18/05/2024

Erling Haaland celebrates a brace on his debut for Manchester City in the Premier League. (Image: Premier League/Twitter)

The first gameweek of the Premier League has come and gone. We can now get a grasp of our initial thoughts and take them into consideration for gameweek two.

The first gameweek of the Premier League has come and gone. We can now get a grasp of our initial thoughts and take them into consideration for Gameweek 2.

We have hand-picked 20 players, 10 of them who started hot and 10 of them who need to improve. Which players should you buy? Which players should you sell?

Who’s hot

Mohamed Salah (£13.0m)

A new Premier League record was set when Liverpool unexpectedly drew with Fulham. Salah became the first player in Premier League history to score on opening day for six straight seasons.

The 30-year-old also now has the equal-most amount of goals (eight) scored in opening day matches. Salah shares the record with Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, and Alan Shearer.

A goal and an assist against Fulham allowed Salah to score 12 points. For some, it was 24 points, as he was the most captained player in GW1.

The three-time Golden Boot winner is still thought to be a must-have asset. He should not be going anywhere as his upcoming run of fixtures is promising.

If you don’t have Salah, you may find it hard to fit him into your team now as he is the most expensive player in the game right now. You will most likely need to make two transfers to bring him in.

Erling Haaland (£11.6m)

Haaland scored a brace on his Premier League debut, becoming the tenth player in history to do so. His two goals were the only goals of the match as Manchester City defeated West Ham 2-0.

His haul of 13 points was the equal most of any forward in the game in GW1. Although, not many people backed him compared to Salah, as he was the fourth-most captained player.

Haaland is one of the few players to achieve a price rise after GW1, now costing £11.6m, if you want to buy him now.

The Norwegian has plenty of promising upcoming fixtures, according to the Fixture Difficulty Rating (FDR). Manchester’s next game is against the newly promoted Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium.

Many managers were sent into a panic after selecting Harry Kane over Haaland, as they suspected price changes. If you can, make the switch, as Haaland’s ownership percentage has now crept over 50 per cent.

Dejan Kulusevski (£8.1m)

Kulusevski was one of the Spurs’ attackers that made returns in GW1. Despite having both Kane and Heung-min Son in the side, Kulusevski outscored both of them combined.

Tottenham’s attack looks dangerous this season and that was justified in its 4-1 win over Southampton.

The Spurs have plenty of options which not only makes them a threat but makes it difficult for managers to figure out which is a better asset.

If you own Kulusevski, keep him in your squad. If you don’t own him, perhaps wait it out and see how the Spurs attack progresses.

Ivan Toney (£7.0m)

The Brentford striker got his season off to a good start, scoring a vital goal as the Bees fought their way back from a 2-0 deficit to draw 2-2.

His score of eight was perhaps an overachievement of what was expected of him coming into this season.

Brentford has a great run upcoming according to the FDR, with no fixtures rated four or over until its gameweek 12 match up against Chelsea.

Toney could be a good differential pick as a third forward, behind the most popular combination of Haaland and Jesus. If you have him he is worth keeping, but if you don’t perhaps wait and see.

Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.6m)

Mitrovic turned heads after an astounding performance against Liverpool. Many managers opted for a two-headed attack but Mitrovic could very well be an option as a third forward.

The Serbian scored a brace at home, to give Fulham the lead twice. His haul of 13 points was the equal-highest of GW1, alongside Haaland.

On top of this, Mitrovic also secured a price increase, to £6.6m.

Mitrovic scored 43 goals from 44 appearances in The Championship last season. He has arrived in the Premier League at the peak of his powers.

If you have Mitrovic, hold him, as Fulham face Wolverhampton and Brentford in its next two games. If you don’t have him, hold that thought and wait for the right time, though that may be now.

James Ward-Prowse (£6.5m)

Despite losing to Tottenham 4-1 on opening day, Ward-Prowse had a decent day individually. He played all 90 minutes and scored Southampton’s only goal.

Southampton is expected to take a dive this season unless some important signings are made. There is little faith in the community regarding Southampton and its attacking hopes.

This theory heavily affects Ward-Prowse as that is how he will score points eventually. Regardless, it was a good week if you did own him.

You shouldn’t lose sleep if he isn’t in your squad but as the season evolves we will get a better grasp as to how good of an asset he really is.

Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.1m)

Arsenal’s new recruit played a vital role in its 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on opening day. Zinchenko started in the XI at right back and displayed he was an attacking threat and kept a clean sheet.

The Ukrainian also provided an assist for the first goal, resulting in a haul of 12 points. His efforts granted him a price increase to £5.1m, as many managers look to trade him in.

Arsenal has a great start to the season according to the FDR, which means Zinchenko could become a reliable asset quickly.

At his price point, you should try and make a trade for him, if possible. Even going into GW3, he should be an option, even if that means taking a downgrade.

If you own him, hold onto him for dear life.

Edouard Mendy (£5.0)

Mendy, alongside Ederson, were the highest scoring goalkeepers in GW1 – with seven points each. Although, because of Mendy’s cheaper price, he is on this list.

In its 1-0 win over Everton, Chelsea scraped through, keeping a clean sheet with ease.

Mendy made three vital saves to make sure Chelsea’s clean sheet was kept intact. With that, he scored three bonus points, which boosted his score.

If you look to save money elsewhere, downgrading from a £5.5m goalkeeper to Mendy is not a bad idea. Although wasting a trade on a goalkeeper may not be worth it.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (£5.0m)

Dewsbury-Hall had Leicester in a good position in its encounter with Brentford. In 72 minutes, the 23-year-old scored one goal, giving him a total of 10 points – which included three bonus points.

He is definitely one to watch this season, as he will be in combination with teammates James Maddison and Harvey Barnes.

Leicester does have tough fixtures upcoming with Arsenal and Chelsea within the space of three weeks.

As cheap as he is, a punt is more than worth it. Although you won’t want to waste a trade on a punt already.

If you have him, hold him. If you don’t, just be patient – unless you can afford the punt.

William Saliba (£4.5m)

Returning to Arsenal from loan to make his club debut, there were questions about how Saliba would perform. He put the doubters to bed, taking man-on-the-match honours in Arsenal’s 2-0 win.

Saliba should start for Arsenal in GW2, unless he gets injured in the coming days, after his performance in GW1.

At his price of £4.5m, once again, you can’t go wrong. If he is in your squad, he can play a role off the bench some gameweeks, if needed.

The only worry is that no attacking threat was shown, which means for his score, you will need to rely on clean sheets and bonus points. These can come, but not as often as you could get with the likes of Zinchenko.

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Who’s cold

Harry Kane (£11.4m)

Despite Tottenham trouncing Southampton 4-1, Kane wasn’t able to get any attacking returns. For the managers who selected him over Haaland, this outcome was poor.

His two points forced a negative price change, which saw him drop to £11.4m. Once again, only one of a few players to have their price affected.

Kane does have some intriguing fixtures upcoming. After Chelsea in GW2, Tottenham faces Wolverhampton and Nottingham – both rated a two on the FDR.

If you missed a trade from Kane to Haaland before the price updates, it might be worth keeping him rather than making two transfers. This is unless you are forced to make another trade, due to injury, unavailability or transfers.

Bruno Fernandes (£10.0m)

During his 89-minute spell against Brighton, Fernandes only managed two points on opening day.

Fernandes has become less preferred as a Manchester United asset, thanks to the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo last season. Now, no longer on penalties, Fernandes’ attacking threat has been sustained.

Manchester struggled against Brighton, not only upfront but also in midfield. It was easily manipulated, which made progression in the final third tougher.

There may be better options out there in terms of midfielders. Some may even be cheaper, saving money for future transfers.

Gabriel Jesus (£8.0m)

Jesus was a major part of Arsenal’s pre-season success. He scored and assisted as the Gunners won a pre-season trophy.

He was expected to hit the ground running by over 70 per cent of managers, making him the most selected asset in the history of FPL.

Despite not having any attacking return, Jesus made himself known in Arsenal’s front third. He only bagged two points, but he is expected to turn things around.

Arsenal will continue a relatively easy run to begin the season, with Leicester City next. Following that, it faces two newly-promoted sides – Bournemouth and Fulham.

Jesus still has time to make an impact, so for that reason, hold onto him. If you missed the hype for Jesus, it’ll still be worth looking into him.

Kai Havertz (£8.0m)

The £8.0m asset didn’t have any attacking return, despite playing 74 minutes, only scoring two points. Havertz is seen as risky because of his price points as there are several options around him that could pay better dividends.

Chelsea looked flat on the attack, against a depleted Everton side. This could sway managers away from Chelsea’s midfield and forward options.

Next up for the Blues are the Spurs in ‘The Battle of the Bridge’, which will undoubtedly be harder than the Toffees.

If you own Havertz, perhaps look for a better value option, with less risk attached. If you don’t own Havertz, it may be best to avoid him for now and see how Chelsea’s attack evolves.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m)

Alexander-Arnold and Liverpool surprisingly dropped points to Fulham on opening day in a 2-2 draw.

Alexander-Arnold walked away with no clean sheet. He also went without an attacking return, leaving Craven Cottage with just one point.

The performance was unlike Liverpool, meaning we expect a quick shift to be made as we move into GW2.

Alexander-Arnold has been trustworthy in past seasons, he will get assists and will be dangerous from set-pieces.

If you have Alexander-Arnold, definitely hold him in your squad. If you don’t, you are playing a risky game.

Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m)

Crystal Palace didn’t have the best of starts when it lost 2-0 to Arsenal in the first game of the season. Obviously, scoring no goals meant no attacking return for Zaha, who only scored two points.

The Eagles are expected to improve this season and with Zaha in the forward third, there is a huge potential for points.

Although, within the next three weeks, Palace face both Liverpool and Manchester City – both rated a five on the FDR.

If you have Zaha, you may want to offload as a big haul of points will be unexpected but, if you don’t own him – avoiding him, for now, is the best option.

Andrew Robertson (£7.0m)

Just like Alexander-Arnold, Robertson faced the same issue. Liverpool conceding twice was always going to dampen his score regardless.

However, only just one point is something that should be looked into. Robertson of course has attacking potential, but overall not as much as Alexander-Arnold.

Liverpool does have exciting fixtures ahead, which will entice managers to keep Robertson. Yet, if you don’t own him – but do own Alexander-Arnold – it’s not the biggest loss.

If you own the two Liverpool defenders, and their opposition score, that will be two reduced scores.

If this can be avoided, do so, as there are plenty of cheaper options with higher scoring potential.

Pedro Neto (£5.5m)

Neto and Wolves had an interesting opening day. Wolves blew an early 1-0 lead to lose 2-1, which included a second-half own goal to ultimately lose the match.

Neto provided some skilful antics, however, was still unable to bring home an attacking return, finishing with just two points.

The Portuguese winger should not be someone you rely on at his price point. However, you should expect some consistency, with the odd blank score.

He showed promise in Wolverhampton’s defeat to Leeds, but nevertheless, many managers are opting to keep him in their squads.

If you don’t have him, don’t worry too much as there are other players to take punts on.

Ivan Perisic (£5.5m)

Perisic initially had a cloud over his head, regarding the minutes he would receive under Antonio Conte. This was a worry that was justified as he was benched until just after the hour mark.

The Croatian international only managed one point from his 24 minutes on the pitch but is still viewed as a valuable selection.

Perisic now has some minutes under his belt, which is a positive. He may start the next match, but he may not, that is still uncertain.

If you have him, he is worth holding onto, in case he does start, but it looks as if he will get minutes nevertheless. If you are looking to buy him, wait until there is more certainty surrounding his position in the Tottenham team.

Leon Bailey (£5.0m)

Bailey was another player who shone in pre-season and had a lot of eyes on him to start the season. Aston Villa, unfortunately, lost its opening match, which didn’t help Bailey’s score.

Bournemouth won 2-0, meaning there were no attacking returns from any Villa players. Bailey still played the full 90 minutes, achieving two points for GW1.

It is still very early into the season and therefore making a trade would be pointless. Aston Villa has Everton and Crystal Palace in the upcoming weeks, those fixtures will be telling.

For his price, you can’t rely on a big score, hence the small risk attached to his name.

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