Fantasy Football: From Van Persie to Bony – which strikers should you pick?

With less than two weeks left until the start of the new Premier League season, Goal takes a look at the forwards you should be considering for your Fantasy Football team

As far as strikers go, there’s only one place to start when picking your Goal Fantasy Football team: Robin van Persie (13.0). The Netherlands international has been a mainstay of many FF managers’ teams for the past two seasons, topping the Premier League’s scoring charts both years. Though the most expensive player in the game, he is a guaranteed goalscorer and worth every penny.

Last term’s second-top goalscorer, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez (10.0), is less appetising. His ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic means he will miss the first six games of the season. Bad news for the Uruguayan, but good news for Daniel Sturridge (8.5); the 23-year-old scored five goals in the four games Suarez missed through suspension last term.

Picking a Manchester City forward could be a big gamble next season. Last term’s Premier League runners-up have bolstered their strikeforce with the signings of Steven Jovetic (8.0) and Alvaro Negredo (8.0) for almost £50 million, and already have Sergio Aguero (10.5) on their books. As such, it is hard to decipher who will start most often.

However, it could be forgotten man Edin Dzeko (7.5) who represents the greatest value for money. The Bosnian hitman is the cheapest of City’s forwards but having scored a goal every 139 minutes in his two-and-a-half seasons at the Etihad – and with Manuel Pellegrini labelling him “the main striker of the team” – he could be a dark horse.

For those looking to make a quick start, it is worth nothing that, due to Chelsea’s participation in the Super Cup, the Europa League winners will take on Aston Villa on Wednesday 21, meaning both teams have double gameweeks – the pair play each other as well as Hull and Arsenal respectively.

Jose Mourinho’s pursuit of Wayne Rooney suggests the Blues boss has little faith in his current strikers and it is hard to identify a guaranteed starter at Stamford Bridge – though Romelu Lukaku (7.5) seems the most likely, having bagged four goals in pre-season. Villa’s Christian Benteke (8.0) is less of a risk, though failed to score in the corresponding fixtures last season and was sent off in his last match against Chelsea, while Andreas Weimann (5.5) is a cheaper alternative.

Tottenham have twice smashed their record transfer fee this summer, bringing Roberto Soldado to the club in a £25.9m deal. The Spaniard, who scored 24 league goals last season, make his bow against a newly-promoted Crystal Palace side who boasted the joint-worst defensive record out of the top 10 teams in the Championship last season.

North London rivals Arsenal have been less busy in the transfer market, though will be buoyed by the pre-season form of Olivier Giroud (7.5). The Frenchman has scored seven goals in the close-season so far.

There are plenty of options outside the top teams too. Swansea new-boy Wilfried Bony (7.5) was the Eredivisie’s top scorer last season (with an astonishing 31 goals in 30 matches), and bagged a double against Malmo in the Europa League on his competitive debut.

Andy Carroll (7.0) has been in good form in 2013, though is a doubt for the curtain-raiser. Should the towering striker miss out, Ricardo Vaz Te (4.5) could be a shrewd, if short-term, investment as West Ham take on Cardiff at Upton Park. Meanwhile, Ricky van Wolfswinkel (6.5) could bring much needed goals to a profligate Norwich side and Nicolas Anelka (5.5), likely to assume penalty taking duties at West Brom, is another affordable pick-up.

Sign up to Goal’s Premier League Fantasy Football competition for the chance to win monthly prizes. It is simple and fast to register and pick your team, so you can start competing against friends or colleagues for the ultimate bragging rights!

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