I know what you’re all thinking. “Why the (insert expletive here) didn’t you get to West Brom quicker?” or “Finally, I’ve been waiting to see if my fantasy captain will make West Brom’s starting XI!”
What’s that, you didn’t say those things? Pffft don’t worry, there’s hardly anyone of relevance fantasy wise here (except maybe Lukaku), so I’ll keep it short and sweet.
The formation is the first hurdle. 4-3-3, 4-4-2 and 4-4-1-1’s have all been employed this pre-season, and along with a new manager in Steve Clarke, and a plethora of signings (especially strikers) make their team tricky to gauge.
The only alternative I can see in defence is playing Reid over Jones, which may indeed happen. The rest look fairly assured of their spot, but there is really not much to crow about fantasy wise.
One thing I learnt today is West Brom have a LOT of midfielders that they rotate through frequently. I’ve picked the four that featured most prominently last season, but with a new manager, it really is anybody’s guess, as all have played at different intervals this pre-season. El Ghanassy could feature on the right wing, and also expect Thomas to get a run at some stage. Mulumbu and Dorrans look certainties, while Morrison is technically a very astute player. Brunt has been injured for portions of the pre-season, so if he relinquishes his spot to Gera don’t be surprised. Long could also slot in the midfield, having previously played as a winger (although this pre-season he has been the target man.) Yacob provides another solid option in the centre of the park.
What was really the most frustrating thing about West Brom was that they have a LOT of forwards who really aren’t better or worse than each other. I’ve picked Lukaku as he is the most talented and Chelsea would not have let him to elsewhere to sit on the pine- he could do that each week at the blues! Long has been prominent this pre-season so I expect to see him in the hole. Rosenburg is an internationally capped striker and could feature in Lukaku’s spot, and also Odemwingie is a player with huge upside, but his inconsistency may cost him here. Let’s not forget Fortune though, who played consistent games last campaign. Pick any two of those five and you have their forwards, but your guess is probably as good as mine!
Well, that’s West Brom done. I know what you’re thinking. Wow. Just wow. How can so many fantasy relevant players fit into the one XI?
If you’re not thinking that, you’ve probably seen a game of football before, but nonetheless, Olsson will play every game and Lukaku and Long have scoring potential. Foster however, may be a good option if Steve Clarke continue his sound defensive minded mindset.
Next up is the last of the promoted clubs, West Ham. Loads of signings there, only two teams to preview before GameWeek 1!