Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 1 Preview

FIXTURE TO TARGET

NORWICH CITY VS LIVERPOOL

Liverpool’s opening game is a Fantasy goldmine because it’s hard to predict anything other than a comfortable win for the reds. The last time they faced the canaries in the premier league, it ended up in a 4-1 thrashing for Norwich, with the Egyptian scoring one of the goals. There has been an outbreak of Covid-19 at Norwich, which makes it unlikely their big guns would play in this game, increasing Liverpool’s chances of winning the game. 

DIFFERENTIALS TO TARGET

SADIO MANE (12.0M)

It’s no surprise that Sadio Mane is less favored than other premium midfielders after returning his lowest points total in three seasons. The Senegalese International sits in just (4.3%) of teams making him a high-risk alternative to Mohammed Salah owned by almost half of all managers (50.3%). With double-digit goals and assists for the second season, Mane only lagged behind the Egyptian midfielder in terms of big chances and shots in the box. It’s also worth noting that he underperformed his xG of (13.98) by scoring 11 goals while Salah overperformed his with an xG of (21.18) bagging 21 goals. For their first game against the canaries, Sadio Mane could prove to be a high-risk, high-reward pick.

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LEANDRO TROSSARD (6.5M)

Owned by just (1.5%) of managers Leandro Trossard can benefit from a kind opening run for Brighton. Averaging 4.5 points per 90 minutes last season no teammate was directly involved in more goals. In 2021, the Belgian international earned 73% of his returns in the second half of the campaign. He took a team-leading 16 shots on target while only pascal gross attempted more assists. Brighton plays a very expansive style of football under Graham Potters and underperforming their xG of (1.57) more than the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Everton.

JACK HARRISON (6.0M)

Despite his direct involvement in 18 goals last season, Jack Harrison has been selected by only (5.2%) compared to the (25%) owned Raphinha. Among midfielders with a maximum price of 9.5M, only Marcus Rashford and out-of-position defender Stuart Dallas earned more than his 160 FPL points, an average of 5 points per 90 minutes. Only Patrick Bamford was able to better his 9 big chances or his xG (5.96), although he played 492 more minutes than Raphinha. Despite their difficult opening fixture at Old Trafford, Leeds could pose a tough nut to crack for United and their pressing could make them a dangerous counterattacking force.

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MASON GREENWOOD (7.5M)

Marcus Rashford’s unexpected absence boosts Mason Greenwood’s chances early on, especially since Solskjaer confirmed Edinson Cavani won’t return to training until Thursday. Last season, the 19-year-old netted 6 goals and 1 assist in his last 8 games to average 7 points per game. Mohammed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold were the only players across all positions to score more than his 56 FPL points during that period. With the first game being against Leeds and possibly a striker role in the absence of Cavani, Greenwood could be a Massive differential from United as almost (48.3%) of FPL managers own Bruno Fernandes.

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CAPTAIN PICKS

MOHAMED SALAH (SURE SHOT)

Salah has scored six goals in the first game week of the season in each of the last four years. And the most important thing with Salah is that the Egyptian has minutes under his belt especially in his latest outing against Athletic Bilbao he looked lively and got into some dangerous positions.

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BRUNO FERNANDES (MODERATE) 

The Portuguese who ended up being the highest-scoring FPL player last season would love to start the season on a high. As he still has penalties and free-kicks on his disposal, he’s more likely to make attacking returns for Leeds. Leeds’ away form last season and their pre-season form this season point to a Manchester United win and the Portuguese international being the difference. 

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KAI HAVERTZ (GO FOR BROKE)

Romelu Lukaku is expected to move from Inter Milan to Chelsea in the coming days, but it appears he may not be ready for the game against Crystal Palace, which may allow Kai Havertz to play through the middle for Chelsea. The fact that he will play through the middle will certainly boost his appeal since he will get an extra point for a goal and a clean sheet. Taking place at Stamford Bridge and with fans coming back to the stadium, Chelsea would love to have a good start. The fans will be fully behind Kai Havertz as he scored the winning goal in last season’s Champions League final.

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