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Fantasy Premier League Pundit Picks: Gameweek 4

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A good three weeks on, and the men are starting to separate themselves from the boys in the English Premier League.

In the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) too, while some managers are continuing with blistering starts, some continue to stutter.

To get out of a rut, or to keep the golden streak going, it is imperative that one keeps making minor adjustments.

And after the international break, there are plenty of options which may overwhelm even the most experienced of FPL managers

Worry not. Each week, thestatesman.com will help to make the right moves on the FPL — who to buy for the coming gameweek.

The indicators are:

Teams in BOLD are top 4 contenders.

Prices marked in GREEN indicate an increase in Base Price.

Prices marked in RED indicate a decrease in Base Price.

Goalkeeper

Petr Cech

Team: Arsenal

Fixtures: Southampton (H), Hull (A), Chelsea (H), Burnley (A) and Swansea (H)

Price: 5.5

Score: 17

Ownership: 17%

Why yes: Alexis Sanchez&’s return has sparked life into an Arsenal side that were looking quite rusty in the opening two games. Shkodran Mustafa&’s transfer has finally been completed, and the Gunners finally have an experienced centre-back pairing ready to start. Barring the Chelsea game, there are plenty of clean-sheet opportunities for the North London side.

Why no: They have conceded 5 goals in 3 games so far, and of course if one has the likes of Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscieny, best if they don’t buy the Czech stopper too.

Defenders

Arthur Masuaku

Team: West Ham 

Fixtures: Watford (H), West Brom (A), Southampton (H), Middlesbrough (H) and Crystal Palace (A)

Price: 5.0

Score: 11

Ownership: 0.5%

Why yes: West Ham have a great run of fixtures ahead of them, and some returning stars are returning from injuries, which makes the young full-back a must have choice. The Frenchman isn’t afraid of going on the overlap, and will benefit from having some quality finishers up top.

Why no: If one has the likes of Adrian, Winston Reid or James Collins, best give Masuaku a miss.

Toby Alderweireld

Team: Tottenham Hotspur

Fixtures: Stoke (A), Sunderland (H), Middlesborough (A), Man City (H) and West Brom (A)

Price: 6.5

Score: 10

Ownership: 20.7%

Why yes: There is no doubting the fact that the Belgian centre-back is a genuine goal threat. Upcoming fixtures look quite neat, barring the City game and he may just add one to his tally from a set-piece soon. Hugo Lloris has been passed fit to play, and that is a big boost for the Spurs backline.

Why no: Extremely pricey, in fact the most expensive defender alongside Hector Bellerin. His defensive partner Jan Vertongen is more economical option. A sizeable number of FPL manager already have him in their respective squads.

Midfielders

Raheem Sterling

Team: Manchester City

Fixtures: Manchester United (A), Bournemouth (A), Swansea (A), Spurs (A) and Everton (H)

Price: 8.2

Score: 24

Ownership: 11.5%

Why yes: The jet-heeled youngster is finally producing the goods under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola, as his tally of two goals and as many assists in just three games would attest. Easily the standout player in a star-studded City line up, his price is primed to explode if he keeps it up. Sterling is also considerably cheaper than all his team mates, which is a major factor for those with a conservative budget. In the absence of Sergio Aguero, he may play in the ‘False Nine’ role, which increases his chances of featuring on the scoresheet.

Why no: He has never really performed well against United, who do have a slight advantage after Sergio Aguero&’s suspension. Plenty of people have the likes of David Silva or Kevin de Bruyne in their teams, and would be well advised to avoid putting all eggs in the same basket.

Jason Puncheon

Team: Crystal Palace

Fixtures: Middlesbrough (A), Stoke (H), Sunderland (A), Everton (A) and West Ham (H)

Price: 5.5

Score: 12

Ownership: 1.3%

Why yes: A good alternative for someone who doesn’t wish to buy Christian Benteke from Palace up front. Fixtures are the best they will ever be, and already the 30-year-old winger is showing signs of real promise. His crosses are quite decent, and at just 1.3 per cent ownership, he could be a key differential. At the very least, a good fourth/fifth midfield option.

Why no: Those who do have Christian Benteke should obviously not select him as well. He does undergo long stretches of barren runs (FPL perspective) as well.

Forwards

Diego Costa

Team: Chelsea

Fixtures: Swansea (A), Liverpool (H)Arsenal (A) , Hull (A) and Leicester (H)

Price: 9.7

Score: 15

Ownership: 16.2%

Why yes: While Aguero and Ibrahimovic have been hogging the headlines, the ‘Beast’ has been supremely efficient in all three games so far. With three goals already, Costa looks like the deadly forward of the 2014/15 season once more. Cheaper than Eden Hazard, and guaranteed to start week in week out, Costa is in very good nick. His record against Swansea is impressive.

Why no: While his goalscoring record is unquestionable, his disciplinary record is a little shaky at best. Every game he seems to flirt with disaster, and his on-the-edge style of play may get him sent off sooner rather than later. Those who have the in-from Hazard need not go for Costa.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Team: Manchester United

Fixtures: Man City (H), Watford (A), Leicester (H), Stoke (H) and Liverpool (A)

Price: 11.8

Score: 24

Ownership: 59.9%

Why yes: Ibra has proved his doubters wrong with his blistering start to life at United so far. And against a coach who very publicly discarded him at Barcelona, he has a point or two to prove. The Manchester derby is set to be the most exciting one in years, and it is a safe bet to say that Ibra will be among the goalscorers come full time.

Why no: Extremely expensive, and his team mate Wayne Rooney is  doing quite a good job at a much more reasonable price.

PS: The Gameweek  deadline is 11.30 am GMT/4 pm IST, so make sure all transfers are completed before it!