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. Download the apps via the link below and make sure you update regularly to take advantage of the constant enhancements:
Once downloaded, open the app and register an account. Once registered, click the Fantasy tab at the bottom of the app screen. Then from the Fantasy screen, click the arrow at the top of the app screen to select Perfect XI.
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 provide a Perfect XI of my own for the upcoming gameweek of Premier League fixtures, recommending 11 players to consider along with some honourable mentions for each position. The main 11 players listed won't necessarily be the exact players 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 to get you thinking. Hopefully you'll find the advice useful, whether you're playing Togga's game or looking at potential transfers for your official Fantasy Premier League team.
Week 2 was a poor one for my own PXI side:
De Gea, Walker, Ake, Fuchs, Bertrand, Eriksen, Tadic, Mkhitaryan, Mane, Firmino, Lukaku
Most of my selections did ok with eight of the 11 players hitting double figures and with Mane and Mkhi breaking the 20 point barrier. However, Walker, Ake and Bertrand were a complete disaster, combining for a total of -5 points. That left me floundering on 121.25 points for the week which was well below the average and dropped me out of the Overall Top 1500. That's my lowest ever PXI rank so it's really not been a good start. Thankfully there are 36 weeks left to turn it all around.
Week 3 begins with another standard Saturday 12:30 BST (British Summer Time) kick off as Pep Guardiola takes his Manchester City charges down to the south coast to face Eddie Howe's Bournemouth. It's important to have your fantasy team locked in ready for this game but remember in Perfect XI you can swap out a player from your squad 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 wonderful flexibility allows you to avoid the pain of a surprise benching or unreported last minute injury and a big fat ZERO. Just make sure you keep an eye on the starting line-ups as kick off approaches each week by following the Rotoworld PL Twitter account.
Here are your Week 3 fixtures:
Saturday 26th August
Bournemouth v Man City
Crystal Palace v Swansea
Huddersfield v Southampton
Newcastle v West Ham
Watford v Brighton
Man Utd v Leicester
Sunday 27th August
Chelsea v Everton
West Brom v Stoke
Liverpool v Arsenal
Spurs v Burnley
There are several games that are difficult to call in either team's favour but those with a clear edge look to be Tottenham at home to Burnley, Manchester City away at Bournemouth and Manchester United at home to Leicester. There could also be value in Chelsea at home to Everton, West Brom at home to Stoke, Watford at home to Brighton and Crystal Palace at home to Swansea. I have no idea what's going to happen with Liverpool v Arsenal and so I'm avoiding that game.
With that in mind, here are the picks:
Hugo Lloris - At fault for Chelsea's winning goal on Sunday, Lloris faced the cameras post-match and admitted his performance wasn't good enough. The Frenchman doesn't make many mistakes and will be desperate to repay some of his debt against Burnley this weekend. I believe he will by helping Spurs to a clean sheet and their first 3 points at Wembley.
Marcos Alonso - What did I say in this column in Week 1? Always pick Alonso. What did I do in Week 2? I dropped Alonso, obviously. Honestly not sure what came over me but I'm back to my senses now, remembering the Spaniard proved last season that's he's fixture-proof. Lock. Him. In.
Phil Jones - Jones is experiencing a renaissance this season, forming a new-look partnership alongside Eric Bailly and leading Manchester United to two clean sheets already. Unfortunately you know injury is never far away for the defender given the all-action way he approaches the game but while he's fit and on form he'll pick up a plethora of points for interceptions, aerial duels, tackles and clearances. His duel with Jamie Vardy this weekend will be fascinating.
Ahmed Hegazi - At the start of every season we get a new, unheard-of Premier League signing who hits the ground running, and right now it is Hegazi. He'd be on the bench had it not been for Gareth McAuley picking up a pre-season injury, but the Egyptian is making the most of the opportunity. A third clean sheet beckons at home to Stoke and we've already seen that he carries a goal threat too.
Ben Davies - Spurs clearly missed the pace of Kyle Walker and Danny Rose against Chelsea but their current wing-backs should have more opportunities to attack against Burnley and - as mentioned with Lloris - they have the chance of a clean sheet. Kieran Trippier is actually my preferred choice here but at the time of writing it's unclear whether he'll be fit to face his former club and so for now I'm slotting Davies in to this spot.
Honourable Mentions: Patrick van Aanholt at home to Swansea, Danilo away at Bournemouth, Sebastian Prodl at home to Brighton, Zanka at home to Southampton
Christian Eriksen - In two games Eriksen has created five chances, providing the assists for all three of Spurs' goals, hit three shots on target and generally dictated the pace of play. Not bad considering his teammates haven't really hit their stride yet. The Dane looks incredibly sharp and should dominate the game against Burnley on his way to another 20+ PXI points tally.
Paul Pogba - Week 2 could easily have gone wrong for Pogba, with the midfielder very nearly sent off for a second yellow card in the first half of United's clash with Swansea. But he wasn't, and from then on put in an awesome display of attacking power and pace which produced two assists and a goal. Leicester will provide a sterner challenge this weekend but the Frenchman looks unstoppable right now, playing with complete freedom thanks to Nemanja Matic's defensive cover. Pog just gets the nod over Mkhitaryan, but I wouldn't blame any manager for selecting both men in their XI.
Willian - Chelsea's best player by a mile against Burnley in Week 1, Willian put in an even better performance against Spurs and was denied a deserved goal by the width of a post. The Brazilian does a bit of everything; taking set pieces, sending in countless excellent crosses, taking accurate shots from distance and working back to win tackles. So far it's added up to a whole lot of points and it will continue against Everton as he looks to put himself in an undroppable position ahead of Eden Hazard's return.
Matt Phillips - It's always advisable to include one hunch in your side to act as a differential and that honour falls to Matt Phillips this week. The winger was a favourite in this column early last season as he provided four goals and eight assists in the opening months before injury struck and spoiled the second half of his campaign. West Brom's latest number 10 had a good pre-season and has shown some exciting glimpses in the first two games, picking up an assist from the five chances he's created. Stoke beware.
Honourable Mentions: Henrik Mkhitaryan at home to Leicester, Kevin De Bruyne away at Bournemouth, Ruben Loftus-Cheek at home to Swansea, Michail Antonio away at Newcastle, Aaron Mooy at home to Southampton
Harry Kane - Another August, another goal drought. That's if you can call two games a drought. Kane hasn't done much wrong so far, holding the ball up well, moving superbly and getting in to the right positions. Unfortunately the England striker has found the woodwork rather than the back of the net in both matches but we know from experience that the goals will flow eventually. I'm backing the flood-gates to open against Burnley.
Sergio Aguero - Right now I'm torn between Aguero and Romelu Lukaku for the final spot. Big Rom is the safer option considering ownership (a whopping 68% in Perfect XI) but having watched both of Bournemouth's matches so far I feel Manchester City could really hammer them this weekend if things click. And when things click it's usually Aguero on the end of everything. You could even argue the Argentinian is a differential with just 14% ownership. I'll make a late decision on this one. If I go with Lukaku then I'll need to find space for De Bruyne in midfield to ensure some City coverage.
That's it for Week 3. Check out our Rotoworld Features page to access a host of fantastic content to get you ready for the weekend ahead. If you have any questions about the Perfect XI game or general questions about a player or your own team then feel free to post them below or ping me on Twitter (@nikarg) and I promise to get back to you.
Thanks for reading - good luck to all managers this weekend.