It’s the toughest challenge this season, sticking to a budget goalkeeper instead of going for one of the more established superstars. The prospect of having either Alisson Becker or Ederson is certainly enticing but where would a combination of premium midfielders and forwards fit in that equation?
With the Premier League season less than two weeks away, things are certainly getting interesting when it comes to the transfers. However, when it comes to goalkeepers, the last line of defence, then there have been only a few changes. Unless you count the FPL changes because a few goalkeepers saw their performances move them up the price ladder.
Cheap and reliable goalkeepers are very hard to come by, especially in the fantasy Premier League, with the hikes moving players well above their old price range. Lukasz Fabianski, Ben Foster, Vicente Guaita and Rui Patricio have all moved into the 5.0m mark, which has left the lower-budget pool looking a little empty and more importantly, lacking reliable options.
And given that the first five weeks will effectively decide the tone for the rest of the season, picking your goalkeeper will make an immense difference. There are two main strategies when it comes to this, set up and forget or the rotation. The second option works best with two budget shot-stoppers on your team-sheet, which could effectively give you around 140-160 points.
It’s not too much, but every point counts when it comes to the FPL.
The Worst options
Newly-promoted Norwich City lead this list thanks to an impossible starting five games, in which they face Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, and West Ham United. It’s a hard test for Daniel Farke and his men, but once they get through this, their fixture list will be a little easier. A close second behind them is Sean Dyche and his Burnley side, with an equally tough fixture list.
They’ll face Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Liverpool in back-to-back fixtures before facing Brighton and Hove Albion. It's another tough list and doesn't guarantee them any clean sheets. Aston Villa are next on the list and they have arguably one of the worst opening five fixtures this season. The Lions will face Tottenham, Everton, West Ham United, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace, which doesn't look too bad at first glance.
But barring the Eagles, every other side will be targeting at the very most a top-six finish. Especially West Ham United having spent very heavily across the field this summer. The other bad options in Watford, Bournemouth and even Southampton all have tough picks, although all three sides do have games where their shot-stoppers could be potential options.
The Best Options
If you’re looking for a budget star, then you cannot go wrong with Matt Ryan. There are naturally a few eyebrows raised at the mere mention of the Brighton and Hove star. But he’s a nailed between the two posts for the Seagulls, despite new manager Graham Potter’s arrival.
Not to mention he has impressive fixtures, which includes home games against West Ham, Southampton, and Burnley in his first five games. That is, if you ignore the Manchester City and Watford away games, where anything might happen.
The second option would be the little expensive Lukasz Fabianski, despite his 0.5m price increase, as even at 5m, he is a no-brainer pick. Without him, West Ham looks a weaker team and if they manage to keep Issa Diop at the club, then the two will be key to any plans that Manuel Pellegrini has.
To spice up the argument, even more, he finished the season with 143 points. Kasper Schmeichel is a relatively good third option but that’s only if the club somehow manages to keep the towering Harry Maguire. Otherwise stay away at all costs, because the Danish international has only managed a 140 total once in his Premier League career and that was when Leicester City won the title.
And the Rest
That doesn’t leave too many choices, as this is where the likes of Ben Foster, Vicente Guaita and Rui Patricio all walk in. They may be priced at 5m for now but that doesn’t rule them, especially Patricio and Guaita. The Wolves shot-stopper faces just Manchester United and Chelsea in his first five games, playing the other three against Leicester City, Burnley, and Everton.
Tough fixtures but barring any injury, Patricio can be considered as one of the ones nailed down between the posts. The Crystal Palace man, on the other hand, has a tougher fixture list, with games against Manchester United and Tottenham but also faces Sheffield United, Aston Villa, and Everton.
That leaves just Newcastle United’s Martin Dubravka and Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson as the final two options. The Magpies have a tough-ish fixture list facing Arsenal, Tottenham, and Liverpool, alongside Norwich City and Watford. That doesn’t make for good reading especially with the change that the club is undergoing at the moment.
The newly-promoted side, on the other hand, have a weird list, one that will come down to who plays better on the day. They face Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Leicester City, Chelsea, and Southampton, where all but two potential games could go either way.
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