Gameweek 1 Preview - The deadline that puts us out of our misery


Every gameweek one of the FPL Dugout team will take it in turns to look forward to the upcoming gameweek in this weekly preview, offering opinion on all the talking points, including transfer strategies, bandwagons, fixtures versus form, and much more.

Gameweek 1 is just days away and weeks of tinkering with our squads are set to come to an end.

For some reason I find myself being drawn to some of last season’s under achievers. Leighton Baines and Steven Gerrard in particular.

Maybe it’s Gerrard’s new attacking role at the tip of the midfield three in Liverpool’s new 4-3-3 system, while Baines seems more reasonably priced at 7.0 now, with penalties and set piece duties in his armoury.

Then I remind myself of Everton’s opening fixture against Man United and Liverpool’s devilish opening fixtures, and think again.

The thinking can drive you crazy, and for some, the 11:30 deadline on Saturday will come as a relief. No more unlimited free transfers. Well unless you opt for an immediate wildcard!

So, what exactly is driving some of us crazy right now?

In defence, we are wondering which Chelsea defender for the double gameweek.

John Terry, Ashley Cole and Branislav Ivanovic, who escaped a ban for his sending off in the Community Shield, seem certainties, while Gary Cahill and David Luiz are battling it out to partner Terry.

We also desperately want to know who Andre Villas-Boas will choose to partner Jan Vertonghen at the heart of Tottenham’s defence.

Go on Andre, give us something! Michael Dawson at 5.0 could be a bargain in waiting or dead wood in our squads.

In midfield, it’s either Gareth Bale, Rafael Van der Vaart or Glyfi Sigurdsson for Tottenham’s juicy set of opening fixtures, and then we need to decide between Frank Lampard, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard or Ramires for Chelsea’s double gameweek.

Bale looks a safe bet at 9.5. If Van der Vaart can stay fit, he’s potentially explosive at 9.0, though Sigurdsson at 9.0 could well be forced into a deeper role as the Dutchman takes his slot in “the hole” behind Defoe.

Lampard at 9.0 is tipped to play deeper but remains a reliable source of points with penalties and set pieces in his armoury.

Mata at 9.5 looks good, even though he’s only just returned from Euro 2012, while Eden Hazard at 9.5 is tipped for great things early on despite being new to the rigours of Premier League football.

Ramires, who played on the right of an attacking three in the Community Shield, is your cheaper option at 7.0.

Up front, many of us are contemplating Carlos Tevez instead of Sergio Aguero, to free up some much needed cash.

And just before I was about to publish this, Arsenal and Man United announced the transfer of Robin van Persie to Man United. Back to the drawing board then?

These are just some of the selection dilemmas that will go to the wire, but I do feel Chelsea and Man City attacking coverage is essential for Gameweek 1. Tottenham and Man United can wait a week.

If you fancy a gamble, look out for our first “Punt of the Week” on Thursday evening. I might just be tempted myself!

Finally, don’t forget to sign up for our MSA Prediction Game. It’s great fun! Sleno’s article launching MSA Prediction Game has all the details.

Good luck for the season everyone.