LARS Premier League Fantasy Football
8 August 2018
At 8.00pm this Friday, the 2018/19 Premier League season gets underway as Manchester United take on Leicester City at Old Trafford. But according to the back pages, the title is already won. Nobody can stop Manchester City.
Not only were they the dominant force last season, but they have strengthened their team in a bid to defend their title. As well as signing Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City, they also have Vincent Kompany back from a successful World Cup campaign. If he can remain fit, he adds even more solidity to an already impressive defensive line-up.
So what of the others? The general consensus seems to be that Liverpool will be impressive, having also strengthened the team, but will still not be able to keep pace with Manchester City. There appears to be some negativity at Old Trafford, with José Mourinho one of the bookies’ favourites for an early exit. Tottenham have been very quiet in the transfer market, so it would seem that they will be starting the new season with the squad which finished in third place last season. And with new managers at Chelsea and Arsenal, who knows what to expect?
With the Premier League title an apparent foregone conclusion, let’s hope that the 2018/19 LARS Fantasy League competition provides some excitement. It’s really simple to enter and the winner will walk away with a £100 One4all gift card. There are also £50 and £25 gift cards available for second and third places.
How to enter
If you would like to play, go to https://fantasy.premierleague.com and register an account. Once registered, you can put together your team and join the LARS League by entering the following code: 706696-156715
If you played last season, it’s even easier. Just log in and renew your leagues. It really is that simple. Or is it? We’ve included a few pointers below which might, or might not, be of any use.
Undeniably last season’s Premier League superstar, but can he do it again? And is it worth spending all that money (£13.0m) on one player? Whether or not to include Mo Salah will be the question every fantasy manager will be asking before the season gets underway.
Last season, Salah amassed a staggering 303 points. So can you afford not to have him? That said, without him, you can buy other fantastic players and have money in the bank. Salah or not Salah – that is the question.
Your Forward Line
The next big question is who to have up front, after all, these are the boys who get the goals and the points. Should you pick Harry Kane? Sergio Aguero? Gabriel Jesus? Roberto Firmino? Jamie Vardy? The list is long and at the moment picking your forward line could be risky. At Manchester City, Pep has shown he likes to rotate the squad. Aguero will play one week, Jesus the next. There are very few players at Manchester City who could be considered guaranteed starters. Harry Kane may not play the first couple of games following his World Cup exploits. It’s also well-known that he doesn’t like August, waiting until September to get his scoring feats underway.
Often, it’s an unfancied forward who really makes a difference, but it’s up to you to identify him before anyone else jumps on the bandwagon. A few to watch this season include Marko Arnautovic at West Ham, who has been converted to a striker for this campaign and who has enjoyed a good pre-season. Chris Wood at Burnley finished last season strongly and at just £6.5m presents good value. At £6.0m, Charlie Austin at Southampton could be a bargain… if he plays. He loves to score and, if fit, could be a great third striker.
Many of us will be tempted to look into a player’s pre-season form. While this is no guarantee of a player’s form when facing the hustle and bustle of a busy Premier League season, it might be of some use.
Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have been hitting the back of the net for fun in pre-season, but it’s worth bearing in mind that their opponents did include the likes of Boreham Wood and Crawley Town, although they did also play against Atletico Madrid and PSG. Another striker who has been in the goals is Marko Arnautovic, the Austrian having scored five and provided one assist in the Hammers’ pre-season games.
However, there are several players who have not featured in pre-season, following their World Cup exploits, so this should only serve as a guide and not be considered one of the most important factors in team selection.
Another big decision managers are facing each week is who to pick to captain the side. Your captain will score you double points and potentially allow you to move away from others in the LARS League. But it’s a gamble. Should you pick someone you think nobody else would pick or should you play it safe? Well, we’ve almost gone 360 degrees here, as we’re back at Salah. At least we know Salah is likely to start each week, so he would make a wise choice as captain. But at £13m could your money be better spent elsewhere?
Over to you. Good luck and may the best team win.