September 17, 2021
Premier League action returns after the midweek European commitments and the FPL madness is about to get messier as squad-rotation policies and unfortunate injuries bring chaos with them.


After two high-scoring Gameweeks, and a more than decent Gameweek 3, a 145k fall and a red arrow certainly dampened my mood a bit. I took an eight-point hit last Gameweek and to an extent, it certainly paid off. The three players I’ve transferred in fetched me 16 points. The ones that really hurt were Andreas Christensen’s omission from the Gameweek 4 Chelsea lineup, Michail Antonio getting sent off and Diogo Jota not getting that much-deserved attacking output. But that’s just part and parcel of playing the Fantasy Premier League.

Moreover, I did give it a thought again – the Wildcard chip. And had I used it for this Gameweek, the maximum number of transfers I would have made would be four, give or take. In the grand scheme of things, that’s like giving away 150-200 FPL points in the first half of the FPL season alone.

So, I’ve decided to back my plans from Gameweek 4 and accordingly, have made just the one change: shipping out Michel Obafemi to bring in Emmanuel Dennis of Watford. On the other hand, Michail Antonio will be on the bench this week before returning from his suspension next week.

Taking it all into account, here, in this 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 5 Deadline: Saturday, 17 September at 11:00 pm IST.



Gameweek 4 Score – 65 (-8)

Gameweek 3 Rank – 2,318,137

Overall Rank – 287,495

Chips Activated: None



The Fixtures

Gameweek 5 of the 2021/22 Premier League kicks off with Newcastle United hosting Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds at St. James’ Park. Steve Bruce’s men are yet to register their first win and are just a point behind Leeds, who themselves have underperformed so far but are expected to pick up the pace as they enter a relatively easy run of fixtures.

Wolverhampton Wanderers finally opened their account with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Watford and now host another newly promoted side this weekend in Brentford. Thomas Frank’s men will have their work cut out against Wolves as they have been pretty solid at the back while creating an abundance of chances for themselves.

Mikel Arteta and Arsenal are gunning for a second victory on the bounce following a disappointing start to the campaign, but they face a tricky opposition in Burnley, who themselves have shown glimpses of positive football and with just one point from four games, Sean Dyche’s team will be giving it all against the Gunners.

After a disappointing start, Patrick Vieira seems to have got a hold of his team after thumping Tottenham Hotspur 3-0, but containing an inform Liverpool side is easier said than done. Moreover, playing at Anfield, I don’t expect Palace to mount any significant challenge.

Pep Guardiola’s men were back to their ruthless best this midweek as they shipped six past RB Leipzig. Moreover, Ralph Hassenhütl’s Southampton is a high-pressing side irrespective of the opponent in front of them; for me, this fixture promises a lot of goals.

And it is an early-season relegation six-pointer as Watford host Norwich City at Vicarage Road. Following their opening day 3-2 victory against Aston Villa, Watford’s graph has been on a slow but steady decline, while Norwich, albeit offering something in all of their previous matches, have found the level of opposition too strong. Against Watford, it could potentially turn out to be quite a tasty encounter.

With key personnel like Dominic Calvert-Lewin and James Rodríguez likely to miss the upcoming encounter, this is Aston Villa’s best chance of scoring some vital points. They’ve one of the worst runs of fixtures till Gameweek 10-11 and need to maximise every opportunity they get.

On Sunday we have Brighton & Hove Albion hosting Brendan Rodger’s Leicester City. The Seagulls sit sixth on the points table with nine points, while Leicester have had a mixed-bag start to their season with two wins and two defeats from their opening four fixtures.

Manchester United, on the back of a surprise midweek defeat to Young Boys in the Champions League, will look to return to winning ways as they visit London Stadium to take on West Ham United. The Hammers, however, will miss the services of their star man Michail Antonio as the English forward will serve his one-match suspension following a double yellow earned against the Saints.

In the last game of the weekend, we have another London derby and this time, it is Tottenham Hotspur hosting West Londoners Chelsea this Sunday. Although Chelsea look like the on-paper favourites, Nuno Espírito Santo’s men can’t be taken lightly, as is evident from their opening day victory against Man City.

18 September

Newcastle United v Leeds United (00:30 am)

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Brentford (7:30 pm)

Burnley v Arsenal (7:30 pm)

Liverpool v Crystal Palace (7:30 pm)

Manchester City v Southampton (7:30 pm)

Norwich City v Watford (7:30 pm)

Aston Villa v Everton (10:00 pm)

19 September

Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City (6:30 pm)

West Ham United v Manchester United (6:30 pm)

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea (9:00 pm)

All timings IST


Best FPL XI for Gameweek 5


FPL Team suggested for Gameweek 5


Budget Remaining: £0.1m

Free Transfers Available: None

Transfers made: One (Obafemi ‹—› Dennis)

Point Hits (if any): 0 pts

Captain: Mohamed Salah

Vice-captain: Cristiano Ronaldo


Picking the correct Captain for Gameweek 5 shouldn’t be an issue. There are many fixtures this weekend that should offer great Captaincy picks, which in turn will make things easier for every FPL manager. Mohamed Salah, against Crystal Palace at home, is still a very good option and having him also allows me to potentially Captain him for Gameweek 6.

Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.6m), without any doubt, will again be the most-Captained player this week. But Manchester United will be playing away from home against West Ham United. Can Ronaldo again score for the Red Devils? Obviously, he can. But between the two of them, who is likely to bag more points? My money is on Mohamed Salah. Hence why I’ve again trusted the Egyptian to repay my faith.



Robert Sánchez (£4.5m) | Opponent: LEI (H)

Robert Sánchez has 16 points from Brighton’s opening four fixtures, which is more than decent for a £4.5m priced shot-stopper. Having him has allowed me to play around with my team with a bigger budget, and so far it has paid off.

Brighton have conceded six Big Chances in their opening four fixtures, while their Expected Goals Conceded (xGC) metric stands at a solid 4.2 as they’ve conceded only three goals from their first four matches. Leicester, despite their promising transfer business, find themselves short in the back once again. Moreover, their lack of defensive stability will restrict them from moving forward more fluently. Thus, a clean sheet is definitely a possibility.



Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) | Opponent: CRY (H)

Trent Alexander-Arnold has accumulated 34 FPL points, which is way clear of any other defender in the game. His Expected Goals (xG) and Expected Assists (xA) metrics are exceptional for a defender – 0.57 and 2.37 respectively. Moreover, he has already created four Big Chances for his teammates, of which only two have been converted so far.

Palace, for all of their recent improvements under Patrick Vieira, are still vulnerable at the back against any decent attacking line, and the Liverpool forward line will certainly trouble the Eagles. Crystal Palace’s forward line should hardly trouble Liverpool’s backline, thus, a clean sheet is definite on, with any attacking output being the icing on the cake.

Luke Shaw (£5.5m) | Opponent: WHU (A)

16 points – averaging four points per game. Luke Shaw’s owners were relieved that the Manchester United fullback at least returned an assist in what otherwise would have been just a solitary point after another night of promises and near misses. Man United again failed to register a clean sheet, and with their relatively easy run of fixtures quickly running out, it would only be wise to transfer him out in the coming weeks.

Against West Ham United, Shaw and his team will get plenty of chances. With Antonio missing the tie due to suspension, the Hammers might look to drop deeper, giving the likes of Shaw, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes plenty of time on the ball to create and supply the killer ball.

Andreas Christensen (£5.0m) | Opponent: TOT (A)

Andreas Christensen missed Chelsea’s Gameweek 4 fixture against Aston Villa but played in the midweek Champions League tie against Zenit. Thus, it makes me wonder whether he’ll be rested again and rotated with Thiago Silva for the Spurs game. Silva has the experience to handle someone like Harry Kane, however, with age on the wrong side of the argument, he might not have the legs to compete against a world-class striker and pacey wingers in Heung-Min Son (if fit) and Lucas Moura.

I’ll still keep Christensen as my third defender, and in the case of Thomas Tuchel going with Thiago Silva, I’ll have Luke Ayling as my first-choice replacement. Moreover, Leeds are playing Newcastle this weekend with Callum Wilson still out injured.




Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) | Opponent: CRY (H)

Mohamed Salah has been unlucky not to have more goals and assists after the opening four fixtures. The Egyptian has been doing the bulk of the attacking and creative work at Liverpool this season. Harvey Elliot’s horror injury has left him and Trent Alexander-Arnold as the only creative outputs in the Liverpool starting XI.

Against Crystal Palace, who themselves like to keep possession and play further up the pitch, Salah can certainly bag a double-digit points haul. The fact that Diogo Jota and Sadio Mané, too, have started finding their rhythm only bodes well for Salah and Liverpool.

Mason Greenwood (£7.6m) | Opponent: WHU (A)

Mason Greenwood continues to dazzle and shine in the Premier League. Cristiano Ronaldo might have taken his #9 role, but the transition to his previously owned winger role hasn’t harmed his attacking credentials one bit. The 19-year-old has amassed 31 points with three goals and one assist to his name.

I have this feeling that West Ham will sit relatively deeper than they usually do, and they have a tall backline which will nullify Ronaldo’s aerial threat to some extent. However, what they don’t have is the speed in that backline and someone like Mason Greenwood can certainly exploit that weakness in their game. He is a clinical finisher and won’t need too many chances to bury the ball in the back of the net.

Saïd Benrahma (£6.4m) | Opponent: MUN (H)

Just like his teammate Antonio, Saïd Benrahma has been a revelation this season, finally living up to the potential he showed for his former club, Brentford. However, I’m a bit sceptical about keeping him beyond Gameweek 6. His underlying stats haven’t been great and like Paul Pogba (£7.7m), Benrahma has massively overperformed.

I think his form will tail off, although I’m not doubting his ability one bit and do feel he will continue to dazzle for the Hammers. In terms of FPL points and output, however, I expect them to dry up soon. Against Man United, I expect just the two points and one or two bonus points if he plays well, anything on top of that will be gold-dust.

Diogo Jota (£7.6m) | Opponent: CRY (H)

The Portugal international can be considered unlucky not to have registered a single attacking output against Leeds. Jota was a menace throughout the game and had a few decent chances to score or set up his one of his teammates, but neither bore fruit. However, in his limited time, he has already scored twice this season in the Premier League and has 20 FPL points.

The Reds host Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace and Jota will be eyeing this fixture as a possibility to nail that #9 spot for a couple more weeks with Roberto Firmino soon to return to full training. Personally, I feel all three of them (Trent, Salah, Jota) will have a great game against Palace.

Jack Harrison (£5.9m) | Opponent: LIV (H)

Jack Harrison has had a subdued start to his 2021/22 Premier League season. Eight points from four games is pretty average, but the opposition Leeds have had in front of them should also be taken into consideration. However, just after the resumption of the second half against Liverpool, Pascal Struijk’s unfortunate dismissal meant the sting was already taken out from the game.

However, Bielsa has also approached this season differently: unlike last season where his team attacked on all fronts, this season, his approach has been pretty much right-side heavy while pulling the left-side back for cover. So, it’ll be interesting to see if he tweaks his approach given Leeds are entering their best run of fixtures till Gameweek 11.




Emmanuel Dennis (£5.2m) | Opponent: NOR (A)

In one of my earlier articles, I discussed the possibility of bringing in Emmanuel Dennis as a rotation option for last-minute injuries or suspensions, and here we are just the following week. To be honest, I did consider the Bamford—Antonio swap, but then I’d have to waste another free transfer just to get him back for Gameweek 6, and that just didn’t make sense.

Moreover, I can easily switch to a 3-4-3 when Antonio is available as Watford only face Liverpool and Arsenal as the better defences until Gameweek 11. Against Norwich, it will certainly be an open game and chances will be created by both sides.

It’s definitely a punt, but will it pay off? Only time will tell.

Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.6m) | Opponent: WHU (A)

Two goals in his second debut for Manchester United meant Ronaldo’s imminent price hike arrived just after the Gameweek 4 Sunday fixtures. Another goal in Man United’s midweek Champions League defeat means Ronaldo has three goals from two games. This guy is just surreal.

However, I do feel that against West Ham, Ronaldo might not find it easy to score. Though I am not counting out that odd goal or assist, I doubt he’ll score something being Captain-worthy. That’s my only reservation about him.




GK: Jason Steele (£4.0m) | Opponent: LEI (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 will continue with this goalkeeper pairing.

1st Sub: Luke Ayling (£4.5m) | Opponent: NEW (A)

As stated in the previous articles, Luke Ayling is a rotation player for this squad, and exposing him in our squad against Liverpool is suicidal, in my opinion. Hence why I brought in Christensen as an upgrade on Amartey and further strengthened my bench for any untimely injury scares.

Moreover, Christensen and Ayling provide better rotation and fluidity than the AmarteyAyling or Livramento-Ayling combinations, while the pairing also gives me the option to switch to a back-four in case all my forwards face difficult fixtures in the same Gameweek.

2nd Sub: Tino Livramento (£4.0m) | Opponent: MCI (A)

The Saints have pretty decent fixtures coming their way. Livramento has the potential to score good points, especially when rotated with a Leeds defender, which was exactly my plan at the start of the season. Despite Southampton’s defensive fragility and a small sample size, Livramento can come good, especially when the Saints play similar or weaker teams.

For a young fullback, Livramento has shown great positional awareness, good ability with the ball at his feet and has an instinct to bob up and down the flanks, which is a great asset to have.

3rd Sub: Michail Antonio (£7.9m) | Opponent: MUN (H)

This guy needs no introduction. Three games, four goals, four assists and 40 FPL points. Michail Antonio was untouchable towards the end of last season, and the Hammers forward looks unstoppable so far, and the only thing that can stop him is his dreadful injury record.

However, a second yellow in the 95th minute against Southampton means Antonio will miss West Ham’s Gameweek 5 fixture against Manchester United. West Ham face Leeds in Gameweek 6, which will also be a great week to Captain him, in my opinion.

Rahul Saha

An engineer taking the road less taken. I love writing, live and breathe football, and am always up for a tactical conversation.

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