Chelsea's Ben Chilwell applauds fans at the end of the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge Stadium in London, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023.

Fantasy Premier League: The best FPL picks for Gameweek 2

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Not only did Gameweek 1 of the 2023/24 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) campaign provide lots of action but so has the week that followed.

A brace and 13 points arrived for Erling Haaland (£14.0m) and Alexander Isak (£7.6m) but this was topped during Monday night’s controversial match by the 14 of Raphael Varane (£5.0m). Popular FPL pick Gabriel (£5.0m) was benched to end his streak of 73 consecutive league starts for Arsenal, whilst serious injuries have hampered Jurrien Timber (£4.9m), Kevin De Bruyne (£10.4m), Tyrone Mings (£4.4m) and Reece James (£5.5m). Alongside this, Chelsea have broken the British-record transfer fee by finally completing Moises Caicedo’s (£5.0m) £115m move.

With all this in mind, let’s check in on the more appealing FPL picks for Gameweek 2, which has a Friday evening deadline of 6:15 pm (UK time).

Mohamed Salah (£12.5m, Liverpool)

In this Blank Gameweek – due to the postponed Luton v Burnley clash – there may actually be a better captaincy candidate than Haaland. A rare feeling these days.

Not only did Man City’s star forward play all 90 minutes against Sevilla in midweek, he’ll be facing Newcastle – a confident, top-four team. Meanwhile, Salah is at home to Bournemouth.

Although he infamously blanked in last year’s 9-0 squishing of the Cherries and has never scored in a Gameweek 2 match, owners will be hoping for a couple of attacking returns to follow up last week’s assist and disallowed goal at Chelsea.

Then again, a lot has changed at Bournemouth since that torrid afternoon. Scott Parker was replaced by Gary O’Neil in the dugout, who oversaw March’s 1-0 revenge victory. Now with Andoni Iraola as manager, their expected goals conceded (xGC) was last weekend’s fourth-best.

However, even if this scoreline turns out to be more sensible, owners will have huge faith in Salah being involved in it.

Ben Chilwell (£5.6m, Chelsea)

The week’s most-bought player is Chelsea full-back Chilwell. Over 500,000 managers were impressed with his constant attacking positions versus Liverpool, where he assisted, missed a big chance and – like Salah – had a goal ruled out. Owners will feel unlucky that he only ended on seven points.

It won’t be an easy trip for the Blues, travelling across London to play West Ham. But with Chilwell it’s not particularly about the clean sheet, it’s about watching an FPL defender have one of his team’s highest average positions throughout the whole 90 minutes.

FPL managers may remember his two goals and three assists from just 1,402 minutes in 2022/23 (the equivalent of 15.58 full matches), whilst a major knee injury restricted his 2021/22 campaign to six starts. Yet the first three of these each ended with a goal.

Morgan Gibbs-White (£6.0m, Nottingham Forest)

A more differential option is attacking midfielder Gibbs-White. He’s at home to newly-promoted Sheffield United, having ended last season with three goals and five assists during the final seven matches.

In fact, his 17 attacking returns ranked joint-10th amongst all FPL midfielders, including 12 assists that were bettered only by De Bruyne, Salah and Leandro Trossard (£7.0m).

Simply put, Gibbs-White is central to Nottingham Forest attacks and – with stoppage time set to increase across the league – being rarely taken off means he’ll get more time to damage the Blades.

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