FPL gameweek 1 tips

Arsenal Alexis Sanchez

Here are the FPL gameweek 1 tips based on the FPL algorithm numbers. The season opener is a rare gameweek, where all top-half teams meet a lower-table opponent. There are many big favorites but also some significant differences between the teams.

Remember also to check the FPL fixture tracker from here!

Attacking potential

Title holders Chelsea stand out in the opening round of the season. Blues have by far the biggest supremacy of all teams. They are not only expected to score the most goals but also expected to concede the least. Even if Hazard is missing, it doesn’t change the big picture. Burnley were very weak travelers last term and it’s not expected to get much better. The most in-form Chelsea player is Mitchy Batshuayi, who has 9G + 3A in previous 9 starts. But is he going to start ahead of Morata? Willian and Pedro haven’t done much in pre-season and Morata isn’t certain to start either. Your Chelsea-pick should probably be Cesc Fabregas, who is also reasonably priced at 7m.

Arsenal come second, but I suggest to skip that team entirely for now. The algorithm doesn’t count in the absences of Sanchez and Özil, which look very likely. Alexis hasn’t played a single minute in pre-season and it will take some time for him to get fit.

The Manchester teams have also high attacking potential. It seems like one player of the trio Aguero & Jesus & Lukaku is included in every FPL team. My suggestion is: look at the fixture tracker and see the overall potential of City vs United in the opening weeks. If you want to stand out of the crowd, skip Lukaku and go for United defense instead.

The first player you have to pick from Manchester City is Kevin De Bruyne, who has 2G + 9A from previous eight matches. KDB has assisted goals in five of the previous six City games – the only time he didn’t assist any was the match they lost 0-2 vs Manchester United. I suggest to pick KDB and Aguero or Jesus to your team at GW1 on top of one Chelsea attacking player.

Defensive potential

As written above, Chelsea are also kings of clean sheets in the opening gameweek. Blues held tons of clean sheets at Stamford Bridge last season, and you shouldn’t expect this trend to change against a team like Burnley. The big question is if you’d pay 7M from Alonso and I think the answer is no. Rather spend 6.5m to Cahill instead. There is decent CS potential for Blues in the opening weeks, but overall I don’t like the upcoming fixtures against Spurs, Leicester and Arsenal.

United stand out as the second best team for clean sheets. My suggestion is to put money on United defense in the early season, since they clearly stand out of the crowd. MUFC have great fixtures coming up each round and they could very well have 3-4 clean sheets from the opening 6 gameweeks. The problem lies in defender selection, since there are many potential starters. The best option is to see the UEFA Super Cup final first and then make up your mind.

Southampton is an excellent option for defenders at first round. They have the third best probability for clean sheet and fixture tracker looks also very promising. Southampton have almost the same CS potential as Chelsea in the opening six gameweeks. Especially the first four ones are solid. You’d consider picking Forster on goal with one extra defender, or alternatively have two Saints defenders. If we look at Southampton pre-season results, it looks like Yoshida and Bertrand are pretty much 100% options. Cedric is very likely starter as well but I’d be a bit careful with the second CB.

FPL gameweek 1: the best clean sheet candidates

  1. Chelsea: 59% probability for clean sheet
  2. Manchester United: 50%
  3. Southampton: 46%

FPL gameweek 1: the highest expected goals

  1. Chelsea: expected to score 2.42 goals this round
  2. Arsenal 2.05*
  3. Man Utd 2.03

FPL Gameweek 1: expected goals for each match

Brighton-Man City0.802.0013%45%
Man Utd-West Ham2.030.7050%13%

egH = expected goals for the home team
egA = expected goals for the away team

csH = clean sheet probability for the home team
csA = clean sheet probability for the home team

Check out the historical stats of the algorithm from here.

* Expected goals do not count injuries. In reality Arsenal expected goals are closer to 1.80 due to the poor fitness of Özil and Sanchez.

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