Fantasy Premier League Tips: Five goalkeeper suggestions for a winning start to the season

Nick Pope
Nick Pope has seen a significant price rise this season to £5.5 million and has a Blank Gameweek 1, so we are forced to search elsewhere.

Holly Shand shares her goalkeeper picks for the beginning of the 2020/21 season. With Nick Pope ruled out of Gameweek 1 due to a postponed fixture, it's time to broaden our horizons...

"Another premium goalkeeper slipping under the radar right now is Hugo Lloris, with an ownership of just over 5%."

The Headline Pick: Alex McCarthy (£4.5) - Southampton

Nick Pope has seen a significant price rise this season to £5.5 million and has a Blank Gameweek 1, so we are forced to search for the new Pope for the start of this 2020/21 FPL season. One likely candidate could be Southampton's Alex McCarthy and spending just £4.5 million on your 'set and forget' goalkeeper allows for more funds to be spent elsewhere in your squad.

Alex McCarthy amassed 104 points from 2,520 minutes last season: there's certainly potential for him to break the magical 150 point barrier if he was to start every single game for Saints during this campaign. During the second half of last season, only five sides kept more clean sheets than Southampton (Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Wolves and Burnley).

Saints certainly seem to be on an upwards trajectory, with a supporting cast emerging to talisman Danny Ings and some key acquisitions in defence such as Kyle Walker-Peters. They are blessed with a favourable opening schedule, with games against Crystal Palace, Tottenham Hotspur, Burnley and West Brom in the first four. None of those teams are known for their attacking output right now.

Southampton are now available to back at 15/8 to keep a clean sheet against Crystal Palace on opening day.

The Budget Pick: Ørjan Nyland (£4.0) - Aston Villa

The second goalkeeper slot is often overlooked, with David Button the key man last campaign as a protective understudy to the popular Mat Ryan. However, this season we could be blessed with a £4.0 million priced goalkeeper who starts at least for the opening four gameweeks: Ørjan Nyland could be the perfect acquisition for those planning an early wildcard.

Pepe Reina has now departed Aston Villa, and while Tom Heaton will wear the number one jersey for the Lions this season, he's not going to be fit to start until the International Break. He has spent a lengthy time on the sidelines with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, having damaged it all the way back on New Year's Day.

That means an opening for Ørjan Nyland once again, with at least three fixtures for him. Obviously Aston Villa are one of the sides with a Blank Gameweek 1, but he could become useful in Gameweek 2 and Gameweek 3, when Villa face Sheffield United at Villa Park before a trip to Craven Cottage against Championship play-off winners Fulham.

The VAR Pick: Kasper Schmeichel (£5.5) - Leicester City

While spending the minimal budget possible on a goalkeeper looks to be a shrewd move once more this season, there are always premium options who can become real contenders and Kasper Schmeichel should be one of the names to consider. Leicester City conceded more penalties than any other side last Premier League season, with Schmeichel saving two of those 11 spot kicks.

Kasper Schmeichel Leicester Pre-Season 2018.jpg

Leicester City have a few defensive issues and with Ricardo Pereira still on the sidelines and Ben Chilwell departing for Chelsea, they will be forced to use young full backs James Justin and Luke Thomas once again. This youthful back line will likely yield defensive errors, and with it opportunities for Schmeichel to make additional saves.

Schmeichel amassed 97 saves last campaign, with each three per game bringing a fantasy point. He was one of a small pool of goalkeepers to score over 150 points, with Leicester City keeping 13 clean sheets and Schmeichel scooping 10 bonus points. The Foxes face West Brom, Burnley, Manchester City and West Ham United in their opening four games.

Leicester City are now available to back at 11/5 to finish in the top six in 2020/21.

The Sleeper Pick: Hugo Lloris (£5.5) - Tottenham Hotspur

Another premium goalkeeper slipping under the radar right now is Hugo Lloris, with an ownership at around 5% - he could be a real differential for the start of the season. Spurs had one of their most disappointing seasons from a defensive perspective last campaign, keeping just eight clean sheets: only four teams managed a smaller tally and two of them were inevitably relegated.

However, half of those clean sheets came within the period post-lockdown, where Jose Mourinho managed to get his team far better organised. This coincided with a return to play for Lloris who missed much of the campaign with an elbow injury.

We know what to expect from this Tottenham side under Mourinho. They will play a defensive style, allow a lot of shots on goal from distance, which will play into Lloris' favour and see victories by narrow margins. All that will allow Lloris to rack up the fantasy points for both clean sheets and saves: a perfect combination from a fantasy goalkeeper.

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The Wildcard Pick: Emiliano Martinez (£4.5) - Arsenal

Finally, it's Emiliano Martinez who completes the set of goalkeepers, although admittedly his selection does present a host of risks. He impressed during the restart, with Bernd Leno ruled out with a knee injury, and has made a huge contribution to Arsenal lifting both the FA Cup and Community Shield over the past few weeks.

His impressive performances, including three clean sheets in eight starts and 34 saves mean that not only is he likely to be kept by Arsenal during the summer transfer window, but he could also start the next Premier League campaign as Arsenal's number one goalkeeper.

It would come as a big gamble to select him as a set-and-forget choice in your FPL squad, but priced at just £4.5 million, he could be an absolute steal. It's not often that you find a goalkeeper of his quality at such a low price from the traditional big six Premier League clubs, and Arsenal look rejuvenated and far more solid under Mikel Arteta over this calendar year.

Join our Fantasy Premier League mini-league competition, Betfair Battle, using the code xk2msv or hit the auto-join link. Good luck!

Follow me on Twitter @FFCommunity_ and find even more Fantasy Premier League Tips over on the Fantasy Football Community website.

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