FPLTips' TEAM SELECTION for Gameweek 1 | is Salah the Safe Captain?
Posted by @FFPundits_Drew
10:34pm Aug 7 2018
Liverpool’s midfield maestro Mo Salah will captain our team against West Ham in Gameweek 1
Premier League football returns this Friday night (10th August) and in this article, we’ll be taking a look at the much-anticipated updated FPLtips team selection for Gameweek 1.
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Following his transfer to Watford, Ben Foster (4.5) makes the team for Gameweek 1 and the intention is to rotate the former West Brom goalkeeper with Lucasz Fabianski (4.5) of West Ham.
Across the first 4 Gameweeks, that pairing provides a run of home fixtures, against Brighton, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Wolves.
He’s currently doubtful, having picked up a knock in Man Utd’s last pre-season game but Eric Bailly (5.5) is likely to make the team for Gameweek 1, providing Jose Mourinho gives him the all clear.
Man Utd kept more clean sheets than any other Premier League side last season (19) and begin the campaign with fixtures against Leicester, Brighton and Burnley across the first 4 Gameweeks.
Benjamin Mendy (6.0) returned to the Man City starting lineup for their 2-0 Community Shield win last weekend, after being sidelined for most of last season with injury.
If the France international can put together a run of games, he looks likely to offer potential at both ends of the field, with Man City having conceded the fewest goals (27) during their 2017/18 title-winning campaign.
Liverpool fullback, Andrew Robertson (6.0) keeps his place from the first draft team. The Scotland international’s average of 5.0 points per match last season was on par with Phil Jones (5.5) and Marcos Alonso (6.5); no defender could better the trio.
A hamstring injury saw Sadio Mané (9.5) miss a handful of games last season but in 29 appearances, he was directly involved in 18 league goals; scoring 10 times and producing 8 assists.
He joins last season’s top points scorer and current highest-owned player, Mohamed Salah (13.0), for Liverpool’s kind run of opening fixtures, which will see them host West Ham and Brighton.
If you’ve seen the recent ‘Players to Watch’ episode, it will come as no surprise to see Everton’s new signing, Richarlison (6.5), in the team.
Each of his 13 FPL involvements last season came while Marco Silva was in charge of Watford, between Gameweek 1 and Gameweek 24 and Richarlison’s 59 efforts from inside the box during that time was 2nd only to Mohamed Salah (73), amongst midfielders.
Finally, there’s also a place for Lucas Moura (7.0) in midfield, as a very short-term punt. The Spurs man has enjoyed a promising pre-season, producing 4 goals and 2 assists and looks likely to feature in Pochettino’s starting lineup early on, given the amount of players lacking fitness or sidelined with injury.
There’s £0.5m left in the bank at the moment, with the intention of selling Lucas Moura to Aaron Ramsey (7.5) from Gameweek 3 onwards.
The key dilemma upfront will be whether to include Wilfried Zaha (7.0) or Marko Arnautovic (7.0) in this Gameweek 1 team, with each of the former FPL midfielders having been reclassified as forwards this time around.
Both displayed good form in the second half of last season and they’ve each enjoyed successful pre-seasons but perhaps worryingly, Manuel Pellegrini, has hinted that Chicharito is a key part of his plans.
With that in mind, along with some tricky opening fixtures for West Ham in the first 3 Gameweeks, it’s the Crystal Palace man who makes the team for now.
There is, of course, a place for Man City’s Sergio Aguero (11.0) after he announced his return with a brace against Chelsea in the Community Shield.
The Argentine’s average of 6.8 points per match last season was top amongst forwards, demonstrating his value even in spite of competition from Gabriel Jesus.
Finally, following Bournemouth’s impressive 5-2 win over Marseille in their recently friendly, where Josh King (6.5) stood out as one of the key performers, the Norwegian keeps his place from the first draft team.
Amongst budget forwards, priced at £7.0m or less, King’s tally of 12 FPL involvements last season was beaten by only Pérez (14), Zaha (16) and Arnautovic (18).
Home fixtures against Cardiff and Everton in the opening 3 Gameweeks look promising for Bournemouth and there’s perhaps the potential of moving King on to Arnautovic for Gameweek 4, when West Ham host Wolves.
Alongside West Ham’s Lucasz Fabianski (4.5) on the bench, the three players have been chosen for their cheap price tags and potential to start games.
Priced at £4.5m, Morgan Schneiderlin is key to Everton’s central midfield and while he’s unlikely to deliver many attacking returns, he should get a steady string of 2 pointers, which makes him ideal for a bench player.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (4.0) has been favoured ahead of Joel Ward throughout pre-season and looks set to feature plenty for Crystal Palace next season, while Cardiff’s Lee Peltier (4.0) also provides a cheap, starting defender, for cover from the bench.
In terms of a captaincy choice for Gameweek 1, is there even a decision to make?
Mohamed Salah’s season gets underway with a home encounter against a West Ham side that conceded the most goals in the Premier League last season (along with Stoke) and it would take a brave manager to bet against the Egypt international on the opening weekend.
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BEFORE YOU GO… We’ve teamed up with Starting 11 once again this season and will be playing their Daily Fantasy Premier League game, alongside FPL.