Rob Reid with his FPL gameweek 8 player picks


Here’s Rob Reid with his FPL gameweek 8 player picks to help you decide on transfers for your team. Rob has finished 3 of the last 5 seasons in the top 0.5% of FPL managers.

Rob Reid with his FPL gameweek 8 player picks

You can follow Rob on twitter here

Hi everyone and welcome to Player Picks!

After the success of the previous 2 seasons, Player Picks is back again for 2019-2020 with a fairly similar format. I’ve decided to pare back the stats from previous weeks picks so that they will just include an average for the season – hopefully this should make the article a little bit simpler. Otherwise I’ll be sticking to the same format of a Banker, Ace and Joker as I’ve followed in previous years.

As a reminder, the Banker is predominantly a fixture-based pick where I follow them for 4 weeks and average the score over that period. The Ace is a 1 week pick who I think will do well and would make an appealing Captain choice. The Joker is a differential pick with less than 10% ownership who I think might do well that week. For reference, the overall 2018-19 picks averaged as follows: Banker 5.22, Ace 6.11, Joker 4.92. Hopefully (with some help as you’ll see below) we can beat that this season. I’ll start to look at the 2019-20 averages a bit later in the season when there is more data.

This season I’m also going to add a ‘Key Fixture’ analysis to Player Picks. This is where I’ll pick one fixture for the gameweek in question which I think FPL managers should consider covering in their squad. I’ll look at previous meetings, bookies odds and form in this – it might be a fixture where we already have a Player Pick, it might not! There will still also be Twitter polls where the FFG Twitter Community have an opportunity to select players, but also new for this season is a contribution from the FFG Slack Channel where Patreon users will have chance to directly contribute to the weekly picks through the Player Picks forum. So without further ado, let’s get on with this weeks Picks!

FPL gameweek 8 Picks

Banker – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ARS) 11m – BOU/shu/CRY/WOL

The Gabon star made it 7/7 returns at Old Trafford on Monday night and his side now embark on an amazing 9 gameweeks of fixtures until Man City make a festive visit to The Emirates in GW17. If he continues this form, his 24% ownership will start to rise rapidly, not to mention his so far static price so get him while you can folks! This week’s visitors Bournemouth have started the campaign well, but rank third worst in the league for both total shots conceded (118) and number of shots on target conceded (37) so far this season. With Emery’s Gunners tending to fare better at home this could be a tough week for the south coast team and Aubameyang will certainly fancy his chances of making it 8/8 returns this Sunday.

Ace – Raheem Sterling (MCI) 12.1m – WOL

Sterling repaid those who stayed loyal to him as a captain option last weekend tucking away a late 3rd goal to put City’s victory at Goodison safely in the bag. He also reassuringly was left on the bench in the UCL this midweek although he did make a half hour cameo where he scored the opening goal and then set-up the other for Phil Foden in injury time. All this of course bodes well for his chances this weekend of firstly not falling victim to more Pep Roulette and secondly to his form and thus his chances of another decent FPL points haul. Visitors Wolves have given City some bother in the recent past, but have so far struggled to cope with the demands of the Europa League with their GW7 win against Watford their first in the league this season. They also faced a tough trip to Turkey on Thursday so with only a couple of days turnaround, this looks primed for another comfortable City win.

Joker – Andriy Yarmolenko (WHM) 6.0 – CPL

The Hammers have certainly bounced back from their opening day trouncing at the hands of The Citizens, having gone unbeaten since and winning 3 of the last 5 which included an impressive 2-0 defeat of Man United. A key man in this has been Ukrainian international Yarmolenko who looks to recovered well from the Achilles injury that ruled him out of most of last season. He’s bagged 3 goals in his last 4 appearances and has only 3.4% ownership so is a fine differential in what is a decent fixture run for his side. Opponents Palace have been fairly mean at the back so far, their 7 goals against is bettered only by Liverpool and Leicester. I think this will be tough fixture for The Eagles though and I like Yarmolenko’s chances of continuing on his good run of returns.

Key Fixture Pick – Norwich vs Aston Villa (3pm Saturday)

Bookies Odds:
Win: Norwich 13/10; Aston Villa 19/10; Draw 13/5
Clean Sheet: Norwich 14/5; Aston Villa 15/4
Selected Anytime Goalscorer Odds: Pukki 10/11; Cantwell 10/3; Buendia 3/1; McGinn 23/10; Wesley 8/5

I’ve gone away from the usual suspects of City and Liverpool for this week’s Key Fixture Pick for a couple of reasons. First of all, I think this has potential to be a cracking game – an early season 6 pointer if you like. The bookies clean sheet odds suggest there will be goals and previous fixtures in the Championship over the last couple of seasons would also favour this theory, with this match-up averaging 4 goals a game over the last 4 meetings. The second reason is that there are some key FPL assets involved on both sides. For Norwich, there’s the highly owned duo of Pukki and Cantwell with managers starting to get a bit twitchy after a couple of blanks (admittedly away from home.) For Villa most notably there’s John McGinn, who’s 3 goals and an assist for 5.7m make him the highest ranked midfielder in FPL for value and the 7th highest points scorer in the midfield category. Plenty of interest here then.

Let’s look at the home side first who have won 2 out of 3 home fixtures so far with the last of these being that amazing 3-2 victory in GW5 against Manchester City. Traditionally Carrow Road has always been a tough place for teams to visit and this season looks like no exception and it’s home games like these against lower half of the table rivals which will prove vital to The Canaries survival chances. Pukki is clearly the one to watch and despite blanking in his last 2 games, this is a player who has 6 goals and 2 assists with 3 double digit hauls so far this season and 44% ownership – he’s a dangerous player not to own. Also highly owned is 5m midfielder Todd Cantwell – he’s posting some good stats for this price, especially in the Key Pass department though if he blanks in this fixture, FPL managers will start to ask questions regarding the sustainability of this.

For Villa, as mentioned above John McGinn has clearly been the standout player so far this season. He has certainly been good on the eye test – a dynamic box to box player who likes to shoot, though it’s worth noting that 13 of his 21 shots so far this season have been from outside of the penalty area. The other main attacking shout is Wesley, who has 2 goals from 7 starts, though at 6m in the forward category a slight step up in price will unlock players with better returns. The main concerns for both are much like those of their weekend rivals, firstly the sustainability of this for players in their maiden EPL season. Secondly for Villa, there’s their patchy fixture run. GWs 10-12 and GWs 14-15 all look tough. If you’re buying a Villa player now would you play him in all of these and if you’re not starting them are you in a position to leave 6m or thereabouts worth of funds on the bench?

As for both defences, well….ugh! The clean sheet odds speak for themselves I guess. Visitors Villa do have 2 clean sheets this season (compared to none for the hosts) but rank worst in the league for shots conceded on 121 with Norwich not far behind on 119! The bottom line is that I wouldn’t be in a rush to buy defensive assets from either team this week and if you’re already an owner then you may wish to find them a comfy spot on the bench. As for a prediction for this game, I’m going for an entertaining 3-2 win for the home side!

That’s all from me for this week on Player Picks folks – best of luck!

You can follow Rob on twitter here

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