2020/21 Premier League: GW1 Retrospect

I have no reason to be disappointed with my final score of 78 points at the conclusion of GW1. My captain selection was spot on, going with Mo Salah, who returned 40 points and for many FPL managers the reason they finished the week above the weekly average points that finished on 50 points. Yet with this success, there was some frustration with personnel, from selection to performance that didn’t fair well. However, I feel I am off to a strong or stronger start than the past two seasons. My final score was good enough for a start at 376k with something to build on for GW2.

Saturday was quite a rush, seeing my team inside 12k with 65 points! There was some hope I could hold this OR through Monday but it was not be. Let’s start with the good for GW1, as I mentioned Salah looked really sharp, hitting from the spot and adding two well taken goals from the field of play. He appeared to regain some of that fire we saw during the 2017/18 season in which he scored 303 points. At this point, regardless of fixture I am will to keep the armband on Salah for the remainder of the season.

Now that could be seen as a bit short sided, especially with some good fixtures coming in GW2 for players like Bruno Fernandes against  Palace and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang against West Ham. By comparison Liverpool host Chelsea, but the Blues are still stuck with Kepa in goal, who looked terrible against Brighton conceding a well taken, but savable shot from Leandro Trossard.

Salah was the key to GW1, 40 points with the armband, while Aubameyang found the back of the goal as well at Craven Cottage finishing on 7 points. I expected more from Allan Saint-Maximin, with the addition of Callum Wilson in the starting XI for Newcastle. A great pick up, Wilson can produce and gives this talented Toon midfield a legitimate target in the center. While Wilson finish with a goal and 8 points, ASM was shut out, as Jeff Hendrick picked up two assists, but he was a Newcastle option that wasn’t on my radar. Still feel ASM is more dynamic, maybe too much for his own good at times. Newcastle’s fixtures turn after GW2.

Very disappointed in Chelsea to the point, I don’t give a fuck what Fat Frank does. I won’t be buying in on their assets after a very average (and lucky) performance against Brighton. Kai Havertz, coming over from the Bundesliga didn’t impress me, while Christian Pulisic, returning from injury missed out. I took a one-week punt on Havertz, who didn’t return. The other consideration for GW1 was Heung-min Son, who also didn’t return. So, in my opinion it was a wash and Havertz will make way for Kevin De Bruyne for GW2.

Up front, as noted Wilson looked good for Newcastle and will run with him another, maybe two, as they travel to Spurs in GW3. Alexansdr Mitrovic plays a huge roll for Fulham, but didn’t start the game due to the fact he was returning from injury. Nowhere did I see this mentioned, had I read it, rest assured the big Serbian would not have been named in my starting XI. Yet Fulham need him if they are going to score. Not that I put much into an Arsenal defense, a Fulham team without Mitrovic is toothless. Fulham does have some good fixtures through GW9 and Mitrovic should see the start next weekend away to Leeds.

Defensively, I take pride in those players I selected, which include Kieran Tierney, a late change on Friday morning. The defense was anchored by the Liverpool duo, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk. While I am not giving much credit to Leeds United, two of their goals were a bit weak (and lucky) in my opinion but the scoreline reads 4-3 Liverpool. At this point in time, I have no desire to move off either Liverpool defender as they will come good by the end of the season and over the last two years have the numbers to back it up.  The pair combined for 8 points, with van Dijk scoring his first goal.. Not too surprisingly  Tierney and Arsenal picked up a clean sheet against the Cottagers, but they won’t play a team as bad as Fulham every week.

As for Kyle Walker-Peters and Alex McCarthy, I fucking hate Southampton. They are not a good team, but play just good enough to keep FPL managers interested. They are full of group of average players. Yes, even Danny Ings, when fit. KWP won’t be a starter, but relegated to the third bench spot, but had to play because Charlie Taylor started on a bye for Burnley. McCarthy, based purely on FDR got the nod over Mat Ryan, while Brighton conceded three goals, I still feel Ryan will finish on more points that McCarthy, who might not even keep the starting job all season.

LOOK AHEAD: GW2

With a positive outcome for the start of the 2020/21 Premier League, my strategy for the first four weeks of the season remain intact. While I will hold my transfer until Friday afternoon, I am currently planning on Havertz out for De Bruyne in. The midfield maestro is currently owned by 29.5% of FPL managers, as I plan to run without any Manchester United players, but that could change depending on what I decide to with Aubameyang, who is currently only scheduled to be in my team for the first four games. Starting in GW3 Arsenal play liv/SHU/mci/LEI/mun, their toughest FDR for the season.

Signs point to Aubameyang to be the top captained player for GW2, as the West Ham defense is bad…very bad. Aubameyang could post some big returns at home this coming week. But, if I am having a difficult time coming off Salah based on how he played against Leeds. Wonder if it had anything to do with the new cut he was sporting, making him a bit more streamline and lethal. Okay, maybe not. As I started before I am looking to reduce the number of weekly decisions, Salah as the full time captain isn’t a bad way to go.

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