It’s back… that moment you have all been waiting for (well perhaps a few of you at least); we are back from our jollies with our FPL game week 1 tips.
To celebrate our return we will be bringing you plenty of build up to GW1 with fresh daily content ahead of the Friday night Premier League kick off that sees Jose Mourinho’s (already) beleaguered Manchester United take on Claude Puel’s Leicester City.
Following Manchester City’s drubbing of Chelsea in the FA Community Shield on Sunday many fans are already eyeing Pep Guardiola’s team as one that will go on to dominate again in the 2018/19 season and with most of their big guns back from their post World Cup breaks they could hit the ground running in what is a fairly kind opening 6 fixtures (with the obvious exception of the first against Arsenal).
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Whether or not Maurizio Sarri will be able to get more out of his Chelsea team when his big name players return is another matter but without Eden Hazard in the lineup they looked positively pedestrian.
Later this week we are going to be talking whole team setups, formations and how to spend that £100m budget (which let’s face it probably needs revising in the current climate) – but for now, we are going to be focusing on the players we think are going to score big in game week 1.
With Manchester United, Spurs and Chelsea all suffering with a myriad of players likely to return to training only this week (following extended World Cup runs), it may prove wise to avoid too many players from their teams and this could certainly end up being an early wildcard year if you are going to be opt for 100% guaranteed starters in game week 1. In truth, there are never many guarantees in the first few weeks of a season – but with Man City and Liverpool looking pretty solid in the run up to GW1 it seems wise to look to them for some big hitters.
Manchester United Vs Leicester City
Pre-season results don’t usually count for too much in the grand scheme of things and United’s has been indifferent to say the least – with much of the on the pitch action being overshadowed by their moody managers off the field comments. Mourinho is unhappy with the squad he has at his disposal and is most likely just anchoring for another player or two, but either way their performances have hardly been spectacular and their lack of first choice players will be a concern in the build up to this game.
Paul Pogba’s excellent world cup gives renewed hope for United fans and if Alexis Sanchez can get back to anywhere near the form he showed at Arsenal then this could be a team to look to for your FPL players. With that being said, we are going to be keeping a watching brief for United in the first game of the season.
Leicester City have their own key players returning late with Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire among the key players likely to miss the opening game. Iheanacho has looked pretty impressive in pre-season and we wouldn’t be overly adverse to putting him in as a cheap third striker for the first week of the season at just £6m!
It will however be a tough game for Leicester and we will most likely see Jose tighten things up to grind out a result here – with some decent priced defenders and Victor Lindelof (£5m) tipped to partner up with Bailly in the centre of defence there could be some value in getting at least one defensive player in from the beginning from United.
Newcastle Vs. Spurs
Spurs don’t really look like a side ready to hit the ground running with a number of their key players only returning to training on Monday. Harry Kane is among those and we are tipping him to be left out of your teams for the first couple of weeks at least. It looks like the world cup took a lot out of the England front man and he most likely will not be featuring in this opening league game. When you also consider his awful August goal scoring record it seems it would be just a tad optimistic to hope for too much from the World Cup Golden Boot winner for game week 1.
Newcastle have not had the most convincing pre-season after suffering a heavy defeat at the hands of Braga and then another at home to Augsberg. Not too much to get excited about her.
Overall, if were to tip one player for this fixture it would be Christian Eriksen – at £9.5m he has been a consistent performer for the last 3 seasons and has registered double figures of assists in each of those – with last season being his best goalscoring season for Spurs with 11 goals.
Fulham Vs. Crystal Palace
Fulham take on local rivals Crystal Palace in their return to the Premier League and whilst both teams have cause for optimism it should be the visiting team that pose the biggest threat. Under the tutelage of Roy Hodgson from the beginning of this campaign they should have a far better season and have the players to challenge for the top 8 if they work for each other and don’t show the complacency that blighted the opening of their season last year.
Benteke and Zaha have been impressive in pre season and as they offer £6.5m and £7m striking options this could be a good time to put them in. Other than a tough GW2 (Vs. Liverpool) they have a fairly kind run of opening 6 fixtures and we expect big things from them following some impressive displays.
Liverpool Vs. West Ham
Another team who are expected to fair better this season are West Ham. Manuel Pellegrini has been drafted in to steer the Hammers to higher heights this season but despite his obvious pedigree he will have his work cut out in this opening game that sees his new team travel to Champions League finalists Liverpool.
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Since that harrowing night in May, Liverpool have made some key additions to their squad – the most notable being £67m Brazil keeper Alison. During an impressive display against Napoli (5-0), the shot stopper showed why he will be such a welcome addition to the team – with not just his ability to keep goals out being talked of. His distribution and assuredness with the ball will be a joy for Liverpool fans to behold this season and should play in to the hands of speedy wide forwards Mane and Salah. Whether you opt for Salah at £13m is your call, but be warned that he looks as clinical as ever and it could be wise to choose both Mane and the Egyptian for the first few games of the season at least.
We think Liverpool pose the greatest threat to Man City this season and with their young players having all that Champions League and Premier League experience under their belts from last season, along with their new experienced signings, we think three Liverpool players in your side is a must for game week 1.
Firmino, Mane and Salah might seem a tad spend happy – but if you are leaving out Kane you probably have room for one more decent striker.
Read part two of our FPL GW1 tips here – and keep a lookout later this week for a video walkthrough of our template teams for members as well as daily content to help you prepare for the start of the season. If you are not yet a member you can save 25% off with our pre-season offer when you use the code 25off – sign up here.