Hello and welcome to our final player analysis of the pre-season. You can check back on all our other pre-season analysis here. With our teams almost complete and the first kick off just 4 days away it is the premium midfielders that go under the microscope last. They can make or break your team, as usually they can provide the most points of anyone, quite often at a cheaper price. For one final time, let’s take a look!
Bale (12.0) 19.4%
To be honest I don’t even know anymore. If he stays then usually I’d say he’s a must, but he hasn’t played part in a pre-season fixture for almost a month now. He’s refusing to play as to not hurt any potential transfer due to injury (fair enough), while Ancelotti has finally admitted he plans to have Bale as part of his squad this season. So why hasn’t he moved? Because Daniel Levy has rocks in his head. Real were willing to break their world record deal of Ronaldo to sign Bale for £86 million (A 2300% increase on what they bought him for), however Levy REJECTED THAT OFFER and asked for £105 million. He must think Real Madrid just print money. One thing for sure is he’s not getting Morata. Lately Real have asked to re-start their transfer discussions, hoping they don’t have another Modric saga and end up making a desperate signing just before deadline with no pre-season under Bale’s belt. I hope a deal goes through ASAP so we can make up our minds on our team structure. We’ll have an article coming through on this saga very shortly. The fact that Bale has taken no part in pre-season makes me think we should hold off him to begin with even if he does stay. His head isn’t at Spurs and I can’t see him being worth his price tag unless things settle down. Steer clear for GW1!
Mata (10.5) 21.4%
11 goals, 18 assists and 212 points in just 2729 minutes. You look at those stats and he’s probably underpriced for what he can produce at his best. For those of you who didn’t play last season, there was a period where he went 15 games whilst scoring or assisting of 14 of them!!! Mourinho may bring out the best in him, but by the same token he does love a left footer on the right wing. With guys like Hazard and Oscar who are perfectly capable of playing in the hole, he could be shifted out onto a wing. If this is the case, whilst he will still be fantastic, Hazard should continue to serve better value.
Cazorla (10.0) 10.6%
12 goals and 13 assists capped off a brilliant season for the Spainard, becoming one of only 4 players to crack the 200 point barrier and thus get a price tag of 10.0. Does he show amazing value? Definitely not. Does he have the potential of guys like Walcott and Hazard? Once again probably not. However he should be a reliable source of points all year, playing over 3300 minutes last term. With Walcott in doubt for GW1 he may be looked at more often, especially when you consider the new bonus point system should advantage him. Having said that I’m still on the Walcott bandwagon, as I have been since day 1.
Walcott (9.5) 19.4%
In doubt, WHAT?! Yes news has come out from England training that Theo has copped a knock on the ankle. However we shouldn’t be too concerned, the ever reliable physioroom has tweeted that it is only a minor knock and will be fit for GW1. Wait until Wenger’s press conference on Friday to confirm, but he should be good to go. I don’t need to go too in depth on why he is such a great option. He’s been scoring and assisting for fun during pre-season and scored and incredible 14 goals and 13 assists in just 2286 minutes last season! Anybody who nearly cracks the double ton in 2/3 of a season is worthy of immediate consideration. Look at his price tag and thank the fpl gods for gifting us such potential for so little cost. His slight injury proneness (That’s now a word) aside he is a fantastic pick. Currently in my starting XI for GW1, OOP and in great form. Lock.
Hazard (9.5) 32.9%
Check out my GW1 thoughts on him here. Should be locked and loaded for GW1, keep an eye out for him in the Captains on Thursday as well! Personally I’m planning ahead to have him in my side for the whole season, benching him in GW3. If you’re going to dump him with a wildcard then make sure you an get him back! Don’t be too worried about rotation, Mourinho will turn him into a superstar. He’s easily in Chelsea’s best XI and a lock for me.
Gerrard (9.0) 6.9%
Whilst he’s not as exciting, his potential isn’t as great and he’s getting on in age, the great man should never be doubted. At the age of 32 he notched 10 goals, 12 assists and 185 points. He proved us wrong last season so let’s not make that same mistake again! Won’t be as popular as his teammate coming up but should be a very solid pick once again this season. Whilst you may not think it, a very safe choice.
Coutinho (9.0) 21.0%
He’s one of the most exciting youngsters in the Premier League, so why not have him in your fpl team? I don’t have a reason! He didn’t waste any time last term in scoring 3 and assisting 7, cracking 70 points in under 1000 minutes! He has averaged almost a goal per game this pre-season and looks to be getting better with time. He only just turned 21 after all! Finally Liverpool have got a signing right (Depending if they move Suarez on for the right price!) and I think he could be the one to take them charging towards the top 4. Certainly in my team for GW1 at the moment and I refuse to remove him from there. I’m expecting a breakout season but, undeniably, he does come with an element of risk. Players at that age have tendencies to go missing quite often, let’s hope that isn’t the case here!
Silva (9.0) 6.8%
If you’re one to pick on blind faith, then this is the guy for you. He proved in Man City’s title winning campaign that at his peak he is one of the best options available. However last season he went way off the boil, going missing for weeks on end, occasionally months. 4 goals and 12 assists wasn’t a bad return, however if Pellegrini can grant him consistent playing time ‘in the hole’ then 9.0 could provide us some serious value. No doubt, if you’re after a differential, Man City’s fantastic fixtures and Silva’s known capabilities provide a great concoction.
Navas (9.0) 6.4%
I’ll keep this quick and simple. Check out his potential here. Personally I wouldn’t touch him, not sure how successful he will be as an fpl option at 9.0. Better options out there, pass from me.
Michu (9.0) 18.7%
Was unbelievable last season notching 18 goals and 3 assists last term. However it is important to note that he slowed down at the end of last season, due to the fact that defences learned how to curtail him. I won’t start with him, however he’ll be a potential POD on this site if you do! Should still be fantastic again, he’s in great pre-season form and a link up with Bony could prove to be fatal for Swansea’s opposition.
Fellaini (8.5) 12.7%
Another player who had a breakout season last term, the Belgium powerhouse managed 11 goals and 7 assists including sitting out 4 games for suspension. His 168 point tally was fantastic, however he was moved into a deeper lying midfield role towards the end of last season and really started to struggle. If he goes to United I expect him to play a holding midfield role, and to be honest you can probably expect something similar at Everton. I’d steer clear until we know which team he’s going to play for and what his role will be. Mirallas is a better/cheaper Everton option.
Lampard (8.0) 7.5%
He could be a sneaky selection for the DGW, however judging by Mourinho’s comments and his lack of a pre-season, I wouldn’t go anywhere near him. Van Ginkel will start to overtake his midfield role so expect those two to transition in and out. Expect Frank to be managed strongly and a strict rotation policy seems likely. At 35 Lampard’s not getting any younger, so unfortunately I think his fpl days may be over.
Some other popular options include: Schurlle (8.0) is a possibility, read up on him here, however his game time seems too hard to judge. I expect him to have a great season but may be too inconsistent to warrant an fpl birth. Nasri (8.0) will be in and out of the City side all year, and when he does get game time his returns will be anything but consistent. Pass. I’ve already spoken on Fernandinho (8.0) here, another pass. Kagawa (8.0) isn’t being given the role he deserves at United, however if he does get the respect he deserves by Moyes then he could be great value. Can’t start with him. Yaya Toure (8.0) is a no just like last season, whilst Oscar (8.0) fits into Chelsea’s rotating front 3 and game time will be too inconsistent. Could be a good DGW smokey.
So that’s it for our player analysis! Look forward to our writers team reveals over the next couple of days, before we kick into the captains and finally onto our GW1 preview. Get excited! Cheers.