In the following article, we assess each team’s probable lineup ahead of gameweek one. We discuss the new signings involved and which players won’t make kickoff.
Its that time of the year again. Our tinkering is at a tipping point and our drafts are changing by the minute. The most common question among FPL managers between now and the GW1 deadline? How many minutes is player X likely to get? Is player Y starting. Well, pour yourselves a drink, strap in and have a read of our thorough analysis into who is likely to start for each Premier League team.
I should start by saying, what I predict here is by no means gospel, and quite a few of my picks could be wrong. I have however conducted extensive research into each team and have come to conclusions accordingly. So without further ado, let’s dive in
Despite the acquisition of three players, only one of Arsenal’s new signings is likely to be a regular in their main 11 when everyone is fit. At the time of writing, Arsenal haven’t signed a right-back so Calum Chambers (£4.5m) is in pole position to start there given his strong end to the end of last season.
Thomas Partey’s (£5.0m) injury in preseason may rule him out of GW1. If that does end up being the case, new boy Albert Sambi Lokonga (£5.0m), brought in primarily as a backup option, should partner Granit Xhaka (£5.0m) in central midfield. The lack of an attacking signing up until now should also see Emile Smith Rowe (£5.5m) start the season in the first 11, as a number ten.
Alexandre Lacazette (£8.5m) should be safe up front, however the potential signing Tammy Abraham (£6.5m) may dent his long term prospects.
Villa haven’t exactly been sitting on their hands when it has come to the transfer window. They have signed Emi Buendia (£6.5m), Leon Bailey (£6.5m) and Danny Ings (£8.0m) in an attempt to to make up for the loss of Jack Grealish (£8.0m), who was sold to Man City for £100m.
The defence has also been bolstered with the resigning of Ashley Young (£5.0m) and a second loan move for Axel Tuanzebe (£4.5m) from Man United. Buendia did look nailed on to start the season, however an injury which ruled him out of their final friendly could see him sit out the first fixture to the benefit of Anwar El Ghazi (£6.0m). The other attacking signings should all go straight into the side, with the defence probably remaining largely the same as last season to begin with.
Last season’s play-off winners will embark upon their first season in the top flight with a mix of youth and experience. Many of Brentford’s players will be unknown to most but there are certainly some hidden gems in there.
Brentford have made two first team signings so far. Kristoffer Ajer (£4.5m) was brought from Celtic after impressing for the Scottish outfit. He is therefore quite likely to he will come straight into the side, possibly at the expense of Pontus Jansson (£4.5m).
Highly rated central midfielder Frank Onyeka (£5.0m) also joined Brentford earlier this summer. He has been compared to the likes of N’Golo Kante (£5.0m) among others, so its pretty safe to assume that he too will go straight into the starting 11.
It does look like Tariq Lamptey (£4.5m) and Dan Burn (£4.5m) will be absent for the initial period so Joel Veltman (£4.5m) will likely start in the back three with Pascal Gross (£6.0m) filling in at right wing-back. Lewis Dunk (£5.0m) is a slight doubt for the start of the season, but his start in their final preseason friendly against Getafe all but confirmed his availability for Burnley.
Danny Welbeck (£6.0m) was also ruled out by Graham Potter for at least the opening month so Aaron Connolly (£5.5m) will probably rotate up front with Neil Maupay (£6.5m).
The Clarets have kept up their trend of refusing to sign any players besides those who play for Stoke by lringing in centre back Nathan Collins (£4.5m). With James Tarkowski (£5.0m) and Ben Mee (£5.0m) being such an integral part to Burnley’s set up, Collins is likely to only be a back up.
With no outgoings and that being the only signing up until now, their 11 is unlikely to be vastly different to what we have been used to. Having played the majority of minutes during preseason, Josh Brownhill (£4.5m) is most probably going to start in the midfield ahead of Jack Cork (£4.5m), but the latter may still be within a chance after ending last season strongly.
Chris Wood (£7.0m) returned from international duty and played in their final preseason friendly so he should start the season up front alongside Matej Vydra (£5.5m).
Chelsea’s is one of the most difficult lineups to predict this season, down in the main to their squad being so stacked. The Blues have multiple options who could quite conceivably start in almost every position so nailing down who will start on Saturday is almost impossible.
Thiago Silva’s (£5.5m) participation at the Copa America has meant that he hasn’t yet completely reintegrated into the squad so he may miss the opening day fixture. The arrival of Romelu Lukaku for a second stint at the bridge is imminent and depending on when that signing is over the line, he could even start against Palace on the opening date. If the fixture does come too soon however, Kai Havertz (£8.5m) will probably play up front with Timo Werner (£9.0m) on the left.
It is rumoured that Chelsea’s England and Italy contingent will not be fit to start the season, with the likes of Mason Mount (£7.5m), Jorginho (£6.0m) and Ben Chilwell (£6.0m) set to feature in a friendly versus Weymouth the day after Chelsea play Crystal Palace.
Selherst park has undergone a fair bit of change this summer. Roy Hodgson leaving the club meant a frantic search for a manager culminating in the appointment of Patrick Viera. A number of players also left the club after their contracts expired at the end of last season. This resulted the signings of highly rated centre back duo Joachim Andersen (£4.5m) and Mark Guehi (£4.5m) from Lyon and Chelsea respectively. They also completed the loan signing of another Chelsea youngster in the form of Conor Gallagher (£5.5m), however he will be ineligible to face his parent club.
The departure of Carlo Ancelotti and subsequent arrival of Rafael Benitez hasn’t been the only change Everton have undergone this summer. Andros Townsend (£5.5m) and Demarai Gray (£5.5m) have both joined their ranks.
One suspects that they will be in as backups for the most part but game time can be expected to begin with. Everton are expected to sign a right-back and have been heavily linked with Dutch player Denzel Dumfries. At the moment however, they haven’t signed one so Seamus Coleman (£5.0m) will most likely be the default option.
Richarlison’s (£7.5m) involvement in the Olympics means that he will miss out on the opening day, so one of Gray or Townsend could partner Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.0m) up front in his absence. DCL also has a slight muscle scare so if he is absent, Moise Kean may get a game up front.
As we’ve become accustomed to over the season just gone, Marcelo Bielsa is likely to stick with the same starting 11 for the most part. Alioski’s departure and Junior Firpo’s (£5.0m) arrival suggests that the latter will likely slot in at left-back having also played the majority of minutes there in pre-season. The rest of the team is likely to remain the same as what we became used to last season.
Stuart Dallas (£5.5m) is no longer out of position in FPL and is expected lineup as such at Old Trafford. Diego Llorente (£4.5m) is likely to be unavailable, denting Leeds’ short term defensive prospects, with Robin Koch (£4.5m) and Liam Cooper (£4.5m) the probable pairing.
Another season, another injury crisis for Leicester before it has even begun. Wesley Fofana (£4.5m) picked up a horrible injury in a friendly against Villa Real which has ruled him out until the turn of the year at the very least.
Jonny Evans (£5.5m) won’t be available for their opening game in all likelihood so Daniel Amartey (£4.0m) may have to start the season in the centre of defence alongside Caglar Soyuncu (£5.0m). New signing Patson Daka (£7.5m) should stake a claim in the side eventually, but to start with Leicester may go with the tried and tested players.
No signings of note in the summer transfer window so far suggests that the reds won’t be starting with a drastically different lineup to what we saw for the majority of last season. New signing Ibrahima Konate (£5.5m), should start in the centre of defence likely partnering one of Virgil Van Dijk (£6.5m) or Joel Matip (£5.0m).
Jurgen Klopp has ruled Thiago (£5.5m) out for the opening period of the season so James Milner (£5.0m) will fill in that role for the time being. Elsewhere on the injury front, Andy Robertson (£7.0m) picked up a knock in their preseason friendly against Athletic Bilbao.
It is thought that he will be out for at least the first month of the season. Kostas Tsimikas (£4.0m) will deputise at left back in his absence. Noises of Diogo Jota (£7.5m) starting in the opening game have become increasingly loud over the past week or so and his minutes and form in preseason suggests as much.
Therefore we can assume that it will be at the expense of Roberto Firmino (£9.0m) who has been away with Brazil for the Copa America. Although the Brazilian’s two goals against Osasuna have created an element of doubt around the striker position.
Attempting to nail down who is likely to start for City is normally a thankless task, but it has been made slightly easier by the fact that so many players are currently unavailable for them.
The likes of Phil Foden (£8.0m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£12.0m) are still out through injuries sustained at the Euros and Raheem Sterling (£11.0m) hasn’t yet played at all in pre-season. Record signing Jack Grealish will therefore go straight into the side against Tottenham.
Regular rotation rascal Riyad Mahrez (£9.0m) looks safer than normal, the Algerian features heavily in pre-season and should start at least the first few games. Despite being virtually out of the door at City, Bernardo Silva (£7.5m) may also start simply due to a lack of numbers.
Rumours were circulating about Dean Henderson (£5.0m) usurping David De Gea (£5.0m) as the first choice keeper for the reds, but him picking up covid has put paid to that for now so DDG will start as the number one. The first game will probably come too soon for Raphael Varane, so Victor Lindelof (£5.0m) should start the season alongside Harry Maguire (£5.5m).
Jadon Sancho (£9.5m) could come into to the time on the right-wing, but the first game will almost certainly come too soon for him too. It was looking like Jesse Lingard (£7.0m) would occupy that spot until he tested positive for covid. Anthony Martial (£8.0m) will therefore likely come into the side to begin with. Edinson Cavani (£8.5m) is also yet to report back from international duty, suggesting United’s early team selections may be a tad unfamiliar.
In a turn of events most of us have become used to by now, Newcastle haven’t been particularly active in the transfer market much to the dismay of their fans. They have however they appear close to sealing the signing of Joe Willock (£6.0m) from Arsenal, after he performed spectacularly well following his loan move in January last season.
Sean Longstaff (£4.5m) could find himself starting alongside Isaac Hayden (£4.5m) in the midfield.Currently, there are question marks over the fitness of both Martin Dubravka (£4.5m) and Karl Darlow (£4.5m). Freddie Woodman (£4.5m) started their most recent friendly in which they beat Norwich City 3-0 and if Dubravka and Darlow remain out, he will be the man between the posts against West Ham.
Premier League views may feel they are familiar with how Norwich City are likely to line up but the Canaries are in many ways a very different to side to the one that came last time out. As of now, Grant Hanley (£4.5m) hasn’t featured in preseason so Andrew Omobamidele (£4.0m) should start against Liverpool.
Attacking midfielder Milos Rashica (£5.5m) should take up a position on the right flank with Pierre Lees-Melou (£5.0m) filling the hole left by Emi Buendia in the number ten role. The loan of Chelsea’s Billy Gilmour (£4.5m) should make up for the loss of Oliver Skipp (£4.5m), who himself was on loan from Spurs last season.
The loss of Ryan Bertrand meant that Southampton had a hole to plug at left back. They did so by buying Frenchman Romain Perraud (£5.0m), who should go straight into the team. Ralph Hassenhutl hinted that James Ward-Prowse (£6.5m) wouldn’t be ready for the opening day encounter with Everton.
If that is the case, Stuart Armstrong (£6.0m) will start alongside Oriol Romeo (£4.5m) in central midfield. Danny Ings’ departure has been countered by the signing of Adam Armstrong, although the frontman is unlikely to be ready for GW1. Nothing has happened at this point so youngster Nathan Tella (£5.0m) looks set to start alongside Che Adams (£7.0m) up front.
There’s only one place to start when it comes to Tottenham. The uncertainty surrounding Harry Kane’s (£12.5m) future continues to to dominate news coverage. Nuno suggested that Kane may start in GW1, although with no pre-season minutes it does seem unlikely.
Elswhere, Spurs finally got the signing of Christian Romero (£5.0m) over the line and with their limited numbers in defence, he will in all probability slot straight into the defence.
The issue of who will partner him is a more difficult one to address. Joe Rodon (£4.5m) appeared the favourite however he didn’t start their final preseason friendly against Arsenal as Eric Dier (£4.5m) took his place, so its anyone’s guess.
There has been some uncertainty over who will start in goal but its does seem like Daniel Bachmann (£4.5m) has the edge over Ben Foster (£4.0m), and will be favoured from the start. Danny Rose (£4.5m) has been brought in at left back after a lengthy spell at Tottenham.
On the other flank, Kiko Femenia (£4.5m) is generally expected first choice, but injury could mean that Jeremy Ngakia (£4.5m) starts the season there. Recently acquired Imran Louza (£5.5m) should start in the midfield there, possibly with Tom Cleverley (£5.0m) and Peter Etebo (£4.5m), that is still quite up in the air in all honesty.
West Ham United
The Hammers haven’t been too active in the transfer market despite qualifying for the Europa League. As such, their lineup for the opening date, minus Jesse Lingard who’s loan move expired at the end of the season, will be much of the same.
The acquisition of Alphonse Areola (£5.0m) has cast some doubt over Lucas Fabianski’s (£5.0m) place in the team, but he has played much of preseason so should retain his place for the foreseeable at least. Now that Lingard has is no longer at the club, Saido Benrahma (£6.0m) looks set to take advantage of the vacant number ten spot.
The arrival of new manager Bruno Lage means that all of our preconceived notions of Wolves are likely to be irrelevant. As such their GW1 lineup could be very different to what we have been accustomed to from Wolves. Rui Patricio’s move to Roma resulted in the acquisition of Jose Sa (£5.0m) from Olympiakos and he will start the season in goal.
Portuguese winger Francisco Trincao (£6.0m), signed from Barcelona earlier this summer, is expected to start. Raul Jimenez (£7.5m) will resume his position as centre forward following a large spell out last season.
More to come
We hope you enjoyed the article and hopefully it will help your planning ahead of the 2021/22 Fantasy Premier League season. We have plenty more lined up for pre season and will be publishing advice, team reveals and more strategy guides right up until the big kickoff.
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