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FPL secrets: Finding the right formation

The Scout 28 Jul 2018
Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola

Not sure which shape to set your Fantasy team up in? The Scout says staying flexible is the key

The 2018/19 season is less than two weeks away and Fantasy Premier League managers are stepping up their preparations.

Here The Scout explains how to cover all of the FPL fundamentals.

Choosing a formation

Managers should always be adaptable when assembling a 15-man squad.

While it is sensible to build a squad with a starting XI and formation in mind, managers must be flexible as the season progresses.

The 3-4-3 is the most popular among managers.

In that formation, your fifth midfielder and two benched defenders should be back-up options for the first three to four Gameweeks.

Change with value

The value available to FPL managers can influence a change in plans.

Last season, nine midfielders scored 170 or more points, compared with only three forwards.

It is in midfield where cut-price gems tend to emerge, forcing a change in formation.

Pascal Gross (£7.0m) and Luka Milivojevic (£6.5m) both started last season at a cost of less than £6.0m. They went on to score 164 points and 144 points respectively.

So be prepared to change to a five-man midfield when such opportunities arise.

If you have confidence in midfield bargains from the start, go for a 3-5-2 and have a cut-price forward, along with two budget defenders, on the bench.

A three-man defence is the most popular, as it allows managers to field seven attacking players.

Goalscoring defenders

But the goals and assists offered by wing-backs or attacking full-backs can alter that approach.

Defenders score six points for each goal in FPL, with midfielders earning five and forwards four.

Finding those players who offer a big attacking threat from the back can again lead to a change in tactics.

Marcos Alonso (£6.5m) and Andrew Robertson (£6.0m) both averaged five points per match in 2017/18. Only three forwards could better that.

That kind of output can merit more investment in defence with a switch to 4-4-2 or 4-3-3.

Stay alert and react

Reacting to on-pitch changes is also vital.

Alonso excelled as a wing-back in Antonio Conte's 3-4-2-1 set-up for Chelsea.

He scored seven and six goals in each of the last two seasons and is the fourth-most popular defender in the game, owned by 16.8 per cent.

But new head coach Maurizio Sarri prefers a 4-3-3 formation.

This means that Alonso is expected to play as a full-back this season, which could limit his attacking potential.

Monitoring such changes, as well as player form, will help shape and dictate your formation accordingly.

Also in this series

Part 1: FPL secrets: How to build a champion's squad
Part 3: FPL secrets: Selecting the perfect captain
Part 4: FPL secrets: Take your time with transfers
Part 5: FPL secrets: The best time to use your chips
Part 6: FPL secrets: Bonus-point kings offer critical edge 

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