Fantasy Premier League

FPL pre-season watch: Estupinan and Trippier justify popularity

By The Scout 7 Aug 2023
Estupinan and Trippier

Most-owned defenders in Fantasy earn attacking returns, while Villa’s Cash can be a differential

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Pervis Estupinan (£5.0m) and Kieran Trippier (£6.5m) showed why they are the most-owned defenders in Fantasy Premier League as they each supplied an assist over the weekend.

See: Player stats from pre-season matches

Estupinan, who is selected in 51 per cent of squads, was brought down for Joao Pedro’s (£5.5m) converted penalty in Brighton & Hove Albion’s 1-1 draw with Rayo Vallecano.

The Ecuadorian combined a goal and seven assists with 10 clean sheets last season.

Brighton’s run of four home fixtures in the opening six Gameweeks lifts Estupinan’s prospects at both ends of the pitch.

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Time for Tripper again?

Trippier, meanwhile, sits in 35 per cent of squads after finishing last season as the top-scoring defender in Fantasy. 

He added an assist to his clean sheet in Newcastle United’s 2-0 win over Italian side Fiorentina, supplying the corner for the goal scored by Alexander Isak (£7.5m).

Trippier's assist for Isak v Fiorentina

That potential for attacking returns could prove crucial as the Magpies face a tough start to 2023/24.

Each of their first five opponents finished among the top nine teams last campaign. 

Cash offers good value

Elsewhere, Aston Villa’s Matty Cash (£4.5m) is shaping up to be a handy budget pick.

The right-back supplied an assist in a 3-0 win over Italian side Lazio, adding to his goal against Brentford in his previous outing.

Owned by only five per cent of managers, Cash can be a strong rotation option over the opening Gameweeks.

According to the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR), three of Villa’s first five matches score only two.

Tarkowski an injury concern

Finally, managers must monitor the fitness of James Tarkowski (£4.5m) after he was forced off in Everton’s 1-0 win over Portuguese outfit Sporting Lisbon, although Sean Dyche was hopeful it was "just a knock".

See: FPL team news ahead of Gameweek 1

The centre-back has been vital in his side’s fine defensive form, with the Toffees keeping a clean sheet in four of their final five friendlies.

Everton also have a kind early run of opponents, with three of their opening four matches scoring two in the FDR.

Everton's first six matches
1 FUL (H) 2 4 SHU (A) 2
2 AVL (A) 3 5 ARS (H) 4
3 WOL (H) 2 6 BRE (A) 3
Also in this series

Part 1: Midfield duo deliver in Spurs' prolific attack

Remember, the GW1 deadline is this Friday, 11 Aug, at 18:30 BST.

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