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Fantasy Premier League: Five players to target for Gameweek One

Fantasy Premier League managers are building their squads ahead of the new campaign, with just over two weeks until the Premier League begins and the FPL season kicks off.

A strong start is crucial to your chances of a successful season and we’ve profiled a number of players you should target in the campaign’s opening weeks.

Here are five FPL players who should be on your radar ahead of Gameweek One.

Erling Haaland – Manchester City (£14m)

Obvious, we know, but those who failed to include Erling Haaland from the start last season soon found themselves struggling to catch up.

Haaland was the highest scoring FPL asset last season after a record-breaking campaign for Manchester City, one which saw the Norwegian score 36 league goals.

The result is a joint-record FPL price-tag of £14m, though it’s not been enough to deter Fantasy managers with a whopping 85.8% of players having included the 22-year-old in their squad so far.

Haaland was captained on average by more than 8m players per gameweek last season and begins the season with a favourable run of fixtures. City start their title defence away at promoted Burnley, before facing three of the other six teams promoted across the last two seasons in the first six gameweeks.

Team-mate Phil Foden (£7.5m) also shapes as one to consider, particularly given Kevin De Bruyne’s fitness concerns and Riyad Mahrez’s impending exit.

Gabriel Jesus – Arsenal (£8m)

Gabriel Jesus impressed during his debut season at Arsenal and the forward will once again lead the line for Mikel Arteta’s side.

The Brazilian scored 11 goals and provided six assists in the Premier League last season, a return which would have increased had he not been sidelined for a lengthy period through injury.

Jesus averaged a goal or assist every 114 minutes last season, a better rate that popular Arsenal midfield picks in Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard.

Arsenal host Nottingham Forest on the opening weekend and face five teams who ended last season 10th or lower in the opening seven gameweeks.

Pervis Estupinan – Brighton (£5m)

Pervis Estupinan was the highest scoring defender in an impressive Brighton side last season, as the Seagulls secured a top-six finish and European football for the first time in the club’s history.

The Ecuadorian was a marauding presence at left-back and ended the season with a goal and five assists from a fine first season in English football.

Estupinan ended the campaign in particularly impressive form, leading the Premier League among defenders for penalty area touches & shots in the box across the last 10 gameweeks, ranking second for xG and xGI, and third for key passes.

Only Trent Alexander-Arnold provided more attacking returns across that period and Estupinan is currently the most selected defender in FPL ahead of Gameweek one.

Going without him could prove costly, as Brighton open up the season with three home fixtures and a trip to Wolves in their first four games.

Evan Ferguson – Brighton (£6m)

Evan Ferguson is expected to start the season at the opposite end of the pitch for Brighton, following a hugely encouraging breakthrough season on the south coast.

Ferguson was the highest-scoring teenager in the Premier League last season with six goals and will be keen to build on that return with increased opportunities in 2023/24.

The 18-year-old averaged a goal or assist every 97minutes in all competitions last season, with only Erling Haaland and Mohamed Salah bettering that rate of production.

Roberto De Zerbi is a huge fan of the talented teenager and expect Ferguson to be unleashed this season as Brighton look to continue improving. At £6m, he could be a potential bargain if the Ireland international nails down a guaranteed role at centre-forward.

Marcus Rashford – Manchester United (£9m)

Marcus Rashford produced the best football of his career last season to score 30 goals in all competitions, becoming the first Manchester United player in a decade to reach that total in a single season.

Rashford has since ended speculation surrounding his future after signing a new long-term contract and the 25-year-old will be a central figure in Erik ten Hag’s team once again this time around.

Manchester United boasted the second-best home record in the Premier League in 2022/23 and are unbeaten at Old Trafford in the league since last season’s opening weekend. The Red Devils host Wolves and Nottingham Forest in their opening three gameweeks and will be confident of beginning the new season in strong form.

Bruno Fernandes is another who should be considered, with the midfielder priced at a more than reasonable £8.5m. The Portugal international led the Premier League for shot-creating actions (219), key passes (119), big chances created (32) and xA (16.7) last season and could make a mockery of that price-tag.

Read – The most interesting positional changes in FPL this season

Read Also – Fantasy Premier League: 60 FPL team names for 2023/24

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