With Gameweek 2 of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) almost upon us, we’re once again getting tips and advice from our top team of Pro Pundits, Hall of Famers and guest contributors.
Our writers will be providing regular articles and team reveals throughout the new season, with only Premium Members able to access every single one.
Next up is FPL Milanista, who is ranked 50th in our Hall of Fame and has posted overall ranks of 473rd and 1,547th in the last two FPL seasons. He is also a nine-year veteran of the Fantasy Football Scout site.
The new FPL season is underway and one of the major 50/50 calls resulted in a big swing among FPL managers in Gameweek 1.
Luckily, I decided to go for Erling Haaland (£11.6m, 13 points) over Harry Kane (£11.4m, 2 points) and that resulted in me hitting 73 points for the round, which is pretty satisfying at this point.
This is only the start, and as we always say, it’s consistency that truly matters in this game. Hence, I wouldn’t give much attention to overall rank or even Gameweek 1 points if for any reason you were on the wrong side of the Haaland/Kane swing, or maybe decided to punt against Mohamed Salah (£13.0m).
So, let’s jump into the key observations that were derived from Gameweek 1 and address some of the community’s dilemmas.
The season kicked off with Crystal Palace hosting a ‘flying pre-season’ Arsenal side that didn’t disappoint on Friday night. The Gunners were well in it and a strong display across the field was encouraging enough to cement their presence in our sides for their favourable fixtures across the first eight Gameweeks.
Gabriel Jesus (£8.0m), despite blanking, caught the eye with his movement and dribbling, and I can’t really see any justification for the 276k transfers out at the time I’m writing this. Gabriel Martinelli (£6.1m), who could have easily got a brace on the night, is one of those players I’d prioritise getting in if he couldn’t make it into your final 15-man squad.
We move onto Liverpool, a side that most of us have tripled up on, but unfortunately were not rewarded with much except those who punted on Darwin Nunez (£9.1m), who changed the look of the Reds’ attack as soon as he was brought onto the pitch.
Yet, for the majority of us, the Luis Diaz (£8.0m) vs Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) debate continues into Gameweek 2 and I for one have no doubt that both will be rewarding their owners very soon.
We can’t speak about Liverpool and not give Fulham enough credit for the outstanding performance in that game, and if one side had to win it, it was the Cottagers who deserved it more.
HAALAND V KANE
Another team that was heavily backed in terms of FPL picks was Manchester City and their new monster up front, Erling Haaland, who scored twice and picked up maximum bonus in his Premier League debut. The Norwegian didn’t take too much time to adapt to life in England and is the bookies’ favourite to clinch the Golden Boot award. Haaland will be transferred in by more than a million teams before the Gameweek 2 deadline and it will be a very risky strategy to go into that Bournemouth fixture at home backing against the Cityzen’s number nine.
On the contrary, Harry Kane frustrated his owners as he blanked in a 4-1 win for Tottenham Hotspur, a game that had one star in Dejan Kulusevski (£8.0m). Kane managed only one shot inside the box and accumulated a shy 0.14 expected goals (xG) on the day.
It is understandable that managers are switching to Haaland given the fact that Kane faces Chelsea away next. However, Spurs do still have favourable fixtures from Gameweek 3-6 and so sticking with the Englishman, who just dropped to under 20% ownership, may still be a viable strategy going forward.
Spurs’ Gameweek 2 opponents, Chelsea, played out a dull game against a toothless Everton side and had to rely on a Jorginho (£6.0m) penalty to take home the three points. The Blues were not too satisfying in pre-season and continued to look that way but a game against Harry Kane’s troops may be a motivating factor for them to finally show up, especially as they do have a good recent record against Spurs.
The key talking point from Chelsea’s game is Reece James (£6.0m) attempting 17 crosses (a big chunk admittedly came from some iffy corner-kicks), seven more than any other defender this round. Despite him being booked and failing with 14 of his deliveries, he racked up a couple of bonus points – he’s simply one of those players who no matter how well or badly we think his ‘real-life’ performances are, he’ll be regularly rewarded on the Bonus Points System due to its love of his underlying numbers.
MAN UTD V BRIGHTON
The last game that I’d like to comment on before jumping straight into my team for Gameweek 2 is Manchester United v Brighton and Hove Albion. The Red Devils disappointed once again and their decent pre-season performances weren’t carried with them when it really mattered. United were totally lost and lacking any solution in the first 45 minutes, and only got better after Cristiano Ronaldo (£10.5m) was introduced in the second half.
The Seagulls on the other hand played a convincing 90 minutes and if it wasn’t for a Robert Sanchez (£4.5m)/Alexis Mac Allister (£5.5m) miscommunication, would have kept a clean sheet at Old Trafford. The signs are very encouraging for the Seagulls, who have some good fixtures to come.