Premium FPL Captain Picks - Gameweek 1
Posted by @FFPundits_Drew
4:56pm Aug 7 2019
Mo Salah, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane dominate the captaincy poll ahead of FPL Gameweek 1 this weekend
You’ve had over six weeks to tinker with those FPL teams for Gameweek 1 and now you’re ready for the new fantasy football season to begin. Right? No, neither are we, so you’re not alone fantasy managers.
With Friday’s 7pm deadline fast approaching, there’s still time for some last-minute over thinking, second guessing and rash transfers to be made – and before we all know it, we’ll be screaming ‘I had him in my draft team last Tuesday‘ at your televisions and mobile phones.
Fantasy Premier League is BACK ladies and gentleman, so let’s embrace it – but, first, it’s time for the most important question you’ll have to answer this pre-season – who will be YOUR Gameweek 1 FPL Captain?
Please note, the 3 players discussed below are based on the FFPundits Gameweek 1 Captains Poll we’re running on Twitter now – they are not captain obvious ‘tips’ – so let me make that clear before we continue.
Once we have Gameweek 1 out-of-the-way and have some data to review and play with, we will look to add shrewd moves and differential captaincy picks to our Gameweek 2 article.
But for now, let’s keep it simple and stick with the big boys which have dominated conversation and captaincy polls.
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Mohamed Salah vs. Norwich (H)
£12.5m | 39.0% owned
Where do you even begin with Mo Salah? Finishing with the highest FPL points in both his first and second season in the Premier League, can the Egyptian King make it three years on the bounce? We think so.
With the second highest ownership on FPL this season (now 39% and rising, fast) and a tasty home fixture against newly promoted Norwich City on Friday evening at Anfield, we were expecting Salah to top all the captain’s polls this week and with 69% of the votes – he didn’t disappoint.
After Egypt were knocked out of the African Cup of Nations earlier than expected this summer, Salah has had some downtime on holiday before returning for pre-season training with Liverpool, and judging by his performance in the Community Shield on Sunday, Egypt’s loss has certainly been Liverpool’s gain.
Salah unleashed an impressive TEN shots against the reigning Premier League Champions, including hitting the woodwork and an acrobatic clearance from Kyle Walker clearing a goal-bound effort off the line.
If Salah can cause Manchester City such problems, what can he do against a newly promoted Norwich side under the Anfield floodlights?
There is the possibility of penalty duty for Salah – especially with Milner off the field – and with the introduction of VAR this season, this could be a key talking point for the opening weeks of the 2019-20 season.
Remember, your FPL season isn’t won or lost during Gameweek 1, so, in my (@FFPundits_Drew) opinion, play it safe and follow the masses – there will be 37 more weeks to take a gamble and be cute.
Harry Kane vs. Aston Villa (H)
£11.0m | 23.8% owned
Kane’s ownership has crept up quietly and is now 28.3% at the time of writing.
An opening fixture at home to newly promoted Aston Villa being a key reason in his popularity as hundreds of thousands of FPL managers return to the beloved game.
Last season’s total of 17 goals was disappointing by the usual high standards we are used to, but Kane looked tired and over-worked for both club and country.
Well, this summer, Harry has enjoyed a long break with no international football to play and a full pre-season under his belt. Can he reclaim his annual Golden Boot from Salah? I think it’s game on, personally.
We will of course see the introduction of VAR to the Premier League this season and when I think of VAR and penalties, it’s Harry Kane that springs to mind for some reason.
Maybe because the technologies impact helped the England Captain clinch the Golden Boot at last Summer’s World Cup.
Now, the evidence suggests that VAR doesn’t increase the number of penalties awarded, however, similarly to the ‘contact in the box rule’ introduced back in 2016-17, I expect the opening games to have an increase in the number of penalties awarded while players adjust.
This Saturday evening’s visitors, Aston Villa, were poor defensively last season, despite winning promotion back into the Premier League.
They have recently signed Tom Heaton from Burnley to try and help matters, however, can he keep Kane at bay?
With 19% of our Captain’s Poll votes, Kane is significantly behind Mo Salah – however, were Salah to blank, then the Kane Captaineers could take an early advantage.
Raheem Sterling vs. West Ham (A)
£12.0m | 31.2% owned
Only 10% of our Twitter Poll captain’s vote went to Raheem Sterling – you disappoint me FPL bosses!
Sterling finished the season second to Mo Salah (234 vs 259) for the total number of FPL points scored last season, but can he go one better during 2019-20? I think it’s going to be tight.
Right now, I believe he can and he is my shout for both this season’s top FPL point scorer and the Golden Boot. There, I said it – damn that feels good to say it loud.
Sterling started Sunday’s Community Shield up front due to Aguero and Jesus’ late return to Man City’s pre-season training and for me, there seems to be every chance he starts as a number 9 once again, with Kun and Jesus introduced from the bench?
Arguably the in-form player of pre-season, up against a poor West Ham defence with an injury doubt to goalkeeper Fabianski – Sterling is a very strong captaincy alternative to Salah or Kane.
In only his last six appearances vs the Hammers, Sterling has recorded three goals and six assists – can he add to that record during Gameweek 1?
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