How are Premier League sides going to line-up for Gameweek 1?

It's been a long summer, left in football purgatory starved of league action, but today the Premier League returns. With a summer of ridiculous summer spending in the transfer market, new and exotic foreign managers coming to the league, with awful shirt sleeve sponsors, and the never-ending pre-season campaign, patterns begin to emerge about how teams will line-up for the opening weekend. We take a look at the formations, the players, and considerations to take in mind, with the Premier League's return. All aboard.

Fantasy Premier League players are just hours away from setting their squads for the first Gameweek of the season, so we've explored the web trying to look for the proper formations and players who will feature for the first round of games. We will be doing a club-by-club analysis in alphabetical order.


Favoured Formation: 4-4-1-1

GK: Begovic

LB: Daniels

CB: Ake CB: Cook

RB: Francis

LM: Pugh CM: Surman

CM: Arter

RM: Fraser

CF: King ST: Afobe

Considerations: The Cherries look to retain their usual 4-4-1-1 formation with Josh King operating as the second striker, and with injury to Jermain Defoe being the big doubt for the game we expect Afobe to start up top as he has impressed in pre-season. We expect a similar team that faced Napoli in pre-season to be fielded, but with Ake, Arter, and Surman in starting roles, and lastly we see Simon Francis return to right-back.

Standout FPL Option: Josh King


Favoured Formation: 3-4-3

GK: Cech

LWB: Oxlade-Chamberlain

CB: Monreal CB: Kolasinac

CB: Holding

RWB: Bellerin CM: Xhaka

CM: Elneny

LF: Welbeck

RF: Iwobi ST: Lacazette

Considerations: The team will be similar to the team that beat Chelsea in the Community Shield at the weekend, the only major considerations is who takes up the left forward role as Sanchez is injured, as it Ozil. Welbeck or Walcott are in contention for that role. Also at the back Mustafi might come in to CB, allowing Kolasinac at LWB, potentially pushing The Ox further up the pitch.

Standout FPL Option: Alexandre Lacazette


Favoured Formation: 4-4-1-1

GK: Ryan

LB: Suttner

CB: Duffy CB: Dunk

RB: Bruno

LM: March CM: Propper

CM: Stephens

RM: Brown

CF: Gross ST: Murray

Considerations: The Championship's player of the season Anthony Knockaert is due to come off the bench after barely making fitness for the opening weekend, meaning Izzy Brown will most likely start. Solly March had an impressive pre-season so he will is likely to start on the left of midfield and new signing Propper joining the midfield as the linchpin. Brighton's spine rarely changes and it more likely that the wingers are the players who are subject to rotation.

Standout FPL Option: Matt Ryan


Favoured Formation: 4-5-1

GK: Heaton

LB: Ward

CB: Mee CB: Tarkowski

RB: Lowton

DM: Cork

CM: Westwood

CM: Hendrick LM: Brady

RM: Arfield

ST: Vokes

Considerations: Burnley's sale of Andre Gray complicates the lineup, the biggest consideration is whether they retain their 4-4-2 with Jonathon Walters replacing the departed Gray. Defour could come in for Westwood, and Arfied might be replaced by Boyd. Their lineup against Hannover was close to this team, and based on their pre-season Jack Cork is going to start so it looks like a more defensive approach will be utilised against Chelsea.

Standout FPL Options: Tom Heaton


Favoured Formation: 3-4-3

GK: Courtois

LWB: Alonso

CB: Cahill CB: Luiz

CB: Rudiger

RWB: Azpilicueta CM: Kante

CM: Fabregas

LF: Morata / Musonda

RF: Willian ST: Batshuayi

Considerations: Chelsea is straight forward, they will retain their three defensive players in the middle, but with Moses being injured Azpilicueta will take up the role and new signing Rudiger will move in the middle. The two behind the main striker will be Pedro and Willian due to the Chelsea's lack of availability of other options, the same applies to Kante and Fabregas in the middle. The only major variable is who starts up front, and we favour Batshuayi to start the season up front as he has done all pre-season for the Blues. Club record signing Morata is struggling getting to full fitness and we expect him to make a cameo off the bench until he is full primed to start his new club, and that was the view until Pedro was declared injured. Now it looks likely he'll start on the left, or Musonda will.

Standout FPL Options: Cesar Azpilicueta / Marcos Alonso

Crystal Palace

Favoured Formation: 3-4-3

GK: Speroni

LB: van Aanholt

CB: Riedewald CB: Dann

CB: Milivojevic

RB: Townsend CM: Puncheon

CM: Loftus-Cheek

LF: Zaha

RF: Lokilo ST: Benteke

Considerations: New manager Frank De Boer has changed things up at Palace by implementing a robust 3-4-3 system, and in his last two friendlies against Metz and Schalke he named unchanged starting line-ups in pre-season which is rare, meaning that this is the team he is looking to start the season. The big changes is that Milivojevic is now playing as part of a back three with Townsend and van Aanholt on the wings, with Zaha and Lokili flanking Benteke with raw pace. The starting eleven against Huddersfield should be unchanged since the pre-season fixtures. The only major change could be Wayne Hennessey coming in for the veteran Julian Speroni.

Standout FPL Options: Christian Benteke / Wilfried Zaha


Favoured Formation: 4-3-3 (home), 3-4-3 (away)

GK: Pickford

LB: Baines

CB: Williams CB: Keane

RB: Martina

DM: Schneiderlin CM: Gueye

CM: Klaassen

LW: Calvert-Lewin

RW: Mirallas

ST: Rooney

Considerations: Everton are an odd one to predict on the opening day as they have been changing up their formation frequently between three at the back to a conventional 4-3-3. The only considerations to make are who starts either side of Rooney, as the youngster Calvert-Lewin has impressed in pre-season, but Koeman might want to give Sandro Ramirez a starting debut for the Toffees. With Leighton Baines potentially no longer taking penalties in favour of the returning Wayne Rooney we are skeptical on his potential output for your fantasy teams this year.

Standout FPL Option: Wayne Rooney


Favoured Formation: 4-2-3-1

GK: Lossl

LB: Howe

CB: Schindler CB: Jorgensen

RB: Smith

DM: Williams DM: Mooy

AM: Palmer

LM: Ince

RM: Kachunga ST: Mounie

Considerations: Decoding who will start for Huddersfield after David Wagner is a mystery of its own, but it will be a full-strength squad that is fielded against Palace. Zanka, aka Mathias Jorgensen, will be one of the new debutantes for the Terries with Mounie, Ince, Lossl, and Willams all likely going to be getting the nod. Mounie is the unrivalled starter up front, and his pre-season form will keep everyone else out.

Standout FPL Options: Aaron Mooy / Steve Mounie


Favoured Formation: 4-4-1-1

GK: Schmeichel

LB: Fuchs

CB: Maguire CB: Morgan

RB: Simpson

CM: Ndidi

CM: James

LM: Albrighton

RM: Mahrez

ST: Iheanacho ST: Vardy

Considerations: Leicester have had an odd pre-season, mostly because they haven't settled on a formation, so out of all the teams we expect this one to have the most noticeable change as Craig Shakespeare tries to reinvent the Foxes. The only indication of the 4-3-3 formation is that due to current injuries to the squad, and the comments made by Shakespeare that Iborra was brought in to be nothing but a defensive midfielder, but with injury to Iborra we can see the tried and tested system being used. The surprise consideration to make the team is Matty James who has recovered from his ACL injury and has impressed in pre-season, and Mahrez might also be dropped for Gray on the wing if the Algerian is digging in his heels over leaving the club.

Standout FPL Option: Jamie Vardy


Favoured Formation: 4-3-3

GK: Mignolet

LB: Moreno

CB: Lovren CB: Matip

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold

DM: Henderson CM: Milner

CM: Can

LW: Mane

RW: Salah CF: Firmino

Considerations: The front free of Mane, Firmino, and Salah solves itself. There are conundrums at left-back but after comments by Klopp it wouldn't be a surprise to see Moreno start the season, moving Milner back into midfield. Liverpool's biggest dilemma is their three central midfield options, with Wijnaldum, Grujic, Henderson, Milner, Coutinho, and Can fighting it out for the opener against Watford, the defensive role depends on whether or not Henderson if fit to start the season. Injury to Coutinho will keep him out, pushing Milner into midfield for his set-piece and high work rate.

Standout FPL Options: Roberto Firmino / Sadio Mane


Favoured Formation: 3-5-2

GK: Ederson

LB: Danilo

CB: Otamendi CB: Stones

CB: Kompany RB: Walker

DM: Yaya Toure CM: Silva

CM: De Bruyne

ST: Aguero ST: Jesus

Considerations: Leroy Sane might be the only player who starts instead of Yaya Toure if they opt for a different system on the opening day. Kevin De Bruyne should operate in a free midfield role, which hopefully means he will support the forwards at any given chance.

Standout FPL Option: Kevin De Bruyne


Favoured Formation: 4-2-3-1

GK: De Gea

LB: Darmian

CB: Jones CB: Bailly

RB: Valencia

DM: Herrera DM: Matic

AM: Pogba

LM: Martial

RM: Mkhitaryan ST: Lukaku

Considerations: In typical Mourinho fashion they will line up with a predictable 4-2-3-1 formation, which can also be set up as a 4-3-3, we don't expect many changes from the team that lined up in the Super Cup loss to Real Madrid. Martial should come in for Lingard, and the central defenders will be shaken up with Mourinho's trusted pair of Eric Bailly and Phil Jones coming into the squad.

Standout FPL Option: Romelu Lukaku


Favoured Formation: 4-2-3-1

GK: Elliot

LB: Dummett

CB: Lejuene CB: Clark

RB: Manquillo

DM: Hayden DM: Shelvey

AM: Perez

LM: Atsu

RM: Ritchie ST: Mitrovic

Considerations: Rafa Benitez has had a frustrating transfer window, and with Dwight Gayle picking up an injury it will most likely be the Serbian Mitrovic leading the line against Spurs. The only defensive conundrum is whether he chooses to stick faith with Kieran Clark at central defence or if he goes with Florian Lejeune partnering captain Jamaal Lascelles, but due to the captains injury on the opening day he will be sitting out. In the middle it is a toss up between new signing Merino or established midfielder Isaac Hayden, we believe Rafa will go with Hayden as Merino settle into life at Newcastle.

Standout FPL Option: Matt Ritchie


Favoured Formation: 4-3-3 (or a 4-2-3-1)

GK: Forster

LB: Bertrand

CB: Stephens CB: Yoshida

RB: Cedric

DM: Romeu CM: Ward-Prowse

CM: Davis

LW: Tadic

RW: Redmond ST: Gabbiadini

Considerations: Either set up in a 4-2-3-1 with Davis joining Romeu, or linking up in a 4-3-3 the Saint's team for the opening gameweek will see little change than the team that beat Sevilla in pre-season. New record signing Lemina has only trained once with the team so it might be a while before he gets the nod to start in the main team.

Standout FPL Options: Nathan Redmond / Ryan Bertrand


Favoured Formation: 3-4-3

GK: Butland

LB: Pieters

CB: Zouma CB: Shawcross

CB: Cameron

RB: Diouf

CM: Fletcher

CM: Allen

LF: Sobhi

RF: Shaqiri

ST: Berahino

Considerations: Scared of potentially dropping down a division, and without their best player Marko Arnautovic, Mark Hughes has implemented a three man defence with Pieters and Diouf acting as wing backs. Anchored by Fletcher and Allen it appears that Stoke are going to be scrapping results, but they did impressively beat German high flyers and Naby Kieta detaining RB Leipzig in pre-season. The only consideration is whether Bojan starts as he picked up an injury in pre-season, if not then expect Ramadan Sobhi to start.

Standout FPL Option: Jack Butland


Favoured Formation: 4-4-2 (Diamond)

GK: Fabianski

LB: Olsson

CB: Mawson CB: Fernandez

CB: Naughton

DM: Mesa

CM: Carroll CM: Fer CAM: Routledge

ST: Abraham ST: Ayew

Considerations: During the attack the team splits to a 4-3-3 with Ayew and Routledge on the wings, but defensively the Swans operate in a tight diamond. Abraham is due to make his debut for the Swans after overcoming injury, and the only major consideration is whether experienced old-head Leon Britton sits in front of the defence ahead of new signing Roque Mesa. Gylfi Sigurdsson won't be playing for Swansea, and by the looks of it he will be leaving the club for Everton.

Standout FPL Options: Tom Carroll / Tammy Abraham


Favoured Formation: 4-2-3-1 or a 3-4-3

4-2-3-1 Variant

GK: Lloris

LB: Davies

CB: Alderweireld

CB: Vertonghen

RB: Dier

DM: Dembele

DM: Winks

RM: Sissoko

LM: Alli

AM: Eriksen

ST: Kane

3-4-3 Variant

GK: Lloris

LWB: Davies

CB: Dier

CB: Alderweireld

CB: Vertonghen

RWB: Sissoko

CM: Dembele

CM: Winks

LAM: Alli

RAM: Eriksen

ST: Kane

Considerations: Spurs suffered an injury to Kieran Trippier that might have altered their GW1 line-up. The hardest ot predict of any of the 20 teams in our eyes, despite picking a consistent squad, Spurs might line up with Dier at RB or play Sissoko at RWB, a job he done at Hull on the final day of last season. Winks looks set to start alongside Dembele in the middle, and the front three should be unchanged.

Standout FPL Options: Harry Kane / Dele Alli


Favoured Formation: 4-2-3-1

GK: Gomes

LB: Holebas

CB: Prodl CB: Caboul

RB: Janmaat

DM: Doucoure DM: Chabolah

AM: Perayra

LM: Success

RM: Amrabat ST: Okaka

Considerations: Tom Cleverley has been highly rated by Marco Silva, so he could take up the attacking role by Perayra, and Kaboul could be replaced by Britos. Lack of match fitness to Craig Cathcart means he won't feature right away. The signing of Andre Gray might effect the team, but it might be too late for his debut.

Standout FPL Option: Roberto Perayra


Favoured Formation: 4-2-3-1

GK: Foster

LB: Nyom

CB: Evans CB: Hegazi

RB: Dawson

DM: Livermore DM: Yacob

AM: Chadli

LM: Rodriguez

RM: Phillips

ST: Rondon

Considerations: At the heart of the Albion's usually stern defence will see Hegazi walk into the starting eleven after an injury has put down on Gareth McAuley's fitness for the start of the season. The major blow to the FPL community will be Jay Rodriguez who is listed as a forward be deployed the left of midfield. The West Brom team is very threadbare so hardly any real changes for the opening tie against Bournemouth.

Standout FPL Options: Matt Phillips and Ben Foster


Favoured Formation: 4-2-3-1

GK: Hart

LB: Masuaku

CB: Ogbonna CB: Fonte

RB: Zabaleta

DM: Obiang DM: Noble

AM: Fernandes

LM: Snodgrass

RM: Ayew ST: Chicharito

Considerations: West Ham's team against Man United sorts itself out, due to a pileup of injuries to key men like new signing Arnautovic, and Lanzini, the spots in Bilic's 4-2-3-1 fill themselves. We expect a very similar team, with perhaps a surprise start for Toni Martinez if they are lacking the firepower in the front four.

Standout FPL Option: Chicharito i.e. Javier Hernandez

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