FPL Q&A: Trossard, how many strikers should we play and Salah as captain


We are having a tumultuous 40 days and I can’t wait for the next 10 weeks of football, which will be tight and fast.

I asked the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) community to submit some questions for me to answer, received many related questions Harry Kane (12.2 million pounds) and Heung-Min Son (10.3 million pounds).

I wrote about my thoughts on these two things in my article last week and talk about it in this week’s episode of Wire FPL (44:00 onwards), so you can check my comments there. I should have mentioned that I sold Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang (£10.0 million) and Kai Havertz (£8.1m) this week, buy Kane and Conor Gallagher (£5.9m) in return. I could have gone for the alternate duo of Callum Wilson (£7.4m) and Son but my reasons are outlined in those links.

Let’s move on to the questions.

Q: Why does the FPL community dislike Leandro Trossard (£6.5m) so much? Brighton and Hove Albion is a team that is making rapid progress and he is getting close to being in the right status for them. His next four matches all scored after consecutive collisions. (@HinduMonkey)

A. It’s interesting that a lot of people don’t look at him closely but I think that has to do with the fact that he’s averaged just ten comebacks over the past two seasons. It is worth noting that he is gaining a bit of traction this week and I think that has to do with the fact that the FPL managers prefer him because of the current misleading number nine pick for Brighton, despite not sure how long this will continue . If he does so for a few more weeks, I think the managers will jump on him quickly. Many are focusing their transfers on a Spurs attacker or Diogo Jota (£7.5m) at the moment, which also explains the lack of love for Trossard. I’ve been looking at his numbers so far this season and some are very interesting. Here is his ranking among midfielders:

  • Tap on the last third: 4th
  • Photograph: 4th
  • Picture in the box: 4th
  • Join Projected Goals (xGI): Day 17 (second best in last two game weeks, when playing wrong nine)
  • A big chance: 27th (two big chances from two matches is nine wrong)
  • Opportunities are created: Day 14

Until Trossard moved to the top, his numbers showed plenty of low-quality volume opportunities but early signs of playing like a false nine were encouraging. In fact, thanks to your question, I’m paying more attention to him than before and will put him on my watchlist if he continues this. However, one player is doing better than these numbers at his price point – Jarrod Bowen (6.4 million pounds), who is second only Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) for xGI since Gameweek 5 and there’s a host of fixtures coming up from Gameweek 16. Not the fixtures are important to West Ham these days, as they’ve gone empty handed just one times this season and only Manchester City have more Premier League goals this calendar year.

Q: There hasn’t been a single top 10 ranking in points for the past five weeks and only two have made it to the top 20. Is it just a phase, or should we start cashing in and move to 4-5-1 or 5-4 -1 formation? (@FPL_Banger)

A. I also noticed that the striker hasn’t been doing well lately. Kane’s manager, Romelu Lukakufitness of (11.5 million pounds) and Cristiano RonaldoThe fixtures (£12.4m) are why these crucial cogs of the FPL wheel have not been a big part of the conversation in recent weeks. I think this will change, with all three fixed, which is why I think it might be worthwhile to reserve a spot on your team for a senior striker. Kane and Ronaldo were in superb form over the festive period and Lukaku played for one of the best teams in the league.

At lower rates, I don’t think there are many options but, depending on your team structure and fund split, Michael Antonio (£8.2 million), Ivan Toney (£6.7m) and Wilson could be key players in the festive season game. My problem with going 4-5-1 or 5-4-1 is that the cheap extra striker options don’t really work, which is not true for defenders and midfielders. We will need the bench in December and have great value in the £4.5-5.0m defenders and £5.5-6.0m midfielders. You mentioned that none of the strikers were among the top scorers in the last five games, but more than half of the ten expected goal scorers (xG) in the last six weeks is a striker. Constantly evolving, I don’t think the state of play will not work and, given these factors, I think having at least two forwards playing seems prudent.

Q: Does Mohamed Salah still have the captain’s armband? I have Reece James (£5.9m) and Joao Cancelo (£6.5m) – if I had captained them for the last two Weeks I would have been much better. (@tony_earnshaw)

Hi Tony. I have yet to see any other player in the league who could make me take Salah’s captaincy. You’re talking about doing better with James and Cancelo but that’s looking at two specific Weeks and when you look at players at a very short sample size, anything can happen. The shorter the time, the higher the potential variance. Over the past season, Salah has been in a stratosphere of his own when it comes to fundamental numbers as well as efficiency. I don’t know how I can constantly rely on these full-backs to create attacks but I agree that their ability to keep clean sheets gives them a high scoring rate. That said, I think Salah also offers this in his current form. I have noticed the numbers starting to drop slightly in the last two Weeks but I think I need to see something more from other players before placing my bets on the Egyptian.

That’s it from me for this week. I hope you have a good Gameweek and I’ll see you back before the next deadline!

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