The gameweek 1 deadline is almost here! The numerous drafts, tinkering and thoughts have all boiled down to this. The 15 man squad has been chosen and now it’s down to the FPL gods to decide our faith. A second gameweek 1 Friday night deadline in a row so there’s no need to panic waking up Saturday morning instead you can do that Friday evening. After last season’s thrilling 4-3 opener at The King Power could this season’s opener throw up another goalfest to kick off the league with a bang?
As the transfer window slammed shut yesterday not a lot of major business was done.
Therefore not much changed in terms of most FPL assets. Most were expecting Man Utd to sign a new centre back and therefore find a nailed on asset in their defence but this wasn’t the case. With the addition of the early transfer window closure FPL managers won’t have to worry about any incomers affecting their players or tempting them to purchase. However, there’s still a possibility of clubs selling their players abroad so don’t sit too tight.
Gameweek 1 is always a bit of a lottery, there’s nothing but pre-season to go off and you have to take that with a pinch of salt, it mainly tells us about positions and fitness. That leaves us with fixtures as a guide. The limited information makes the early stages of the season tricky and that’s why we see a number of early wildcards played. In the past I’ve had mixed opening gameweeks but it’s not the end of the world if you have a poor start. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
In goal I’ve stuck with a £9.0m rotation. Budget keepers are able to get close to the points tallies of the premium keepers through their higher amount save points and bonus points unlike the budget defenders. Wolves’ new signing Rui Patricio is the first part of the goalkeeping duo as I expect him to rack up the saves under boss Nuno but also keep some clean sheets for his side. He also doesn’t mind saving a penalty, keeping out just over a quarter he’s faced. After an impressive transfer window Wolves have an exceptionally strong midfield that will help shield their back three. Alongside him is last season highest scoring budget keeper Lukasz Fabianski. His opening run of games are quite tough but with a few bankers thrown in between I expect him to rotate well with Wolves keeper. The Pole made the most penalty saves last season and picks up save points for fun but I hope he doesn’t rack them up while he’s sat on the bench.
Liverpool’s young star Trent Alexander-Arnold gets the nod in our team ahead of the premium Andrew Robertson. It was a tough choice between the two but at this early stage the £1.0m is vital elsewhere. The right back has the possibility of some set-pieces and it’is his spot to lose and his main competition comes from Clyne who has returned from a long term injury. Liverpool’s defence is much improved after the arrival of Allison from Roma and with 18 clean sheets last season, a Liverpool player looks a very good bet. The second defender in our backline has gone to the outgoing City left back, Benjamin Mendy. After spending a year out injured I think the City defender has been undervalued by £0.5m. City’s opening run can’t get much easier as they face this and last season’s promoted sides and therefore I can’t see myself going without a City defender. My third and final premium defender goes the Ben Davies. The Spurs defender rotated with Danny Rose last season but with him returning late from the World Cup and rumours of him leaving to go on loan to FC Schalke (which is still possible) I can’t see as much rotation for the Welsh defender. The fullback is as explosive as it comes and can return a mega haul in any game.The first of two budget options I’ve chosen is Southampton’s Cedric Soares. There are some doubts over him due to his recent illness and returning back late from Russia but I don’t plan on starting him in gameweek 1. He’s more of a long term investment and he should offer some attacking threat. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is my £4.0m gem and I can’t see him going anywhere while he’s got the Palace right back spot. Even if he only gets a 2 pointer every week I won’t complain as he’s likely to be sat on the bench. His main aim is the unlock funds to be used elsewhere on the pitch.
There plenty of options in the midfield this season but I don’t think there’s much to mention when I say Mohamed Salah was the first name in my team. Owned by 53% the only thing the man can’t do is get bonus points. With his opening run of games he looks a must have. It’s easy to downgrade him if he can’t maintain his form but if you go without, good luck getting him without a handful of hits. Man City’s new signing Riyad Mahrez takes a spot in the side as he looks set to take the right wing spot in Pep’s side. A City attacker looks a must have and I think the new signing edges it with him potential having set-pieces on the right hand side along with his goal threat. There’s plenty of options and potential rotation down the line but he’s a cash cow player thus easy to downgrade if a bargain crops up. Everton’s opening run of games look too good to miss out on and I’ve gone for their talisman Gylfi Sigurdsson. With set-pieces to his name and in the number 10 spot I think he could be a great differential with only 2.3% ownership as of writing this. Marco Silva should improve Everton’s attacking output after taking over from Big Sam and Siggy will hopefully benefit from this too. He comes in £1.0m more expensive than new arrival, Richarlison who’s Everton’s most popular pick with 17.6%. Being in the number 10 role and having set-pieces edges it for me. I try not to pick too many newly promoted players but my final two spots in the midfield come from Wolves and Fulham. My 4th spot goes to a player who has the exact same ownership as my previous differential and he’s earned this spot after an impressive pre-season. Lucas Moura is my short term punt while he can take advantages of injuries and absentees. He’s bagged 4 goals and picked up 2 assists over pre-season and looks set to have the inside forward role at Spurs for the first few weeks. My 5th and final midfieder goes to Diogo Jota. The winger shouldn’t have been playing in the Championship last season and has signed for Wolves on a permanent basis this season. Jota has Champions League experience and is key part of Wolves’ team. There’s a plethora of £6.5m options but I’ve decided to choose this man who’s only got 6.6% ownership and should get Wolves off to a good start in England’s top division. Wolves’ top scorer from last season should start out of position at left wing with the potential of starting up front.
I’ve decided to spend the majority of my budget in the backline and the midfield so I’ve only got room for one premium striker and that’s gone to Sergio Aguero who finishes off the Manchester City trio. Aside from rotation I can’t see any reason not to own 3 assets from last season’s champions. Last season’s runaway record breaking winners steam rolled through Chelsea in the Community Shield and his ownership rocketed after the Argentine bagged a brace. There are concerns over Jesus stealing minutes if Pep only plays 1 up front but there’s still a possibility of both being selected if he goes for a 2 up top formation. We all know how explosive he can be and no one can forget his 5 goals against Newcastle a few seasons back. My second striker spot has been awarded to Wilfried Zaha. Crystal Palace’s talisman only just gets the nod ahead of Josh King. The Eagles’ first 9 games gave him the edge over the other mid priced strikers as they face the top 6 sides only once. The Ivorian has been moved to a striker in FPL and is owned by just under 1 in 3 and is Palace’s highest owned player. Having a striker in this price bracket is important as it makes you flexible and you can move to the form player easily if need be. Aboubakar Kamara takes the final spot mainly due to his price and rather than his points potential as he’s likely to get limited minutes. At £4.5m I don’t expect to play him often and with the signing of Mitrovic and Vietto on deadline day. There doesn’t seem to be any nailed on £4.5m strikers to play 90 minutes so I’ll be keeping an eye out for a striker in this bracket as the season commences.
There you go, that’s our final draft! FPL manager’s dream of a good start to the season so they don’t have to claw their way back to the top but it’s not the end of the world you don’t. There will be a high number of teams playing chips in gameweek 1 to try get onto the leaderboard, so your opening rank will always be slightly skewed, therefore I’m hoping for a slightly above average week. Captaincy is a key part to FPL success and nailing the right man week in, week out can do wonders for your rank (and mood). Best of luck to all FPL managers this season and may your arrows be green!
Written by FPL Junior (@FPL_Junior)