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After another excruciatingly long international break, the 2021/22 Premier League is back.
We’ve had to wait two weeks for FPL to return, giving us plenty of time to assess some options ahead of GW8.
Here are five potential shouts for your side ahead of Saturday’s deadline.
Aaron Ramsdale – Goalkeeper (Arsenal) 4.6 million
A fair few eyebrows were raised when Arsenal made their move for Ramsdale in the summer, but the Englishman hasn’t put a foot wrong in London just yet.
He has only conceded once in the league since getting his chance in GW4 and looks set to enjoy a sustained spell as the Gunners’ number one.
Arsenal’s next few games look pretty winnable, and they don’t face a top six side until Liverpool in GW12.
Up next for Mikel Arteta’s men are two home games in a row, against Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.
César Azpilicueta – Defender (Chelsea), 6.1 million
Chelsea are top of the league heading into this weekend’s action, having conceded just three goals so far.
Azpilicueta has featured in every game, racking up three assists and three clean sheets along the way.
It remains to be seen if Reece James is fit enough to start GW8, so it looks likely the Spaniard will keep his place in Thomas Tuchel’s starting eleven against Brentford.
Leandro Trossard – Midfielder (Brighton), 6.4 million
With only 1.3% ownership, Trossard could be a decent differential shout for this gameweek, with the high-flying Seagulls up against Norwich on Saturday.
The Belgian has just one goal and one assist so far in the league, but he does remain one of Graham Potter’s most threatening players.
He scored the winner at Carrow Road in 2019/20 and might be worth bringing in for this one despite games against Man City and Liverpool coming up in GW9 and GW10.
Phil Foden – Midfielder (Man City), 7.9 million
Foden’s season properly kicked off at Anfield in GW7, with a tidy finish capping off a tremendous performance from the 21-year-old.
He continued his form with two impressive games for England in the international break, and the fixtures now look much kinder for Man City than they did in the opening weeks of the new campaign.
Burnley at the Etihad is up next.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Forward (Arsenal), 9.9 million
A home game against Crystal Palace seems to be the type of fixture that suits Aubameyang these days, with the forward not quite at his devastating best this season.
The Gunners were impressive against Spurs in their last home fixture but were poor against Brighton in GW7.
At 9.9 million, Aubameyang is an expensive choice, but he could prove to be a decent signing with just 2.3% ownership on FPL.
Gameweek 6 Deadline – Sat 2nd Oct, 11:00
How should I pick my FPL captain?
In the world of Fantasy Premier League, your captain’s pick can be the making of you, with your skipper stacking up double points each week. One outright FPL champion accrued a remarkable 24 per cent of points from his captain’s choices alone in recent seasons. It therefore pays to think about your pick very carefully.
Aside from the usual suspects (Salah, Kane, Lukaku, Fernandes etc), if you’re out for a differential, look for when ‘flat-track bullies’ can excel on the fixture list. Seek out those players who ruthlessly prey on weaker opposition, even if they occasionally go missing in more high-profile games.
When should I play my triple captain?
Watch out for those double gameweeks – but avoid triggering your triple captain chip too late in the day.
Logic suggests the games will begin to stack up for the high point-scoring players by the final few weeks of the season, and that could prove costly.
Don’t be surprised if real-life managers suddenly become your own worse enemy as they rest key players.
That could leave your inspired triple-captain strategy lying in tatters if your main man starts from the bench.
In some seasons, it’s taken until Gameweek 25 for the first double gameweek. When it finally arrives, it’s best to make the most of it, as the longer you wait, the higher the risk of your captain being a gameweek no-show.
When should I play my wildcard?
Provided you don’t opt for the ‘rip it up, start again’ strategy after the opening few weeks of the season, there is no ‘optimum’ time to play your wildcard.
However, being bold and going early could work in your favour. Bigger clubs have free reign to play their strongest squads at the start of the season, without any major cup or European distractions currently on their radar.
Remember, the fixtures will start to pile up by midwinter.
That that could ruin your best laid-plans if your wildcard replacements are constantly being chopped and changed as managers guard against fatigue and injury.
Alternatively, the opening few weeks of the season can be misleading when it comes to judging long-term value.
Early-season form players can easily go off the boil by mid-autumn.
Many a fantasy football manager has boxed themselves in once their 6.0m summer ‘bargain buy’ starts stinking the place out in November.
For that reason, if you opt to play the long game, wait until the late autumn to make wholesale changes once form starts to level out and injuries hit hard.
Before you commit, it’s also worth scanning the fixture list to spot potential red flags.
Do the bulk of your re-tooled squad have more games away from home?
Do you have too many players from one team playing only teams in the top half of the table?
Take that moment to pause before you press to confirm your wildcard.
It could be the best tactical decision you make all season.
Remember you only have two wildcards to use per season – one before and one after Christmas.
Make sure you use them wisely.