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FPL Gameweek 1 tips: Haaland v Kane, Perisic, £4.0m goalkeepers

With Gameweek 1 of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) days away, we’re welcoming back our stellar team of Pro Pundits, Hall of Famers and guest contributors for the new campaign.

Our writers will be providing regular articles and team reveals throughout the new season, with only Premium Members able to access every single one.

Next up is seven-time top 10k finisher Zophar, who talks through his latest Gameweek 1 plans and addresses some of the biggest dilemmas that FPL managers are facing ahead of Friday’s deadline.

It’s less than 48 hours now till the Premier League kicks off and there are several questions in my head that I am guessing will be shared by several of you reading this piece. 

I’ll give my own thoughts on these hot topics in the article below.

Perisic or not?

We all know what Antonio Conte’s wing-backs do, and a player with quality in the final third like Ivan Perisic (£5.5m) can really thrive in this system. He was very impressive in their last friendly against Roma, often taking up more advanced positions than either Son Heung-min (£12.0m) or Harry Kane (£11.5m). There is no doubt in my mind that he is going to become the third-most important player in that Spurs team but the question is will this happen in Gameweek 1 right away? Ryan Sessegnon (£4.5m) has had a full pre-season and knows the system well, so might get the nod early doors.

However, you will definitely want Perisic in your team come Gameweek 3 when he is up to full fitness and the fixtures are much more favourable for Spurs. Rather than booking in a transfer then, I would just start with Perisic and take the possibly bumpy first couple of weeks on the chin. There is still every chance he could start against Southampton and he has a very high ceiling if he does. 

The third Liverpool pick

I was pretty set on Luis Diaz (£8.0m) being my third Liverpool pick till I saw the Community Shield. Granted, it is a very small sample size and it is dangerous to base anything on how a team sets up against Manchester City as they are a very unique team. But I just couldn’t ignore the positions that Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) was getting into, something we are used to seeing from Marcos Alonso (£5.5m) at Chelsea. Diaz also got into very attacking positions but I still worry that his end product might not be at the level we saw from Sadio Mane in previous seasons.

Darwin Nunez (£9.0m) also tempts me but I have gone a bit cold after reading some of the comments from Jurgen Klopp, Virgil van Dijk (£6.5m) and Nunez himself. Diogo Jota (£9.0m) is expected to be fit around Gameweeks 3-4 and with midweek commitments starting for Liverpool around then, it feels like a risk too far when Robertson is such a sure thing. 

Trust in Reece James?

After Chelsea’s poor pre-season and loss of key personnel, I was fairly downbeat on Reece James’ (£6.0m) prospects for the first few Gameweeks. There was even a high chance of him playing as the third centre-back due to lack of personnel.

The potential signing of Marc Cucurella (£5.0m) is helpful for James as the Spaniard can slot in at left centre-back, which would allow Kalidou Koulibaly (£5.5m) to play as the right-sided centre-half and free up James for the wing-back role where we know he is gold. Everton also have Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.0m) injured for Gameweek 1, which encourages me about Chelsea’s clean sheet appeal. I am definitely more keen on including James in my side than I was two weeks ago, after the Arsenal pre-season game. 

FPL pre-season: Trossard hits hat-trick from wing-back role 1

Use the £8.0m spot for fixture jumping?

I am trying to include an £8.0m midfielder slot in my team that isn’t committed to a Liverpool player. Their fixtures are too good to get rid of any of their assets for the first five Gameweeks but there is an opportunity to use that spot to target fixtures: say, start with Dejan Kulusevski (£8.0m) against Southampton, then switch to Phil Foden (£8.0m) against Bournemouth and after to Bukayo Saka (£8.0m) for Gameweeks 3 and 4 against Bournemouth and Fulham again.

I might have to sacrifice one of James or Perisic to achieve this, which is probably the biggest debate I have in my head still.

READ MORE: Which £8.0m midfielder has the best numbers?

Haaland or Kane in Gameweek 1?

This is a big decision going into Gameweek 1 and if Harry Kane was going to be my captain in Gameweek 1 I would have absolutely no hesitation in going for him – but I am going to be handing the armband to Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) at Fulham. Bournemouth’s current injury/recruitment woes have been well publicised and I am not prepared to go into Gameweek 2 without the big Norwegian as my captain.

As a general rule, I like to bank a transfer in Gameweek 2 so I can get a larger sample size of information and then take a points hit in Gameweek 3 if necessary with a better idea of the landscape. Booking in a transfer seems risky to me, especially when Haaland could easily outscore Kane in Gameweek 1. Also if I do opt for the £8.0m slot hopping strategy, I can’t afford to book that transfer. 

Double up with £4.0m Leicester GKs

The availability of two £4.0m goalkeepers at Leicester has made things very interesting for managers looking to squeeze every ounce of value from that position. If Leicester had decent fixtures to start with, its something I could get on board with but with that fixture run in the first five Gameweeks and the transfer window still open, I am not inclined to go there.

I would rather use Danny Ward (£4.0m) in a rotation with one of Robert Sanchez (£4.5m) or David Raya (£4.5m) and in my opinion, the Daniel Iversen (£4.0m)/Ward double-up is more suited to the first Wildcard after the transfer window has shut and Leicester have a much better run of fixtures (around Gameweek 9 onwards). 

My current FPL Gameweek 1 team draft

Whatever happens on the opening weekend, don’t beat yourself about it. Gameweek 1 is the biggest information reveal of the season, and going into the first Gameweek, we are all basically Jon Snow. We know nothing!

Enjoy the football and see you next week. 

FPL pre-season: Trossard hits hat-trick from wing-back role 2

1,055 Comments Post a Comment
  1. jimboakimbo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    4 days, 17 hours ago

    Please help me:
    Meslier
    TAA, Robbo, Perisic, Dalot
    Rashford, Salah, Bailey, KDB
    Jesus, Vardy

    Or

    Meslier
    TAA, Robbo, Perisic, Walker
    Salah, Bailley, Neto
    Jesus, Martial, Kane/Haaland

    Thoughts?

  2. Kane Train
    • 7 Years
    4 days, 17 hours ago

    Thoughts on this team?

    Meslier
    James / Trippier / TAA
    Neto / Salah / Martinelli / Bailey
    Haaland / Jesus / Kane

    Bench: Ward, Williams, Andreas, Vestergaard

  3. Garybaldbee
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    4 days, 15 hours ago

    Thinking of a one premium approach with Salah perma captain to GW 6. What do you think?

    Ward
    TAA, Robbo, Cancelo, Perisic
    Sala, Kulu, Foden, Mount, Martinelli
    Jesus

    Bench: Iversen, Gabriel, Archer, Greenwood

    1. OneMan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 days, 13 hours ago

      Looks good. Hard to argue with those picks.

      1. Garybaldbee
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        3 days, 23 hours ago

        Thanks

    2. Prettanike
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      4 days, 3 mins ago

      Very solid first 11 imo

      1. Garybaldbee
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        3 days, 23 hours ago

        Thanks

  4. Mattd85
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    4 days, 13 hours ago

    Please help! Option A (balanced) or B (upgraded defence). Bench + keeper the same for both.

    A:
    TAA/Zinchenko/James/Walker
    Salah/Mount/Saka/Neto
    Kane/Jesus

    B: TAA/Robertson/Perisic/Zinchenko/Walker
    Salah/Mount/Bailey
    Kane/Jesus

  5. Auba Xhaka Laca Saka Laca
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    4 days, 13 hours ago

    Ramsdale / Ward
    Cancelo / TAA / Robbo / James / Doherty
    Salah / Son / Bailey / Neto / Andreas
    Gabriel Jesus / Archer / Greenwood

    GTG?

  6. Matr1xOne
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    4 days, 12 hours ago

    Help.
    Ward
    TAA, James, Cancelo, Nico
    Sarah, Martinelli, Mount, Bailey
    Jesus Haaland

    With either:

    A) Mendy, Mings, Bren Johnson
    Or
    B) Alison, Perlsic, Greenwood

    Looking to play Bench chip wk1 with Opyion A.
    Or
    Option bB fixed keeper all season, but would block 3rd Liverpool mid / attacker.

    Ahhhhhhh

    1. XX SMICER XX
      • 4 Years
      3 days, 15 hours ago

      Not a fan of BB. Mings may not play

  7. kip kop
    • 6 Years
    4 days, 8 hours ago

    Best 4.5m midfielder?

    1. XX SMICER XX
      • 4 Years
      3 days, 15 hours ago

      Andreas

  8. XX SMICER XX
    • 4 Years
    3 days, 15 hours ago

    A. JAMES & BAILEY
    B. £5M DEF & NETO 0.5M ITB