Thursday, 6 August 2015

Chief's #FPL Team - Gameweek 1

Disclaimer: *FPLH reserves the right to change this team at any time. Any changes made will most likely be confirmed on FPLH's Twitter account.


CAPTAIN: HAZARD

CHIPS USED: 0


 FIRST SQUAD OF THE SEASON: 

CECH "Mate" (£5.5M) IN
Reason: I wanted Arsenal cover at the back.  I was close to buying Koscielny with Courtois between the sticks.  However, I think Cech offers more value than Courtois and will be looking to impress at the Emirates (he may even make more saves over the course of the season) which is why I opted for him.  In addition, I didn't want rotating goalies and 7 of Cech's first 10 PL fixtures are reasonable.

HENNESSEY "Hen" (£4.0M) IN
Reason: He may have 49 international caps to his name, but he's hardly started in the Premier League since 2012, which is a bit of a shame.  I'm not looking to boost his professional career - I have effectively bought him as dud sub goal keeper to free up funds elsewhere across the park.  He could start a few matches for Crystal Palace from August, but under Pardew's set up he's unlikely to keep many clean sheets.  This bodes well for my "fixture proof" goal keeper, Cech.

IVANOVIC "Ivan" (£7.0M) IN
 Reason: I could have easily bought Azpilicueta and saved £1M, but Ivanovic ("Ivan") is simply amazing.  He chalked up 10 attacking fantasy returns - goals and assists - last season with 17 clean sheets for good measure too.  Stats don't lie and he is FPL gold.  He is my fixture proof defender.  I intend to start him whether he plays at home or away, even against Man City in Gameweek 2. Expect Ivanovic to pop up in the opponents box as much as his own. The only thing that worries me is his yellow card risk (18 in the last two seasons alone).

HUTH "Bobby" (£4.5M) IN
 Reason: Here's more defensive coverage with a Chelsea association and of course another defender with attacking pedigree.  He is definitely not the same player from a few years ago; when scoring for fun at Stoke.  I only bought him due to Leicester's OK-ish rotation with Southampton.  In all likelihood, I will probably start him in GW 1 & GW 5 and then see how things go thereafter.

CEDRIC "Sid" (£5.0M) IN
Reason: He's a new arrival that has already seemingly cemented his place at right-back following the departure of Clyne. I expect Southampton to keep a similar number of clean sheets as last season.  In addition, Cedric is probably the best priced defensive player from Southampton that is likely to see regular game time.  Not bad upcoming fixtures also gave credence to his place in my squad.

FRANCIS "Fran" (£4.5M) IN
Reason: Bournemouth's first 8 fixtures aren't too bad (rotating well with West Ham) and it's for this reason I decided to get a defender from their team.  It seems that Francis has no real rivals in his position which made him appealing to me. He may even chip in with an assist here and there. Sure, some FPL managers show reluctance towards newly promoted teams' players. But ask yourself this, would you rather put one in defence or one as a starting striker? I know where I stand on that debate.

OXFORD "New Ox" (£4.0M) IN
Reason: My "secret player"! He's played the majority of West Ham's off-season games (including some Europa League qualifiers). He is listed as a defender but can operate as a midfielder.  I bought him as I wanted a cheap 5th defender so that I can invest more further up the pitch. I think he will start some PL matches.  I will even put him in my first XI on certain rare occasions.  Even if he hardly starts, he's perfect sub3 material for now while also being a hot prospect for the future.  Read more about him here.

OZIL "Oz" (£8.5M) IN
Reason: He's not exactly been that amazing since the first half of the 13/14 season. In many respects he has been a disappointment.  But with some speculation that he will play in a No10 role, he offers more value.  I think a lot of Arsenal's players can be chopped and changed including Walcott.  But for some reason, I fell that Ozil will probably be allowed to flourish in a specific position higher up the pitch.  In all honesty, if I had an extra £0.5M I would have probably risked it on Walcott.  Having said all that, I think this could be Ozil's season and he may prove a few doubters wrong.

HAZARD "Haz" (£11.5M) IN
Reason: Hazard did start a bit slow last season, but there's no denying that he came of age over the past 12 months.  His ability to cut in from the side and cause havoc in the opposition's final third is well documented.  Without a doubt, Hazard is the engine to Chelsea's attack.  As stated, he's an absolute must-have player.  I think he will do even better this season.  He can score (for fun).  He can assist (when required).  What more do you want your midfielder to do?

STERLING "£" (£9.0M) IN
Reason: He didn't make the first editions of my off-season FPL squad.  I wasn't too impressed with him last season.  But I realised that I needed Man City cover in midfield.  Silva's price seems inflated.  Yaya is cheaper, but may be squeezed back.  With no Aguero, I feel that Sterling can fill a void at the front.  He will be looking to make a good impression immediately after his protracted transfer saga.  Sure, Man City's opening fixtures aren't amazing, but they do have a knack of scoring goals and it's time they cashed in again with Sterling in their pocket.

CHADLI "Chad" (£7.0M) IN
Reason: Many FPL managers would balk at the thought of having Chadli in their team after not so great showings in the second half of the 14/15 season.  I understand that there were some valid reasons for this, so don't be too harsh on him.  With his amazing goalscoring ability, I think he's under-priced.  Sure, he's a rotation risk and will face stiff competition with Spurs' numerous midfielders.  But I think he has something special about him.  The fact he is scoring in pre-season is a good signal too.  I needed at least one attacking player from Tottenham due to their generous upcoming fixtures after GW1 and Chadli fitted the bill.

RITCHIE "Rich" (£6.0M) IN
Reason: I have a reluctance in picking too many (or any) attack-orientated players from newly promoted teams as they don't often score a lot.  However, I think Ritchie is a bit different.  His strike rate exceeded 33% last season, which is excellent for a midfielder at any level.  The fact he can also link up with Francis (also in my team) is an added bonus.  I needed a good 5th midfielder as I want to start off with a solid 3-5-2 formation.  He seems to be the best one priced at £6m.  I'm willing to give him a chance and I think he'll prove his worth.

ROONEY "Roo" (£10.5M) IN
Reason: I think Rooney was being wasted as a de facto central midfielder last season.  All that has now changed with the departure of Van Persie.  Sure, Man United may buy another striker before the transfer window closes.  But there's no denying Rooney's ability when playing in a no9 or no10 role - given a proper chance he will score 22+ goals a season.  He has proven himself in the top-flight and will be a focal point to Man United's attack.  With Costa and Aguero being unavailable from GW1, Rooney will fill a void for a large chunk of FPL managers.

BENTEKE "Teke" (£8.5M) IN
Reason: Liverpool needed a goal scoring forward with PL pedigree.  Benteke wanted a team that could offer newer challenges and enhance his talent to another level.  On paper this transfer makes perfect sense.  With Sturridge being absent, a 100% fit Benteke will be able to stamp his authority upfront from the onset.  Sure, he wasn't a forward in my FPL squad during mid-July.  However, his potency can't be overlooked and with the likes of Firmino and Milner behind him, he may score more goals than he did last season.

GRAHAM "Danny Boy" (£4.5M) IN
 Reason: I bought him as a dud sub so that I could accommodate a strong 3-5-2 formation.  I still can't believe he left Swansea for Sunderland when he could have easily secured a League Cup winners medal.  It's also strange to think that he scored 12 goals in his first PL season, yet in the 3 seasons thereafter he's accumulated a paltry 5 goals.  His FPL price has been almost static since 2011.  I'm not expecting much from him, 1-2 points on the bench is perfectly fine.