Fantasy football is back and so too is the start of our draft teams in the run up to the opening premier league fixture on Friday. In this article, we will show you the current draft team that we have selected and the reasons behind these decisions.
Before creating our initial draft, we always look at the fixture list and identify any teams that have a favourable run of games. Although we have loved England and the World Cup, we weren’t happy to see the two week international break after game week 4. However, it has given us a fixture period to identify these easier games for teams, along with a wildcard potential – which we’ll take about in a future article.
The teams we have identified, that also have viable fantasy potential are:
Looking at Liverpool, they have a great run with 2 easy home games and 2 away matches that you would bank on them getting a result at, avoiding all of the so-called ‘top 6’. From the team, we believe at least 2 players are essential in order to gain high points in the opening weeks.
Mo Salah is a must, with a current 50% ownership it would become almost impossible to keep up with the pack if he replicated his form from last season.
We think Liverpool will be a stronger team in defence this season, and therefore the next player on our team is Andy Robertson. Although being valued at £6.0m, his attack minded approach matched with Liverpool’s goalscoring should see him match his 1 goal and 5 assists from last campaign.
We’ve decided to triple up on the Liverpool team and hope it doesn’t come back to haunt us. Sadio Mane makes up the final part of our trio as we feel the Liverpool offence could really cause some damage in the opening fixtures. Sadio Mane has also been taking penalties during pre season so that could be an added bonus.
Premier League champions Man City look like they could replicate their impressive season last year after their weekend dominance against Chelsea in the Community Shield. Therefore, we have opted for 3 players in our team, especially with the opening fixtures they have.
Although spending most of last season injured, Benjamin Mendy makes our team after impressing over the pre season period. Guardiola’s talk of a 3-5-2 formation means a potential Alonso-esque position for him, and hopefully a similar points haul.
The second player is Bernardo Silva, who cemented his place after his stand-out performance in the Community Shield, and Guardiola’s post match comments. With Leroy Sane falling out of favour with sub standard performances, and Kevin De Bruyne only recently returning to training, Silva will have a opportunity to shine in midfield.
The final player is Man City’s all time goalscorer, Sergio Aguero. In our eyes, one of the best Premier League strikers and a ‘must own’ over the fixture period that his team has. His two goals against Chelsea last weekend showed his ability in front of goal and hopefully a preview to whats to come.
Crystal Palace’s resurgence in the second half of last season saw many fantasy football managers find low value gems in players. One of these players included Wilfred Zaha, who has made it into our team after 9 goals and 7 assists last campaign. Many fellow fantasy managers have been hesitant in purchasing Zaha due to his position being changed to a forward, meaning 1 less point for a goal and no points for a clean sheet. However, we believe that him being the star player in a improving palace team will lead to another high scoring season.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka, a relatively unknown player in the game last campaign, has emerged as a regular defender in Palace’s pre season campaign. And at £4.0m, he provides the perfect opportunity to get into the teams defence, opposed to the £5.5m price tag of Van Aarnolt.
Budget has been spent significantly on the outfield players, therefore we have been left with Wolves new goalkeeper Rui Patricio £4.5m. Portuguese international and an exciting Wolves team could lead to a few clean sheets and save points throughout the opening fixtures. The backup will be Maarten Stekelenburg, due to lack of budget we are hoping that Patricio plays every game as we can’t see Stekelenburg taking the number 1 shirt at Everton.
After our initial picks in defence we have been left with 2 positions to fill, and the first of them is last seasons outcast Luke Shaw. We are still convinced Mourinho hates Luke Shaw. However due to injuries in the Man Utd defence, it seems that Shaw has the left back shirt for the opening fixtures at least. At £5.0m, it is an easy route into the Utd defence and also brings the assists potential.
Our final defender is another outcast, David Luiz. Luiz has played every pre season friendly under Sarri and looks like the manager has plans to make him an integral part of the team.
Salah, Mane and B. Sliva currently make up our midfield and we have selected Everton’s big signing Richarlison. Richarlison scored 5 goals and 8 assists when new manager Marco Silva was at Watford, averaging 4.3 points per match compared to 1.6 ppm when Silva left. We believe the link between player and manager, along with the £6.5m price tag, could prove to be the value pick of the season.
Last pick is Aron Gunnarsson, which will be our bench fodder in the squad at £4.0m.
Our last striker to pair with Aguero and Zaha is a personal fantasy favourite of ours, Charlie Austin. At £6.0m and a unquestionable eye for goal, we have always felt Austin is a 15+ goal scorer when injury free. It seemed that at the back end of last season Mark Hughes favoured Austin, and we hope that he cements his starting place for the early fixtures against Burnley (H) and Leicester (H).
So after the discussion and decision making, this is how our draft team currently looks like for game week 1.
We will be sure to update on any of the inevitable changes to the draft team, and will be posting our official game week 1 team on Friday. Keep an eye out for more articles coming this week and be sure to join our league.
League Code: 2297733-525881
League Name: Footballadvice.co.uk