To start the new season THT is taking a look into the standards and expectations of each team in the form of a power rankings system. The following is based on the research I, as a self-proclaimed FPL expert and Writer, have done and is therefore partly opinion based. I’m sure many will disagree with where I’ve pinned your respective clubs and look forward to plenty of feedback and discussion on this. Just remember, not a ball has been kicked, nor a manager been sacked. So without further delay let’s take a look from the high flyers to the cesspoolers. All aboard.
Each team will receive a rating out of 10 awarded for Manager Rating, Transfer Business (In and Out), Preseason and Squad Fitness. This will act partly as a guide for ranking, however is not definitive!
1 - Man Utd (non-mover)
As was the script. A goal for the Captain. A goal for Zlatan. Somewhat ironically, a goal for little Juan Mata. The only negative from the performance was the goal conceded late on. A tougher fixture to come against Southampton will be the first real test of the Mourinho era. For now at least, United remain the most impressive unit in the league.
FPL Talking Point: Zlatan Ibrahimovic only managed two shots in the game, with none coming from inside the box.
FPL Star Player: Wayne Rooney
FPL Unsung Hero: Antony Martial
FPL Disappointment: Henrikh Mkhitaryan
2 - Man City (non-mover)
The season got off to a perfect start for City and FPL fans alike. A penalty goal from Sergio Aguero had people expecting a blowout. The pace slowed down however, and the game ran out 2-1. No clean sheet. Away at Stoke this Saturday after some midweek, European football may cause issues with rotation. Narrowly behind United at this stage, in superiority and dominance of the Premier League.
FPL Talking point: Aguero scored a hat trick in their midweek European fixture, despite missing two penalties.
FPL Star Player: Sergio Aguero
FPL Unsung Hero: Raheem Sterling
FPL Disappointment: Kevin De Bruyne
3 - Liverpool (+3)
We expected goals in this one and the might of Liverpool’s midfield marvels didn’t disappoint. A magical brace from Coutinho and a superb solo effort from Mane capped the game of the week. Defensive frailties still need to be addressed, but If you can score more than your opponent every week who cares?! (FPL Managers, that’s who). Goals are impressive but history has taught us that to have a real shot at the crown you need to be capable of defending leads.
FPL Talking Point: Sadio Mane expected to sit out vs Burnley due to injury. Firmino may be forced out wide with the return of Sturridge a possibility.
FPL Star Player: Phillipe Coutinho
FPL Unsung Hero: Adam Lallana
FPL Disappointment: Roberto Firmino
4 - Chelsea (+1)
A dominant display for much of the Monday night game vs West Ham. Eden Hazard returning to his POTY standard and even more importantly, back on pens. Costa accumulated more sprints over 90 minutes than any other player in week one and deservedly bagged himself a goal. Skipping ahead of Spurs after Conte’s tactical genius.
FPL Talking Point: Oscar looks to be Conte’s preferred choice over Cesc Fabregas.
FPL Star Player: Eden Hazard
FPL Unsung Hero: Michy Batshuayi
FPL Disappointment: Cesc Fabregas
5 - Tottenham Hotspur (-1)
It was a slow start to the season but at least a defeat was avoided. The loss of Hugo Lloris is a major cause for concern at this early stage. Erik Lamela showed up in preseason and did the business again on Saturday. A slight drop in ranking due to being outperformed.
FPL Talking Point: Harry Kane had a total of 0 attempts on goal vs Everton. His returns in the absence of Dembele are well documented to be minimal.
FPL Star Player: Erik Lamela
FPL Unsung Hero: Kyle Walker
FPL Disappointment: Harry Kane
6 - Leicester (-3)
An embarrassing and history making start to their Premier League defense. The loss of Kante appears to have left a significant gap in the game plan and they were punished for it. Mahrez looks set to be back on pens which is good news for FPL managers, but Vardy’s stock has already dropped.
FPL Talking Point: Robert Huth looks set to boost the Leicester defense and resume his position next to Wes Morgan.
FPL Star Player: Riyad Mahrez
FPL Unsung Hero: Demarai Gray
FPL Disappointment: Jamie Vardy
7 - West Ham (+1)
Despite losing to Chelsea in what was mostly a one sided affair, there is potential in this team. The return of Dimitri Payet is a catalyst in their progression and I expect to see an improvement in the coming weeks. Andy Carroll has been a budget favourite, however the striker didn't muster an effort and was forever on the losing side of the battle against Chelsea's defence.
FPL Talking Point: Club record signing Andre Ayew has been ruled out for up to four months.
FPL Star Player: James Collins
FPL Unsung Hero: Winston Reid
FPL Disappointment: Andy Carroll
8 - Everton (+2)
The new manager has transformed the Toffees style of play in a short time and impressed in the draw with Spurs. With the return of Lukaku and new boys Williams and Bolasie set to feature, the only way is up.
FPL Talking Point: Koeman plays a system with three central defenders and two wing backs. This looks favourable for Baines and Coleman’s attacking potential.
FPL Star Player: Ross Barkley
FPL Unsung Hero: Kevin Mirallas
FPL Disappointment: Gerard Deulofeu
9 - Arsenal (-2)
As mentioned in last week’s Power Rankings, Arsenal have no recognised centre back pairing. They were also without Mesut Ozil and Oliver Giroud vs Liverpol and this lack of quality was clear to see. The only shining light of note was Santi Cazorla’s display from the bench that almost salvaged a point back for the Gunners.
FPL Talking Point: Mesut Ozil, Oliver Giroud and Laurent Koscielny are all likely to miss this weekend’s fixture.
FPL Star Player: Santi Cazorla
FPL Unsung Hero: Theo Walcott
FPL Disappointment: Alexis Sanchez
10 - Swansea City (+1)
Swansea can be thankful they had a favourable opposition for the opening day after the ravaging their team has taken in the off season. Kingsley and Amat filled in for the defence and provided one of only two clean sheets of the week. Fernando Llorente impressed on his debut and provided the assist. Another favourable tie up next against Hull City moves Swansea up one place in the rankings.
FPL Talking Point: Record Signing Borja Baston remains unavailable for this weekend. Amat and Kingsley are expected to keep their places in the starting XI
FPL Star Player: Leroy Fer
FPL Unsung Hero: Stephen Kingsley
FPL Disappointment: Gylfi Sigurdsson
In other news, Llorente has a place in both our Weekly Wildcards and our Core Captaincy articles for FPL GW2. Check out the Weekly Hype page to read both articles.
11 - Southampton (-2)
After witnessing this game first hand I was unimpressed with the Saints all round performance, playing second best throughout the first half. Nathan Redmond’s goal rallied the team and it should have been two were it not for Shane Long being brought down outside the area. They need to start games a lot quicker and with more purpose from the whistle. A difficult Friday night game vs Manchester United is up next.
FPL Talking Point: Dusan Tadic produced the most goal scoring opportunities of the opening weekend.
FPL Star Player: Nathan Redmond
FPL Unsung Hero: Cedric Soares
FPL Disappointment: Virgil Van Dijk
12 - West Brom (+2)
The only other team to keep a clean sheet in Gameweek One, came from a classic West Brom performance. This side appears to be so well drilled at grinding out results and front man Rondon is in fine form. Ben Foster will be looking to impress new England manager Big Sam and has started impressively.
FPL Talking Point: Saido Berahino remains subject of multiple bids from Premier League clubs. Rondon is the main man this year.
FPL Star Player: Salomon Rondon
FPL Unsung Hero: Ben Foster
FPL Disappointment: Saido Berahino
13 - Stoke City (-1)
A draw was a fair result against Middlesbrough, with star player Xherdan Shaqiri on the score sheet. Five yellow cards on the day doesn’t bode well for their disciplinary record and the intense physical style of defending attributes to this. Still missing several pieces of the puzzle to assert themselves in this league.
FPL Talking Point: Jack Butland due to return in two weeks’ time.
FPL Star Player: Xherdan Shaqiri
FPL Unsung Hero: None
FPL Disappointment: Marko Arnautovic
14 - Crystal Palace (-1)
A defeat in the opening fixture was not too unsurprising given the then ongoing Bolasie exit. More will be expected from Zaha and Townsend in particular and recently confirmed signing Benteke should finally provide Palace with a quality goal threat.
FPL Talking Point: Christian Benteke is priced at just 7.5mill, could be a major differential.
FPL Star Player: None
FPL Unsung Hero: None
FPL Disappointment: Scott Dann
15 - Middlesbrough (+3)
Alvaro Negredo scored on his second Premier League debut, reminding FPL managers of what he’s capable of. There are still some teething problems adjusting to the top flight but that was expected. Gaston Ramirez looks to be a creative force, if he can remain injury free, he could become a budget differential.
FPL Talking Point: Middlesbrough have favourable fixtures in the next four matches.
FPL Star Player: Alvaro Negredo
FPL Unsung Hero: Gaston Ramirez
FPL Disappointment: George Friend
16 - Sunderland (-1)
David Moyes won’t be too concerned after opening day defeat as his side did at least show some fight. Jermain Defoe remains one of the best goal poachers in the league and got the black cats level. It was not to be however as debutant Patrick McNair conceded an own goal late on. Unfortunate but without quality squad depth to see games out.
FPL Talking Point: Jermain Defoe is the second most transferred in forward of the week.
FPL Star Player: Jermain Defoe
FPL Unsung Hero: Jack Rodwell
FPL Disappointment: Patrick McNair
17 - Hull City (+3)
After tearing Hull apart in my preseason Power Rankings it was only right they completely proved me wrong and defeated the current champions. Hull were unlucky to concede the penalty, as the foul appeared to be just outside the box. Snodgrass looks a danger from set pieces and provided a clinical finish from a loose ball.
FPL Talking Point: Goal scorer Adama Diomande is priced at just 4.5mill. 2mill less than most preferred budget options.
FPL Star Player: Robert Snodgrass
FPL Unsung Hero: Adama Diomande
FPL Disappointment: None
18 - Bournemouth (-1)
Bournemouth didn’t really show up vs Manchester United and were punished accordingly. Defensive errors were a common occurrence and resulted in Juan Mata scoring. A goal late on was the only moment of positive from the opening weekend.
FPL Talking Point: Max Gradel started on the bench in the opening weekend and is likely to do the same vs West Ham.
FPL Star Player: Adam Smith
FPL Unsung Hero: Lewis Grabban
FPL Disappointment: Max Gradel
19 - Watford (non-mover)
Troy Deeney was running the show for much of the first half against Southampton, winning every ball in the air and providing excellent hold up play. Etienne Capoue’s role behind the strikers to start the game worked well, but was later moved into a defensive position. Ultimately they ran out of steam and were lucky to avoid defeat in this one. Conceded the second most goal-scoring opportunities during the weekend.
FPL Talking Point: Etienne Capoue is priced at just 4.5mill while playing in a forward lying role at times.
FPL Star Player: Etienne Capoue
FPL Unsung Hero: Troy Deeney
FPL Disappointment: Odion Ighalo
20 - Burnley (-4)
Defeat to Swansea with almost nothing to offer in any area of the field. I’m not sure what went wrong but they looked completely out of their league against average opposition. Tom Heaton provided a number of saves and gathered extra points accordingly. Trips to attacking sides Liverpool and Chelsea up next could be embarrassing.
FPL Talking Point: Tom Heaton made a total of seven saves vs Swansea.
FPL Star Player: Tom Heaton
FPL Unsung Hero: None
FPL Disappointment: Andre Gray
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