Here we go again!

Its been an amazing summer of football with the FIFA World Cup 2018 exceeding all expectations, but it's time to concentrate on FPL as the Premier League kicks off on Friday!

In this blog I thought I would look back and see if we can learn anything from the team that saw me top the FPL in gameweek 5 and 7 last season. This blog is not about which players you should have in your team, but instead, it's about looking at the principles that I used last season and how they can be improved on to make a good start.

Pick players from top teams

Now this might seem like the most obvious piece of advice you have ever heard, but it was key for me. If you look at the top 20 scorers in FPL last season, 17 of them played for teams that finished in the top 5. My starting 11 had 9 players that finished in the top 6 of the 16/17 season, and this season is no different with another 9 out of my starting 11 finishing in the top 5 last season. The only 3 players who finished in the top 20 last season that didn't play for a top five team was Mahrez, who now is playing for a top 5 club, Vardy and Gross. This can seem tough as with successful seasons comes price rises, so it is about balance; and a wise (or lucky) differential pick as the gameweeks progress.

Big in defence

 Last seasons clean sheets
One way of including players from top clubs is to go big in defence. Defence can sometimes be the expendable position, looking for cheap players to balance our expensive midfielders and forwards. However, the top clubs do keep the most clean sheets, and that's a fact. There is value in starting with top defenders in your GW1 squad, especially while we wait to discover who will be the differentials from other clubs. My starting team from last year had a great defence that scored loads of points with clean sheets, goals and assists. Valencia, Alonso, Davies and Stones all scored plenty of points in the opening games.

Salah or no Salah. 
So I know I said this wouldn't be about players, but couldn't resist talking about last seasons FPL main man: Mo Salah! Personally he will be in my GW1 team. Half of FPL managers are going without him and if you can spread the money and get value in upgrading a couple of other positions; then that might be an option. However I think it will be easier to take Salah out later and upgrade another player, than trying to squeeze him in if he fires in the first few gameweeks. He isn't £13m for nothing, he brings home the points and I can't see Liverpool slowing down this season.

What I'm doing differently this season

Last season I played an early bench boost in GW3. The reason why I did this was to gain an advantage in a mini league that I really wanted to win. My thinking was that I've got 4 players on my bench that are going to play, they have good fixtures and its a great chance to get in front early and it worked! I had a big lead and I won that mini-league. I have no problem with playing chips early, however I may wait until the double gameweeks at the end of the season to play it this year. You can make an educated guess when it comes to playing your chips, using DGW's (for example) to your advantage; but do be aware of rotation, especially as the cup competitions start.

Mini league is now open! League code is 416-417 come and join! 
Best of luck selecting your team, have fun and enjoy the football!!! 


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