Fantasy Premier League: pre-season hints for your picks
As we head towards the start of the 2022-23 Fantasy Premier League season, Premier League clubs have had their first full pre-season in a number of years.
This allows the athlete the ability to scout players and positions with an indication of their likely performance.
We’re going into the new campaign with a few questions to answer, but hopefully most of these can give us clues to guide our choices.
at Manchester City, Erling Haaland (£11.5m) is one of the most obsessed players in the game but it remains to be seen if he will quickly adapt to the demands of the Premier League and hit the ground running.
We had some clues from Sunday’s Community Shield clash with Liverpool. Overall he played well but missed a few chances but Pep Guardiola said it was ‘good’ for Haaland to ‘see the reality in a new country’.
There are some interesting opportunities, especially in Manchester City’s midfield Riyadh Mahrez (£8.0m). A likely increase in playing time could see him becoming an FPL star this campaign. So it’s worth looking back at his minutes in pre-season and how he teamed up with Haaland.
A new Liverpool front three
Liverpool have had some good deals this window but after Sadio Mane’s move to Bayern Munich they will look very different in attack. A predetermined Liverpool front three will experience a shake.
There are options to explore for Jurgen Klopp with a new signing Darwin Nunez (£9.0m) set to compete with Diogo Jota (£9.0m) and Luis Diaz (£8.0m). Interestingly, Diaz is the only one in this trio listed as a midfielder and he’s cheaper so he should be your go-to.
We know Klopp is confident Diaz started him in Liverpool’s Champions League campaign last season. Jota also has an injury worth keeping an eye on.
Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) started last season in phenomenal form, with just one miss in his first 16 weeks of play. We’ve seen a dip in 2022 after a tough schedule for club and country that included seven games at the Africa Cup of Nations.
However, with a full pre-season under his belt and a new contract signed, he should start the 2022-23 season with a bang – especially if his performance on the Community Shield is to be counted. A decision must be made whether to use your triple captain chip in Matchweek 1 against Fulham.
A notable departure from Merseyside is Neco Williams (£4.0m), who has signed for Nottingham Forest. Priced as a bencher at Liverpool, he could now play a major role in Forest defense and is known for his attacking qualities. He is the £4.0million defender.
There have been a number of notable additions to Chelsea this summer, including Raheem Sterling (£10.0m) and Kalidou Koulibaly (£5.5m). There has been much speculation that Tuchel will change his formation to a 4-3-3, but we haven’t seen much evidence of this from their pre-season games.
Sterling could be a key FPL option at Chelsea – a lack of minutes has been his biggest hurdle at Manchester City in recent seasons.
However, switching from a back three to a back four would limit the full-backs’ attacking performance Reece James (£6.0m) and Ben Chilwell (£6.0m).
If the three-man defense remains in place, James and Chilwell will be popular acquisitions, particularly if Chelsea strengthen their centre-backs with another signing after losing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.
Another thing to keep an eye on is the fitness of Ben Chilwell, who returned from a knee injury on the final day of last season. His sharpness could be the deciding factor in choosing between Chelsea full-backs.
Signings have been plentiful at Tottenham Hotspur as they look for key contenders to close the gap on Manchester City and Liverpool. With the additions of Clement Lenglet (£5.0m) and Yves Bossouma (£5.0m)expect their clean sheet record to improve.
The full-backs will be the main beneficiaries here Ivan Perisic (£5.5m) looks like he’s the best choice right now. He arrived with an injury and missed the first couple of pre-season games but was impressive down the left flank against Roma on Saturday. If deemed fit enough to start for Gameweek 1, he could be Fantasy Gold.
There is also competition on the opposite flank Matt Doherty (£5.0m) and Djed Spence (£4.5m) compete for game time along with Lucas Moura (£6.0m)who played at right-back last season.
It’s been an incredibly busy transfer window for Arsenal Fabio Vieira (£6.0m) and Gabriel Jesus (£8.0m) the most notable additions. It means increased competition for places in Arsenal Attack Eddie Nketiah (£7.0m) miss the potential.
The biggest question of all is who will stand in the penalty shootout: Gabriel Martinelli (£6.0m) took one up Bukayo Saka (£8.0m) on the last day of the season, but his minutes are less guaranteed and Saka has filled the preseason role. Jesus could also be in the picture.
Looking further back Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.0m) could be a potential out-of-position candidate: he played left-back at Manchester City but has played in midfield for his national team. FPL has named him as a defender for 2022-23.
In this Arsenal side, he could play as a left-back midfielder and play a prominent role at set pieces.
Ben White (£4.5m) was an FPL legend last season for its cheap price and performance without conceding but with William Saliba (£4.5m) They could be in contention for minutes if they return from a loan spell at Marseille.
Ten Hag Options
One of the biggest shocks to FPL player prices has been Manchester United’s asset savings, with four of the top five price drops coming from Old Trafford. Should Erik ten Hag work his magic, these players could have fantastic value this season.
Evidence of preseason form might be enough to encourage FPL managers to punt in Gameweek 1 and there have been some intriguing performances so far, particularly from Jadon Sancho (£7.5m), Marcus Rashford (£6.5m) and Anthony Martial (£7.0m).
The headache surrounding Manchester United fortunes concerns the future of Cristiano Ronaldo (£10.5m)who wants to force a move. His departure would allow FPL players to jump aboard the mid-priced attackers with more confidence.
When it comes to creativity Christian Eriksen (£6.5m) joins Bruno Fernandes (£10.0m) in the midfield. We’ll have to watch closely if that means a deeper role for Fernandes and less dominance from him in set pieces.
We’ve seen Andreas Pereira (£4.5m) Leaving Old Trafford for Fulham: He’s another player who was offered at a bargain price as he wasn’t expected to be a regular, but is an attacking midfielder who will play a crucial role at Fulham. He is the most popular £4.5million midfielder in the game.
(Photo above: Getty Images)
There will be lots of FPL content from me and other top fantasy writers throughout the season the athleteincluding The Athletic FPL Podcast. We’ll strive to bring you the latest news and strategies on how to seamlessly navigate your way through the season. Stay tuned.