Following last week’s action-packed Gameweek 1, there has been a lot of movement in the FPL transfer market with most managers either jumping the gun early on or getting caught up in some of the social media bandwagons.
They will, however, have to deal with another stumbling block pretty soon in the shape of the ongoing transfer window. Most of the big-money deals are on hold and with less than two weeks remaining till the European transfer window slams shut, the FPL managers are anxiously waiting for any new development in the transfer market.
While the Lukaku deal has finally been completed, Harry Kane’s transfer saga has been a major stumbling block for most FPL managers. Here, in this Best FPL Team for Gameweek 2 article, I try to bring to you the best squad and playing XI to go with which also wouldn’t incur too many hit points when adding new explosive attacking firepower in your arsenal.
Gameweek 2 Deadline: Saturday, 21 August at 3:30 pm (Indian Standard Time).
BEST FPL TEAM SUGGESTED FOR GAMEWEEK 1
Gameweek 1 Score – 105
Gameweek 1 Rank – 151,567
Overall Rank – 151,567
Chips Activated: None
Budget Remaining: £1.5m
Free Transfers Available: None
Transfers made: One (Smith-Rowe ‹—› Greenwood)
Captain: Mohamed Salah
Vice-captain: Bruno Fernandes
Also Read - FPL TRANSFER TIPS | GAMEWEEK 2
Gameweek 2 of Premier League 2021/22 season starts with an early kickoff on the 21st of August (5:00 pm) with Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool hosting Sean Dyche’s Burnley at Anfield.
Aston Villa will be hoping to bounce back against Newcastle, while new boys Brentford will be looking to spoil Patrick Vieira’s first home game in charge of Crystal Palace.
Leeds will look to tame Rafa Banítez’s men as the Toffees look to make it two in two while Man City should have enough firepower against Daniel Farke’s Norwich.
After a wobbly start, Graham Potter’s Brighton came back from behind to win their last game and will host a spirited Watford team on the back of a memorable opening day 3-2 victory against Villa at Vicarage Road.
On Sunday we have Southampton playing hosts to red hot Manchester United. It will be a stern test for Ralph Hasenhüttl and his side as the Red Devils put nine past the Saints the last time the two sides met.
Elsewhere, it’s the first London derby of the season and it’s Chelsea visiting the Emirates Stadium to take on a fractured Arsenal side and rub some more salt to their wounds.
And finally, this season’s first Tuesday night fixture sees West Ham United host Leicester in what will be a mouth-watering encounter. Both are equally potent in attack as well as equally vulnerable in defence.
Liverpool v Burnley (5:00 pm)
Aston Villa v Newcastle United (7:30 pm)
Crystal Palace v Brentford (7:30 pm)
Leeds United v Everton (7:30 pm)
Manchester City v Norwich City (7:30 pm)
Brighton & Hove Albion v Watford (10:00 pm)
Southampton v Manchester United (6:30 pm)
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur (6:30 pm)
Arsenal v Chelsea (9:00 pm)
West Ham United v Leicester City (00:30 am)
Best FPL XI for Gameweek 2
FPL Team suggested for Gameweek 2
Picking Mohamed Salah as your captain for Gameweek 2 is a no-brainer. The Egyptian has a good pre-season under his belt and was Liverpool’s standout player against newly promoted Norwich City. Salah provided two assists and scored a goal with a neat left-footed curler.
While Bruno did score a hat-trick and accumulate 20 points, something about that Manchester United setup tells me that it is going to be a close call between the two, I’m just going to back Salah again as I had planned before Gameweek 1.
Also Read - TOP 10 DIFFERENTIAL PICKS FOR 21/22 FPL SEASON
Robert Sánchez (£4.5m) | Opponent: WAT (H)
The Brighton & Hove Albion goalie had a decent outing against Burnley and the only reason why Sánchez fired blank last weekend was down to the controversial James Tarkowski goal in the second minute which VAR allowed to stand after numerous checks. Brighton protested that Tarkowski had fouled Neal Maupay before heading in the ball.
Although Brighton made a sluggish start to the game, Graham Potter’s men slowly regained control of the tie and thanks to two late goals, the Seagulls emerged victorious. Barring that controversial VAR call, Brighton looked comfortable defensively last week but against a Watford side, on the back of beating Aston Villa at Vicarage Road, their counter-attacking threat might trouble the Brighton backline. Either way, Sánchez is expected to bag some decent points this week – be it with a clean sheet or loads of saves and bonus points.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) | Opponent: BUR (H)
Although Trent didn’t have the best of starts to his Premier League campaign last weekend as he failed to assert his attacking dominance against a newly promoted Norwich side, thanks to Alisson and his double save late in the second half, the Englishman ended the evening with 6 FPL points.
Liverpool face Burnley this weekend in front of a packed Anfield. It is no surprise that Sean Dyche will set his team up with the lowest of blocks and as compact as anything. This is where his exceptional crossing and set-piece deliveries can really hurt Burnley and just because of that reason I’m even tempted to put him as my captain for Gameweek 2.
Luke Shaw (£5.5m) | Opponent: SOU (A)
Luke Shaw was last week’s most owned defender and for this week too, most managers have put their trust in him to score some vital points for Gameweek 2. Although United won 5-1 against Leeds, Shaw came out of that fixture with just a solitary point as Luke Ayling’s wonder goal coupled with the yellow card he received in the second half played a massive part in him scoring as low as he did.
Against a much weaker opposition in Southampton, United should back themselves to come out of St. Mary’s with a clean sheet. So, if things go well you should score at least six points from Shaw while anything else you get is just a bonus.
Luke Ayling (£4.5m) | Opponent: EVE (H)
As stated in last week’s article, in my 3-5-2 formation, the third defender will be rotated on a weekly basis. As explained in my “5 Budget Defenders” article, Ayling’s final attacking outputs last season didn’t do any justice to his underlying stats, and this season the Leeds fullback has hit the ground running with a wonder goal against Manchester United.
Although I don’t expect Ayling to keep producing these attacking outputs, against a defensive Everton side at Elland Road Leeds have the firepower to score goals, and Ayling will play a huge part in it, while from a tactical standpoint it can turn out to be a slugfest, thus the possibility of a clean sheet for either side is very likely.
Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) | Opponent: NOR (A)
Mohamed Salah kicked off this Premier League campaign right from where he left off last season. The Egyptian looked lively, darted in-field on numerous occasions, and more importantly, was rather unselfish as he provided two assists and bagged a goal against Norwich. Moreover, Salah and co will be playing in front of a packed Anfield for the first time in 18 months.
Although it is an afternoon kickoff and Salah’s lack of goals against Burnley is known to almost every FPL manager, Burnley aren’t that defensively strong as they historically used to be. And looking at how teams might set up, Salah could potentially reward you with another double-digit points haul.
Mason Greenwood (£7.5m) | Opponent: SOU (A)
Manchester United and Mason Greenwood hit the ground running by disposing of Leeds 5-1 at Old Trafford. While most FPL managers are raving about Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, that second goal from Mason Greenwood has gone a bit under the radar. This transfer was always planned before I finalised my team for Gameweek 1. Had David Raya not pulled off that save off Emile Smith Rowe’s shot late on in the second half and Smith Rowe bagged 7-8 points, I would have still made this transfer regardless.
With Emile, it was simply taking a punt for Gameweek 1 while in Mason’s case, I believe he is the “best finisher” at Manchester United. He may not be as complete a forward as the likes of Cavani and Martial but simply because of his cutting edge, Ole will trust the youngster more than the other two forwards.
Saïd Benrahma (£6.0m) | Opponent: LEI (H)
Living up to his pre-season form, Saïd Benrahma was a constant threat behind Antonio as he played that second-foil role to perfection which Jesse Lingard made his own last season following his loan move from Man United. Benrahma was able to beat his man more often than not against Newcastle as he registered a goal and an assist against his name.
If West Ham’s opening fixture and pre-season is anything to go by, if Antonio is the lynchpin, Benrahma is the creator-in-chief for David Moyes’ side. And with West Ham’s run of fixtures, keeping hold of Benrahma can be a huge differential for the coming weeks.
Bruno Fernandes (£12.0m) | Opponent: LEE (H)
Was there ever any doubt? Those who did not have him in their squad are regretting their decisions and scrambling around to have him in their team, while those who already have him are reaping the rewards. Three goals from four shots is simply outstanding, while Bruno’s movement in that game against Leeds was on a different level to anyone else on that pitch.
United visit St. Mary’s this weekend and their 9-0 drubbing of the hosts back in February will be fresh in the mind of all the players. The Saints have very little to offer and it won’t be a surprise if Bruno earns us that one point for a clean sheet as well. Bruno is the key, and will again be neck and neck with Salah as one of the highest point scorers from Gameweek 2.
Jack Harrison (£6.0m) | Opponent: EVE (H)
Jack Harrison was a menace down the left flank last season and was the best budget midfielder by a country mile. Leeds offered very little offensively last week and as a result, Harrison’s outputs were timid as well. The midfielder was substituted just past the hour mark as Bielsa searched for different attacking options. Facing a defensive Everton side, Leeds are expected to have the majority of the ball with their front four seemingly in the thick of the action.
It is in these kinds of fixtures where Harrison revelled last season and had close to 50% goal involvements. Everton have their defensive vulnerabilities as evident from their Gameweek 1 howler against Southampton and against a stronger opposition, that Everton backline will be thoroughly tested.
Michail Antonio (£7.5m) | Opponent: LEI (H)
Despite missing a spot-kick against Newcastle, Antonio ended Gameweek 1 with 13 FPL points, thanks to a goal and an assist which further helped him score three more Bonus Points. If West Ham’s second-half performance is anything to go by, David Moyes’ side will score lots of goals, and if you watched that whole game, Antonio is the lynchpin of that attack; others – Benrahma, Jarred Bowen, Pablo Fornals, all feed off the Hammers’ #9.
Playing Leicester at home in recent times has become a happy hunting ground for the Hammers, and against Leicester’s weakened backline, Antonio and co should have more than enough to hit the back of the net. Whether they can shut out the visitors is a different conversation altogether, but from the attacking standpoint, expect goals.
Danny Ings (£8.0m) | Opponent: NEW (H)
In all my previous preview articles and player analysis articles, I had warned most readers about Villa’s incoming reality check. And right on cue, the first Gameweek itself was an eye-opener for many FPL players. Although I did expect them to struggle defensively with the new system in place, the lack of cohesion in the attacking department would be a big worry for Dean Smith.
Before tucking away that 97th-minute penalty against Watford, Danny Ings had zero shots on goal; yes, a big zero. Not even a feel-good shot from 25 yards out. However, Leon Bailey looked good after coming on from the bench and if included against Newcastle, Bailey’s delivery and creativity really boost Ings’ chance of scoring some decent points this week.
GK: Jason Steele (£4.0m) | Opponent: WAT (H)
Brighton’s underlying defensive numbers last season were extremely impressive, making the Seagulls’ No. 1 (Sánchez) a logical fantasy pick. Brighton had the 3rd-fewest xGA in the league (39.91), with only Chelsea and Man City doing better in this regard. Graham Potter’s men were unlucky to concede the number of goals they did last season as untimely red cards and bizarre VAR decisions went against them on multiple occasions. If Brighton’s on-field results reflect the brilliant underlying defensive numbers, a GK pairing of Robert Sánchez and Jason Steele is a safe combination as the risk of rotation is eliminated.
1st Sub: Daniel Amartey (£4.0m) | Opponent: WHU (A)
While injuries to Wesley Fofana and Johnny Evans opened the doors for Daniel Amartey to be included in the starting XI for the FA Community Shield game and Leicester’s opening Premier League fixture, the clean sheet has flattered to deceive a lot of people as Leicester do look vulnerable in the back, and Wolves should have put at least one goal past them.
Although it bodes well for a lot of managers who took the punt on a £4.0m Leicester defender, against a dangerous West Ham forward line, I don’t see Leicester keeping a clean sheet. Moreover, the signing of Jannik Vestergaard from Southampton is a big no-no for any FPL manager opting to put Amartey in their playing XI. Who gets the nod? Which system Brendan Rodgers will go with? A lot of things are still up in the air.
2nd Sub: Michael Obafemi (£4.5m) | Opponent: MUN (H)
I’ve gone with two forwards, with Obafemi as a bench option. While many managers tend to go with a 3-4-3 or a 4-3-3 setup, my squad planning gives me greater flexibility to switch between the 4-4-2 and 3-5-2 systems as and when required. While being priced at only £4.5m, it eases up a lot of funds for my midfield as my priority is to maximise my midfield each Gameweek. Moreover, both my strikers, Danny Ings and Michail Antonio, are regular starters for their respective teams and don’t need much tinkering. However, with Harry Kane’s impending deal and Lukaku yet to kick a ball for Chelsea, it will be better for you to be flexible with your forward selection.
3rd Sub: Joël Veltman (£4.5m) | Opponent: WAT (H)
Veltman’s COVID-19 isolation came at the worst possible time for our FPL team as both Ayling and Veltman were included in our squad based on the fact that we would be rotating them throughout the first 7-8 Gameweeks. Although as per reports the Dutch international is expected to rejoin training by 26th August, it is highly unlikely he would be involved in Brighton’s Gameweek 3 fixture, thus making him unavailable for the entire August month.
Yes, in many people’s eyes it may be a safer option to transfer him out and bring in an adequate replacement. But I’m more than happy to go with a back-three as I trust my midfield to score the bulk of the points for at least the next three Gameweeks.
After Gameweek 3, I may look for a good replacement but for now, I’m happy with how my team looks. As I said in my previous FPL articles, the key to doing well in FPL is being patient and waiting for the right opportunity to come your way. You don’t have to go out of the way to create those opportunities.