Punt of the Week - FPL Gameweek 3

9:35am Aug 23 2016

If you’re activating a wildcard of having a re-shuffle, you might want to consider Crystal Palace’s Andros Townsend for your Gameweek 3 FPL teams.

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Last weeks Gameweek 2 Punt Jermain Defoe couldn’t continue his own and Sunderland’s derby day success, unfortunately – he was also perhaps unfortunate not to score as he has a goal chalked off for being offside.

Middlesbrough’s well organised and disciplined defence managed to keep Defoe from scoring, to ensure David Moyes’ poor derby day record continued.

This weeks punt Andros Townsend is without doubt a big risk, as Crystal Palace have won just 2 games out of 21 so far in 2016, scoring just 16 Premier League goals in the process.

However, with club record signing Christian Benteke joining the Eagles earlier this week from Liverpool, Alan Pardew will be hoping the Belgian can help ease the pressure which is sure to be building on him at Selhurst Park and start converting the chances that the likes of Townsend and Zaha create.

Townsend has looked decent since his £13m move to Crystal Palace from Newcastle over the summer, and is in fact the highest crosser of the ball in the Premier League so far this season with 18 crosses made. Unfortunately, for Townsend and the Palace fans, there has been no one on the end of them to convert, which is why Palace have struggled to score in their first two Premier League games this season.

However, with Benteke now signed up and in full training, FPL managers should feel slightly more optimistic that Townsend’s assist tally could soon rapidly climb. Benteke is lacking match practice at the moment, but fortunately for him, Palace have a midweek EFL cup game against Blackpool, which could provide Benteke with some valuable game-time before Saturday’s Premier League clash with Bournemouth at Selhurst Park.

With the greatest of respect to both sides, this game is already an early season 6 pointer, with both teams yet to get a point on the board in the Premier League. A draw isn’t much use to either team and whichever team loses on Saturday will be under extreme pressure – especially having spent big in the transfer window so far.

With Yannick Bolasie recently sold to Everton, Palace are even more reliant on Townsend to provide the goods going forward. Townsend finished last season well with 4 goals and 2 assists for Newcastle in just 13 games, scoring 64 FPL points along the way.

With Sam Allardyce announcing his first England squad on Sunday, I think it’s fair to say it’s unlikely Townsend will earn a place in this squad. However, if he does put a good performance in at Selhurst Park on Saturday, then he could give the England boss a last-minute headache and force his way into his plans.

Allardyce was present at Townsend’s match away at former club Tottenham this weekend, but was there to cast his eye over the likes of Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane. Unfortunately for Townsend, he didn’t do anything that will have caught Big Sam’s eye and inspired him to name him in the squad for the game with Slovakia in September.

Townsend will be hoping to change that and stabilise his career at Palace. Unfortunately, he couldn’t do this at White Hart Lane or St James Park and he will be determined to avoid a second consecutive season battling for survival in the Premier League.

Townsend has also taken the occasional free kick and corner this season for Palace and with Benteke now their to aim at, there’s now a huge possibility that Palace will score more goals and earn him more FPL points as a result.

As previously mentioned, this is a huge match for both teams and the Eagles fans will be optimistic that with Townsend and Benteke in the team, they will inspire the rest of the squad to victory in this match and spark an improved run of results going forward.

Townsend is in just 5.8% of teams at the time of writing (Tuesday, 22nd August) and was transferred out by 11,909 managers in Gameweek 2. If you do decide to take a punt on him this week, he could be the huge differential that you require to help make-up ground in your mini leagues.

Finally, looking forward, Townsend has decent fixtures in the next few gameweeks with matches against Middlesbrough (A), Stoke (H) and Sunderland (A) following this weekends game at home to Bournemouth, he could be a potential member of your starting 11 for the next 3 gameweeks.

Priced at just £6.5m, his low price tag could help you to accommodate more high value players such as Kevin de Bruyne, Sergio Aguero or Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Article written by @holtdaniel123 – be sure to give him a follow on Twitter.

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