I’ve had a great start to my 2021/22 FPL campaign, if you can finish each Gameweek within that Top 600k rank, I can guarantee you that at the end of the season your overall ranking will be well within those Top 1000 rank holders. When you look at last season’s FPL winner’s score, his final score was 2682 points. Now, dividing that by 38 roughly gives you about 70 points for each Gameweek.
This is why I’m very happy with the start given that I have not used a single chip and have 183 points – a 43 points buffer to play around with my squad. What’s more promising is, I’ve managed this score without maximising both gameweeks. This is why having a well thought out and balanced squad is so crucial. And for anybody following my regular FPL posts, congratulations on a great start.
For the record, Gameweek 3 and Gameweek 4 are going to be the most crucial parts for the first half of the 21/22 FPL season in my opinion. There is a lot of uncertainty with the international window and tension is already brewing between the Premier League officials and FIFA. While the Premier League clubs have taken a unanimous decision to restrict players from playing in red-listed countries, FIFA have come out with their own statement stating a suitable punishment would ensue if clubs decide to take that route.
Taking in all these contexts, here, in this Best FPL Team for Gameweek 3 article, I have refrained myself from making wholesale changes and 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 3 Deadline: Saturday, 28 August at 3:30 pm (Indian Standard Time).
BEST FPL TEAM SUGGESTED FOR GAMEWEEK 2:
Gameweek 2 Score – 78
Gameweek 2 Rank – 532,829
Overall Rank – 132,610
Chips Activated: None
Gameweek 3 starts with an early kickoff this Saturday evening where Pep Guardiola will be hosting Mikel Arteta and his team at the Etihad Stadium.
Dean Smith’s Aston Villa will look to make it two in two against newly-promoted sides with Thomas Frank’s Brentford visiting them. While Graham Potter’s Brighton & Hove Albion are looking to make it three wins from three but face a stern test with Everton visiting the Amex Stadium.
Newcastle United are yet to register a point to their name and are playing against a Southampton side who are high on confidence on the back of earning a point against Manchester United, while Daniel Farke’s Norwich play host to Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City.
Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace face the daunting task of visiting the London Stadium and taming David Moyes’ free-flowing West Ham United. And for the final match on Saturday, we have a Clash of The Titans where Liverpool host Chelsea in front of a packed Anfield.
On Sunday we have Sean Dyche’s Burnley hosting Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United, while Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to make it three in three, however, Xisco Muñoz and his team are eyeing their second away victory of the season.
Last but not the least, we have Manchester United visiting the Molineux Stadium to take on a determined Wolves side who despite their recent positive performances have nothing to show for it in the points table.
Manchester City v Arsenal (5:00 pm)
Aston Villa v Brentford (7:30 pm)
Brighton & Hove Albion v Everton (7:30 pm)
Newcastle United v Southampton (7:30 pm)
Norwich City v Leicester City (7:30 pm)
West Ham United v Crystal Palace (7:30 pm)
Liverpool v Chelsea (10:00 pm)
Burnley v Leeds United (6:30 pm)
Tottenham Hotspur v Watford (6:30 pm)
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United (9:00 pm)
Best FPL XI for Gameweek 3
FPL Team suggested for Gameweek 3
Budget Remaining: £1.9m
Free Transfers Available: None
Transfers made: One (Veltman ‹—› Livramento)
Captain: Michail Antonio
Vice-captain: Danny Ings
With Chelsea and Liverpool going head-to-head and Manchester United facing a tough assignment at the Molineux, Michail Antonio becomes the obvious captain choice for Gameweek 3. However, it is worth noting that Harry Kane committing his future to Spurs will definitely make him one to key an eye on. While those who have Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.1m), Patrick Bamford (£8.0m) or Jamie Vardy (£10.5m) stand a good chance of scoring major points this Gameweek.
Although I don’t have much confidence in Aston Villa this season, at least for this upcoming Gameweek, against a Brentford side at home, Villa could and ‘should’ score some goals, Brentford have been fortunate to start the season with two clean sheets but this time around, I expect their bubble to burst.
Robert Sánchez (£4.5m) | Opponent: EVE (H)
Robert Sánchez has eight points from Brighton’s opening two fixtures and could have quite easily had 12 points against his name if not for that controversial VAR goal conceded against Burnley. Moreover, against a counter-attacking Everton side and an in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Sánchez and Brighton will have their work cut out.
Brighton have conceded three Big Chances in their opening two fixtures but more worryingly they have conceded eight-headed chances and anybody following DCL over the last 18 months know about his heading prowess, as the Toffees’ forward won 33 headers inside the opposition box and scored 7 headed goals in that period – the most of any player in the Premier League. Either way, Sánchez is expected to bag some decent points this week – be it with a clean sheet or loads of saves and bonus points.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) | Opponent: CHE (H)
I was gutted last weekend when Trent Alexander-Arnold returned double-digit points haul while Mohamed Salah blanked, but that’s just how Fantasy Premier League works. You do your eye test, you look at all the data and analytics before committing to a certain player but once that team gets locked in, all you can do is pray that your research gets rewarded.
Although I am not optimistic about Liverpool leaving Anfield with a clean sheet, I do expect Trent to play a part rather offensively. Despite their attacking firepower and steel in the middle of the pitch. A bulk of Liverpool’s creativity comes from their fullbacks and this is why I am happy to stick with Trent against Chelsea.
Luke Shaw (£5.5m) | Opponent: WOL (A)
Had Luke Shaw not come out of that Southampton fixture with four crucial FPL points, I feel a lot of managers would have lost their patience with the Manchester United fullback. The two Bonus Points awarded to him was the least he deserved as if not for United’s woeful finishing in the final third of the pitch, Shaw would have come out of that fixture with at least an assist to his name.
Facing Wolves this weekend, Bruno Lage’s men have conceded few chances and look defensively solid. Although I’m skeptical of United earning their first clean sheet for the season, I do feel, based on what I saw of Wolves this past fortnight, Luke Shaw’s set-pieces can really hurt them and why I’ve stuck with him at least for this Gameweek.
Luke Ayling (£4.5m) | Opponent: BUR (A)
Luke Ayling has seven points from Leeds’ opening two fixtures. That’s a decent return considering Leeds faced Manchester United and Everton. However, against Burnley, one can expect both a clean sheet and attacking returns from Luke Ayling. Although it’s not a given, the probability remains high.
Burnley played really well and gave a good account of themselves against Liverpool at Anfield but like Liverpool, Leeds’ attacking firepower might be too much for the Burnley defence to contain. Just like Everton, Marcelo Bielsa can again opt to leave Raphinha (£6.5m) wide, high up the pitch, allowing Ayling to drift inside and take up the half-spaces.
Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) | Opponent: CHE (H)
After his 17 points haul on the opening day, Mohamed Salah blanked the following week where he could have easily earned himself another brace. In the end, he ended Gameweek 2 with just three points and now faces the challenge of breaking down the meanest defence in the league.
Based on my intuition and research, there will be goals at Anfield, and most likely both will score. But which players will eventually end up scoring and setting up the goals is a lottery. Given his penalty duty and him being the focal point of Liverpool’s attack, Moh Salah is still the best bet. While swapping Romelu Lukaku and Mohamed Salah looks enticing on paper, for the long term, it could really hurt you.
Mason Greenwood (£7.6m) | Opponent: WOL (A)
As explained in last week’s article, at least for the first month, if there’s any Manchester United player you should be looking to take a punt on it has to be Mason Greenwood. The teenager rewarded his managers with 10 points against Southampton to add to his 8 points from the Leeds fixture. Moreover, Anthony Martial (£7.8m) looked terrible while leading the line against the Saints with Edison Cavani (£8.5m) still regaining match fitness.
And if you look at the Wolves backline, Greenwood is the best option to lead the United forward line. Against a back-five, hold-up play won’t work unless United overload it with Bruno Fernandes playing as a second(shadow) striker, which would certainly take a lot of creativity out of that United front four. Thus, my money is on Greenwood to lead the United line again.
Saïd Benrahma (£6.2m) | Opponent: CRY (H)
Saïd Benrahma is the most transferred player before Gameweek 3. And it is no surprise either. The signs were always there from West Ham United’s pre-season matches and the Algerian has finally hit the ground running this season. Within two weeks, Benrahma’s price has jumped from £6.0m to £6.2m and with fixtures against Crystal Palace, Southampton, and Leeds coming up, his price will only sour in the coming weeks.
One thing that I would like to point out is, if you have Benrahma in your squad, keep him and wait for the right price to upgrade to a similarly priced player but with more potential to score points. Although Benrahma is the highest-scoring midfielder in the game after Gameweek 2, he is also the most overachieving player in the league and sooner or later, his attacking outputs will start to dry up. So, instead of being reactive, be proactive with this player.
Bruno Fernandes (£12.1m) | Opponent: WOL (A)
Just like Mohamed Salah, another major captaincy shout for Gameweek 2 – Bruno Fernandes – blanked for Manchester United against Southampton and to make matters worse, the Portuguese international got himself a yellow card for dissent. Thus further dragging down his Gameweek 2 score to one solitary point.
Against Wolves, United and Bruno won’t have it easy either. Although they are expected to come off the Molineux Stadium with all three points, I feel there’s more to it than a plain-sailing United victory. I’m quite intrigued to see how Ole Gunnar Solskjær sets his team up, and more importantly, Bruno Fernandes.
Jack Harrison (£5.9m) | Opponent: BUR (A)
After a subdued start to his season against Manchester United, Jack Harrison looked like getting closer to his usual best against Everton and it was only the attacking output that lacked from his overall game. Due to this, a lot of FPL managers have given up on the young Englishman as his price dropped by 0.1m to £5.9m.
But I’ve decided to keep him at least till Gameweek 10. The first two games were always going to be tough for Leeds and any return would have been a welcome bonus. After the Liverpool game in Gameweek 4, Leeds have one of the best fixtures runs from Gameweek 5-10 and you would certainly not want to miss out on the fun part after enduring the initial pain.
Michail Antonio (£7.7m) | Opponent: CRY (H)
This guy needs no introduction. Two Games, three Goals, three Assists and 29 FPL points. Michail Antonio was untouchable towards the end of last season and has carried on with his exploits through the pre-season and the first two Premier League games this season. The Hammers forward looks unstoppable and the only thing that can stop him is his dreadful injury record.
But fingers crossed, Antonio can again bag double-digit points this Gameweek. Facing a Crystal Palace side that is likely to fight for survival this season, Antonio and West Ham United’s final game before the international break couldn’t have been better than this.
Danny Ings (£8.0m) | Opponent: BRE (H)
I had the temptation of swapping Danny Ings for Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.1m). But then I said to myself, don’t fix it if ain’t broken. Let’s go through the selection process. Which defence is more likely to concede? Brentford. Which forward is playing the home fixture? Danny Ings. What is Calvert-Lewin’s strength? Aerial presence. What’s Brighton’s strength? Aerial presence. You see, it is okay to stick with Danny Ings for another Gameweek.
Now, why do I think Danny Ings will score? Brentford have had 29 shots against them in their opening two fixtures and their expected goal conceded (xGC) is at 2.87, they have been fortunate to have kept two clean sheets and against a Villa forward line with Leon Bailey/Anwar El Ghazi, Danny Ings and Emiliano Buendía, they are likely to concede a goal or two.
GK: Jason Steele (£4.0m) | Opponent: EVE (H)
The second goalkeeper option remains unchanged and will remain the same until and unless Sánchez gets a long-term injury or Brighton’s defence completely breaks down in the coming weeks, the latter of which is very unlikely and hence, why I would continue with this goalkeeper pairing.
1st Sub: Daniel Amartey (£4.0m) | Opponent: NOR (A)
While injuries to Wesley Fofana and Johnny Evans opened the doors for Daniel Amartey to be a starter for Leicester city at the back, last week’s knee injury to new-signing Jannik Vestergaard meant Amartey started at the back but ended the game with zero points as West Ham shipped four past Kasper Schmeichel’s (£5.0m) goal.
Brendan Rodgers in his recent press interview has indicated that their new £15 signing should be back for training this midweek after tests showed no serious damage to Vestergaard’s knee. I’ve kept him as my first substitute given that Rodgers might not want to gamble with Vestergaard starting as both Evans and Fofana are still out with injuries.
2nd Sub: Tino Livramento (£4.0m) | Opponent: NEW (A)
Veltman’s Covid-19 isolation came at the worst possible time for our FPL team as both Ayling and Veltman were included in our squad based on the fact that we would be rotating them throughout the first 7-8 Gameweeks. Although as per reports, the Dutch international is expected to rejoin training by 26th August. It is highly unlikely he would be involved in Brighton’s Gameweek 3 fixture, thus making him unavailable for the entire August month.
And this is my replacement, a £4.0m attacking fullback who is guaranteed lots of minutes this season. The Saints have good fixtures coming their way, especially when rotated with a Leeds defender which was exactly my plan at the start of the 21/22 Season.
3rd Sub: Michael Obafemi (£4.5m) | Opponent: NEW (A)
I would look to bring in Emmanuel Dennis (£5.1m) in the next couple of Gameweeks as the Watford forward provides flexibility to turn to a front three with Watford entering a decent run of fixtures from an attacking standpoint.
While if I look to try and fit in a Romelu Lukaku (£11.6m) or Harry Kane (£12.3m) into my squad, it’ll eliminate my chances for someone like Dennis, however, if I slot in Dennis or someone from that price-range, it stops me getting a premium forwards. I guess for this one, we’ll have to wait it out a bit.