Fantasy Football isn’t all about coming up with a hilarious team name before eventually giving up in November because in your hungover Saturday state you’ve missed too many 11.30am transfer deadlines. It’s actually a serious business that doing well in means bragging rights for a whopping nine months at least. Being a mythical manager requires a fair bit of luck, as well as a little sprinkling of nous, so we’ve crunched the traders odds to figure out how best to get off to a convincing start in this year’s leagues.
- Will you be on for those magical four clean sheet points? Get the latest odds here: Desktop | Mobile
According to the odds Arsenal are the most likely team to keep a clean sheet this weekend, with the Gunners facing Crystal Place at home (Saturday 5.30pm). Laurent Koscielny looks set to miss out with an achilles problem, but Mathieu Debuchy who signed for the Gunners from Newcastle could be worth a gamble at 5.5. The right-back grabbed four assists and a goal last season at Newcastle and will be far more likely to pick up clean sheet points with Arsenal than the Magpies. The only concern is the minus points for bookings, as the fiery Frenchman picked up eight yellows and one red last term.
Chelsea (away to Burnley, Monday, 8pm) and Manchester United (home to Swansea, Saturday 12.45pm) are the only other sides odds-on to keep the opposition out in Gameweek One. You have to be a rich man to delve into the Chelsea squad, although John Terry (6.5) and Gary Cahill (6.5) will no doubt get into plenty of teams – particularly as JT got himself on the scoresheet three times last season.
At Man Utd, Louis Van Gaal’s system of flying wing-backs might mean plenty of assists for Luke Shaw (6.0) in the future, but a hamstring injury sees him miss the first month of action. Jonny Evans is being touted as United’s defensive rock this year and at 5.5 is a cheaper alternative as long as his injury concerns clear up in time for the arrival of Swansea. If you want to take advantage of United’s likely clean sheet David De Gea (5.5) might be the man to plump for. 12 clean sheets and 99 saves last season meant a fair haul of points and a similar return would be welcome in most fantasy sides.
- Who will kick-start the season by finding the net? All the odds are just a click away: Desktop | Mobile
Going forward and Arsenal’s goalscoring midfield is keeping the traders up at night in a cold sweat ahead of their match with Palace. Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey are the two most likely midfielders to get on the scoresheet this weekend which will please plenty of Fantasy Football managers. At a hefty 10.5 Sanchez is one of the game’s most expensive midfielders but he is likely to be deployed in a more attacking role under Arsene Wenger. Aaron Ramsey isn’t on the cheap side either at 9.0, but the Welshman bagged 10 goals, nine assists and the most bonus points of any Arsenal midfielder last term.
Of the top 10 most likely to score midfielders according to our traders, Raheem Sterling looks good value for fantasy managers. Just three midfielders are more likely to score than the Liverpool man this weekend but at 8.5 he is one of the cheaper options from the list. He chipped in with nine goals and seven assists last season and will be looking to build on that now Luis Suarez has swapped Anfield for the Camp Nou. A home tie against Southampton gives him the opportunity to do just that.
Wake Me Up Before Yaya Sanogo
There are five strikers odds-on to find the net at anytime in gameweek one – and unsurprisingly four of them will cost you more than 10.5 on Fantasy Football. That’s a whopping chunk of your budget blown early on. The value might lie in Olivier Giroud who is a slightly cheaper option at 8.5 and either scored or assisted 25 goals last season. Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney were the only strikers to outscore Giroud in the game last term but are a considerably more expensive option.
The traders obviously fear a hiding for Crystal Palace on Saturday night and consequently Yaya Sanogo is considered as one of the most likely strikers to score this weekend. The 21-year-old French youth international scored four goals in Arsenal’s pre-season win against Benfica earlier this month and started in the Community Shield victory against Manchester City. Although unlikely to start against Palace, at just 5.0 there are far worst options to have in your side this weekend.