After several week’s of tinkering, my FPL Gameweek 1 side is starting to come together. I came up with a wishlist around four weeks ago that I’ve managed to accommodate, but it has come with compromise.
– Three Premium Attackers
– Two Liverpool Defenders
– Manchester City Defender
– Everton Defender
– Bournemouth Attacker
– Leicester Attacker
Current FPL Team
I quickly realised I wasn’t prepared to compromise on premium attackers; Salah couldn’t become Mane, Sterling couldn’t become De Bruyne and Harry Kane was an ever-present in my thoughts.
I had settled on a 3-5-2 earlier in pre-season, with Noble and Jorginho as enablers. However, the former is injured and the latter isn’t on penalties as hoped so I’ve been forced to change things up in the last few days.
Tom Heaton’s move to Villa has freed up Nick Pope to be a favourable budget goalkeeper, bringing Zinchenko into the back as an alternative to Ederson and shifting to a 4-4-2 formation.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s lacklustre performance in the Community Shield has led to selecting Virgil Van Dijk and Andrew Robertson as my Liverpool defenders: as a Hull City fan, I’ll always have a soft spot for Robo.
Lucas Digne was eventually preferred over Seamus Coleman for the security of starts and greater attacking threat: clean sheets look less likely after the departures of Kurt Zouma and Gueye so selecting the more consistent full-back from an attacking perspective made sense.
Oliver Norwood has become the £5.0 million midfield enabler, alongside a budget bench. He has reasonable opening fixtures, plus he’s the set-piece man at Sheffield United. There’s the hope of an odd assist from the many chances he creates.
I’m chasing penalties with Josh King, despite believing Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser are better options. A Cherries attacker was important with their attractive pair of opening fixtures against promoted clubs.
Youri Tielemans was in my initial drafts as the Leicester attacker, but Ayoze Perez appears to be fit and out of position so he gets the nod now. The budget wouldn’t allow pushing up to Jamie Vardy or James Maddison, who are likely to be more prolific.
I’m planning to initially run this team in Fantasy Divisions also, alongside my main FPL team as much as possible, although this will deviate at some point during the season, given the subtle differences between the formats.
I’m also planning to enter an additional side into Fantasy Divisions which exploits the first two gameweeks to qualify for a top division: names like Aubameyang, Sigurdsson, Moura, Wilson and Fraser come to mind as wise selections here.