With the football season now a matter of weeks away and the transfer merry-go-round in full swing, it also means that millions of people around the world are once again gearing up to take a crack at Fantasy Premier League. The game that has reached fanatical new heights in recent years is back with managers attempting to cram Erling Haaland, Harry Kane, Heung-min Son, Mo Salah and Raheem Sterling into the same team.
It may be impossible to create the perfect squad from the off, but that hasn’t stopped the best and the brightest footballing minds at The Sportsman from having a crack.
Simon Lillicrap - The Overconfident One
Biggest decision: Kane over Haaland
Guaranteed points: Trent Alexander-Arnold
Biggest gamble: Marcus Rashford
As always, I’m pretty happy with my team heading into the first week. Trent and Salah are must haves, as is Joao Cancelo, while I’ve plumped for Harry Kane over Erling Haaland, but will likely switch between the two as the season progresses. Marcus Rashford could be a gem at £6.5m, Pedro Neto could catch fire at Wolves and Luis Diaz showed exactly how good he was last season.
- Why Harry Maguire is the right man to captain Man Utd
- Fantasy Premier League: How to fit the big guns in
- Premier League odds*
Aymeric Laporte is in for now, but only because I want to see how Chelsea’s new-look defence pans out before plumping for Ben Chilwell or Reece James at the same £6m price point. Neco Williams and Andreas Pereira are two must-haves in your squad to free up funds. At £4m and £4.5m respectively, they should both get plenty of gametime this season.
Ryan Wood - The Risky One
Biggest decision: No Haaland or Kane
Guaranteed points: Heung-min Son
Biggest gamble: Patrick Bamford
Patrick Bamford over Kane and Haaland? Don't laugh until you hear me out. Son and Salah are must-haves this season and I want them both. They shared the Golden Boot and won more points than any other players in the game last season, and no new signing can convince me they are a better option early on. Riyad Mahrez covers Manchester City in my squad and I'm backing Rashford to have a good start to the season under Erik ten Hag. Trent and Ruben Dias will bring points from my defence - and hopefully that Bamford decision pays off up top...
Sam Penfold - The Ambitious One
Biggest decision: Haaland over Kane
Guaranteed points: Mo Salah
Biggest gamble: Carney Chukwuemeka
A balance of experience, proven point scorers and unknown youth forms my 15-man squad. The big guns of Haaland, Salah, Son, Jesus and Alexander-Arnold eat into the budget leaving very little room for navigation elsewhere in the side. Rashford, Jack Harrison and Matty Cash all hold the card of "potential to score highly" while Nathan Patterson, Carney Chukwuemeka and James Justin are hopeful bids with the latter returning from an ACL injury late last season. Ben Johnson I believe will be starting for West Ham as their RB hence the inclusion on the bench.
Conor Keane - The Naive One
Biggest decision: No Mo Salah
Guaranteed points: Heung-mon Son
Biggest gamble: Riyad Mahrez
People might laugh at me for not picking the highest points scorer of the last three seasons in Salah, but in other years where I have largely gone for the stars in midfield and attack leaving a weak defence, it hasn't quite worked.
This time around I've included Alexander-Arnold, Joao Cancelo and Tottenham's new man Ivan Perisic because I think they will contribute points both defensively and offensively. Son shared the Golden Boot with Salah last season and I feel he could have another prolific year in front of goal, as can Mahrez who scored 11 himself last term.
While Kane is a proven goalscorer at this level I felt I had to jump on the Haaland and Jesus train because I am expecting both of them to have a huge impact at their clubs this year.
*18+ | Be Gamble Aware