Hello again and welcome to another installment of Most Popular. This time I will be looking at the midfielders in a 2 part article. For those of you who are unaware I am looking at the most selected players and dissecting whether they’re worth getting or whether people are just jumping on the % owned bandwagon – lets take a look!
Gareth Bale – Gareth Bale is currently the most selected player in the game. He is in over 44% of teams, that is incredible. But he is in there for a reason. Bale was simply incredible last season, scoring 21 times and assisting 9. He is just a monster. There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t have the Welshman in your team, he is going to be unstoppable again. The only way he will be stopped in his FPL scoring is if he gets transferred to Real Madrid. There are numerous rumours around at the moment about the possible transfer of Bale, but we cannot leave him him purely because of this. If he does end up going to Madrid, then we will have to deal with it, but until it happens he just has to be in your team. If not, you’re probably not playing it right. Bale and his Tottenham team mates face Crystal Palace (A), Swansea (H), Arsenal, (A), Norwich (H) and Cardiff (A) in their first 5 weeks. That is an immaculate run, especially to play two of three newly promoted teams during that period. Bale will destroy these teams, there is no two ways about it. Get him in and work your team around him, because he is a necessity!
Eden Hazard – After a fantastic first season in the Premier League, Hazard is the second most selected midfielder, in just over ¼ of all teams! Like Bale, I think Hazard is a must. In my opinion he is very much under priced at 9.5m when compared to other midfielders like Mata and Cazorla who are 10.5 and 10 respectively. Hazard scored 9 goals and assisted 16 times for a total score of 190 points. That is a very good season considering he had a quiet few months midway through the season. Recently it was announced that Chelsea will take part in the first Double Game Week of the year, funnily enough it’s the first game week! If you’re going to have a Chelsea midfielder in your team for this, Eden is your man. Chelsea play Hull City and Aston Villa both at home in the first week. These two games absolutely reek of goals and Hazard should be involved. If you remember back to last years DGW Hazard scored over 20 points and was fantastic. I suggest you get him in your team and like Bale, then work your team around them. As the majority of points are produced from Midfielders and Forwards you should be trying to get as many premiums in your line up as possible, Hazard is your man! Lock!
Phillippe Coutinho – After being transferred to Liverpool in January, Coutinho made an immediate impact. At the back half of last year he was involved in all of Liverpool’s play. Coutinho is currently in 17.8% of teams and is only priced at 9.0m. Last year he conjured up 3 goals and 7 assists from 923 minutes, finishing with a total score of 70. Considering it took him a while to adapt to the English game, being eased into it off the bench, this is nothing to scoff at. The Brazilian will be massive this year. Liverpool face Stoke (H), Aston Villa (A), Manchester United (H), Swansea (A), Southampton (H), Sunderland (A), Crystal Palace (H) and Newcastle (A) in the first two months. Apart from United this has the potential to be a fantastic start for Liverpool and Coutinho should be instrumental. Keep an eye on Liverpool’s friendlies to see how he is going as he didn’t play against Melbourne Victory, so far he has scored 3 in 3. Definitely consider with Liverpool’s fantastic first two months.
Juan Mata – The little Spaniard was labelled as Mr. Consistent for the majority of last year, but like Hazard had a quiet month or two, often being the second pass before the goal. Mata is priced at 10.5 this year and is currently in 17.1% of teams. Last year Mata scored 11 times and assisting 18 times, he was simply astonishing and finished with a total score of 212 points. Mata is always involved in Chelsea’s attacks and will have another fantastic season. He has the ability to change a game in an instant. If you remember last year against Tottenham what he did, he is capable of that week in week out! Mata is simply a fantastic FPL option. But after saying all this, I wouldn’t be selecting him in my starting team, even when Chelsea have a DGW. Why? Because he will be playing for Spain on the 14th of August. It would be highly unlikely if he played for Chelsea against Hull on the 18th so I would give him a miss… For now. His price should drop and he will come right into contention! After the Tottenham game (Gameweek 6) Chelsea’s fixtures start to clear up, so definitely assess how they’re going then consider bringing him in!
Theo Walcott – After a heap of controversy surrounding Walcott last year and his contract he showed Wenger why he was worth the pay rise. Walcott is currently in 16.3% of teams and is certainly in mine. Last year Theo scored 14 goals and assisted 13 times for a total score of 194 points. He was simply phenomenal. And will be again this year. He was involved in Arsenal’s attacking play often, playing alone up front. Arsenal have a very, very good opening two months, facing: Aston Villa (H), Fulham (A), Tottenham, (H), Sunderland (A), Stoke (H), Swansea (A), West Brom (A) and Norwich (H). There will be a lot of goals in these games and Theo should be involved in most of them. He has been on fire already during pre-season and is looking to continue last years fantastic season. Keep an eye on how he is progressing because I’m expecting another fantastic year from Theo, should be a great pick!
Well that’s part 1 of 2 covered. Keep an eye on these players over the friendlies and look to squeeze as many of them in as possible. I think everyone knows how much of a necessity Bale is so just get him in. Look to have Hazard for the DGW and Walcott for Arsenal’s dream run. Mata should be a fantastic pick up when Chelsea’s fixtures start to clear up. Part 2 will be up soon!