Choosing a solid GW1 is by far the most important step for a good Fantasy Premier League season. A good start will blast your team to early successes and build leads that will literally take weeks for your rivals to surpass. If there is just a few days in a season which you will like to focus entirely on FPL, we believe it is over the next week.
We will make specific player picks later on but here we focus on 5 overall things which you may want to consider before selecting your GW1 15.
- The 2018 FIFA World Cup
The biggest elephant in the room is of course the recently concluded FIFA World Cup. Up to 40 Premier League players were in the four teams which reached the semi-finals, including the 23 in the England team. All of these players only managed to take their holiday breaks after 15 July so suffice to say would not have been involved much in their club’s pre-season.
Some of them would have cut short their breaks to return to their clubs but there are big question marks on top players like Harry Kane (SPU | 12.5), Kevin de Bruyne (MCI | 10.0) and Eden Hazard (CHE | 10.5), all whom had put in significant game time in Russia. There is a chance that the clubs may ease their return over the first few gameweeks so they may not be sure starters.
- The Transfer Window
The Premier League transfer window closes on 9th Aug this year, almost 21 days earlier than the last and the rest of Europe. This work both ways for FPL managers – on one hand, there is no need to bring in new signings after the season has started but there is a possibility of your players being shipped out after GW1.
Rumours are aplenty at this stage and as mentioned, some players are still on holidays so may decide on their futures in the coming 7 days. It is imperative to monitor that until 9th Aug.
- Expected timing of your first Wild Card
Some FPL managers like to use their WC early, after 2-3 game weeks. If so, choosing your GW1 squad is slightly easier. Focus on teams who have an easier start – use the below fixture difficulty chart done up by our mates @Cromiership!
Everton looks to have a particularly easy 4-5 game-weeks.
If you are like me and prefer to save the WC until around Christmas time, it makes sense to take a very long term view of the selections and in a sense, the difficulty chart makes less of a concern.
- Promoted Sides
Cardiff City, Fulham and Wolves are new boys to the Premier League and going by the bookmakers, Fulham and Wolves are solid teams with a good chance to stay up whilst Cardiff are favorites to go back down. Both Fulham and Wolves have indeed spent big in their quest, we will run an article on these 3 teams so watch this space.
As usual, different teams have starkly different pre-season preparations to date. The top 6 sides have traveled globally to make money in the summer, with Liverpool, United, City and Spurs have gone to the States; Arsenal went to Singapore and Chelsea toured around Europe.
Elsewhere, it is interesting to note that Burnley’s foray into Europe meant that they have started their season way ahead of anyone else, though it have returned with mixed results. They are probably more prepared physically and mentally, but they have lost their enigmatic GK Nick Pope (5.0) to a serious injury.
It is also interesting to note that Liverpool and Huddersfield have played nine friendlies each, more than any other sides in the Premier League. In the other corner, Pep’s Man City have opted to play just three, excluding the community shield against Chelsea.
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