FPL

Do FPL defences keep fewer clean sheets at the start of the season?

With many Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers considering a ‘big at the back’ approach for 2022/23, our latest article asks if fewer clean sheets are kept at the start of the season.

For this piece, we’ll be looking at the figures from Gameweeks 1-6 and after, analysing the data to see if scoring habits fluctuate depending on the time of year.

We will pay attention to the numbers from the last 11 seasons to see if the trends are a yearly occurrence or indeed if there is little to be read into the figures.

OVERALL DEFENSIVE DATA

Firstly, let’s look at the overall defensive data over the last 11 seasons, which is as far back as our Opta records go.

SeasonClean sheets
2021/22212
2020/21224
2019/20207
2018/19207
2017/18226
2016/17214
2015/16215
2014/15224
2013/14232
2012/13200
2011/12206

DO DEFENCES KEEP FEWER CLEAN SHEETS AT THE START OF THE SEASON?

In the below tables, we’ll break down how many clean sheets were kept between Gameweeks 1-6 and 7-38, looking at overall records plus averages per team, per match.

GAMEWEEKS 1-6

SeasonClean sheetsAverage per team, per match
2021/22370.31
2020/21280.24
2019/20290.24
2018/19310.26
2017/18470.39
2016/17250.21
2015/16390.33
2014/15350.29
2013/14410.34
2012/13290.25
2011/12380.32

GAMEWEEKS 7-38

SeasonClean sheetsAverage per team, per match
2021/221750.27
2020/211960.30
2019/201780.28
2018/191760.28
2017/181790.28
2016/171890.30
2015/161760.28
2014/151890.30
2013/141910.30
2012/131710.27
2011/121680.26

In six of the last 11 seasons studied, Premier League defences became tighter in terms of clean sheets registered from Gameweek 7 onwards.

That doesn’t provide nearly enough evidence to say that top-flight backlines are more attractive from a Fantasy perspective after the initial rounds of fixtures, even though it has been the case in three of the last four seasons.

There are a number of speculative reasons why fewer clean sheets may be kept in the early weeks, from defences gradually becoming more in sync as the season progresses to the early-season swagger that certain promoted teams exhibit eventually giving way to a more pragmatic approach.

However, as we have seen, the above results are a mixed bag and hardly proof that defences keep fewer shut-outs at the beginning of a campaign.

Given that a ‘big at the back’ approach is mainly focused around premium defenders from last season’s top three sides – Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea – we’ll now look at the numbers from those teams under current management.

MANCHESTER CITY UNDER GUARDIOLA
Overall clean sheetsGW1-6GW7-38
2021/2221516
2020/2119118
2019/2017314
2018/1920317
2017/1818414
2016/1712111

LIVERPOOL UNDER KLOPP
Overall clean sheetsGW1-6GW7-38
2021/2221417
2020/2112111
2019/2015114
2018/1921417
2017/1817215
2016/1712012

CHELSEA UNDER TUCHEL
Overall clean sheetsGW1-6GW7-38
2021/2216412

Last season, Man City managed an excellent five clean sheets in their opening six matches, shutting out Norwich City, Arsenal, Leicester City, Southampton and Chelsea, while Liverpool and Chelsea recorded four each.

2020/21, meanwhile, wasn’t a great advert for going ‘big at the back’ from the off but it’s worth noting that Man City only played five matches between Gameweeks 1-6 and did tighten up significantly after their 5-2 defeat against Leicester City in Gameweek 3. It was also a statistically freakish year in which matches were held behind closed doors and home advantage was almost completely negated.

Lukaku on target as Chelsea assets prosper at Arsenal 4

So there is nothing conclusive in the data to suggest that defences need time to ‘settle down’ or that Fantasy funds should be diverted further forward at the beginning of 2022/23.

While it should be stressed that trends aren’t guaranteed to continue from one season to the next, there’ll be plenty of us starting with a ‘big at the back’ approach given the multitude of gung-ho options (Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson, Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Joao Cancelo and maybe even Ivan Perisic) at our disposal – providing we are able to accommodate a couple of premiums further forward in our squad with captaincy in mind.

That suggests finding value in the midfield and forward pools will be more important than ever in the coming season.


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178 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Jonny HOW SON?
    • 7 Years
    20 days, 12 hours ago

    If I remember correctly, almost every pre-season (at least the last few years) we get tempted to go heavy at the back and in the end it's not the right choice 😀

    1. The Mentaculus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      20 days, 12 hours ago

      I've only played 1 year, but that seems a weird thing to say after a season in which the combined top 10 scorers among defenders & forwards contains 8 defenders & 2 forwards

      1. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        20 days, 12 hours ago

        Indeed. I'm going big at the back, as per. My 3 forwards will be Haaland and a pair of benchies. 5-4-1/4-5-1

        1. zeslinguer
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          19 days, 20 hours ago

          the thing is with this though is it leaves you with effectively a one man bench as there are never 4.5m forwards who actually play even close to 90 per week. The structure is also hell to get out of when you decide you don't like it, especially if one 4.5 drops to 4.4. Value is v. clearly in defence and midfield though so I guess it's finding the balance.

          1. Andy_Social
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            19 days, 19 hours ago

            My benchie forwards will be players, not 4.5 non-starters. I'm thinking Gelhart and a Forest striker. With 5 subs, minor strikers at mid-table clubs might be viable.

    2. Monty the Magpie
      • 4 Years
      20 days, 11 hours ago

      Scoffed at this for years, but no more. I'd play 5-5-0 if they'd let me.

      1. I Must Break You
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        18 days, 5 hours ago

        100% agree. Wingbacks and wing midfielders all basically play forward now, and get more points. Forwards are dramatically overpriced these days. Not a single one was worth the EV this past season

    3. Deulofail
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      19 days, 18 hours ago

      I think it's theoretically a good tactic if you are looking to save the WC, assuming the players in your team are all good value. No point forcing a specific strategy as it all comes down to players and prices. I started with 5-2-3 formation one year, with like 3x 4.5 mids and one premium mid, and ended with one of my highest ever ranks, for example.

  2. Gazwaz80
    • 2 Years
    20 days, 12 hours ago

    Going to start with Robbo for a change instead of Trent.If he starts where he Left off, it’s a no-brainer as you’re saving a million to spend elsewhere…

    1. RedRo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      20 days, 12 hours ago

      If there is £1m difference it’ll be very tempting

    2. The Mentaculus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      20 days, 12 hours ago

      I think I might too. Seems this season could break up the Trent / Salah duopoly? I imagine Robbo, Diaz and potentially Darwin might eat into their EO

      1. Gazwaz80
        • 2 Years
        20 days, 12 hours ago

        We’ll keep this little nugget between ourselves 😀

      2. No Professionals
        • 4 Years
        20 days, 11 hours ago

        Salah at 13m is going to make people think. If fixtures are ropey I would be tempted to look elsewhere. With mane potentially moving on I can see Liverpool slightly regressing this season.

      3. circusmonkey
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        20 days, 8 hours ago

        Only the strongest will survive.

    3. Pep's Money Laundry
      • 6 Years
      20 days, 12 hours ago

      I have a feeling Tsimikas will play more then last season but that could be in the CL. Trent will also miss out on occasional games too with the possible arrival of Calvin Ramsey.

      I'd probably still go Trent depending on prices

    4. NateDog
      • 1 Year
      20 days, 10 hours ago

      I'll be going Robbo over TAA for the same reasons, as well as Diaz over Salah. Could be some big swings early on but going off of recent form across that team I think it's worthwhile.

      1. Gazwaz80
        • 2 Years
        20 days, 10 hours ago

        Who’s going to be your big hitters then NATEDOG?

        1. NateDog
          • 1 Year
          20 days, 10 hours ago

          Son and Haaland most likely. I won't rule out going with one of Kane or KDB instead though either.

    5. zeslinguer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      19 days, 20 hours ago

      It's worth remembering though that TAA outscored Robertson in almost all defender KPIs in the second half of the season, Robertson finishing 'stronger' may have just been a statistical anomaly. I say this as someone who's season was saved by owning Robertson 🙂

  3. Eat Rice and Drinkwater
      20 days, 11 hours ago

      Who else has a bad feeling about Haaland

      1. DavidBW
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        20 days, 11 hours ago

        He hasn’t even signed yet and you’re already having fanny flutters.

        1. Zero
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          20 days, 11 hours ago

          I don't think you know what that means

        2. noquarternt
          • 6 Years
          20 days, 6 hours ago

          lol

      2. No Professionals
        • 4 Years
        20 days, 11 hours ago

        The only question for me is does he’s go street in to the team from gw1. Guardiola has a record of gradually introducing new players. If he plays regularly he scores regularly in my opinion.

        Depending on fixtures I would probably start with Kane as an able placeholder.

        1. Andy_Social
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          20 days, 10 hours ago

          He'll have a full pre-season and if he's fit he'll start regularly until CL starts. He might get hauled off on 70 mins to give Alvarez run-outs. But yeh, Kane will play the 90 game in game out.

        2. CAVEAT KING
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          19 days, 20 hours ago

          GREALISH WAS 100 BAR AND HE STARTED UNTIL LATER ON. I am more concerned about injuries TBH

          1. NateDog
            • 1 Year
            19 days, 18 hours ago

            The one big difference between this and transfers for the likes of Grealish is that the Haaland deal has been concluded very early. This was done before last season even finished, while the Grealish transfer was completed pretty much just as the season began. City finished last season knowing how they'd set up next season and they'll have a full preseason to work with him which will make a big difference.

      3. NateDog
        • 1 Year
        20 days, 10 hours ago

        No bad feelings for me but I think people will be surprised when he gets benched/rotated more than just something like 3 or 4 times over the season. He's had a lot of issues this season with muscular injuries and City used Guardiola's penchant for rotation as a selling point to Haaland's team as he'll be rested whenever needed. He will take time to bed in and there will be games where Pep will opt for a false 9 over him to perhaps have more control defensively in a game.

      4. el polako
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        20 days, 10 hours ago

        I just can't see him being a face of my fantasy football project...

      5. noquarternt
        • 6 Years
        20 days, 6 hours ago

        5 Subs + Pep + Haaland Injury record

        It depends on his price...but he's going to have to score a tonne when he's on the pitch.

        1. St Pauli Walnuts
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          19 days, 22 hours ago

          Which given the quality of chances he'll get and the fact that he's one of the best finishers on the planet, is perfectly feasible.

      6. WHUFCSmith23
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        19 days, 22 hours ago

        I imagine his ownership will be the highest in the game come game week one. If he has managed minutes or just simply does a Lukaku for the first month, I wonder what will happen to his price. Not saying he's a trap... but he is a risk

      7. Malaikat Jihad
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        18 days, 17 hours ago

        Guardiola rarely throws new players in at the deep end. Wait and see on Haaland + of course how much?

    • diesel001
      • 5 Years
      20 days, 10 hours ago

      So Leeds have signed Kristensen. Probably means Firpo gets kicked out of the team, Ayling shifts to LB and Kristensen at RB. Leeds first team looks decent tbf. Assuming Raphinha leaves:

      Meslier
      Kristensen Cooper Llorente Ayling
      Phillips Dallas
      James Aaronson Harrison
      Bamford

      Issue with Leeds is they already have injuries to Ayling and Dallas to cope with. Bamford, Phillips and Cooper are dodgy with injuries too.

      1. The Mentaculus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        20 days, 10 hours ago

        Don't think Ayling will play LB. He's not really nailed now. Somewhere across the globe a bereft Knight's Template gently weeps

      2. WHUFCSmith23
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        19 days, 22 hours ago

        I have the opposite feeling, that really looks like a team that will be in the mire.

        1. Deulofail
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          19 days, 18 hours ago

          mired 🙁

      3. BERGKOP
        • 10 Years
        19 days, 18 hours ago

        I don't rate that XI. Raphinha leaving is massive. I can see another relegation battle.

    • No Professionals
      • 4 Years
      20 days, 10 hours ago

      Questions to prepare yourself for…

      A) Kane and KDB
      B) Haaland and Son

      A certainly likely to be at least 1m cheaper…

      1. NateDog
        • 1 Year
        20 days, 10 hours ago

        I don't think that will be the case at all personally. Kane started the season at 12.5m and KDB 12m, the way they both played in the second half of the season there's no reason to decrease either of those. Son will get an increase but will it be to more than 11.5? I think 11 is likely, Haaland at most will be 12 and I think that's pushing it with him being a new arrival from the Bundesliga.

        1. No Professionals
          • 4 Years
          20 days, 10 hours ago

          I think

          Son 12
          Haaland 12
          Kane 12
          KDB 11

          1. NateDog
            • 1 Year
            20 days, 10 hours ago

            KDB had the 6th highest pts in FPL this season despite playing very few minutes until about GW17, not sure why he'd get such a huge decrease especially if he'll be feeding Haaland now

          2. Malaikat Jihad
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            18 days, 17 hours ago

            I think Kane will start at more than Haaland.

      2. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        20 days, 10 hours ago

        I'll pass on all City mids. I think Haaland will hog the points. 2 defenders for me.
        Spurs - not Kane as I'll go with Haaland, so Son/Kulu/wingback.

      3. Eat Rice and Drinkwater
          20 days, 10 hours ago

          I think
          Kane 12.0
          KDB 12.5
          Haaland 12.0
          Son 11.5

          1. No Professionals
            • 4 Years
            20 days, 10 hours ago

            No chance son is priced 1m less than KDB

        • el polako
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          20 days, 10 hours ago

          Kane don't score in August...

          *grabs popcorn and waits*

      4. No Professionals
        • 4 Years
        20 days, 10 hours ago

        First stab at a team using predicted prices (I’m very, very bored)…

        Raya(4.5)
        Robertson(7.5)
        Cancelo(7)
        Chilwell(6)
        Doherty(5.5)
        Fofana(4.5)
        Son(12)
        Diaz(9)
        Kulusevski(8)
        Bruno G(6.5)
        Haaland(12)

        Gk(4)
        Mid(4.5)
        Mid(4.5)
        Fwd(4.5)

        Dross bench obviously

        1. No Professionals
          • 4 Years
          20 days, 10 hours ago

          Clearly 2x4.5 fwd, not viable

        2. Andy_Social
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          20 days, 10 hours ago

          mine:

          Raya 4.5 4.0
          Cancelo 7.0 Dias 6.0 Perisic/Doh/Sess c.5.5 Newcastle defender 5.0 Tsimikas 4.5
          Son 11.0 Diaz 9.0 Kulu 8.0 B Guimares 6.5 random 6.0
          Haaland 12.0 Gelhart 5.5 random (Forest?) 5.5

          bit light on Liverpool and Chelsea, I know
          4-5-1 formation

          1. No Professionals
            • 4 Years
            20 days, 9 hours ago

            Of course initial fixtures will change everything.

            Liverpool start with something like

            Forest H
            Leeds A
            Man Utd H

            And you’d be brave to not have Salah

            1. Andy_Social
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              20 days, 9 hours ago

              Dunno. I'd have Diaz. If I permacap Haaland, I won't fork out for Salah. I might change my mind!

            2. el polako
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              20 days, 8 hours ago

              Early TC against United.

      5. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        20 days, 9 hours ago

        Re. the article - I don't think a blanket first 6 gameweeks is particularly meaningful. I'd look at it from a club by club basis.

        City and Liverpool will have settled defences. Chelsea will be rebuilding. Conte and Howe have battened down their back lines.

      6. FFSbet.com
        • 6 Years
        20 days, 9 hours ago

        If Pool get Darwin Nunez and lose Mane think their attack could be stronger.

        They played Diaz - Mane - Salah,expect Darwin Nunez to do better than Mane as CF

        1. No Professionals
          • 4 Years
          20 days, 8 hours ago

          Nunez is more of a 9, Liverpool haven’t played with a 9 for years. I think the loss of mane would be a huge blow for Liverpool.

        2. BrockLanders
          • 7 Years
          20 days, 8 hours ago

          That Liverpool attack is gonna be frightful next season.

        3. RogDog_jimmy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          20 days, 8 hours ago

          Do Nunez and Diaz (and Jota for that matter) press the way that Mane does off the ball?
          Will Firmino not be first choice if he's fit?

          I think that "better" without Mane is a stretch - but definitely different.

          1. BrockLanders
            • 7 Years
            20 days, 8 hours ago

            Nunez £9.5m?

          2. FFSbet.com
            • 6 Years
            20 days, 8 hours ago

            If they are after him he probably suit their high press and should score more goals.
            Firmino first choice if they sign Nunez?
            I dont see record transfer on bench

          3. The Mentaculus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            19 days, 22 hours ago

            Statistically, it looks like Darwin is a very capable presser (albeit in teams that don't press all that high collectively). His passing is the major issue.

            https://fbref.com/en/players/4d77b365/scout/365_euro/Darwin-Nunez-Scouting-Report

            As for Firmino, I think his days as 1st choice at Liverpool might be done

            1. Andy_Social
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              19 days, 22 hours ago

              I don't know a whole lot about him, but you can bet Klopp does. He wouldn't be keen on him if he didn't fit Klopp's system. Liverpool just don't do dud transfers.

      7. NateDog
        • 1 Year
        20 days, 6 hours ago

        Southampton rumoured to be close to a deal for Gavin Bazunu, if priced cheaply he could be a nice second keeper, he's an excellent shot stopper

        1. Stimps
          • 8 Years
          19 days, 7 hours ago

          4.5 and he's straight in

      8. Athletic Nasherbo
        • 5 Years
        20 days, 6 hours ago

        I loved this article. Shame more people won’t see it! Needs a repost when the game launches. Excellent job, perfect for pre-season early musings.

        1. noquarternt
          • 6 Years
          20 days, 6 hours ago

          Its good but I think team by team would be better and with the season split into more equal chunks like 'early', 'before christmas', 'after christmas' and 'late' to see if there is any correlation.

        2. Athletic Nasherbo
          • 5 Years
          20 days, 5 hours ago

          Too much info for me. 1-6 is good. Team to team would be better yes, but for now easily consumable.

        3. The Units
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 12 Years
          20 days, 4 hours ago

          Be good to have a look at the attacking returns as well as thats a big factor.

          1. The Units
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 12 Years
            20 days, 4 hours ago

            For the big at the back candidates.

      9. noquarternt
        • 6 Years
        20 days, 6 hours ago

        5 subs. Surely this dramatically increases the appeal of current rotation risks that are nicely priced but decreases the very expensive 90% nailed ones?

        How are you going to adapt (if at all) ?

        For me I see players like Mahrez and Foden becoming more pickable.

        1. Athletic Nasherbo
          • 5 Years
          20 days, 5 hours ago

          Equally tho it makes star players such as Salah less attractive. Salah more likely to be rested after 70 now. Just a hunch.

          But yes finding those players who are good off the bench and play in a good team and not too expensive sounds great. Providing Pep follows the sub change they’re both good.

        2. The Knights Template
          • 8 Years
          20 days, 5 hours ago

          Fodenfreude!

        3. Andy_Social
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          19 days, 22 hours ago

          It'll be swings and roundabouts. More players will get game time, many as one-point cameos. Premium players on fewer minutes will gain fewer points. Does that make it good strategy to have fewer high-price assets and strong midprice assets? That's the way I'm leaning, with a weaker bench than I normally maintain. But I don't think Foden and Mahrez would be beneficial picks as they'd get too many blanking cameos for me.

      10. ZimZalabim
        • 5 Years
        20 days, 4 hours ago

        how long till price changes ?

        1. TorresMagic™
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 13 Years
          20 days, 3 hours ago

          2 months.

          1. ZimZalabim
            • 5 Years
            19 days, 19 hours ago

            phew

            So I have some time to ponder my moves

            1. The Knights Template
              • 8 Years
              19 days, 19 hours ago

              And your responses!

              1. ZimZalabim
                • 5 Years
                19 days, 19 hours ago

                Ser Knight... you wound me

                1. The Knights Template
                  • 8 Years
                  19 days, 19 hours ago

                  Twas a jest, not a joust!

      11. Inazuma X1
        • 4 Years
        19 days, 22 hours ago

        6 days to go

      12. Steve The Spud
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        19 days, 21 hours ago

        A spurs full back will be essential for every team at 5m

        1. Holmes
          • 8 Years
          19 days, 21 hours ago

          only if nailed...

        2. The Knights Template
          • 8 Years
          19 days, 21 hours ago

          Are they buying VVD?

        3. The Mentaculus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          19 days, 21 hours ago

          They all look like pretty good FPL options, and 5m would be a very tempting price. But I kind of hope they get tough fixtures to start so I can wait & see who's most nailed out of Perisic/Sess & Doherty/Spence/Singo. I guess Matty D would probably be the safest to start with?

          1. Andy_Social
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            19 days, 21 hours ago

            I'd go with Perisic if affordable. More likely to have Doherty though - 0.5 cheaper?

            1. ZimZalabim
              • 5 Years
              19 days, 19 hours ago

              wont perisic be classed as a mid ?

        4. Baines on Toast...
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          19 days, 20 hours ago

          I expect Perisic at 6.0 and the others at 5.5. Maybe Sess at 5.0 given he's second choice, but Doherty/Royal both 5.5.

          1. Andy_Social
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            19 days, 20 hours ago

            Yeah, I'm expecting those prices too, but if Peri comes in at 5.5 I'll snap him up. Doh at 5.0 would suffice. More expensive and I'd need to sure they're fully nailed.

          2. The Mentaculus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            19 days, 20 hours ago

            I got the feeling Conte wasnt too impressed with Emerson Royal & only played him when it was unavoidable. The interest in Spence & Singo suggests to me that they want someone else to back up Doherty

        5. NateDog
          • 1 Year
          19 days, 20 hours ago

          I don't know if I'd expect they'll be that cheap. If Perisic is a defender (which it now looks like will be the case) I expect 6m, Doherty probably 5.5, Sess maybe 5 but could see an argument that he could be 5.5 too. Will have to see how things look in preseason, I'm still not convinced Perisic walks into that first XI immediately given his age and that he's only played Bundesliga and Serie A football for the last 10 years and with Sessegnon impressing at the end of last season.

          1. Steve The Spud
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            19 days, 20 hours ago

            Really? I don’t see 6m, he’s unproven in the prem and isn’t nailed either, James was 6m so was Dias I don’t see him matching them tbh, I’m hoping for 5,5 or Doherty at 5 so I can have one of them in my team but it’s all just speculation isn’t it

            Hope you’re having a nice break

            1. NateDog
              • 1 Year
              19 days, 20 hours ago

              Yeah perhaps you're right now that I think about it, it is mostly based on expectation based on his past. I guess my argument for it will be that he will surely get games playing LW as well so he'd have the potential to have weeks with huge scores. Although I expect James will be minimum 6.5 this season, Dias being 6 I think is fair for different reasons (generally being a reliable starter in a side that gets a lot of cs along with good bonus potential). You too mate, still find myself popping in here most days but if anything I just like having a place with any football-related discussion more than the FPL aspect.

              1. Andy_Social
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 9 Years
                19 days, 19 hours ago

                I suspect Chelsea with a new/inexperienced central defence might take a while to settle. I'd prefer a Spurs wingback to James or Chilwell in GW1.

                1. NateDog
                  • 1 Year
                  19 days, 18 hours ago

                  Good point, things are quite up in the air regarding comings and goings there. Fixtures will certainly be key to starting decisions.

            2. Baines on Toast...
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              19 days, 14 hours ago

              8 goals last season and history as a winger. Pricing was generous last year though as you point out - I hope they alter that for DF this year.

      13. Little Red Lacazette
        • 5 Years
        19 days, 21 hours ago

        Lacazette to go back to Lyon. Which striker are Arsenal looking to buy? May also have to change my handle name 🙂

        1. The Knights Template
          • 8 Years
          19 days, 21 hours ago

          Gelhardt of Riviarsenal!

        2. The Mentaculus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          19 days, 21 hours ago

          Little Red Jesus? Little Red... Scamacca?

          1. Little Red Lacazette
            • 5 Years
            19 days, 21 hours ago

            Little Red Nketiah, nah..doesn't rhyme is a song chorus.

            1. Little Red Lacazette
              • 5 Years
              19 days, 21 hours ago

              *with

        3. DavidBW
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          19 days, 21 hours ago

          Linked with

          Jesus
          DCL
          Richarlison
          Scamacca
          David
          Nunez
          Osimhen
          Toney
          Martinez

          But will probably miss out over being a terribly ran club with a small fry mentality.

          Stuck with Nketiah and Balogun for years to come.

          1. The Knights Template
            • 8 Years
            19 days, 21 hours ago

            Daniel Sturridge is available.

          2. Holmes
            • 8 Years
            19 days, 20 hours ago

            Chris Wood should do the job

          3. CAVEAT KING
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            19 days, 20 hours ago

            Better run than ManU IMO

        4. Echoes
          • 1 Year
          19 days, 20 hours ago

          Really need lord Jesus to save us

          1. Little Red Lacazette
            • 5 Years
            19 days, 20 hours ago

            Arsenal you mean right?

            1. Echoes
              • 1 Year
              19 days, 20 hours ago

              Yes, Little red Jesus

          2. NateDog
            • 1 Year
            19 days, 20 hours ago

            Read rumours this morning that Chelsea may enter the race for him

        5. Steve The Spud
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          19 days, 20 hours ago

          They don’t need to buy anyone they have nketiah 🙂

          Also will you now have to change your username?

          1. The Mentaculus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            19 days, 20 hours ago

            I'm trying to think of some Prince puns that work with Jesus (or rhyme with Scamacca) but coming up short... anyone got any suggestions for out friend here?

            1. CAVEAT KING
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              19 days, 20 hours ago

              Fishing on the Knesset!

            2. NateDog
              • 1 Year
              19 days, 20 hours ago

              "Jesus always in my hair"

            3. Deulofail
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              19 days, 18 hours ago

              Do me, Gaby
              Jeez in the Temple
              The Most Gabriel Girl in the World
              Gabriel Beret

          2. Little Red Lacazette
            • 5 Years
            19 days, 18 hours ago

            Working on the username change

        6. RedLightning
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 11 Years
          19 days, 20 hours ago

          Some talk of a Lakonga... (Transport of Delight, Flanders & Swann).

        7. RedLightning
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 11 Years
          19 days, 20 hours ago

          Jesus and Gabriel Chain.

        8. Cheeky Onion
          • 4 Years
          19 days, 17 hours ago

          Vardy like it's 1999?

          1. Cheeky Onion
            • 4 Years
            19 days, 17 hours ago

            As an Arsenal fan, I guess you'd have to go with Partey

      14. Fish up a tree
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        19 days, 19 hours ago

        Looks like there will be a few good options to pick from the forwards next year but at what cost do you think will these guys come in at & who of these will you be getting from the off?

        Haaland
        Kane
        Jesus (Ars or Che)
        Nunez (Liv)
        Wilson

        1. Inazuma X1
          • 4 Years
          19 days, 19 hours ago

          All of them

        2. Babit1967
          • 6 Years
          19 days, 19 hours ago

          Jesus at Arsenal and for a price of 9 or under would be lovely, think I might start with Wilson -7.5 I would, 8 I’d look elsewhere.

          Haaland 12.5? I think I’m going without tho and going with Salah & Son for my 2 premiums

          1. Andy_Social
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            19 days, 19 hours ago

            Jesus has never been a prolific goalscorer. However, he might enhance Saka's and Martinelli's chances of hauls.

            1. Fish up a tree
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              19 days, 19 hours ago

              I don’t think Jesus has ever been first choice & played as a no.9. He only played around 50% of the minutes available for City but if he came to Arsenal he would play every game so I expect him to do well.

          2. Little Red Lacazette
            • 5 Years
            19 days, 17 hours ago

            Hey, how can you overlook starting with Mitrovic, the Serbian Klinsmann?

        3. Andy_Social
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          19 days, 19 hours ago

          Kane 12, Haaland 12, Jesus 9, Nunez 8, Wilson 7.

        4. The Mentaculus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          19 days, 19 hours ago

          Price prediction isn't my specialty but I'll give it a go.
          Håland 11.5
          Kane 12
          Jesus 9
          Darwin 10
          Wilson 7.5

          Håland & Wilson are most likely candidates for my starting team. Might see a bit less of Kane this season, at least until TV makes 3 premiums an option

          1. circusmonkey
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            19 days, 16 hours ago

            Have you tried the price prediction game posted last week?

            1. The Mentaculus
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              19 days, 16 hours ago

              Sure did. Great idea, thanks

      15. CroatianHammer
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        19 days, 19 hours ago

        Fixtures are part planned part random to start with, but is there any set rule to put certain teams at home for the opening week?
        Just trying to determine who's playing in Liverpool that first Saturday.

        1. Andy_Social
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          19 days, 19 hours ago

          No. They do ensure teams from the same city/ part of city aren't at home together for policing purposes. So Liverpool and Everton won't both be at home on the opening day, but you can't know which one will play away yet.

          1. CroatianHammer
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            19 days, 19 hours ago

            Guess I'll know by then. Chance puts me in Liverpool on that Saturday. A game at Anfield would mean I could veto going anywhere near the place ( wife wants to go see).

            1. pingissimus
              • 3 Years
              19 days, 18 hours ago

              Goodison and Anfield are pretty much next door neighbours so that gives you your out - there'll be a game on in one of them.

      16. Inazuma X1
        • 4 Years
        19 days, 17 hours ago

        Arsenal top of the league!

        1. Bury94
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          19 days, 14 hours ago

          Nope, AFC Bournemouth

      17. jay01
        • 7 Years
        19 days, 17 hours ago

        If Son is the same price (or just 0.5 off) Kane, doesnt that make Kane a better option?

        Kane guaranteed 90 every game, Son sometimes comes off earlier (more likely with CL too) AND Kane chasing prem all time goalscoring records

        1. Cheeky Onion
          • 4 Years
          19 days, 17 hours ago

          Son gets an extra point for goals and clean sheets - Kane gets more BAPS and is on pens. A bit of a tossup but with a slight advantage to Kane, especially since there are fewer premium forward options

          I've always preferred Son, but as you said, if they're listed at the same price I'll go with whoever fits into the team better. Personally, I've noticed that when one does well, so does the other since they set each other up so often

          1. Deulofail
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            19 days, 16 hours ago

            Son could be classified as a forward, and even then I would probably pay a little more for him. Currently more interested in Kulu, instinctively, but it all depends on prices.

            The way I look at the 5 subs is that the best players will be able to play closer to their peak, and used, even more, when goals are needed. So it's generally best to pick the most potent players. I think that's Son, personally.

            1. jay01
              • 7 Years
              19 days, 16 hours ago

              Problem i think with Kulu is he is the least nailed out the three.. Conte has a tendency to stick to the same team but I wouldn't be surprised with the odd benching in the prem for the likes of Moura while Kulu plays the CL game

              1. Deulofail
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                19 days, 15 hours ago

                The potential benchings will be built into the price. Ultimately looking for players who will outscore their price, and Kulu could be the one, even with some benchings. With 5 subs, he could be coming off the bench for the entire second half, maybe.

          2. jay01
            • 7 Years
            19 days, 16 hours ago

            Its true, I have preferred Son but always felt there was that significant price difference between the two.. this time with little / no difference, I think Kane could just edge it with the minutes

        2. Andy_Social
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          19 days, 16 hours ago

          You gotta look at the whole picture though. If you're committed to Haaland, you probably don't want Kane too. I'm going for a 4-5-2 formation with Haaland, so Son fits my structure.

          1. Deulofail
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            19 days, 16 hours ago

            How can you possibly know anything bout your 'structure' at this point? And what would be the issue with having two expensive forwards if you think they are a good price for the potential returns?

            1. Jambot
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              19 days, 8 hours ago

              To be fair, if 4-5-2 is a new formation option then we’ll take that structure

          2. jay01
            • 7 Years
            19 days, 16 hours ago

            In regard to your structure, is that one that includes Salah as well? Because then its just a case of where you want a third premium

            1. Andy_Social
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              19 days, 15 hours ago

              I can have a provisional structure in mind. My current intention is to have Haaland as permacap(ish) and Son as the 2nd premium, so no Salah.

              1. jay01
                • 7 Years
                19 days, 15 hours ago

                Thats fair.. i was leaning the same way and would be debating between Son vs Kane.. will be dependent on the overall picture and what other players are.. dont mind a 352 or 442

          3. Andy_Social
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            19 days, 15 hours ago

            *4-5-1, I mean

      18. Inazuma X1
        • 4 Years
        19 days, 16 hours ago

        Any big impact of a no.9 (Nunez) on Liverpool's tactics and on Salah?

        1. The Mentaculus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          19 days, 16 hours ago

          Judging from Darwin's stats, it looks like he won't be much of a creator, so it could force Salah into more of an assisting role perhaps? Although he does seem to drift away from the centre fairly often for a 9, looking for opportunities to run at his man, and I'm sure Klopp can use that to open up more central spaces for Salah/Diaz to attack, so we'll have to wait & see really

          1. jay01
            • 7 Years
            19 days, 16 hours ago

            Yup.. also gotta factor how they will be without Mane

      19. jay01
        • 7 Years
        19 days, 16 hours ago

        Pure speculation but if Liverpool have a tough start in relation to other teams, AND Mane leaves.. could Diaz (+money) be a better option than Salah?

        1. RedRo
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          19 days, 16 hours ago

          Tough start in terms of fixtures? The only tough fixtures for them and City are one another.

          1. jay01
            • 7 Years
            19 days, 16 hours ago

            Yeah i guess so, maybe fixtures that arent the easiest teams on paper compared to say tottenham getting home games vs promoted teams at the start

            1. The Mentaculus
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              19 days, 16 hours ago

              The complication with this is that 'good fixtures' aren't always good for Spurs attackers. If last season's trends continue, you'd rather have Son against sides that will come out & play, rather than the 'weaker', park-the-bus defences

              1. jay01
                • 7 Years
                19 days, 16 hours ago

                Very very true! So much to consider

        2. The Mentaculus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          19 days, 16 hours ago

          Its an option I'm strongly considering, but not in terms of fixtures. More of a question of relative pricing of Kulusevski / Diaz, to decide whether Son-Diaz or Salah-Kulu is the better pairing to accompany Håland

      20. Mr. O'Connell hates DG…
        • 10 Years
        19 days, 16 hours ago

        Last season's final rank now on season history page. It's only a matter of time now...

        1. Inazuma X1
          • 4 Years
          19 days, 16 hours ago

          How much more time do you reckon

          1. RedRo
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            19 days, 16 hours ago

            6 days

            1. SonnyPikey
                19 days, 16 hours ago

                lol fixtures are only out next thursday. it won't be open that quickly. steady on.

                1. RedRo
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  19 days, 15 hours ago

                  Whoosh

            2. RedLightning
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • Has Moderation Rights
              • 11 Years
              19 days, 15 hours ago

              7-13 days

          2. jay01
            • 7 Years
            19 days, 16 hours ago

            Id love if they release it without fixtures announcrd.. just wanna see priced! But i guess it will be close when they start doing price reveals.

            My prediction is week after next

            1. SonnyPikey
                19 days, 16 hours ago

                2 weeks probably.

          3. jay01
            • 7 Years
            19 days, 16 hours ago

            So official fantasy twitter have acknowledged Perisic is a wingback! Should be classified as a defender now.. would you take him at 6 mil?

            1. SonnyPikey
                19 days, 15 hours ago

                midfield then

              • Andy_Social
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 9 Years
                19 days, 15 hours ago

                I'd take him as a 5.5 DEF.
                6m would be a wait-and-see.

                1. jay01
                  • 7 Years
                  19 days, 15 hours ago

                  6m would be fixture dependent for me

              • Pep's Money Laundry
                • 6 Years
                19 days, 15 hours ago

                He is one player I will avoid at the start of the season regardless of price and position.
                I'm sure he will be rotated plus CL games to also consider. Not forgetting the fact that he is 33

              • Zim0
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                17 days, 19 hours ago

                I'm gonna take a risk and get him GW1. Could explode pretty easily

            2. Malaikat Jihad
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              18 days, 17 hours ago

              Defenders' prices are not normally as volatile as forwards or midfielders, so starting with premium defenders is not going to increase your budget as fast as trading in the latter.

            3. I Must Break You
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              18 days, 5 hours ago

              It always intrigues me that people plan lineups - and post about them - this far in advance of the season without prices nor fixtures. What a wasteful effort

              1. RedRo
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                18 days, 5 hours ago

                Wouldn’t ever do it myself but all for people enjoying the game however they want

              2. Andy_Social
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 9 Years
                18 days, 5 hours ago

                Just a bit of fun at this stage. Plenty worse ways to waste your time.

              3. Indpush
                • 4 Years
                18 days, 4 hours ago

                What else intrigues you?

                1. I Must Break You
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  18 days, 1 hour ago

                  This article intrigues me: https://www.learning-mind.com/defensive-behavior/