FPL 2022-23 GW1 tips: Key fixtures, who to captain, new signings…
You’ve already chosen a hilarious pun for your Fantasy Premier League team name and now all that’s left to do is to pick a team capable of winning your mini-league in 2022-23.
On the day of the new Premier League season and the Gameweek One FPL deadline, we’ve put together a guide for everything you need to consider.
Take a look at our tips for the key fixtures, best captain choices, new signings to consider and more.
Arsenal – Crystal Palace (A)
The season gets underway on Friday evening with a particularly intriguing fixture.
Arsenal will think back to last season’s Friday night opener, a 2-0 defeat at Brentford, and their last trip to Selhurst Park, a 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, and shudder – the two losses precipitated wobbles that ultimately cost them a place in the top four.
However, Mikel Arteta’s Gunners are officially 2022’s kings of pre-season and their recent form will have them confident of slaying some demons. They scored 25 goals in six pre-season games, looking particularly lethal in last weekend’s 6-0 mauling of Sevilla.
New signing Gabriel Jesus (£8m) has scored seven in five friendlies, which has resulted in him being the most-picked player in FPL history. Gabriel Martinelli (£6m – a bargain) assisted five times in five pre-season appearances and looks set to feature with Emile Smith Rowe still sidelined, while returning loanee William Saliba (£4.5m) is yet to concede in 282 minutes on the pitch this summer.
Liverpool – Fulham (A)
Jurgen Klopp’s men seem to enjoy playing newly-promoted opposition on the opening day. Last year they beat Norwich 3-0 away, the year before that they beat Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United 4-3 at Anfield, and the year before that they smashed Norwich 4-1 at home.
This time it’s Fulham’s turn. The Cottagers actually took four points from the Reds last time they were in the Premier League, winning 1-0 on their last trip to Anfield, but doing so again this time is a big ask.
Last season, Mohamed Salah (£13m) notched more FPL points than any other player and will fancy himself to score against Fulham as he eyes a fourth Golden Boot in six seasons at Liverpool.
Meanwhile, Darwin Nunez (£9m)‘s lively cameo – he won a penalty and scored a goal – in the Community Shield suggests he’s ready to come into the starting XI, while Klopp should have his first-choice back four available – all of whom racked up monster scores in FPL last term.
Tottenham – Southampton (H)
Spurs have been spoken of as this season’s dark horses and they’ll be looking to lay down a marker against Southampton, who have riskily invested in youth and have been suffering relegation form since the turn of the year.
One of Saints’ few wins of 2022 was actually on their last visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium back in February, so this will be an interesting marker of whether they’ve turned a corner.
Harry Kane (£11.5m) – the top-scoring forward on FPL last season – will be raring to go. The England captain looks extremely fit after being put through a gruelling Antonio Conte pre-season and looked sharp scoring a brace against Rangers in a recent friendly.
Only three players in Europe’s top five leagues have scored more goals in 2022 than strike partner Son Heung-min (£12m), who will be looking to pick up where he left off last season.
We usually preach against new signings but Ivan Perisic (£5.5m) knows how to play under Antonio Conte and looks to have all the makings of a classic FPL wingback.
Who to captain
The aforementioned Liverpool star is the obvious choice. He’s had a full summer’s rest after an intensive 2021-22 campaign for club and country and – as well was frequently the case last term – will surely be the most-captained pick in FPL. You risk falling behind early by going with anyone else.
Salah assisted Trent Alexander-Arnold’s opener in the Community Shield before scoring a penalty in the second half last weekend. Same as it ever was. That would have represented a solid FPL haul and was against the Premier League champions – on Saturday he’ll be facing a newly-promoted relegation favourite in Fulham.
Liverpool’s Egyptian King has scored on Liverpool’s opening fixture on each of the last five seasons and will be looking to maintain that 100% record at Craven Cottage.
Mohamed Salah on the opening day of the season for Liverpool:
⚽️ vs. Watford
⚽️ vs. West Ham
⚽️🅰️ vs. Norwich
⚽️⚽️⚽️ vs. Leeds
⚽️🅰️🅰️ vs. Norwich
— Stats Per 90 (@StatsPer90) August 3, 2022
Tottenham’s No.10 has scored 11 goals and registered six assists in 14 Premier League appearances against Southampton.
Kane also registered 13 goals and eight assists in 21 league appearances since the turn of the year and looks refreshed and raring to go. Alongside Salah, the safest and most logical choice for the opening weekend.
A slight wildcard, given he’ll be making his Premier League debut and against Liverpool last weekend didn’t look totally in tune with his new Manchester City team-mates.
However, even in an off game, Haaland was still presented with three big chances – and if his previous xG overperformance and lethal finishing ability is anything to go by, you better believe he’ll convert the next ones his Manchester City team-mates will inevitably put his way.
Man City have regularly put four and five goals past West Ham during Pep Guardiola’s time in charge. That record, plus a new proven prolific goalscorer – the fastest player to reach 50 goals in any of Europe’s top five leagues – means that this might just be one new signing risk you ought to take.
Kasper Schmeichel’s shock move to Nice has thrown a spanner in the works and means there could be some real value in bringing in Danny Ward.
The Wales international costs just £4million – the cheapest price available for a goalkeeper – and it sounds as though he’ll actually play.
“Danny Ward is an exceptional keeper,” Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers said on Monday.
“I’ve always said we’ve got a number one ‘keeper there. He’s had some issues around his knee but that looks to be behind him now, he’s been training well. He’s looked good. If Kasper is to go, he’s a big possibility for us.”
A solid back-up option to a more established ‘keeper and crucially one that allows you to invest funds elsewhere.
Don’t confirm your team until you’ve read our handy guide for what to do – and what not to do – in FPL more generally.
Go big on Man City
Away at West Ham isn’t the easiest opening fixture, but City’s schedule looks pretty forgiving for the next few weeks.
They rank well on FPL’s Fixture Difficulty Ranking and stocking up on their players now will save you making transfers in the near future.
Also, for now, the uncertainty of the notorious ‘Pep Roulette’ should be abated by the departures of Raheem Sterling, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus and the injury sustained by Aymeric Laporte.
All that should – in theory – make City’s XIs a little more predictable, at least in terms of their key FPL assets. Famous last words…