Mark Wheat invites you to join the The Current's Fantasy Premier League


Premier League match ball
The Nike Ordem V Premier League Match Ball is pictured on June 1, 2017, in Brighton, England. (Andrew Redington/Getty Images for Premier League)

The English Premier League season kicks off on Friday, Aug. 11, so it's time to pick your fantasy team!

I've created a league in Fantasy Premier League called 89.3 The Current (2017-2018), and I'm inviting you to participate. Joining the league couldn't be easier; simply use this link and you'll be added automatically after you've entered the game. You shouldn't need the league code, but just in case, here it is: 1711625-410769.

If you need help figuring out which teams and players might do well, my go-to site is The Guardian, which is detailing the prospects of every team this week. Start with the champions, Chelsea, who I think will have a tough time repeating; perhaps a Manchester team has the best chance of lifting the trophy, since both managers need to improve from last year.

Here are some hints of how to choose your team, although my way is very eccentric!

The schedule means that teams almost always play at home one week, then away the next. Try to have a goalkeeper from a team who are at home every week, they have a better chance of keeping a clean sheet, the main way for them to score. So I've picked Heaton from Burnley again; he was a big points scorer for me last year, and they're away this week so I also picked DeGea, who is at home.

You can split the defenders like this, too, which I did more by luck than judgement! I go for at least one from Chelsea and Spurs, both solid in defense, and Daniels from Bournemouth who did well last year, and Baines from Everton — I always liked his style, and he tends to take penalties, another way to score extra points.

I never pick an Arsenal player, they are my most hated team, and seldom from Man City, although I like DeBruyne but he's very expensive. The backbone of my team is from Liverpool, who I will support again this year, Firmino up front and Wijnaldum in midfield. Beware though: defensive midfielders seem to miss out on the points they deserve.

Kante from Chelsea was the players' and press player of the year last season, but you can get him cheaply this year — so I did! Spurs, I just love to watch Alli and Kane, and most surprisingly perhaps, West Ham! I have always had a soft spot for them. Their manager, Slaven Bilic, is fun to watch and listen to; like Klopp from Liverpool, he has the right passion for the game. And it looks like West Ham have been very clever in the transfer market recently. Reid is a great defender and now they have Fonte in defense from Southampton and Zabaleta from Man City. Midfielder Snodgrass came in last year and used to play for Norwich — my "hometown" team — so I hope he has a big year. And forward Chicharito Hernandez, who I liked when he played at Man Utd, has just come from a stellar year playing in Germany.

So as you can see, how you pick your team is entirely up to you; there is no right or wrong way. Personally, I cannot bear to win points and go up the League if I don't like the players I have to pick to do it, so I will never win the competition, but I have fun — and that's the main thing!



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