Upsets abound in the Premier League last weekend, but the bookies continue to bet on big at the back, counselling patience with the “Big Six” defenders. Meanwhile, the usual suspects continue up front, except the surprise inclusion of a long-forgotten Red Devil.
We use bookmakers’ odds to pick the perfect FPL team for the upcoming gameweek, including selecting the best captain.
Bookmakers make a living from predicting the future. Simply put, bookmakers set odds to represent what they believe is the most likely outcome of an event. It gets a bit more complex, but in a liquid market (many bettors), the odds should accurately predict the likelihood of an outcome. If the odds are way off, that creates arbitrage that will be exploited quickly by traders.
We translate bookmakers’ odds into likelihood to help you pick your team.
- We don’t remove the variable bookmaker’s margin, so the likelihood is realistically a few percentage points lower than in our projections.
- The odds are assuming the player starts. Most bookies operate with a rule where the bet is refunded if the player isn’t in the starting lineup.
Goalscorer Odds Gameweek 4
|Kevin De Bruyne||43%||2.3||MCI||MID|
|Emile Smith Rowe||34%||2.9||ARS||MID|
|Alexis Mac Allister||28%||3.6||BHA||MID|
|Virgil Van Dijk||17%||6||LIV||DEF|
Once again, the FPL community is divided in terms of captaincy this week, and there are no prizes for guessing the two primary candidates.
Mo Salah (67%) comes into this game having nabbed a scrappy goal against a resilient Manchester United in Gameweek 3. Liverpool’s attack has looked blunt, with injuries piling up the midfield areas, though Salah has still managed three returns in as many games this season.
On the other hand, Erling Haaland (73%) and Manchester City have hit the ground running, certainly in an attacking sense. Man City are 1st for xG (4.43), while Haaland is 2nd for non-penalty xG (1.70), 2nd for shots (11) and shots in the box (10) and 1st for big chance involvements (7).
Though Crystal Palace are undoubtedly a better defence than Bournemouth, the bookies still slightly favour the Man City striker. He takes the captain’s armband for us for the fourth week in a row, with Salah vice-captain in the premium midfield spot.
Arsenal’s Brazilian duo continue to shine like the white sand beaches of the Copacabana. The returns keep pouring in as the Gunners flow forward in wave after wave of attack. Jesus (64%) & Martinelli (44%) both picked up an assist in Gameweek 3 and were perhaps unlucky not to come away with more.
Arsenal sit second in the table for xG from open play, with Jesus top amongst forwards for xGI (2.13). They take on Fulham at the Emirates in Gameweek 4, who are second last for big chances conceded (9). Following the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” model of FPL, both continue in our starting XI this week.
Ivan Toney (45%) has four returns in his opening three games, and the Bees are buzzing along nicely. They come up against a woeful Everton side this weekend who tend to struggle away from home. Brentford put four past Man United when they last played at home in Gameweek 2.
With good form and a great fixture, Toney takes the third forward spot in our team.
Lastly, is a man long forgotten on a team much forgotten (in FPL terms anyway). Marcus Rashford (36%) and Manchester United bounced back brilliantly against Liverpool on Monday night.
They travel to St.Marys in Gameweek 4 to play a Southampton side who have been known to fall apart on occasion, shipping four, five (even nine) goals.
Rashford has long been a “confidence player”, and with the boost he got in Gameweek 3, the bookies expect him to continue his goal-scoring form this weekend.
The bench is filled by Andreas Pereira, who recorded an assist for a nice 8-pointer last weekend, and Harry Arter (NFO), who makes an excellent enabler at £4.4m.
Clean Sheet Odds Gameweek 4
|Team||Clean Sheet Probability||Odds|
Liverpool (65%) fell to one of the many shock results in the Premier League last weekend as they sleepwalked into a nightmare result at the Theatre of Dreams.
Jurgen Klopps’ men remain vulnerable on the counterattack, though luckily for them they play Bournemouth this week, who have very little to offer in that department. The Cherries stay rooted to the bottom of the stats tables for shots, shots in the box, big chances and xG, and appeared utterly toothless against Arsenal in Gameweek 3.
Meanwhile, Alexander Arnold sits top amongst defenders for chances created, big chance involvements, xA and xGI. For now, patience with the young fullback is advised, and Joe Gomez (£4.5m) joins him in a cheap defensive double-up.
Manchester City (58%) are the second most likely to keep a clean sheet this week. An underwhelming defensive display left FPL managers stunned, as clean sheets were hard to come by. An energetic Newcastle side ripped through City’s defence repeatedly; by the end, there could have even been more.
The bookies, however, are undeterred by this and fancy Guardiola’s men to revert to type at home to Crystal Palace in Gameweek 4. No doubt the Eagles will set up similar to how they did in Anfield in Gameweek 2, sitting deep and trying to hit on the counter with Zaha’s pace. Joao Cancelo has the highest xGI numbers of any of the City defenders by far and keeps his place in our side this week.
Similarly, Chelsea (48%) were run ragged defensively on a tough away day in Leeds where Mendy gifted the home side their first goal.
They take on a Leicester side in disarray, having taken just one point from their opening three games. The Foxes were even lucky to score one at home to Southampton in Gameweek 3, managing just one shot on target and accumulating just 0.26 xG.
This should bode well for Reece James, who might expect an easier run out in Gameweek 4.
Arsenal (48%) have looked defensively solid so far this season, albeit with a kind run of fixtures. They welcome a Fulham team that have impressed in their opening games and look like a really good attacking outfit.
With that said, the bookies fancy Arsenal for a clean sheet, with Fulham decent attackers, shots can be expected and that provides Aaron Ramsdale with a chance at extra points.
He’s our choice between the posts this week.
Danny Ward (£4.0m) continues on our bench despite Leicester’s poor defensive performance. Everton (25%) slightly edge out Nottingham Forest (15%), and for that reason, Nathan Patterson (£4.0m) continues as our defensive bench fodder.
Bookies’ Dream Team and FPL Captain Gameweek 4
Odhrán Brennan is a data journalist for a sports data company, living in Finland. He’s been playing FPL since the 06/07 season and is a long suffering fan of both Arsenal and the Republic of Ireland national team.