Pro Pundits - Az

Why my latest team for FPL Gameweek 1 features 4-3-3 formation

The new season draws near. I’m getting myself mentally prepared for all the ups and downs that Fantasy Football brings, while consciously aware that this looks set to be the most difficult to predict season ever.

The continuing threat of Coronavirus looms over us all, with new cases of COVID-19 potentially impacting upon our own lives, as well as the decisions we make as Fantasy managers.

I would love to say that the pandemic has given me context to appreciate just how trivial FPL is when we compare it to the struggles of people around the globe; but actually, the fact that the game offers me an escape from the world and its troubles means that in some way, I feel like I am under greater pressure to score points, or risk getting myself more down and upset.

But, let’s stay positive. The new season brings opportunities to get ahead of the pack and lay the foundations for a successful season. My main aim with my team is to get off to a good start, like I did back in the 2017/18 season where I finished 817th.

As you might have heard in FPL BlackBox, I’ve actually had quite a settled team for a while now, so this is my opportunity to present you the likeliest candidates to make my Blank Gameweek 1 squad at the time of writing.

Goalkeeper

It’s very, very rare for me to spend over £4.5m on a Goalkeeper, but Aaron Ramsdale (£5.0m) looks too tempting for me to ignore. The introduction of Sheffield United last season brought in a team that loves to keep clean sheets (they kept 13 of them in total). It also gave us an incredibly reliable goalkeeper in Dean Henderson (£5.5m) who so often came to the rescue to make vital saves to keep the opposition out.

I’m hoping that Ramsdale fills the Henderson shaped hole that has been left in United’s backline. Ramsdale made the second-most saves of all goalkeepers last season for struggling Bournemouth,  and now plays in a team where you feel a 1-0 win would be the sweetest of successes.

I love teams that look to grind out a low scoring win. This often translates into a good return of points for Goalkeepers, with Nick Pope (£5.5m) the biggest benefactor in recent seasons of this strategy. With the Burnley man now out of my price range, and only Matthew Ryan (£4.5m) tempting me in the budget category (I am still unconvinced by McCarthy, and Southamptons’ ability to keep regular clean sheets), I am happy to back Ramsdale – and feel he could well be the highest scoring goalkeeper in the game come the end of the season.

Defenders

I’m not going to waste too much time debating the merits of Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m). In all honesty, I was expecting a bigger price tag for the Englishman. If a midfielder or a striker got in and around 200 points for two seasons in a row, we’d expect to be paying over £10.0m. To get it for just over £7.0m is a bargain. The double up with Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) is a very solid strategy, but with so many premium picks to choose from in midfield and attack, I’ve decided to not go down this route.

Matt Doherty (£6.0m) was locked in when he was at Wolves, and his move to London hasn’t deterred me one bit. Jose Mourinho loves his right-sided defenders to bomb down the pitch, and while it’s unlikely that Doherty will play quite as attacking as he has previously, if he can return 150 points, he will be one of the best value players in the entire game. Given that I love owning an attacking defender, what kind of person would I be if I didn’t go for the one ranked number one in the ICT index last season.

My third spot goes to Kieran Tierney (£5.5m) and I have to admit, I’m already marking him down one of my more “tentative” selections. I’ve been impressed with Arsenal’s general play under Arteta, and one of the key things that I like is how he’s got them defending as a unit.

The list of defenders on the books is simply staggering at the moment (I count 13 on the transfer list page) but Tierney is the pick of the bunch. His spot in the team looks secure, and he demonstrated on the final day of last season an eye for goal. The main reason I like Tierney is that for £5.5m, I don’t see many better options elsewhere for that price. The £5.5m midfielders, for example, look pretty uninspiring to me.

My concern is that he comes with a more “premium” price tag, without the stats to really back up his status as a high-impact, attacking full-back, especially as he has been used in the back-three of late. With two great games against Fulham and West Ham though, it will be interesting to see how Arteta uses Tierney and whether he looks to use his obvious attacking talent to more advantage now they have signed some competent defenders, or whether he will remain more shackled.

I’m currently sweating on the status of Ruben Vinagre (£4.5m), who has recently been linked with a move away – alongside rumours that Wolves may be looking to purchase a new left wing-back. Wolves’ early fixtures, and lack of European involvement, are a great combination and I’d love to get in one of their wingbacks from the start. My hope is that Vinagre stays and cements his place, to give me a cheap way into a back line that kept 13 clean sheets last season.

Midfielders

My selection of Sadio Mané (£12.0m) over Mohamed Salah (£12.0m) is set to go to the wire. Looking at the stats, I don’t even really know why I’m considering Liverpool’s number 10.

With Mané’s ownership at just 12% (compared to Salah’s 29.9%) this could be an opportunity to back a slightly more (quite literally) “left-field” option.

Last season, Salah only outscored Mané by 12 points. Am I brave for backing the “Underdog”, or is it just a decision doomed to end in failure? If I go for it, it should make for some interesting discussions on BlackBox anyway…

My other premium selection, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£12.0m) needs no introduction. His reclassification as a midfielder means he’s going to hoover up even more points, with two of the easiest games coming first. His fixture swing in Gameweek 3 also comes up a perfect time for those looking to make the switch to City assets. This one’s a no brainer for me.

 1

My third midfielder is Matheus Pereira (£6.0m), who I’m not going to pretend isn’t a punt. But, I’m backing “talisman theory”. From what I’ve seen and heard, this guy is the real deal. No player in the last five years in the Championship has more assists (16) than Pereira did last season and only eight players (most of which were strikers) bettered his shot count (111).

Everything is going to run through Pereira, and tying down Grady Diangana (£5.5m) permanently means that he will have someone to thread balls to with a bit of quality. A few seasons ago, I backed Pascal Groß (£5.5m) to succeed with similar underlying numbers for a relegated team in Germany. I’m hoping that Pereira can come some way to emulating my favourite ever player in FPL.

Forwards

Can Adams deliver on Project Restart promise and match Ings' for FPL value?

Sick of constantly having to scramble round for the in-form strikers despite owning players like Connor Wickham (£4.5m), I’m electing to start big up top this year.

Danny Ings (£8.5m) is really a placeholder for Anthony Marital (£9.0m), as I look to target teams with early fixtures against Crystal Palace – who are riddled with injuries to their defensive line.

I’d love to see Ings get close to his 22 goal season from last year, but I do think it’s unlikely unless Southampton can keep up their rather incredible run of form that came post-lockdown.

Regardless of what happens against Palace though, I will be grabbing Martial who’s reclassification as a forward does dent his appeal somewhat, but I think showed towards the end of last season that he can be a true number nine.

I’d be astounded if Martial doesn’t hit 20 goals this season if he can stay fit. I do also think a strong case can be made for Marcus Rashford (£9.5m), who got the same number of goals as Martial but is now classed as a midfielder.

I’m not really considering Bruno Fernandes (£10.5m) or Mason Greenwood (£7.5m) right now, due to budget restrictions (Fernandes) and fears of a Jadon Sancho arrival (Greenwood).

Werner scores on Chelsea debut as Ziyech sustains knee injury

Timo Werner (£9.5m) will be leading the line of Chelsea’s new-look attack against Brighton at the weekend, and it looks like he will make a mockery of his price tag. I can’t see any way in which the German will fail to be a success at Stamford Bridge, especially when you consider that he will have Kai Havertz (£8.5m), Hakim Ziyech (£8.0m) and Christian Pulisic (£8.5m) alongside him.

With so many options this year, this incredibly array of moderately priced Chelsea attacking options will surely be an important factor in our FPL teams. Once they have settled and start banging the goals in, our premium players will need to keep firing otherwise they will be shipped out for these much more budget-friendly options, allowing us to strengthen the rest of our side.

Perhaps my least inspiring pick has to be Alexander Mitrovic (£6.0m), and I’m looking for any excuse not to go with him really.

I’d love to be able to shave £0.5m off somewhere (perhaps Tierney may go) so I can grab one of the £6.5m forwards (allowing for more flexibility to move around as I see fit). But at the moment, I’m on the Serbian.

The positives are that he started strongly last time he was in the Premier League and managed a very respectable 134 points (11 goals, four assists) despite Fulham’s struggles.

I really do think the Cottagers will struggle this season, but everything good will flow through Mitrovic and he’ll be tasked with carrying them over the finishing line to safety. They have a tough game against Arsenal to start, but then meetings with Leeds and Aston Villa will surely give him a better chance to impress, or will be an easy sell for someone else.

Bench

The less said here the better. Utilising a 4-3-3 formation means that I am selecting two players from a pool of incredibly uninspiring £4.5m options. Yves Bissouma (£4.5m) does look that standout in this price bracket. He finished last season very strongly, and looks to have made the central midfield area his own – but I am aware that Davy Pröpper (£5.0m), who I do not rate incidentally, is sniffing around.

The other £4.5m option could be any of them really. Mario Lemina (£4.5m) does at least have a point to prove and was at one point Southampton’s record signing. That said, I don’t hold out that much hope.

The decision between Tyrick Mitchell (£4.0m) and Nathan Ferguson (£4.0m) will come down to whether I feel I can afford to wait to see if the latter will nail down his place on the right after he comes back from injury.

Mitchell has had a good pre-season and looks set to at least start the season, but his position may be less secure when defensive reinforcements come back to the side.

I’m leaning towards Mitchell at the moment though. If he has a strong start to the campaign, perhaps he can go on and cement his spot in the team the same way that Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.5m) did a few seasons ago, or how the legendary John Lundstram (£5.5m) did in 2019/20.

Best players by position:

Az Follow me on Twitter : @ffscout_az” Follow him on Twitter

1,279 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Manani
    • 9 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    are people picking Alli based on what they saw in the amazon documentary? Or is there more 'thoughts' into that?
    Seems like I never seen Alli being mentioned, only Son, till recently

    1. Collie01
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      He has shown some form in preseason and the possibility that he will be playing advanced or 2nd striker type role.

    2. SADIO SANÉ
      • 6 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      probably a bit, but it's just the formation they play - with Doherty/Aurier being the more advanced fullback Son is wider than you'd like to see (when Kane plays) whereas Alli is through the middle and often goes beyond Kane; it might be overthinking but it makes sense. If Son and Alli swapped positions I'd much rather have Son, but it feels close as it stands

    3. Ⓙⓐⓡⓥⓘⓢⓗ CMIUK
      • 6 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      My midfield is Alli, Scotty Pippen and Carol Baskin at the moment.

      1. PascalCygan
        • 3 Years
        1 year, 1 month ago

        Lol

    4. Sgt Frank Drebin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      When he's playing he's scoring well in Fantasy. Around 0.35 xG and 0.2 xG per 90 minutes is quite good for that price imho.

      1. Sgt Frank Drebin
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 year, 1 month ago

        0.2 xA*

  2. adstomko
    • 5 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    I'm not convinced by Spurs' fixtures and fixture overload to have a player in MID or ATT. Everton, then Southampton? Pretty tough

    1. PascalCygan
      • 3 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      Only player I’m considering is Son as a placeholder for Bruno, though I’m still thinking of starting with Bruno on the bench.

  3. PascalCygan
    • 3 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    *dullard alert*

    4.5 midfielders. I’m only picking one and I plan to have him last on my bench all season.

    From what I can see, Harrison Reed is the most nailed, right?

    Two-point specialist but hopefully he’ll never be needed.

    I was on Anthony Gordon but I can’t see him starting regularly for Everton.

    1. Top Lad Dakes.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      Or Bissouma/Stephens for dullard as well

      1. PascalCygan
        • 3 Years
        1 year, 1 month ago

        Yes, looked at those too, thanks. Reed seems a little more nailed. Apologies for the dullard talk!

    2. Top Mark.S
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      Bissouma for me.

      1. PascalCygan
        • 3 Years
        1 year, 1 month ago

        Fair enough. Cheers

  4. SpagBol
    • 5 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    Hey guys,

    I think I am set and ready to go... what do you think?
    Cheers 🙂
    ____________________________________________
    McCarthy
    TAA Dier Vinagre Justin
    Salah Auba Alli ASM
    Werner Ings

    Steer | Mitrovic Bissouma Ferguson
    ____________________________________________

    PLAN:

    *GW2 --> Salah to Fernandes + Ings to Martial
    *GW3 --> Auba to KDB/Sterling

  5. davies
    • 7 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    Thoughts on starting with Vinagre?

    Pulisic or Havertz?

    1. Visionaries
      • 5 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      Pulisic even fit?

  6. Cheeto__Bandito
    • 1 Year
    1 year, 1 month ago

    A) Wilson, Son, Doherty
    Or
    B) Ings, Alli, Dier

    1. wulfrunian
      • 5 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      a

    2. Visionaries
      • 5 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      A

  7. gauzah
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    Is the faith in ASM a little misplaced? I have doubts about if he is even nailed.

    1. nico05
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      I was wondering the same thing tbh

    2. Doctor Zhivago
      • 5 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      He is nailed. Probably the most talented midfielder at NUFC, surely the fastest one

    3. MoSalalalalalalalalah
      • 3 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      He was there best player last season, he's surely nailed

      1. gauzah
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 year, 1 month ago

        I remember him getting benched sometimes. I agree he is a good player though

    4. Demba Demba
      • 9 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      Yeah he's nailed, sometimes he does flatter to deceive, hopefully with Wilson ahead of him he might be able to finish off some of the chances he creates...better than Joelinton did

    5. leo_messi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      still think that Saka is the better pick

      1. Plonatron
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 year, 1 month ago

        Saka is less nailed that ASM

  8. Top Lad Dakes.
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    A) Ings ASM
    B) CWilson JRod
    C) Adams Havertz/Puli
    D) other

    cheers all x

    1. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      C - just for the Chelsea interest

      Allí Batshuayi might be interesting. I'd have Bats as the clear class of the 6.0 - 6.5 category and linked very well with Zaha previously. Iffy fixtures to start - more a GW5 call provided Zaha is still there and tbh don't see him leaving.

  9. wulfrunian
    • 5 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    Thomas or Justin from Leicester?

    1. Doctor Zhivago
      • 5 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      Justin

      1. wulfrunian
        • 5 Years
        1 year, 1 month ago

        cheers

  10. Doctor Zhivago
    • 5 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    Ings, Alli or Son?

    1. nico05
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      Alli

      1. Doctor Zhivago
        • 5 Years
        1 year, 1 month ago

        I was on that boat since the very beginning and I'm a fan of that guy. Only a bit afraid about Mou and Lo Celso minutes...

        1. nico05
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 year, 1 month ago

          Yeah I've just got a feeling mou will get the best out of him this season

  11. Neo-Viper
    • 6 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    Vinagre Digne Son Souchek Adams

    vs

    Dier Justin Alli Havertz Davis

  12. Jdpz
    • 1 Year
    1 year, 1 month ago

    How many matches will Mitchell play?

    1. Doctor Zhivago
      • 5 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      Only one probably

  13. lekalatch
    • 2 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    Fill the last two spots

    McCarthy Steer
    TAA Justin Lascelles Mitchell Douglas
    Salah Auba Son xxxxx Bissouma
    xxxxx Mitrovic Adams

    A) Kane Barnes
    B) Werner/Firmino + Willian (With Firmino I would get Martial in for GW2)
    C) Werner/Firmino + Armstrong/ASM+1.5m to upgrade Mitro to DCL/Wilson
    D) Any 17.5m combo

    1. Visionaries
      • 5 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      C is template.
      I'm going Kane however

  14. Visionaries
    • 5 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    Tempted to go risk it and go without Werner. I want to keep a Spurs attacker and want double Utd gw 2

    Auba, Salah, ASM, Mount
    Kane, DCL, Adams

    gw2 Auba & Adams > Bruno & Martial

    1. lekalatch
      • 2 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      looks good

  15. davies
    • 7 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    A) Davies Wilson

    B) Doherty ASM

  16. lekalatch
    • 2 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    Do you guys think Wilson will start right away for Newcastle?

    1. Top Mark.S
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      Probably.

      I would prefer certainly

    2. Denniezy
      • 1 Year
      1 year, 1 month ago

      Absolutely. But ASM more nailed

  17. Denniezy
    • 1 Year
    1 year, 1 month ago

    Pulisic confirmed new Chelsea's no. 10! Ziyech & Chilwell out for GW1

  18. Jdpz
    • 1 Year
    1 year, 1 month ago

    How many games will Justin play?

    1. Denniezy
      • 1 Year
      1 year, 1 month ago

      Not sure. It depends if he performs, else he'll get replaced by T. Castagne

  19. DIMITRIS
    • 3 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    RMT , any suggestions are welcomed.

    McCarthy (Nyland)
    TAA / Doherty / Saiss (Ayling, Mitchell)
    Mane / Auba / ASM / Havertz (Bissouma)
    Nketiah / Werner / Adams

    0.5 itb

  20. The Legend Squad
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    Surprised people choosing Dier over Davies? Dier is far less attacking for the same price. Am I missing something?

    1. SADIO SANÉ
      • 6 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      corner threat, nothing in it really attacking wise

    2. Sloths
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      No attacking returns in two years maybe?

  21. Winston.
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    Any news about Vinagre? Worth getting despite of the risks?

    1. footballfreak
      • 2 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      doesnt the new signing marcal play in his place?

  22. leo_messi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    Zaha to Everton I heard.I s this true???

  23. Ninjaa
    • 10 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    Which one here lads???

    A. TAA Dier Ward-Prowse Wilson
    B. Robertson Ayling Soucek Ings

  24. alfoir
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    Nice article, AZ. I too have recently converted to the 4-3-3, having been set on a 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 for a while.

    My one hesitance is flexibility in subs...

    3-5-2/4-4-2 team
    McCarthy (Nyland)
    TAA-Davies-Vinagre-Justin* (Mitchell)
    Auba-Salah-Son-ASM*-Soucek*
    Werner-Mitro (4.5)
    *Play 2/3
    Positives - 2.5m itb for Manchester subs (KDB, Sterling and Fernandes all achievable from Auba, Salah or Son)
    Negative - Soucek quarantine and dire fixtures after GW1, no real 5.0 alternatives

    4-3-3 team
    McCarthy (Nyland)
    TAA-Davies-Vinagre-Justin (Mitchell)
    Auba-Salah-Son (Bissouma, Romeu)
    Werner-Jiminez-Mitro
    Negatives - 0m itb, Salah and Auba need to make way for KDB/Sterling + Fernandes, terrible bench
    Positives - stronger starting XI for some promising early fixtures, and maybe Salah->Fernandes GW2, Auba->KDB/Sterling GW3 will give me the flexibility in the bank to jump on any 4.5m midfield or even Mitro upgrades.

  25. Worsle90
    • 5 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    Advice please lads:

    McCarthy (Nyland)
    TAA, Doherty Justin (Mitchell, Buur)
    Mane, Auba, Son, Barnes, ASM
    Werner, Mitro (Brewster)

    Do I go for Buur and Barnes -> Egan and Saka (+0.5m itb)?

  26. Green Jumper
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    I'll be having Ramsdale as my GK (with Ryan as backup), but am considering Kepa for weeks 1-2 and Wildcard before week 3:

    Kepa>Ramsdale, Ryan.
    Doherty, Saliba, VvD>AWB, Egan>Saiss, Walker-Peters.
    Salah, Kante, Romeu, Son>de Bruyne, Aubameyang>Fernandes.
    Antonio>Wood, Jimenez, Maupay.

  27. Sloths
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    Hi guys and gals!

    I need help. I have one defender spot left and have £5M left on my budget. Who would you pick and why?

    1. alfoir
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 year, 1 month ago

      Depends on your other defenders. Davies is my 5.0, decent fixtures for Spurs and looks integral to Mou's plans.

  28. Gudjohnsen
    • 4 Years
    1 year, 1 month ago

    A. Son, Mitrovic
    B. Alli, DCL

  29. unclesbasement
    • 1 Year
    1 year, 1 month ago

    Is anyone going to sell salah after the first gameweek for bruno?