With less than two weeks left until the start of the new Premier League season, Goal takes a look at the forwards you should be considering for your Fantasy Football team.
Last term's second-top goalscorer, Liverpool's Luis Suarez (10.0), is less appetizing. His ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic means he will miss the first six games of the season. Bad news for the Uruguayan, but good news for Daniel Sturridge (8.5). The 23-year-old scored five goals in the four games Suarez missed through suspension last term.
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GW1 v Newcastle (H)
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GW1 v Swansea (A)
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However, it could be forgotten man Edin Dzeko (7.5) who represents the greatest value for money. The Bosnian hitman is the cheapest of City's forwards but having scored a goal every 139 minutes in his two-and-a-half seasons at the Etihad – and with Manuel Pellegrini labeling him “the main striker of the team” – he could be a dark horse.
For those looking to make a quick start, it is worth nothing that, due to Chelsea's participation in the Super Cup, the Europa League winner will take on Aston Villa on Aug. 21, meaning both teams have double gameweeks – the pair play each other as well as Hull and Arsenal respectively.
Jose Mourinho's pursuit of Wayne Rooney suggests the Blues boss has little faith in his current strikers and it is hard to identify a guaranteed starter at Stamford Bridge – though Romelu Lukaku (7.5) seems the most likely, having bagged four goals in preseason. Villa's Christian Benteke (8.0) is less of a risk, though failed to score in the corresponding fixtures last season and was sent off in his last match against Chelsea, while Andreas Weimann (5.5) is a cheaper alternative.
Tottenham has twice smashed its record transfer fee this summer, bringing Roberto Soldado to the club in a 25.9 million pound deal. The Spaniard, who scored 24 league goals last season, makes his bow against a newly-promoted Crystal Palace side which boasted the joint-worst defensive record out of the top 10 teams in the Championship last season.
North London rival Arsenal has been less busy in the transfer market, though will be buoyed by the preseason form of Olivier Giroud (7.5). The Frenchman has scored seven goals in the close-season so far.
There are plenty of options outside the top teams too. Swansea new-boy Wilfried Bony (7.5) was the Eredivisie's top scorer last season (with an astonishing 31 goals in 30 matches), and bagged a double against Malmo in the Europa League on his competitive debut.
Andy Carroll (7.0) has been in good form in 2013, though is a doubt for the curtain-raiser. Should the towering striker miss out, Ricardo Vaz Te (4.5) could be a shrewd, if short-term, investment as West Ham takes on Cardiff at Upton Park. Meanwhile, Ricky van Wolfswinkel (6.5) could bring much needed goals to a profligate Norwich side and Nicolas Anelka (5.5), likely to assume penalty taking duties at West Brom, is another affordable pickup.
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