Fantasy Premier League 2023-24: The best FPL team for Gameweek 1
Fantasy Premier League 2023-24 is here and the deadline for Gameweek One is fast approaching.
As always, FPL managers have a budget of £100 million to spend on 15 players, with 11 starters being supplemented by four bench options every week.
FPL managers must select two goalkeepers, five defenders, five midfielders and three forwards with their £100m budget, with more emphasis placed on the starting XI.
The start of every FPL season is crucial, which means that safe picks are usually a good bet as they will ensure you don’t take too many risks and stay near the top of your mini-leagues.
Of course, FPL only allows one free transfer per week so looking ahead to future gameweeks is a wise strategy, but here is FootballTransfers’ selection for the best Gameweek One team in FPL 2023-24.
Using the cheapest options possible for the bench - a £4m goalkeeper, a £4m defender, a £4.5m midfielder and a £4.5m forward - there is £83m left for the starting XI.
Goalkeeper: Andre Onana - Man Utd (£5m)
He has joined the team who registered the most clean sheets in the Premier League last season, which is a theme that could continue thanks to the arrival of the Cameroon shot-stopper.
Onana’s ability on the ball means he is one of the more likely Premier League goalkeepers to register an assist, but it’s Wolves’ ineffectiveness in front of goal and their recent managerial change that makes Onana so attractive in Gameweek One.
Wolves scored just 31 league goals last season - the lowest in the entire top flight - and Julen Lopetegui has now left the club, with Gary O’Neil taking over with less than four days to prepare for the trip to Old Trafford.
Defender: Jurrien Timber - Arsenal (£5m)
The Dutch international featured at left-back in the Community Shield win over Manchester City and given Oleksandr Zinchenko’s injury issues and his performances in that role at Wembley, Timber is a sure-fire bet to start Arsenal’s opener against Nottingham Forest.
Steve Cooper’s side avoided the drop last season, but it was their home form that saw them escape relegation and considering Arsenal’s stellar record at the Emirates, a clean sheet is certainly on the cards.
Furthermore, Timber will be allowed to advance forward, which could create the possibility of grabbing an assist or a goal.
Defender: Manuel Akanji - Man City (£5m)
With Josko Gvardiol only just coming through the door, the Croatian is unlikely to start in the Premier League opener against Vincent Kompany’s Burnley.
Manuel Akanji played at left-back during the Community Shield final and was a regular under Pep Guardiola last season after his move from Borussia Dortmund.
Man City always have a strong defence and against a Burnley side whom they smashed 6-0 in the cup last season, a clean sheet is certainly on the cards this time around too, meaning Akanji is a smart pick.
Defender: Pervis Estupinan - Brighton (£5m)
Pervis Estupinan is one of the highest percentage owned defenders in FPL 2023-24 after a stellar campaign last year.
The Ecuadorian is given attacking freedom down the left flank by Roberto De Zerbi and with Brighton facing newly promoted Luton Town on Saturday, Estupinan is a great pick for Gameweek One.
Only nine defenders scored more than his 128 points last season and he remains an excellent asset this year, even priced at £5m.
Midfielder: Bukayo Saka - Arsenal (£8.5m)
3-5-2 is the go-to formation in FPL this year and that is mostly due to the plethora of excellent midfield options.
Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka is one such example, with the England international heading into 2023-24 after bagging a huge 202 points last season - a tally only bettered by three FPL midfielders.
Facing Nottingham Forest at home is a nice Gameweek One fixture for Arsenal and Saka could be a brilliant addition to your FPL team.
Midfielder: Marcus Rashford - Man Utd (£9m)
One of the three midfielders to have scored more points than Saka last season was Man Utd’s Marcus Rashford. Saka’s countryman tallied a huge 205 points after he bagged 17 league goals - his highest ever tally in the Premier League.
Man Utd host Wolves on the opening weekend and given that 13 of his 17 league goals last campaign came at Old Trafford, Rashford is a great pick whenever the Red Devils play at home.
Expect him to start the season with a flurry that could take you to the top of your mini leagues.
Midfielder: Kaoru Mitoma - Brighton (£6.5m)
Another star who impressed in 2022-23 was Kaoru Mitoma, who enjoyed a breakout year on the south coast. The Japan international was eased into the season by first Graham Potter and then De Zerbi, before he exploded into life before the World Cup.
He looked electric during Brighton’s pre-season tour of the USA and could give Luton’s backline nightmares in their first game at Premier League level.
Mitoma was only the third-highest scoring Seagulls midfielder in FPL last year - behind Pascal Gross and Solly March - but he’s a dead certainty to start against Luton and could score an impressive points haul.
Midfielder: Eberechi Eze - Crystal Palace (£6.5m)
He scored six goals and provided one assist in the final nine matches of last season and with Wilfried Zaha now gone, Eze will be the main man in the Eagles’ attack.
They face newly-promoted Sheffield United in Gameweek One, which provides the perfect opportunity for Eze to start well.
Midfielder: Gabriel Martinelli - Arsenal (£8m)
Doubling up on Arsenal’s midfield was a wise bet last season and it’s likely to stay that way this year.
Gabriel Martinelli scored less FPL points than Martin Odegaard last season, but it remains to be seen how Kai Havertz’s arrival impacts the Norwegian’s role and position on the pitch.
As for Martinelli, he is likely to start on the left flank and cause serious problems for Nottingham Forest’s backline. After all, Forest conceded 68 Premier League goals last season - the joint-fourth worst in the division.
Forward: Erling Haaland - Man City (£14m)
Erling Haaland may have only scored one goal in his past six competitive Man City appearances, but he remains an absolute must in FPL.
The Norwegian bagged a brace on opening day last season and scored a hat-trick against Burnley in the 6-0 FA Cup rout in February. Facing that same opposition this weekend, Haaland could be in for a big haul.
Forward: Joao Pedro - Brighton (£5.5m)
With Evan Ferguson absent during pre-season, Danny Welbeck and Joao Pedro took turns leading the line for Brighton, with the Brazilian also dropping deeper into a No.10 role.
Crucially, he was on penalty duty in the Seagulls’ friendlies, netting against Chelsea and Rayo Vallecano.
Against a Luton side untested at Premier League level, Brighton could wreak havoc and Pedro may be at the heart of it.