After what was the most unpredictable and exciting Premier League season in recent memory, we return expecting bigger and better things this coming season. While clubs have bolstered both their squads, as well as their managers, those FPL managers out there had more than a few big decisions to make when it came to selections. With a wealth of stars coming into the Premier League this season it remains to be seen which will shine and which will shy away when faced with the competition in the best league in the world. This campaign has been a long-time coming, especially for those FPL managers eager to put their knowledge to the test. That being said, here is our FPL gameweek 1 review, looking at who shone on the opening weekend of the 2016/17 season.
Here’s our Gameweek 1 FPL Review and how the dream team looked after Gameweek 1:
Ben Foster – In a typical West Brom display Ben Foster put in a strong performance as The Baggies held firm against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. With only 2 sides having kept clean sheets this week it was between Lukasz Fabianski and Foster for this position, with Foster winning out due to his 3 bonus point haul combined with an extra four saves. Nonetheless, a strong performance in net earns him a spot in the Gameweek 1 dream team.
Stephen Kingsley – Playing mainly due to Neil Taylor’s lack of fitness, Kingsley turned in a solid defensive performance as Swansea became one of only two teams to register shutouts this opening weekend. Swansea managed to fend off waves of attack from a physical Burnley side before striking late and holding on for what could be a huge three points looking back at the end of the season. Kingsley put in a composed performance as he staked his claim for the left-back position in Francesco Guidolin’s side.
James Collins – In a game dominated by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, James Collins looked to have snatched a point for the Hammers to take back to the London Stadium. His fierce drive flew in after a scramble in the Chelsea box. Despite putting in a decent performance on a personal level, West Ham will lament Chelsea’s late winner after Diego Costa struck from 20 yards having been very lucky to stay on the pitch after a late challenge on keeper Adrian. However, Collins’ strike was enough for him to land a spot in this week’s dream team.
Gareth McAuley – One of the most consistent defenders in the league, Gareth McAuley is no stranger to an aerial battle, and he endured several as his side carved out a hard-earned three points against a Crystal Palace side that were unlucky not to come away with at least a point. It was a solid display by the Baggies, with McAuley turning in a defensive performance of the highest order to earn a place in the dream team.
Phillipe Coutinho – Coutinho starred as Liverpool turned in a superb attacking performance at the Emirates to stun a weakened Arsenal side. His two goals showed signs of the firepower Liverpool possess, even though they appeared to field no Number 9. The Brazilian’s first was a superb curling free kick that had veteran keeper Petr Cech beaten all ends up. His second was a piece of good movement, as he timed his run to perfection to ease in Nathaniel Clyne’s hammered cross. A brilliant performance on both a team and personal level for Coutinho, who rightly earns a place in the dream team.
Leroy Fer – Having made his move to Swansea from Queens Park Rangers permanent this summer, Fer will have been eager to impress after a decent loan spell in the second half of last season. It’s fair to say he made an impact, arriving right on time to slot the winner after Burnley keeper Tom Heaton spilled fellow new-signing Fernando Llorente’s tame header. A feature of Fer’s game he will be looking to score more goals this season, and rightfully takes his place in this week’s dream team.
Adam Lallana – After a disappointing Euros with England, Adam Lallana will be looking to prove that he has the quality to pull on the Three Lions shirt again, and he certainly showed that with a goal and an assist in Liverpool’s win. Lallana will also face a fight for his place at Liverpool this season, with Sadio Mané and Giorginio Wijnaldum coming in to add to Brazilian pair Phillipe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino. However, the former Southampton man was able to prove his worth as he took the ball in the chest before sliding past Petr Cech to earn a place in this week’s dream team.
Anthony Martial – The Frenchman had a fine debut season in England last campaign scoring 11 goals and assisting a further 6, mainly from a left-sided midfield position, as Manchester United narrowly missed out on a vital Champions League place. José Mourinho seems to have similar plans for the former Monaco man, once again deploying him in a left-sided role in the Red Devils’ 3-1 win over Bournemouth at Dean Court. Martial’s scuffed volley fell kindly for Wayne Rooney to head in, before Martial then laid on Zlatan Ibrahimovic to score a drive from 20 yards.
Etienne Capoue – Capoue enjoyed somewhat of a breakout season with Watford last season, having previously been extremely short on playtime. However, the Frenchman seems to relish his role at the heart of the Hornet’s midfield. He will be looking to help with the goals burden that was so heavily lumbered on Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo last campaign. As the later started to misfire, so did Watford last season, and Capoue signalled his intent getting into the box to slam in Watford’s opener in a good point against Southampton at Saint Mary’s, so earning himself a place in the Gameweek 1 dream team.
Alvaro Negredo – Negredo is back with a bang, and seemed like he may well have earned Middlesbrough a great win on their Premier League return, however it was not to be as Xherdan Shaqiri curled in a late free kick that will have disappointed both fans and manager Aitor Karanka, who would have liked to see his side kill off a Stoke side that seemed there for the taking. Negredo himself couldn’t have asked for a much better chance, as Gaston Ramirez’s cross fell invitingly just a few yards out for Negredo to bundle in after rising above two Stoke defenders. Negredo showed that he means business this season, and will face stiff competition from £12 million signing Jordan Rhodes. However, Negredo’s exploits were enough to earn his place in this week’s dream team.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Nobody will be surprised to see this man mark his arrival with a goal, as he smashed in Manchester United’s third against an unlucky Bournemouth side. Ibrahimovic picked the ball up from Anthony Martial approximately about 40 yards from gaol before driving forward and driving a fierce shot into the bottom left corner past the helpless Artur Boruc. If he can even come close to replicating his form from Paris Saint-Germain he will find himself a long ways up the scoring charts this season, and his strong start earns him a spot in this week’s Gameweek 1 dream team.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RyanNevin7)