Dream Team’s shiny new game for the 2022/23 season launched across all platforms a few days ago.
The scoring doesn’t start until August 5th but with free unlimited transfers available until then, there’s no need to delay when it comes to entering a team.
No doubt things will change in the coming weeks with more transfers expected, the excitement of pre-season form, and the inevitability of injury concerns but there’s no harm in submitting a first draft at this stage.
In the spirit of working towards a perfect XI ahead of Game Week 1, we’ve created what we think is a respectable team – allow us to explain our reasoning…
Let’s start with the forward line where we’ve spent £18.5m of our £50m total.
Son Heung-min (£6.5m) finished 2021/22 in superhuman form, earning himself a Golden Boot on the final day of the Premier League season, and so we’ve opted for him over Harry Kane (£7.5m) so we could invest an extra £1m elsewhere.
It feels as if at least one of Spurs’ front three – Dejan Kulusevski (£3.5m) being the presumed third at this stage – is necessary given how they’ve conducted themselves in the transfer window following Champions League qualification.
Mohamed Salah (£7.5m) was the joint-Golden Boot winner and he was also the only Dream Team asset to achieve 300+ points last term.
And the prolific Egyptian starts against a newly-promoted club – there’s surely no need to overthink this one?
Jamie Vardy (£4.5m) completes our attacking trident on the basis he traditionally starts well and, for all their faults in defence, Leicester’s attacking unit has been consistently threatening for a while now.
The two most recent Golden Boot winners and a bloke with 133 Premier League goals to his name? Sounds like a decent trio, doesn’t it?
It’s notable that Erling Haaland (£7m) hasn’t made our first draft.
We could well give into temptation before Game Week 1 commences but the fact he’s untested in England coupled with a relatively difficult fixture (West Ham away) creates at least a semblance of doubt.
There’s something very comforting about a forward line made up exclusively of proven Premier League goalscorers, a box emphatically ticked by Salah-Vardy-Son.
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Without Haaland we felt we had to have some Man City representation in midfield.
Kevin De Bruyne (£7m) was too costly for us this time but Bernardo Silva (£4.5m) fits the bill nicely.
We anticipate Luis Diaz (£5m) will be among the most-popular assets during the opening month of the campaign, such was the impressive nature of his performances upon signing for Liverpool in January.
The Colombian winger passed the eye test with flying colours and the departure of Sadio Mane suggests he will be the Reds’ first-choice left winger going forward.
Pedro Neto (£3m) is something of a gamble having been limited to just 466 league minutes in 2021/22 because of serious knee injury.
However, given that he starts with fixtures against Leeds and Fulham, the temptation to roll the dice at £3m is strong.
Other midfielders in Neto’s price bracket include Philippe Coutinho, Fabinho, Youri Tielemans, Martin Odegaard, Jack Harrison and Jadon Sancho.
The big concern in defence is the lack of Liverpool representation – four of the top five defenders last season were Anfield residents.
This problem could be resolved by swapping Reece James (£5.5m) for Andy Robertson (£5.5m) but the Chelsea youngster was rampant when fit last term, racking up 209 points despite missing 19 games because of various injury troubles.
Plus, without James we’d have no Chelsea players which would feel like significant misstep in itself.
Combining the affordable pair of Nick Pope (£2.5m) and Kieran Trippier (£3.0m) looks potentially savvy given Newcastle, who are much improved under Eddie Howe, start against newly-promoted Nottingham Forest.
However, the Magpies face both Liverpool and Man City in August so it’s likely Pope and Trippier would have to be replaced using two of the first five transfers to avoid potentially painful minus points.
There’s plenty of time left to explore many, many other options but we reckon that’s a decent XI at this stage.
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