Hello and welcome to my team reveal for this pre-season. I’ve spent a lot of tinkering on this team and have made hundreds, if not thousands, of changes since the games opening a few weeks back. I am still struggling to decide wether I will roll out the usual 3-4-3 formation or whether I will try and fit in all the gun midfielders through a 3-5-2…. That will most likely be decided on Saturday some time. Anywho, time to get to it, here’s my team…
Here I have decided to go with the solid Krul/Mannone rotation combination after experimenting with a few different options. One of those options was Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic. He was locked into my side until about a week ago when I realised Stoke were doing shite this pre-season and they have seemingly forgotten how to keep a clean sheet, so ironic me saying this… Am intending on rotating both Krul and Mannone as their fixtures rotate home games simultaneously, history does reflect teams are more likely to keep a clean sheet at home so this is a bonus!
In previous years gone by I’ve often tried to go as budget as practical in defence but something has inspired me to differ this tradition. My first choice after examining prices and fixtures was to get a Manchester United defender in, their opening month is very tasty. I tossed up between Jonny Evans and Phil Jones with the latter eventually getting the nod. Games against Swansea, Sunderland, Burnley, QPR, Leicester, West Ham, Everton, West Brom meant investing in Manchester United players really is a must. Next up I have once again capitalised on a soft early run, selecting Robert Huth as I’m hoping pre-season was nothing to go by in terms of Stoke’s defence. They face Aston Villa, Hull, Manchester City, Leicester, QPR, Newcastle, Sunderland and Swansea in the first 8 gameweeks which hopefully will suggest some clean sheets. I would have liked to have picked skipper Ryan Shawcross but the funds meant I could only afford Huth. Originally I had Cameron but Bardsley seemingly has the RB spot locked down, long story short I’ve gone Huth…. The final starting spot for my defenders goes to the recently transferred Filipe Luis. Normally I shy away from spending 6.0m on a defender but I feel I needed coverage in last season’s best defence, after all Jose is king of grinding out 1-0 & 2-0 results… Chelsea are another team with a very good run, facing Burnley, Leicester, Everton and Swansea in the first month. He has the LB spot locked shifting Azpilicueta back to his favoured RB position and with Bertrand going to Southampton he faces no competition, a no brainer once I mustered up the funds. Palace’s Joel Ward finds a spot on my bench which would have seemed ridiculous in years gone by, considering his price tag of 5.0m, but with a risky forward selection I feel rotation is needed… Swansea’s Neil Taylor has the final spot on the pine as he will be untroubled after the departure of Ben Davies to Tottenham.
Now we start getting to the point scorers! After Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez was deemed a MID from the FPL gods I locked him in my team and threw away the key. After spending hours finding that key I did the unthinkable and swapped him for teammate and last year’s FPL sensation Aaron Ramsey. At 1.5m less and Premier League experience I felt he was the safer option to start off with, with my plan giving Sanchez a few weeks to acclimatise himself to the Premier League. After a fantastic pre-season and favourable early fixtures, Juan Mata finds himself back in my team after a season on holiday. Mata and his Manchester United teammates have been killing it pre-season and with David Moyes pissing off United will start to be the competitive giants of old. He has the role in the hole all to himself and will only flourish with the likes of Rooney and Van Persie to finish off his immaculate work. Next up is Mata’s old teammate at Chelsea, Eden Hazard. After a blistering season last year scored 14 goals and made 10 assists which resulted in an overall score of 202 points, a fantastic effort from the Belgium. He really is the key to Chelsea’s success and with the new bonus point system allegedly rewarding successful dribbles, he surely will only see more bonus points coming his way. With Franky Lampard now gone he also has penalty duties in his locker, adding just another string to his bow. If you haven’t already noticed I love Eden 🙂 The final starting spot in midfield goes to the recently transferred and recently returned Gylfi Sigurdsson. After spending two seasons at Tottenham Gylfi returns to where it all started in terms of FPL, Swansea City. At just 6.0m and a role in the hole seemingly in his locker he became a no brainer for me, even more of a no brainer when he scored a free kick in one of Swansea’s pre-season friendly. At this stage Dean Marney from Burnley gets the nod for the last spot in midfield but this was a rash selection after the injury to Marc Albrighton. Will do some work over possible replacements over the coming days… Not locked in yet.
And so we arrive at the big boys, where I’ve spent the majority of my mullah. First selected was another Manchester United player Wayne Rooney. Rooney has had an awesome pre-season and with Manchester United’s aforementioned opening 8 games he really became a lock. At 10.5m he is certainly under-priced for what he can produce. Should be a fantastic option yet again this year. The next player I selected to partner Rooney up front was another Chelsea player, the recently transferred Diego Costa. Chelsea have been after a decent striker for years and after Jose Mourinho expressed his clear lack of a decent striker last year, he will be locked on. Chelsea have a great opening run and Costa has had a fantastic pre-season. Unlike in previous years there has been plenty of unknowns surrounding who will start for Chelsea but with the sale of Ba and Lukaku and the injury to Drogba, he wont face any competition…. Apart from Torres… Who is just…I’ll save my fingers, you know the answer anyway. The final selection for my team is one of little risky selections, and this is in the form of recently arrived Bojan. After being dubbed the next Messi, Bojan really struggled with the expectations and thus failed to deliver, even when being loaned out to Ajax in the Eredivisie. Bojan has now randomly arrived at Stoke City and has since set the place alight, playing a huge role in their pre-season campaign. At 5.5m and inconsistency a massive part of his game he brings a fair bit of risk, but something I’m willing to punt on. A major reason I’ve gone a bit more expensive in defence was to account for the possibility of him failing. And hey, I’ve always got a Wildcard to use if things go downhill.
Well that’s a look into my team and the reason I’ve made the choices I made. Admittedly I have had the likes of Debuchy, Davies, Sanchez, Eriksen, Dzeko and Lukaku in my team throughout pre-season but the latest re-shuffle has had them removed. Feel free to leave your opinions in the comments or leave a query about your own team. I’ll be back on Saturday with the News Wrap. Until then, cheers!