Welcome to AM's Perfect XI - Week 4 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 3 was another disappointing one, with my decision to avoid the Liverpool v Arsenal fixture proving incorrect as Mane, Salah and Firmino ripped the Gunners to shreds. This mistake combined with blanks for Kane, Lukaku and the last minute Wood goal to deny Spurs a clean sheet limited my weekly total to 119 points. Just enough to keep my PXI side inside the overall Top 2000 but this has been a poor start. It needs fixing, and fast.
Week 4 begins with a standard Saturday 12:30 BST (British Summer Time) kick off and it should be a cracker as Manchester City host Liverpool. 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 4 fixtures:
Saturday 9th September
Man City v Liverpool
Arsenal v Bournemouth
Brighton v West Brom
Everton v Spurs
Leicester v Chelsea
Southampton v Watford
Stoke v Man Utd
Sunday 10th September
Burnley v Crystal Palace
Swansea v Newcastle
Monday 11th September
West Ham v Huddersfield
Scanning the matches there are very few teams with a clear advantage over their opponent this week. The obvious choices would be to focus on top-of-the-table Manchester United at Stoke and champions Chelsea at Leicester but neither clash feels like a guaranteed comortable away win. Arsenal have had a bad start but still have to be favourites to beat Bournemouth at home with Alexis Sanchez back in the fold, while West Ham's manager and players will know their home match-up with Huddersfield is already a must-win game with the London side sitting bottom of the table on zero points. A case could be made for every other game to finish as a draw and so the key will be to identify the games where goal are likely. Man City v Liverpool is the obvious one with both Pep and Klopp sure to go for the win.
With that in mind, here are the picks:
Ben Foster - I lived in Brighton for four years whilst studying at University so I've always taken a keen interest in the club and want them to do well this season. Unfortunately a lack of activity in the transfer window has left Chris Hughton woefully short of quality up front and it's going to be very difficult for them to score enough goals to survive their first season in the Premier League. We know West Brom are extremely well organised under Tony Pulis and so a clean sheet is there for the taking for Foster and his defensive colleagues.
Marcos Alonso - Alonso had a pretty quiet game by his standards against Everton but still amassed 17 points thanks to the usual variety of defensive and attacking contributions. The Chelsea man is undroppable right now so stick him in your team, sit back and watch the points roll in each week.
Sead Kolasinac - It's fair to say that Arsene Wenger has got things wrong with Kolasinac so far, playing him in central defence to begin with and then dropping him to the bench for the Liverpool rout, preferring Hector Bellerin at left wing back. With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain departing it should mean Bellerin moves across to the right to allow the Bosnian to play in his actual position where he should thrive up against Bournemouth's willing-but-limited Adam Smith.
Daly Blind - While Manchester United's big names have been rightly lavished with plaudits throughout August one of their star performers has slipped by relatively unnoticed. Blind has been magnificent at left back, keeping things tight in defence while offering an attacking outlet on the overlap. The Dutchman has contributed to three clean sheets and created a clear goalscoring chance in every game so far with some excellent crossing, averaging over 15 points per game in the PXI format. There's no reason this form won't continue at Stoke in Week 4.
Craig Dawson - It's not always a good idea to double-up on defenders and keepers from the same team because one goal wipes out two clean sheets. This is exactly what happened to my side in Week 3 with Hugo Lloris and Ben Davies losing out in injury time. Lesson learned? Nope. Dawson and Foster will both make my line up this week given their goal-shy opponent. Dawson gets the nod over Hegazi due to lower ownership, which is a key metric to consider if you have ground to make up in the overall standings.
Christian Eriksen - Eriksen has been Tottenham's star performer so far this term and continued his scintillating form on international duty with Demark with two goals and three assists in two matches. Spurs face a tough trip to Everton but they'll probably prefer that over playing at Wembley right now and the attacking midfielder can shine again with his set pieces providing a huge threat.
Sadio Mane - I've mentioned that I feel there will be goals in Manchester City v Liverpool and Sadio Mane has been full of them for the Reds so far, scoring in each of his side's three Premier League games. His link up play with Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino has been fantastic to watch and the mixture of pace and power will be sure to cause Pep Guardiola's defence plenty of problems.
David Silva - Most of us assumed Kevin De Bruyne would be the key attacking midfield threat for Manchester City this season but it's been David Silva pulling all the strings behind the strikers so far and the Spanish maestro has been quite magnificent. Two assists seems like short change from a stunning 12 goalscoring chances created for team-mates in just three matches but it's still been enough to average 15 PPG in PXI and I'm tipping him to do well again against a brittle Liverpool rear-guard. 3-3 draw anyone?
Paul Pogba - Pogba continues to thrive in the more advanced role afforded to him by Nemanja Matic's arrival and the Frenchman should dominate the game against a Stoke midfield containing the ageing legs of Darren Fletcher. You could of course go for the outstanding Henrikh Mkhitaryan instead, or both as many managers have done so far this season. Pogba edges it for me.
Honourable Mentions: Gylfi Sigurdsson at home to Tottenham, Michail Antonio at home to Huddersfield, Anthony Knockaert at home to West Brom, Robbie Brady at home to Crystal Palace, Matt Ritchie away at Swansea, Dusan Tadic at home to Watford, Eden Hazard away at Leicester
Alexandre Lacazette - There are plenty of excellent striker options for Week 4 but I'm sensing an Arsenal backlash against Bournemouth and so my gut is leading me towards Lacazette. Like Kolasinac the Frenchman was dropped for the Liverpool game despite the fact he hadn't done much wrong, scoring on his debut against Leicester and unlucky to have an equilising goal chalked off against Stoke when level with the last defender. He'll have a point to prove to Wenger on Saturday and with Alexis Sanchez fully fit there should be more space and more chances created for the striker. I expect him to score again.
Javier Hernandez - I know I'm in the minority but I genuinely believe West Ham will get their first points on the board in their first home of the season against Huddersfield on Monday night. The promoted side have been great so far but Slaven Bilic has key players returning to full fitness including Cheikhou Kouyaté, Michail Antonio and possibly Manuel Lanzini, so with the home fans behind the Hammers we should expect a vastly improved performance. This will surely lead to a better supply to the clinical Chicharito which will (hopefully) allow him add to the two goals bagged against Southampton in Week 2. Risky? Yes. But after a poor start to the PXI I need to take a few risks to make up some ground.
Honourable Mentions: Alvaro Morata away at Leicester, Romelu Lukaku away at Stoke, Roberto Firmino away at Man City, Gabriel Jesus at home to Liverpool, Harry Kane away at Everton, Jay Rodriguez away at Brighton, Richarlison away at Southampton
That's it for Week 4. 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.