The first international break is always a popular time for Fantasy Premier League managers to play their wildcard. Is yours absolutely necessary? Let’s hope our hints help you make the right decisions to climb your mini-leagues…
Faith in Adams
What’s more frustrating than transferring out a player who isn’t scoring, only for them to break their duck that weekend?
That’s why our stance on Ché Adams (£5.8m) is clear: stick with him. The striker has started every league game to date and returns to former club Sheffield United on Saturday.
Wouldn’t it be typical if Bramall Lane was the scene of his first goal? The following week sees Bournemouth visit St Mary’s, so our tip is to give him these two games rather than use another transfer just yet.
Keep an eye on Redmond
Nathan Redmond (£6.3m) remains Saints’ most attractive source of points – and the most expensive.
Last season’s Player of the Year is central to so much of Ralph Hasenhüttl’s attacking play, so keep an ear out for what the boss has to say on the winger’s fitness in tomorrow’s press conference.
Redmond has only missed one game through injury, but his price is on the slide so this could be the perfect time to pounce if he’s back in contention, after 10 points on his last appearance.
Keeper Gunn racking up points
Remember it’s not always the keepers who concede the fewest goals that register the most points.
Angus Gunn (£4.5m) has managed 15 saves in just four games so far, with three saves enough to earn an extra point per match.
Combined with a bonus point, he contributed five points against Manchester United despite losing his clean sheet – the kind of return you won’t get from a defender without a goal or assist. Cheaper keepers are a useful way of freeing up cash elsewhere.
Looking further afield? Here’s a mixture of must-haves and bargain buys…
Goalkeeper: Adrián £4.6m
Jürgen Klopp is being deliberately tight-lipped over Alisson’s recovery, refusing to put a timescale on the Brazilian’s comeback.
For the time being, we can only assume Adrián keeps his place, and you’d fancy Liverpool’s chances of a clean sheet at home to Newcastle on Saturday.
Defender: Lucas Digne £6.1m
Not the cheapest in his position, but Digne is producing consistent attacking returns, and still compares favourably in price to Liverpool’s defenders across Stanley Park.
The Frenchman has two clean sheets, three assists and one goal in all competitions so far, and looks a must-have on current form with some attractive fixtures on the horizon.
Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne £9.8m
Again, De Bruyne is hardly a secret weapon, but he’s the cheapest of the four premium midfielders when you include Mo Salah, Sadio Mané and Raheem Sterling as his chief rivals in the points-scoring stakes.
Looking back to his best after a frustrating season littered with injuries last term, De Bruyne scored one and set up the other three in a virtuoso display for Belgium against Scotland at Hampden Park.
Forward: Ashley Barnes £6.7m
Affording top-end midfielders has become slightly easier this season, given the number of mid-range strikers producing solid returns.
Teemu Pukki (£7.0m), Tammy Abraham (£7.2m) and Sébastien Haller (£7.5m) are all viable alternatives, but Barnes is the cheapest of the lot and faces Brighton, Norwich and Aston Villa in his next three.