FPL Q&A: Gameweek 1-4 | Is Bernardo Silva the Best Man City Midfielder?

10:42pm Aug 8 2018

We take some last minute questions from around the Fantasy Premier League community ahead of Gameweek 1’s 7pm deadline this Friday

Welcome to the first Q&A episode of the new season, taking a look the questions you guys sent in via Twitter, with Gameweeks 1 to 4 in mind.

As always, we have provided you with a video version of this article, which you can find above.

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FFAnalysts_Nick (@FFAnalysts_Nick) asks:

“Is Bernardo Silva now the best City midfielder to own at the start of the season?”

There’s a lot of hype surrounding the 23-year-old, after he ran the midfield for Man City, in their 2-0 win over Chelsea last weekend, while picking up one of the assists for Sergio Aguero’s goals.

After the game, Pep Guardiola praised the Portuguese star, saying: “right now, it’s Bernardo and 10 more” and “in this moment, Bernardo is far above the other guys.” So, it’s clear he has the backing of his manager.

Both Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva were missing from the squad that beat Chelsea and haven’t featured at all during pre-season, following their World Cup involvement, so it’s likely that Bernardo Silva will keep his starting place in the short term, at least.

You’d certainly expect De Bruyne to come straight back into the team when available and it’s hard to see David Silva being kept out on a permanent basis, so we can expect rotation with Bernardo in the longer term.

#FPL Joker (@FPLJoker) asks:

“When is the best time to play an early wildcard?”

One popular tactic is often to set your initial team up with the first 4 Gameweeks or so in mind – perhaps with one or two players decided more by their kind opening fixtures than their proven consistency over the course of a season.

The likes of Bernardo Silva (7.5) or Lucas Moura (7.0) are players that potentially fit into that bracket this season – we can’t be certain they’ll offer consistent points long term but they have potential to offer value in the short term.

A lot of us are also turning to Liverpool and Man City for our premium assets, given their kind run of opening fixtures and an earlier wildcard allows us to do this, while having a plan B if it all goes wrong.

The first international break, between GW4 and GW5, is often a good time to plan for because it means we’ve had 4 weeks’ worth of matches to analyse and by that point, we know who the nailed on starters are, which teams are looking good and which players have confidence and form.

But if it gets to Gameweek 4, and your team is still in good shape – if you’ve been able to address any problems with free transfers, there’s no harm in riding it out a bit longer.

It will often be a case of playing the wildcard when your team needs it – when injuries or non-starters have built up within your squad or perhaps when you see a fixture shift occurring for certain key teams.

Dayo (@TeeJolz) asks:

“Update on Cedric please and is Bednarek a nailed on starter?”

Cedric (4.5) only recently returned to training, following his extended break after the World Cup and missed Southampton’s final pre-season friendly with a stomach bug.

However, Mark Hughes has praised his fitness levels and suggested that the right-back could go straight into the team to face Burnley. Even if he was to miss GW1, you’d expect him to claim his starting place in time for GW2.

Bednarek is an interesting option, due to his £4.0m price tag and he was a player that Mark Hughes favoured towards the end of last season, when he first took charge of Southampton; he started 5 of the 8 games between Gameweek 31 and 38.

In pre-season, the Poland international started in all 3 of the games he was available for, playing 45 minutes twice and 60 minutes on the other occasion.

So, he’s not nailed on – with Stephens and Yoshida the two most likely to compete for a starting place, alongside Vestergaard and Hoedt, but Bednarek could be worth the gamble at his price, if you have cover on the bench.

Douglas Johansson (@DouglasJohansso) asks:

“Are any Manchester United players worth consideration?”

For a while, it looked like Alexis Sanchez (10.5) was likely to line up ‘Out of Position’, as a forward, where he started in pre-season for a handful of games.

However, Mourinho returned to his favoured 4-3-3 formation for Man Utd’s final friendly game, with Sanchez operating from the left-wing and Marcus Rashford (7.0) playing through the middle.

With Lukaku (11.0) having had an extended break, along with many of the other World Cup players and Jose Mourinho’s defensively minded style of play, it’s hard to see much potential in United’s attack early on.

But certainly, their defence is a tempting prospect, after they kept a league-high tally of 19 clean sheets last season.

David De Gea (6.0) is the safe way into the Man Utd backline, but Eric Bailly (5.5) is highly-regarded amongst fans and appears to be the first-choice centre-back going into the new season, to potentially partner a new signing. Luke Shaw (5.0) could also earn starts early on, in the absence of Ashley Young, but carries much more of a risk in the longer term.

Abhijeet Vaidya (@AbhijeetSVaidya) asks:

“Who is the best pick for a 4.0m defender?”

We’ve got a number of £4.0m options to choose from in defence this season, with Cardiff’s Lee Peltier, Wan-Bissaka of Crystal Palace and the aforementioned Bednarek of Southampton, all featuring heavily in pre-season.

Lee Peltier is perhaps the more assured starter, having been the preferred right-back choice last season but Aaron Wan-Bissaka looks to be favoured ahead of Joel Ward, having started for the majority of pre-season.

The Crystal Palace defender has some kind fixtures to start the season, taking on Fulham, Watford and Southampton in the opening 4 Gameweeks, so he looks like the pick of the bunch.

Vyshnav Rajan (@vyshnav_vj) asks:

“Firmino or Mane – which to put alongside Salah?”

It seemed like it was going to be a straight-forward choice to start with Sadio Mané (9.5), after he returned much earlier to pre-season training and was even thought to be on penalty duties before Fabinho fired wide form the spot in the final pre-season friendly.

Roberto Firmino (9.5) came back into the picture after earning starts in Liverpool’s last 2 pre-season matches, delivering a goal and assist in the most recent tie, with Torino.

So, it’s a much tougher decision now, with both players looking fit to start against West Ham in Gameweek 1 but the lack of premium midfield options to start with, compared with good quality forwards, could be a reason for preferring Sadio Mané.

The likes of Arnautovic (7.0), Zaha (7.0), Josh King (6.5), Aubameyang (11.0) and of course Sergio Aguero (11.0) could all be viable options to start with.

Whereas, amongst premium midfielders, there’s only really Eriksen (9.5) and Salah (13.0) who stand out for Gameweek 1, with Hazard (10.5), De Bruyne (11.0) and Sterling (11.0) likely to miss out and rotation concerns, down the line, for Mahrez (9.5) and Sané (9.0).

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Thank you for reading ‘Fantasy Premier League Tips – FPL Q&A: Gameweek 1-4 | Is Bernardo Silva the Best Man City Midfielder?’ which was written and produced by @FFPundits_Drew