And just like that – the latest season of the English Premier League arrives!!
The 2014-15 season comes off a truly breathtaking 2013-14 campaign and an equally brilliant World Cup
With over a 100 players arriving and switching teams in the EPL - this season’s Fantasy Premier League promises to be unbelievably complex to master – with enough good players and combinations to cause insomnia and nightmares you won’t have cause you can’t sleep!! :D
Arsene Wenger too got in the act with *FOUR* additions to the squad! Manchester City had a “quiet” summer with 6 new players, Liverpool went extra crazy over Southampton with a cart full of players bought from Southampton, Jose Mourinho assembling a scary looking Chelsea team with 3 headline acquisitions. Manchester United, still smarting from last season’s 7th placed finish have bought in a couple of starters but threaten to buy even more in the next few days.
All this and we haven’t even spoken of all player dealings at Hull City, Southampton ( i mean the ones they bought :p), West Brom, QPR etc. Woooof!!
With the obviously eye catching imports like Alexis Sanchez, Cesc Fabregas, Ander Herrera who promise to light up the EPL (and FPL) with their goals and assists – you also have intriguing stories like Bojan Krkic joining Stoke City, Loic Remy being the focal point of the QPR attack after his failed transfer, Yaya Toure seemingly losing some edge after a magical 2013-14 season etc.
With that – and with the kick off for the season’s game a few hours away – let’s dive into my picks for Gameweek1!
- Thibaut Courtois (High) – With the ever honest Jose Mourinhno declaring that the Belgian will be the man between the sticks for the first game, and his won willingness to impress on his debut against Burnley – Thibaut seems like a safe bet for a clean sheet. Expect lots of Thibaut-ing memes this season!
- Wojciech Szczesny (Medium) – With Crystal Palace in disarray after Tony Pulis’ departure two days before the season opener and the Pole’s personal mission to prove a point after last season’s Golden Glove award, a clean sheet at the Emirates won’t be a surprise against a Palace team not exactly known to be firing on all cylinders when it comes to attack….
- Vito Mannone (Low) – Sunderland’s Player Of The Season from 2013-14 will once again raring to take on the EPL head on – and what with the extra pressure heaped on him with the arrival of Costel Pantilimon from Manchester City – a fine goalkeeper on his own. Against a West Brom side not really brimming with confidence, the Italian will have to put in a shift and lay down a marker for the season to come.
- John Terry (High) – With an away trip to Burnley on Monday and Blues knowing the results over the weekend, expect Mourinho keep his troops on their toes for a professional win over the newly promoted side. Nothing less than points will satisfy the Portuguese manager and Captain Jon Terry will be keen to nail down a spot in the starting XI with a performance that befits the armband.
- Dejan Lovren (Medium) – After a very public fall out with the fans and the club, Lovren finally secured a move to Liverpool. Ironically, Southampton are the very first team he will face in his first game for the Reds. With a point to prove and keen to impress, a goal scored from a set piece may be a great way to kick off his tenure at Anfield.
- Calum Chambers (Low) – With Per Mertesacker not quite match ready and the departure of Thomas Vermaelen not yet addressed, the young Briton will be handed a start in the centre of defense at The Emirates against Crystal Palace. With assured displays in pre season, Chambers might be a great buy for now with assured starts for a few matches at least.
- Aaron Ramsey (High) – The Welshman seems to have started the new season like the last one never ended – with great performances in preseason and a goal vs Manchester City in the Community Shield. With the absence of Mesut Ozil, Ramsey will also have to shoulder Santi Cazorla’s task of creating chances for all of The Gunners’ forwards. A safe bet for the season, and a must buy – for now.
- Robert Snodgrass (Medium) – Hull snapped up Norwich’s heartbeat as soon as the Canaries were relegated. Snodgrass has always been a FPL favourite, with consistent performances even last season in the Canaries’ doomed campaign. The Englishman will be keen to repay his fee and a second coming in the EPL will be a great way to kick on.
- Daniel Drinkwater (Low) – Leicester City’s creative midfielder will be very crucial to the Foxes hopes of staying afloat in the EPL. Coming off a rather impressive season in the Championship, Drinkwater is a player to hold on for the season ahead.
- Wayne Rooney (High) – Love him or hate him, the Englishman is going to stay in the EPL for long. One of the few positives of the failure that was the Moyes era – Wazza has been appointed Captain by LouisVan Gaal. With Robin Van Persie injured, Rooney will be raring to make sure everyone know that he still is the main man at Manchester. With a home game to Swansea, expect him to go ballistic!! My oick for FPL Captain this weekend too.
- Emmanuel Riviere (Medium) – The Frenchman arrives from AS Monaco with a reputation for impressively scored goals in Ligue 1. With Newcastle having a surprisingly calm preseason and a fit squad barring a few short term injuries, Alan Pardew will be looking to grabbing a European spot by the end of the season. Riviere and his industry will be very critical for such lofty ambitions.
- Bojan Krkic (Low) – Easily the most intriguing signing across the league, the ex Barcelona graduate will find himself far away from the beautiful football of Nou Camp, Ajax and Milan. But with Mark Hughes trying to improve the way the Potters play and with goals under his belt in the pre season matches, Krkic is a sure starter who will be keen to prove he is still a force to be reckoned with.
So there’s that! Hope these picks help you craft YOUR Fantasy team! Hoping for a cracking English season ahead!