Here at The Soccer Sofa, we can not wait for the new season to begin. Between now and Friday 11th August when Arsenal take on Leicester City, each of our editors will be talking you through their fantasy league team and giving you the reasons why they’ve picked the players they’ve chosen. First up, Jack Cox;
My fantasy football history has been a rocky one, for sure. Usually used to finishing high up the table in my leagues, last season was shocking for me – finishing fourth in my league and using my triple captain on a player who got injured in the 7th minute of the game – nightmare. It is fair to say I’m determined to get back up to the top of the pile this season!
Between the sticks I’ve gone for David De Gea, who in my opinion, is the best keeper in England, priced at 5.5. Goalkeepers are often overlooked by FPL managers, but there are big points to be won here. Mourinho has brought in Nemanja Matic to sit in front of his defenders, which includes new boy Victor Lindelof, so expect a lot of clean sheets from United – somewhat of a Mourinho trademark. 4 points for a goalkeeper clean sheet, 1 point for every three saves made and 2 points for playing more than 60 minutes in a game means that De Gea could be easily racking up the points for my team.
The first of my defenders is Eric Baily, for reasons pretty much identical to those why I chose David De Gea. Baily impressed me a lot last season and I feel he’s only going to get better in his second season in England, and I’m pretty sure he’ll be one of the first names on Mourinho’s team sheet throughout the season, priced at 6.0.
Next up, another defender priced at 6.0, I’ve chosen Arsenal new boy Sead Kolasinac. I understand that it is always a bit of a risk going for a player who is unproven in England, but hear me out. Wenger seems to have adopted a system similar to Chelsea’s last season, where the wing backs have a lot of offensive freedom. Kolasinac will have a role similar to that of Marcos Alonso, who is the most expensive defender in this years game, priced at 7.0 after he picked up a whopping 177 points. Having the freedom to go forward will surely see Kolasinac pick up some assists, worth 3 points, as well as picking up clean sheets, worth 4 – which I can see Arsenal doing this season now they’re playing five at the back.
My last defender in a back three is Kieran Trippier, costing me 5.5. Trippier will definitely be Tottenham’s starting right back this season since the departure of Kyle Walker, and Spurs had the best defence in the league last season. With Harry Kane leading the line for Spurs, I’m hoping Trippier picks up some assist points, as his crossing is up there with some of the best in the league. My only worry is Wembley, and whether Poccetino’s men can adapt to playing there.
Onto the midfield now, and I’ve chosen Mesut Ozil, priced at 9.5.. Mesut picked up 167 points last season, and whilst he may be frustrating to watch in real life, he is always brilliant at picking up those fantasy points. With Arsenal not being in the Champions League this coming season, you can guarantee Ozil will be playing week in, week out. Not to mention the fact that Arsenal have FINALLY splashed the cash on a new centre forward in Lacazette – and no one will be happier than Ozil. Expect plenty of assists.
Secondly, I’ve chosen Willian. Willian is one of those players who is likely to pick up points early on in the season due to Eden Hazard missing the start due to injury. Willian spent a lot of his time on the bench last season, but still picked up 114 points in just less than 1200 minutes, a decent return. He’ll be keen to show Antonio Conte that he deserves a starting role even when the Belgian is back from his injury. It is also worth noting that Willian has looked impressive in Chelsea’s pre-season, netting four times and providing one assist in the four games he has played. Priced at only 7.0, he’s a good shout for the start of the season, but it is worth looking at whether he’ll keep his place after the international break.
My third midfielder is a bit of a gamble – Stoke City’s Ramadan Sobhi. With Arnautovic going to West Ham, Sobhi will slot into that Stoke wing and try and make an impact before the transfer window closes. He is a tricky winger who impressed when given a chance next season, and priced at only 5.0 he is worth giving a thought.
Lastly, I’ve chosen Dele Alli. A guaranteed starter for a title chasing side with Christen Eriksen and Harry Kane playing up top with him – he’s sure to be raking up the points. I chose Alli as my main midfielder, and possible captain option. Unlike other contenders in Alexis Sanchez and Eden Hazard, Alli is guaranteed to be starting the season from the off, and is also cheaper than my two other options at 9.5. Picking up 225 points last season, I think the only way is up for the Englishman who is going to be wanting an excellent season before the World Cup next summer.
As most tend to do, I’ve gone for three up front. The first of which, Romelu Lukaku, who costs 11.5, the most expensive player in my side. Lukaku was just a shade behind Harry Kane in terms of goalscoring last season, but has upgraded from Everton to Manchester United. Playing with better players around him is going to do Lukaku a world of good, and I’d put my money on him ending the season as the league’s top scorer. I chose him over Harry Kane as the last two seasons have suggested that Kane is a slow burner and it takes him a few weeks to get into top form.
My second striker is Gabriel Jesus. His per-match stats last season were absolutely ridiculous, and touch-wood he avoids injury this season, 10.5 could prove to be a very good price. Playing alongside Sergio Aguero, I’m sure Jesus will be picking up both goals and assists galore. A free flowing City side will definitely suit the Brazilian who is going to be looking to really set his name alongside some of the world’s best strikers this season.
Last but not least, I’ve chosen my cheaper striker option, 7.0 priced Javier Hernandez. Chicharito’s arrival at the London Stadium will surely see him settle down in the centre forward position at West Ham, his goal per game ratio is one of the best that the Premier League has ever seen, and scoring 11 in 20 starts for Leverkusen last season shows that the little pea has still got it in the tank.