Welcome to AM's Perfect XI - Week 3 player picks. This column focuses on Togga's Perfect XI game, which you can play via their IOS and Android app. Find the apps here and make sure you update regularly to take advantage of the constant enhancements: https://www.playtogga.com
In case you missed it we've set up a Rotoworld PL Private League where you can challenge myself and the rest of the RW PL team over the course of the season. To join it download the app and then click the below link from your device, or find us from the Featured Leagues tab:
Each week I'll be providing a Perfect XI of my own for the upcoming gameweek, recommending 11 players to consider along with some honourable mentions. The players listed won't necessarily be the exact 11 selected for my own Perfect XI fantasy side. The point of this column isn't to tell you exactly who to pick; it's to present some ideas and get your brain whirring. I'll be listing a combination of the must-haves and slightly riskier options, alongside the odd hunch. Hopefully you'll find this useful whether you're playing Togga's game or looking at potential transfers for your official Fantasy Premier League team.
Thankfully Week 2 was a better one as my Perfect XI team scored 159 points with the following line-up
Adrian, Ivanovic, Walker, Valencia, Fuchs, Payet, Mahrez, Lamela, Sigurdsson, Ibrahimovic, Aguero
My strikeforce got things off to the perfect start with four goals in the first two games of the weekend but it was the midfields turn to disappoint with a late injury to Dimitri Payet returning a zero. Serves me right for not checking the line-ups on Sunday afternoon. As I've mentioned in earlier columns in the Perfect XI game you can swap out a player right up to one minute before their match kicks off and bring in an alternative player whose match is also yet to kick off. This flexibility should allow you to prevent the pain of a surprise benching or unreported injury and a big fat zero. Ensure you keep your eyes on the RW PL Twitter account for line-ups one hour prior to matches. I certainly will be moving forward.
Week 3 comes with a standard Saturday 12:30 BST (British Summer Time) kick off, as Tottenham host Liverpool in the early game. We have a round of international fixtures after this week so the next PL deadline isn't until 10th September. Let's got in to the break on a high.
Here are the fixtures ...
Early: Tottenham v Liverpool
Chelsea v Burnley
Crystal Palace v Bournemouth
Everton v Stoke
Leicester v Swansea
Southampton v Sunderland
Watford v Arsenal
Late: Hull v Man Utd
West Brom v Middlesbrough
Man City v West Ham
And here are my Week 3 picks ...
Thibaut Courtois: Chelsea have been less than convincing in defence thus far conceding against West Ham, Watford and two against Bristol Rovers in midweek, but I just don't see Burnley scoring this weekend. Therefore, Thibaut Courtois will be my Week 3 Perfect XI keeper.
Honourable Mention: Fraser Forster at home to Sunderland. David De Gea at Hull
Leighton Baines - A fully fit and flying Leighton Baines remains one of the most potent defenders in PL fantasy games and there were clear signs that the left-back was getting those dangerous crosses clicking as Everton fought back to beat West Brom. With Stoke visiting Goodison this weekend there should be plenty of free kicks around the box for Baines to whip in to Lukaku and co. There's a clean sheet chance too.
John Terry - It's always a risk to double-up on a keeper and defender from the same team as one goal can remove two clean sheets, but as mentioned with Courtois I'm confident Chelsea will be able to keep out the Clarets. John Terry is enjoying a renaissance under Antonio Conte (who loves an experienced head to lead his backline) and it wouldn't be a shock if the ex-England man grabbed a goal from a set piece.
Scott Dann - Another defender who offers a constant threat at set pieces is Scott Dann, and he'll have a decent clean sheet opportunity as Palace host Bournemouth. You can be Dann sure the Eagles captain will be close to making my final line-up for Week 3.
Virgil Van Dijk - There was a need to include a Saints defender given their home fixture against Sunderland and having assessed the options - and with Ryan Bertrand injured - I've plumped for Mr Van Dijk. Guaranteed to start, while the alternative Cedric Soares is never a certainty to complete 90 minutes. Clean sheet klaxon.
Honourable Mentions: Nicolas Otamendi at home to West Ham. Luke Shaw away at Hull.
Eden Hazard - In form. Taking penalties. Home to Burnley. Eden Hazard is a no brainer.
Nathan Redmond - I tipped Redmond in my Week 1 column and he rewarded us with a goal. He was excellent again at Old Trafford in Week 2 despite defeat and Week 3 brings another home clash, this time against struggling Sunderland. I'd put money on the winger putting in another match-affecting display and so he'll be in my side once again.
Paul Pogba - An outstanding debut from Paul Pogba against Southampton brought him an impressive 21 points haul in Perfect XI, and this combined with his all action display is enough to convince me that the £90million man is worth giving a run out in Week 3 as impressive Manchester United travel to Hull.
Ross Barkley - It's a big season for Ross Barkley, who really needs to push on having been overtaken by the likes of Raheem Sterling and Dele Alli in the past two campaigns. You'll remember Barkley starting the 2015/16 season strongly and he's showing signs of similar form this term with two goals in his opening three appearances. He needs to show this consistently and Ronald Koeman could be the man to help get this consistency out of him.
Shane Long - Clearly I couldn't and wouldn't argue with anyone who has decided to go with Sergio Aguero and Zlatan Ibrahimovic as their two Perfect XI strikers for the foreseeable future (as I'm considering this myself). However, it would be incredibly boring to list them here every week so I shall be offering alternatives. The first tip is for Southampton's Shane Long to pop up with a goal orr two against Sunderland.
Diego Costa - Love him or hate him (and unless you're a Chelsea fan you probably lean towards the latter) Diego Costa is looking pretty sharp, scoring late winning goals in the Blues' opening two games. Burnley had a fantastic win against Liverpool but Shaun Dyche’s men are unlikely get away with ceding so much possession at Stamford Bridge and so this should be a comfortable home win with Costa notching again.
That's it for Week 3. Feel free to comment below to us know how you're getting on so far. And of course, good luck to all managers this week.