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Robin van Persie a must for any fantasy XI

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With the start of the Premier League season just days away, football fans across the world are filling with a sense of excitement and anticipation about what lies ahead. 

While teams have been busy in the transfer market, this summer has also seen speculation surrounding some of the league's finest players, as well numerous managerial changes. All of which point towards this season being the most open and unpredictable the Premier League has witnessed. 

And the new campaign also means it is that of time of year again, time for lovers of the beautiful game to pick their own team in a bid to secure bragging rights over their friends and work colleagues. 

Fantasy football is back. 

Hundreds and thousands of players are set to battle it on the official website of the Barclays Premier League, and I'm here to offer my opinion on the players you can't afford to leave out, as well as others worth including which include some potential bargains. 

With a budget of £100 million, and 15 places to fill, here is a helpful guide to filling those spare places in your squad. 

Goalkeepers  

Joe Hart - Manchester City

Last season's top scoring goalkeeper is valued at £6.5 million after keeping 18 clean sheets. 

With Manchester City boasting the meanest defence in the league for two successive seasons, Joe Hart will no doubt be up there once again and will bring in a number of points if selected. 

Simon Mignolet - Liverpool

Following the departure of Jose Reina from Anfield this summer, new signing Simon Mignolet provides a cheaper option in goal, and one that could prove to be a shrewd inclusion in your squad. 

The former Sunderland stopper only scored 18 fewer points than Hart last season, pretty good for someone who was playing at a relegation threatened side last campaign. 

Expected to keep more clean sheets as Liverpool look to make a firm push for the European spaces, Mignolet could prove to be real value for money at £5.5 million. 

Michel Vorm - Swansea

Swansea continue to go from strength to strength since their arrival in the Premier League two years ago. 

Their attractive style of football has been coupled with a impressive defensive record, especial at home where they dominate possession against the majority of opponents.

Vorm made seven clean sheets last season scoring 92 points, and at £5 million can be considered a bargain. 

Defenders

Leighton Baines - Everton

Everton's Leighton Baines had another impressive season as he scored 177 points making him the leading defender once again. 

Baines finds himself on set piece and penalty duty, meaning goals are a regular occurrence, and at a side like Everton, often chips in with clean sheet points too.

While £7.5 million can seem a lot for a member of your back four, Baines will no doubt be a popular inclusion in many people's teams. 

David Luiz - Chelsea

David Luiz does have his fair share of critics who continue to question his defensive qualities. 

However the Brazilian is a great player for any fantasy football team as he showed with 122 points last season. 

While Jose Mourinho will ensure Chelsea's defensive record picks up, Luiz should score plenty of points for clean sheets. But he can also chip in at the other end of the field and is more than capable of getting on the scoresheet. 

Mourinho could play Luiz in a midfield role, giving him a greater chance of earning you points for goals and assists. Priced at £6.5 million Luiz offers great value. 

Michael Dawson - Tottenham

Michael Dawson established himself as a regular in the Spur's side he faced an uncertain start to life under Andre Villas-Boas.

Spurs kept nine clean sheets last season, and the defender will form the basis of their defence this season as they look to push for a Champions League spot. 

If he stays injury free, he will be a useful inclusion at just £5 million. 

Seamus Coleman - Everton

Seamus Coleman could flurry under new boss Roberto Martinez, as the Irishman looks set to benefit from a change in style.

With the former Wigan boss keen to implement is attacking style of play at Goodison Park, Coleman will be expected to attack as well as defend in his new wing-back role. 

He won't get as many points as Baines, but at £5 million provides a much cheaper option. 

Mathieu Debuchy - Newcastle

Mathieu Debuchy is preparing for his first full season in England after moving from France in January. 

A regular at international level, Debuchy is an important player for the Toon Army, and one that could score a good deal of points this season. 

With Newcastle looking to reaffirm their top-half status, and without the distraction of Europa League football, they should fair better this year. Worth a look at £5 million. 

Laurent Koscielny - Arsenal

Laurent Koscielny picked up plenty of praise last season as he helped Arsenal overhaul Spurs once again. 

His goal at Newcastle secured Champions League football for another season, after the Gunners benefited from some impressive defensive towards the end of the campaign.

If Arsenal can continue this into this season, he should be able to build on his tally of 88 points. Priced at £5.5 million he is also worth a shot. 

Midfielders

Gareth Bale - Tottenham

Gareth Bale is currently surrounded by intense speculation over a summer move to Real Madrid, and it's not hard to see why. 

The Spurs winger took the league by storm, scoring 21 goals and picking up a clean sweep at the PFA awards. With 249 points last season, he has a hefty price tag of £12 million, but one that guarantees you goals, if he stays of course. 

Theo Walcott - Arsenal

Theo Walcott is another player who gets his fair share of goals over the course of the season. 

Walcott enjoyed his best campaign at the Gunners and will look to improve once again as he ttys to secure a place at next Summer's World Cup. 

Given Arsenal's problems in securing a striker, Walcott could find himself playing the forward role he so desperately craves. 

After picking up 194 points last season, £9.5 seems a fair price. 

Eden Hazard - Chelsea

Eden Hazard was a stand out performer on his debut season with Chelsea. The Belgian picked up 194 points for his exploits, and will be included in a number of fantasy teams this season. 

With Chelsea tipped by many to come out on top in the race for the title, Hazard is surely one for squad at £9.5 million. 

Craig Bellamy - Cardiff

Craig Bellamy's inclusion as a midfielder in this season's Fantasy Football means at £5.5 million he could be another real bargain. 

With plenty of Premier League experience, the Cardiff forward will play a key role in the club's bid to avoid the drop and should provide teams both goals and assists this season. 

Stewart Downing - West Ham

Stewart Downing's Liverpool career didn't quite work out after his £20 million move from Aston Villa. But West Ham will be hoping they can revive his career as he looks to rediscover his form that made him so impressive at Villa Park. 

A good crosser of the ball, Downing could provide great ammunition for striker Andy Carroll, and could find himself landing plenty of assists this season. Not a popular choice, but at £6 million, one that should be considered. 

Wilfried Zaha: Manchester United

Much is expected from United's new signing Wilfried Zaha since his £15 million switch from Crystal Palace. 

With wingers Ashley Young and Nani both out of action through injury, and often failing to impress the Old Trafford fans, Zaha looks set to be given his chance at the start of the season. 

Playing in a team that creates chances and scores plenty of goals, Zaha is another worth thinking about at £6.5 million. 

Philippe Coutinho - Liverpool

Philippe Coutinho enjoyed a glistening start to his Anfield career after his January move from Inter Milan. 

The young Brazilian picked up 70 points with some impressive goals and intricate assists, and will only improve this season. For £9 million you can't go wrong. 

Strikers 

Robin van Persie - Manchester United

Robin van Persie unsurprisingly bagged the most points last season with a whopping 252 as he fired United to their 20th league title.

With 26 goals he claimed the Premier League's golden boot, underlying his £14 million price tag. 

Expensive yes, but judging by his form in the Community Shield on Sunday where he netted twice against Wigan, his inclusion is a must for any squad. 

Roberto Soldado - Tottenham

Tottenham have made one of the signings of the summer in bringing Spanish striker Roberto Soldado for a club record fee. 

The former Valencia forward scored 30 goals for Valencia last season, and with an impressive array of talent supplying him at Spurs, £9.5 million looks a great price for someone who will guarantee you goals. 

Gary Hooper - Norwich

Norwich have been busy this summer and have made some impressive acquisitions to their squad. 

None more so than Gary Hooper from Celtic. Last season's top scorer in the SPL has an impressive goal scoring record wherever he has been, and at £6.5 million is great value.

With Hooper eager to impress to increase his chances of making the England squad, it seems likely including him in your squad will bring success. 

Jozy Altidore - Sunderland

It could be said that Jozy Altidore struggled in his first season in English football. A disappointing season with Hull City, followed by spells in Spain and Turkey, saw him head for the Dutch League to join AZ Alkmaar.

However he well and truly turned his form around, and after netting 31 times last season, earned himself a big money transfer to Sunderland. 

With the Black Cats eager to address their problems in front of goal, at £7 million the American could be worth a punt. 

Olivier Giroud - Arsenal

With Arsenal continuing to struggle in their pursuit of a striker, Frenchman Olivier Giroud looks set for a long run in the side. 

With 11 goals in his debut season at the Gunners, Giroud scored 121 points. Impressive pre-season form has seen Giroud stake his claim for a constant starting position for Arsene Wenger's side, and at £8.5 million, provides a cheaper alternative but one that should provide the goals. 

Edin Dzeko - Manchester City

Even cheaper still at £7.5 million is Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko.

The 27-year-old has been in great form during the summer, and looks set to be given his chance in the side after impressing new boss Manuel Pellegrini.

Although he faces stiff competition from the likes of Sergio Aguero, and new recruits Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo, Dzeko is certainly worth considering as he looks to improve on last season's haul of 130 points.  

Loic Remy - Newcastle

Loic Remy was one of few positives for QPR last season as they were relegated from the Premier League. 

The Frenchman looked at home in England as he scored some impressive goals before a summer move to Newcastle. Remy is sure to be a key player for Alan Pardew, and another valued at £7.5 million that could do well for your team. 

So there you have it. Just a few of the potential high-scorers that could help lead your team to success.

Do any of these players make your squad? And who are you relying on to fire your team to the top? Leave your comments below. 

 

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Robin Van Persie
Premier League
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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