FPL Q&A: Gameweek 5 - Keep Salah or Sell to Hazard?

9:35am Sep 13 2018

Liverpool’s Mo Salah has been dropped by 200,000+ Fantasy Premier League bosses ahead of Gameweek 5 – all aboard Hazard?

The Q&A series with @_FPLtips and @FFPundits returns for Gameweek 5, where we’ll once again be taking a look at the FPL community questions sent in to us via Twitter.

As always, we received hundreds of fantasy questions from you all, and we thank you for that – but as you can imagine, we’re unable to answer them all in our video and article.

As always, we have provided you with a video version of this article, which you can find above.

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jeffcr7 (@jeffcr7_) asks:

“Is it time to give up Salah and go for Hazard for the next 4 Gameweeks?”

Hazard’s form is giving us a real dilemma at the moment and selling Mo Salah offers the easiest route to get the Belgium international.

So, it’s understandable that last season’s top points scorer is now the 2nd most transferred out player ahead of Gameweek 5, behind only Theo Walcott. But how do the two players compare this season?

The Underlying Numbers

Hazard has featured in all 4 of Chelsea’s opening games but he’s only started in each of the last two, being eased back in after the World Cup this summer.

In over 100 minutes less than Salah, the Chelsea midfielder has equalled his total of 27 FPL points, from 2 goals and 2 assists and the pair have offered similar potential in terms of attempted assists (13 to 10).

But in terms of goal threat, there’s one clear winner when it comes to the underlying numbers.

Salah has taken 19 goal attempts to Hazard’s 10, with 12 coming from inside the box to Hazard’s 4.

Hazard does have the benefit of being on penalty duties but his goal from the spot this season has gone down as his only ‘big chance’ so far, while Salah has been involved in 5 ‘big chances’.

The Fixtures

There’s no doubt that Chelsea have the easier fixture, on paper, for Gameweek 5. Cardiff are yet to find a win this season, having suffered a 3-2 defeat to Arsenal in their last outing.

But Salah has scored an impressive tally of 5 career goals against Spurs during 6 appearances, including 3 league goals against them last season.

So, as tempting as Hazard is, if it’s a direct choice between him and Salah, it could still be worth hanging on to the Liverpool midfielder.

Stavre Koroveshi (@KoroveshiStavre) asks:

“Is Lukaku essential for the next 4 Gameweeks?”

Lukaku made his return to the Man Utd starting lineup in Gameweek 2, where he got off the mark for the season, during the 3-2 defeat to Brighton.

He’s bagged 3 goals across the last 3 Gameweeks now and no player has been involved in more than his 5 ‘big chances’ or taken more than his 12 shots from inside the box during that period, beating Aguero – with 11 and Salah – with 9.

There’s big potential for Man Utd over the next 4 Gameweeks, where they’ll face out-of-form West Ham and Newcastle sides, who are yet to find a win this season.

West Ham have the joint worst defensive record so far in terms of goals conceded, with 10.

At his £11.0m price tag, it will be hard to fit Lukaku in unless you’re on a wildcard, but if you have the luxury of being able to find a route to get him, he’s certainly someone who could bring home the points over this run.

FPL Topbins (@FPLTopBins) asks:

“Who is the best replacement for Henrikh Mkhitaryan?”

This is a question on the minds of many FPL managers ahead of Gameweek 5, after the Armenian was dropped to the bench for Arsenal’s win over Cardiff before the international break.

Richarlison comes back into contention from Gameweek 6 onwards, upon his return from suspension but if you’re looking to replace Mkhitaryan this week, Chelsea’s Pedro could be a player to consider around that price range, for a short-term option.

3 goals scored by the Chelsea winger this season is on par with Richarlison, Lucas Moura and Roberto Pereyra; only Sadio Mané (4) has found the back of the net more times amongst midfielders.

The Spaniard’s tally of 6 shots on target is level with Mané, Alli, Schürrle and Pogba; only Salah – with 7, has taken more amongst midfielders.

But if you’re concerned about Pedro’s rotation risk with Willian or you’re looking for a longer-term solution, Leicester’s James Maddison could be an alternative to consider.

Amongst midfielders, priced at £7.0m or less, Maddison’s 3 efforts on target this season can be bettered by only Pereyra – with 4, and Pedro and Schürrle – with 6.

Leicester have a kind run of fixtures running all the way up until Gameweek 15, with Arsenal being the only side faced from last season’s top 6, over that period.

Nishchal Bajracharya (@NischaLEO10_LFC) asks:

“Who would you say is the best ‘set and forget’ goalkeeper right now?”

Asmir Begovic stands out amongst the £4.5m goalkeeper options in the short to medium term, with Bournemouth set to host Leicester, Crystal Palace and Southampton over the next 6 Gameweeks, in-between away trips to Burnley, Watford and Fulham.

Bournemouth have kept 1 clean sheet from their opening 4 games but they’ve only conceded 2 ‘big chances’ in that time; a tally equal with Liverpool and no Premier League side has conceded fewer than the pair.

Brighton are another side with a long run of good fixtures, bringing Mat Ryan into contention.

Their next couple could be tricky, with Spurs and Man City during the next 3 Gameweeks but save points are highly likely in those games and between Gameweek 8 and Gameweek 16, Brighton don’t face a single side from last season’s top 6.

AlexandruH (@h_alexandru) asks:

“Who would be your first captain choice this week between Hazard and Aguero?”

If you’re going into Gameweek 5 with both Hazard and Aguero in your team, there’s a key decision to make in terms of captaincy, with Chelsea hosting Cardiff, while Man City welcome Fulham to the Etihad.

Over the last 2 Gameweeks, Agüero hasn’t been his usual self in front of goal, failing to find the back of the net from a total of 8 shots, 5 of which came from inside the box.

However, the Argentine struck the woodwork twice against Wolves in Gameweek 3 and he’s provided more total shots, shots inside the box and attempted assists than Hazard over this period.

Last season, Agüero scored 15 of his 21 league goals at the Etihad and had more ‘big chances’ on home turf than any teammate. That trend has continued this season, with 13 of his 20 shots and all 3 goals taking place during Man City’s first two home fixtures.

Fulham have conceded 9 goals in their two away matches this season, compared to Cardiff’s 5; only Huddersfield and West Ham have conceded more away goals – with 10.

Taitoon (@Taitoonfpl) asks:

“Which are the players that are must have right now or by next week wildcard?”

We talked earlier about Begovic and Ryan being potential “set and forget” goalkeeper options for the upcoming Gameweeks, while the attacking left-backs in defence continue to deliver consistent points.

We’ve seen both Wilson and Mitrovic provide consistent FPL returns over the first 4 Gameweeks, with strong underlying numbers to back them up. Wilson remains top amongst all players for shots inside the box and ‘big chances’ so far.

With that in mind, here’s a look at a potential wildcard draft for Gameweek 5.

David Silva is unfortunate to miss out; during the last 3 Gameweeks, the Man City midfielder has produced a league-high tally of 13 attempted assists; beating Salah’s total of 11 over that period and Hazard’s 9.

Richarlison remains suspended until Gameweek 6, so in this draft, the plan would be to instead field Wolves defender Ryan Bennett at home to Burnley in Gameweek 5, and have the Everton midfielder in there ready for his return.

You could perhaps look at an alternative option to Robertson, with his tough schedule but the left-back continues to impress in the final third, even if the clean sheets are to dry up temporarily.

BEFORE YOU GO… From Gameweek 6 onwards, the Fantasy Football Pundits will have their own weekly mini-league on the daily fantasy  football site, Starting 11.

To get involved, be sure to download and check out their FREE iOS and Android app – more details to follow on the site and Twitter in the coming days, so stay tuned.

Thank you for reading ‘Fantasy Premier League Tips – FPL Q&A: Gameweek 5-8 | Is Bernardo Silva the Best Man City Midfielder?’ which was written and produced by @_FPLtips