Premier League fantasy football tips: Erling Haaland must captain with Man City home to Fulham

Alistair Bruce-Ball
Alistair Bruce-Ball

It's another Friday deadline in FPL this week - 18:30 BST tonight before Luton v West Ham - and the last day of the transfer window in the real world is also going to figure in our plans in the fantasy one.

Matheus Nunes' move to Manchester City only adds to the complication of Pep roulette and if Cole Palmer and Ansu Fati end up at Chelsea and Brighton respectively, then you have to consider the impact that might have on the playing time of some current FPL favourites like Nicolas Jackson and Kaoru Mitoma.

The biggest impact on FPL though would be if Liverpool decide the money on offer for Mohamed Salah from Saudi club Al-Ittihad is too good to turn down. It would essentially leave Erling Haaland as the only true 'premium asset' in the game, removing his main rival as a captaincy option from week-to-week and leaving a lot of managers with a big hole in their squads but a lot of money.

It may not happen of course but it's why we've got a fascinating Friday before gameweek 4.

Only one captain

Erling Haaland (left) and Aitana Bonmati (right)
Haaland was given the Uefa men's player of the year award while Aitana Bonmati (right) was named the women's player of the year on Thursday

Haaland, Haaland, Haaland. I'm sorry it's so boring but Manchester City are at home to Fulham, who have conceded 55 shots on goal in their first three Premier League games against Everton, Brentford and Arsenal.

However if you're an FPL manager who refuses to captain Haaland, and those who opted for Raheem Sterling last week benefited to the tune of an extra 30 points, then there are plenty of exciting options for you.

Brentford's Bryan Mbeumo at home to Bournemouth, James Maddison away to Burnley, Sterling again at home to Nottingham Forest, Haaland's team-mate Julian Alvarez or Jarrod Bowen for West Ham's game at Luton.

The downside to the Bowen pick is that three of his next four games after Luton are against Manchester City, Liverpool and Newcastle, but as we saw in West Ham's wins against Chelsea and Brighton they are very adept at picking more fancied opponents off on the counter-attack.

Fixtures to target

Pervis Estupinan (centre)
Brighton have scored nine goals in their first three games this season but have conceded in each of those fixtures, including three against West Ham last time out

Brighton v Newcastle, Liverpool v Villa and Arsenal v Manchester United are the three hardest fixtures to predict this weekend.

Pervis Estupinan owners again have to weigh up whether his fabulous attacking potential outweighs the fact that Brighton are finding clean sheets hard to come by and their fixtures now get tougher. He's certainly not in the "must sell" category and you can happily have him as a useful substitute if money isn't an issue for you, which it doesn't seem to be in the game this season.

Joao Pedro probably is a "must sell" at Brighton though, having been on the bench for their last two games, and Statman Dave picked out Brentford's Yoane Wissa in this week's Fantasy 606 podcast as the best replacement, currently at £6.2 million.

If you've already got Mbeumo then you might not want the Brentford double-up so you should consider Chelsea's Jackson, Manchester City's Alvarez or maybe Taiwo Awoniyi, who has scored in his last seven Premier League games for Nottingham Forest.

Darwin Nunez is another tempting pick up front after his two stunning goals at St James' Park but there are just too many options in that Liverpool frontline to be certain that he will get a start at home to Aston Villa.

Ollie Watkins has come up with three assists in three games for Unai Emery's team but it looks like the attacking player to pick is summer signing Moussa Diaby and he will be very popular from gameweek 8 onwards when Villa embark on a nice run of fixtures.

As for Arsenal v Manchester United, I would guess that both teams will score in that one so you might be relying on attacking contributions from your defenders and save points from the goalkeepers.


Jack Grealish, Dejan Kulusevski and Enzo Fernandez are all under 5% owned, they are all regular starters in their teams with decent fixtures this week and all are acceptable long-term holds.

Gamble of the week

Now if you really fancy a gamble then why not spend £6 million on Everton's new centre-forward Beto, who's yet to play a minute of Premier League football? He came off the bench to score in the EFL Cup at Doncaster on Wednesday and now faces Sheffield United with his team still looking for their first league goal of the season. Everton are at home to Luton and Bournemouth in gameweeks 7 and 8 so you could hop on the Beto bus early and enjoy the ride!

Alistair Bruce-Ball presents the Fantasy 606 podcast alongside former Premier League winner Chris Sutton and Statman Dave. You can find the podcast by searching for 'Fantasy 606' on the BBC Sounds app, then just click subscribe. The code to join the Fantasy 606 league is 'j03mnp'.