Five talking points ahead of FPL Gameweek 11
With over 250,000 transfers in this week, Ilkay Gundogan is the hot topic in FPL as managers pray for points hauls ahead of another international break.
All aboard the Gundo-wagon?
The Ilkay Gundogan bandwagon is well and truly rolling. Having risen to £5.6m after his second brace in four days against Barcelona on Tuesday, the German midfielder easily tops the GW11 transfer-in charts with over half a million new owners.
Another double for Gundogan. pic.twitter.com/lUFmIKS5qK— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) November 1, 2016
Two goals and an assist in Manchester City's weekend trouncing of West Bromwich Albion had alerted the masses to Gundogan's potential but the Champions League performance really set the wheels in motion.
Can't think of many midfs in Gundogan's style in recent years. Tackles like Scott Parker, passes like Cazorla, arrives late like Lampard.— ALEX KAY-JELSKI (@AlexKJTimes) November 1, 2016
With another price rise likely before Saturday's 14.00 deadline, the former Borussia Dortmund man could be up to £6.0m in GW12 by the time FPL returns following the imminent international break.
Gundogan scored twice from four shots (two on target) at the Hawthorns last weekend, with three of those coming from inside the box. Meanwhile, against Barcelona, he converted twice from from a total of three shots:
Ilkay Gündogan's game by numbers vs. Barcelona:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 2, 2016
96% pass acc.
1 chance created
All-action match winner. pic.twitter.com/GyqwVuq8Oz
The Germany man obviously can't keep up this conversion rate, which can lead to thinking he could just be the next Etienne Capoue. However, Gundogan is playing in a City side that looks to be once more brimming with goals after a shaky period.
The key to Gundogan's FPL potential is where he plays under Guardiola, and if he starts week in, week out. He currently looks to be first-choice in central midfield along with David Silva, with Kevin de Bruyne pushed out to the wing in accommodating fashion.
I missed the Capoue train.— Michael (@bridger_ma) November 1, 2016
I missed the Allen minivan.
I'm NOT going to miss the Gundogan supercar.#FPL
Should Gundogan cement this position in the City side and continue to be given license to bomb forward, he will become irresistible in fantasy terms. However, he is battling with for fantasy managers' affections with the Premier League's current Welsh wizard.
The Joe Show
The third most-transferred in player this week after Gundogan and Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho, Joe Allen is another budget midfield option making a mockery of his price.
Two assists against Swansea City on Monday night complemented the former Red's four goals for an FPL tally of 55 points, placing him sixth on list of top-scoring midfielders. Capoue sits one point ahead in fifth but hasn't posted attacking returns since GW5.
As such, an extremely popular switch is bringing in the Stoke City midfielder for the Watford man. Unlike Capoue, Allen is posting credible stats every week. The Welshman has taken 14 shots over a total of nine 90-minute appearances, with 10 of those inside the box and a total of eight hitting the target.
From GW6 (from which Stoke are since unbeaten), Allen has fired in at least two attempts on goal per match. This is also supplemented by 15 attempted assists since GW1.
Allen is flourishing in the Number 10 role for Mark Hughes' sides, with the Wales man's contributions key to the Potters' recent upturn in form. With Xherdan Shaqiri an injury doubt for Stoke's trip to West Ham United on Saturday and Marko Arnautovic serving a one-game ban, investors may suffer as the team's attacking options are less attractive.
However, the Potters' excellent run of fixtures continues until GW15 and playing behind a potentially-revitalised Wilfried Bony as well as the above-mentioned attackers, Allen can continue to offer FPL bosses an excellent source of value while possibly prompting a move to 3-5-2 as we continue to struggle in our search for a reliable third striker option.
Joe Allen is the new Mahrez— FPLPriceChanges+ (@FPLPriceChanges) October 31, 2016
The Leicester schedule
Leicester City's fixture list currently makes compelling viewing for FPL managers. Apart from home ties against Manchester City in GW15 and Everton in GW18, the Foxes face none of the current top six up until GW21.
One caveat is that Kasper Schmeichel, fresh off keeping his fourth clean sheet in four Champions League games, has been ruled out for 4-6 weeks with a hand injury. Heavy investment in the likes of Christian Fuchs and Wes Morgan was likely with such a kind schedule but this news may temper such transfer activity.
Losing Schmeichel big blow for #LCFC. Zieler a decent No2 but they'll not only miss Schmeichel's quality, also his personality. Born winner.— John Bennett (@JohnBennettBBC) November 3, 2016
With just 12 goals in 10 fixtures so far this season, Claudio Ranieri's side are really struggling to recapture the excellent attacking play that defined so much of their title-winning season.
A spot on your watchlist, then, is recommended for Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and Islam Slimani. If the Foxes begin firing, all three have the potential for double-figure returns in a single gameweek. Ahmed Musa, meanwhile, has two goals in three starts for the King Power outfit.
Conte turning back time at Stamford Bridge
In FPL terms, we could be seeing the return of the 2014/15 version of Chelsea. Clean sheets as standard, Diego Costa constantly scoring and Eden Hazard ripping up defences while supplying attacking returns.
While a tricky fixture list [Everton (h), Middlesbrough (a), Tottenham Hotspur (h), Manchester City (a)] may deter investors, Antonio Conte's team are beginning to look somewhat fixture proof. A testing schedule will tell but both Hazard and Costa have risen £0.1m since Sunday's 2-0 victory away to Southampton.
Meanwhile, Marcos Alonso's (£5.9m) wing-back role should see him add to his tally of one assist in four starts, while Cesar Azpilicueta (£6.0m) has now returned at least one bonus point six times in 10 gameweeks.
Summer signing Alonso was given the runaround at St Mary's by Saints tormentor-in-chief Dusan Tadic, however, so his Spanish teammate's bonus-point magnetism and certain starting spot may be more fruitful than the former Bolton man's attacking potential.
Lovely play from Tadic tormenting Marcos Alonso— FPL Thunshot (@FPLThunshot) October 30, 2016
Let's be Brunt about West Brom
If clean sheets are Tony Pulis' bread and butter, scoring from set-pieces are his biscuits with a cuppa. The now fully-fit Chris Brunt will have a big part to play in delivering quality balls for the likes of Salomon Rondon, Gareth McAuley and Craig Dawson to attack in the box.
While Nacer Chadli may fancy his chances from direct free-kicks, Brunt should be on most other dead-ball situations outside the box now that Craig Gardner seems to have lost his place in the Baggies' starting XI. Albion have scored five times from corners this campaign, more than any side in the division, while six of their 10 strikes have come from set-piece situations.
@FPLHints Chris Brunt. Will be bringing him in soon!— The General #FPL (@FPLGeneral) October 30, 2016
Stationed in midfield for his first start of the season on Saturday, the Nothern Ireland man could possibly offer us an out-of-position prospect for just £4.9m with his defender classification in FPL.
Apart from a trip to Stamford Bridge in GW15, Pulis' team have a fairly kind schedule right through to GW16. No clean sheet since GW3 is definitely a warning sign for any potential investors though homes ties against Burnley, Watford and Swansea in the next six offers hope of Pulis returning to his staple diet.