Monday has come around once again and we are in a reflective mood as we digest the welcome return of the Premier League and more importantly, Fantasy Premier League. Hopefully we have all enjoyed a decent start to the season but if not, don’t fear, there are 37 gameweeks left and you can always use your wildcard early on. Here are five things we learned from the opening weekend.
Big Hitters Worth The Money
Raheem Sterling, Mo Salah, Harry Kane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sergio Aguero, the five players worth more than £10m in FPL, all scored. Although there are bargains to be had, you simply cannot afford to be missing more than two of these big hitters from your squads, even if it means having to downgrade elsewhere.
Sterling starting centrally with Aguero on the bench makes him a must-have and Salah is still Liverpool’s main man. If you haven’t got those two involved in your squads, you risk falling behind in your leagues as it is likely they will be the two top points scorers come May. Of the premium forwards, Kane looked sharp scoring twice, but I wouldn’t be against giving Aubameyang more time as your premium striker and staying away from Aguero until he gets a run of games in Pep Guardiola’s side.
Liverpool Defenders Hit And Miss
With Andy Robertson owned by 32%, Trent Alexander-Arnold selected by 24% and Virgil Van Dijk selected by 51%, there were hopes for big points against Norwich. Although Van Dijk scored a header to take his total to eight points and Trent bagged an assist to score five points, more was expected from the trio and Robertson disappointed with just two points.
Their points totals came crashing down in the second half as a lively Norwich side got their reward for their expansive football, with Teemu Pukki finding the net to spoil the Red Men’s clean sheet. Attacking returns are a positive and one game doesn’t mean you should get rid of them by any means, but many were banking on an Anfield shutout here.
Graham Potter’s Brighton Impress
One of the unknown quantities of the Premier League this season were Brighton under new boss Graham Potter but they looked incredibly impressive in their 3-0 win at Watford. Defenders Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy make for good options once again at the back but it may be worth giving the attacking options more time to settle before investing.
Potter named all of his new signings on the bench for the first game, but do not be surprised to see his first choice eleven emerge over the coming weeks. Promising FPL talents Leandro Trossard and Aaron Mooy, as well as Adam Webster are likely to force their way into Potter’s plans. It would be wise to keep hold of these if you already have them in your squad.
Manchester United Attackers Worth Considering
Anthony Martial is listed as a midfielder on FPL and having started and scored whilst playing up front against Chelsea, provides a valuable out of position option. On the same note, Marcus Rashford may have predominantly played from the left, but scored twice and most importantly for us to note, he took United’s penalty, despite Paul Pogba being on the pitch.
These penalty takers are always worth noting but even more so this season with the introduction of VAR. Rashford at £8.5m may be worth investing in whereas Pogba, despite recording two assists may now lose owners at the same price.
Patience Is Crucial
Don’t throw the baby out of the bathwater after gameweek one, unless of course you are missing all of the big names mentioned in the first paragraph. This is one of the most volatile times of year for team selection with managers still trying to work out their best eleven and deal with injuries or lack of match fitness.
For example, Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will predominantly be Unai Emery’s preferred front three at Arsenal, yet only the latter started for the first weekend. Norwich trusted those players who got them promoted in the first game against Liverpool, but expect new boys Ralph Fahrmann and Patrick Roberts to feature over the next few weeks.
Of course, use your free transfers to get rid of anybody who has little chance of playing, Tammy Abraham’s selection leaves little room for Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud but do not waste valuable points on those players who could come back into contention after an unpredictable first week.
Keep the faith, there is a long way to go.
FPL Bottom Line.