The Premier League's elite are off on their pre-season tours and the start of the season is fast approaching, which means it's time for you to think about your fanstasy football team.

We all love a bit of fantasy football, but it's not always easy to get your selections right, which is why we've come up with this handy guide to help you on your way.

We all know you really want to beat your mates, so pay attention.

In this definitive guide we'll be taking you through who to pick and what you should be looking for in your goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and attackers from across the Premier League.

Beware! It's not just about filling your team with star names, it's about getting value for money, with the odd sprinkling of world-class stardust.

Get this right and you could soon be on the path to glory... Good luck, my friends!

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Is the back four solid?

In an ideal world you'll be selecting a goalkeeper that isn't going to have a lot of work to do next season, the less he has to save, the less he will concede. Simple really.

You don't want to go for a 'keeper who's behind a terrible back for because he will be more exposed and is likely to concede.

You could choose the best shotstopper in the league, but if he's behind a defensive line that's as fragile as tracing paper then you need to look the other way.

Don't underestimate the importance of a good goalkeeper, clean sheets will earn you five points in our iTeam app!

Can he stop it from 12 yards?

I know penalties are few and far between and your man might only face one or two all season.

But if he manages to pull off a save then it'll earn a nice little five-pointer.

Who should you pick?

Lukasz Fabianski £5.9m (Owned by - 4%, points last term - 88) - He'll be the first name on my team sheet after the season he's just had, keeping 13 clean sheets and only just being beaten to the golden glove by Joe Hart, who cost £500,000 more.

The 'Pole in the Goal' has got a very settled centre back pairing in front of him too in the shape of Federico Fernandez and captain Ashley Williams.

He'll cost a touch more than last year, but that's to be expected.

Joe Hart £6.4m (4%, 113) - It's almost impossible to not consider the Manchester City goalkeeper after he claimed the golden glove last term.

I've stressed the importance of a good No.1 already, but there are one or two cheaper alternatives who could get you just as many points.

Maarten Stekelenburg £5.4m (2%) - Choosing this bloke could be a masterstroke and I'll tell you why.

Last year, the only team to concede less goals than Southampton (33) were champions Chelsea (32) so they're pretty tight at the back.

Stekelenburg has been drafted in on a season-long loan after Fraser Forster looks to be sidelined for the entire season after picking up a nasty knee injury.

He comes with some pedigree, having won plenty of titles with Ajax and played in the World Cup final for Holland, for whom he has 54 caps.

Tim Howard £5.7m (4%, 55) - He may be getting on a little bit but Howard is still first choice goalkeeper at Goodison Park.

You know he's likely to start every week and that's always a nice little safety net. He's still a pretty good goalkeeper and Everton don't exactly leak goals like a sieve.

Word of warning

We've avoided David De Gea, despite his brilliant season, because there is so much uncertainty surrounding his future. Chances are though as the season draws closer he'll be playing at Old Trafford and not the Bernabeu with Real Madrid.

Thibault Courtois is an obvious choice, but he's very expensive and we're trying to get you value for money here.

Also, we haven't picked an Arsenal 'keeper because who knows who will start out of David Ospina, Wojciech Szczesny and Petr Cech next season? Although it will likely be Cech and a massive 41% of teams have picked the new man.


Does he take set-pieces?

It seems a strange place to start when talking about defenders but if you have a defender that takes free-kicks or penalties it might pay off.

You get a whopping seven points for every goal scored by your defender so if he gets a regular sight of goal he's definitely worth a shout.

If your full-backs gets on the overlap on the regular, throw him in because if your defenders are chipping in with assists as well as midfielders then it's a bonus.

Is he dirty?

This is pretty straight-forward. If your man is prone to kicking people rather than footballs he's not worth the trouble.

Mistimed tackles get you cards and cards lose you points.

The other problem is, if he gets banned then you need to use up one of your two weekly transfers to replace him.

Does his team keep clean sheets?

If there are good defenders around him or a good goalkeeper behind him, then he's worth looking at.

Keeping clean sheets week after week won't win you any titles but it all helps.

It's worth considering what's going on in front of him too. If he has a winger who abandons his defensive duties leaving him wildly exposed it may be worth looking elsewhere.

Who should you pick?

Leighton Baines £6.5m (7%, 107) - In my opinion, the Everton defender is a touch overpriced after a season which was neither here nor there.

His big appeal in the world of Fantasy Football comes in the form of his ability to find the top corner of the onion bag from anywhere inside 30 yards.

He also loves to get forward and whip crosses in so he's likely to claim the odd assist.

John Terry £6.6m (20%, 164) - A little bit on the pricey side but he might just be worth the investment. Chelsea didn't concede many goals and kept a lot of clean sheets last season, a solid foundation.

But Terry also netted five times, which is 35 Fantasy Football points. He's the top goalscoring defender in Premier League history.

Ashley Williams £5.7m (4%, 91) - A little bit cheaper perhaps because he's not known for grabbing the odd goal. The one thing about the Swans man is that he's captain, so you know he's going to start every week - Last season he started 37 out of 38 league games.

Lots of clean sheets last season and not many goals conceded, he'd be a solid choice in your back four and a chance to save some money for the superstars.

Daryl Janmaat £5.5m (3%, 77) - The Newcastle defender enjoyed a decent first year in the Premier League in a side that had a disappointing season.

The Dutch international grabbed one goal and eight assists which is a more than handy return for such a modestly priced full-back.

Newcastle did leak a lot of goals last year which would be a bit of a concern, but they did keep eight clean sheets. With Steve McClaren taking over, maybe he can tighten things up, making Janmaat a tasty proposition.

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All-out attack

You earn absolutely diddly-squat for midfielders who keep clean sheets, so if you're thinking of picking that bloke who sits in front of the back four, think again my disciples.

Assists are good, but goals are better!

You want the man who's floating around the edge of the box or cutting in off his wing to fire one into the top corner.

Discipline lads!

A red card for a defender is bad enough, but if your midfielders start getting sent off it's a really kick in the nether region.

If he's a bit of a hothead and runs around chopping down opponents like a lumberjack, it's probably best to look the other way.

You don't want the gritty ones, you want the pretty boys who are scared of the mud, the ones who don't drink, the ones you'd be happy for your daughter to bring home.

But really, the ones who find the net!

Who should you pick?

Aaron Ramsey £7.5m (8%, 106) - You really need to find a place for this man in your starting XI.

The Welshman is a mainstay in the Gunners' midfielder, weighing in with plenty of goals and assists, he's sure to rack up some points for £7.5 million.

He is prone to lunging in and picking up a booking, but he's probably worth the shout.

Christian Eriksen £7.4m (7%, 150) - The Danish international has been a regular in my team since he joined the Premier League a few years ago.

Last season he was pretty rewarding, playing every game, scoring 10 goals and claiming two assists.

He's always good for the odd free-kick here and there and he only picked up four yellow cards last year.

Gylfi Sigurdsson £7.2m (6%, 139) - His exploits might have been largely overlooked at the end of last season as Ki Sung-yueng cleaned up at the Swans' end of season bash.

But the Iceman's efforts didn't go unnoticed by yours truly and, statistically, he had a fantastic season.

Seven goals and 10 assists is all you need to know really, that and the fact he is a deadly free-kick taker.

Eden Hazard £8.1m (56%, 187) - He's the most expensive midfielder in our Fantasy Football iTeam app and with good reason.

I hesitate to include him because he's such an obvious choice and, even though he's £8.1m, you should really find the money to get him in.

The PFA Player's Player of Year terrorised defences last season with 14 goals and nine assists from midfield. There's no reason not to expect more of the same this year from the Blues ace.


It's too obvious to mention

If he's got a fifty pence foot then look the other way.

Your man needs to be finding the back of the net on a regular occasion because that's obviously the best way for them to score points.

You need to poachers who can sniff out chances and convert week in, week out.

It can pay to get in one of the big lads who can win the flick-ons because they get three points for assists, but if he can't hit a barn door with a banjo, what's the point?

Will he get the chance?

If your target is playing in a team who struggle to set up a one-man tent, let alone a goalscoring opportunity then he's not for you.

You need to be looking at strikers who are playing in front of the little geniuses who can spot a pass and thread through killer balls.

You want it on a plate for your marksman, you don't want him having to work too hard for it.

Who should you pick?

Harry Kane £8.7m (21%, 185) - This is an absolute steal in my humble opinion, provided he can follow up an incredible season with more good form.

Almost out of nowhere last season he was the league's second top goalscorer, finding the net 21 times.

He's not even in the top five most expensive strikers in the game either, surely worth a shout.

Sergio Aguero £9.2m (45%, 220) - He's the joint most expensive player in the game. Last year's top goalscorer is now a well-known entity in the Premier League and there will probably be more of the same next season.

As long as you're willing to lump out big style on one player then he's definitely worth putting in. 25 goals last year, who knows how many this term?

Saido Berahino £7.9m (3%, 149) - Blew hot and cold last year after being called up to the England squad in November thanks to some outstanding early-season form.

He clearly knows where the net is and he found it 20 times last year in all competitions which makes him definite value for money.

The big question is whether he can repeat last year's form.

Alexis Sanchez £9.1m (23%, 170) - The Chilean speedster came with a big reputation and big expectations and he delivered in a big way.

He was a constant attacking threat all year long with the ability to find the net from 30 yards and put chances on for his team-mates.

Again, he would be a big money signing for your team, but with 16 goals and eight Premier League assists, he's worth the investment.


Roberto Firmino £7.1m (8%) - Any 23-year-old who has four goals in seven appearances for Brazil isn't too shabby in my book.

Any youngster from that part of the world are bound to possess skill, pace and flamboyancy that most could only dream of, but can he cut it in the Premier League.

The Liverpool new man bagged seven goals and 10 assists for Hoffenheim last year, but can he cut it in the Premier League?

Memphis Depay £7.1m (30%) - One of Manchester United's early summer signings, Depay comes from PSV and they're expecting big things in the north west.

He bagged 25 goals for his former club last season and has been brought in after Van Gaal bemoaned United's lack of a 20-goal-a-season striker.

Looked like a tricky customer in the Red Devil's pre-season game against Club America, but can he do it on a cold Tuesday night at the Britannia?

Gerard Deulofeu £5.6m (7%) - So cheap and still a gamble largely due to the fact that he is still pretty unproven, let alone in the Premier League.

He spent a season on loan at Everton in 2013 and showed Roberto Martinez just what he has to offer, all the tricks in the book and the ability to twist the blood of opponents.

The former Barcelona man is still young at just 21 years of age and showed flashes of immaturity and selfishness on the pitch at times.

But there can be no doubting his potential, having provided Sevilla's marksmen with nine assists last season and scoring a goal of his own.

Dimitri Payet £6.5m (8%) - West Ham went big in their bid to take the Marseille winger to London, splashing out £10.7 million, which means there is now pressure on him to deliver.

He created more chances than any other player in the major European leagues last season with 134, so he comes with a big reputation too.

Payet claimed 17 assists last season which is one less than Lionel Messi and one more than Cristiano Ronaldo.

Whether or not the Hammers can get the best out of him remains to be seen, but he certainly has the potential to be a hit.

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