Welcome to the First FPL Player Picks of the season!
After less than seven weeks since the end of the last season, we’re already back and facing our first deadline for 2020-21! Thanks to the European competitions and the International games, we had plenty of football to keep us occupied during this short-break away (and we have our first wrinkle in the schedule, blanks by four teams!).
16 of the 20 Premier League teams will feature this game-week, with Manchester City, Manchester United, Aston Villa and Burnley out due to the promised rest period following the Manchester teams’ Champions and Europa League exits. The schedulers weren’t clever enough to reschedule the fixtures for midweek (I could have), so they’ll pop up later this season as DGWs, stay tuned!
Fulham vs Arsenal will kick off the season on Saturday, with Crystal Palace vs Southampton, Liverpool vs Leeds and West Ham vs Newcastle to follow. West Brom vs Leicester and Tottenham vs Everton will take place on Sunday; and lastly Sheffield United vs Wolves plus Brighton vs Chelsea will complete the game-week on Monday.
It’s worth noting that the EPL Summer Transfer Window doesn’t close until October 5th, so make sure you keep a weather-eye on your Fantasy Football assets and how they could be impacted with any potential transfers out... or IN!
Hugo Lloris - £5.5Mil - Everton (H)
Since coming back from injury during the Premier League restart, Lloris and Spurs have been much improved at the back. Lloris kept four clean-sheets during that time, conceding only seven goals in nine appearances. Mourinho’s tactical defensive approach looks to be coming into fruition as Spurs continue to tighten up. Everton struggled for goals during the restart, bagging only seven in nine.
Alex McCarthy - £4.5Mil - Crystal Palace (A)
A popular budget option who has been selected by many teams and now sits as the 3rd most owned goalkeeper, just shy of 20% ownership in FPL. Southampton, who were much improved, face a Crystal Palace side who are in terrible form and tipped for relegation. The Eagles blanked six of nine during Restart.
Trent Alexander-Arnold - £7.5Mil - Leeds (H)
The Liverpool right wing-back will be looking to continue his scintillating form from last season, one in which he scored four goals and registered 13 assists. He’s currently the highest owned player in FPL. He faces newly promoted Leeds at Anfield, so he has a great chance to earn fantasy points at both ends of the pitch. Van Dijk and Robertson also offer a good double-up option for Liverpool defensive assets.
Enda Stevens - £5.0Mil - Wolves (H)
Sheffield United had the 4th best defense in the league last season, and Stevens was pivotal to this with his consistent performances, featuring in all 38 games. As well as being part of a strong defensive side, Stevens offers up attacking potential, having scored two goals and registering four assists last season. In the same fixture last season, the Blades ground-out a 1-0 victory over Wolves; they drew 1-1 in the reverse fixture.
Rúben Vinagre - £4.5Mil - Sheffield United (A)
Here’s a budget option due to start the season for Wolves in place of the injured Jonny. Although Sheffield United have proven themselves to be a strong defensive unit, they aren’t exactly blessed with goals, scoring only 39 in the league last season. This could well be a stale-mate as two strong defensive sides may cancel each other out. Vingare will have attacking potential, as he’s currently in line to start in the left wing-back position.
Mo Salah - £12.0Mil - Leeds (H)
Salah facing a newly promoted side at home is reason enough to be excited. He’s a player who has proven over the last two seasons he can pull in big hauls. Having scored 74 goals in his last 3 EPL seasons, he is a points machine. He can help the defending Champions as well as Fantasy Managers get off to a dream start. Liverpool has been strong starting in recent seasons, and Salah has scored on opening day in all three of his seasons so far. Who has the nerve to use their Triple-Captain chip?
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - £12.0Mil - Fulham (A)
Arsenal’s talisman has had a change of FPL position this year, giving him a high points potential. Aubameyang has been in great form, captaining Arsenal to glory in the FA Cup where he scored two goals in both the semifinal and the final, and then getting on the scoresheet again to help win the Community Shield — including the winning penalty. Don’t bet against him scoring against newly promoted Fulham. The Gunners netted five in their last visit to Craven Cottage in 2018, with Arsenal’s captain himself notching a brace.
Son Heung-Min - £9.0Mil - Everton (H)
Here’s a player who can be explosive on any day. Son has impressed for Spurs in pre-season, with four goals plus two assists. Son was lively in the EPL restart, scoring twice and assisting thrice in the nine matches. Overall last season, he hit double-digits in both goals and assists (11 goals, 10 assists), which is encouraging when you consider that he featured in only 29 games. FPL managers are confident he’ll return; his ownership currently stands at 30%.
Jarred Bowen - £6.5Mil - Newcastle (H)
With just 1% ownership in the game, Bowen is a serious differential, and one that is affordable. The former Hull City man was promising for the Hammers during Restart, scoring a goal and getting assists; one of which was against Newcastle. He scored twice in the 5-3 loss to Bournemouth in their recent pre-season fixture.
Jamie Vardy - £10Mil - West Brom (A)
A player who has a positive record in scoring against the Baggies, with four goals in eight appearances against the West Midlands side, Vardy won the solo Golden-Boot last season with 23 goals. With five braces and a hattrick, he doesn’t show any sign of slowing down yet. The good news is that Leicester have some good early fixtures, so the Foxes’ frontman should profit.
Aleksandar Mitrović - £6.0Mil
Although the Gunners have been much improved since Arteta’s arrival, they have some new signings at the back, so it may take them some time to adjust and find form. Mitrović is the type of physical and combative forward whom Arsenal won’t want to face during this settling-in period. Fulham may be the underdogs, but that doesn’t mean Mitrović won’t get on the scoresheet. The Serbian scored 26 goals in the Championship last season and has previous Premier League experience, with double-digit goal returns in his previous EPL season with Fulham.
Timo Werner - £9.5Mil - Brighton (A)
It’s always risky investing in a player with no Premier League experience, but the German International registered 28 goals and 8 in the Bundesliga last season (among the best in all European leagues), and he is now at the apex of an elite Chelsea attack that has considerably strengthened in the transfer window so far. Werner is affordable now, but his price should soon rise. Facing a bottom-half team in GW-1... what more could you ask for?
What do you think of our picks this week? How have you factored in players from the teams who don’t feature? What are your predictions in this game-week? Please let us know in the comments section below!