Pro Pundits - Mark

How I plan to overcome absence of Man United players from FPL Gameweek 1

The founding father of Fantasy Football Scout, nine-time top 10k finisher, with three all-time top 500 ranks, Mark Sutherns reveals his tips and team for Gameweek 1 of the new FPL season.

Maybe it’s the quick turnaround. Maybe it’s been my newfound awareness of the noisy Fantasy Football community. Or maybe it’s just my diminishing ability to balance an obsession and the minimum requirements of a functioning 48-year-old adult. Whatever the reason, settling on an initial squad has been more agonising than ever.

In truth, it’s the absence of the two Manchester clubs from the Gameweek 1 fixtures that’s probably to blame for all the handwringing. My FPL muscle memory has failed to compute how to build for the opener without two such attacking heavyweights. 

Until the early hours of this morning, I was obsessed with plans to accommodate a United asset for their Gameweek 2. I’ve flipped flopped between Anthony Martial (£9.0m) and Bruno Fernandes (£10.5m) and whipped myself into a frenzy about reserving funds to accommodate them ahead of the Crystal Palace’s Old Trafford visit. 

But now I’m prepared to go without. Because while I’m likely correct to assume that United will be a force, I was ignoring the fact that Chelsea – bloated by an array of new attacking talent – could be superior and offer stronger value. 

This may not transpire just yet, but I’m comfortable that within a few rounds of fixtures, we’ll start to witness Chelsea’s potential to overshadow all but Liverpool and City for attacking output. 

So I’m getting on early. I’ve remained a passenger Tim Werner-wagon, but with the caveat that, if I have any early doubts after Monday night’s display, I can alight at Martial ahead of Gameweek 2. That’s because Christian Pulisic (£8.5m) will be in place as my weapon of choice from Frank Lampard’s impressive armoury. 

Pulisic may not start at Brighton, but I feel he’ll get enough pitch time to trouble the Seagulls defence and offer reassurance that he could threaten to break into the top tier of midfielders. 

I’ve also gambled on his team-mate Reece James (£5.0m). If he figures at the Amex Stadium, James is far from assured to follow it up with a string of appearances to come. However, as a Gameweek 1 dice roll, he can offer an upside second only to Liverpool’s full-backs that sandwich him in my three-man defence, bristling with promise. 

With Ruben Vinagre (£4.5m) in reserve and Luke Ayling (£4.5m) to come in for Gameweeks 2 and 3, I might just have contingency before I’m forced to make “wasted” transfers in defence. 

Elsewhere, the team-sheet is unashamedly template with Che Adams’ (£6.0m) inclusion another gamble. 

The Saint may only get an hour against Palace and perhaps less against Spurs the week after. However, having seen Fulham in the Championship, I’m willing to offer odds that Adams will get as many opportunities in 60 minutes as the coveted Aleksandar Mitrović (£6.0m) is fed in 90. 

He may just have to live off scraps and errors against Arsenal and Leeds, though following that I might be forced to look to the Serbian should Adams falter. 

That’s purely speculation. Just a single set of images snipped from the visions of the early Gameweeks that have played on repeat in my head. I’ve no idea how close those imagined highlights will be to the events to come, I’m just glad that I can finally eject the tape and settle down to watch the real thing unfold.

The pre-season has been painful for me, but it would have been more agonising had I not found a place – a new start – in the Fantasy Football community. I’ve been amazed at the content produced in the past six weeks and I’m delighted to be playing my part. Thanks for welcoming me back and see you on the other side of Gameweek 1. 

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Mark Mark created the beast. He's now looking to tame it.”

953 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Clueless_91
    • 1 Year
    9 months, 14 days ago

    Mccarthy (Nayland)
    All-Salah(C) - Auba-Havertz-ASM

  2. LǝgleSs e|even
    • 5 Years
    9 months, 14 days ago

    Anyone punting on Willian

  3. PocketZola
    • 3 Years
    9 months, 14 days ago

    Final final final team

    Justin TAA Tierney
    Salah(c) Auba ASM Son
    Calvern Werner Adams

    Subs, nylan, bisouma, mitchel, taylor


  4. jblakes
    • 2 Years
    9 months, 14 days ago

    Is mitro a good medium term hold?

    Not sure if 6mil is good value for him or not

    1. PocketZola
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 14 days ago

      Wait and see

  5. PocketZola
    • 3 Years
    9 months, 14 days ago

    Son or just go for havertz?

  6. Bretth96
      9 months, 14 days ago

      The ultimate question...


      1. Gymer11
        • 1 Year
        9 months, 14 days ago

        Kane for me

    • Gymer11
      • 1 Year
      9 months, 14 days ago

      What’s stronger
      A Pullsic , Kane ,Adams mitro Lemina
      B son Werner Adams mitro Soucek
      C son Werner Ings Brewster Lemina

      1. Bretth96
          9 months, 14 days ago

          I would say a)
          I expect Chelsea to be strong going forward so having an asset would be needed but everything for Spurs will go through Kane

          1. Gymer11
            • 1 Year
            9 months, 14 days ago

            Cheers couldn’t bank on pullsic starting so went the son in the end .

            May change it come next week

      2. Dusty Donut
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        9 months, 14 days ago

        Great to see Mark back on here

      3. Nightf0x
        • 5 Years
        9 months, 14 days ago

        Rams steer
        Sais taylor jsutin taa mitchel
        Auba salah ali soucek asm
        Ings werner davis

        -gw2 ings to martial, gw3 auba to kdb/sterling


        asoucek mitchel or bisouma lamptey/kwp/lasecls


      4. Sun Jihai
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        9 months, 14 days ago

        Most Captained
        Most Vice Captained