Best Fantasy Premier League Team: I know it sounds senseless to even advise to go without Mo Salah in the FPL. But I am going a step further and suggesting going even without Mane! Now, I have my reasons to go without Salah at least in the start of the season.

  1. Salah simply is out of form. We had community shield and pre-friendly matches to do eye test and even in the later stages of last season, he just was not able to put the ball behind the back of the net, even with the simplest of chances. I saw his unwillingly happy face whenever some other Liverpool player scored in 7-2 victory in the last friendly game against Blackpool. In my theory, if I put 12m or more in a player, I want practically returns in each game, which I don’t have the vibes to get from Salah in the initial phase.
  2. Even though he is 0.5m cheaper than last season, he still costs 12m! His total points tally has been dropping continuously past for 2 seasons. Just in terms of stats, TAA registered 210 points with price tag of 7.5m and Salah 233 points last season. So 23 points for 4.5m for the entire season. That tells you quite a story. If TAA would have been a midfielder or a striker, he would have at least hit 10m price tag. So, it’s a better strategy to leave Salah/Mane and take two of the Liverpool fullbacks, who are the brains behind the Liverpool attack.
  3. Being out of form for a longer duration will play on Salah’s mind. Different players will react differently in such situations. This is the first time it is happening with Salah, so I am a bit worried about how the outcome might be. But it is a point to consider.
  4. Be aware that most of the matches will be played without the crowd and we all know how opponent used to be intimidated by Anfield crowd. We have seen Liverpool being dominated from the start of the games post lockdown. So there will be higher chances that weaker opponent will play out a low scoring draw or at least low scoring defeat to not fall behind massive goal difference.
  5. Liverpool’s first three fixtures are Leeds, Chelsea and Arsenal. I can’t predict any of the games’ scorelines. So, all of the fixtures are definitely tricky. Hence, I also be assured that Salah will return the points according to his price tag. So in the worst case, if Salah returns decently, we can jump onto him by replacing Aubameyang from GW3/GW4 onwards.
  6. Reason behind Mane’s negligence is the fixture and the price tag of 12m. The team without any of them is very well balanced and even worthy of getting more points with any of the drafts with any of the duo in the team.

So, let’s jump into the team without Salah and Mane, then!

(I will be repeating same arguments for the same players from my last draft, so ignore it if you have already read.)

Trent Alexander-Arnold: I still can’t get over the fact that we can get TAA for just 7.5m. 5 goals and 28 assists from last 2 seasons, and he is just getting better at it. The playmaking of Liverpool depends upon the form of fullbacks and when one of them is on corners and freekicks as well, it is quite difficult not to choose him in the squad. Robertson is equally good as TAA, so if you really want to squeeze half a million for someplace better, go for it.

Robertson: Almost equally good as TAA. The only drawback of him is that TAA takes corner and direct freekicks, and his 0.5m price is also justified in that sense. Nonetheless, Robertson was in better from post lockdown in terms of chances created and number of assists. Even though Liverpool used to concede an odd goal in a lot of matches last season, they managed to get 15 clean sheets. So just wonder that without the crowd effects, they are going to perform better at away grounds and grab more of them. So I am placing my bets for both of the fullbacks to touch 200 marks this season.

Doherty: Doherty is transferred to Mourinho’s team, whose defensive tactics are unparalleled. Tottenham have some of the easiest fixtures as compared to other teams, so I am expecting a pretty good clean sheet returns. Mourinho likes his right back to push forward a lot and there are very few better than Doherty in the premier league.

Aubameyang: If Aubamenyang would have been a midfielder last season, he would have gotten the highest points in FPL. Fulham and West Ham as first two fixtures for Arsenal, Aubameyang should be the first pick in everyone’s team. He likes to score against the bottom half team and looking at his current form in FA cup, I don’t want to miss out on those points. He can be easily replaced with KDB, Sterling or Bruno from GW3 onwards where Arsenal fixtures are going to turn into a bit reddish.

Son: Son has been in pretty decent form scoring 4 goals in 3 matches in pre-season in absence of Kane. When I looked at the expected goal involvement for both of the players from last season, they were quite similar. Spurs have very favorable fixtures for a long time. So having a midfielder, who can get you an extra point for a goal and comes 1.5m cheaper with same involvement as England’s best striker, then why not?

Havertz: Havertz will pay No.10 role for Chelsea this season. Even though he has scored 12 goals and 6 assists in Bundesliga last season, the reason I am tilting towards him is because of the positional play of Werner. Werner is the kind of the forward, who tends to drift a bit wide on the left side. So if Werner is going to start as No.9, he will likely to continue his habit and that will create space in the center of the box for other players to fill. So, I think Havertz can perfectly fit that role and scoring-assisting roles can be interchanged quite frequently among those two.

Saint-Maximin: I was preferring Armstrong, but he is injured for at least the first gameweek. So I have opted for another best 5.5m option. After signing Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser, the attacking problems are solved till some extent for Newcastle. So I can see Saint-Maximin’s dribbling runs ending up with Wilson and eventually converting to assists. Not expecting much from him, though.

Werner: Scored within 4 minutes of Chelsea debut. Scored another one in match against Spain. After Lampard’s busy transfer window, we can see how he wants to transform Chelsea into one of the most exciting attacks to watch in the premier league. In the absence of Pulisic in initial weeks, Werner will have the responsibility of scoring goals and his Bundesliga records speak for itself. His price also lets us shuffle with any other premium option if he doesn’t start off well.

Calvert-Lewin: Ancelotti has gone for all or nothing in this transfer market. He is reuniting with his one of the favorite players, James Rodrigues. He also signed Doucoure and Allan, a wonderful defensive midfielder, who is highly regarded as one of the best in ball recoveries. So Ancelotti will return to his favorite 4-2-3-1 formation and Calvert-Lewin will be the center striker in that. Having the playmaking skills of James and Richarlison, I can see Calvert-Lewin coming back to his form exactly as when Ancelotti arrived at Goodison Park.

Adams: As mentioned in the previous articles, the attacking stats of Adams are even better than Ings, if we consider them per 90 minutes. With the form of Adams from the last season, I don’t see any other striker partner with Ings for Saints. So, with the easy fixtures early on, grab the points from him with the less number of ownership and make a switch to Mitrovic, Antonio, Rodrygo or Callum Wilson, who all are either 6m or 6.5m.

Bench:

Nyland: Just a random 4m keeper. Didn’t want to waste 0.5m to make someone as a backup keeper. I am happy to play McCarthy in all GWs.

Saiss: I wanted to cover Wolves defense and right now, I don’t see best possible option for cheaper price other than Saiss. Earlier I had Vinagre, but Wolves has signed a portugese LB last week. So he is not guaranteed to start for Wolves. Not expecting much attacking returns from Saiss, but I am hoping that Wolves will continue producing such high standard defensive game as last season. It would be sufficient for 5m defender. Can easily switch between Saint-Maximin and Saiss based on fixtures.

Bissouma: Another cheapest 4.5m midfielder who is likely to start all games for Brighton. Happy to take 2 points in case I need them.

Mitchell: Crystal Palace’s woeful defense injury crisis still continues, and Mitchell is only one of the few defenders who is a match-fit to play. Roy Hodgson doesn’t have a choice to opt from his defenders currently. 4m and a guaranteed starter makes a perfect enabler.

The good thing about the team is that there will be a different choices for all of the players because none of the players are costlier than 9.5m except Aubamenyang. He can be easily changed to Sterling and KDB after GW3. Havertz can easily be Greenwood and if you want Bruno in the team, get Davies instead of Doherty and replace Son with Bruno. If Wener is not performing well, get Martial in place of him.

Who knows we all need to get Aguero in the team if he is fit and starting regularly. It is a well balanced team and surely a differential team without owning Salah or Mane. So if you want to start differential and be aggressive, this is the perfect strategy to opt fot.

Happy Team Picking!

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