As the launch of our £50,000 Fantasy Divisions tournament edges closer by the day, we thought it’d be prudent to take a look at the squads our fan partners are backing to take them to promotion-winning glory.
A quick caveat: generally speaking, we like our fantasy advice strictly unbiased and objective. In this instance, however, there could be some favouritism. You’ve been warned.
Team #1 – The Gooner (@GoonerFanzine)
No prizes for guessing who picked this motley crew. The Gooner has backed both of Arsenal’s forwards, putting 20% of his £100m budget behind their beloved duo.
It’s a bold choice. Both assets played limited minutes in a congested 18/19 campaign, and with Arsenal once again consigned to the Europa League, Emery might well be forced to continue in a similar fashion next season.
Elsewhere, an unconventional defence that includes budget picks Fabian Balbuena and Charlie Taylor looks to be conspicuously lacking in players from the fabled top six. With that said, the double-up on Leicester’s backline might well be a master stroke. Since Brendan Rodgers arrived at the King Power, the Foxes have seen their xGA dip from 1.39 to just 0.90. That’s actually better than the likes of Chelsea and Spurs.
In midfield, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva provide The Gooner with some much-needed Man City representation. They’ll have to hope they will be enough to compensate for the absence of the ever-popular Mohamed Salah.
Zaha will likely be a Toffee by the time we reach the Fantasy Divisions qualifiers, and Grealish is an intriguing punt that, whilst unproven, certainly has the potential to yield some differential dividends.
FansBet Rating: 4/10. Whilst there’s undeniable explosiveness in this team, there are just too many risks for our liking. The Gooner gets an extra point for choosing a strong bench though.
Team #2 – The Blue Room (@TheBlueRoomEFC)
Well, this could be a closer competition than I thought.
Much like The Gooner, The Blue Room has invested heavily in their team’s assets. In this case, that means Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Lucas Digne get the nod.
None of which are bad choices, of course. Perhaps it’s a little excessive to include all three, but each are among the best mid-priced options heading into the 2019/20 season.
Unfortunately for our Evertonian friends, things don’t get much better after that. Kevin De Bruyne and Sadio Mane are worthy additions to any midfield, but doubts over Mane’s post-AFCON fitness surely means that Salah is the safer option for now.
Gabriel Jesus and Sebastian Haller are questionable picks given the plethora of more affordable, more certain-to-score-points forwards on offer. Jesus is unlikely to start most games and Haller is unproven in the Premier League. Though both have huge potential if they can hit the ground running, they come at a needlessly high risk this early in the footballing calendar.
The lack of Liverpool defenders is unusual this season, but it does open the door for other premium assets in Harry Maguire, Lucas Digne and Man City’s only nailed-on defender, Ederson. Could going against the grain give TheBlueRoom the edge? If a goal-hungry Norwich can find a way to score at Anfield on Friday evening, they could find themselves starting in the top division by the time qualifying comes to an end.
Max Aarons brings attacking excitement and defensive fragility in equal measure and Nathan Ake’s good opening fixtures make him a worthy, if temporary, pick. Would we have any of them in our Gameweek 1 sides though? The jury’s still out there.
FansBet rating: 4/10. A score draw between these two teams. With a stronger midfield and defence, The Blue Room almost nicks it. But a dubious forward duo, combined with a bench more fragile than Neymar’s shins, has dented their score.
How to enter
It really couldn’t be easier. Just head to the Fantasy Divisions lobby and start building your squad. It’s as simple as that.
Remember, qualifiers start in Gameweek 1. Whether you’re more of a Pep or a Pulis, this isn’t a season you’ll want to miss.