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Fantasy Premier League is back up and running for another season, with Gameweek 1 already in the books. It was a fascinating opening round of games, but some things never change. Erling Haaland (£14.0m) remains a goalscoring beast and his brace for Man City against Burnley, ensured the vast majority of FPL managers were happy with their captain returns in Gameweek 1. Bukayo Saka (£8.6m) was also on the scoresheet as Arsenal defeated Nott’m Forest, whilst VAR prevented Mo Salah (£12.5m) from adding to his Gameweek 1 goal-tally, although he did manage an assist vs Chelsea.
Our differential option for Gameweek 1 was a successful one, Solly March (£6.5m) bagging a goal and 9 FPL points in Brighton’s 4-1 triumph over Luton. In a bid to find another differential diamond in Gameweek 2, we’ve run through all the action having taken place so far and picked out another low-owned potential gem with captaincy potential, along with three premium picks for the armband ahead of Friday’s 18:30 deadline.
Erling Haaland (£14.0m) vs NEW (H)
There’s no point in us starting anywhere else, so we aren’t going to. Anyone who thought that Erling Haaland’s monster debut season in the Premier League was a one-off, more than likely had those doubts dispelled in Gameweek 1. The Norwegian was at his devastating best inside the penalty box, scoring twice in the first half against Burnley and ending up with 13 FPL points to his name come full-time, when factoring in his three bonus points.
| Three Burnley players captained Erling Haaland in FPL Gameweek 1. pic.twitter.com/aHyWAxvIQb— SPORTbible (@sportbible) August 14, 2023
Gameweek 2 should prove a trickier fixture for Haaland against early pace-setters Newcastle, who top the table following a 5-1 thrashing of Aston Villa. However, the Man City forward is the definition of fixture proof and is well worthy of your FPL armband regardless of the opposition. Last season, Haaland racked up six hat-tricks in all competitions at the Etihad Stadium last season and is formidable in front of goal on his home patch.
Ollie Watkins (£8.0m) vs EVE (H)
Although Aston Villa were put to the sword by Newcastle last weekend, Ollie Watkins (£8.0m) still came out with plenty of credit from a fantasy football perspective. Owned by just over a quarter of FPL managers, the 27-year-old striker managed an assist and will have been disappointed not to have scored himself. There was lots of cause for optimism in regards to his continued attacking potential moving forward.
Watkins assist in his toughest game of first 3 Gameweeks. pic.twitter.com/HAbE8sDfOZ— Andy (@LetsTalk_FPL) August 12, 2023
Aston Villa host Everton in Gameweek 2 and with home advantage in their favour, you’d expect Villa to carve out plenty of goalscoring opportunities. The way Unai Emery sets his side up suits Watkins down to the ground and it would be a surprise if he didn’t open his account for the new campaign against the Toffees. With that in minds, naming Watkins as your skipper in Gameweek 2 may well prove an inspired play.
Mo Salah (£12.5m) vs BOU (H)
Hell hath no fury like an angry Mo Salah! The Egyptian set up Liverpool’s opening goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge before having the ball in the net himself. Unfortunately though for him and his fantasy ownership, VAR intervened and ruled out the goal. With the match in the balance at 1-1 deep into the second half, Salah was substituted off and didn’t attempt to hide his disdain at the decision by Jurgen Klopp, meaning his owners had to settle for just 5 fantasy points.
It’s scary to think that Salah will likely be even more determined to prove a point in Gameweek 2 and you get the feeling that finding the net just once won’t be enough for him. The last time Bournemouth came to Anfield, they left as 9-0 losers with Salah incredibly not getting on the scoresheet. This time round though, he really should gain more success and those not opting to captain Haaland will surely go for Salah instead.
Eddie Nketiah (£5.5m) vs CRY (a)
When star forward Gabriel Jesus was out of action last season for Arsenal, it was Eddie Nketiah (£5.5m) whom boss Mikel Arteta entrusted to lead the Gunners’ frontline. Arsenal’s academy graduate didn’t let them down either, scoring six goals in six games across all competitions immediately post World Cup break. The 24-year-old has once again been given the opportunity to start as Arsenal’s central striker in Jesus’ absence and again Nketiah has not let his side down, scoring the opening goal in Gameweek 1 vs Nott’m Forest and accumulating 8 FPL points for his troubles.
Arteta’s men travel to Crystal Palace in Gameweek 2 for a London derby and the generously priced Nketiah should start once again. His ownership percentage is meagre though, which offers substantial differential appeal and considering the quality of the Gunners, it would be a big surprise if Nketiah wasn’t afforded any big chances to get on the scoresheet once again. The fixture between Crystal Palace and Arsenal kicks off on a Monday night as well and everybody loves having a captain in the final match of a gameweek.