Hazard-fpl

FPL Gameweek 2 – Players To Watch

After an entertaining opening weekend, we have a look at the players who are primed for FPL glory in the second Gameweek.

Gameweek 2 Deadline: 19th Aug, 19:00 (23:30 IST)

Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City)

Ben Foster (£4.5m) is obviously the player who will be on everyone’s list this Gameweek after his ten point haul against Crystal Palace, but Fabianski (£5.0m) also looks a strong shout. With a save point, a bonus point and a clean sheet last week against Burnley and a home fixture against a weakened Hull City on the cards, the Pole will have suddenly turned a lot of heads. However, there comes a drawback. While, he along with the likes of Jordi Amat (£4.0m) and Stephen Kingsley (£4.1m) look excellent options this weekend, the potential of returns after that isn’t so encouraging as they have a nightmare six fixtures – Leicester (A), Chelsea (H), Southampton (A), Man City (H), Liverpool (H) and Arsenal (A).

Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)

If you want a defender from Spurs and if you can’t afford the best defender in FPL, Toby Alderweireld (£6.5m), then Walker (£5.5m) is your man. The England international provided the assist for Erik Lamela’s goal and may prove to be of great value as the season progresses. Against Everton last week, he created more chances than any other defender in the league across the whole weekend and is expected to keep a clean sheet against a Palace side who have won just twice in the Premier League in 2016.

Eden Hazard (Chelsea) and Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)

After scoring from the spot, Hazard (£10.0m) and Mahrez (£9.5m) both look like great options this Gameweek. Talking about Hazard, we saw some glimpses of his past best against West Ham United on Monday night but we need to see a lot more of that explosive play before the fantasy juggernaut, who scored 233 points in 2014/15, returns. However, it was more than acceptable start for the Belgian and is likely to build on it against Watford which explains why he was transferred in by over 60,000 managers this week.

Mahrez, on the other hand, had the most important seven days of his life. He scored from the spot in the opening game of the season against Hull and the only thing that could stop an influx of interest was a continuation of the transfer speculation that has surrounded him all summer. But, with the new contract signed, he’s far more secure pick and is, without any doubt, the best way into the Leicester attack against an Arsenal side who conceded four against Liverpool.

With nine goals and 13 assists last season, Dimitri Payet (£9.5m) is another fantastic option for the weekend. The Frenchman started on the bench against Chelsea but was lively in the 23-minute cameo and was involved in West Ham’s equaliser. With Andre Ayew and Manuel Lanzini both sidelined with injuries, he is expected to start against Bournemouth and will be looking to make an instant impact in the Hammers’ first Premier League encounter at the Olympic Stadium.

Liverpool midfield

Who to pick from Liverpool’s midfield was one of the most fascinating questions before the season started and things have got a lot more puzzling since. Ahead of a clash with newly promoted Burnley on Saturday, it is extremely hard not to pick a Liverpool midfielder in your team. But the main question still remains – who the hell do you pick? Roberto Firmino (£8.5m) is our player to watch this Gameweek after he had more shots than any of his teammates in the crazy seven-goal thriller at Arsenal. He just needs to start getting those shots on target and we will see a rapid upturn in fortunes. Both him and Sadio Mane (£9.0m) registered more touches in the box than Philippe Coutinho (£8.1m) which suggests Coutinho’s outstanding performance might not be a trend.

Salomon Rondon (West Bromwich Albion)

Sergio Aguero (£13.0m), Alvaro Negredo (£6.6m) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (£11.5m) all scored but Rondon (£6.5m) was arguably the standout forward from Gameweek 1. He had the same number of efforts as Aguero but touched the ball in the box more than any other player. He turned a few heads towards the end of last season but then we had the likes Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Aguero firing all cylinders. Now, there seems to be some potential up front and he fits perfectly, with a budget price and a great set of fixtures ahead.

Fernando Llorente (£6.5m) is another fascinating option and looks finely poised to take advantage of Swansea’s fixtures. He only managed an assist last week but had the same number of efforts as Rondon and Aguero. Furthermore, he had more shots on target than any other player last week. Goals are coming soon!

Captain?

When Aguero is fit and is in your team, he should be your captain. It’s as simple as that. Add to that he has started the season in good form, scoring the penalty against Sunderland and bagging an hattrick against Steaua Bucharest in midweek. He will be in confident mood when City travel to the Bet365 Stadium to face Stoke, who will be without their first-choice keeper Jack Butland due to injury.

Ibrahimovic is another option to consider given Manchester United play Southampton at home. However, the Red Devils could struggle to break down a Southampton side who conceded the fewest number of attempts in the box in Gameweek 1. Jermain Defoe (£7.0m) and Rondon are differential picks, while Alexis Sanchez (£11.0m) can be a shrewd choice as Arsenal face the reigning champions at the King Power Stadium. The Chilean scored an hattrick in the same fixture last season. Or maybe Diego Costa (£9.5m)? A gamble worth taking as the Brazilian-born Spanish international is looking in great form under Antonio Conte’s new regime at Chelsea.

Finally, Harry Kane (£11.0m) is the one to avoid as the English striker failed to register a single attempt on goal against Everton and his blank means that he has scored just once in the last 10 league games where Mousa Dembele has been missing. The influential Belgian will once again be absent this weekend due to suspension.

This article is written by Shantanu Ambekar, you can follow him on Twitter at @ShantanuAmbekar. What are your thoughts? Let us know by dropping a comment via our comments box below. Make sure you follow us on TwitterGoogle+, Instagram and like us on Facebook.

Manchester United fan and Premier League lover. Founder of IntoTheTopCorner.