Telegraph Fantasy Football: take on The Telegraph journalists in our 2019/20 fantasy game

Take on The Telegraph journalists
Take on The Telegraph journalists

Come 8pm Friday, the wait will finally be over and 2019/20 edition of Telegraph Fantasy Football will be underway.

Liverpool's match with Norwich marks the start of our free-to-play game where thousands of managers will compete for £15,000 in cash prizes.

If you haven't played before, the rules are simple. Assemble a team of 11 players to score you points based on their performances in the upcoming Premier League campaign.

The game is entirely free-to-play this year and if you back yourself as a top-drawer fantasy football manager, this is your chance to prove it.

If you're in need of some tips, look no further. Two of The Telegraph's journalists, Dan Zeqiri and JJ Bull, have cast an eye over the player list, tinkered with formations and settled on their chosen lineups.

Do you have what it takes to beat them?

JJ Bull's fantasy football team

VAR is here and it's going to make things very interesting. For that reason, it makes sense to remember who the penalty takers are.

Mohamed Salah is therefore the first name on the team sheet, and with the highest combined goals and assists of last season, should be a guaranteed points winner.

Gylfi Sigurdsson at Everton is always high up the list of chances created and with better forwards ahead of him, these should be converted into goals, which gives Sigurdsson assists. Oh, and he's Everton's designated penalty taker too.

Jamie Vardy is another excellent shout this season, as is Paul Pogba.

Raheem Sterling is one of the league's most prolific scorer of goals and needs to be in the side, and so with the Man City winger and Salah in the side, we only need one striker.

It might look like a 4-5-1 but this is a 4-3-3. Who to pick as the sole forward then? Harry Kane is Spurs' penalty taker and one of the best strikers in world football - however, in seasons past he hasn't found form until September and I have a suspicion Spurs might not have an amazing start. Plus, he tends to score more goals than his Expected Goals (xG) suggests he should, something that will surely balance out eventually. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was joint top-scorer last season with 22 goals but, crucially, also finished with the highest xG of any player in the league, doing so having played far fewer minutes than his scoring rivals. He is guaranteed chances, is a ruthlessly clinical finisher and Arsenal look to be going for a really attacking lineup this season which might result in even more chances created.

John McGinn is a brilliant player - and very cheap - while Kenny McLean used to play for Aberdeen. Fantasy Football is more fun when it's not all statistics and intuition.

As for the defence, Aymeric Laporte might not start the season, Kyle Walker isn't a flying wing-back anymore (so no assists or goals) and Nicolas Otamendi is a walking yellow card. 

Oleksandr Zinchenko has developed into a Premier League winning full-back and spends most of his time in the opposition final third, a position he can assist and score from while also picking up clean-sheet points.

Trent Alexander-Arnold created more chances than Sadio Mane last season and will provide assists from crosses in open play and set-pieces, along with those precious clean-sheet scores.

I'm convinced Leicester are going to be great this season and Ricardo Pereira is a superb player, who often plays at right wing.

Jannik Vestergaard is an underrated gem of a defender playing in a Southampton team who will be tough to break down. He's affordable and should generate clean-sheet points.

Ederson plays as goalkeeper for the best team in the league.

On paper this team is bound to win. Unfortunately, as in football reality, that doesn't mean anything. Good luck!

JJ Bull's Telegraph Fantasy Football team

Dan Zeqiri's fantasy football team

Do you plug players into your preferred formation or change the formation to suit the players? 

It's a conundrum facing every manager in the land, and one I thought about before picking this XI. I'm neither the most seasoned nor enthusiastic Fantasy Football player, but I know enough to know it pays to stack your team with attacking, points-devouring, talent - we're not required to win real-life football matches where annoying stuff like tactical balance is important.  

With this in mind, I have taken a leaf out of Ajax '74's/Wigan Athletic 2014's 3-4-3 formation to try and stack up on goals. 

Clean sheets are the requirement at the back. Sounds obvious, but there are actually some fine individual defenders playing in teams who concede plenty.

Issa Diop, available for a very reasonable £2.9 million, is a player I rate as perhaps the best centre-back outside the top six. However, Manuel Pellegrini's West Ham have slow midfielders and some ropey full-backs so despite Diop's best efforts I see them shipping goals.

I avoided the excellent Nathan Ake for the same reason - Eddie Howe couldn't plug a leak in a garden hose. 

So I thought about the best defensive units and started with Wolves, who faced fewer shots on target than Manchester United and Arsenal last season. Rui Patricio will do for me.

Many feel Jonny Evans is a purer defender than Harry Maguire and although I have concerns about Brendan Rodgers' exposing him, Leicester's midfield should see them control most games.

Mauricio Pochettino tends to sideline subjects of transfer speculation, so I think Davinson Sanchez will be given his head and partner Jan Vertonghen more often at the expense of Toby Alderweireld.

Likewise John Stones given Vincent Kompany's departure, and that gets some Man City presence in there. 

In midfield there are three forwards, really.

Mohamed Salah speaks for himself, and Richarlison has huge scope to develop further in an Everton team who are investing around him.

Diogo Jota finished last season like a train and is devastating on the counter-attack and for budgetary reasons I have taken a punt on Chelsea's Mason Mount. Takes a good free-kick, plays in an attacking Chelsea team and I'm banking on Frank Lampard trying to prove a point by playing the youngsters. 

Up front, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored more than 20 league goals in each of the last four seasons and Arsenal should have better supply lines this year though Dani Ceballos, Nicolas Pepe and who knows, maybe even a better Mesut Ozil.

Including a Brighton striker will raise eye-brows, but Graham Potter wants to be more front-footed and I think new signing Neal Maupay can benefit. Signed from Brentford, he has the air of a player who might have a hot steak while he is an unknown quantity. Jamie Vardy guarantees goals and shows no sign of slowing down.

Think you have what it takes to beat JJ and Dan? Pick your free Telegraph Fantasy Football team now and begin your pursuit of £15,000 in cash.

Dan Zeqiri's Telegraph Fantasy Football team.