International break number one is finally over. With the Premier League back on the horizon, this first break of the season has provided an opportunity for those high flying FPL managers to sit back for a week and admire their league table. Those who haven’t been as fortunate have been scouring the waiver wire and free agent pool for that potential diamond who could reignite their season.
Either way, a good differential is often the difference between a narrow victory or a devastating loss. So whether you’re flying high or languishing low, here’s five to target in gameweek five.
Diego Rico v Leicester (H)
No, I’d never heard of him either until recently. Eddie Howe’s lack of business over the summer raised a few eyebrows but the doubters have been silenced by Bournemouth’s hot start.
England fans will remember Colombian Jefferson Lerma from the battle of Moscow this summer but few will have heard of new full back Diego Rico. The Spaniard had a Premier League baptism of fire against Eden Hazard an co at Stamford Bridge but came through it in good shape, demonstrating a willingness to get forward and a wicked delivery from set pieces.
Despite the fact that Bournemouth were under the cosh for the majority of the game, Rico got forward to good effect and provided three key passes, two of which were put on a plate for the wasteful Callum Wilson and Nathan Ake. With Ryan Fraser reportedly struggling with a knock, the full back should now dominate set piece duties in his absence.
Early evidence suggests Rico has all the weapons needed to become a fantasy gem and with good fixtures to come, he should be more than just a one week flyer.
Alexander Sorloth v Huddersfield (a)
Christian Benteke’s horrible run of form has led to calls for Alexander Sorloth to be included in the Crystal Palace lineup, but an injury to the former may just force Roy Hodgson’s hand. To say Benteke has been wasteful is an understatement.
Sorloth is far from clinical himself but you’d fancy the Norwegian to put away at least one of three glaring Benteke misses against Southampton in gameweek four. In a similar way to the Belgian, Sorloth picks up points in a variety of ways and isn’t goal or assist dependant, demonstrated by his debut last season against Everton when he scored 19 points (Togga format) without scoring.
“Lord Sorloth” does, however come with a couple of risk factors. Firstly, although he is tipped to return this week, Wilfried Zaha has been struggling with his fitness for the last two weeks and Palace are useless without him. Secondly, Jordan Ayew has been brought in this summer, meaning Sorloth is now not even the automatic backup to Benteke.
A start against Huddersfield should guarantee points but you should have a backup ready just in case it’s Ayew who gets the nod.
Anthony Knockaert v Southampton (a)
The Premier League is waiting for Anthony Knockaert to burst into life. The Frenchman followed in the footsteps of Matt Ritchie last season as a player who flattered to deceive in the Premier League having set the Championship alight the previous campaign.
In all fairness, Knockaert was electric in that famous win over Manchester United at the tail end of last season and has started this campaign in a lively fashion, already registering two assists in four weeks.
With last year’s star Pascal Gross struggling for form and fitness, Knockaert looks to have a chance of re-claiming his crown as Brighton’s main man.
Matt Doherty v Burnley (H)
While the likes of Ruben Neves and Adam Traore have stolen the headlines at the Wolves so far this season, Matt Doherty has quietly enjoyed a very solid start to Premier League life.
Playing at an advanced right back position (basically midfield), Doherty is given the license to get forward at will and has been very unlucky not to score this season, particularly against West Ham at the weekend.
Combined with his attacking threat, Doherty looks assured defensively and picks up easy points through aerials won (15 so far this season). His first clean sheet of the season in the last gameweek brought with it a tasty score of 25.25 points. A home game against struggling Burnley presents another excellent chance for Doherty to get points on the board.
Steve Mounie v Crystal Palace (H)
Another striker in the “due a goal” category. In all fairness to Steve Mounie, Huddersfield’s attack is a teaspoon compared to Manchester City’s carving knife and he’s been the best of a bad bunch so far.
Huddersfield have only registered twice, both from badly defended set pieces but Mounie has been going about his combative business well (as usual). He’s already won a massive 28 aerials (totalling 14 easy points in the process) while getting nine shots away in his first four games, four of which have been on target.
As much as he is Huddersfield’s preferred striker, you feel that Mounie has to register a goal to keep his competition at bay. The visit of struggling Crystal Palace presents him with an excellent chance to do this.