Premiership – Gameweek 1 – Key Fixtures
The fixture computer threw up an intriguing opening day clash between Manchester United and Tottenham, and unsurprisingly this is the game that the TV Executives have chosen to get the season off to a flyer. Wayne Rooney will no doubt be a popular choice amongst Fantasy Managers to bag some early points, and indeed he’s currently in almost 40% of teams. Louis Van Gaal has made it clear that he will be playing Rooney up front this season after last year’s midfield experiment, and with United expected to put up a much stronger charge than last year a £10.5m Fantasy League price seems very reasonable. Morgan Schneiderlin could also be well worth consideration. He picked up 90 points last year for Southampton and is expected to be a mainstay in the United midfield this term, so a £5.5m price tag will interest many.
Stoke City hammered Liverpool 6-1 on the final day of last season, so Brendan Rogers’ men won’t be relishing the trip to the Britannia for the first game this time around. Stoke forward Bojan is available at just £5.5m, and the tricky Spaniard could pick up plenty of points if he can stay injury-free this year. Ibrahim Afellay and Marco Van Ginkel have been recruited this summer, and with both priced at £5.5m in Fantasy League they could also be shrewd purchases. Captain Ryan Shawcross will miss the first couple of months of the season with a back injury and Asmir Begovic has left for Chelsea, so perhaps the Stoke backline will not be as strong as in previous seasons and it may be worth avoiding any defensive recruits. Liverpool meanwhile have been free-spending this summer, and Benteke’s big-money move from Aston Villa could make or break their season. If he hits form he could be a real Fantasy League bargain at £8.5m. James Milner scored over 100 points last season despite being on the pitch for approximately half of the playing time available – he’s expected to play every week for Liverpool, so could pick up some serious points for just £7.0m.
Three sides expected to get their seasons off to a good start with decent home fixtures are Arsenal (v West Ham), Everton (v Watford) and Chelsea (v Swansea). All could easily secure clean sheets, so certainly worth considering their defensive players, and the attacking talents will fancy their chances of getting back amongst the goals in their opening fixtures.
Gameweek 1 – Key Injuries/Suspensions
- Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez is not expected to play after his exertions in the Copa America over the summer, and it could be the same story for Man City’s Sergio Agüero.
- Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster has a knee injury, withy reports suggesting he could miss the whole season.
- Man United midfielder Marouane Fellaini will miss the start of the season through suspension after his red card in the final game of last season against Hull City.