Andy, @LetsTalk_FPL, opens his weekly 90MAAT column with five players who could set FPL alight in GW1. How many are in your squad?
£13m – Mo Salah v West Ham (H)
When selecting players who are going to perform and pick up FPL points, there’s always a tendency to look for a diamond in the rough.
That’s a player who’s going ‘under the radar’ that other Fantasy Premier League managers aren’t looking at putting in their teams.
Sometimes however you just have to make the obvious choice and Mo Salah is that player for the opening gameweek. Clocking up 303 points last season with 32 goals and 12 assists he looks primed to continue that with a GW1 fixture against West Ham at Anfield.
With more than 50% of all managers owning the Egyptian already it will be a brave manager that goes without the king of Egypt.
£10.5m – Alexis Sanchez v Leicester (H)
I don’t advocate picking players based on the days they feature, but it’s always nice to have some kind of coverage in the opening game of the season and Alexis Sanchez could be the man to perform on Friday night.
His start at Manchester United was subdued, failing to make an initial impact and performing below the standards we’d seen at Arsenal. However the Chilean has now had a summer off from football after not featuring at the World Cup and has a solid pre-season under his belt.
With Lukaku and Pogba suffering from World Cup hangovers we could see Sanchez take up the talisman role for the opening game with him needing to be the catalyst that drives the United attack.
He managed two goals and one assist in pre-season and I’d back him to score well at Old Trafford against a Leicester side that look likely to be missing key men in the form of Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire.
£4.5m – Jeffrey Schlupp v Fulham (A)
One of my favourite things in Fantasy Premier League is having an out of position defender in your squad.
This is a player listed as a defender in the game who plays further forward for their team as a midfielder or potentially even a striker. Listed as a £4.5m defender, Schlupp fits that bill after playing in a role which has seen him on the left side of midfield throughout pre-season and scoring two goals to boot.
Even with the more advanced position, Schlupp will still benefit from any clean sheets Palace obtain and there’s potential in their opener against Fulham. It is always difficult to predict how newly promoted teams will react and perform when making the jump from the Championship to Premier League, but Palace have the potential to cause Fulham problems at Craven Cottage.
Fulham have made some good signings in the form of Alfie Mawson, Callum Chambers and Aleksandar Mitrovic but I think there’s a chance the Ghanaian international can get returns at both ends of the pitch.
£7m – Lucas Moura – v Newcastle (A)
Moura is likely to be a player who benefits from a lack of World Cup action.
After joining Spurs in January 2018 the Brazilian only featured in a total of 206 minutes in the remainder of the 2017/18 campaign. With competition in the form of Son and Lamela as well as an established core of Alli, Eriksen and Kane, it was difficult for him to break into the first team.
With Alli and Kane likely to have reduced minutes in GW1 and Son flying off to the Asian games in GW2 we should see Pochettino deploy Moura in the first XI for the opening game week.
He’s had a very productive pre-season, scoring four goals and recording two assists, and comes up against a Newcastle side where “things are not going well on or off the pitch ahead of the new season” according to manager Rafa Benitez. He’ll be keen to impress in the Premier League and has the platform to do so.
£6.5m – Josh King – v Cardiff (H)
With the risk of being accused of knee jerking a player into my picks based on pre-season (you’d be right), I’m predicting the Norwegian to get off to a flyer against Cardiff.
Similarly to Schlupp, it’s always tough to predict the opening gameweek, especially with newly promoted sides but I feel Cardiff are probably in the worst position of the Championship sides from last season when it comes to the quality available in their squad.
After missing some games through illness and injury last season he ended with 5 goals in the final 10 games and has looked fit and ready to go during pre-season.
A fully fit Josh King once scored 16 goals in a single season back in 2016/17 and has the fixture to start this season off to a flyer, as he looks to better that tally.