It was all smiles at the end of Gameweek 1 (GW1) as the Fantasy Premier League season got off to a flyer.
An average score of 65 was pretty impressive as several big-hitters delivered in the opening round of the Premier League fixtures.
Mohamed Salah (12.5m) did not disappoint while Raheem Sterling (12.1m) was the highest scorer with a hat-trick. Harry Kane (11m) bagged a brace as did Ashley Barnes (6.5m). Meanwhile, Manchester United assets gave FPL managers plenty to think about after their 4-0 win over Chelsea.
GW2, however, serves up a few more tricky fixtures. Liverpool and United travel to Southampton and Wolves respectively while Manchester City take on Tottenham at the Etihad in the match of the weekend.
Here’s a few picks to help you get off to a great start.
CAPTAIN – MOHAMED SALAH | LIVERPOOL | 12.5M
Salah was always going to be the safe option for the captaincy in GW1 and after coming good, there’s no reason to shift the armband on to someone else.
Sure, Sterling might have a few FPL managers thinking, especially those who may have captained him to begin with, but with Spurs to play next his appeal isn’t as high for this weekend.
After impressing during the Community Shield clash with City, Salah was again Liverpool’s main man in attack when Norwich paid them a visit. Not only did he deliver a goal and assist but his three key passes were also encouraging.
Salah is also one of the more consistent away performers in the game and particularly enjoys facing Southampton. The Egyptian has bagged five goals and an assist in four games against the Saints.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (11.0m) was absolutely clinical, finishing superbly to earn Arsenal all three points at Newcastle. While the lack of chances for the striker was a concern, he should see more at home to Burnley with Unai Emery expected to field a much stronger starting XI.
New arrivals Nicolas Pepe, Danil Ceballos, David Luiz and Kieran Tierney may all enter the fray to boost the Gunners.
SADIO MANE (11.5m) has been among the most transferred out players this week after Divock Origi started the opening game. However, the Senegalese should return to the starting line-up with another week of training under his belt.
There’s every chance he delivers against his former side and punishes FPL managers who may have been too hasty in getting rid of him.
TEEMU PUKKI (6.5m) was hugely impressive against Liverpool, already proving he can score against the big sides. He has no shortage of supply lines and looked really sharp getting in behind, managing three shots at Anfield when Jamie Vardy didn’t register any at home to Wolves and Callum Wilson had just one at home to Sheffield United.
A goal and seven points in arguably the toughest fixture bodes well for the future and playing Newcastle at home this time could well see him add to his tally.
ONE TO GET
ADRIAN | LIVERPOOL | 4.5M
Alisson Becker is expected to miss 4-6 weeks so Adrian is a really cheap way in to Liverpool’s clean sheet points for now. In 19 games during the 2017/18 season, he managed six clean sheets and an impressive 71.9 per cent save rate.
This move is also an opportunity to downgrade a Liverpool defender and use that money elsewhere. Make the switch soon though or it loses value. The Reds travel to Southampton who had just three shots on target in a 3-0 defeat at Burnley in GW1.
ONE TO AVOID
BERNARDO SILVA | MANCHESTER CITY | 8.0M
He may be one of the best players in the league but in FPL terms, Bernardo Silva is something of a liability this season. While the Portuguese proved to be good value last term at 7m, his price rise of 1m this time still doesn’t come with a guaranteed starting berth.
He was benched in GW with Riyad Mahrez (8.5m) starting on the wing instead and David Silva (7.5m) partnering Kevin De Bruyne (9.5m) in the middle. Even when he does start, Bernardo is an unselfish player and therefore doesn’t boast a high ceiling. You won’t get many double-figure hauls from him.
TODD CANTWELL | NORWICH CITY | 4.5M
Everything you need to know about how highly Todd Cantwell is regarded at Carrow Road is written on the back of his shirt. The iconic No14 of club legend Wes Hoolahan has been bestowed upon the 21-year-old and early signs suggest he may actually do it justice.
Cantwell has been most likened to James Maddison though, who created more chances than anyone in Europe last season. After a tough opening day at Anfield, Cantwell already has three chances to his name. If he can turn that creativity into FPL points, he could be a real bargain in an attacking Norwich outfit.
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