I am confident that Raul Jiménez will return to his goal-scoring and creative best in the coming weeks.