As we prepare for the first game week of the new Fantasy Premier League season we take a look at the remaining 6 fixtures and try to give you pointers as to where the points lie.
If you haven’t yet read part one of our game week 1 tips then be sure to do so here.
Bournemouth Vs. Cardiff
Despite clinching automatic promotion from the Championship last season, Cardiff remain favourites for relegation ahead of the new season. A price of around 4/6 tells you what the bookies think and when you consider Wolves (who finished one place ahead of them) are priced at around 7/1 generally (9/1 best price) for relegation you start to get an idea of how well both sides have dealt in the pre season transfer market.
Bournemouth had a pretty unspectacular season, finishing in 12th position in what was a low scoring mid table last year. Both of these sides will be eager to get off to winning ways but it looks like it is the cheap defensive options of both sides that could be best value.
Lee Peltier (£4m) is possibly the cheapest defender in FPL who is likely to get game time, whilst there are a host of Bournemouth defenders available for £4.5m following a poor defensive display last season. Charlie Daniels and Steve Cook are perhaps the most sound investments and warrant consideration with a gentle opening three games.
Huddersfield Vs. Chelsea
Chelsea may have looked a little laboured against Man City in the Community Shield last weekend but they take on Huddersfield who are the second favourites for relegation this year. They were compact and organised for large parts of last season but the wheels came off towards the end of the season when they were left scrapping for survival.
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It is hard to recommend much from either side ahead of this game and with plenty of unrest around Chelsea at the moment (with Courtois, Willian and Hazard all subject to intense transfer speculation) it is hardly the perfect preparation for the season.
Our advice here is to give players from these sides a watching brief for now.
Watford Vs. Brighton
Watford started last season strongly under the guidance of Marco Silva but then went on a downward spiral which saw the manager part ways with the club. This season it looks hard to offer too much hope to this team that has lost Richarlison and not really invested much. Whether or not new signing Ben Foster will start ahead of Gomes remains to be seen but we feel Brighton offer the bigger threat in this fixture.
Brighton produced some players who provided plenty of points for FPL managers last season – not least Pascal Groß (£7m and 164 pts) and Glenn Murray (£6.5m and 111 pts). Groß may have increased in price since last season but still represents decent value when you look at his record last season and the other options at that price and is our pick ahead of this game.
Our final suggestion for this game is goalkeeper Matt Ryan (£4.5m) who scored an impressive 146 points last season and could well start off with a clean sheet here.
Wolves Vs. Everton
New boys Everton look to have done some pretty shrewd business over the summer and the philosophy of their manager Nuno looks like it has legs for improvement. They won the Championship impressively last season and have added quality to their ranks with signings such as Joao Moutino and Raul Jiminez. When you add Diogo Jota, Costa and Neves to that list you start to get a feel for their quality.
Whether it will be enough for a top 10 challenge remains to be seen and their first game will be against a team challenging for that themselves with a new talented manager at the helm. This game looks like it will have goals in in and Jota (£6.5) is expected to make the transition to the Premier League with ease if you can stomach the transfer fee for a player from a newly promoted side.
Richarlison for Everton commands the same fee and loves playing for this manager – with the pedigree to back up his talent we would prefer to side with the Brazilian in this game. We do however think that Jiminez up front for Wolves is hard to ignore with a price tag of just £5.5m – perhaps the best budget striker in FPL this season?
Southampton Vs. Burnley
Another couple of teams that have seen little transfer activity in the off season are Southampton and Burnley. It is the home side that desperately needs the investment rather than the visiting side who secured a top 7 finish last season. The Saints were one position off relegation and will be looking to start this season strongly against a Burnley side that looks beset with injury concerns across all positions.
Nick Pope (who was superb last season) is set to miss this one and there is also concern for Tom Heaton who is struggling with a calf injury – it remains to be seen which one of those two will be the long term first choice.
Choosing a defensive Burnley player in your FPL squad is probably a wise decision and we would opt for England man James Tarkowski who enjoyed a solid season in 2017/18 and scored 101 points along the way.
We see this being a typically Burnley like tight affair and would still side with the away side despite their injury concerns.
Arsenal Vs. Man City
The most enticing game of the weekend has to be this one and if Unai Emery wanted to test his charges then he has the perfect opportunity here. He looks set to play Aubamayang and Lacazette together this season – but whether he will afford his side such attacking luxury against this rampant Man City side is another thing.
Lacazette offers value at £9.5m but Auba is our preferred pick despite his £11m price tag after an impressive half season last year. Ozil looks like a steal at £8.5m and we expect him to be fit and ready for this game. In truth, a game like this might afford this new look Arsenal side a little more space and we could be in for an entertaining game.
For City, the usual suspects demand respect and it is only KDB who looks set to miss the start of the season. Sane is likely to be chosen ahead of Sterling thanks to his value remaining affordable at £9.5m (vs £11m for Sterling) and Sergio Aguero reminded everyone of his quality in Sunday’s game against Chelsea when he scored a double.
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With so much talent in midfield you have to expect rotation as the season unfolds but for this game and the rest of August (which sees City play some favourable fixtures) it could well pay to opt for the likes of Aguero, Sane and either Silva. Riyad Mahrez is the other interesting contender but we’d rather see him a confirmed started before splashing out £9m on him.
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