What we learned in GW1!

Penalties exist…

A big topic of discussion in the FPL Twitter world this week was the luck vs skill debate regarding penalty takers such as Vardy and Salah. For me, the more penalty takers you can get in your team the better. We pay a premium for them for a reason and you’ll reap the rewards more often than not.

As our mate Flapjack tweeted the other day, Jamie Vardy ended up with an xGnP of 0.00 but scored 13 points for his owners. If United continue to win a penalty every other game, Bruno will likely be coming into most of our teams very soon.

Leeds will give anyone a game…

Bloody hell, how good were Leeds? I can’t get my head around the fact that Klich picked the ball out of the net at 3-3 in order to go for the winner. The style of football they play and the energy they will bring to every fixture is going to stand them in good stead for a few shocks in my opinion. We need to identify and bring in their top assets as soon as possible. I am going to watch the game this weekend vs Fulham in order to make my mind up on the defenders, Ayling and Dallas could be fantastic value. The midfield trio of Costa, Klich and Harrison also look handsomely priced at £5.5m, potentially as discussed above, Klich could be the man, as he takes the penalties.

Don’t take risks early doors?

The most exciting new imports took centre stage on Monday night, but Werner and Havertz debut fell flat in Chelsea’s 3-1 win. Nearly 50% of us own Werner and just over 10% are on Havertz, potentially these were unnecessary risks when players like Ings, Jimenez and Willian were available. My hope as a Werner owner is that Chelsea will come good relatively soon, and start to gel. When their best 11 is fully fit I can see a lot of us going for a triple up at some point in the season. Ziyech, Havertz, Pulisic and Werner have the ability to be one of the best front 4’s the league has seen.

WBA/Fulham the whipping boys?

There were very few positive to take from Fulham or WBA’s performances at the weekend. Fulham were missing their main talisman in Mitrovic, so I think it would be harsh to analyse them too harshly from an attacking point of view. Defensively however, their left hand side is going to be targeted a lot this season, Bryan is always looking to attack and leaves Tim Ream incredibly exposed. I’m very much looking forward to Liverpool vs Fulham this season, Salah might get 4/5 that week.

West Brom are going to struggle without a striker this season in my opinion, with only Callum Robinson, Robson-Kanu and Austin available I can only see them going down. This also massively diminishes the appeal of Diangana and Pereira, who are both incredibly talented footballers. They will likely struggle for FPL returns in the same way ASM and Almiron did last season when supplying Joelinton. Defensively they were pretty poor, Johnstone will likely get a fair few save points this season but very few CS.

Wolves defenders > Liverpool defenders?

Since Boly came back from injury Wolves have been fantastic at the back, and it was no surprise they continued to look rock solid vs Sheffield United on Monday. With their assets coming in at £5-£5.5, I feel like a Wolves defender is essential in everyone’s side, potentially even a double up.

The key to Liverpool’s defensive success in recent season has been the emergence of Virgil Van Dijk as one of the world’s best. However, I believe in recent months he has got wrapped up in his own hype, he has an air of invincibility and cockiness about him, which showed when he nonchalantly attempted to clear a long ball into the path of Patrick Bamford who duly tucked home an equaliser. If VVD doesn’t hit top form soon I don’t see Liverpool keeping 15+ clean sheets again, especially with such attacking full backs. 

At the moment I would favour a Wolves double up over the TAA/Robbo duo. Especially given the potential to save £4/£4.5m.

Everton good, or Spurs bad?

In the past few seasons Everton’s lightweight midfield has let them down in their push for the European places. With Ancelotti as manager and a new midfield trio of James Rodriguez, Allan and Doucoure, Everton should have no problems pushing the top 6 until the very end of the season. There is a lot of talk about Rodriguez at the moment, who was one of the most creative players in GW1, but for me the best performance for Everton was that of Allan. The Brazilian finally gives the Everton defence the support and cover they’ve needed for several years. The likes of Luca Digne and maybe even Coleman could become serious options this year with the addition of Allan.

Tottenham looked lethargic and lacked creativity, which we probably should have expected with Jose in charge. I had Son in my GW1 squad and was incredibly disappointed by the way he was utilised, a shadow of the player we’ve seen in years previous. Kane looked good in spells, creating a great chance for Matt Doherty, but the service into Kane wasn’t good enough. The amount of money we have to spend on assets like Kane and Son, I think at the current moment is better being invested elsewhere.

I am sure GW2 will supply us with several more dilemmas, even more so this year as 4 teams are playing their first game of the season! Have a good one lads, and may your arrows be green.

By FPLIrons

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