Throughout the 2022/23 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) season, our stellar team of Pro Pundits, Hall of Famers and guest contributors will be sharing their thoughts and own transfer plans.
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Here, two-time Indian FPL champion Lateriser discusses his Wildcard plans and thoughts.
The news in terms of fixtures has finally emerged and I’ve pulled the trigger on the Wildcard. Outside of three Liverpool players, which most FPL managers have, I also owned Reece James (£6.0m), Marcus Rashford (£6.6m), Diogo Dalot (£4.5m) and a potentially injured Kyle Walker (£5.1m), which forced me into activating the chip.
It was a fairly straightforward decision for me but for those that are on the fence due to being able to field 10 or 11 players, there is merit in waiting for more information. The pros and cons of Wildcarding are covered in detail by Tom in this excellent article.
Let’s come to where I am with my current draft and the decisions that I’m grappling with. I would like to heavily caveat that this is only my current ‘tinker’ and I’m far from reaching a conclusion as I only made the decision to Wildcard on Tuesday.
The Wildcard picks that I’m confident about are largely from Manchester City and Newcastle United. Nick Pope (£5.1m) stands out to me as the goalkeeper of choice. The reason for having him is simple: Newcastle have conceded the fifth-highest number of shots but are second lowest behind just Tottenham Hotspur for expected goals (xG) per shot conceded. It is just the perfect recipe for him. I’m comfortable in doubling up on the Magpies defence with Kieran Trippier (£5.3m), who offers points potential on both sides of the pitch. Even in Gameweek 6, he supplied six chances versus Crystal Palace – and that creativity will also help him rack up bonus points. Newcastle United have kept six clean sheets in their last 10 matches at St James’ Park and their next four home games are against Bournemouth, Brentford, Everton and Aston Villa.
READ MORE: Pope and Trippier rise up The Watchlist
My third Newcastle United player at the moment, who I’m not fully sure about, is Alexander Isak (£7.0m). The reason he is in there is that his next three games are against Bournemouth (h), Fulham (a) and Brentford (h), all of whom are in the wrong half of the table for expected goals conceded (xGC) in the league so far. Newcastle have shown the ability to do well against weaker opposition as they racked up close to 2.0 xG against Nottingham Forest and Wolverhampton Wanders and 2.5+ xG against Crystal Palace. I am a little worried about Callum Wilson (£7.2m) being close to fitness but I think that the impending return of Bruno Guimaraes (£5.7m) and Allan Saint-Maximan (£6.4m) only means good things for the team in general.
If I don’t go with Isak, it will be for either Ivan Toney (£7.2m), who is in the top 10 in the league for non-penalty expected goal involvement (xGI) and is now seemingly the best free-kick taker in the world as well as the best penalty-taker! Harry Kane (£11.4m) is an alternative third forward pick as a short-term premium punt to attack the Leicester City fixture, as the Foxes have now conceded 23 goals in their last 10 away games and sit in the bottom three for xGC so far this season. If that is the case, I’ll likely punt on Saint-Maximin in midfield.
KEEPING SALAH IN MIND
All of us on The FPL Wire are on a Wildcard this week and we also shared our thoughts on the chip in our Gameweek 8 episode, which I highly recommend.
It is one you shouldn’t miss!