With just a matter of hours until Manchester United and Spurs kick off the 2015/16 Premier League season The Hype Train looks into the scout picks made by the team, and why you want to back some of your FPL budget into their choices.
To every football fan this time of year is the summer equivalent to Christmas, and to every FPL manager it is a hotbed of decisions, dilemmas, and debate over who makes the cut into a fifteen person selection. The Hype Train team are no exception and have been pondering themselves over the perfect eleven to start the season. We all know that there are going to be moments of exhalation, confusion, and desperate lows over many player choices, which is why the team is giving us some logical insight on the players you’d want to kick off the season.
The gameweek choices do not factor in price; instead they represent the best options for the gameweek. There have been options included which are meant to be pricing friendly but the need for points in every team overrides the price. None of these teams will meet the budget for gameweek one, they are here to serve and provide as many feasible options for a potential opening week team.
GW1 Scout Picks: @SamAustin45 (Facts)
Face Fact’s gameweek options and captaincy pick are reliant on the belief that Southampton is going to rout Steve McLaren’s Newcastle squad, and do it with goals from Pelle and a clean sheet for new right back Soares. Spurred on by promising Europa League results it is feasible that Koeman’s men could go and carry their good run of form against a team ridiculed for their defence. Reliable faces in Cech, Hazard, Cazorla, Azpilicueta, and Rooney fill out the core of the team whilst Depay, Clyne, and Sterling who are new to their teams can provide pacey options and a goal threat to the team. Lukaku is an injury doubt for the week but should be playing he gives Face Fact’s a cutthroat forward three for the opening gameweek.
On the bench wildcard options in Pantilimon, Francis, and Cabaye present themselves with a different edge at a cheaper price than the main eleven. Jose Fonte rounds out the team in the continued belief that Newcastle are going to struggle on their opening fixture of the campaign.
GW1 Scout Picks: @sweatymongoose
‘The Sweat’ has opted for two of the same forwards as Face Facts in the form of Rooney and Lukaku, as well as including FPL essentials Hazard, Clyne, and Ivanovic. The defence differs with a punt being taken on Tim Howard returning to form, and Van Aanholt on a mission to help contribute to Sunderland’s inevitable first clean sheet of the season. Joining Hazard on the wing are also fellow players familiar with playing on the left side of midfield in Bolasie, Silva, Mane, and on the right hand side Walcott (also a potential striker).
Featuring on the Sweat’s bench is rotation potential John Ruddy for Norwich, a cheap player who will probably feature on many players’ benches, and Simon Francis for AFC Bournemouth makes his second substitute appearance in the scout picks. Expensive options in Diego Costa and Leighton Baines finish the team, but both are doubts for the week which is why they do not make the cut for the first eleven.
GW1 Scout Picks: @RobboAustin
Pownage FC opts for the familiar faces of Rooney, Ivanovic, Cech, Azpilicueta, Fonte, Hazard, David Silva, Pantilimon, Francis, and Cabaye of whom have been selected already by the rest of The Hype Train team.
Differentials come in the form of Barkley finally living up to his potential against a radically changed Watford side, and in James Milner pinging balls to the bottomless pit of strikers at Liverpool’s disposal. Liverpool’s new vice-captain also has set piece potential to push Jordan Henderson to the shadows as the season develops. Callum Wilson for Bournemouth is a cheap striking outlet against an Aston Villa that are teetering between total collapse and reforming after the loss of several key players. Jagielka on the bench is a good choice should Watford not know how to play football with all the new faces amongst the Hornets. Lastly Pownage FC will upset the diehard Arsenal fans, who I am sure will inform him that the tall Frenchman isn’t world class. But we’ll see on that one.
Scout Pick Summary
Now that you have had a look at the option made by The Hype Train team we are going to break it into numbers to illustrate where the choices have been made, and the different options that the team believes is worth your consideration.
We will break it down into separate categories, showing you the numbers behind the options selected by the hype team.
(2) Petr Cech – ARS
(2) Costal Pantilimon – SOU
(1) Tim Howard – EVE
(1) John Ruddy – NOR
FPL managers will be debating who is best option between the sticks for gameweek one, but at Hype HQ we believe that only two people are worthy of being in your teams for serious points. Both will cost you in the region of five million but they are worth it, they are Petr Cech and Costal Pantilimon. Arsenal always keep around a minimum of fifteen clean sheets in a season, most of the time at the Emirates Stadium, and last season the Gunners didn’t have a consistent goalkeeper. Now that Wenger has his man FPL managers have a former Chelsea keeper in an Arsenal team, and that is the stuff of dreams. Secondly ‘Three point Panti’ is worth your time, he hasn’t been selected by many managers but that may be down to his price and choosing between him and Cech, but if you look at the facts it is the giant Romanian who has the best shot stopping ratio in the Premier League last season. For a keeper to break into the top six goalkeepers despite not playing a full season is a fantastic achievement…just think what Pantilimon could do in a full season.
(3) Simon Francis – BOU – Right back
(2) Cesar Azpilicueta – CHE – Left back
(2) Nathaniel Clyne – LIV – Right back
(2) Jose Fonte – SOU – Centre back
(2) Ivanovic – CHE – Right back
(1) Leighton Baines – EVE – Left back
(1) Phil Jagielka – EVE – Centre back
(1) Cedric Soares – SOU – Right back
People want consistency in defence, and the selections from the team reflect this. Chelsea, Southampton, Everton, Liverpool, and new boys Bournemouth are the only five teams that may be worthy of any investment in defence. Clean sheets are a dire uncertainty in the Premier League and any smart manager will decide against jumping on the hype trains of the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal when they are rotated so heavily in defence. Chelsea and Southampton in particular are solid teams and when they concede they rarely concede more than one, no wonder why four of the eight picks come from those two teams.
(3) Eden Hazard – CHE – Winger
(2) David Silva – MCI – Attacking midfielder
(2) Yohan Cabaye – CPA – Midfielder
(1) Memphis Depay – MNU – Winger
(1) Raheem Sterling – MCI – Winger
(1) Santi Cazorla – ARS – Attacking midfielder
(1) Sadio Mane – SOU – Winger
(1) Theo Walcott – ARS –Winger
(1) Yannick Bolasie – CPA – Winger
(1) James Milner – LIV – Central midfielder
(1) Ross Barkley – EVE – Central Midfielder
The one thing that bonds of all of these midfielders is that they play in forward positions. There is no point is wasting any of your budget on defensive midfielders, they offer a small points return and take a place on your bench that could otherwise be reserved for a goal scorer. The only two exceptions in this list are Cazorla and Cabaye who could be playing in deeper roles, but due to their set piece capabilities they will always be in and amongst the action, they may also both be on penalty duty for their respective clubs.
(3) Wayne Rooney – MNU
(2) Romelu Lukaku – EVE
(1) Graziano Pelle – SOU
(1) Diego Costa – CHE
(1) Callum Wilson – BOU
(1) Olivier Giroud – ARS
Picking a forward is sometimes as easy as looking at defensive vulnerabilities and taking a calculated risk as to who is going to take advantage of those frailties. Spurs, Watford, Newcastle, Swansea, Aston Villa, and West Ham are teams that do not inspire any sort of defensive confidence for FPL managers in these fixtures. Goals are going to be scored; it is just a case of working out who is going to be this seasons QPR.
Here is a breakdown of the realistic options for the opening gameweek that FPL managers have to them, these are individual players that make up the best choices to have in your teams.
Goalkeeper Options: 4 players from 4 teams
Defender Options: 8 players from 5 teams
Midfield Options: 11 players from 8 teams
Forward Options: 6 players from 6 teams
Total Options: 29 players from 10 teams
Players in every team
Wayne Rooney for Manchester United is considered a staple amongst The Hype Train, especially considering his scoring form against Spurs, Villa, and Newcastle in the opening three fixtures is usually rock solid. This is followed up by Eden Hazard and the talented Belgium winger is considered un-droppable by the entire team for the whole season. Lastly we have Simon Francis the right back for Bournemouth, a cheap option in a team that utilises its full backs, which led to an unanimous decision that he could be value for money especially against an Aston Villa with no Benteke or Delph.
Most Common Players
Players that have featured more than twice in the teams scout picks include ‘Three Point’ Pantilimon in goal for Sunderland and as we have already said one of the two realistic goalkeeping options for all season, David Silva of Manchester City, Belgium frontman Lukaku of Everton, the new Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech who adds stability to the Arsenal back line, Crystal Palace’s new playmaker Yohan Cabaye, Liverpool’s new defensive signing Nathaniel Clyne, the Southampton captain Jose Fonte, left back for Chelsea and prize rotation risk Cesar Azpilicueta, and opposite him is the Serbian beast Ivanovic.
Most common teams
Chelsea, Arsenal, and Southampton have players that feature in each of the outfield positions. This is no surprise as last season they were a steady stream of points. All three of these teams are usually composed in defence and offer a threat going forward, and FPL managers will be hoping of more of the same as the season progresses. Manchester United has attacking options but there is still no faith in their shaky defence, especially with David De Gea reportedly not featuring against the Hurrikane. Bournemouth offer budget options in a promising team, these may be hopeful picks but there fixture against an uncertain Aston Villa could be a wellspring of points. Everton also have a favourable home game against a new look Watford but there is doubt about their run following this tie at Goodison Park. In select positions some players are dominant such as Crystal Palace midfielders and Liverpool in defence thanks to their purchase of Nathaniel Clyne.
There was only two formations used by The Hype Train team, the 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 formations. This is for good reason and has been a tried and tested formula for FPL managers from all corners. In any gameweek the risk of overloading on your defence can cost you big points, especially when attackers represent a stronger chance for big points hauls, and the only deductions you receive them are from yellow cards whilst if one of your defenders has a howler of a game and ends up in the minus it is always a sour feeling. Three at the back should be the standard again this season, especially with the abundance of options in midfield this year, particularly between the six and seven million price mark. Defence remains the strongest reason for both these formations, as last year people put a lot of faith in teams such as Everton and Manchester City but were let down by a season defined by inconsistency.
Players that may have missed the first hype train leaving the gameweek one station are numbered, but with a good reason why they may have missed out on the long trip. Here are some of the players and the reservations we had on selecting these players.
• Harry Kane: Second season syndrome happens, and it could to Spurs new prodigal striker. Spurs are the most inconsistent team is recent history, if Spurs are to score no doubt Kane will be involved but Spurs have struggled against the Red Devils and we think that may continue.
• Christian Benteke: Liverpool has acquired one of the five best strikers in the league, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a return on points because you pay big money for a player. With all the criticism about Benteke in a red shirt it is one of those moments where we will all wait and see how this pans out for the well-rounded forward.
• Cesc Fabregas: Most of the faith in Chelsea’s midfield has been placed in Eden Hazard, last season’s player of the year, and it is with good reason too. Fabregas sits deeper in midfield and consistent points for Cesc rely on set-piece delivery and assists whereas Hazard offers you everything, plus penalties. So many midfield options are available to players this year at good price, and it is wise to diversify those teams and players, so as long as Hazard is the midfield for Chelsea then Cesc doesn’t make the cut.
• Thibaut Courtois: Everyone wants a Chelsea team who keep a consistent keeper in their team, but if this season is to repeat last season then we are going to have many disappointed faces. Many FPL managers would double down on defensive options if Thibaut was available every game, and it is a shame he most likely won’t be. Begovic is destined to play as many games as Petr Cech did for the Blues last term, which means we can never fully get behind the big Belgian for the season if he is a rotation risk.
• Andre Ayew: Swansea have a decent run of fixtures after the first game of the season, and all the hype team were tempted to place faith early on but opted to wait out the storm of going to Stamford Bridge. Ayew is a big punt for FPL players but it could turn out to be an inspired choice for any team. You could also opt for a defender too such as Ashley Williams of Kyle Naughton in this same explanation.
GW1 Scout Picks: @RealHypeTrain
Finally we end this article on introducing you to the team that is a culmination of all the top players selected by real players in the league so far, like the other teams price isn’t a factor, but it is there to provide popular options. This team will change from week to week based on who is being transferred in, so here is what the FPL universe has been predicting the ultimate team would be for this gameweek.
Until this Saturday morning when the deadline has been called and the hype train reaches its destination we will be leaving the choice up to you as to where you think the points are coming from.
All aboard (at last).