“FPL Managers! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty. For this weekend we dine in Hell!”
The war cries can be heard across the FPL fraternity as the captains ready their troops for the opening battles of the Community tournament. Who will claim glory, create legends and who will taste defeat?
For those of you, yet to catch up with all that has been going, first, where have you been? Secondly, I will gentle nudge back to one of our previous articles which can navigate you back through the story so far
For those already fully briefed, the tournament kicks off in Gameweek 7 and this article is the official preview of the season with team reveals, opening fixtures and some incredibly biased predictions for the tournament ahead.
So protective helmets on and let’s dive into the madness!
We will start by looking at the runners and riders for the Community Tournament as the squads have now been assembled:-
FREE BRITNEY’S AREOLA – Darth_Krid ©
The first of two Britney Spears related team names, can’t wait for the Princess of Pop local derby, although let’s hope it doesn’t turn toxic.
A strong team led by Darth_Krid with some experienced heads in his selection, Big Man Bakar will provide the data, Sonny the hits and Lawro has been recruited to get the half-time oranges.
DEFOE KING UNBELIEVABLES – Pirlo’s Pen ©
The winning captain from last time round has reassembled his squad so makes them one of the favourites, the addition of Luke Williams aka d1sable will add a bit of maverick to the mix.
They have seven 10,000 finishes between them over the last 3 years and are looking to retain the trophy, as this time there actually is a trophy.
AYEW LONESOME TONIGHT – Narcos ©
Another returning team and plenty of know-how in this team, the picks of Joe Lepper and Geoff Dance suggest that they should not be underestimated.
A hugely experienced cartel, with plenty of tournament savvy and once claimed to have contacted Ville Ronka. My dark horses for the competition.
TEAM NAME TBC – The Fantastic Mr Fox ©
The “celebrities” were shunned by The Fantastic Mr Fox in his selection, suggesting they will be a hard-working, disciplined team with no place for tears and tiaras.
Jonny HOWSON?, Hishram Ashraf and Chap of Steel all have averaged ranks of under 20,000 in the last couple of seasons so there is plenty of quality.
They were also one of the most expensive teams put together so I suspect they will do well!
CATCH ME IF U KANE – KIRAFPL ©
Some wise moves by the veteran team captain, KIRAFPL, in the drafts, Tom Stephenson will provide the class and those who have tread the boards for a while will know that any team involving Jarvish will be something approaching Nirvana.
When asked about their chances, the captain swished his cape and said, “we are all for one and one for all; together we stand, together we fall.” Ominous.
FLYING WITHOUT INGS – Sreethe1 ©
Narrowly missed out in the last Tournament after a superb showing during the league stage. They have added Tom Freeman to the mix in one of the more audacious transfer moves in the draft.
Sreethe1 has put together a bunch of Dream Killers who will demand TotalJustice otherwise they will be in Cheltenham LaLaLa land.
BACHMANN AND ROBBEN – Tets McGee ©
Tets McGee and his gang are back for another go, this time adding Ragabolly to the mix. This could be their year!
Rumours are circulating that they have asked the man behind LiveFPL to simulate the Community tournament and there is only one outcome. Victory!
THE ROONEY TUNES – Speedy ©
Quick off the mark to sign up Lateriser and with a bunch of FPL Community Tournament veterans then this could be the much-needed marquee signing they need to take them to victory.
Speedy has also accumulated the dazzling talents of Karan316, Samsonbaretto and Fclackless, so this is a strong squad who will take it to the Wire.
JIMMY FLOYD HAMSTERBAINK – Toblerone52 ©
Don’t be deceived by these former Hamsters as they have a nasty bite, a combination of Italian flair (FPL Kaka), Australian straight-talking (Zan Keroski) and Welsh wonder (Swanmoretime), they should be a match for anyone.
Toblerone52 has one of the more financially undervalued squads but one wonders if this is a result of a price-fixing scandal as the Chairman of the Tournament Committee also resides in the squad. He was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.
THE HAIRY HENRY – GauravGharge ©
He outfought the rest of the team captains to snaffle up FPL Salah and assembled a team of heroes ready for the fight!
The captain himself, GauravGharge is no slouch with a top 10,000 finish last year and overall, ten of his squad managed a top 50,000 in 20/21 with le_paru and Gurdit Lugani both in the top 1,000!
A lot of money has been spent on this team so let’s see how these high rollers perform.
CARROLL’S CHRISTMAS ISLAND – FPL Hints ©
Two FPL Twitter juggernauts have come together with FPL Hints and LTFPL Andy joining forces but don’t underestimate the rest of the team as there is plenty of strength in depth in this squad.
Hints himself has been knocking around this FPL island for over ten years and cracked out a 5,000-finish last year so expectations are high.
SHEARER’S BUNCH OF FLOWERS – Danielus ©
More enthusiastic than a toddler in a sweet shop, team captain Danielus claimed one of the biggest prizes in confirming the signature of Magnus Carlsen.
Danielus is confident that “Magnus is 100% behind the team” despite limited response to his attempts to contact. Magnus, Magnus give us a wave!
FOOTSTOCK ALUMNI – Lagdon82 ©
The Fanteam specialists, led by Lagdon82, have played it smart in the transfer market with big names such as FPL General and Holly Shand joined by quality managers such as Umberto and FF Ninja. I am a fan of this team.
KRUL INTENTIONS – Suvansh ©
This team caused controversy across the Community when they won the no.1 pick in the MVP draft and went with Az.
They have a balanced squad and even have the good Lord himself, who you’ll hear more from in the coming weeks. They’ll be the ones everyone will be watching in the opening weeks – will they survive under the spotlight?
LLORIS THE HOUNDS – FPL Differential King ©
A new team, filled with differential picks, may be an outsider but I suspect they will spring a surprise or two.
One of the cheaper teams around, according to the algorithm, but FPL Differential King’s bargain bucket stores a few zingers.
SON OF A GUNN – FPL Richie ©
It’s already clear that they will target Az’s team in the first few weeks as a motivated Mark Sutherns has joined what was already a very impressive line-up, his desire for revenge after missing out on that no.1 MVP pick slot should spur them on to greatness.
Team captain FPL Richie is a top 10,000 finisher and has appointed PEP_TALK as his right-hand man to handle extra training in preparation for the big kick-off.
HWANG KING IN A GREENWOOD – FPL Panda ©
There was Panda-monium when team captain FPL Panda was able to bring in Fabio Borges but make no mistake this is a strong outfit with little fear of performance anxiety as they kick off the season.
Gained an early psychological advantage with the best team name. Expect lots of references about Scampi – they seem to like Scampi.
TOXIC SEAMAN – Greyhead ©
Scroll back up and tell me this team isn’t going to win! I have recruited the great and the good from across the FPL Universe.
There is the one and only FPL Matthew, Hall of Famers (Darren Wiles, Bald Eagle, and Sneaky Pete), a professional footballer Joccki_10, spreadsheet guru Top Marx, a lighthouse keeper in Milvus and a Pot Noodle.
I’ve not even mentioned Chaballer, he is currently being kept in an FPL cage and fed casuals until his release. As for me, well, someone needs to keep the bench warm.
HANGING BY A FRED – Richardsp93 ©
A new team captain, Richardsp93 who has acquired a dazzling array of talent and the Jorginho like skills of Gianni.
The captain himself had the best finish of all the Community team captains last time out having ended up in the top 2,000 so expect big things from this group.
THE NAMELESS ONES – Linn ©
“I want to crush Az to a pulp and feed it back to him!”. This was the statement from club officials when asked about their chances for the season.
A team with plenty of “personality” and those who are aware of Randy Shafter, FPL Elf and TheHinduMonkey will understand the full extent of this statement.
They also have FPL Editor, who is an amazing manager, good looking, refined, but stays humble despite his greatness. I assume that cheque is in the post?
SHOT TO THE HART AND YORKE TO BLAME – AutoSelect ©
A team that has an xG for greatness with a huge array of analytical talent, Stemania looks a steal with his previous history as does former no.1 Hall of Famer Sean Tobin.
Also, worth looking out for Jomikijiq and Cazzafpl who both have an average rank of under 10,000 in the last three seasons and FPLRobbed and Taiga who ended up in the legendary double-digit finish club. Worried? The rest of the teams should be!
NO FUCHS GIVEN – FPL Mihir ©
Scary looking team where Zophar, FPL Strategy and Pras are just some of the names signed up by FPL Mihir. Make no mistake this is a formidable outfit and will have high hopes of picking up the trophy.
Six of his team have an average rank of under 100,000 in the last 3 years, AA33 was last year’s winner of the FFS Community picks and Crate Digger is known for a witty viral quip or two.
TOO KRUL FOR SIU – Chandler Bing ©
A new team captain who went for a former winner in Simon March and a former non-winner in FPL Mode. Sorry Andy I couldn’t resist.
They have six top 50,000 finishers from 20/21 including the team captain Chandler Bing, this could be the One where they win the Community Tournament, at least let’s hope they stay friends.
HEY MACCAREINA! – TedTalksFPL
Finally. The pantomime villains appear as the Scout Mods and Cons have pooled their resources to conquer the tournament.
FPL Nymfria and Sam FPL Family bring the style, Seb Wassell and TedTalks will provide the analytics whilst Neale Rigg and Rotation’s Alter Ego will check for spelling mistakes. This will be the team scalp everyone will want.
The competition kicks off proper in Gameweek 7 but there are a few pre-season friendlies this weekend being run behind closed doors, with the managers looking to give their players a final run around before the serious business starts.
In terms of format, it will be a straightforward League of 24 with each team playing each other once, the top sixteen teams will then compete in a knockout end to the season with a final match to decide who will take home the trophy.
There is also a sting in this tale, which was in the small print for those team captains who paid attention. The bottom-placed team in the league will have to put forward a team representative to wear the following outfit, generously provided by FPL Merch.
Here are the all-important opening games, remember in FPL you can’t win in the opening weekend but can certainly lose:-
There are certainly some crackers, I would pick out the current champions, DEFOE KING UNBELIEVABLES captained by Pirlo’s Pens starting their title defence against Ted Talks’ HEY MACCAREINA! as the match of the day!
Elsewhere, we have the top two most valuable teams THE HAIRY HENRY led by GauravGharge versus KIRAFPL’s CATCH ME IF U KANE and it’s Mark Sutherns vs Magnus Carlsen as SON OF A GUNN take on SHEARER’S BUNCH OF FLOWERS.
Here we are, just a few days to kick-off and the big question I’ve skilfully avoided is who will win the tournament?
Well, the obvious answer is my team, but using a slightly more scientific approach i.e., Boris’s fancy algorithm, the teams with the highest value, based on the last 3 year’s performance, and therefore favourites to win are:-
1. THE HAIRY HENRY – GauravGharge ©
2. CATCH ME IF U KANE – KIRAFPL ©
3. TOXIC SEAMAN – Greyhead ©
4. TEAM NAME TBC – The Fantastic Mr Fox
5. THE NAMELESS ONES – Linn ©
Agree or disagree? Either way for those involved I wish you all good luck, especially if you are in my team, but even if you are not signed up this year then do cheer on from the sidelines as it promises to be a fun ride!