FPL Guru: How your team should look like for Gameweek 1
Written by: Ajay A K
This year's edition could be more unpredictive due to the arrival of new players like Ruben Neves and Jean Michael Seri.
The Premier League is beckoning and for all fantasy football fans, Gameweek 1 is the start of a crazy ride over the course of the season. The main problem affecting fans is to select players who will feature on a regular basis. This season is tougher due to several players lacking fitness and even new arrivals could have an impact.
In this article, I have chosen a team consisting of players whom you can trust to reap benefits for your Fantasy Premier League team.
Here is how your team should look like
CAPTAIN AND VICE-CAPTAIN
Mohamed Salah is undoubtedly my choice for captain as he has a very easy fixture (at least on paper) against West Ham at Anfield. In a quite surprising move, I have chosen Marko Arnautovic as my vice-captain. I feel that if Salah doesn’t play, Liverpool will lose the game and concede, with Arnautovic being the most probable one to score.
Here is the rest of my team:
GOALKEEPER– David de Gea (£6.0 )
Bench – Mathew Ryan (£4.5)
David de Gea was the best performing goalkeeper last season and this campaign doesn’t look to be any different. A dismal World Cup performance aside, the Manchester United man will be looking to completely lockdown a Vardy-less Leicester attack.
Watch: David de Gea top saves in the Premier League
He will also be looking to shut up, his once-again-loud critics. 18 clean-sheets and 172 points was his tally last season, which also comes with an amazing 3.2 saves per game. A must-have in your team.
Matt Ryan is also a competent goalkeeper who can start for your FPL team if needed. His first few fixtures are slightly difficult, but he is known to pull off incredible saves against quality opposition. He had 146 points last season, which speaks a lot about his potential. He can be very useful in a Bench Boost scenario, as he is a sure starter for Brighton.
Jordan Pickford (£5.0) is also a very good choice to have considering his spectacular form and comparatively easier fixture list. He won’t feature in Gameweek 1 though.
DEFENDERS – Leighton Baines(£5.5), Virgil van Dijk (£6.0), Tim Ream(£4.5)
Bench – James Tarkowski (£5.0), Aron-Wan Bissaka (£4.0)
Leighton Baines is a well-rounded player who can provide goals, assists and clean sheets. The Everton skipper has a very easy fixture list, with Arsenal away on Gameweek 6 being the first real test. Wolverhampton away should at least give him a clean-sheet if not more.
Virgil van Dijk’s arrival last winter improved Liverpool's defense considerably. They finished the season with 5 clean-sheets in eight games and van Dijk was a pivotal figure. He will be looking to continue the trend. The acquisition of midfielders Naby Keita and Fabinho is bound to improve the Liverpool defense considerably. The fixture list is also kind for the Anfield club as their first four fixtures, on paper, seem like certain victories. Moreover, the Dutch defender can chip in with the occasional goal.
Tim Ream put in spectacular performances for Fulham as they gained promotion to the Premier League. He comes in very cheap at £4.5 and is a sure starter and a probable 110+ points player. The defense led by him only let in one goal in three matches in Fulham’s playoff victory last season. Facing Crystal Palace at Craven Cottage, he is a favourite to keep a clean-sheet.
Both James Tarkowski and Aron-Wan Bissaka are reliable defenders. Tarkowski plays at the defense-centric Burnley and ended with 11 clean-sheets and 101 FPL points last season. He is also a threat in the air. Bissaka saw his career spark to life under Roy Hodgson. He has been given regular playing time in pre-season and also featured in a few matches towards the end of last season. Tarkowski and Ream can be exchanged, although I feel Ream has a better chance to keep a clean-sheet.
Aymeric Laporte (£5.5) and Marcos Alonso (£6.5) can give you easy points. Alonso is a richer version of Leighton Baines. Ever since his arrival, Laporte has been solid and considering he plays for Manchester City, he is a good choice to have.
MIDFIELDERS – Mohamed Salah(£13.0), Bernardo Silva (£7.5), Leroy Sane(£9.5), Richarlison(£6.5)
Bench – Ruben Neves (£5.0)
With Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard not yet back for Gameweek 1, Mohamed Salah can have a very big influence on your FPL team. The top-scorer of FPL 2017-18 does not look like he will stop his goalscoring exploits anytime soon. He also ended last season with 12 assists and will be looking to set the right tone for this season in the first match against West Ham.
Watch: Some outstanding goals by Mohamed Salah
Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane will be tasked with providing Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus with chances as Manchester City look to start their title defense with a victory over Arsenal. Although, it seems like a tough fixture, I am expecting the City midfield to dominate Unai Emery’s Arsenal. Bernardo was chosen over David Silva mainly because of his amazing pre-season form. The City midfielders also have easy fixtures following the Arsenal game.
Richarlison is a legitimate threat for Everton. He had an amazing start to his Premier League career, but his form did dip in the second half of last season. Now, under Marco Silva he will be expected to be back at his best. I see him dominating promoted Wolves.
Ruben Neves is a sure starter for Wolves. At £5.0 he can also provide points through goals and assists. He has a slightly tough fixture against Everton, but is expected to gain a good amount of points over the course of his first Premier League season.
Juan Mata (£6.5) is a viable option if you feel like Richarlison would not start for Everton. Alexis Sanchez (£10.5) can also be the main provider for your FPL team if you are not willing to fork out money for Salah.
FORWARDS – Roberto Firmino (£9.5), Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.5), Marko Arnautovic (£7.0)
Roberto Firmino ended last season on an amazing high. He racked up 15 goals and eight assists over the course of the season as he finished with 181 FPL points. He has been in fine form this pre-season also. With Salah and Sadio Mane expected to fire on all cylinders, Firmino has the potential to rack up assists. His first four fixtures are relatively easy, with Tottenham away on Gameweek 5 being his first difficult fixture. He is expected to get at least a goal against West Ham.
Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic had a resurgent second half in the Championship, scoring 12 goals in 15 starts. With his loan move now permanent, he will be looking to bring his magic to the Premier League. He started pre-season well, scoring just three minutes into his first game. Crystal Palace at home is an easy fixture and he will be expected to score. It is followed by a difficult trip to Spurs, but his form shows that he will be able to reward you with points.
Published: Fri Aug 10, 2018 06:44 PM IST