Fantasy Premier League Tips: Five penalty specialists for Gameweek 4

Liverpool star Mo Salah
Salah's underlying numbers have been very impressive

With 20 penalties awarded so far, and a new handball rule causing controversy, which penalty-takers should we be drafting into our fantasy sides? Holly Shand picks five for Gameweek 4.

"Callum Wilson is in a small pool of players who are a kindly priced and on penalties."

The Headline Pick: Mo Salah - Aston Villa (A)

Mo Salah has had a fantastic start to the season: he's the highest scoring midfielder in the game, having contributed three goals and one assist. Two of those have come from the penalty spot, with that emphatic Gameweek 1 performance against Leeds United. Aston Villa have conceded one penalty this season, with Martinez making the crucial save.

Salah's underlying numbers have been very impressive, with both his goal threat and assist potential coming to the fore. He leads the way for shots (17) and shots in the box (13) of all Premier League players this season. Add into the mix the 11 key passes, which is also a league high, there's a compelling case for the Egyptian.

Facing Aston Villa will be a tough task for Liverpool: the Lions have conceded the fewest goal attempts on target on average so far, with just two per game, although arguably they haven't been particularly challenged by goal-shy Sheffield United and Fulham attacks. This formidable Liverpool attack will pose a far greater threat.

Liverpool are available to back at 4/5 to win and score over 2.5 goals against Villa on Sunday.

The Budget Pick: Callum Wilson - Burnley (H)

Callum Wilson is in a small pool of players who are a kindly priced and on penalties. He's started his Newcastle United career well, with two goals in three games and a favourable fixture this weekend. Arguably Burnley are a tough defence to break down, but with their first choice centre-back pairing absent, the task becomes easier.

Calum Wilson Pre Season 2018.jpg

Wilson has had six shots in the opening four games. He's played plenty of minutes, with a full 90 minutes in each of his last two games, demonstrating his levels of fitness. Newcastle United have won one penalty so far, rescuing a crucial point at Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.

The VAR Pick: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - Sheffield United (H)

It's been a consistent but unremarkable start to the season for Aubameyang: he scored against Fulham, then grabbed an assist against West Ham before a blank against Liverpool. His status as a midfielder has seen him gain an extra two points already, with a fantasy total of 14 points from his opening three games.

It's his opponent this week that provides the most appeal, with a home game against Sheffield United. The Blades sit at the bottom of the Premier League table, with three losses and no goals either. It's the kind of fixture that Arsenal will look to capitalise on after dropping points at Anfield on Monday.

To make matters worse for Sheffield United, their key central defender Jack O'Connell looks set to be out long-term. Aubameyang and Arsenal have yet to be gifted a spot-kick this season, but given the volume of penalties awarded already, it's only a matter of time before he gets his chance. He's had four shots and created four chances.

You can back VAR and bet on Arsenal to score a penalty against Sheffield United at odds of 10/3.

The Sleeper Pick: Raul Jimenez - Fulham (H)

Raul Jimenez is famed for his consistency in Fantasy Premier League and he already has two goals from his opening three games. His ownership is steadily rising with four favourable upcoming fixtures, although a 4-0 defeat to West Ham last weekend with an own goal, has deterred some managers from investing.

He took four spot-kicks for Wolves last campaign, on the way to a 17 goal tally. Crucially, he's facing one of the worst defences in the Premier League this week in Fulham. The Cottagers have conceded 10 goals in three games, from eight big chances and are known for their costly errors.

Raul-Jimenez-Wolves-1280.jpg

Jimenez has taken ten shots so far, with four of those on target and nine coming from within the box. He poses a big aerial threat, with four headed goal attempts to date. Fulham have conceded five headed goal attempts within the same period.

The Wildcard Pick: Kevin De Bruyne - Leeds United (A)

Manchester City's home defeat to Leicester City came as a huge shock, with a clear lack of responsibility taken by the players in their post-match comments. It could take some time for City to pick themselves up again following this defeat: Liverpool are now six points ahead of them, but City do have a game in hand.

The man tasked with rejuvenating this side heading into the weekend is Kevin De Bruyne. Despite a poor team performance, he still provided plenty of promise, with two shots and three chances. That puts him on six shots and nine chances created across just two gameweeks: the highest number of key passes on average from any player.

With Gabriel Jesus absent, it may take some time for City to adapt to having a false nine: despite Jesus failing to be prolific in his goal-scoring, a lot of his movement to pull defenders away goes unnoticed. However, De Bruyne is the key player in this City side and he has spot-kicks too.

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