Hey guys Matt here with another pre-season article, this time focusing on who have been some of the inform players and teams during these warm up matches, and who haven’t lived up to expectations thus far.
Well after all their summer signings it seems most of Chelsea’s XI are yet to gel, resulting in another embarrassing loss this time to Brighton. It is worrying signs for managers as we edge nearer to the start of the season, with many of Chelsea’s locks now having to be revalued based on current form. With the first up double we should get a better indication of their form, also keep a keen eye on the Community shield to be played next weekend, were we can see both the reigning European champions and the premier league champions in action.
Looking at some of Chelsea’s players it seems Hazard did anything but thrive out on a left wing, much preferring the 4-2-3-1 formation playing him behind the striker. It will be very important for him to play this role if he is to succeed as a fantasy option early on. Chelsea’s defensive assets are looking less worthy by the minute as they once again conceded 3 goals to seemingly feeble opposition. Considering they were playing close to a full strength XI yesterday it’s worrying signs. Once again we will get a clear indication of how they are travelling next week.
On the other side of the coin Manchester City are just hitting their straps. Corresponding with their uplift in form is Aguero, having scored in 3 of his last 4. These are ominous signs leading up to their opening clash with Southampton. Their defence also held yet another clean sheet so be sure to place at least once of City’s back 4 or keeper in your starting line up. It will be interesting to see if they continue to adopt their 3-5-2 formation. If so get Yaya Toure in your team! He has been in great form with 2 goals and an assist in the past few but be wary, any reversal of formation to suit the EPL will cause him to lose his attacking potential. Kolarov is another interesting prospect, thriving in the new formation. Definitely inspect their line up next weekend as we get a better idea on who will stand out this season. Tevez must remain on our watchlist as he has scored 2 goals so far this pre-season, but most importantly continues to play a starting role. Whether he can maintain this or not only time will tell.
Petric is another that we must assess, scoring 5 goals in his 4 pre-season games for Fulham. One I spotted in my previous article, he has only continued to improve. Also take note that he assisted another 2 of Fulham’s goals yesterday, he is a part of everything at the moment. Definitely consider. It’s not just Petric hitting his straps, Fulham are also firing on all cylinders both at the back and up forward, scoring at will while keeping clean sheets. With promising fixtures to start expect to see some serious investment headed their way, they are HOT.
Interesting to see with both Harte and Pogrebnyak on the pitch penalty duties were handed to Hal Robson-Kanu, a 4.5 midfielder. Reading’s pre-season form has been poor to say the least, so don’t bet on Pogrebnyak flying out of the blocks. Just because he starts upfront does not guarantee him fantasy returns. Petric is looking a better option at this stage, but it is only temporary. Other promotion new boys Southampton and West ham have had poor pre-season’s so don’t bet on great returns from their players just yet, although Southampton did win their last game without Lambert, missing with a ‘knock’.
Aston Villa has had a fantastic pre-season campaign so far, only losing their first game yesterday. Good to see Bent return from injury to play a half, check his next game to see if his fitness if where it needs to be coming into the start of the season. Their defense has been relatively solid as has their attack so you can expect to see plenty of investment with their opening set of fixtures.
Nothing really spectacular anywhere else. Sunderland has been poor, clearly lacking an out and out striker. Expect to see a transfer to fix this up soon. Everton have been average as have been Stoke and Swansea. Sinclair did score for GB at the Olympics so keep an eye out for his return, meanwhile Michu continues in ‘the hole’ behind Graham.
The other top clubs have been average at best with Liverpool, Arsenal, Newcastle and Manchester United all having poor pre-season’s. Tottenham have been by far the best performing of the top 6, with Bale and Sigurdsson the main contributors here both scoring and assisting well.
So that’s it for today, I will try to keep you guys up to date with all that’s happening in the lead up to season 2012/13 as the transfers come thick and fast! For now just tweet me and questions @MattCraigDT and follow us @FPLaddicts to keep up to date! Cheers guys.