The Fantasy Premier League season got off to a flying start in Gameeweek 1 with an average points return of 69. Bruno Fernandes, the third-most-owned player in GW1 netted a hat-trick. He was also the second favourite captain choice after Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.
The Egyptian also was among the points, scoring one and assisting twice. Over 6,000 manages scored over 120 points in GW1.
It will be difficult to see the big guns repeating their heroics in GW2 as handsomely as they did in the first week, but there are some mouthwatering fixtures for the Premier League’s big hitters.
Liverpool host Burnley, Manchester City entertain Norwich while Manchester United travel to Southampton. Chelsea and Arsenal face off in the week’s heavyweight clash but it’s a fixture that sees goals. West Ham and Leicester lock horns in the week’s other high-profile fixture.
Manchester United, Tottenham and Brentford have the easiest fixtures in terms of the fixture difficulty index but FPL manages must also look at Manchester City who have easier fixtures than what the index suggests.
Everton, Aston Villa and West Ham are also teams to be considered if fixture difficulty is to be taken into account.
Chelsea, Arsenal, Burnley, Leeds, Leicester and Norwich have the toughest set of games from GWs 2-4.
Fixture Difficulty Ratings
|Team||Combined Difficulty rating for GW 2-4||GW2 opponent||GW3 opponent||GW4 opponent|
|Arsenal||11 (4, 5, 2)||CHE(H)||MCI(A)||NOR(H)|
|Aston Villa||8 (2, 2, 4)||NEW(H)||BRE(H)||CHE(A)|
|Brentford||7 (2, 3, 2)||CRY(A)||AVL(A)||BHA(H)|
|Brighton||8 (2, 4, 2)||WAT(H)||EVE(H)||BRE(A)|
|Burnley||10 (4, 3, 3)||LIV(A)||LEE(H)||EVE (A)|
|Chelsea||10 (4, 4, 2)||ARS(A)||LIV(A)||AVL(H)|
|Crystal Palace||9 (2, 4, 3)||BRE(H)||WHU(A)||TOT(H)|
|Everton||8 (3, 3, 2)||LEE(A)||BHA(A)||BUR(H)|
|Leeds||10 (4, 2, 4)||EVE(H)||BUR(A)||LIV(H)|
|Leicester||10 (4, 2, 4)||WHU(A)||NOR(A)||MCI(H)|
|Liverpool||9 (2, 4, 3)||BUR(H)||CHE(H)||LEE(A)|
|Man City||9 (2, 3, 3)||NOR(H)||ARS(H)||LEI(A)|
|Man Utd||7 (2, 3, 2)||SOU(A)||WOL(A)||NEW(H)|
|Newcastle||9 (3, 2, 4)||AVL(A)||SOU(H)||MUN(A)|
|Norwich City||13 (5, 4, 4)||MCI(A)||LEI(H)||ARS(A)|
|Southampton||9 (4, 2, 3)||MUN(H)||NEW(A)||WHU(H)|
|Spurs||7 (3, 2, 2)||WOL(A)||WAT(H)||CRY(A)|
|Watford||9 (3, 4, 2)||BHA(A)||TOT(A)||WOL(H)|
|West Ham||8 (4, 2, 2)||LEI(H)||CRY(H)||SOU(A)|
|Wolves||9 (3, 4, 2)||TOT(H)||MUN(H)||WAT(A)|
The big ins and outs
The high-scoring duo of Paul Pogba and Fernandes top the most transferred in players ahead of GW2. After scoring five on the opening weekend, the fixtures are looking good for United and it may not be the worst idea to double up on United’s attacking players.
Chelsea’s record recruit Romelu Lukaku is already in demand as he prepares to make his debut against Arsenal. However, it would be wise to wait for a few weeks to see how the Belgian settles into the Blues team.
Most transferred (in) players ahead of GW2
Harry Kane’s future remains uncertain and it’s no surprise to see FPL managers getting rid of the Spurs (as it stands) striker. Leicester’s James Maddision and Kelechi Iheanacho, Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and Chelsea’s Kai Havertz are the other top players that FPL managers are getting rid of.
Most transferred (out) players ahead of GW2
Top picks for Gameweek 2
Whether you bring them in through transfers or (luckily enough) have them in your squad already, these are the five hottest selections for GW2:
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool): Salah scored and assisted two in GW1 but he could have had even more. The Egyptian had four shots from inside the penalty area against Norwich. The Reds also recorded the most shots inside the penalty area (13) in GW1. A Burnley side that conceded twice against Brighton will be up against it at Anfield, especially with the fans returning.
Danny Ings (Burnley): The Aston Villa striker got off the mark last week albeit from the penalty spot and late on. But the English forward has now scored twice in as many games including the pre-season fixtures and will face a Newcastle team that conceded four times against West Ham.
Joao Cancelo (Manchester City): The Portuguese full-back got in some encouraging positions against Tottenham and should have been on the scoresheet. City will be looking to respond after their 1-0 loss to Spurs and the impact would be felt by newcomers Norwich City at the Etihad stadium. With uncertainty over many positions in the City line-up, Cancelo might be a safe bet for GW2.
Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United): The Manchester United midfielder started with a bang in GW1 scoring thrice. Fernandes has been defying his underlying numbers for way too long and should be the first name on the team sheet. Southampton looked quite poor against Everton and United would fancy scoring a few more at the St. Mary’s on Sunday.
Other options: Romelu Lukaku could not have asked for a better game to start his second stint at Chelsea, as an under-pressure Arsenal side could find him too hot to handle. Investing in Everton attacking talent like Dominic Calvert Lewin or Richarlison would also be a handy move.
Top differential picks for GW2:
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City): Sterling was on fire at the Euros and that performance would have given him loads of confidence. The English forward is usually a good bet against lower-half teams at the Etihad and could be very handy against Norwich. Owned by just 2.7% of FPL managers, Sterling can be an explosive differential for GW2.
Neal Maupay (Brighton): The Brighton forward was on target in GW1 and faces newcomers Watford in GW2. He was sixth as per the ICT (Influence-Creativity-Threat) index in GW1. Brighton also have some good fixtures coming up and Maupay who is owned by less than 3% of FPL managers could be a good differential for GW2 and beyond.
Sergi Canos (Brentford): The Brentford midfielder was on the scoresheet in GW1 and has been in top form in pre-season as well with three assists. He was scintillating against Arsenal. Owned by less than 3% of FPL managers and Canos could be a good differential option especially considering Brentford’s fixtures.
Once again Salah and Fernandes are leading candidates for the captain’s armband and FPL managers are going to face a tough choice again. But the Liverpool man just about gets the edge, playing at Anfield with fans after a long time. Anfield when on song can be one of the most intimidating places for an opponent team and Salah could profit. Fernandes was very clinical in GW1 finishing every chance that came his way. Against Southampton, he may not be afforded the same amount of chances and may not be as clinical as GW1.
Elsewhere, Kevin de Bruyne who looks set to return to the starting line-up for Man City is a very tempting option. His teammates Sterling and Riyad Mahrez can be good differential captaincy options against Norwich.
West Ham’s Antonio who topped the xG (Expected Goals) charts in GW1 is also an interesting captaincy choice for those wanting to take a risk.
The Field’s FPL team
Gameweek 1 points: 66
Having missed out on Bruno Fernandes’ rich-haul in GW1 and seeing his price rise to 12.1, we had to take a -4 hit to transfer out Sadio Mane and replace him with the United midfielder. Kelechi Iheanacho is also on the way out, as he didn’t start the first Gameweek and saw his price drop as well. Maupay drafted in. All in all, not the best of starts.
Here’s our team for Gameweek 2.
FPL Deadline for GW2: 3.30 pm IST, Saturday, August 21, 2021.
(Stats Courtesy: FPL website, Understat.com and WhoScored.com)