With the start of the new Premier League campaign just a day away, you can rest assured that fantasy managers from around world will be spending a lot of time on their Fantasy Premier League (FPL) team in a bid to strike the right balance. Here, we have decided to assess some of the safest options who will guarantee returns more often than not over the course of the season.

Nick Pope – 5.5m

Nick Pope finished last season as the top goal-keeper in FPL with 170 points after keeping 15 clean sheets for Burnley. Part of the PFA Team of the Year last season, Pope’s consistency between the post suggests that he can be expected to have another strong season, especially with a stubborn backline in front him, which is rarely left found wanting. Pope also topped the bonus points system (BPS) in FPL among shot-stoppers last season and at just 5.5m, he makes for a smart acquisition to have in your squad.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7.5m

Trent Alexander-Arnold doesn’t seem to be on an even playing field with other defenders thanks to his exquisite vision and passing range that makes him a constant creator of chances. He finished top among defenders with 210 FPL points last campaign – 29 more points than the next best defender. Besides all the clean sheets that he notches up being a part of Liverpool’s defence, what sets him apart is his ability to pick out a pass as his 15 assists last season – a Premier League record for defenders – suggests. Add his penchant for goal-scoring to that, especially from dead-ball situations, and having Alexander-Arnold in your team becomes a no-brainer.

Kevin De Bruyne – 11.5m

The 2019-20 Premier League Player of the Season, Manchester City and Belgian playmaker Kevin De Bruyne is arguably the best midfielder in the world right now. A supremely talented and technically gifted player, De Bruyne is simply a must-have in any team owing to his ability to be constantly involved in the attacking-third, where he makes things happen. He picked up 251 FPL points last season after making 13 goals and tying Thierry Henry’s assists record having set up a further 20 goals. With Manchester City and De Bruyne desperate to bring back the Premier League crown to the blue half of the city, expect the Belgian midfielder to have another strong season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 12m

A smart candidate to captain your FPL team in the first gameweek with Arsenal travelling to newly-promoted Fulham, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be relishing his opportunity to start the season by hitting the ground running against their London rivals. Aubameyang has managed 205 FPL points in each of the last two seasons and could exceed that total in the new campaign in a more fluid and cohesive Arsenal unit under manager Mikel Arteta. He’s scored 22 league goals in each of the last two seasons and the fact that he’s been moved into midfield options for the new campaign means that he will pick up extra points for goals and clean sheets.

Mohamed Salah – 12m

After his below-par spell with Chelsea and since returning to the Premier League from AS Roma to Liverpool, Mohamed Salah has set the Premier League ablaze, which in turn makes him a fantasy favourite. He’s scored 303, 259 and 233 FPL points in his three seasons back in the Premier League and doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon. Last season saw him score 19 goals and provide 10 assists in the league but Salah will be determined to finish the upcoming campaign with even better numbers since his overall goal involvement was marginally less than that of his first two seasons with Liverpool.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Glyn Kirk