You need luck to finish high in FPL. But some managers consistently rank at the top year after year. That takes skill.
We had a chat with three of the world’s all-time best fantasy managers. How do these FPL experts plan to start the season? What are their thoughts on Haaland? And who’s the one player two of the managers would never dear to go without?
About the managers and the ranking
- Morten Tveito is ranked 16 in the world
- Aleksander Våge Nilsen is ranked 34
- Eivind Almhjell is ranked 50
We have used Premier Fantasy Tools‘ ranking that takes several seasons into account when ranking the world’s best FPL managers.
Is Haaland in your gameweek 1 team? What are your thoughts on him as an FPL asset?
Aleksander: He wasn’t in my team at first, but now he is. He’s pure gold if he stays injury free. Whenever he plays, he will score. But the big question is around expected minutes. It’s still possible that I start with Kane.
Morten: I’m still not sure. It’s all about his minutes. He’s a great captain option in gameweek two. And if he plays he will score points.
Eivind: I always wait until the last minute before I finalise my team. Pre-season friendlies are a crucial source of information that I take into account before I pick my players. Haaland is in my team if he looks match fit.
Big at the back, with four and even five expensive defenders, is popular this season among FPL experts. Do you plan to spend more at the back than usual this season?
Morten: I’m in on the trend. There are many great-priced options at the back this season. I will probably line up with four starting players at the back. Another thing to consider is that the introduction of five substitutes could impact the minutes of attacking players, making defenders even more attractive.
Aleksander: I actually went big at the back last season, and it’s an option this season as well. But there are a lot of great value picks in the lower price ranges to consider, I’m going to get Nico Williams (£4.0m) for my bench.
Eivind: Five premium defenders could be an incredible option for period of the season and less suitable for other periods. It makes the game enjoyable that it’s a choice we have to consider.
What formation are you playing this season?
Morten: 3-5-2 is usually a good formation, but 4-4-2 looks enticing this season since there’s such value at the back.
Aleksander: I like to keep the formation fluid. I want to have the option to switch around. For example, I could play 5-3-2 one week and 3-5-2 the next.
Eivind: I like to keep my team flexible and not be locked in a set formation. The rise of the wingbacks is one of the significant shifts in FPL in the last years, and I believe it makes the game more varied and interesting. It used to be absurd to consider a formation with five starting defenders, but now it’s a valid option. My formation will change throughout the season.
Are there any players you like particularly well this season?
Aleksander: Cancelo. I don’t get how anyone dares to start the game without him. He’s one of the most nailed City players. With some luck, he could have had five-six goals last season. This season he has Haaland in the box to aim for. He’s a no-brainer for me.
Morten: In addition to Salah and Trent I think Cancelo is essential. Andreas is also an excellent pick at £4.5m after his move to Fulham.
Eivind: I haven’t looked that much into particular players yet. I imagine Trent and Salah will be in my starting team, but nothing is certain yet. I have successfully gone without the top-scoring player in previous years, but it demands extremely well thought-out picks in the cheaper price brackets. In general there seem to be more enticing options to pick from than usual this season. I think that’s great, the game becomes more enjoyable when teams are varied.
Are there any popular picks you stay away from?
Morten: I’m a bit sceptical about Perisic. He’s been out with an injury and hasn’t played much. Chilwell is another popular pick that I believe will see his minutes managed. At the same time, the dynamic is different this season since you can make unlimited changes to your team during the World Cup. That means it’s possible to take a more risky approach to the gameweek one team, since the wildcard can be played earlier than usual.
Eivind: It’s too early to tell.
Aleksander: I haven’t ruled anyone out yet.
We have written a comprehensive guide to players in every price category, you can find it here: