Gameweek 2 is in the books, and everything has gone a bit mental. GW2 was a very low scoring week, with the average being just 44 – miniscule compared to the average of 58 for gameweek 1. Lots of heavy hitters just aren’t hitting at all, while some cheaper options are absolutely soaring.
Here’s a quick overview of gameweek 2 of the 17/18 season, focusing on the key stats and the players that we should keep an eye on.
The Key Stats
Points: Alonso (16)
Goals: Alonso, Chicharito (2)
Assists: Mkhitaryan (2)
Shots: Kane (8)
Minutes Per Goal Attempt In Box: Richarlison (15)
Key Passes: Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Tadic, Richarlison, Holebas, Cresswell, De Bruyne (4)
Minutes Per Chance Created: Ozil (18)
Looking just at the key stats for the week, Marcos Alonso bagged 16 points thanks to two goals and three bonus points in Chelsea’s 2-1 win against Spurs at Wembley, a match where both teams played away from home. West Ham’s Chicharito managed to bag a brace as well in their 3-2 loss away at Southampton, proving his pedigree.
Mkhitaryan featured in last week’s recap due to his assists and overall chances created – he tops the charts again this week, claiming 2 assists through 4 key passes.
Now, the standout stat here would be the amount of shots taken by Sir Harold Kane. He disappointed again this week returning just 1 point, but he managed 8 shots on goal without scoring, hitting the post once.
Gameweek 2 Stars + Ones to Watch
One of the stars of the 16/17 FPL season – and the current face of Bench Boost on Twitter – showed everybody what he’s capable of with a 16-point haul against Spurs. He kicked the season off with 0 points as Chelsea lost 3-2 at home to Burnley, though he massively rewards those who hung on to the marauding Spaniard. Chelsea played a very defensive system which included David Luiz in a 3-man midfield, making Alonso a much more important outlet.
These goals came from the two shots he took on goal and he didn’t register any key passes, but his brace shows just how explosive he can be. Conte said himself that he wasn’t surprised that Alonso contributes so often, seeing as wing-backs in his system need to “become like strikers” at points. If I had a 7.0m striker bagging a brace away at Spurs, I’d be pretty pleased.
One of his goals came from an outstanding free kick roughly 25 yards from goal. He’s become somewhat of a set piece specialist over the past year, scoring 2 direct free kicks since the start of last season – only Coutinho has scored more. He’s also either scored or hit the woodwork from 8 of his last 10 direct free kicks.
Chelsea’s upcoming fixtures are quite tough, with Everton, Leicester, Arsenal and Man City in their next 5 games. That being said, if Conte deploys his catenaccio-style defense against these sides, the potential for clean sheets is still there.
Boy oh boy, do I like the look of this lad. Richarlison has racked up 15 points in the 2 hours of Premier League football he’s played, with 11 of them coming this week in Watford’s 2-0 win against Bournemouth.
His stats were outstanding in that match, as he took 6 shots (2nd only to Kane) and made 4 key passes (joint 1st), scoring a goal and netting all 3 bonus points.
His heatmap shows that he operated fairly high up the pitch, with the brightest spot actually being in the box itself, reflected in the amount of shots he took.
He’s currently only owned by 1.9% of managers, with him possibly going up to 6.1m before the end of the week. He represents a fantastic differential choice, and could well be the runt of the 6.0m litter.
Another hero of the week was West Ham’s Chicharito, scoring twice in 10-man West Ham’s loss against Southampton. Despite the loss, Hernandez picked up all 3 bonus points, talling up to 13 points. His stats reflect how deadly he can be in front of goal – he managed three shots with two of them being on target, both resulting in goals.
His price has already risen once this week, with the little pea now being valued at 7.1m. As mentioned in the latest FFS Market Forces article, FPL managers seem to be shedding the the likes of Firmino and Vardy for the Mexican hitman with both of them blanking this week in rather favourable fixtures.
If Hernandez can maintain this form, or replicate the form he showed in his first seasons for Man United and Bayer Leverkusen, he represents an excellent bit of value in the market, especially in the third striker slot.
West Ham have some decent fixtures on the horizon as well, facing the likes of Newcastle, Huddersfield and Swansea in the next 5 games.
One of the much maligned figures of the 16/17 FPL season, and the Premier League in general, Paul Pogba has started off this season in outstanding form. Currently the joint-top scorer in the game with 23 points, Pogba has 2 goals and 2 assists to his name, as well as 2 bonus points.
He picked up 15 points as United picked up another 4-0 win, claiming a goal and 2 assists. He had 3 shots on goal, clocking another 3 key passes on top of that, with his assist coming from a header that hit the crossbar, showcasing his aerial/set piece threat.
Both he and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have been absolutely flying so far, representing outstanding value as they both started off at 8.0m.
His price has already risen once and looks set to rise again, meaning that he’ll be 8.2m sooner or later. He could potentially be the first player this season to rise three times in a single gameweek, especially considering the big name midfielders blanking, notably Kevin de Bruyne and Dele Alli.
As it stands, you really have to have at least one of Pogba or Mkhitaryan in your team. United are looking fantastic – they’re looking to kill games off instead of seeing them out, going for the jugular at the end of the match. The space that is freed up for Mkhitaryan and Pogba provides FPL gold.
Gameweek 2 Blanks + Ones to Potentially Avoid
Kevin de Bruyne
If you’re a regular member of the FPL community on Twitter, you’ll have seen near enough everybody cursing the ground that Man City’s ginger playmaker walks on. He hasn’t provided an attacking return in either of City’s games so far, and even played as the deepest midfielder towards the end of City’s 1-1 draw with Everton as they desperately chased the game.
Considering the value that can be found amongst cheaper midfield options, such as Pogba, Mkhitaryan, Eriksen, Mane, and even David Silva, many people have been dropping De Bruyne from their sides.
City have Bournemouth coming up next, a side that De Bruyne has actually done very well against, bagging 2 goals and 2 assists in the 4 games he’s played against them. This could well be the last chance saloon for Kev.
Maya Yoshida + Jack Stephens
Yoshida has been a regular in the Southampton defence for a good while now, cementing a place alongside youngster Jack Stephens since Virgil van Dijk’s injury last season, and during his, erm, “injury” so far this season.
This partnership could potentially be coming to an end. Southampton have today announced the signing of Wesley Hoedt from Lazio, a highly rated left-sided centre back.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) August 22, 2017
Yoshida and Stephens aren’t owned by too many, but they represented some decent value going into the season as a 5.0m way into a solid Southampton side with outstanding fixtures. The general consensus seems to be that Yoshida would be the one dropping out for Hoedt, though it isn’t really known at this stage. Combine this with the fact that Van Dijk hasn’t left the club yet, and both positions are somewhat up in the air.
If you’re after a member of the Southampton defence, Bertrand and Cedric are your guys until things are much clearer here.
By the way, shoutout to Get Stuck In for the more in-depth stats.