After a month of buildup, stats and figures, it’s now time for me to share my personal XI for the Goal Fantasy game. Now, unlike past competitions, there is a bit of a weird caveat as the transfer window will close before the season starts for the first time in the Premier League era.
As such, things could change before now and Friday’s kick-off between Manchester United and Leicester but, barring any deadline day craziness, these are the 11 players I’ll be taking into battle for the 2018-19 season.
GK: Asmir Begovic - Bournemouth, £5.6m, owned in 1.33% of teams
Begovic just missed being top five in saves last season and Bournemouth should keep far more clean sheets, especially in the early stages.
DEF: Patrick van Aanholt - Crystal Palace, £5.8m, owned in 6.63% of teams
He had the second most goals at his position behind only Marcos Alonso who is £.8m more expensive.
DEF: Ben Davies - Tottenham, £6.4m, owned in 2.2% of teams
The Welshman had more assists than any other defender last season and is one of the very few elite defenders who has had a full pre-season.
DEF: Andrew Robertson - Liverpool, £6.3m, owned in 13.74% of teams
Robertson took the Fantasy world by storm in the second half of the season and will be a regular starter for a Liverpool defence that will have more protection both in front of it and behind it.
MID: Wilfried Zaha - Crystal Palace, £7.1m, owned in 11.71% of teams
It remains to be seen if he will start up front for Palace, but his nine goals and seven assists last year confirm that he is the focal point of this attack regardless of where he plays on paper.
MID: Bernardo Silva - Manchester City, £6.8m, owned in 1.9% of teams
How long he holds onto a starting spot remains to be seen but, according to Pep Guardiola, the job is Bernardo Silva’s to lose after a spectacular pre-season.
MID: Diogo Jota - Wolverhampton, £6.2m, owned in 5.3% of teams
He finished the Championship season top five in goals (17) and first in expected goals+assists (24.74), so £6.2m looks an absolute steal.
MID: Mohamed Salah - Liverpool, £8.0m, owned in 61.21% of teams
Whether or not you really want him, the high ownership makes Salah a must own as any points he racks up would give more than half of all teams an advantage over you.
FOR: Roberto Firmino - Liverpool, £7.9m, owned in 18.25% of teams
There simply is not another forward with this level of both goal scoring and chance creation, and he’ll be at the tip of one of the most lethal attacks in the Premier League.
FOR: Sergio Aguero - Manchester City, £8.0m, owned in 18.56% of teams
When he starts he tends to score, finishing top five in goals per game last season (.68) and, considering the ease of City’s opening schedule, Aguero is simply too good to pass up.
FOR: Richarlison - Everton, £6.9m, owned in 5.31% of teams
He’s a huge upside/downside play, but you can’t drone on about Richarlison all pre-season to anyone who would listen and then not include him in your personal team.