FPL Gameweek 3 review: Perisic and Pereira star as Toney hits points summit

Having already brought you the statistical summary of Saturday’s Gameweek 3 action, we now turn our attention to the wider Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from the day’s fixtures.

The numbers and heatmaps you see in this article are from our Premium Members Area, where you can access Opta player and team data for every single Premier League fixture.

FPL pre-season: Trossard hits hat-trick from wing-back role 1

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1-0 WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS

Ivan Perisic (£5.4m) rewarded those FPL managers who kept faith with him with a clean sheet, an assist, maximum bonus points and a double-digit haul on his first start of the season.

It was an excellent display from the veteran Croatian, who created three chances and had more final-third touches than anyone on show – his offensive threat is reflected in the average position map below, where he is well up alongside the usual Spurs front three:

The stats say no shots but don’t let that fool you either, with two separate instances coming to mind: Son Heung-min (£11.9m) should have found the wing-back in tap-in territory and Perisic later passed when a glaring shooting opportunity had presented itself.

Of course, we had a good idea about what Perisic would bring when he’s on the field – it’s just how often he manages to get on the grass.

Rotation looks like it will be commonplace at wing-back under Antonio Conte this season, both during games and between them, and we’re about to enter into a very busy period from Gameweek 4-8:

Above: Credit to @Legomane

Perisic won’t start all seven matches over this period (he’s far alone there), so there has to be an acknowledgment that there may be a one-pointer or two among the potential hauls around it.

Keep your eyes and ears peeled for fitness updates later in the week, too, as the Croatian was spotted holding his calf after being substituted.

“It was the same for the rest of the team. He struggled in the first half, with the rest of the team he improved a lot. I have seen the Ivan Perisic I know from Inter. When we were together at Inter. For us he is very important because we are talking about a player with a great experience. A player that won a lot in his past, has played in an important team. He can bring experience. I was really pleased with the impact of Ryan Sessegnon.” – Antonio Conte

Elsewhere, Harry Kane (£11.4m) made it two goals in two matches and hit the crossbar from a Dejan Kulusevski (£8.2m) cross, while Son blanked again. The South Korean looked a little bit subdued, as did his teammates in a leaden-footed first half, but is still top among Spurs players for shots in the box (nine) this season. Given his historic record of ‘overperformance’ on the expected goals (xG) front, we’ll surely not have to wait long before he breaks his goal drought – but more FPL sales are inevitable this week and his price may fall further.

It was the same old story for Wolves, who looked sharp for long periods but again failed to score. They outshot their hosts 12-1 in the first half and new signings Matheus Nunes (£5.0m) and Goncalo Guedes (£6.0m) were bright, with the latter registering five shots and three chances created.

READ MORE: Who is new Wolves signing Goncalo Guedes?

“They did what I asked of them to do, Matheus was there controlling the ball, Goncalo did what he usually do, he had one or two chances to score goals, and now it’s time to see what we did here and to continue. That’s the goal.” – Bruno Lage

Raul Jimenez (£6.9m) at least returned from injury as a substitute to boost Wolves’ firepower up top but he himself only scored six goals in 2021/22, so expectations have to be tempered with him.

Pedro Neto (£5.4m) owners meanwhile saw their budget midfielder line up as a virtual right wing-back in the first half, with Bruno Lage attempting to nullify Son, so this wasn’t really the game to judge his output as he’ll surely be back in a more advanced position in Gameweek 4.


Tottenham Hotspur XI (3-4-3): Lloris, Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Royal, Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Perisic (Sessegnon 76), Kulusevski (Bissouma 86), Kane, Son (Richarlison 76).

Wolverhampton Wanderers XI (4-3-3): Sa, Jonny, Collins, Kilman, Ait-Nouri (Semedo 71), Nunes, Neves (c), Moutinho (Dendoncker 58), Podence (Jimenez 59), Guedes (Hwang 81), Neto (Traore 71). 


BOURNEMOUTH 0-3 ARSENAL

Arsenal coasted to victory on the south coast, where Martin Odegaard (£6.4m) delivered his biggest-ever FPL haul. Only twice before, indeed, had he banked 10+ points.

The Dane scored Arsenal’s opening two goals, the first a rebound from a Gabriel Martinelli (£8.3m) shot and the second an instinctive effort from a Gabriel Jesus (£8.1m) touch, effectively killing the game off after 11 minutes.

Granit Xhaka (£5.0m), again frequently popping up in an advanced role as one of Mikel Arteta’s ‘number eights’, teed up William Saliba (£4.5m) for a superb third in the second half.

“The way I want to play, there are certain spaces that have to be occupied at all times, and as you can see, there is a lot of rotation in that unit, with Alex, with Martinelli, with him. But he has the ability to do that, he has the capacity to do that. He arrived today in some really good positions again, and it’s the evolution of the player.” – Mikel Arteta on Granit Xhaka playing higher up the pitch

Those who backed the 80%-owned Jesus with the armband would have been left feeling a little short-changed from four points but the Brazilian was excellent again and would have scored more on another day, with one of his efforts finding the net only to be chalked off by the VAR and their low-resolution cameras. It was from his mazy run that Arsenal’s first goal arrived, too.

“New confidence, a new spark and that winning mentality that he has and the way he competes for every ball and the way he transmits his energy and his quality to the rest of the team, and you could see that again today. He was involved in the goals, he didn’t score, but he had a goal disallowed, but he was involved in the action.” – Mikel Arteta on Gabriel Jesus

Five of the top 12 highest-scoring players of the season so far are on Arsenal’s books (ahead of Sunday’s matches), with Martinelli avoiding a blank again and an increasingly competent-looking defence cruising to a clean sheet despite the occasional lapse from Aaron Ramsdale (£5.0m).

Bukayo Saka (£8.0m) is the big FPL loser from Arsenal’s season so far and he was again on the fringes of things on the south coast, here not registering a single penalty box touch or shot. It’s Fulham at home up next, a side who have allowed three times as many chances to be created from Saka’s flank than the other wing, so perhaps there are enough reasons to hold despite the imminent price drop.

Bournemouth barely laid a glove on the Gunners, with Dominic Solanke (£5.9m) again absent through injury and Kieffer Moore (£5.5m) left isolated up top. The Cherries have only mustered a combined xG of 0.42 against Manchester City and Arsenal in the last two Gameweeks, so anyone who still has the Liverpool defensive double-up will have hope of some belated joy in Gameweek 4.

Bournemouth XI: Travers, Smith, Mepham, Senesi (Anthony, h-t), Kelly, Zemura, Lerma, Pearson (Cook, h-t), Tavernier, Billing (Christie, 65), Moore.

Arsenal XI: Ramsdale, White (Tomiyasu, 74), Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Xhaka (Sambi Lokonga, 88), Saka (Tierney, 88), Odegaard (Smith Rowe, 74), Martinelli (Nketiah, 74), Jesus.


FULHAM 3-2 BRENTFORD

Flying the flag for the mid-price forwards this season are Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.6m) and Ivan Toney (£7.1m), who are keeping pace with the likes of Kane and Jesus.

Both strikers had found the back of the net with chalked-off efforts before registering legitimate goals on Saturday, with Mitrovic firing off a remarkable eight shots over the 90 minutes and being thwarted by David Raya (£4.5m) on several occasions.

Understandable reservations remain about Mitrovic given his chequered FPL past but he’s at least now playing under a much more front-foot manager, while the capture of Kevin Mbabu (£4.5m) looks to be a signing made with Mitrovic in mind due to the full-back’s excellent crossing ability.

“We made it difficult for ourselves and in the end I managed to get a goal after missing a couple of chances. He [David Raya] made it so hard for me today. I missed a lot of chances and lots of ups and downs but I never gave up. I stayed calm and kept believing.

“The manager [Marco Silva] has changed the club, the way we play and the way we believe. We never give up.” – Aleksandar Mitrovic

Toney is now level with Jesus at the top of the FPL points table and has more appealing fixtures to come over the next four Gameweeks.

One concern about Brentford is in defence, particularly with the 4-3-3 set-up that Thomas Frank has been using against the ‘also-rans’ over the last six months. Two goals were conceded to Leicester in that shape in Gameweek 1 and again to Fulham on Saturday, with Frank reverting to a 3-4-3 on both occasions before a comeback was mounted. If you’re a Raya owner, you’re probably hoping for the wing-back system in Gameweek 4 and beyond, as Ben Mee (£4.6m) and Pontus Jansson (£4.5m) look suspect in a back four.

Josh Dasilva (£4.6m) blanked but fellow budget midfielders Andreas Pereira (£4.5m) and Mathias Jensen (£5.0m) got more joy at set plays, delivering an assist each, with Andreas in particular impressive. He really looks a steal at £4.5m in an attack-minded side and here his four chances created helped him claim maximum bonus points.

Another budget asset of note, forward Jay Stansfield (£4.5m), got the nod in a wide role for Fulham and claimed the assist for the opener. Given that Neeskens Kebano (£5.5m) isn’t expected to be out for long and that Silva may add to his options before deadline day, it’s a little early to be counting chickens concerning Stansfield’s game-time.

“Jay did well but of course, we need more solutions because it was a really intense game and in the second half we needed more solutions on the bench, with more quick players in the attack line to give even more problems to them.” – Marco Silva

Brentford XI: Raya; Hickey (Lewis-Potter 60), Jansson, Mee, Henry; Norgaard, Jensen (Janelt 60), Dasilva (Baptiste 74); Mbeumo, Wissa (Ghoddos 83), Toney

Fulham XI: Leno; Tete (Mbabu 77), Tosin, Ream, Robinson; Reed, Palhinha; De Cordova-Reid, Pereira, Stansfield (Cairney 77); Mitrovic (Duffy 89)


LEICESTER CITY 1-2 SOUTHAMPTON

Danny Ward (£4.0m) may be the cheapest starting goalkeeper in the game but his Fantasy owners who are using him as more than mere bench fodder may be starting to wish they’d spent a bit more.”

While a defeat to free-scoring Arsenal could be excused, four home goals have now been conceded to Southampton and Brentford.

No team has allowed more ‘big chances’ to be conceded (10) this season and it’s now just six clean sheets in 40 league matches stretching back to 2021/22. With key centre-half Wesley Fofana (£4.5m) left out of the squad against the Saints amid constant transfer rumours and Kasper Schmeichel not replaced, Leicester now effectively have Ward and Daniel Amartey (£4.5m) as first-choice picks at the rear.

The fixtures are also far from great from now until the international break:

It’s a long way from being convincing at the other end, either, as Jamie Vardy (£9.5m) again disappointed; no club has had fewer ‘big chances’ than Brendan Rodgers’ side (one) this season.

James Maddison (£8.0m) is prospering in spite of the players around him, with his free-kick goal making it three attacking returns in as many games. That’s now 25 goals and assists combined in his last 29 Premier League appearances.

Southampton aren’t a team on many FPL managers’ watchlists and this result won’t alter that in the short term at least.

Che Adams (£6.4m) was the hero with a brace off the bench and almost bagged a half-hour hat-trick but we’ll have to see a lot more from a striker, who hasn’t hit double figures for goals in any of his three previous Premier League campaigns. He may still even leave for pastures new before the transfer window closes.

“Che was not training this week until Thursday. He was fresh. He could come on and power himself for 30- minutes. This is good. we need alternatives from the bench. The starters did good but you need someone who goes in at decisive moments.”

Ralph Hasenhuttl reverted to a back four for this match, with budget striker Sekou Mara (£5.5m) leading the line and seeing a confidently taken first-half effort chalked off for offside.

Leicester City XI: Ward; Justin, Amartey, Evans, Castagne; Ndidi, Maddison, Dewsbury-Hall; Perez (Tielemans 64), Barnes (Iheanacho 76), Vardy (Daka 64).

Southampton XI: Bazunu; Walker-Peters, Bella-Kotchap, Salisu, Djenepo; Lavia, Ward-Prowse, Elyounoussi; Aribo (Lyanco 87), A Armstrong (S Armstrong 70), Mara (Adams 58).


CRYSTAL PALACE 3-1 ASTON VILLA

Reports of Leon Bailey‘s (£4.9m) demise as a Fantasy asset may have been greatly exaggerated, as the winger not only was instantly recalled by Steven Gerrard but also rewarded his remaining FPL owners with an assist for Ollie Watkins’ (£7.4m) opener.

The Jamaica international almost ended Gameweek 3 with a double-digit haul to his name, striking the woodwork in the second half.

Gerrard did warn us about “horses for courses” selections in attack in his pre-match presser and duly delivered with a promotion for Bailey at the expense of last week’s goalscorer, Danny Ings (£7.0m).

The flip-side of the coin is true for Bailey, of course, as he could easily be warming the bench again next weekend when West Ham head north. In summary: more of a threat than pretty much any other £5.0m-and-under midfielder when he’s on the field but he’ll spend quite a bit of time off it.

Aston Villa’s defence is now very much an ‘avoid’, with the fixtures getting tougher. They’ve now conceded six goals and not banked a clean sheet against Bournemouth, Everton and Crystal Palace, conceding 32 shots in the box – the third-highest tally in the division – against mediocre opposition.

Poor fixtures are against Palace at the moment but that’s something that will soon ease, with a decent run beginning in Gameweek 5 and a real appealing stretch from Gameweek 10.

Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m) will be rising up the Watchlist at that point: fifth among FPL midfielders for goals scored last season (14), he’s already got three to his name in 2022/23 after a brace against Villa. He’s also on penalties, although he did miss from 12 yards on Saturday and had to convert the rebound to double his tally.

Of interest too is Eberechi Eze (£5.5m), who despite blanking picked up a bonus point. The Bonus Points System seems to love the budget asset, whose dribbling, chance creation and off-the-ball work from central midfield is handsomely rewarded:

Above: Eberechi Eze registered more baseline bonus points (BBPS) than anyone else on show on Saturday

Three shots and three key passes arrived from Eze’s boots on Saturday, totals unbeaten by any of his teammates.

Palace, incidentally, have now carved out more Opta-defined ‘big chances’ than any other side in 2022/23.

Crystal Palace XI: Guaita, Mitchell, Andersen, Ward, Guéhi, Schlupp (Hughes 82′), Eze, Doucouré, Édouard (Mateta 70′), Ayew (Olise 70′), Zaha (Milivojevic 82′)

Aston Villa XI: Martínez, Cash, Konsa, Digne, Mings, Kamara, Ramsey, McGinn (Douglas Luiz 73′), Watkins, Buendía (Philippe Coutinho 73′), Bailey (Ings 66′)


EVERTON 1-1 NOTTINGHAM FOREST

Neco Williams (£4.0m) was minutes away from a second successive shut-out as Nottingham Forest were forced to settle for a point at Goodison Park.

Williams, on set plays again, was a threat in attack, too, registering three shots and two chances created. His goal attempts are not wayward efforts from distance, either: one of his strikes had to be well saved by Jordan Pickford (£4.5m), another whistled yards wide.

As of Saturday evening, Williams sits top among all FPL defenders for goal attempts in 2022/23 and joint-third for chances created:

The stats don’t make for great reading at the other end, however: Forest are currently bottom of the table for the concession of goal attempts, shots on target and expected goals conceded (xGC).

They’ve looked a little bit better defensively than those figures suggest, and Everton didn’t carve out too much of real quality on Saturday, so Dean Henderson (£4.5m) looks like he could be a goalkeeping gem for regular save points and the occasional clean sheet.

Steve Cooper’s side will be without the injured Moussa Niakhate (£4.5m) for the next few months but their squad was boosted by the inclusion of four more summer signings, with Morgan Gibbs-White (£5.5m) making an impressive debut as a substitute in support of goalscorer Brennan Johnson (£5.9m).

Everton meanwhile have a predictable problem, having lost their main two strikers from last season to Spurs and injury. Frank Lampard’s side are near the top of the table for goal attempts in 2022/23 but Demarai Gray‘s (£5.5m) late equaliser, from a route-one Pickford pass, was the first time one of their players had scored this season.

Gray and Anthony Gordon (£5.5m) had six shots apiece on Saturday, with five of Gordon’s coming after Salomon Rondon (£5.0m) had been taken off, but they are crying out for Dominic Calvert-Lewin‘s (£7.9m) return or a new recruit up top.

“We’ve lost some big players at the top of the pitch – one is injured [Dominic Calvert-Lewin] and one of them left in Richarlison – and we’re looking to correct that quickly, and that’s not easy. We know it’s an area of the pitch we want to improve on, and we have the window open [to try to do that].” – Frank Lampard

Everton XI: Pickford; Holgate, Coady, Tarkowski; Patterson, Davies (Onana 57), Iwobi, Mykolenko; Gray, Rondon (McNeil 57), Gordon

Nottingham Forest XI: Henderson; Worrall, Cook, McKenna; Williams, Mangala (Yates 55), O’Brien, Toffolo; Lingard (Kouyate 84); Awoniyi (Gibbs-White 61), Johnson