Players from Arsenal, Chelsea and Swansea feature in our Players to Avoid for Gameweek 1

7:36pm Aug 4 2017

Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez returns to full training, but, will a lack of pre-season fitness keep him out of your Gameweek 1 squad?

With just one more week left until the return of the Premier League, we’re going to take a look at some players that you might want to be wary of including in your first Gameweek 1 squad, for various reasons.

Some of these players may become good options later on during the season, when circumstances change, but each carry a risk as things stand.

As always, we invite you to read the article and then check out the YouTube video below for all the stats and glossy graphics which help support our picks.

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Gylfi Sigurdsson – Swansea [£8.5m]

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Iceland international, Gylfi Sigurdsson, has been a key player for Swansea since his transfer from Spurs in the 2014/15 season. The 27-year-old was directly involved in 22 Premier League goals last season, scoring 9 times and providing 13 assists.

But the set piece specialist has been heavily linked with a £50m move to Everton all summer, and pulled out of Swansea’s pre-season tour, as a result.

With the uncertainty surrounding his future, and his lack of pre-season game time, there are much safer midfield options to take in your Gameweek 1 team, if you want to avoid the risk.

Willian [£7.0m] and Wilfried Zaha [£7.0m] are both cheaper and safer options than Sigurdsson to begin the season, while a Liverpool or Spurs midfielder could also give good alternatives for a slightly higher price, until the Swansea man’s future is decided.

Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal [£12.0m]

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Alexis Sanchez also enjoyed a successful campaign last season; he provided 24 goals and 11 assists for Arsenal, and was at the core of many of our Fantasy Premier League teams.

But, as with Sigurdsson, the Chile international has been continuously linked with a move away from the Emirates during the summer, with Man City one of many clubs reported to be interested in the 28-year-old’s signature.

Arsene Wenger has repeatedly claimed that Sanchez will not leave Arsenal but even if the Chilean is to stay, his lack of involvement in pre-season is also a concern.

Sanchez is yet to feature for Arsenal during pre-season but could be involved during their Community Shield tie against Chelsea, on 6th August 2017.

If you are in search of a risky punt, Sanchez could yet provide returns, if he’s available when Arsenal host Leicester in Gameweek 1, but with a premium price tag of £12.0m, it’s a big risk to splash out on the midfielder, for your FPL team.

Other premium options such as Kevin De Bruyne [£10.0m], Dele Alli [£9.5m] or Sadio Mané [£9.5m] are all looking like safer bets to begin the season, while Aaron Ramsey [£7.0m] could provide a cheap alternative amongst Arsenal midfielders.

N’Golo Kanté – Chelsea [£5.0m]

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Chelsea’s N’Golo Kanté was a key part of his team’s title winning campaign last season and the midfielder is now selected by over 15% of FPL managers, making him the 7th most selected midfielder in the game at present.

However, goals and assists aren’t a big part of Kanté’s game and so, despite his importance to Chelsea in real life terms, his Fantasy potential is unfortunately fairly low.

At £5.0m, he’s not a terrible option for your 5th midfielder, but Swansea’s Tom Carroll looks like a slightly more attacking alternative to warm your bench, and carries a cheaper price tag of just £4.5m.

Gareth McAuley – West Brom [£5.0m]

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Gareth McAuley impressed FPL managers with his tally of 7 clean sheets, 6 goals and 1 assist last season. But the West Brom defender will turn 38-years-old later this year, making him the oldest outfield player in the Premier League at present.

The Northern Ireland international was unable to make 90 minutes on two occasions towards the end of last season, due to carrying various knocks, and has missed a number of games during West Brom’s pre-season so far, with a thigh injury.

New signing Ahmed Hegazi has stepped up during pre-season, in McAuley’s absence and will provide an option for Tony Pulis throughout next season, potentially making McAuley’s starting position less secure.

West Brom teammate, Craig Dawson could provide a good alternative in FPL. At 27-years-old, Dawson is 10 years younger than McAuley and his underlying stats were better than his teammate’s last season.

Dawson provided 19 attempted assists and 8 shots on target, compared to McAuley’s 5 attempted assists and 7 shots on target, indicating that Dawson was perhaps unlucky to have been outscored by his defensive partner last season.

Thank you for reading ‘Fantasy Premier League Tips – Players to Avoid for Gameweek 1’ which was written and produced by @_FPLTips

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