Headliner - Mohamed Salah (sou)
The 4-1 win over Norwich saw Salah begin the season with a double-figure haul, firing two shots inside the box (SiB) and producing three attempted assists. The Egyptian returned an average of 5.9 points per game (PPG) on the road last season, which was only bettered by Wilson and Kane (each 6.4) amongst players who featured regularly. This increased to 8.2 PPG for the Liverpool talisman during away matches against teams who finished in the bottom half of the table. As the Custom Stats table shows, only Fraser (12) created more 'big chances' than Salah (eight) away from home last season, while no player fired more SiB (47) or shots on target (SoT) (33). Only Man. City (95) scored more goals than Liverpool’s 89 last season and were also second only to the Champions (125) for ‘big chances’. They were also third for SiB with 377, trailing only Chelsea (378) and Man. City (445). Southampton conceded 30 goals at home last season, the fifth-worst in the league. They gave up 41 ‘big chances’ with only Watford (44) and Huddersfield (47) faring worse. Our Fix Algorithm backs Salah to get on the scoresheet with a point score of 6.8.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (BUR)
Aubameyang found the breakthrough goal for the Gunners against Newcastle, firing a total of four SiB and only Kane managed more in gameweek one. The 30-year-old ended last season as the top scoring Fantasy Premier League (FPL) forward, producing an average of 5.7 PPG, which increased to 6.3 PPG during home matches. As the Custom Stats table shows, only Agüero (15) and Mané (18) netted more than his 13 goals on home turf, while his total of 18 'big chances' ranked joint-second in the league level with Vardy and only behind Agüero (19). Scoring goals was not a problem for Arsenal last season and only Man. City (95) and Liverpool (89) scored more goals than their 73. 42 of these 73 goals were scored at the Emirates and only Liverpool (61) and Man. City (76) registered more ‘big chances’ on home turf than their 54. Burnley conceded 68 goals last season, the fifth-worst in the league and no team allowed opponents more shots than their 653. Our Fix Algorithm backs the Gabonese to breach the Clarets’ backline with a point score of 5.9.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (WAT)
Sigurdsson came close to opening his account against Crystal Palace firing a total of four goal attempts, while Sterling was the only midfielder to produce more efforts on target (four to two) in gameweek one. The Icelandic international was directly involved in 19 goals last season (13 goals, six assists) and his total of 34 SoT and 75 attempted assists each ranked fifth best amongst FPL midfielders. As the Custom Stats table shows, he found nine of his 14 'big chances' at Goodison Park last season. Pogba (11), Sterling (13), Salah (14) and Mané (17) were the only midfielders to register more during home matches. Everton scored 30 of their 54 goals at Goodison Park last season and were ranked fifth for SiB in home matches with 186. They created a chance every 6.5 minutes on their own patch, the eighth-best in the league. Watford conceded 59 goals last season, with only seven teams faring worse. Two relegated sides in Huddersfield and Fulham (both five) were the only teams to keep fewer clean sheets than the Hornets’ seven and only Fulham (101) conceded more ‘big chances’ than their 98. Our Fix Algorithm projects the Icelander to get attacking returns with a point score of 6.3.
Teemu Pukki (NEW)
Despite the 4-1 scoreline, Norwich caused Liverpool plenty of problems at Anfield, with their total of 12 goal attempts ranking seventh-best for the gameweek, while only four teams fired more SoT than Norwich's five. Operating as a lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Pukki was directly involved in 41% of his team’s goals last season, providing nine assists and netting 29 times to claim the Championship Golden Boot. He’s already off the mark in the Premier League and as the Custom Stats table shows, he currently ranks fifth-best amongst FPL forwards with a total of three SiB, only bettered by Firmino, Aubameyang, Barnes (each four) and Kane (six). Norwich scored 93 goals en route to winning the Championship title last season. That total of 93 goals has only ever been beaten twice since the second division was re-branded to the Championship and 51 of their 93 goals were scored at Carrow Road. Although Newcastle conceded only 48 goals last season, their defensive organisation is likely to have suffered following the departure of Benitez. Even under the pragmatic Spaniard, the Magpies conceded 82 ‘big chances’, the seventh-worst in the league. Our Fix Algorithm predicts a point score of 3.9 for the Finn.
Lucas Digne (WAT)
Everton picked up a clean sheet against Palace on opening weekend, allowing their opponents just six shots while only Man. City and Watford (each five) conceded fewer efforts on goal in gameweek one. In the final 10 gameweeks of last season, no FPL defender provided more attempted assists than Digne (25) and his three FPL involvements (one goal, two assists) was only bettered by Ritchie (five) and Alexander-Arnold (seven). His average of 6.6 PPG during that spell ranked fourth amongst defenders, just behind Alexander-Arnold (7.3), Coleman (7.4) and Laporte (8.0). Everton kept 14 clean sheets last season and only Chelsea (16), Man. City (20) and Liverpool (21) fared better. They allowed opponents just 403 shots, the fourth-lowest in the league. Watford scored 52 goals last season, a number bettered by eight teams. The Hornets attempted just 437 shots, with Cardiff (417), Huddersfield (401), Brighton (371) and Burnley (360) the only teams to do worse. Our Fix Algorithm projects a 50% chance of an Everton clean sheet and a point score of 4.4 for the Frenchman.