Fantasy Premier League Tips: Five midfielders to squeeze into your fantasy squad

Arsenal forward Aubameyang
Aubameyang will be a clear captain favourite against Fulham on opening day.

Holly Shand shares her five midfield picks for the beginning of the 2020/21 season. Long-term thinking has to be used here, given some of the big names absent for Gameweek 1...

"Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been reclassified as a midfielder this season which elevates his status as a fantasy asset."

The Headline Pick: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£12.0) - Arsenal

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been reclassified as a midfielder this season which elevates his status as a fantasy asset: he can score an additional point for every goal scored and accrue clean sheets. That makes him an even more enticing option than he has been in previous seasons.

Given that Manchester City and Manchester United assets are unavailable for the first game back due to postponements, the pool of premium players and captaincy candidates will be greatly reduced. That strengthens Aubameyang's appeal, and a clear captain favourite against Fulham on opening day.

His fixture against Fulham is then followed by a home game against West Ham United in Gameweek 2, with Aubameyang set to be a popular armband candidate in that game too. The fixtures stiffen come Gameweek 3, with many fantasy managers earmarking this point to swap him in favour of Manchester assets.

Arsenal are now available to back at 13/10 to win and score over 2.5 goals on opening day.

The Budget Pick: Bruno Fernandes (£10.5) - Manchester United

One player price that caused most surprise for me this season was Bruno Fernandes. He amassed 117 fantasy points from just 1,187 minutes last season, including getting eight goals and eight assists. If he can scale those returns up for a full season, he could be the highest scoring fantasy asset ever.

He completely rejuvenated this Manchester United squad when he arrived at Old Trafford in January, with much of the play going through him. He dominates set pieces for the Red Devils and it's rare for a goal to go in without him being involved.

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Add into the mix that he's the first choice penalty taker, and he's a formidable acquisition. Manchester United historically are awarded more penalties than any other side in the Premier League. He's got great fixtures come Gameweek 2, but won't play in the opening week.

The VAR Pick: Kevin De Bruyne (£11.5) - Manchester City

Kevin De Bruyne's ownership slumped 20% from around 55% to 35% after news broke that Manchester City's opening game against Aston Villa has been postponed. However, he's still going to be a hugely popular option this season and a clear plan will be needed to bring him in.

Manchester City have the best attack in the Premier League and Kevin De Bruyne is at the centre of everything they create. He levelled Thierry Henry's assist record last campaign and finished the season with 23 fantasy assists and his highest ever FPL tally of 251 points which was the season record.

One crucial element that has helped him to improve on previous totals is his goal output, largely helped by the fact that he now takes penalties for Manchester City. He only acquired that duty late into the season and still shared some with Raheem Sterling, but he will dominate them going forward.

The Sleeper Pick: Tomas Soucek (£5.0) - West Ham United

To be able to afford three premium midfielders, you'll need to cut costs elsewhere and have some enablers in your squad. When it comes to midfielders priced at £6.0 million or under, the one that stands out the most is West Ham's Tomas Soucek.

Another January signing who hit the ground running in the Premier League, he managed three goals towards the tail end of last season, finishing on 41 fantasy points from 1,039 minutes. If he can scale those ratios up, it will make him excellent value in the midfield category.

West Ham have challenging fixtures to start the season with, but Soucek is key to their attacking threat, with most of that coming aerially from set pieces. It's going to be an important method for the Hammers to adopt, if they are to break down Arsenal, Wolves and Leicester City defences in the early weeks.

The Wildcard Pick: Heung-Min Son (£9.0) - Tottenham Hotspur

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Heung-Min Son comes in at a significantly reduced price compared to last campaign and there are high hopes for his output in the early part of the season. He was one of a small group of players to finish with double digits for goals and assists last campaign, with 11 goals and 13 assists.

Spurs are blessed with a very kind opening schedule, facing Everton, Southampton and Newcastle Untied in their first three games. However, they do have a punishing schedule in cup competitions, as they look to qualify for the group stages of the Europa League and progress through the early League Cup rounds.

The problem with Son in a Jose Mourinho side is that you never know where he's going to play on the pitch: one week he could be paired as a central striker alongside Harry Kane, and then the next week be at left wing-back. Scoring multiple goals in a game is not always the manager's top priority.

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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