The international break is the ultimate test of your ability to fight temptation.
The summer transfer window is over, the first three gameweeks have thrown up some shocks, and you’re forced to sit on your hands for two long weeks until the Premier League returns.
If like me, you were able to fight those urges for only a matter of days, and you’ve already activated your wildcard, have no fear! 90min is here to rescue your half-finished team with some cheeky tips and tricks, which will help you build a lean, mean, winning machine.
Check out our tips to boost your mini-league title hopes below.
There’s always one surprising player that starts the season like a house on fire, and tricks every FPL manager into shoehorning him into their squad as quickly as possible.
That player then fails to score a single goal or register another assist for the rest of the season, finishing the campaign as an impact sub. We’re not saying that man is Demarai Gray, but beware.
The winger has never posted prolific numbers throughout his career, and expecting him to do so in this Everton side is a risk. He’s a cheap option, so there’s no rush in jumping on the hype train a little bit further down the line.
And the statistics may continue to fall once Cristiano Ronaldo arrives on the scene, clutching the ball to dispatch all the penalties. This isn’t a bRUnO PeNAndEs cry for help from this writer, but a brush with reality.
Fernandes scored 18 goals last season, nine of those coming from the spot. Losing penalty duties would halve his output in front of goal, and do you really want to pay £12m for a guy who scores nine goals a season?
Food for thought.
If you haven’t got Diogo Jota in your team, go and get him now. The Portuguese forward is classed as a midfielder on FPL this season, and at £7.6m, he’s an absolute bargain.
The severity of Roberto Firmino’s injury suffered in the draw with Chelsea is still unknown, but Jota is sure to start in his place for Liverpool, having come off the bench to great effect against the Blues.
If he hits the ground running after the international break, Firmino may struggle to win his place back from Jurgen Klopp’s superstar.
Romelu Lukaku or Cristiano Ronaldo? £11.5m or £12.5m?… or why not both? The two strikers will go head-to-head for the Premier League golden boot this year, and you don’t want to be caught on the wrong side of that battle.
The two players have shown incredible pedigree in front of goal throughout their careers, and they’ve left us with an impossible choice. In this writer’s opinion, Lukaku will outscore Ronaldo – but saying that, I’ve put both in my team post-wildcard.
A bit of pain in the backside from sitting on the fence there, I know. But it can be done.
Scour the market for some cheap gems to pad out the rest of your team, and watch this duo provide the scoring firepower of four players throughout the season.
What if you’re running low on funds after squeezing two or three premium players into your squad? You can’t afford to get the rest of your selections wrong, and falling into the death trap that is Pep Roulette could seal your fate.
Well, place your trust in Ferran Torres. The Spaniard is classed as a midfielder on FPL, but he is likely to be the man leading the line as Guardiola’s number nine.
Torres learned the art of movement and clinical finishing from Sergio Aguero last year, and is ready to take advantage of Harry Kane’s failed move to Manchester City.
At £7.1m, this is a no-brainer.
Who can we rely on to keep clean sheets and pick up the odd goal contribution at the other end? Well, early signs suggest Tottenham Hotspur are the ones to bank on.
Before you guys hit me with the classic, “But Max, you told us not to fall into the trap of following early form!” – just hear me out.
Nuno Espirito Santo has got previous for building mean defences, and he’s somehow managed to transform Spurs’ leaky backline into a miserly one in a matter of weeks.
They are compact, organised and resolute – just like Wolves were under the Portuguese boss. Everything they lack in excitement, they make up for in clean sheets. Get Sergio Reguilon in your team – he could be the one.