The much-anticipated fixture list for the 2022/23 Premier League season was released on Thursday morning.
Fantasy Premier League (FPL) hasn’t yet relaunched for the upcoming campaign but Fantasy managers have inevitably already started mentally drafting their Gameweek 1 squads based on the newly available schedule.
And we’re no different, as here we take a look at the captaincy conundrums and premium pick pickles that may present themselves in the first quarter of 2022/23.
CAPTAINCY MATRIX – FIRST 10 GAMEWEEKS
While we of course haven’t seen the prices for the new FPL campaign, we can be pretty sure that most of us will be eyeing up at least two of Erling Haaland, Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-min, Harry Kane and, potentially, Kevin De Bruyne in our Gameweek 1 squads.
Then there are the prolific points-scorers at the back from these clubs, such as Joao Cancelo, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson, and mid-price alternatives such as Dejan Kulusevski and Luis Diaz who we may have to turn to in order to accommodate heavy hitters elsewhere.
In a nutshell, assets from Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur will not only be eating up a huge chunk of our budget but also dominating the captaincy discussion.
In the below image, we’ve picked out what we deem to be the stand-out fixtures in each of the first 10 Gameweeks from these three clubs only.
- Fantasy managers could have a captain against a newly promoted club in five of the first six Gameweeks using just Liverpool, City and Spurs assets, with Gameweek 3 being the exception.
- Gameweek 3 consequently looks the trickiest to call in the opening half-dozen rounds. Son and co are probably the pick of the bunch if the Wolverhampton Wanderers of the 2021/22 run-in turn up to north London but it’s easy to forget how obdurate Bruno Lage’s side were for much of last season. Trips to Newcastle and Manchester United are less favourable on paper for City and Liverpool but then again, Jurgen Klopp’s side made light work of the Red Devils recently. Reece James and Chelsea face Leeds United in Gameweek 3, for those looking for alternative captaincy picks.
- Wolves are also in the spotlight in Gameweeks 7 and 8, so all eyes will be on their early-season form after they wilted in the spring. City meet Spurs in Gameweek 7, so again, Chelsea – who make the short trip across west London to Fulham – could enter the thinking.
- The north London and Manchester derbies take place in Gameweek 9, leaving Liverpool as the default captaincy choice. Brighton are no pushovers, however, having conceded just five goals in their last four meetings with the Reds. Jamie Vardy and Leicester City’s home match against Nottingham Forest is about the best of the rest in Gameweek 9.
Let us know below what your own initial plans are to accommodate the premium picks in the first few months of the season and how your captaincy plans will shape that.
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