Just a few more days to go and more questions have emerged than answers solved.
Any FPL player worth their salt would be able to tell you that success and failure in this game is determined by fine margins. 50-50 calls thinner than a strand of hair can make or break seasons.
The burning questions that I crave answers to, yet will never be able to find answers for, are among the following:
(1) To Ibra or Not To Ibra
He is priced at 11.5 in the game. That is a lot of money to be put into a 35 year old player who came from a walk-in-the-park league playing for the park bullies PSG. He has never played in the EPL and is now in a Mourinho team which traditionally are quite organised and value defence over attacking returns. Those are stacked against him.
Stacked for him is the fact that he is Ibra. One of the most enigmatic, charismatic, cocksure, deadly poacher with the swaggest of swags and ability to conjure up moments of magic out of thin air.
The romantic in me is egging me on to live a lil’ and put my faith in The Zlatan. The logical pragmatist in me is saying “hold your horses and see how he does against Bournemouth in GW1 first”. Both sides of me are equally convincing. I am no closer to answering this now than I was when he was first added to the game. Whichever way I choose, it may just have an impact on how my season pans out.
(2) Hazardous Midfield Minefield
A wave of optimism sweeps across Stamford Bridge. In Conte, they have a wily, organised man-manager who can seemingly coax water out of a rock. The players have no European commitment and a wounded beast is most dangerous after a summer break. Chelsea has been tipped to go wild this season.
Leading the Chelsea attacking contenders is Hazard, at one time the 3rd best player in the world, arguably. At 10.0 he is too expensive to be a flop. At 10.0 he may be too dear to be obtained should he go on a wild run from the word go. Hazard is the most tempting Chelsea jewel to covet, yet there are others, like the cheaper Oscar, Fabregas and Willian.
Oscar, in particular, has been on form and a seeming favourite of Conte. Fabregas at 7.5 in a midfield creator role can reap rewards if he hits his Chelsea debut form of 2 seasons ago, raking in assist after assist every week. Willian on the other hand, was the most productive midfielder last season, and being the busy little bee that he is, cannot be ignored.
Very tough choices to be made. At the moment has Hazard in team, but leaning to downgrading to Fab or Oscar depending on how badly I want to include Ibra in team.
(3) Kane or Vardy
Vardy has a headless Hull to open his EPL account from and Kane faces a slightly tougher Everton defence. However, Kane has shown he is solid EPL pedigree while it is still up in the air whether Vardy, like Leicester, can prove they are no flash in the pans after last season’s heroics.
It is definitely not doable to own both these English national strikers, if we want Kun in the strikeforce. So, the tough decision has to be made whether to go for Kane, a better player, younger, from a better team, or Vardy, the streaky, slightly older, speed demon from Leicester out to prove that they will not suffer from the sophomore year effect.
By the way, the Vardy or Kane conundrum only comes into play if it is decided that Ibra should not start in my team come GW1. If Ibra is in, this question becomes irrelevant.
(4) Firmino’s Potential Over Fixtures?
Liverpool have quite difficult opening fixtures. Their pre-season has also been quite inconsistent (4-0 win followed by 4-0 defeat).
However, Firmino looks sharp and good during pre-season. He is a known Klopp favourite and he has been playing false nine as Benteke lumbers his way out, Origi still cannot be trusted to lead the line week-in, week-out and Sturridge is as crocked as a crock-pot.
Facing an Arsenal defence with a centreback crisis may prove fruitful for Firmino and the Liverpool attack. If Firmino starts getting hauls in GW1, his relatively accessible price may see his price sky-rocket. And the mad scramble to jump on his bandwagon. So a good strategy at this stage may be to just get him in despite the tough Arsenal opening fixture.