Gameweek 1 Recap

This was a spectacularly high scoring week with the majority of the Twitter template performing well.  If you’ve done well, congratulations and try to keep up the momentum.  If you haven’t, don’t be too disheartened, it’s a bit cliché but it is a marathon and not a sprint.  Unless something has gone disastrously wrong you shouldn’t be thinking about breaking the template and going differential at this stage.

 

Who did I tip?

If you’d gone with any of the tips you should be fairly content:

  • Salah (12) – the overriding poll favourite and the “safe” option. Everybody was more than happy with this return on Friday night and a few were confident enough to Triple Captain him for a sprint start to the season.
  • Sterling (20)– everybody was happy with their Salah Captain until Sterling turned up and staked his claim as the new Salah.  I mentioned last week that he had an amazing record against West Ham (12 returns in 13), which has now increased to 15 in 14 and I was very tempted to go with him.  Overall, I still believe Salah was the safer option given his ownership and these two will cause a lot of dilemmas in the future (including this Gameweek).
  • Kane (13) – it was looking so good for the non-Kane owners until the 86th minute where he demonstrated how clinical he can still be and his next goal showed that he looks to be back to his best. It wasn’t just his goals and maximum bonus that worried me though, his shot stats are also miles ahead of the rest (albeit it’s a very small sample size) and I’ll be watching him closely before I use my Wildcard.

 

What did we learn?

  •  The big two – Liverpool and City look the same as last season, they’re going to dominate most of the teams that they play against and you might want to stock up on their assets.
  • Form is uncertain – you can’t really take much away from the Norwich / West Ham results as they were up against the best two teams in the league. You could imply that Southampton / Watford look leaky and Brighton / Burnley are the ones to back, but it’s too soon to make any conclusions and it will take a few more games before things become more apparent.
  • Man Utd are back – the score line flattered them a little, but they do have reasonable fixtures and there’s a lot of value in the team. The FPL Universe has a lot of Man Utd fans and the ownerships of their assets is fairly high, so when the team does well it can sometimes hurt your overall rank if you don’t own any of them.  Looking at how they performed there are quite a few bargains with DDG racking up saves again, WBA maintaining his bonus magnet status and Pogba / Martial / Rashford all returning well.

 

Gameweek 2 Captaincy - The Fixtures

 

 

  • Arsenal v Burnley– Arsenal didn’t look that great against Newcastle, but they didn’t start with PAL (thanks WGTA Tom) and they should have a lot more threat going into this game.  However, Burnley look like they were pre-Europa with a solid defensive structure and a lethal looking Barnes (when everybody has eyes on Wood with his nine goals pre season) that could punish the Arsenal defence.  I think this will be quite a tight affair, but I think Arsenal should pip it.
  • Aston Villa v Bournemouth– Villa were unlucky against Spurs and they should find a lot more joy against Bournemouth.  Bournemouth chose the wrong approach to try and break down Sheffield and I expect this game to be a lot more open.  For those with Bournemouth assets, I would hold them for at least one more game.
  • Brighton v West Ham– everybody expected Brighton to be leaky and they surprised everybody with a clean sheet and a decent attacking display.  What’s even more impressive is that it was without their new signings.  I liked how they looked and when Mooy / Trossard / Maupay are introduced they should be even better.  It’s hard to judge West Ham based on their display against City but this will be a good chance to redeem themselves and they have enough attacking talent in the front four to forge some chances.  Similar to the above, there should be goals in this game.
  • Everton v Watford – Everton were fairly underwhelming against Palace and the red card did not help matters, but they did create quite a lot of chances and Silva should have seen enough to discard DCL for Kean, which might be the catalyst they need. If Watford continues to extend their run from the end of last season (and including their previous game) they could be my whipping boys contender but I’ll see how they do this week before I make that judgement call, as I expected them to start well.
  • Norwich v Newcastle – it’s early doors but both teams will see this as a six pointer against a potential relegation rival. This is the most likely source of points for both sides in their next four fixtures and I expect Norwich to go for it with Newcastle trying to pick them off on the counter.
  • Southampton v Liverpool– Southampton looked okay against Burnley creating a few chances and were just punished by some really clinical finishing.  They tend to make life difficult for Liverpool but I can’t see anything other than a Liverpool win here, despite the game and travel fatigue from Wednesday.
  • Man City v Spurs – this is a tasty early season fixture giving us a Champions League repeat. I fully expect City to win this at home, but there should be goals from both sides (which is great as a non Zinchenko owner) and I just hope Kane doesn’t get any!  For those with their trigger finger on Moura, he got an assist last game and should play this one with Son still suspended, so I would consider patience.
  • Sheffield United v Palace – Utd looked decent against Bournemouth and I was loving the overlapping centre backs. Palace looked pretty average until Zaha came on, but I can see this being a bit of a stalemate with neither side having the quality to break the other down.
  • Chelsea v Leicester – the score line was flattering to Utd but it did demonstrate that the once famous Chelsea Bus has well and truly gone. The attack created plenty of chances and I expect that to continue, but I can’t see them shutting Leicester out here.  Kante will probably start this game, which might shore things up a little, however for the fellow Perez owners, he should get plenty of opportunities here and I’d give him a bit more time.  Chelsea might be a bit fatigued after their trip to Turkey, but they have an additional day’s rest compared to Liverpool and there’s still a lot of competition for places, so I don’t think it will impact them as much.
  • Wolves v Man Utd – Wolves play at Home in the Europa League on Thursday, but they have a big enough lead to rest some players for that game and this Monday fixture gives them an additional day of rest that they wouldn’t normally get. They’ll be up for this night game in front of their fans and it will give a good indication of both of these sides.

  

Twitter Poll

 

 

 

Old Hunting Ground – do any of the likely lads have a good history vs their opposition?

Aubameyang looks to be an absolute machine against Burnley with four of the goals and the assist coming at Home.  For anyone that has him as a differential this could be a sneaky option despite Burnley looking relatively solid.

Salah – three of his five goals were at Home with two goals and one assist Away demonstrating a fairly consistent output against Southampton.

Sterling – playing for Man City (excluding his Liverpool stats), four of his five goals against Spurs have come at Home.

Rashford – with it only being a one game sample I wouldn’t add too much weighting here.

 

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