FPL GW2 tips: The best fixtures, who to captain, the CHE-LIV problem
Success in GW1 hinged on whether you captained Mohamed Salah or decided to be an idiot contrarian instead. What next?
If we learned anything from the opening weekend of the season, it’s that the biggest names can still be trusted — mostly.
Our only real captaincy options were Mo Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and both duly delivered for their FPL owners. The only major disappointment was that single, sad point for Trent Alexander-Arnold.
GW2 is just around the corner, so here are some tips from someone who finished in the top 10k last season and won’t be quiet about it.
Everton – West Brom
A new-look Everton looked wholly comfortable in their 1-0 win over Spurs, while West Brom looked about as comfortable as the bloke in the Boiler Man costume on a hot day.
Despite his lack of attacking returns in GW1, James Rodriguez (£7.5m) looks an exciting choice and could run rings around Kieran Gibbs.
FPL bosses are flocking to the brilliant and very long-legged Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.1m), but Richarlison (£8.0m) should have found the net at least twice against Spurs and will find it easier to do so without Hugo Lloris in his way.
Arsenal – West Ham
Auba was the game’s most popular captain in GW1, but it was a pair of Brazilians — Gabriel (£5.0m) and the excellent Willian (£8.1m) — who earned big points against Fulham.
Thanks to the knee jerk brigade, both of those players have been transferred in more than 300,000 times this week.
But only one of them looks a really worthwhile signing.
Gabriel might be six foot three, but a) this was only the fourth goal of his career, b) Arsenal’s last centre-back called Gabriel was terrible, and c) his next two away games are Liverpool and Man City.
So, even at an extra 3 million, Willian looks better value.
Man United – Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace’s makeshift defence did themselves plenty of credit in GW1, even if Southampton were rustier than we expected.
That being said, Man United’s well-rested attack seems mightily attractive for GW2.
Any of Bruno Fernandes (£10.5m, soon to rise), Marcus Rashford (£9.5m) and Mason Greenwood (£7.5m) could pick up points, though it’s a bit harder to justify the selection of Anthony Martial (£9.0m) — rarely considered for set-pieces — with his new striker classification.
United are also good at reintegrating players after a minor scandal (e.g. Cantona post-kung fu, Beckham post-Argentina) so Harry Maguire (£5.5m) could score here. Genuinely.
Who to captain
Those who captained Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£12.0m) for GW1 might feel a little bit raw after Salah’s hat-trick, but this is not the weekend to lose faith.
Don’t cut off your Gabonese striker to spite your face.
West Ham look dodgier than ever, while Arsenal appear slick and sophisticated under Mikel Arteta. And even though all your Mini League opponents will have Auba, you don’t need to overthink things at this stage.
MUN v CRY was an early fixture last season too, and the Deep State ensured that United won a penalty at 1-0 down.
Marcus Rashford missed that one, but Bruno Fernandes (£10.5m) wouldn’t have.
Don’t expect any premature celebrations from Daniel James (£6.5m, not that it really matters) this time; do fancy Fernandes to get points in United’s easiest home fixture until late November.
Yeah, it can feel icky giving the virtual armband to a central midfielder, but that’s on you.
This would obviously be a terrible idea, but if you’re a show-off desperate for short-term bragging rights (or if you already sold Auba for Kevin de Bruyne), why not captain a defender?
Lucas Digne (£6.0m) won’t have a better chance for defensive and attacking returns all season.
His set-piece potential is the stuff of legend, and he could benefit from Jordan Pickford (£5.0m) looking actually quite good in GW1.
The Chelsea vs Liverpool issue
This massive early fixture presents a bit of a headache, with many FPL bosses owning Timo Werner (£9.5m) and at least one of Trent (£7.5m) / Virgil Van Dijk (£6.5m).
The advice from Planet Football is to not be such a coward.
Werner is somehow the most transferred-out player this week — partly because of a “dead leg” — but if Patrick Bamford can score against Liverpool, surely the £48million German can too.
And that’s not necessarily a problem for owners of Liverpool defenders.
Because although the non-scoring Joe Gomez (£5.5m) looks bad value for the next two gameweeks, the rest of the Liverpool defence will all fancy attacking returns against the catch-shy Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Note, too, that Andy Robertson (£7.0m) has been practicing dead balls over the summer. In 2019-20, TAA took 4x as many corners as Robertson. Against Leeds, however, the Scot took more than his team-mate.
I’ve spent all my money — what now?
We might not get a bona fide Lundstram this season, but Tyrick Mitchell and Pascal Struijk (£4.0m each) both started in GW1.
Marcelo Bielsa will probably drop Struijk this week or next for captain Liam Cooper, but Palace’s Patrick van Aanholt has a long-term injury, giving Mitchell a shot at continued playing time.
If you’ve got something against either of those options, know that Wolves’ Oskar Buur, West Ham’s Ben Johnson and Sheffield United’s player-mascot Phil Jagielka — all at rock bottom prices — featured in the Carabao Cup this week.
None of the 4.5m midfielders look like scoring points. Sorry.