Here is the team I’m going to begin the season with, we’ll see where things go! We’d love to have you join our league (the competition ID number is at the bottom).
I see absolutely no reason to go cheap on goalkeepers, the price between keepers is at most £2. They don’t get anymore solid than de Gea, although Lössl does a nice job. I also think that if the “Mourinho is disappointed in his squad” storyline is to be believed that his United team is likely to park the bus and fight for 1-0 victories (see last season…). I also think Ederson is probably in play (although you can read more on my Man City thoughts here).
- Schindler £4.5 (17/18 pts: 102)
- £5.5 (17/18 pts: 130)
- Yedlin £4.5 (17/18 pts: 88)
- Fredericks £5 (17/18 pts: N/A)
- Lovren £5 (17/18 pts: 110)
Schindler and Löwe put up good numbers for Brighton in terms of dispossessions, clearances, and interceptions — they also tended to contribute on the offensive side of the game with crosses. At £4.5, I think either has merit — however, I went with Schindler due to his better form last season and the massive amount of versatility he provides (he can and has played anywhere on the back line).
I selected Yedlin, partially because he plays in one of only a few areas not experiencing a shake up for Newcastle and also because of the increase in quality around him. If Newcastle doesn’t have to be in a completely defensive role Yedlin has the desire and ability to contribute on the attacking side with quality crosses at minimum.
tends to play balls up the left side to Özil, but like Schindler contributes to multiple phases in the game. He also averages a few goals a season and a couple of assists, and his track record supports the slight increase in cost over the other defenders here.
Ryan Fredericks is somewhat of a punt based off of his awesome season in the championship last year and the knowledge that he’ll be surrounded with substantially improved players (see more here). Fredericks made 44 appearances for Fulham last season and played almost every minute available, providing 9 assists, and was named to the Best XI for the Championship.
Dejan Lovren is part of a much-retooled Liverpool side (see more here), but he like the other defenders in this section is fully capable of contributing on both ends of the pitch. He provides the opportunity for points from interceptions, crosses, long balls, interceptions, and I think with the addition of Alisson, the clean sheet bonus is in play.
- Mo Salah £13 (17/18 pts: 303)
- Pogba £8 (17/18 pts: 138)
- Fred £6 (17/18 pts: N/A)
- Jahanbakhsh £7 (17/18 pts: N/A)
- Jack Wilshere £5 (17/18 pts: 46)
To say Salah was a beast last year might be the understatement of at least the decade. Liverpool’s offense largely flowed through him and I expect absolutely no changes this year, except that with the addition of Alison the team won’t be as stretched defensively.
I’m aware that Pogba has had his ups and downs but I think the “drama” between Mourinho and Pogba is way overblown. I also think that their biggest concerns have been over Pogba being too attacking focused. He’s coming off of a fantastic World Cup (where France won — in case you haven’t heard) where he was influential (maybe even, instrumental) in their conquest.
Fred is new addition to this team and will likes slot directly into the first team. He was brought in to replace the retiring Michael Carrick. For £6, I think he and Pogba are worth the little bit of gamble. The only real concern I have is the sheer volume of goals scored, I have no doubt that these two will be involved.
I covered Jahanbakhsh in my Brighton write up (read it here), but I think he’s going to have a very productive season — and I think that if BHA avoids relegation, it will be because of him.
Wilshere made the swap from Arsenal to West Ham largely over playing time, I don’t think he would have made the swap without playing time guarantees. He was fairly successful last season in limited playing for Arsenal, and I think that his playing time will explode — so at this price, I think he’s a steal. I imagine he’s going to be a big part of this offense and he has the skill to back it up.
Harry Kane not only had a phenomenal Premier League season last year, but his form continued into the World Cup. I see no reason to avoid him here, and Tottenham is going to need him (and Erickson and Heung-Min Son) to come up big for them to ensure that the Spurs have a good season. I always like to pick guys that are integral to their teams success.
The team surrounding Marko Arnautovic has improved greatly (read more here), and they still plan on him being the focal point. He drew the attention of a lot of good teams after last year’s performances and I think this season will be no different.
Joshua King was one of the goalscorers that kept Bournemouth in a good spot in the table. The side added another attacking midfielder and I think this will translate to even more opportunities for King to finish. They’ve also shored up the back — which hopefully means that King will have some more support, but you can read more in my write up on this team (here).
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