The first game week of the Premier League season is about to commence this weekend and for FPL managers, this means before Friday 6:30 BST, they need to be ready with their 15-man starter squad to begin the campaign. In this article, we discuss optimal formations, captaincy options and differential picks that can haul and bring an influx of points to give you an early advantage against your opponents.
Note: It is important to note that if a player showcases unavailable or has an injury risk above 50%, it is most likely that they will return as matchdays have a 6–7-day gap between them for the initial game weeks before UCL and FA cup commence.
Chelsea vs Liverpool at the Stamford Bridge will end what looks on paper to be an exciting game for watchers and FPL managers alike. While games such as Newcastle vs Aston Villa could prove to be a high scoring affair as the teams scored 3 each in a 6 goal thriller in preseason. Brighton vs Luton and Manchester City vs Burnley looks to be haul-potential matches for players belonging to the former team in both the fixtures.
The most common and popular type of formations are the 3-5-2 or the 3-4-3 amongst managers. Since the way this season’s FPL pricing is set up and players such as Bruno Fernandes, Saka, Rashford and Martinelli are available under the price of 9.0M, it would be advised to go for a 3-5-2 as it allows you to stack up on premium midfielders and saving cash to include Haaland and a medium priced forward under 8.0M.
This is advantageous as having an influx of scoring midfielders allows you to gain extra points as goals scored by midfielders are worth more than that of attackers.
This looks like a quite decent starter squad as it has 6 premium players out of which 5 are on penalties and set pieces which can be quite beneficial. However, your team depends upon your own intuitions, calculations and most importantly faith in your choices.
Erling Haaland (14.0M): As Gary Neville once said, “This was the no-brainer. This was the banker, this was the one that couldn’t fail, this was the one that’s never failed”.
We feel a similar type of way about the Norwegian who has set the league on fire breaking the record of most goals in single season scoring 36 in just 35 appearances but had a poor showing against Arsenal and will be looking to bounce back and newly promoted Burnley look to be the perfect prey and a Haaland haul could be on the Cards.
Bukayo Saka (8.5M): Saka begins his season against Nottingham Forest, who have given away the most penalties in the 22/23 season, with 9 and with the young Englishman on penalty duty it could rain goals for the Gunners.
Saka looks to be quite sharp and has improved his spot kick technique as he tucked one past Ortega as the Community Shield Final against City went to penalties. Along with his confirmed minutes, he is a solid option for captain if you want to go for a standout pick.
Mohamed Salah (12.5M): While this may come as a bit of a shock to some people, given Liverpool’s two Snooze fest draws against Chelsea that both ended 0-0 last season. This pick has a lot more to do with the record the Egyptian King holds which is scoring on the opening fixture of each and every season he has played since his transfer to Liverpool in 2017, along with that, he had the highest expected goal involvements amongst midfielders last season
Jason Steele (4.5M): Steele could prove to be a major differential and a bargain that too as the goalkeeper is only priced at 4.5M and the transfer of Spaniard Robert Sanchez, confirms his position as number 1 for Roberto De Zerbi. Brighton faces off against newly promoted Luton Town and they have said to have the best clean sheet odds out of any team for the opening Game week which makes him quite an attractive option.
Bryan Mbeumo (6.5M): Mbeumo looks to be a unique differential pick and quite a circumstantial as the Cameroon International is the natural second fiddle player to Ivan Toney, but his absence due to his betting ban can allow for Mbeumo to shine.
The player has been registered as a midfielder but will likely play on the right or as a forward which can be quite advantageous.
Along with that, he is also on penalties which is a cherry on the top for FPL managers. The player faced an injury scare but is seen to be back in training for Brentford as they face off against Spurs.
James Maddison (7.5M): Judging from the pre-season games, James Maddison seems to be the stand-out pick for Spurs. Playing essentially as a second striker, creating and taking non-stop shots. He could be the £7.5m midfield differential everyone is looking for.
The Ex-Leicester player also has a beautiful set piece routine which can add an influx of goals and assists. However, a lot Maddison’s performance depends on the fact if Kane stays or goes to Bayern as Son and Maddison have quite clashing play styles and don’t seem like a good outfit together.