Fantasy Premier League: Best XI for Gameweek 1
Written by: Ajay A K
The Premier League's favourite fantasy game is back bigger and better than ever.
It is that time of the year again. The start of the Premier League and with the transfer window coming to a close, the teams are finally looking to roll out for the reason. When the Premier League season beckons, so does the Fantasy Premier League.
Here we will take a look at the squad I would be rolling out for the start of the season at Khel Now.
Goalkeepers: This is one area where you can be spoilt for choice. Both Alisson and Ederson are the prime candidates to fill the starting role. The Golden Glove winner from last year looks likely to be a better choice compared to his Brazilian counterpart.
Even the likes of Lloris and Pickford, pose a very differential opportunity to get points. For the same reason, I have decided to go with Hugo Lloris in goal instead of the two Brazilians. Despite two tough fixtures in the first four gameweeks, the load gets comfortable for the French shot-stopper in the long run.
England shot-stopper Tom Heaton is chosen as the second keeper. He is a seasoned Premier League keeper and will start in Aston Villa’s goal especially with the injury to Steer.
Other possible choices are Matt Ryan and Vicente Guaita. However, Heaton's experience for the likes of Burnley makes him the best choice for the position.
The FPL squad to have for this fresh 2019-20 season
Defenders: If you need efficiency in defense, you will definitely need one or more of the Liverpool trio of van Dijk, Robertson and Alexander-Arnold. But good defending comes only with good value. Taking more than one would weaken the team in several other positions.
I choose Andrew Robertson, particularly due to the fact that there is no reliable replacement for the Scottish captain. Alongside him, Kyle Walker earns a spot. The Manchester City full-back was excellent last season and will look to continue his fine pacy form into this season. Despite playing fewer minutes, the English stalwart gave a steady return of 150 points.
Patrick van Aanholt is also brought in. With Hodgson’s defensive mentality working wonders for Crystal Palace, the Dutch full-back will likely get to keep a lot of cleans sheets and his electric pace can contribute to attacks in the form of goals and assists (3 goals and 2 assists in 2018/19).
He is joined by Jamaal Lascelles. Lascelles was a key figure for Benitez’ Newcastle and under Steve Bruce, he will look to extend his influence further(10 clean sheets in 2018/19).
Wolverhampton’s reinforcements this season could see them challenging for a European spot. And one such reinforcement earns the fifth spot. Jesus Vallejo has been a disciplined enforcer for Los Blancos last year especially with the injuries to Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos.
His arrival gives new hope and could see Wolverhampton maintain a better-disciplined defense than last year. He comes in cheap at £5.0 and could prove to be a major player in FPL this year.
Midfielders: It is simply a question of Salah or Mane. And I would go with the latter. Sadio Mane comes back to Anfield with an impressive Cup of Nations display that almost earned his side the trophy. Last season was his most memorable yet and all signs point to him improving drastically this time around.
One of the front three players for the goal-hungry Liverpool, he is listed as a midfielder and could potentially churn up points for goals and assists on a weekly basis (22 goals and 3 assists in 2018/19). He is joined by his counterpart Georginio Wijnaldum. The Dutch midfielder was part of the rotation but looks set to be a key figure this season for Klopp (he comes in cheap as well at £5.5).
He had average returns of 3 goals and an assist last season. For both the Liverpool players, the fixtures are well-spaced out and comfortable. This could prove very useful in FPL terms as well as in terms of the Premier League.
Anthony Martial is another potential goal-scorer who is listed as a midfielder. The French international will likely have a more prominent role especially with the departure of Romelu Lukaku from Old Trafford. He will most likely be the dominant piece on Solskjaer’s attack and will look to wreak havoc on opposing defenses with Marcus Rashford.
Bernardo Silva joins Anthony Martial. The Manchester City midfielder had a glorious off-season winning the Cup of Nations with his country and also winning the Player of the Tournament accolade for the same. The Portuguese maestro will be a key piece in Guardiola’s quest for a hat-trick of titles and will play an integral role similar to last season.
Hamza Choudhury is the fifth midfielder. The Leicester midfielder broke out into the first team towards the end of last season and will likely cement his place with better performances this season. Despite playing only 593 minutes, he was involved in 4 clean sheets for the Foxes and will be a key figure for Brendan Rodgers this season.
Forwards: The hard choice is between Aubameyang, Aguero and Harry Kane. The addition of Nicholas Pepe certainly boosts Aubameyang's chances in front of goal while Aguero's familiarity with Guardiola's system will push people in his favour.
However, Tottenham's retention of their core players along with the addition of the creative destructor Tanguy Ndombele has me favouring Harry Kane upfront. The English forward had an average season last year compared to his high standards and will look to put it behind this time.
The potential arrival of Giovanni Lo Celso will likely provide him with more chances and he will be a lethal choice for any team. Similar to Sadio Mane and Bernardo Silva, Raul Jimenez also had a crazy offseason helping his side lift the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The Mexican was a revelation last season and Wolves have made their intention clear by retaining him this year. He will likely be amongst goals again especially with Cutrone likely to partner him upfront. The Italian-Mexican combination will be a treat to watch and it remains to be seen who will benefit more, FPL-wise that is.
Callum Wilson's phenomenal season had pushed him past the affordable margin and in his stead Joshua King takes the third forward spot. King had a steady return of 12 goals and 3 assists last season and will look to make use of the attention defenders give to Callum Wilson.
Playing XI: Gameweek 1
Hugo Lloris takes the first spot as a goalkeeper as he plays at home against second choice Tom Heaton’s Aston Villa.
In defense, Andrew Robertson starts with Kyle Walker and Patrick van Aanholt while Jamaal Lascelles also makes the cut. New boy Vallejo sits out.
This is how your team should look like
Sadio Mane is the Vice-Captain for the week and alongside him, Bernardo Silva and Anthony Martial start. Choudhury’s Leicester plays Wolverhampton and therefore sits out with Wijnaldum coming in.
Harry Kane is the captain for the evening and he looks very likely to score against newly-promoted Aston Villa at home. Jimenez makes the cut with Joshua King dropping to the bench.
The Premier League begins with a bang as Manchester United take on Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. Newcastle hosts Arsenal while Liverpool welcome newly-promoted Norwich. Newly promoted Aston Villa also gets a tough fixture to open proceedings with Tottenham waiting for them in their newly built stadium. Manchester City begins their title defence at West Ham.
Published: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:40 PM IST