A St James’ Park Fortress
Fringe players included in Fantasy Premier League line-up for GW5
You might recall that we activated our wildcard in GW4, so Manchester City’s 5-0 thrashing of Liverpool threatened to leave us with egg on on our face. We took the bold decision to go without any City coverage, removing both Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker from our squad.
However, despite this decision, we still managed to register another green arrow, picking up 65 points in the process.
When you set a wildcard team, you usually try to plan a few gameweeks in advance but there may be the odd round where the fixtures might not completely suit your squad. GW5 fits this profile for us, so our bench players will come to the fore.
Newcastle United have kept back to back clean sheets, so we ‘re hoping that they can record another when they host Stoke City at St James’ Park. Rob Elliot and Ciaran Clark are therefore promoted to our starting line-up.
Rafa Benitez’ side kept 19 clean sheets in the Championship last season, so defensive stability could be the bedrock on which their Premier League status will be secured.
Ben Davies retains his spot in the back 3 but Brighton and Hove Albion would appear to have a better chance of a clean sheet than Arsenal, so Lewis Dunk steps in for Sead Kolašinac.
Out front 3 remains in tact, all of whom have a good chance of picking up points with their respective home fixtures.
However, there is one change in midfield, with Robbie Brady making way for Reuben Loftus-Cheek. Burnley face Liverpool at Anfield, so we’re happy to let the former sit this one out and will instead rely on the latter proving his fitness by taking his place in a Crystal Palace engine room that really needs to start firing.
We’re going to resist he temptation to make any transfers this week but we will be keeping close tabs on the Dušan Tadić situation.
The Serbian international only came on at half-time in the Saints’ 2-0 loss to Watford but we’re expecting him to start for Southampton against crisis-torn Crystal Palace.
Players often score against their former clubs, so we’re banking on Romelu Lukaku doing just that. He retains the armband in GW5.