The Fantasy Football Scout World Cup of FPL is now in full swing, as we drop into a tough to call Group D.
Vying for the title of the ‘Group of Death’, today we’ve got a Liverpool derby, Lionel Messi’s favourite rival and a man that, until recently, arguably divided opinion in the Fantasy community.
To keep you in the loop, here are the first-round groups in full detail, including the latest results.
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|1. Frank Lampard||1. Thierry Henry||1. Harry Kane||1. Cristiano Ronaldo|
|2. Robin van Persie||2. Gareth Bale||2. Didier Drogba||2. Trent Alexander-Arnold|
|3. ||3. ||3. ||3. |
|4. ||4. ||4. ||4. |
|Group E||Group F||Group G||Group H|
|1. Wayne Rooney||1. Luis Suarez||1. Kevin De Bruyne||1. Sergio Aguero|
|2. Marcos Alonso||2. John Terry||2. Leighton Baines||2. Mohamed Salah|
|3. ||3. ||3. ||3. |
|4. ||4. ||4. ||4. |
As you can see, we’ve now got a fierce clash battle between Andrew Robertson, Cristiano Ronaldo and Eden Hazard.
Take a closer look at each option before voting in the poll below or in the side-bar.
Now one of the most expensive defenders in the game, it is almost unbelievable that three years ago, you could purchase Andrew Robertson for under £5.0m.
At the start of 2017/18, the former Hull City man was sharing minutes with Alberto Moreno at Liverpool but made the left-back position his own after the turn of the year.
Having depreciated from the rotation, a select number of FPL managers were able to bring Robertson in for a staggeringly low price of £4.6m before he lit up the end of 2017/18.
In his final 13 appearances of the season, the Scottish international racked up a goal, four assists and a clean sheet, registering a mega-haul on the final day of the campaign to boot.
Starting the next season at £6.0m, Robertson still provided excellent value, held through all 38 Gameweeks by many in the Fantasy community as he smashed the all-time FPL score for a defender.
Knocking Joleon Lescott’s previous total off its perch, Roberston got to 213 by May 2019, combining 12 assists with 21 clean sheets and 29 bonus.
So, in less than three years, Robertson went from a sub-£5.0m defender to a £7.0m as one of the crucial pieces of the Liverpool puzzle in Fantasy Football.
It’s been a long time but since Cristiano Ronaldo graced the Premier League with his presence, but we still fondly remember his final three seasons at Manchester United.
By the time the Portuguese superstar left Old Trafford, he had become an essential £14.0m midfielder who simply delivered (almost every week).
Ronaldo’s Fantasy dominance began in 2006/07, his fourth in Manchester. After 16 attacking returns in 2005/06, he flexed his muscles by finishing the next campaign with 17 goals and 15 assists.
That was enough to earn him the first of three back-to-back appearances in the end of season Dream Team.
The following year, Ronaldo hit a 31-goal season adding seven assists into the mix before providing a Red Devils swansong of 25 goal involvements in 2008/09.
During this period, Ronaldo was a lynchpin in our Fantasy teams. It was never quite Ronaldo and 14 other players, but even £14.0m was a price worth paying for someone who delivered as regularly as he did.
Eden Hazard is a true Fantasy great, who displayed exceptional explosiveness and longevity, even if his latter years in the Premier League were a little topsy-turvy.
The Chelsea midfielder hit double-figures for goals scored in five of his seven years in the English top-flight, scoring over 200 points on four occasions.
In fact, he appeared among the season’s top 10 FPL points scorers five times between 2012/13 and 2018/19, was in the top five players on four occasions, proving the outright top-scorer in 2014/15.
It was only Mohamed Salah that stopped Hazard from being the top-scoring player in his final year at Chelsea, in which he smashed his personal best score.
Scoring 16 goals and assisting another 15, the Belgian amassed a 238-point campaign, beating his previous record of 233 (2014/15) by five.
There were some in the Fantasy community, of which this author is one, who felt a little trolled by Hazard at times, perhaps accentuated by Chelsea’s changeable form from one season to the next.
2015/16 was a memorable one when the Blues even battled against relegation for a time, and clashes with Jose Mourinho saw Hazard produce just five goals and four assists.
There were similar issues with Antonio Conte in 2017/18, which led to a slow start before Hazard was able to arrest the slide a little with a 173-point campaign.
However, despite those blips, over the course of a seven-year stay in England, Hazard’s numbers are very impressive indeed.
Like his Liverpool colleague, Trent Alexander-Arnold experienced a rapid rise to the top of the FPL world.
It means that in a short space of time, the right-back has proved to be both an extreme budget differential defender, an arguably essential premium stopper and outside bet for captaincy.
Again, like Robertson, 2017/18 was the year that Alexander-Arnold arrived on the scene, scoring 83 points as a £4.5m defender.
2018/19 was his breakout year though. After starting at £5.0m, he broke the record for assists produced by a defender in a Premier League season with 13, ending it as a £5.8m option. That was even without playing the campaign in full, starting just 27 matches and outscoring Robertson in the latter half of his own record-breaking campaign.
What has been played of 2019/20 thus far has cemented Alexander-Arnold’s place in the history books though. After 29 Gameweeks, the right-back has already broken last season’s assist record, currently at 14. Furthermore, he went on a run of starts between Gameweek 14 and 27 when Alexander-Arnold went without a single blank, capping it off with a memorable 24-point haul at Leicester. That saw him register four attacking returns, a clean sheet and maximum bonus in one match.
Even more exciting is the fact that this young player is clearly at the very beginning of a Fantasy journey that, in five years time, could see him as one of the most reliable assets of all time. Hopefully, we’ll soon find out.