And we’re live! Another season starts, and we check what the bookie’s expect to happen in game week 1! With some tasty fixtures there are few clean sheets expected in game week 1. Either due to uncertainty, or due to most of the top 6 playing away from home or against one another.
Before we head into the article, we want to give you a taste of some cheap Defenders who may feature in the early game weeks.
They are Peltier (Cardiff) 4.0M, Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace) 4.0M, Bednarek (Southampton) 4.0M and Bennett (Wolves) 4.0M. While all the previous are rotation risks, for 4.0m, it enables you to spend more money elsewhere, turning a 4.0m goalkeeper into a starting 4.5m keeper.
Gameweek 1 kicks off with Manchester United hosting Leicester at 8:00 PM on Friday night. A fixture that will likely catch a few casual FPL’ers out. Last season Manchester United started well defensively and many will be hoping for more of the same in this fixture. David De Gea is the safest option defensively and many will likely use him as a set and forget option. United have a 53.42% chance of keeping a clean sheet on the opening fixture. This makes them the highest likely team to keep a clean sheet. With some key players still missing, such as Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic. Though Leicester are missing their talisman Riyad Mahrez after the Algerian left for Manchester City during the summer window.
Liverpool look the most appealing with their opening fixture vs West Ham. New keeper Allison should result in more clean sheets this year for the Reds. Robertson looks the best option defensively for Liverpool due to his attacking threat down the left wing. Liverpool signed Keita/Fabinho which should tighten up the midfield and hopefully means that Liverpool are likely to keep more clean sheets. They have a 51.51% chance of stopping West Ham. Considering his positional move, it’ll be interesting to see if Arnautovic will perform. The Austrian has looked great pre-season scoring goals for fun.
Southampton have a nice opening game vs Burnley. Unfortunately for Southampton they’ve been conceding as much as Everton in pre-season and look very poor defensively. With a 47.19% chance of a clean sheet it’s hard to look past their defensive players especially if Bednarek starts. With players such as Cedric and Yoshida returning late for pre-season due to the world cup, there is still a bit of an unknown in their starting XI. If Burnley go back to their 2016/2017 season away form, where they only won once. Southampton could be in for an easy fixture.
With Southampon signing Angus Gunn from Manchester City for 10m+ there could be an assumption that he would be first choice. He won’t be. Alex McCarthy will start the season as first choice, whilst former first choice goalkeeper Fraser Forster will drop down to 3rd choice. Quite a fall for someone his height. With Forster still owned by 1.5% of the teams, it may not be known by the masses just how low he has dropped down the ranks at Southampton.
From reading through Twitter and boards many seem to have Seamus Coleman in their FPL team. Everton‘s opening game sees them travel to the Molineux Stadium to face
Portugal. I mean Wolves. Everton had a poor Pre Season conceding a lot of goals so I wouldn’t expect that to change any time soon. Jagielka or potential new signing Yerry Mina is likely to partner Keane at CB as Ashley Williams departed to Stoke. Everton have a 30.30% chance of keeping a clean sheet but I’ll be avoiding Everton defensive players personally. There is one positive though! Jordan Pickford returned early to training which means he should be starting in game week 1.
Arsenal defenders in Gameweek 1 are the ones to be avoided. They face reigning champions Manchester City. Aguero scored a brace in the cup match last Sunday and since then his ownership has slowly increased. He’ll be looking to get Manchester City off to a flyer. Arsenal have just a 18.80% chance of stopping City. With Arsenal potentially without Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac for the fixture, either Maitland-Niles or Lichtsteiner will fill in at left back. Either way, an unnatural full back will be up against a dynamic winger which is sure to test them. There is also the uncertainty about who will start in goal for the Gunners. With Emery not having announced who his first choice stopper is yet. Some believe Cech will continue starting until he makes an error. While others believe Leno already has the position nailed down.
West Ham are the only team under 10% this week. They have a 9.57% chance of keeping a clean sheet in Anfield. Salah is the highest owned player in the game and should score. It’s no surprise that bookies are giving the Hammers such a small chance of stopping Liverpool. West Ham are without Winston Reid for this fixture and could lineup with two newly signed centre backs. Ogbonna could start, but Balbuena and Diop may be given the chance to start ahead of the mistake prone Italian.
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