The 2019/20 season has returned, so here at MFF, we are back with our August team of the month. August’s team features a 3-4-3 formation, as numerous attacking players have shone, but who has made the cut for the opening month of the campaign, let us take a look. So if you need tips for your FPL team, look no further!
Vicente Guaita (Crystal Palace)
The 32-year-old Spanish stopper, has helped Palace to fourth in the table to end August. He made 8 saves in the month, and kept two clean sheets in the home games against Everton and Aston Villa. Guaita, made a big save in the first half of the season opener against Everton to deny Sheamus Coleman, and he did not look back, having a solid month. Guaita’s 4 punches in four games are the most of any keeper in the league thus far. His commanding of the penalty area means Palace have started the season well at the back, despite losing their best defender Aaron Wan Bissaka, and they have only conceded twice. Wayne Hennessey, will have his work cut out to get the number one jersey back at Selhurst Park given Guaita’s form.
Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City)
The Portuguese full back came to the fore last season, with his marauding runs up and down the right hand side for Leicester, getting assists and linking up play. Pereira, has shown to start this season, he is capable from a defensive standpoint. Pereira, has made 20 tackles which is currently second in the league, Leicester in a utopian society would like him to have to make less challenges as the season goes on, but with Brendan Rodgers’ attacking style, this theme will more than likely continue. He also has made 14 clearances and 9 interceptions, and no doubt in future months he will be contributing to the attack as well, as he loves to get to the byline and cut the ball back into the box. Leicester, sit third in the table going into the international break, and he is a big part of that.
Joel Matip (Liverpool)
Virgil van Dijk, will always get the headlines, but since Joe Gomez got injured midway through last season, Matip has been superb for the most part, and he has continued that good form into this season. Gomez started Liverpool’s first league game of this season at home to Norwich, but since then Matip has started all the other three matches next to van Dijk in central defence, and has proved his worth. With Liverpool playing a higher line than last season, their defenders have had to be on point more than ever to neutralise the opposition. Matip, has 13 clearances (8 headed clearances) in 3 games, and he opened the scoring in the 3-1 home win over Arsenal, and deserves his place in this months team due to his improvements.
Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa)
Tyrone Mings has always had ability, but injuries have robbed him of displaying his talents since he came to Premier League. Now injury free, he enjoyed a good year on loan at Villa last season in the Championship, and they tied him up on a permanent deal from Bournemouth this summer in a deal worth well over £20m. With a fee that raised a few eyebrows, Mings has already started to pay back the fee with a more than worthy start, and his performances have earned him his first England call-up. Dean Smith’s entertaining style of play has meant their defence can be stretched, but Mings has statistically stood out, leading the league in clearances with 39, headed clearances with 19 and he is first in blocks too with 9.
John McGinn (Aston Villa)
Just over a year ago, John McGinn was a little known central midfielder plying his trade at Hibernian. After a very good season with Villa in the Championship, the ubiquitous Scottish international has now started life well in the Premier League. He netted on his top division debut against Spurs in a 3-1 defeat, and assisted Anwar El Ghazi’s goal to seal three points at home to Everton, to get Villa their first win of the season and break a long run of Premier League defeats. McGinn, has made 17 tackles which ranks fourth in the league, and that is the most by any midfielder. His all round game will be vital to Villa if they are to stay up this season, his tenacity and hard work makes him a midfielder that many would like to avoid.
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
The playmaker continues to torment defences, with his ability to make something out of nothing. Hoping to stay injury free this term after missing part of City’s run last season en route to a second consecutive title, he is once again flourishing and making the team tick. De Bruyne, leads the Premier League in assists with 5, through balls with 4, and he is third in crosses with 31. Without him City are still a devastating team, but with him it is hard to see who can beat them. His creativity, awareness and guile is second to none, and makes life so much easier for his teammates. The Belgian helped himself to a goal also in the 4-0 romp at home to Brighton, and if he stays clear of fit, it will be hard to displace City once again, as David Silva who is now 33, will be rested for games more.
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
The England international enjoyed his best goalscoring season in all competitions last season with 25, but this season he has started like he wishes to break his Premier League record, of 18 goals that he set in the 2017/18 campaign. What is scary is, Sterling looks like he is improving every time he steps on to a football pitch. His movement, his finishing and timing of his runs are all becoming better, and an opening weekend hat trick away at West Ham proved this. Sterling, also scored a header at home to Tottenham, and then bagged his 5th of the season away at Bournemouth. We will see if he will cool down in September, but his doubters are decreasing as we speak, and he now is England’s most important player.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
The Egyptian just, and only just, gets the nod ahead of his teammate Roberto Firmino, because of two things. The first is that, although Firmino’s performances have been top draw, Salah goals have come at more critical times in games when you compare them. The second, is more to do with the formation of this team of the month, as it is quite top heavy anyway, there have been numerous good players this month at the top end of the pitch. Salah, scored his first goal of the season as Liverpool beat Norwich 4-1, and one of his corners later on was headed in by Virgil van Dijk. Salah, added to his season tally with two quick goals to take the game away from Arsenal, as Liverpool won 3-1 against their rivals, when Arsenal were very much in the game at 1-0. Salah’s second assist of the month to Firmino against Burnley, was slightly fortuitous, but his impact overall cannot be denied as Liverpool sit at the top of the table.
Ashley Barnes (Burnley)
Burnley, have only taken 4 points from their four August games, but Ashley Barnes has had quite the calendar year in front of goal, and deserves some recognition, as he has started the season how he finished last term. Without his goals, Burnley may not have any points to be honest. Barnes, copped a brace on the opening weekend as Burnley put Southampton to sword at Turf Moor. He also scored the equaliser against Arsenal, before the Clarets were defeated 2-1 at the Emirates. He scored what looked like the winner away at Wolves, only for an injury time penalty to deny him and Burnley of victory. Barnes, has a cap for Austria, but as it was not in a competitive game, some feel although he is 29, that he should be in consideration for England for a reward of his exploits.
Teemu Pukki (Norwich City)
Signed on a free transfer by Norwich in 2018, after being let go by Danish side Brondby; Pukki, went on to be the Championship player of the year, firing Norwich to the title, scoring an impressive 29 goals. There were doubts that he could fire in the Premier League, but he has started like he really means business, and is proving a handful already with his smart movement off of the last man. He netted on his Premier League debut in the defeat at Liverpool, before scoring a clinical hat trick at home to Newcastle. He assisted Todd Cantwell in his third match against Chelsea, before scoring his 5th of the season in the 3-2 home defeat. Although, he was not able to find the net to end the month away at West Ham, he is already almost halfway to the total you expect from a player from a newly promoted side to get if they are to stay in the division.
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
The ever reliable Argentine hitman, is up to his usual tricks, showing that even now at 31, he is still as crucial to City as the day he landed in the league. Gabriel Jesus, started the opening game of the season as they beat West Ham at the London Stadium, but Aguero chipped in with a retaken penalty when he came off the bench. He finished coolly from a Kevin De Bruyne pass to put City ahead before Spurs levelled in the second game. Aguero, got 2 more goals in a 3-1 away win at Bournemouth, before ending the month with another brace in a 4-0 home win over Brighton. He now sits alone at the top of the scoring charts with 6, meaning Jesus’ injury has not been noticed, and who would bet against him staying there and grabbing his second Premier League golden boot?