Gameweek 1 FPL Q&A – Best £6.5m Forward and TAA or Robertson?

Welcome to all new and existing followers!

The FPL season has finally arrived and soon our gameweek 1 fates will be decided, hopefully in the form of a solid points total.

Before we get into this Q&A, we wanted to bring your attention to our free 2019/20 FPL guide, a guide designed for FPL managers all all abilities. We have packed in countless, free FPL tips and advice, along with teaming up with some of the biggest accounts to get their top tips and player to watch.

We can guarantee this free guide will help you develop your knowledge of the game as well as improve your decision-making throughout the season. Hopefully for some, the guide will help towards achieving a personal best overall rank.

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In this first FPL Guest Q&A of 2019/20, we are joined by LetsTalkSoccer who will be sharing their thoughts on the most popular questions ahead of GW1. This week we will be discussing Robertson or Alexander-Arnold, must-own players, best £6.5m forwards and top captaincy pick. 

“Best £6.5m forward?”

LetsTalkSoccer:

It’s is a weird price category this season. Because so many managers seem to be enabling the “Big at the Back” strategy, it doesn’t leave much money for forwards. As a result, this price range could well be a squad’s primary strikers.

No one here blows us away, but there are some fairly good candidates, including…

King: If you’re judging by the first 5 fixtures, King is an excellent choice. Bournemouth open at home to newly-promoted Sheffield United. Over the next 4 games, they have just one match over a 3 FDR. Another bonus is that King is on pens (if it holds true from last season). And, he’s got Fraser and Wilson feeding chances to him.

Jota: He had a good summer, but we’re not too keen on Wolves’ first few weeks. And, with Cutrone coming into the mix, Jota could see reduced minutes potentially. For those reasons, he’s not our first choice at this price point.

Wood: He’s another player that had a good run this summer. But, I wouldn’t recommend a Burnley attacker until GW5. And then it’s game on!

Barnes: Same comments as his mate, Wood. Either of them could be a great get come Wildcard time.

Pukki: He destroyed defenses in The Championship last season, but no one knows for sure how he’ll perform in the Premier League. I think he’s either a punt for those that are more risk tolerant or perhaps a wait-and-see until he gets a few games under his belt.

Deulofeu: Has a bit of a knock. And personally, don’t love him as a viable option. But, Watford’s opening match at home against Brighton could make him an appealing option for the short term.

Deeney: Not the most prolific of the bunch, but is always good for a run or two. But wouldn’t be the first name out of our mouths.

From the list, King is our first choice. Jota, Wood and Barnes are our second tier choices.

 

FPLFootballAdvice:

The £6.5m price bracket has proved to be an interesting topic in FPL ahead of gameweek 1. We have recently discussed this topic in our player price comparison video, which you can listen to in the below clip.

 

“Andy Robertson or Trent Alexander-Arnold?”

LetsTalkSoccer:

That’s the question of the week it seems! I think a lot of FPL managers, us included, were hoping that we’d see something so special in the Community Shield that it would make our decisions super easy. And, of course, that didn’t happen!

Of the two, we think Robertson played a better game. He was steady throughout the match, while TAA seemed off. He was beaten several times down that the side, allowing players like Sane to get inside the box, fire off shots and make some potentially dangerous crosses into the middle. And, it was from that side the KDB played in the ball that David Silva flicked on for Sterling to put away. So, if anything, TAA maybe fell out of favor a bit, especially when he came off before well before 90 minutes had expired.

It’s that concern – TAA possibly not playing or maybe even being rotated every once in a while – that appears to be his biggest drawback. Last season, he played 2,460 minutes to Robertson’s 3,216. TAA earned 185 FPL points and Robbo had 213. On a points per-match basis, that comes to 6.4 for Alexander-Arnold and 5.9 for Robertson.

When you look at it in those terms, TAA is the clear choice.  But, the question of rotation and limited minutes looms. While it seems that Robertson is more rotation-proof, Robbo played just about 8.5 games more than his counterpart did.

But, if TAA plays an equal number of minutes, or even cuts that difference in half, it makes him a favorite in our eyes, especially because he’s on free kicks and corners. In that respect, TAA has more opportunities to assist and possibly earn bonus points. Since TAA is a season older and has proven his ability to thrive in his role, we feel that Klopp will play him more than he did last season.

Either way, we don’t think managers can go wrong choosing either of them. Inevitably what will happen is that for those managers that choose Robertson, they will regret their decision when Alexander-Arnold scores or assists or gets more bonus points. And the same will happen with TAA owners when Robbo has a better game. It’s part of the madness of FPL!

Our advice: If you’re willing to take a light risk, Alexander-Arnold could be your man. If you tend to play a safer game, then Robertson could be right for you.

Oh, and one more thing… Don’t sleep on VVD. He made a statement with his assists on Liverpool’s game-tying goal. And, he’s a proper candidate for the Ballon D’Or. (And he’s £.5m less than these other guys!)

 

FPLFootballAdvice:

Both players were exceptional FPL value last season, with Robertson finishing the highest scoring defender with 213 points. However, starting the season last year at £5.0m, Alexander-Arnold proved to be the value pick in the Liverpool defence, finishing 28 points behind Robertson. Now both priced at £7.0m, there is a tough decision for those managers who can’t afford both in their sides.

Firstly we want to say that if your squad can remain balanced with both full backs involved, then that is a great FPL move. Both players prove their worth last season and we think they will remain two of the best defenders for this upcoming season.

Impressively TAA finished with the highest points per match at 6.4, hinting at serious potential for this season. With the additional benefit of set pieces, Alexander-Arnold managed 13 assists (1 more than Robertson) in 800 less minutes. We think that he is making a strong case to be the number 1 pick, but it depends on the type of manager you are.

Robertson offers brilliant attacking potential, still managing 12 assists throughout the season. The biggest appeal for the Scotsman is his game time security, with Liverpool having no real replacement to compete with him. As an FPL owner, especially over the opening game weeks, we think reducing the potential risk is a smart FPL move.

Our worry over Alexander-Arnold is the potential of Gomez taking away some minutes in certain games. We still think TAA is the ‘number 1’ right back at the club, but the risk of this rotation makes Robertson more appealing.

Both offer brilliant FPL potential, but for the opening game weeks our choice is the flying Scotsman, Andy Robertson.

On the topic of taking risks over the opening game weeks, check out why we think these should be limited by managers:

“Best captaincy option?”

LetsTalkSoccer:

Honestly, it’s hard to look past Mo in gameweek 1. Liverpool, defending champs of Europe, play at home to newly-promoted Norwich. The fans will be in a frenzy and the energy will be high. And Mo will look to assert himself as ‘The Man’ from the onset. This has hat-trick written all over it. He looked flat in the Community Shield, but he’ll shake that off. Not to worry.

For those that don’t have Salah or want another option, Sterling, playing away to West Ham, is another tasty morsel. He’s had a good summer, should’ve scored another 1 or 2 in the Community Shield and is a strong attacking threat.

Although he didn’t play in the Community Shield, we reckon that Aguero will get the start. Despite his away goal scoring history, it’s hard to go wrong with Kun.

Speaking of history, Kane has a bit of one in August. While he dispelled that voodoo last August, managers still seem reluctant to captain him. At home…to newly promoted Aston Villa…in a still-new stadium…coming off an excellent Spurs run in the Champions League…Kane is a solid pick.

Lastly, Arsenal are away at hurting Newcastle. Aubameyang, one of last season’s Golden Boot winners, should pounce on the opportunity. With Pepe in the squad, Auba should have a new asset feeding him chance after chance.

 

FPLFootballAdvice:

Picking the right captain each gameweek is an important part of FPL, especially over the opening gameweeks. As there is no player form to make decisions from, fixtures should be one of the biggest considerations.

Looking at the opening gameweeks, we think Liverpool, Man City, Tottenham and Bournemouth have some of the best fixtures.

  • Liverpool v Norwich
  • West Ham v Man City
  • Tottenham v Aston Villa
  • Bournemouth v Sheffield United

Our top gameweek 1 captaincy option comes from the Liverpool fixture in the form of Mo Salah. Salah has been the top FPL points scorer for the past 2 seasons and looked sharp in his Community Shield match against Man City.

Liverpool averaged 2.9 goals every home league match last season, remaining unbeaten throughout and only drawing 2 home matches. Meanwhile, Norwich won the Championship last season, however conceded 57 goals in 46 league matches. We think that the stats suggest a big win for Liverpool Friday night and expect Salah to get on the scoresheet.

Tottenham equally have a brilliant fixture to start the season against newly-promoted Aston Villa. Harry Kane would be our top captaincy option from Spurs, with guaranteed gametime and set piece responsibilities. With 2 goals over preseason, Kane looks to be back to match sharpness after an injury hit campaign last year.

Aston Villa spent big over the summer transfer window, making them a tough team to predict especially in gameweek 1. However, we think Spurs to have too much for Aston Villa and Kane is a great captaincy option for gameweek 1.

Although Man City play away in the opening gameweek, we don’t see any reason why this should put off managers from captaining a City asset. Man City won 14 of their 19 away league matches last season, scoring an average of 2 goals per match.

One top pick from Man City would be Raheem Sterling, featured heavily over preseason scoring 4 goals and 1 goal in the Community Shield. Averaging 6.9 points per match last season, we expect Sterling to continue this form this year.

A great captain option, but we would still sway towards Salah and his brilliant opening home fixture.

For those looking for a differential pick, Bournemouth’s home fixture to Sheffield United looks the best option. Our pick from this would be Callum Wilson, the 5thhighest scoring forward last year and 14 goals. A great FPL option this year and one that could be a differential option for those playing that strategy.

 

“Must-own players for gameweek 1”

LetsTalkSoccer:

It’s a tasty list of payers…

  • Sterling
  • Salah
  • VVD-TAA-Robbo (1 or 2 of the three)
  • Digne (or Coleman)
  • KDB (or Bernardo Silva)
  • Aguero
  • Kane
  • Aubameyang
  • Ederson
  • Walker or Laporte
  • Eriksen
  • Vardy
  • Wilson
  • Fraser

We don’t think you can go wrong with a Starting XI from this lot!

 

FPLFootballAdvice:

We don’t usually like to recommend ‘must-owns’, however there are players that seem brilliant FPL value. For us, when building your gameweek 1 squad it should be largely made up of proven players with the occasional punts.

Below are players or team structures that we have been considering throughout our drafts up until this point:

Man City – at least 1 defender and 1 midfielder

  • Laporte
  • Zinchenko
  • Sterling
  • Debruyne

Liverpool – double-up in defence and 1 midfielder

  • Robertson
  • Alexander-Arnold
  • Van Dijk
  • Salah

Everton – 1 defender and 1 midfielder

  • Digne
  • Sigurdsson
  • Kean

Tottenham – attacking assets

  • Kane
  • Moura

Leicester – attacking assets

  • Perez
  • Tielemans
  • Vardy

Bournemouth – attacking assets

  • Fraser
  • Wilson
  • King

 


 

Thanks again to LetsTalkSoccer for contributing to this weeks Q&A article, make sure to give there account a follow.

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