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Premier League 2022/23 Season: FPL Fantasy Forecast - Gameweek 1

Ahead of each Gameweek in the Premier League, The Hype Train's team - Robert Austin, Sam Austin, and Phil Jones - provide a rundown of the upcoming round of games in the Premier League; predicting scores for every game, picking a budgeted squad of 15 players that we think are the top selections each week, whilst ee also comb over other relevant statistics, impressions and insight from around the game and the league to best navigate you through the world of fantasy football, all for free. Welcome to the Forecast. All aboard.

Gameweek 1 Fixtures:

After a short summer of no football, with the Premier League starting a week earlier due to the World Cup in Qatar this November and December, Crystal Palace hosting Arsenal kicks off the first of 16 Gameweek's for FPL players before world football's showpiece event.

2022/23 Premier League Season: Fixture Predictions

Below, our score predictions pit the train's three members against one another. Let's find out how they think the Gameweek will shape up for teams.

- The team agree on wins for Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle, Spurs.

- Hiccups for each, with Rob believing Chelsea will struggle at Everton, whilst Phil sees Man United slipping up against Brighton, and Sam believes City will start with a point at West Ham

- Leicester's game has 3 varying results, the only game to feature this.

- Sam and Phil think Wolves and Leeds will play out an entertaining draw.

- Newcastle and Liverpool are the only teams to keep a clean sheet by all three of the team, whilst there is a concensus that Arsenal and Chelsea, both playing away from home, are likely concede.

2022/23 Premier League Season: Fantasy Forecast

The team go through a list of questions and insight to provide their predictions ahead of each Gameweek. None of the team pay for any subscription based FPL services, and the type of opinions here are based in both stats and analytical thinking where possible, as we tackle the latest round of games.

2022/23 Premier League Season: Gameweek 1 Fantasy Forecast (Sam Austin)

Fixture Predictions: Gameweek 1

Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal

Fulham 0-3 Liverpool

Bournemouth 0-1 Aston Villa

Leeds 1-1 Wolves

Newcastle 2-0 Nottingham Forest

Spurs 3-0 Southampton

Everton 1-3 Chelsea

Leicester 2-1 Brentford

Man United 2-0 Brighton

West Ham 1-1 Man City

FPL Forecasting: Gameweek 1

What are your basics of sustaining a season in FPL?:

I haven’t conformed to the ‘meta’ builds since last season, as last year I did an English only team that performed quite well. This time I upped the difficulty by making a non-EU team, so no European players. The key to any system, team, form, is just looking at who is doing well, and not overcomplicating your decisions. Make gut calls, look at the ownership statistics, look at upcoming fixtures, team and player form, and it will all come together.

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

Liverpool (Watch): After winning the Community Shield in a comprehensive performance against Manchester City, Liverpool’s forwards look sharp heading into the opening week. Liverpool have always had high scoring affairs against Fulham, and with Darwin Nunez joining their ranks I expect Marco Silva’s team to have a day to forget to kick off the season.

Arsenal (Watch): The Gunners have had an electric pre-season. Beating Chelsea 4-0, and then Sevilla 6-0, Mikel Arteta has seriously strengthened his team. William Saliba will finally play for them, and they have added Zinchenko and goal scoring Gabriel Jesus, with the latter scoring a hatful of goals in pre-season. They kick off the season against Palace and I expect them to have a comprehensive win.

Man City (Avoid): I just have a feeling that City won’t win this one, they feel in transition after losing a bunch of established players and threats in attack. They have added Haaland, so I don’t think they’ll lose but West Ham brought it City last year and in this very fixture at the end of the season Pep’s team did not win.

Wolves (Avoid): After losing Raul Jimenez to injury, Wolves are in trouble. I expect Leeds to either get a point or win this game on the opening weekend. Wolves have slowly been slipping and I expect them to labour this season.

Top FPL player targets to start the season:

Mohamad Salah | LIV | MID | £13.0mil

Trent Alexander-Arnold | LIV | DEF | £7.5mil

Darwin Nunez | LIV | FWD | FWD | £9.0mil

Son Hueng-Min | TOT | MID | £12.0mil

Bukayo Saka | ARS | MID | £8.0mil

Bruno Guimarães | NEW | MID | £6.0mil

Leon Bailey | AVL | MID | £5.0mil (Budget)

Kevin De Bruyne | MCI | MID | £12.0mil

Gabriel Jesus | ARS | FWD | £8.0mil

Nick Pope | NEW | GK | £5.0mil

Gameweek 1 - FPL Differential Picks:

CRY/ARS: William Saliba (ARS, DEF, £4.5mil, 1.7% ownership)

FUL/LIV: Joel Matip (LIV, DEF, £6.0mil, 2.7% ownership)

BOU/AVL: Ollie Watkins (AVL, FWD, £7.5mil, 3.8% ownership)

LEE/WOL: Brendan Aaronson (LEE, MID, £5.5mil, 0.8% ownership)

NEW/NFO: Nick Pope (NEW, GK, £5.0mil, 4.6% ownership)

TOT/SOU: Dejan Kulusevski (TOT, MID, £8.0mil, 7.0% ownership)

EVE/CHE: Raheem Sterling (CHE, MID, £10.0mil, 6.9% ownership)

LEI/BRE: Harvey Barnes (LEI, MID, £7.0mil, 4.1% ownership)

MUN/BHA: Anthony Martial (MUN, FWD, £7.0mil, 6.9% ownership)

WHU/MCI: Riyad Mahrez (MCI, MID, £8.0mil, 5.8% ownership)

Differential Captain: Raheem Sterling (Chelsea)

The first differential captain of the season is going to be Raheem Sterling who has moved from Manchester City to a fellow rival, Chelsea. The move doesn’t make much sense as normally selling to a direct rival is pretty much unheard of, especially as City are letting their established players move to Arsenal as well. Sterling is a big loss for City, and a big gain for Chelsea. Sterling is actually predicted to be starting up front for Chelsea against Everton, so there is a better chance of the Englishman getting on the scoresheet as he is the focal point until Chelsea resolve who their long-term striker will be. Also, Sterling is going against Everton, and let’s be frank, a non-league club could rock up to Goodison Park and dominate them right now.

Gameweek 1 - FPL Captaincy Picks:

Essential: Mohamad Salah (LIV)

Alternative: Gabriel Jesus (ARS)

Differential (low ownership %): Raheem Sterling (CHE)

Rest of the World XI Challenge Team:

What is Sam’s team all about?: For the 21/22 season, Sam played the FPL game using only English players. He managed 2,330 points and finished 535,638 overall. This was his 3rd best overall points tally in the nine seasons he has completed, and his best in three years after doing ‘normal’ teams. This was even without Mohamad Salah as a captaincy option, relying on the likes of Kane, Alexander-Arnold, and Jarrod Bowen for most the season. For the 22/23 season, Sam’s latest challenge sees his actual squad only being comprised of players from outside of Europe, with players only from Asia, North and South America, Australasia, and Africa considered.

The starting team of the non-EU challenge includes:

22/23 Challenge Team: Rest of the World XI

GW1 Formation: 4-4-2

Budget: £100.0mil

GK: Edouard Mendy (CHE)

DEF: Kalidou Koulibaly (CHE)

DEF: Davinson Sánchez (TOT)

DEF: Diego Carlos (AVL)

DEF: Lisandro Martinez (MUN)

MID: Hueng-Min Son (TOT)

MID: Riyad Mahrez (MCI

MID: Bruno Guimarães (NEW)

MID: Mohamad Salah (LIV) - (C)

FWD: Gabriel Jesus (ARS) - (VC)

FWD: Darwin Núñez (LIV)


GK: Robert Sánchez (BHA)

FWD: Taiwo Awoniyi (NFO)

DEF: Tariq Lamptey (BHA)

MID: Andreas Pereira (FUL)

2022/23 Premier League Season: Gameweek 1 Fantasy Forecast (Phil Jones)

Fixture Predictions: Gameweek 1

Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal

Fulham 0-3 Liverpool

Bournemouth 1-1 Aston Villa

Leeds 2-2 Wolves

Newcastle 3-0 Nottingham Forest

Spurs 4-0 Southampton

Everton 1-2 Chelsea

Leicester 0-2 Brentford

Man United 1-1 Brighton

West Ham 1-3 Man City

FPL Squad Picks: Gameweek 1

Formation: 4-4-2

Budget: £100.0m

Starting 11

GK: Nick Pope (AVL)

DEF: Reece James (CHE)

DEF: Trent Alexander-Arnold (LIV)

DEF: Oleksandr Zinchenko (ARS)

DEF: Kyle Walker (MCI)

MID: Mohamed Salah (LIV) – (C)

MID: Mason Mount (LIV)

MID: Gabriel Martinelli (ARS)

MID: Riayd Mahrez (MCI)

FOR: Harry Kane (TOT) - (VC)

FOR: Gabriel Jesus (ARS)


GK: Danny Ward (LEI)

DEF: Neco Williams (NFO)

MID: Andreas Pereira (FUL)

FOR: Cameron Archer (AVL)

2022/23 Premier League Season: Gameweek 1 Fantasy Forecast (Robert Austin)

Fixture Predictions: Gameweek 1

Crystal Palace 1-3 Arsenal

Fulham 0-2 Liverpool

Bournemouth 0-2 Aston Villa

Leeds 2-1 Wolves

Newcastle 2-0 Nottingham Forest

Spurs 3-1 Southampton

Everton 1-1 Chelsea

Leicester 1-1 Brentford

Man United 2-1 Brighton

West Ham 0-3 Man City

FPL Forecasting: Gameweek 1

What are your basics of sustaining a season in FPL?:

Rely on the ‘Top 6’ where possible: There is one theme in the Premier League in recent years, and it’s that the Top 6 clubs have had it their own way. In no particular order – Arsenal, Spurs, Man United, Liverpool, Man City, and Chelsea – are the teams to look at to build the base of your FPL team. Of course, if there a special case of a player coming into form, pick him, but when City and Liverpool are hitting 90+ points on the regular, you need to keep a base of their talents in your team.

Keep it Simple Stupid: The KISS analogy works for everything; you pick the top players as captain, you transfer in in form players, and you don’t overcomplicate matters with using your chips.

Wait to make transfers: I’ve come to accept that making early transfers in the week to beat a price rise has led to some uncomfortable weeks waiting for players to stay fit in a week which has cup or European matches. Just wait for press conferences near the tail end of the week before pressing the trigger.

If you’re having a bad Gameweek, so are millions of others: A potentially painful experience in FPL isn’t an isolated thing specific to you. There are only so many options and considerations to pick from, and only a few ‘template’ teams I have seen, which means that any pain is shared by many, many millions of others. Just remember to chill out and not let every little thing destroy your mental health whilst football games where you have an FPL player active.

Understanding short term bandwagons: Gameweek 1 typically has a lot of disastrous after effects which see content creators and social media commentators lose their collective minds. If Miguel Almiron scores a brace against Nottingham Forest during Gameweek 1 (I believe in you Miggy!) we will see a giant spike in ownership from his current 1.3% ownership, and an early price rise. Then Miggy or others in the past (there have been countless examples) who then trail off. This bandwagon culture then will bite you in the rear the next week… One example I had was when I had Callum Wilson in my team when he played for Bournemouth under Eddie Howe in the 2015/16 season. Wilson blanked Gameweek 1, and I got rid of him for who knows at this point, which then led to Wilson scoring a hat-trick away in a 4-3 win at West Ham the very next week… Sometimes it is best to leave your team and your tactics untouched for a few weeks and having a period of assessment.

Stay mentally healthy if you care a lot about the game: Stars which burn the brightest can often fade the fastest. Burnout is very real when it comes to football, you see a lot of people losing their minds and wallets in the gambling industry when betting on sports, and FPL isn’t too dissimilar in its practises as you are fixated on a few variables that in all honesty, you have no control over. Social media platforms can be a great tool for promotion and voicing opinions, but can also become a negative vacuum where things can wind you up. In the case of FPL, if you spend a lot of time doing research, have a dedicated Twitter account, spend your hard earned money on a subscription service, you have to find a balance where you don’t to throw a brick through your TV if Crystal Palace beat Arsenal tonight, or if Jesus doesn’t score for The Gunners. Just know your limits of enjoyment and if it’s getting too much, take a step back.

FPL is a marathon: Your week-to-week management shouldn’t take too long. You look at your team, make some transfers based on a few factors (form, fixtures, gut call, being drunk on a night out and putting in Agbonlahor in a Double Gameweek as captain years ago, etc) and that’s really it. It’s a long season too, and not everything goes your way… The only elements I would plan for is when to use your ‘Chips’, particularly your wildcard’s throughout the season. The Qatar World Cup being in Winter has added a third wildcard, so it's a unique season, though it’s best to wait for the season to unfold for a few weeks before you make any definite calls on this.

What are the potential stumbling blocks to a good Gameweek?:

West Ham spoil the party: City and Liverpool are hot favourites with their fixtures to start the season, but in reality West Ham are a very good side and took points off City last season in the same fixture – so there’s potential in this banana peel could topple the millions that are leaning on Cancelo, KDB, Mahrez, and Haaland.

First game reality check for Arsenal: A lot of pre-season hype around Arsenal would have you believing that they have become somewhat of a force. Moreover, in what is the first game of the season, a win for Palace will be the biggest reality check for 7 million odd FPL players who have stacked up on Gabriel Jesus and the creativity behind him. Palace are a good mid-table side too that house some very strong players that, particularly at home, can mount a good game. That’s how it is in the Premier League, anyone can beat anyone, and given the buzz of the new season for FPL players in particular, wouldn’t a long season be truly kickstarted with a Palace win? It is worth noting that Arsenal started last season on Friday night, and lost 2-0 away at Brentford.

Lunchtime KO for Liverpool: The 12:30pm kick-off has Liverpool in action, the timeslot for Premier League games that sometimes takes a while to get going. Sleepy affairs can sometimes really dilute top FPL performers, so there is a potential dark cloud over what is a perfect fixture for Liverpool to open the season.

A lack of clean sheets?: The opening day can be chaotic and all over the place, lots of unpredictable elements coming together to create an open Gameweek for everyone. Currently, I am scouring social media and have not seen a single draft that is a 3-4-3 formation, instead players are leaning on 5-3-2 or 4-4-2. Just more of a hazard sign warning, but a mass of defenders might not be completely wise to start the season.

Who are the teams to look out for and avoid for Gameweek 1?:

Aston Villa (Watch): Villa have a few tempting opening fixtures, are a solid enough side, and FPL players are sleeping on the lack of activity at Bournemouth. Scott Parker’s already despondent about The Cherries, particularly their lack of defensive reinforcements. Villa might be a team that if they get it right on the day, could be the team that everyone says that they slept on.

Man United (Watch?): A first game for Erik ten Haag, against a Brighton side that are selling their squad left and right. Surely this will be an opportunity for United if they have their affairs in order? Big ask, given that Ronaldo is now above the club due to their position in the Europa League, and the overall lack of transfer activity due to how the club operates, but if there was one narrative with a good game, it will be that United are back on the scene.

Newcastle (Watch): As a Newcastle supporter, I have finally entered a biased stage of my life as we have some very good players, with a perfect opening game against newly promoted Nottingham Forest. Eddie Howe’s form had Newcastle in the Champions League last season and the squad have a fully fit Callum Wilson back, as well as adding in quality at the back in Pope and Botman. We’re a team to watch for the opening day and should have points in Trippier, ASM, Wilson, and the defensive line.

Leicester (Cautious): The club have sold Kasper Schmeichel and Newcastle want Maddison. The key question shouldn’t be if you have Ward or Iversen in your teams, you should be asking if the boat has been rocked enough at Leicester to throw them off to start the season?

Chelsea (Cautious): A year of transition due to new ownership, opening up their league campaign away at Frank Lampard no less, the narrative is that Chelsea might not be on it this season. I think that not a lot has changed, and in fact the additions of Kalidou Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling should instantly improve the squad, though it is a potentially interesting opening day that will have FPL players sweating.

Wolves & Leeds (Dark Horses): Leeds have sold key players, but allowed Jesse Marsch to rebuild and buy in some really interesting dark horses. Brendan Aaronson (£5.5m) has been an interesting watch on the wing for Leeds in pre-season, whilst Patrick Bamford (£7.5m) is back fit up top with a great run of opening fixtures. Definitely one to review when the campaign starts, but there are positive signs. Wolves on the other hand are more defined, but again are watch and wait as they go through hot and cold patches.

Liverpool & Man City (Watch): Same answer for both – they’re the top teams with the best players. Load up where you can as they are fixture proof on the whole, even if there are bumps in the road.

Top FPL player targets to start the season:

In the hour or so of drafting, picking a team has been relatively straight forward, what I have noticed is the ONE change which moves a premium option in a particular position.

The main formations I have come across is 4-4-2 and 5-3-2, with the occasion 4-3-3. The 3-4-3 formation seems to be lost in the ether amongst most in the ‘FPL Community’ due to the attraction of attacking full-backs.

A 4-3-3 formation sees Gabriel Jesus (ARS) and one of Erling Haaland (MCI) or Harry Kane (TOT) and a cheaper to mid option, such as Callum Wilson (NEW), Ollie Watkins (AVL) or Patrick Bamford (LEE). This then allows Salah (LIV) alongside an £8.0m midfielder (Mount/Mahrez/Diaz) alongside a budget £5.5-6.0m option such as Martenelli (ARS), Pedro Neto (WOL) or Leon Bailey (AVL). Defensively, you have Alexander-Arnold (LIV) as a set and forget, with Reece James (CHE), Kieran Trippier (NEW), and one of Kyle Walker or Joao Cancelo (MCI) in your team.

The change from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 basically eradicates the 3rd forward to a budget £4.5m option, which allows a second £8.0m range midfielder. In my drafts, the change is if I want Callum Wilson up top, or Riyad Mahrez in midfield. That one position alternatives and the defensive line remains the same.

The change from either of the above formations to a 5-3-2 basically means you have to have Leon Bailey (AVL) as a £5.0m enabler in midfielder whilst you stack your team up with defensive players, allowing perhaps one more premium option in attack. A few drafts have had Kane & Haaland in attack with Salah behind as the only meaty midfielder, or having KDB with Salah, and then one of Kane/Haaland with Jesus.

The only position in the game in which I have seen countless options is in goal. Danny Ward’s popularity has exploded as a £4.0m for Leicester due to Kasper Schmeichel moving to France, whilst I have toyed with the idea of a few goalkeeper’s such as Ramsdale (ARS), Mendy (CHE), Pope (NEW) and even Meslier (LEE) as a £4.5m option. The idea of starting with 3 Arsenal players potentially though makes me very queasy to my core and I am not sure I can stomach that torment each week, whilst I also don’t want to double down on Chelsea assets with James and Mendy for example.

In every single circumstance I have had of drafting teams, 3 players have remained – Jesus, Salah, and Alexander-Arnold.

Gameweek 1 - FPL Captaincy Picks:

Essential: Mohamed Salah (LIV)

Alternative: Erling Haaland (MCI)

Differential (low ownership %): Callum Wilson (NEW)

Other Gameweek Comments (Rob):

I’ve never been in a situation before where I have genuine optimism for my own team, Newcastle, and hope that this is the first season when I can rely on them in FPL, as well as enjoying their journey as they continue to evolve and grow. My favourite Newcastle team ever was the Bobby Robson team in the early 2000’s that competed in the Champions League, with dramatic victories over Dynamo Kyiv, Juventus, and Feyenoord, securing us passage to the second group phase of the UCL, which then led to memorable games against Barcelona and Inter Milan – when supports packed out the San Siro and Alan Shearer scored a brace and drew a louder cheer than when Inter scored. I can’t wait to have those memories again running around my house when I was 11 years old like a maniac when Craig Bellamy scored at the death against Feyenoord in the most unlikely group stage qualification ever having lost their opening 3 matches.

I honestly believe that the bridge between Newcastle and the Top 6 isn’t too far away either, and may even be in reach this season if the squad keep up their form under Eddie Howe last season as we had UCL form, though I think by default with UEFA disgracing European football competitions in the next couple of years, that the top half of the Premier League will be in Europe anyway, but soon enough the club will be there on their own merits.

Hopefully, we will be a tough nut to crack away from home, whilst at home the club have built a fortress and not a single club will enjoy coming to St James’s Park this season – it’s going to be hazardous for every team and we will take a lot of points off of teams that will cause alarm for the teams who have dominated football in this country for two decades.

From an FPL point of view, I will persist where I can to have Newcastle players in my team, and start with the set-pieces of Trippier and Wilson (penalties) against a promoted Forest side who do not look a strong opposition this year and will largely struggle in the league, as unfortunately most promoted clubs do.

FPL Squad Picks: Gameweek 1

Formation: 4-3-3

Budget: £100.0m

Starting 11

GK: Emi Martinez (AVL)

DEF: Reece James (CHE)

DEF: Trent Alexander-Arnold (LIV)

DEF: Kieran Trippier (NEW)

DEF: Kyle Walker (MCI)

MID: Mohamed Salah (LIV) – (C)

MID: Luis Diaz (LIV)

MID: Gabriel Martinelli (ARS)

FOR: Erling Haaland (MCI) – (VC)

FOR: Callum Wilson (NEW)

FOR: Gabriel Jesus (ARS)


GK: Danny Ward (LEI)

MID: Leon Bailey (AVL)

MID: Andreas Pereira (FUL)

DEF: Neco Williams (NFO)

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in general football and 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.

In 2021, we formed the Reading Sunday Social League (RSSL), a competitive Sunday League involving 8 teams in its debut season. During the 2021/22 season, we won our first-ever trophy, lifting the East Berkshire Football League's Presidents Cup!

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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