With an undeniable, emotional buzz in the air after a Gameweek 1 full of goals and actual human fans in the stands, “we” (blame this on Grady if it goes all wrong) decided to grasp the early season opportunity and craft a squad featuring only players competing in front of their HOME crowd for the first time this season. Judging from the electric atmospheres felt and the overall success of home clubs playing for their stadium-starved supporters in the opener, we feel it will be an interesting experiment to put out a starting XI that will no doubt feel the extra push to perform and impress for those coveted cheers. Here’s the 3-5-2 home team (cost = £99.6m):
Emiliano Martínez (£5.5m / 33.4% / NEW)
Emi is sassy and we all love him for it. GW1 was a bust, but last season’s outstanding performance coupled with a fan-flooded Villa Park will do wonders. Newcastle looked decent in the first half of GW1. Wilson and company could provide several save chances for Emi if the two sides get into a back-and-forth.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m / 33.1% / BUR)
With 4 crosses, 2 shots and 1 free-kick in GW1, we expect a more threatening TAA versus Burnley. Liverpool will want to break down the Clarets early and get back to their racing attack with confidence. Klopp will express the importance of a second clean sheet. TAA is a sneaky captain selection for the brave.
Rúben Dias (£6.0m / 25.3% / NOR)
This could easily also be João Cancelo at the same price if you want more attacking threat, but Dias is nailed, and after the opening embarrassment versus Spurs, the reigning champions’ rock of the defence will be hungry for a first clean sheet of many to come in the 2021/22 season.
Lewis Dunk (£5.0m / 6.1% / WAT)
He’s 6-foot-4-inches and has a substantial noggin to kick the ball at for the odd goal. The team captain plays in Graham Potter’s defence, wins corners and set-pieces. Thus, the job is done.
Mohamed Salah (£12.5m / 55.8% / BUR)
He could have had another goal if he hadn’t been unselfish Mo at the end of the Norwich demolition. His swagger is at 100%. There’s no reason to believe Burnley will put the breaks on the good feels at Anfield. This is our Scout CAPTAIN.
Saïd Benrahma (£6.1m / 9.8% / LEI)
Jesse Lingard isn’t at West Ham again…yet. Benrahma has been incredible in his preseason display as well as GW1. He’ll want to further prove his starting value and justify the early FPL price-rise with another creative, aggressive display. Could also be on penalties now.
Kevin De Bruyne (£12.0m / 2.7% / NOR)
Poor Norwich. After a frustrating display in GW1, Pep might unleash the full fury of KDB. If he’s fully fit, this could get ugly. The Canaries don’t want to meet an angry Kevin. Hold on tight. KDB is our Scout VICE-CAPTAIN.
Raphinha (£6.5m / 16.8% / EVE)
Everton looked good in GW1, but Leeds at home is a whole different situation. Raph is their most creative player and will be in full-on-attacking-mode. With 2 shots, 1 big chance missed, and 1 big chance created versus Manchester United in an away thrashing, expect a major improvement on all accounts.
Emile Smith Rowe (£5.5m / 6.8% / CHE)
ESR was the most threatening asset during an uninspiring Arsenal opening performance in an electric Brentford Community Stadium. Emirates will be full of fierce support. If Arsenal can find a way to overcome the stout Chelsea defence for a goal, ESR could have a say in it.
Raúl Jiménez (£7.5m / 3.4% / TOT)
The man is back after a horrible clashing of heads last season, and we couldn’t be happier to see him. Spurs might not seem the best opponent to roll out against after a steady defensive display against Manchester City last week, but there will be an extra incentive in this match for Wolves, facing their former manager for the first time. If Wolves breakthrough, expect Jiménez to be involved.
Michail Antonio (£7.5m / 27.5% / LEI)
Yes, he missed a penalty. Still, Antonio had 1 goal and 2 assists to go along with 3 bonus points against a leaky Newcastle defence. Leicester is clearly a tougher task, but the Hammers faithful are famously unforgiving at home, and a fit Antonio will always cause problems.
[GOALKEEPER] Jed Steer (£4.0m / 1.1% / NEW)
His name is Jed, and he will steer your bench at a cheap price. He will also have a fantastic Country Western career after his keeper days are done. His middle name is John, by the way. Don’t mess with Texas. What, he’s from Norwich? How is JED JOHN STEER not from Texas?!
[DEFENCE] Tino Livramento (£4.0m / 2.0% / MUN)
He will be a warm body with a cool name on the actual pitch when Manchester United inevitably score. In your FPL team, keep him on the bench just in case Pogba, Sancho, and Bruno combine for 20 assists/goals.
[DEFENCE] Ki-Jana Hoever (£4.0 / 2.2% / TOT)
Only 4 million and possibly the best Star Wars name in the Premier League.
[STRIKER] Adam Armstrong (£6.0m / 2.0% / MUN)
He scored on his debut! That’s all. Calm down.