Gameweek 2 Preview – Season 2020/21
Written by @NiallHawthorne
Every year in FPL we are faced with the same challenge in terms of how to react to the outcomes of GW1.
Making wholesale changes, activating a chip, or even taking a four-point hit is, in my humble opinion, a knee jerk reaction to what can only be described as a ‘one-off’. Anything that happened in GW1 cannot be taken as being a pattern. It is simply something that happened, and any attempt to extract a guide as to what will happen in the future is, for the most part, a futile exercise that leads to knee jerk reactions.
(Obviously the top point scorer for the last three seasons smashing home a hat-trick is an exception, as that could have been predicted by a handsome, virile and talented @FantasyYIRMA preview writer. Ahem)
However, assuming Jeff ‘Jimmy’ Hendrick will continue to plunder double digit hauls every week is akin to piling into Steve Mounie when he got an opening day treble when Huddersfield played their first Premier League game. That didn’t go well from them on. There are numerous examples of similar events even just from my favourite team: Nigel Clough scored twice on debut for Liverpool. Simon Mignolet saved a penalty and kept a clean sheet on debut for Liverpool.
What I’m trying to say is that if you started this season with a plan, don’t chuck it in the bin yet. While GW1 may have been a disappointment, it will be nothing compared to the pain you’ll feel if you ditch it all in GW2 and then see those you had put your trust in come good, after you’ve wasted a chip or valuable points.
Defender: Seamus Coleman, Everton
Referring to my opening statement, one swallow does not a summer make, and one away win to what seems to be a typically imploding Jose Mourinho wreck does not make Everton a good team. However, they did keep a clean sheet (followed by another in midweek against the mighty Salford City), and face a home game against newly promoted and recently battered West Brom.
Seamus Coleman has had a tough time of it since his horror leg break at the hands of Neil Taylor when playing for Ireland. He’s his nations captain, but has lost his place to Matt Doherty. Yet Doherty is now in the process of being Mourinho-ed, so opportunity knocks for Seamus.
I fancy a clean sheet and an assist as he tries to catch up with his much more expensive, and heavily owned, fellow Toffees fullback Lucas Digne.
Midfielder: Adame Traore, Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolves began with an eye-catching two goal victory against last season’s surprise package Sheffield United. This may be second-season syndrome kicking in for the Blades, but it’s a pleasant surprise to see Wolves start strongly this time. They started slowly last term, possibly due to Europa League commitments at the time, which probably cost them a higher final league place in the long run.
This week they face Manchester City, who are embarking on their Premier League campaign. An away trip to Wolves is right up there as one of the most challenging fixtures you could get to start your campaign. They’re expected to win, but anybody who got anything from Molineux last season worked damn hard for it.
You may remember that Wolves did the double against Pep’s men last season and Traore was a scourge for the Citizens. I see no reason why that won’t continue this season.
Forward: Anthony Martial, Manchester United
Another team starting out on their Premier League title chase (stop giggling down the back) are Manchester United, who begin with a home fixture against Crystal Palace.
Before the season began, this screamed home banker, but the Eagles surprised many with a victory against heavily fancied Southampton last week. Yet as I’ve said before, whatever happens in GW1 is largely irrelevant, so this week will tell us a lot about where Uncle Woy has the Palace, and whether Ollie is still in control of the wheel.
Martial has been changed from a midfielder to a forward in FPL this season, but he’s undoubtedly the main striker for Manchester United, and has been in impressive form for France in the lead up to the beginning of his domestic season.
At £9.0m, I predict that he’ll be viewed as a snip at that price in about 6 weeks’ time.
Captain: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal
Things are happening at Arsenal, and it’s very annoying.
Mikel ‘Lego Head’ Arteta has a vision, his players are buying into that vision, he’s recruiting well, and now his star man has signed a new contract. All the pieces are falling into place.
While Willian deservedly stole the headlines at Craven Cottage last week, Auba notched with what is now his trademark type of goal, and he’s been on fire for the past few months.
Of course, that may be because he was fighting for the best possible terms for a new contract. How many players have you seen tear it up while in that position, before noticeably dropping off once the ink is dry? It’s a risk that this happens again, but not for me. This guy seems to enjoy banging in goals and wallowing in the resultant adulation.
West Ham United rock up to The Emirates this week, and it’s hard to think about how the pre-season and start of the season could have gone any worse for the not so happy Hammers. Open revolt within the camp, walloped by Newcastle at home, and managed by a man who according to the owners is the answer, a few months after they sacked him for not being the answer.
This could get messy for West Ham, and if so I’m backing Auba to fill his boots. He may even go live on Insta when clean through on goal to grab his fourth. You heard it here first.
Outsider: Kyle Edwards, West Bromwich Albion
Hawthorne keeps picking players from The Hawthorns for this slot.
Kyle Edwards was dynamite in midweek as his scintillating display really caught the eye against *checks notes* Harrogate Town.
0.0% ownership, £5.0m and he’s surely played himself into contention to start.
Written by @NiallHawthorne