Fantasy Football Captain Picks Gameweek 1 2017/18
Welcome to Fantasy Football Captain Picks Gameweek 1. “The First Cut is the Deepest”. “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”. First come, first served. Love at first sight. Make a good first impression. The first US President, George Washington. The first Tour de France champion, Maurice Garin. The first winner of ‘The Voice’ in Lithuania, Julija Jegorova.
To truly leave your mark or carve out a legacy you often need to make that first step count. Just like Neil Armstrong did in some 1969 Kubrick movie I saw.
Your first FPL captain of 2017/18 has a lot to live up to. Last season Philippe Coutinho topped the GW1 charts with a 15 point haul, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 9 points proved that FPL new boys can hit the ground running. Those of us swerving players from promoted teams may do well to recall Alvaro Negredo’s goal and max bonus point haul on day 1 against Stoke. Oh come on, you must remember him. He played football. Y’know, for that team.
Onto some of the prime candidates for this weekend then. A new face, some familiar old friends, and a huge Belgian who traded blue for red, but I won’t spoil the tension by revealing his identity just yet. First up…
ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE (ARSENAL vs Leicester City)
£52 million. Do you remember when that used to be a lot of money? Arsene probably still remembers, marking as it did a rare splurge for the Gunner’s record-busting marquee signing. Allegedly, Frenchman Lacazette used to skip English lessons at school to play football, and who can blame him. I used to skip geography class and it never did me any harm. Though there was that one unfortunate episode where I had to flee from Parisian cops across the sand dunes of Machu Picchu.
Just the two pre-season strikes against Sydney FC and Sevilla doesn’t give us too much insight into the impact he’ll have at home to the Foxes, but he showed promising glimpses at Wembley in Sunday’s curtain-raiser and was unlucky not to score. His 28 goals in 30 Ligue 1 matches leaves little doubt about the former Lyon hitman’s pedigree.
HARRY KANE (Newcastle United vs TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR)
Kane polished off the final two games of 2016/17 with a ridiculous 7 goals to become the first player to win the Golden Boot in consecutive years since Robin van Persie. Another goal in last week’s convincing 2-0 friendly win over Juventus at Spurs’ new Wembley home suggests more of the same to come.
An away trip to a newly promoted team, however, ranks as one of the trickier ways to start a campaign. St. James’ Park will provide its usual pulsating atmosphere, surely amplified even further by a return to the big stage after a brief hiatus; and Rafa’s boys will be keen to prove they’ve learned from the mistakes of yore.
But this is Harry Kane, and if you’ve thrown 12.5m of your FPL budget at him to make him ‘one of your own’, then you’ll probably want to give him the armband.
ROBERTO FIRMINO (Watford vs LIVERPOOL)
21 goals and 19 assists in his two seasons at Anfield thus far make the Brazilian an irresistible FPL option for many, spearheading a Klopp team that’s been set up to go for the jugular. Firmino’s productivity can surely only blossom further with the likes of Mane, Salah and (at the time of writing) Coutinho criss-crossing around him like the Red Arrows on methylphenidate.
Watford’s difficult season reached its nadir with a 6-1 thrashing at Liverpool, signalling the start of the end for former boss Mazzari. The Hornets scraped home in 17th, culminating in a 5-0 humiliation at Man City, and their fans must surely be apprehensive about the coming campaign. If both teams carry on where they left off in May, expect the odd Bobby dazzler.
GABRIEL JESUS/SERGIO AGUERO (Brighton vs MANCHESTER CITY)
The phrase ‘to hedge ones bets’ was first used by George Villiers, the 2nd Duke of Buckingham, in his 1672 satirical play ‘The Rehearsal’. I don’t know why I brought that up, but there you go.
It’s likely that you’ve got one of Jesus or Aguero. It’s unlikely that you’ve got both. If you have? Well then I can only… umm… OH LOOK OVER THERE! *runs away*
A look at their average points per 90 from last season shows that maybe it IS worth having both Jesus (9.26) and Aguero (6.55). Both have had their injury problems though and City’s squad depth exposes even these two to occasionally being ‘Pepped’. Is that a thing? No? Sod it, it is now. We should be able to enjoy the two of them sharing points aplenty at least until the Champions League rolls into town.
ROMELU LUKAKU (MANCHESTER UNITED vs West Ham)
£75 million. Do you remember when that used to be a lot of money? Nope, neither does Mourinho who had already set the precedent for this summer’s monstrous displays of profligacy with his 2016 purchase of serial woodwork abuser Paul Pogba. Our boy Romelu however, doesn’t need to re-calibrate his shooting accuracy as he’s already shown with a few goals in pre-season.
Being pipped at the post for the Golden Boot by Kane may give him even more fire to reach the 30 goal mark this time round. Starting against Joe Hart will help, a man who should perhaps concentrate less on his head & shoulders, and more on his hands & arms.
West Ham, to be fair, have bought well during the summer and look like an exciting prospect. They’ve been leaking goals for fun in pre-season however, and one would expect Lukaku to make a big impact on his debut.
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Captain Picks Gameweek 1
The League Codes for FF247 for the 2017/18 season are as follows:
Gameweek Tracker GW1-11