It’s the first FPL picks of 2020; are you excited, or full of trepidation? What about 2019, is there anything you look back on fondly, or are you happy for the calendar to turn? I know the goals of Sadio Mane, Jamie Vardy and others filled the past year with joy for fantasy managers. There’ve also been the unfortunate absences for favorites like Paul Pogba, Leroy Sane, and Kevin De Bruyne. Let’s wish health for everyone in the new year, it would be great for us to enjoy the talents of all these top players.
VAR was a big topic this year, and the wish is that the Premier League can figure a way to stop it from being the major talking point in 2020. There are now long pauses being taken around the globe when a goal is scored in the Premier League; in stadiums, in homes and pubs worldwide, and in the fantasy world. Goals and assists that provide points which could take you up a mini-league are being taken back because of armpits and inches (and a misunderstanding of the inherent imprecision of video evidence).
Nick Pope (£4.7, Burnley v. Aston Villa)
This game is a good opportunity to get back to winning ways for Sean Dyche’s men. A big performance from Pope usually helps to achieve that.
Paulo Gazzaniga (£4.6, Tottenham at Southampton)
Spurs don’t defend like a Jose Mourinho team, he will want to change that.
Ryan Fredericks (£4.5, West Ham v. Bournemouth)
I have no idea which players the rehired David Moyes will turn to, but I think he will pay more attention to defending than his predecessor did.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.4, Liverpool v. Sheffield United)
Very premium price for a defender, part of the reason for the budget picks elsewhere. Ten assists on the season and three clean sheets in a row make him a must.
Ben Chilwell (£5.7, Leicester at Newcastle)
The man who most likely will be on the opposite flank from Trent at Euro 2020 for England.
Kyle Walker (£5.8, Manchester City v. Everton)
If you listen to the quotes of Pep Guardiola praising Carlo Ancelotti before this game, you would not be confident. Aymeric Laporte will return soon but I think the clean sheets can start now.
Martin Kelly (£4.4, Crystal Palace at Norwich City)
Easy on the budget, we take a chance Palace can keep Teemu Pukki and teammates out.
Pablo Fornals (£6.0, West Ham v. Bournemouth)
The form player at West Ham, David Moyes will look to him to get off to a winning start.
Anthony Martial (£7.9, Manchester United at Arsenal)
The big game of the new year fixtures finds both giants outside the top four. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs Martial to stay fit to help him achieve a Champions League place. If he does, then he will score goals.
Mo Salah (£12.3, Liverpool v. Sheffield United)
He’s due. He’s my captain. You’ve been warned.
Ismaila Sarr (£6.2, Watford v. Wolves)
This game can sneakily end up being the best of the opening fixtures of 2020. A total of four or more goals is possible, Sarr should be among those on the scoresheet.
Kevin De Bruyne (£10.5, Manchester City v. Everton)
One of only two players owned by over half of all FPL managers, KDB is a great captain option this week.
Tammy Abraham (£7.8, Chelsea at Brighton)
I’ll be honest: This spot belonged to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang right until it was time to type the words. Manchester United have been doing well against traditional rivals lately, which caused the late shift. Abraham scored in the last one and let’s hope it gave him confidence.
Jamie Vardy (£10.1, Leicester at Newcastle)
Missed the last game due to birth of a child, he’s now rested and will look to get right back to what he does best which is score goals.
Raul Jimenez (£7.5, Wolves at Watford)
It would be a surprise if a Champions League team didn’t come in with an offer in the summer; the Mexican is top class.
No Harry Kane, Dele Alli, or Danny Ings for me this week. I simply believe the Watford and Wolves fixture will have the goals. Good luck to everyone, wish you all a Happy 2020. My wish is to select better captains, have fun and many green arrows.
So who’s on your shopping list? On your watch list? And which matches will you watch just for fun? Please let us know in the comments below!