FPL GW2 tips: Haaland or Salah as captain? How to replace De Bruyne?

Sky Sports is back with the weekly Fantasy Premier League column for the new season, bringing you essential tips from the best players in the world.

Now, you can’t win the FPL race in Gameweek 2, but you can definitely lose it if your picks aren’t right.

With Friday’s 6.15pm transfer deadline approaching, managers up and down the land are making last-minute changes to their teams amid shock injuries, surprising Gameweek 1 results and new signings.

So to help, FPL experts Holly Shand and Gianni Buttice are here to give you their top tips…

Who would you captain if you had Erling Haaland and Mohamed Salah?

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester City, which saw Erling Haaland strike twice on the opening day

Gianni Buttice: It feels very easy to say this as a non-Salah owner because going against Haaland can be scary, but I would genuinely be going Salah if I owned him. Bournemouth are a front-foot team and I can see them trying to play at Anfield, which could play in to Liverpool’s hands. Salah looked very sharp against Chelsea and could have walked away with a brace after hitting the bar and having a goal marginally ruled out for offside.

Holly Shand: Right now I have both but am leaning towards captain Haaland, as I couldn’t bear it if I backed against him and it backfired. Salah’s early substitution against Chelsea has concerned me from a minutes perspective but I do need to see Haaland come through the Super Cup unscathed too.

What to watch on Sky Sports this week

Enjoy live action from the Premier League, EFL, Scottish Premiership and more

Leeds v West Brom – August 18 – LIVE on Sky Sports Football
Plymouth v Southampton – August 19 – LIVE on Sky Sports Football
Tottenham v Man Utd – August 19 – LIVE on Sky Sports Premier League
Norwich v Millwall – August 20 – LIVE on Sky Sports Football
Aston Villa v Everton – August 20 – LIVE on Sky Sports Premier League
West Ham v Chelsea – August 20 – LIVE on Sky Sports Premier League
The Hundred – August 1 to 27 – LIVE on Sky Sports Cricket
BMW Championship – August 17 to 20 – LIVE on Sky Sports Golf

Would you consider taking a hit to get Salah in?

Gianni Buttice: When selecting your teams pre-season you knew the GW2 fixtures and made the Salah decision knowing you were either going with or without him for Bournemouth at home, so I would say you’ve made your bed, now lie in it! I expect him to return but I’m not willing to rip up my team to accommodate him.

Holly Shand: I don’t think it is worth it in the short term. We knew this fixture was coming and what Salah would be capable of so if you set up to go into this gameweek without him then that strategy now needs to be followed through. He could be a useful player to pivot to if you went with Kevin De Bruyne though, who is now injured.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the 1-1 draw between Chelsea and Liverpool in the Premier League, including Mohamed Salah’s sumptuous assist

How concerned are you with Man Utd players after their performance against Wolves?

Gianni Buttice: The performance was poor and if I was doubled up on Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford – like many are – I would be concerned with their attacking output. We shouldn’t judge too soon however, and Spurs away might be a fixture where Man Utd get plenty of space in the attacking third.

Holly Shand: Very! I could easily have started the season with three of their assets but ended up with only one. Those who doubled up on Fernandes and Rashford now look too heavily invested in their attack but it’s not clear which one should be sold first. Fernandes is deep but has set-pieces, and a move for Rashford to the wing could help his form improve.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights of the Premier League match between Manchester United and Wolves as the hosts claimed a shaky win on the opening weekend

Does KDB’s injury put any City players on your radar?

Gianni Buttice: As a Phil Foden owner this is good news for me. We will always have the will-he-won’t-he question over Foden starts but KDB’s injury gives him another route to the XI. In KDB’s absence, Foden has also been on more set-pieces and I think Pep Guardiola recognises he needs a dead-ball specialist in the XI.

Holly Shand: Yes. Julian Alvarez is well on the radar for me now, having played 90 minutes in City’s last two games in all competitions. He was well involved in set-pieces, taking corners and two free-kicks against Burnley, and he also made two key passes. We need to be mindful that City could strengthen again in the window though, which could change things.

Would you hold or sell Gabriel?

Gianni Buttice: I am likely to give him one more week but if he doesn’t start vs Crystal Palace he is an immediate sell, especially knowing the Chelsea wing-backs have such a great fixture run ahead and no European football.

Holly Shand: I think Gabriel is a hold for now. It’s still not absolutely clear why he was dropped – although we assume this was tactical – but he should play in the tougher away game against Crystal Palace. Things might settle down once the transfer window has closed and the injury to Jurrien Timber should mean he sees more minutes now anyway with less competition for places. He might be one to drop long-term if playing an early wildcard.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights of Arsenal against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League as the hosts opened their season with a win

What other players should be on FPL radars – either as ones to sign or avoid?

Gianni Buttice: I think we will all be looking to Chelsea and Spurs next week. James Maddison vs Richarlison will be an interesting question and having the Man Utd fixture to further scout them will be useful. Likewise, Chelsea wing-backs and Nicolas Jackson will be in high demand if they play well against West Ham knowing they have two brilliant home fixtures in GW3 and GW4.

Holly Shand: Brighton assets Pervis Estupinan and Joao Pedro impressed in Gameweek 1 and will provide plenty of value this season. Keep an eye on Ben Chilwell and Jackson too with Chelsea continuing to strengthen in the window and promising fixtures on their way. Spurs’ Maddison could be a cheat code this season, especially if they sign a true No 9 for him to link up with as he’s very involved in set-pieces.

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