The Review: GW1

After a long summer where the waiting game drained out the fans despite the Euros, Premier League was back this weekend, and so was FPL. The much anticipated 21/22 season started with a superb Game week 1 with some very obvious outcomes and some unexpected ones. And there is no other statement that defines the FPL and the Premier League any better.

As part of a weekly publication, The Stands brings to you the review of the GW1 and outlines all the important information to acknowledge.

Injuries and Absentees

  1. Ikay Gündoğan  (Shoulder)
  2. Veltman (COVID related)

Knocks –

  1. E. Dennis
  2. J. Maddison
  3. N. Kante

Star Players

1. Bruno Fernandes

This was an obvious but surprising outcome for Fernandes in the first game week. Bruno being on the scoresheet is hardly a surprise, but Bruno Fernandes scoring a hattrick does shock even the most optimistic FPL managers. He took his chances perfectly.

Outlook – He is ready and up to speed and will stop for nothing. Another 200+ points season looks on the cards.

2. M. Salah

Like Fernandes, a big performance from Salah does not come as a surprise anymore. Enjoyed a great day along with his team mates.

Outlook – Similar to Bruno, Salah is geared up for another big season.

3. P. Pogba

One of the unlikely FPL results from this week as Pogba put in 4 assists as Untied scored 5 goals. Playing on the left, Pogba made more assists in a single match than what he made in the entire 20/21 season.

Outlook- Fun if you already had him. Wait and watch if you’re planning to get him. Do not expect such big FPL relevant performances on a regular basis.

4. M. Alonso

The Chelsea defender slotted in a picture perfect free-kick against a hapless Crystal Palace side. The Chelsea defensive unit maintained a clean sheet as expected.

Outlook – Not the first in line for that LWB spot. No FPL manager will be surprise if he doesn’t start next 5/6 games in a row.

5. N. Chalobah

Sizzling goal on his Chelsea debut in the Premier League for Chalobah. Perfectly marshalled at the back for Chelsea and kept Crystal Palace at bay.

Outlook – Like Alonso, not the first in line for that CB spot and No FPL manager will be surprise if he doesn’t start next 5/6 games in a row.

6. R. Pereira

Made a goal out of nowhere for Jamie Vardy with a brilliant dribble and a cross. Looked lively.

Outlook – The full back position is competitive and it is his spot to keep. If he maintains good rhythm, will become a very popular FPL pick.

7. M. Antonio

Up and down game for Antonio as he missed a penalty (that was funnily converted into an assist) and scored a goal despite that with another assist. Antonio is the West Ham player to have when fit.

Outlook – Good fixtures, team is looking good, Antonio is priced at a very easy point. Get him quickly.

All Results

Brentford 2 – 0 Arsenal

The Premier League started with a shocker. Brentford in their first ever Premier League match toppled a hapless Arsenal at Home. Arsenal were without their forward pairing of Aubameyang and Lacazette which could have eased the burden on the Brentford team. But the Brentford team was full of energy and promise and the Arsenal team was just the opposite.

That said, don’t consider Brentford to be the best team in the town or consider Arsenal to be the worst.

Manchester United 5 – 1 Leeds United

A similar scoreline from last season when these team met. Both teams were without multiple players from their first team, but clearly Manchester United coped with the absence much better. Leeds tend to keep it a little open at the back as always and the Manchester United team being hungry probably didn’t help their cause.

Leeds United will come back sooner rather than later and United will not be bashing every good team by scoring 5 goals.

Burnley 1 – 2 Brighton

Burnley barely had any possession all game as Brighton ran the show. That said, Burnley took the surprise lead in the first few minutes of the game in traditional Burnley style, from the set piece.

The game progressed as expected, with Brighton working hard and being able to manage the match.

Watford 3 – 2 Aston Villa

This was one result that stood out with the others as a new swanky team of Villa didn’t gel enough to beat a promoted team. The scoreline looks very generous to Villa as they probably deserved to lose by more than 1 goal.

Aston Villa need to get their act together quickly while Watford can be the highest finishing promoted team. I. Sarr wreaked havoc on Targett all night long.

Leicester City 1 – 0 Wolves

Brendan Rodgers is slowly turning into an A-lister manager. His teams conduct the games with high level of maturity and this game was another example. The solitary goal was an example of individual brilliance, but both teams showed sparks.

Everton 3 – 1 Southampton

This was a dry match despite the scoreline and could have easily ended with a very different picture. The Southampton goal was down to a horrible M. Keane error.

Fears of Rafa Benitez turning Everton into a boring team cannot be said to be completely untrue despite the 3 goals.

Chelsea 3 – 0 Crystal Palace

Empathic performance by the European Champion with a line-up that was missing some of the players that started that Final vs. Manchester City. Crystal Palace being not up to the pace surely helped Chelsea even more.

Clean sheets will be regular for Chelsea as it is their system that ensure the performance and not the personnel.

Norwich City 0 – 3 Liverpool

Saturday ended with Liverpool also showing their mettle as other competitors had taken strides with a handsome win. Norwich never stood a chance despite the high line maintained by Liverpool giving Norwich plenty of chances with acute runs from the Norwich forwards.

Newcastle United 2 – 4 West Ham

Super Sunday started with a up and down fixture whereby the lead was exchange twice, both first captured by Newcastle. But West Ham team had enough in them to equalize twice and then establish the firm lead and kill the game to bed.

The game was marred by one-off events and is not a true reflection of how these teams will play out over the season.

Tottenham Hotspurs 1 – 0 Manchester City

The big Super Sunday was a perfect football match with tactics taking the front seat. Nuno had a brilliant start to his Spurs career as he perfectly set up his team to play on counter against a City side that commanded large parts of the game.

Lucas, Son and Bergwijn form a formidable front 3 that can kill any team on the counter. Days without Kane may not be as dark as feared.