There’s roughly 2 weeks until the Premier League season is back so it’s prime time to get your Fantasy Premier League teams together. This year FPL has really raised the bar on prices to cut down the usage of “big name” players which has made it harder than ever to assemble the 15 players. Despite the prices there’s still some players that hold good value, let me take you through my starting XI and why.
Between the Sticks
Sadly, quite an obvious pick to start with but Alisson (LIV) represents a consistent option in goal. Last season, the Brazilian achieved the second most clean sheets during one season in PL history and Liverpool conceded 0.57 goals a game. Usually it’s not necessarily wise to invest in the most expensive keepers but with the huge price tags on other Liverpool defenders, Alisson will undoubtedly rate a popular pick at 6.0 million. Liverpool also face three of last season’s bottom 6, newly promoted Norwich and play Arsenal at home for their first six fixtures which again helps his case.
Defensively a back three is the starting point. It’s always best to pick full backs purely because they contribute offensively aswell as defensively but saying that, we start with my most expensive defender.
Aymeric Laporte seems to be the only guaranteed starter week in week out for City’s defence, the Guardiola carousel leaves players like Walker on the sidelines so there’s an exception to be made when adding in this centre back. Laporte managed to bag three goals and three assists in addition to his 18 clean sheets last season and starts the year off with a few games that aren’t exactly straight forward but it’s Man City, so expectation is always sky high.
Danny Rose finished the season excellently last year with big performances in Spurs’ Champions League run and seems to have cemented his first team spot with them. The English left back created 4 goals in last year’s campaign and starts his season off with a game against Aston Villa at the new White Hart Lane, Villa could potentially be an awkward team this year, but Spurs should get the job done.
Watford were a surprise package last season and any one of their defenders cost roughly the same amount, but I’ve opted with Kiko Femenia, with exception of his injuries last season he took part in every single PL game available. For a player that’s going to cost you 4.5 million and from a side that very rarely rotates, he’ll do the trick and he also loves getting forward.
Lucas Digne was a premium selection last season, he contributed 4 goals and 5 assists along with 13 clean sheets and cost roughly 5-5.5 million for the majority of last season. If it wasn’t for what is a pricey midfield (spoilers) he’d undoubtedly have made my squad, even at an enhanced price of 6.0 million. Everton also have a relatively stress free first 10 games of the season with only one fixture against teams from last season’s top 6.
The Money Makers
Due to the significant increase in price for the “premium picks”, a lot of my emphasis this year will start through the midfield, there’s a huge amount of goalscoring midfielders nowadays in the PL and money should be invested in these areas.
It wouldn’t be a FPL team without Raheem Sterling. This season he’s going to cost you 12.0 million but based on previous years that’s a price worth spending, the winger has scored 612 points in the last 3 seasons by scoring 42 goals and registering 46 assists. City have a tendency to rotate their forwards, but Sterling has been the highest scoring City player two seasons in a row, he registered 32 goal contributions in 2770 minutes, working out as 86 minutes per goal/assist. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t be first on your teamsheet.
Big hitter number two, Sadio Mane (11.0 million). Last year, Mane finished the season exceptionally with 15 goals in his last 16 PL games which also was enough to win the golden boot. Of course, Mohamed Salah would be a good pick with his unbelievable 78 goal contributions in the last 2 seasons but for the extra money, it’s a big ask and the expectation around Mane is now higher than ever. Liverpool have a generous start to the season with 4 of the first 5 against relegation candidates, keep a close eye on Sadio.
Bournemouth youngster David Brooks (6.5 million), caught a lot of attention after his transfer from Sheffield United for 11 million and quickly impressed in his debut PL year. Unfortunately, he was sidelined on 3 separate occasions through injury and a fully fit Brooks would be a dangerous player to have for such a cheap price. Offensively, Bournemouth have been known to cause any team issues and with the likes of Wilson, King and Fraser, Brooks will have endless opportunity to create chances.
Youri Tielemans joined Leicester on loan in January and in his 12 games, he registered 8 assists and 3 goals. It’s astonishing that none of the top 6 swooped to try and sign this Belgian youngster, he dictated the game and showed a level of maturity to his game that’s rare for a player that’s only 22 years old. Leicester’s team as a whole has improved and with Brendan Rodgers at the helm, they’re undoubtedly a team to keep an eye on as a whole, starting with Tielemans.
The last player in this 5 man midfield is Richarlison (8.0 million), the Brazilian always starts the season well, he scored 8 in his first 17 PL appearances last year and the season before that he scored all 5 of his goals in the first half of the campaign. Everton finished the season excellently and in the last 10 games of the year they got the 4th most points in the league and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them continue their immense progress. Richarlison is the main goal source for the side and is a necessary addition.
Wilifred Zaha has been moved back to a midfielder for this years FPL and he’s also a bargain price at 7.0 million, there’s a lot of news surrounding him regarding his future at Palace and the club has also had a poor pre-season, but Zaha is a game changer and could be one to watch.
Mason Mount has been kept at Chelsea following a loan spell under Lampard at Derby and has been taking part in quite a lot of pre-season friendlies, unfortunately his price hasn’t been released at the time of writing but he should be around the 5-5.5 million mark and could be worth that cheap investment price.
What would usually be the hard-hitting point earners has become a couple of reasonable price steady point gatherers. Alexander Lacazette (9.5 million) is the first of two strikers, the Arsenal forward scored 13 last year alongside 12 assists which seemed to only be the start of him finally settling into the PL style. The Frenchman tends to play as the main striker with Aubameyang playing in behind, therefore will get the main bulk of the chances, Arsenal match up with Spurs and Liverpool within their first 4 fixtures but after that there’s only one top 6 side in their 12 fixtures afterwards. Lacazette is a long-term option for sure.
Diogo Jota (6.5 million) isn’t the obvious choice if you’re going for a Wolves forward with Raul Jimenez available at 7.5 million but Jota ended last season on a high. The Portuguese youngster really picked up towards the end of last season, registering 9 goals and 8 assists and has also looked dangerous in pre-season, bagging a couple against Newcastle in their semi-final of the PL Asian trophy which Wolves went on to win vs Man City. Wolves have a tough start to the season but from what we saw last year, they flourish under the pressure of a big game, so I’m willing to take a gamble here.
Mason Greenwood (4.5 million) is an exceptional talent and he’s only 17 years old, he played his first 90 minutes in the PL in the last game of last season against Cardiff and has gone on to play a fair bit in pre-season. The English wonderkid has scored his last 2 appearances, one in a 4-0 win against Leeds and the other a decisive goal in a 1-0 win against Inter. There’s absolutely no guarantee he’ll start but he’s the lowest price available for a top 6 side, surely that’s’ too much to turn down given the form he’s in too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMHlTD6ftQc -footage of Greenwood vs Inter
Below is a photo of my starting squad for the first game of the season (subject to change, injuries etc..) it fits the 100.0 million budget you are given and looks strong across the board.
Good luck in your mini leagues and the season people.