Latest posts by Charlie Widdicombe (see all)
- Why Formula E Could Overtake F1 As The Pinnacle Of Motorsport - August 13, 2018
- Premier League 2018/19: Pre-Season Predictions - August 10, 2018
- Fantasy Premier League 2018/19- Gameweek 1 Team Selection - August 10, 2018
It’s that time of the year again. 5 million budding fantasy football managers spend hours agonising over their 15-man squads in preparation for the new Premier League season. The 2018/19 season has brought added complications, with question marks over the fitness of players returning from the World Cup and earlier transfer deadline (in “real” football) leading to a flurry of new signings.
Here’s a FPL team that tries to keep these factors in mind whilst also building a long term team that won’t result in the immediate use of a wildcard.
GK-Jordan Pickford (£5.0m)
Despite his World Cup heroics with England, Pickford should be ready to face Wolves on Saturday. Goalkeeper is not a position that FPL managers want to be changing regularly, so fixtures are not so relevant when selecting keepers. Pickford is a cheap option at £5.0m and picked up plenty of points for a large number of saves (121) last season.
DEF-Charlie Daniels (£4.5m)
It may seem odd to choose Daniels considering Bournemouth have just spent over £10 million on fellow left-back Sergio Rico, the latter is suspended for the first three games of the season so Daniels is a starting certainty. He will fancy his chances of a clean sheet against Cardiff and will also hope for returns against West Ham and Everton. Considering his attacking potential as a defender, £4.5 for Daniels is a bargain price which has convinced around 18% of FPL managers to select him.
DEF-Alexander Arnold (£5.0m)
The Liverpool youngster enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2017-18 that saw him cement his place as first choice right-back and appear in Russia for England. This is a risky choice considering his late return to pre-season, but as long as there is a suitable substitute on your FPL bench, TAA is a good option for the long term- a cheap defender with attacking potential, playing for a defence that should be tightened by the arrival of Keeper Allison.
DEF-Benjamin Mendy (£6.0m)
Mendy has a point to prove having missed almost the whole of the 2017-18 season through injury. He is a certainty to be the regular left-back for Manchester City ahead of Fabian Delph, and could wreak havoc down the left flank, picking up returns at both ends of the pitch. £6 million could be an absolute steal of a price for Mendy, who plays the 6 most recently promoted teams in Gameweeks 2 to 7 and could become a must-have for FPL managers.
DEF-James Tomkins (£4.5m)
Crystal Palace were much improved under Roy Hodgson, and James Tomkins is a certain starter for the Eagles. The first 8 Gameweeks see Palace face 2 newly promoted sides and 5 teams that finished in the bottom half of the league last season. Tomkins is cheaper than centre-back partner Sakho (£5.0m) and has scored 3 goals in both of the previous 2 seasons. A valuable option that allows funds to be freed up for attacking players.
MID-Mohamed Salah (£13.0m)
He may be the most expensive player by a distance, but for good reason. Mohamed Salah scored a record 32 goals last season and his form showed no signs of faltering in pre-season, scoring against Manchester City and Napoli. Leaving him out of any FPL team is a risk not worth taking.
MID-Christian Eriksen (£9.5m)
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino will be thanking his lucky stars that Eriksen’s Denmark team exited the World Cup at the last 16 stage, unlike 9 of his key men who reached the semi-finals and are doubts for the season opener against Newcastle. Eriksen may well be the focal point for Saturday’s game, and considering he has been directly involved in over 20 goals for the past 3 seasons, is a reliable long term option and value for money.
MID-Andre Schurrle (£6.0m)
Schurrle could be a signing of the season by Fulham. Whilst playing for Chelsea, he managed a goal almost every 1.5 games despite being used primarily as a substitute. He has a point to prove following 2 lacklustre seasons at Borussia Dortmund, and could be as big a bargain for FPL managers as Fulham.
FOR-Sergio Aguero (£11.0m)
Despite vying with Gabriel Jesus for the striker spot in the City XI last season, Aguero looks as dangerous as ever, and his brace in the Community Shield should be enough to keep his place. The small risk taken in selecting Aguero is nullified by his incredible scoring rate for City, and with generous fixtures in the first 7 gameweeks he could cause panic amongst FPL managers that opt to select other forward options.
FOR-Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m)
Zaha seems to improve rapidly season by season, and at age 25 has the potential to kick on further. He is the only attacking player worth considering at Palace, and alongside Marco Arnautovic provides 1 of 2 budget forward options worth investing in.
FOR-Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m)
With uncertainty over Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane’s return from World Cup duty and the latter’s form in August, Aubemeyang provides the ideal alternative premium forward option. He averaged a goal every 105 minutes last season having joined Arsenal in January could kick on further this time round. Tough opening fixtures against Manchester City and Chelsea are followed by 8 gameweeks where Aubameyang could run riot.
GK-Maarten Stekelenburg (£4.0m)
If something happens to Pickford, Stekelenburg plays instead. A simple and cheap way to ensure you have a goalkeeper playing every week.
MID-Jack Wilshere (£5.0m)
It will be interesting to see where Wilshere fits into new West Ham manager Mauricio Pellegrini’s plans, but if he stays fit could be an absolute steal at £5 million. Not the easiest starting fixtures for the Hammers, but a good option to rotate off the bench.
DEF-Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£4.0m)
If pre-season is anything to go by, the Palace defender looks to have beaten Joel Ward to the right-back slot. There’s always a standout defender at the cheapest price possible, and Wan-Bissaka looks like the perfect budget option for a team that is likely to keep a decent number of clean sheets.
MID-Morgan Schneiderlin (£4.5m)
There are no standout cut-price midfielders, and Schneiderlin may well start the opening game of the season against Wolves. Best to keep an eye out for any emerging alternatives over the opening gameweeks.