Fantasy Premier League - Pre-Season Form Players

9:29pm Aug 2 2018

Has Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez caught your eye in pre-season?

Fantasy Football Fix

Pre-season form is far from the most important factor when it comes to building your Gameweek 1 squad but it can be useful to determine:

1. The formations that teams are likely to use.
2. Which players are competing for the same starting positions.
3. The current fitness levels of each player, going into the new season.
4. Which attacking players are warmed up and have already got a taste for scoring goals.

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Most goals scored

The Arsenal duo of Alexandre Lacazette (9.5) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (11.0) have scored 6 and 5 goals respectively, across Arsenal’s 6 pre-season games so far.

They started off with some fairly straight forward matches, against the likes of Boreham Wood and Crawley Town, who conceded a combined 17 goals to Arsenal, without reply.

In their more recent pre-season games, against Atletico Madrid, PSG and Chelsea, Aubameyang provided 2 assists, while Lacazette contributed 3 goals.

West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic (7.0) appears to have picked up right where he left off last season, finding the back of the net 5 times in 5 pre-season appearances.

The Hammers have scored a total of 11 goals throughout their pre-season games so far, with the Austrian directly contributing to 6 (5 goals, 1 assist).

Daniel Sturridge (6.0) and Fernando Llorente (6.0) have also shown some form and whilst unlikely to be long-term FPL options, they could perhaps feature early on, at least from the bench, given the lack of pre-season minutes registered by the likes of Roberto Firmino and Harry Kane, following their involvement in the World Cup.

Most assists

Andros Townsend (6.0) tops the list in terms of assists provided in pre-season, with no player matching his 5 contributions so far.

His teammate Alexander Sørloth (5.0) could be pushing for a starting place come Gameweek 1, having provided 3 assists and 2 goals across 5 appearances in pre-season.

However, reports suggest Danny Ings (5.5) could be on his way to the Eagles, to perhaps offer some competition.

Crystal Palace have scored 18 goals across 6 pre-season games, conceding on just 5 occasions, so perhaps the opposition hasn’t been the toughest.

Burnley’s Matt Lowton (5.0) is leading the way in terms of defenders but it’s worth noting that all 3 of his assists came during a single game; a 5-2 win over Curzon Ashton.

Most goal involvements

Aubameyang (11.0) has directly contributed to more goals than any other player during this pre-season period so far, scoring 5 times and providing 3 assists.

Arsenal played 2 of their games behind closed doors, so it’s hard to say which players started or featured in those games but we know the former Borussia Dortmund striker has started on at least 4 occasions; suggesting his place in the team is more secure than Alexandre Lacazette (9.5), who has been benched in favour of Henrikh Mkhitaryan (7.0) at times.

Lucas Moura (7.0) is a name who stands out here too, with 3 goals and 2 assists from 4 appearances.

With Spurs looking likely to be without a number of players early on, due to injuries and late returns from the World Cup, could the midfielder play a short-term role in our FPL teams?

Other notable form players

Alexis Sanchez (10.5) is another man who deserves a mention, having contributed 2 goals and 1 assist in his 4 appearances during Man Utd’s pre-season tour.

Crucially, the Chilean international has been used as a striker in a 3-5-2 system, alongside Juan Mata (6.5).

Jose Mourinho’s side have scored just 5 pre-season goals in total, one of which occurred before Sanchez has joined them on the tour, meaning that when on the pitch, only one of United’s goals were scored without the involvement of the £10.5m FPL midfielder.

Chelsea have played just 3 pre-season games at present, against Perth Glory, Inter Milan and Arsenal. Pedro (6.5) has started on each occasion and scored 2 of their 3 goals.

Eden Hazard and Willian have been both been unavailable for pre-season so far, so the Spaniard is likely to go into the season looking the most fresh.

Finally, Patrick van Aanholt (5.5) has been directly involved in 4 pre-season goals during his 4 appearances, only 3 of which were from the start.

It’s no secret that the left-back loves to contribute at both ends of the field and despite his £5.5m price tag, consistent returns of 5 or more goals in each of the last 3 seasons means we cannot afford to overlook him.

Crystal Palace have kept clean sheets in their two most recent games, against Boreham Wood and Reading, ahead of their Gameweek 1 clash with newly promoted Fulham.

Also worth reading:
The Pundits Team – First Draft
> Set Piece Specialists
> 5 FPL rules to live by

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Thank you for reading ‘Fantasy Premier League Tips – Fantasy Premier League – Pre-Season Form Players’ which was written and produced by @_FPLTips