Rooney leads line for Fantasy Premier League managers

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Saturday 09 August 2014

Rooney leads line for Fantasy Premier League managers

We look at the key FPL stats with seven days to go until the Barclays Premier League season starts

  • Man Utd's Wayne Rooney is the most popular player with FPL managers this season

  • Everton's Ross Barkley and Tim Howard are the most selected midfielder and keeper

  • Man Utd's Luke Shaw and Liverpool's Dejan Lovren shone for Southampton last term

  • Arsenal's new signing Alexis Sanchez has caught the eye of FPL players this summer

With only seven days before the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League season kicks off, Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney is the most selected player in Fantasy Premier League, in association with EA SPORTS, as managers who have already started preparations fine-tune their squads for the Premier League's official fantasy football game.

More than 3.2 million people played FPL last season, the highest figure in the game's history. With the season's start just a week away, millions of managers have signed up in their droves as they look to emulate 2013/14 FPL champion Tom Fenley, who won a seven-day break in the United Kingdom, including visits to a major tourist attractions in partnership with VisitBritain, and pairs of VIP tickets to two Barclays Premier League matches.

Click to register your Fantasy Premier League team now >>

Rooney strikes a chord with FPL managers

Rooney, who is the fourth-highest scorer in Barclays Premier League history, has been picked by almost 40% of managers after his goalscoring form in pre-season under new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal.

The England striker scored five goals in total in matches with Los Angeles Galaxy, AS Roma and Liverpool as United won the International Champions Cup. In the 2013/14 FPL game, his 190 points made Rooney the forward with the second-highest number of points who will be part of the game this season.

In the defence, Rooney's United team-mate Luke Shaw is the most selected player with more than a quarter of managers (26.1%) picking the left-back, while Everton midfielder Ross Barkley and Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge are in the top three of most popular players overall.

The top 10 players through popularity in the FPL are made entirely of those who starred in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Alexis Sanchez, who shone for Chile, and Spain striker Diego Costa are the two most selected summer signings as they prepare for their Barclays Premier League bows at Arsenal and Chelsea respectively.

Player Team Position
Selected Price 13/14 Points
Wayne Rooney MUN Forward
39.9% £10.5m 190
Ross Barkley EVE Midfielder
28.8% £7.0m 112
Daniel Sturridge LIV Forward
27.3% £11.5m 197
Alexis Sanchez ARS Midfielder
26.8% £10.5m -
Tim Howard EVE Goalkeeper
26.4% £5.5m 160
Luke Shaw MUN Defender
26.1% £6.0m 123
Raheem Sterling LIV Midfielder
25.8% £8.5m 132
Diego Costa CHE Forward
25.1% £10.5m -
Romelu Lukaku EVE Forward
23.2% £9.0m 168
Dejan Lovren LIV Defender
23% £5.5m 124

Most selected goalkeepers

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard is the most selected goalkeeper so far, at 26.4%, after starring for the United States in Brazil. USA bowed out to Belgium at the last 16 stage in Brazil, despite Howard producing a new competition record of 15 saves in the extra-time defeat.

The next popular goalkeeper is Newcastle United's Tim Krul, who was between the posts for Netherlands' quarter-final penalty shoot-out triumph against Costa Rica in the World Cup. He offers a low-price option in goal, despite helping the Magpies' top-half finish last term. Vito Mannone also excelled in the North East last season, playing a key role for Sunderland as they won four of their last five matches to stage a remarkable escape from Barclays Premier League relegation.

Player Team Selected Price 13/14 Points
Tim Howard
EVE 26.4% £5.5m 160
Tim Krul
21.3% £4.5m 123
Boaz Myhill
WBA 19.5% £4.0m 43
David De Gea
MUN 17.8% £5.5m 128
Vito Mannone
SUN 12% £4.5m 134

Most selected defenders

After playing a key role in a Southampton defence that kept 15 clean sheets on the way to a record eighth-place finish last season, Shaw and Dejan Lovren are the most popular defenders in FPL this term after moving to Manchester United and Liverpool respectively.

Arsenal's new right back Mathieu Debuchy is also one of the favoured choices in FPL backlines after impressing with Newcastle in 2013/14, while Alex Bruce, who made 20 top-flight appearances under the management of his father, Steve, at Hull City, and Aston Villa's Ron Vlaar, who starred in the Netherlands' third-place finish in Brazil, offer the most popular cheaper options in this position.

Player Team Selected Price 13/14 Points
Luke Shaw
MUN 26.1% £6.0m 123
Dejan Lovren
23% £5.5m 124
Ron Vlaar
AVL 22.7% £4.5m 92
Alex Bruce
HUL 20.4% £4.0m 38
Mathieu Debuchy
ARS 19.5% £5.5m 93

Most selected midfielders

After a summer move from Barcelona, Arsenal's marquee signing Alexis Sanchez has been backed to shine by FPL managers in his debut Barclays Premier League season. The Chile forward, who scored 39 goals in 88 appearances for Barcelona, has 26.8% ownership after being classed as a midfielder in FPL.

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure and Chelsea's Eden Hazard were two of the top three active players in FPL last season, and they have both been selected by more than a fifth of 2014/15 managers. Ross Barkley, who has just signed a new deal at Everton, is the most popular midfielder, and second-most selected player overall, after helping Everton secure their highest Barclays Premier League points haul last season.

Player Team Selected Price 13/14 Points
Ross Barkley
EVE 28.8% £7.0m 112
Alexis Sanchez
26.8% £10.5m -
Raheem Sterling
LIV 25.8% £8.5m 132
Yaya Toure
MCI 22.8% £11.0m 241
Eden Hazard
CHE 22% £10.0m 202

Most selected forwards

Rooney, Sturridge and Olivier Giroud were among the top 10 performers in FPL last season and are among the most favoured choices for managers this time.

After scoring 15 Barclays Premier League goal while on loan with Everton in 2013/14, Romelu Lukaku joined the Toffees for a club-record £28 million from Chelsea this summer and 23.2% of FPL managers have selected him at a value of £9 million. Costa bolsters Jose Mourinho's striking options at Chelsea after his transfer from Atletico Madrid. His 27-goal haul for the La Liga champions last season was only bettered by Ballon D'or winner Cristiano Ronaldo and runner-up Lionel Messi.

Player Team Selected Price 13/14 Points
Wayne Rooney
MUN 39.9% £10.5m 190
Daniel Sturridge
27.3% £11.5m 197
Diego Costa
CHE 25.1% £10.5m 0
Romelu Lukaku
EVE 23.2% £9.0m 168
Olivier Giroud
ARS 18.1% £8.5m 187

Top performers in 2013/14

Yaya Toure became the first midfielder to score 20 goals in a Barclays Premier League season since Frank Lampard's 22-goal haul for Chelsea in 2009/10, and he is the highest-scoring player from the 2013/14 FPL season who is in this campaign.

Liverpool duo Steven Gerrard and Adam Lallana are the only players in last season's top 10 who have less than 10% ownership. Following his move from Southampton in the summer, Lallana picked up an injury in pre-season that means he will miss the Reds' opening fixture against Saints on 17 August.

Player Team Position
Selected Price 13/14 Points
Yaya Toure
MCI Midfielder
22.8% £11.0m 241
Steven Gerrard
LIV Midfielder
6.9% £9.0m 205
Eden Hazard
CHE Midfielder
22% £10.0m 202
Daniel Sturridge
LIV Forward
27.3% £11.5m 197
Wayne Rooney
MUN Forward
39.9% £10.5m 190
Olivier Giroud
ARS Forward
18.1% £8.5m 187
Seamus Coleman
EVE Defender
13.5% £7.0m 180
Rickie Lambert
LIV Forward
10.3% £7.5m 179
Adam Lallana
LIV Midfielder
2.2% £8.5m 178
John Terry
CHE Defender
11% £6.5m 172

Click to register your Fantasy Premier League team now >>

Who will you choose for your Fantasy Premier League squad this season?

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Key Points

  • Fantasy Premier League 2014/15 managers have seven days left to finalise their squads
  • Man Utd forward Wayne Rooney is the most popular player with 2014/15 FPL managers
  • Last year's 3.2m Fantasy players can sign in using last year's details before reactivating their classic and head–to-head leagues