Fantasy Premier League is back! We’re here to offer Saints fans some hints and tips to help you build an unbeatable squad for 2018/19…
First things first, before we get into who to pick, remember these three golden rules:
1. Play the fixture list
Your original team should be picked with the first six gameweeks in mind. Look for teams with kind early season fixtures and be mindful of players susceptible to a post-World Cup rest. This should reduce the need for trigger-happy transfers.
2. Beware of rotation
The top teams will always rotate, particularly when European competition starts. Even if you can afford Gabriel Jesus or Olivier Giroud, cheaper alternatives such as Wilfried Zaha or Cenk Tosun are guaranteed starters and pivotal to their clubs.
3. Balance your budget
Points on your bench might come in handy, but only if you’ve picked the wrong starters. Don’t be too concerned about strength in depth – the very cheapest players who can sit on your bench and pick up steady points are like gold dust.
Must-have: Ederson £5.5m
Of all the title contenders, it is the holders and clear favourites who have the most enticing early fixtures. While David De Gea is often the go-to man, he is more expensive, and with an element of unrest at Old Trafford, Ederson seems a more sensible choice.
Budget buy: Ben Foster £4.5m
While Lukas Fabianski, last season’s third-highest scoring goalkeeper, is available at the same price, clean sheets from West Ham’s opening games could be hard to come by. Ex-West Brom man Foster looks a better bet for the start of the season.
Must-have: Andrew Robertson £6.0m
Now an automatic choice at left-back, Robertson had the summer off and will be ready to embark on more lung-busting runs down the flank. Liverpool have tightened up defensively, helped by the signing of Allison in goal, and the Scot poses great potential for attacking points.
Budget buy: Aaron Wan-Bissaka £4.0m
There’s no one cheaper than the 20-year-old Crystal Palace right-back, so the fact that he’s set to start the season makes him too good to miss. Palace will fancy their chances in the opening games, particularly having kept Zaha, and Roy Hodgson’s teams are usually well-drilled.
Must-have: Mo Salah £13.0m
Yes, you can have Sadio Mané, Christian Eriksen or Leroy Sané for £3.5m less, but Salah is back in the groove after injury. One season wonder? He might not beat 44 goals, but he’s still brilliant and playing in a team who attack at will.
Budget buy: Tom Cairney £5.0m
While most of the attention on the promoted clubs has centred on Wolves, Fulham have been making waves in the transfer market and could be the surprise package. Cairney is the captain, playmaker and set-piece taker who should chip in with goals and assists.
Must-have: Sergio Agüero £11.0m
Agüero proved again in the Community Shield that he’s impossible to ignore, as the spearhead of the league’s best team. Expensive, but £11m is actually the lowest price he has ever been, despite a fourth successive 20-goal season last term.
Budget buy: Wilfried Zaha £7.0m
It’s hard to go much lower than £6m for a starting striker, so it’s worth paying a bit extra for the Crystal Palace talisman. Tosun and Marko Arnautovic are viable alternatives, but Zaha is the heart and soul of his team, who are a totally different side when he’s fit and firing.
Pick of the Saints?
There’s value to be had, with Jan Bednarek sitting at the basement price of £4m. Stuart Armstrong (£5.5m) looks a potential source of goals from midfield, backed up by his record in Scotland, where he scored 17 times in 2016/17. Or how about the new boy? Danny Ings comes in at a cut-price £5.5m, which could be a bargain if he can nail down a place up front.
Southampton FPL roll call 2018/19
Fraser Forster £4.5m
Angus Gunn £4.5m
Alex McCarthy £4.5m
Ryan Bertrand £5.0m
Jannik Vestergaard £5.0m
Wesley Hoedt £4.5m
Jack Stephens £4.5m
Matt Targett £4.5m
Maya Yoshida £4.5m
Jan Bednarek £4.0m
Sam McQueen £4.0m
Mohamed Elyounoussi £6.5m
Stuart Armstrong £5.5m
Nathan Redmond £5.5m
James Ward-Prowse £5.5m
Steven Davis £5.0m
Mario Lemina £5.0m
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg £4.5m
Oriol Romeu £4.5m
Josh Sims £4.5m
Charlie Austin £6.0m
Manolo Gabbiadini £6.0m
Danny Ings £5.5m
Shane Long £5.0m
Visit Fantasy Premier League to build your team today, where you can make unlimited transfers before the 7pm deadline. Don’t forget to select Saints as your favourite team to join our supporters’ league!