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Premier League 2020/21: FPL Gameweek 1 Fantasy Forecast

Ahead of each Gameweek in the Premier League, The Hype Train's team, Robert Austin, Sam Austin and Phil Jones, duel for FPL and league supremacy in predicting Premier League scores, as well as going head to head in picking a Scout Picks squad for each round of games. With the 2020/21 Premier League season starting tomorrow, we provide our Gameweek 1 Forecast predictions, speculating how we think the first round of games will be played out. Welcome to the Forecast. All aboard.

Premier League 2020/21: Gameweek 1 Fixtures

The upcoming league campaign, with Leeds, West Brom and Fulham joining the league in the place of Norwich, Bournemouth and Watford, is set to start on Saturday 12th September 2020.

Champions Liverpool entertain Championship winners, Leeds, whilst Fulham and West Brom both start their seasons' with home fixtures against Arsenal and Leicester respectively.

Due to Man City and Man United competing in the latter stages of european competition to end the 2019/20 season, the Premier League have a 30-day no compete clause once the season, which means that both Manchester clubs have had their fixtures against Burnley and Aston Villa postponed to a later date.

Premier League 2020/21: FPL Gameweek 1 Forecast

Enjoy our FPL Forecast article, with each of our team forecasting how we think the Premier League will shape up this upcoming Gameweek. If you agree or want to challenge us on our point of view, get in touch with us on our main Twitter account, @RealHypeTrain.

Fixture Predictions: Gameweek 1

Fulham 0-2 Arsenal

Crystal Palace 1-2 Southampton

West Ham 1-3 Newcastle

Liverpool 3-1 Leeds

West Brom 0-2 Leicester

Spurs 2-1 Everton

Brighton 2-1 Chelsea

Sheffield United 1-2 Wolves

FPL Forecasting: Gameweek 1

Top FPL player targets to start the season:

Kasper Schmeichel (LEI, GK, £5.5mil, 13.8% ownership)

Trent Alexander-Arnold (LIV, DEF, £7.5mil, 54.7% ownership)

Mohamad Salah (LIV, MID, £12.0mil, 30.0% ownership)

Danny Ings (SOU, FWD, £8.5mil, 25.4% ownership)

Who are the teams to look out for and avoid?:

Chelsea (Avoid): This one is easy, because out of all the teams to be overhyped at the start of the season, Chelsea are missing some of their big names to start the season. Brighton could cause the Blues a problem. Chelsea have gone out of their way to outspend everyone this year (again) and there is pressure that Lampard HAS to get results. They’ll get there, but there may be a settling in period.

Everton (Avoid): Despite all the big-name signings, I don’t see Everton with a striker who can get them twenty goals a season. Sure, they brought in lots of midfielders that all ‘neutral’ supporters say would walk into Liverpool’s midfield, but at the end of the day it is still Everton. Their squad is more complete, but it may take some time for it to be effective.

Arsenal (Watch): I really think Arsenal are going to improve this year, and with Mikel Arteta’s departure from City leaving the Manchester club with a vacuum, I think that he will improve the Gunners a lot. The good news is that Arsenal travel away to Fulham on the opening day, and with Aubameyang now in midfield, I believe they are going to start strong.

Wolves (Watch): Between the two teams in this fixture, the question I asked myself was which one is the most likely to drop off this year? Wolves have ben busy in the transfer market, and I think the players at their disposal were not overachieving, which is what I think about when I look at Sheffield United. I can see Raul Jimenez have a strong start.

What is the strategy for bringing in City and United players?:

As a Liverpool supporter I am glad this question came to me, because without any bias I am going to avoid bringing them in until I know how they will be lining up. The only one I may be bringing in is Bruno Penandes from United as he is guaranteed to start if not injured.

Face Fact’s FPL Differential Picks GW1:

We won’t be doing the differential picks in their own article, instead we will combine ALL content into one packed forecast every week. From me you’ll still get the ten differentials of whom I believe will make an impact every week, and who I would captain out of them players. For the first time this season here are the first eight differentials of the season:

Differential Picks: Gameweek 1

FUL/ARS: William Saliba (ARS, DEF, £4.5mil, 3.8% ownership)

CRY/SOU: James Ward-Prowse (SOU, MID, £6.0mil, 4.7% ownership)

WHU/NEW: Callum Wilson (NEW, FWD, £6.5mil, 5.5% ownership)

LIV/LEE: Takumi Minamino (LIV, MID, £6.5mil, 0.6% ownership)

WBA/LEI: Timothy Castagne (LEI, DEF, £5.5mil, 1.0% ownership)

TOT/EVE: Dele Alli (TOT, MID, £8.0mil, 3.0% ownership)

BHA/CHE: Tammy Abraham (CHE, FWD, £7.5mil, 6.2% ownership)

SHU/WOL: Diogo Jota (WOL, MID, £6.5mil, 3.6% ownership)

Differential Captain: Callum Wilson (NEW)

Newcastle have had a barn storming transfer window, and that isn’t even a criticism of their usual transfer activity or their recent rejected takeover. All the players they have brought in, maybe except for Jeff Hendrick, immediately improves the overall quality of the team. Callum Wilson also has a great goalscoring record against GW1 opponents West Ham, which makes him a fantastic differential for the opening week. West Ham have been at odds, having been inactive in the transfer window, the only activity has been the criticism of their entire fanbase after selling Diangana to fellow relegation rivals West Brom. I can see Newcastle start strong, with Wilson making matters worse for West Ham.

Other Gameweek Comments:

This year’s prices have really deflated my interest in the FPL this season. If you get even one assist a season, you’re getting a £1.0mil price increase. Every good player is over £10.0mil which has now made the FPL into a game where you can have two good players, and then the rest of the team needs to be budgeted. It isn’t fun, or reflective of the Premier League. They still don’t even have all the players added.

FPL Scout Picks: Gameweek 1

Formation: 3-4-3

Starting 11

GK: Kasper Schmeichel (LEI)

DEF: William Saliba (ARS)

DEF: Kieran Tierney (ARS)

DEF: Trent Alexander-Arnold (LIV)

MID: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ARS) - (VC)

MID: Sadio Mane (LIV)

MID: Mohamad Salah (LIV) (C)

MID: Hueng-Min Son (TOT)

FOR: Raul Jimenez (WOL)

FOR: Jamie Vardy (LEI)

FOR: Danny Ings (SOU)


GK: Alex McCarthy (SOU)

MID: Allan Saint-Maximin (NEW)

DEF: Timothy Castagne (LEI)

DEF: Matt Doherty (TOT)

Fixture Predictions: Gameweek 1

Fulham 0-4 Arsenal

Crystal Palace 0-1 Southampton

West Ham 1-2 Newcastle

Liverpool 2-1 Leeds

West Brom 0-0 Leicester

Spurs 2-2 Everton

Brighton 1-3 Chelsea

Sheffield United 1-1 Wolves

FPL Scout Picks: Gameweek 1

Formation: 3-4-3

Starting 11

GK: Alex Mccarthy

DEF: Reece James

DEF: Trent Alexander-Arnold

DEF: Kieran Tierney

MID: P.E. Aubameyang (C)

MID: Mo Salah

MID: Kai Havertz

MID: H.M. Son

FOR: Timo Werner (VC)

FOR: Harry Kane

FOR: Callum Wilson


GK: Kasper Schmeichel

MID: Ayoze Perez

DEF: Hector Bellerin

DEF: Matt Doherty

Fixture Predictions: Gameweek 1

Fulham 0-3 Arsenal

Crystal Palace 0-0 Southampton

West Ham 1-2 Newcastle

Liverpool 2-0 Leeds

West Brom 0-2 Leicester

Spurs 2-1 Everton

Brighton 1-3 Chelsea

Sheffield United 0-1 Wolves

FPL Forecasting: Gameweek 1

Top FPL player targets to start the season:

Trent Alexander-Arnold (LIV): Trent is the perfect mid-range midfielder, only he plays in defence and commands set-pieces.

Harry Kane (TOT): Decent fixtures, certain to start and at a price that doesn’t want to make me rip out my hair.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ARS): About to sign a new contract, in form and with a good game to start the season. A no-brainer for FPL players.

Allan Saint-Maximin (NEW): The only decent budget midfielder. Everyone else at his price range makes my eyes roll.

Who are the teams to look out for and avoid?:

Newcastle (Watch): West Ham are in the midst of a mutiny, though their off-field troubles are nothing in comparison to Newcastle’s drama surrounding the failed takeover bid by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund. What’s weird as a Newcastle fan is the transfer activity that has led to some good signings for our mid-table level. Callum Wilson should add the goals, Jamal Lewis was a steal from Norwich, whilst Ryan Fraser adds another creative element that should help unlock Miguel Almiron’s undoubted potential. The Toon should win at West Ham if they’ve made any progress as a club.

Spurs (Watch): Having watch the first six episodes of the Amazon documentary, the main talking point throughout the episodes was how a pile up of injuries essentially cost the team a trophy in their first season under Mourinho – not that because Spurs are Spurs and far off. The squad are near full strength and the additions of Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Matt Doherty will add depth to a squad that looks in a better position to compete. Everton is a tough fixture, but Spurs are further down the line in their development. Sam told me that this answer was a politicians answer, so to be more frank, Spurs have enough attacking firepower to see Everton off with their current squad, with a host of new midfield players still settling.

Leeds, West Brom, Fulham (Avoid): It’s not a good introduction for each of the promoted clubs and I’ve done everything in my power to avoid players from each of these clubs. They’ll be lucky to score a single goal, collectively, against Leicester, Arsenal and Liverpool, to the effect that my first draft team has defenders against all of the new sides.

Sheffield United (Avoid): Second season syndrome is real and even though I rate their defensive efforts, they’re light up top and might struggle for goals. Wolves is a tough game and I’d be surprised if there are many goals in this one.

What is the strategy for bringing in City and United players?:

I’m going to leave them out of my squad altogether until the first international break so I can assess the new season. I feel like the only way to get in the likes of KDB and Fernandes is to swap them out for Salah or Aubameyang if they under-perform.

FPL Captaincy Picks (GW1):

Essential: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ARS)

Alternative: Mohamed Salah (LIV)

Differential: Callum Wilson (NEW)

Captaincy Analysis:

Above, Sam has done a nice little insight surrounding Callum Wilson’s arrival at Newcastle. This leaves discussion, or the lack of it, surrounding the primary choices for captaincy. The only conversation is the Auba vs. Salah debate as both are the key targets to have to start the season.

Both against newly promoted sides, with Arsenal on the up-turn since Mikel Arteta’s arrival. Aubameyang is set to announce his new contract and this usually follows with a goal for a host of players. 22 goals in the last couple of campaigns highlights the consistency of the Gabon attacker. Being reclassified as midfielder has done the £12.0m option a big favour on opening weekend and it will be hard to ignore his influence during the opening weekend against a side that might leak goals.

Finding home comforts this week is Liverpool, with The Reds welcoming Leeds United back to the Premier League at Anfield. Mohamed Salah has scored in the first fixture of the season 3 years on the spin and I expect Liverpool will brush Leeds aside here. There will be question marks over Liverpool’s depth this season, but there is absolutely no question about Salah’s quality in front of goal – the same could be applied to Mane too.

Personally, I’ve gone for Salah for one reason alone. Liverpool aren’t in the lunch-time kick-off to start the season.

Other Gameweek Comments:

My key to success this season is simple. No paid subscriptions, no over-complicated thought processes. Just stick with the basics – go with players in-form and teams with good fixtures, with set-piece potential a bonus. Gut instinct is a dying art in FPL as every thought and action is trying to be commercialised by money-hungry companies clawing for your cold hard cash and impression-happy ‘influencers’ on social media that care more for the number of tweets they produce rather than the quality of them.

My team below is 90% likely what I’ll be going with on the opening day. The bench is weak, but there are limited options due to the way the game is budgeted, but I’m not worried as most, if not all of my selections, looked nailed on. I was set on a 4-3-3 formation last season and will be going ahead with that to start the season as I’m not too keen on some of the mid-range midfielders available on opening weekend – Mason Greenwood is the likely candidate to become the 4th midfielder when United start their season at home to Crystal Palace during Gameweek 2.

FPL Scout Picks: Gameweek 1

Formation: 4-3-3

Squad Value: £100.0m

Starting 11

GK: A. McCarthy (SOU)

DEF: M. Doherty (TOT)

DEF: W. Saliba (ARS)

DEF: J. Justin (LEI)

DEF: T. Alexander-Arnold (LIV)

MID: A. Saint-Maximin (NEW)

MID: P-E. Aubameyang (ARS) – (VC)

MID: M. Salah (LIV) – (C)

FOR: C. Wilson (NEW)

FOR: T. Werner (CHE)

FOR: H. Kane (TOT)


GK: D. Martin (WHU)

DEF: T. Mitchell (CRY)

MID: D. Stephens (BHA)

MID: O. Romeu (SOU)

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.

We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.

In 2019, Hype Train Football Club was formed, becoming the first Fantasy Football website to take to the field. HTFC is a socially active team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles. We won both Goal of the Season Awards in the Berkshire and County FA regions, with Callum Parr-Jones winning the Berks & Bucks FA award, whilst Martin King won the PlaySport UK award.

The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog' in 2016 by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), and were again shortlisted as a finalist in 2019 in the 'Best Fantasy Football Blog' category.

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All aboard.