Punt of the Week - Gameweek 1 - Mladen Petric

Punt of the Week is our weekly article that puts forward a player with potential for big points but also represents an element of risk. Players who aren’t obvious picks.

The FPL Dugout team will take it in turns each week to choose their player, and put forward their reasons here. I’m first up, followed by Sleno next week, so I’m looking to put some early pressure on him with a triumphant first punt!

I’m going for Fulham’s new Croatian striker, Mladen Petric, valued at 6.0 in Fantasy Premier League (FPL).

Fulham signed Petric, now 31 years-old, from Hamburg this summer after the German club released him at the end of last season.

Petric scored 38 goals in 98 games for Hamburg, where Martin Jol managed him between 2008-2009.

The potential

Fulham’s opening fixture at home to Norwich makes Petric a tempting option, especially as Fulham also face West Ham, West Brom and Wigan in their first 6 matches.

Petric had a fantastic pre-season, scoring 5 goals in 5 pre-season friendlies! He’s also shown a creative side too, with smart assists for his teammates.

Petric’s game time looks secure for now, either as the lone front man in a 4-4-1-1, or alongside a fellow striker in a 4-4-2. He can also play in “the hole” behind a lone striker.

When you combine the opening fixture with his pre-season form, the potential really is there for a cracking opening week to set a bandwagon rolling.

The risk

Petric remains a punt because he’s unproven in the Premier League, despite his pre-season goals.

After all, we’ve been fooled by pre-season before. Remember Mauro Boselli? He couldn’t stop scoring in his first pre-season then completely flopped in the Premier League.

The cautious fantasy manager will step back and deploy a “wait and see” approach, to see if Petric can prove himself and score goals in the Premier League.

You should also be aware that Petric faces a trip to Man United in gameweek 2, so it might be a good idea to make sure you can bench Petric that week and call on better options within your squad.

The final word

What better time to take a punt than gameweek 1? Petric’s age and international experience could help him settle quickly in the Premier League, while the jury is out on other low-to-mid-price budget bracket strikers.

Southampton’s Rickie Lambert (6.0) is also unproven in the Premier League and faces a very tough opening run of fixtures (mci, WIG, MUN, ars, AVL, eve).

Pavel Pogrebnyak (5.0) also faces a tough opening schedule, despite the double gameweek, and is playing in a Reading side who may struggle for goals.

And can Grant Holt (6.0) really do it again under a more defensive-minded Chris Hughton?

Danny Graham (6.0) is perhaps a safer option with Swansea’s kind opening schedule, but if you’re looking for a little gamble, Petric could well be your man.