FPL Pre-season 17/18: Promising players in the newly promoted sides

Galpharm Stadium - Wide

The Kirklees Stadium, home of newly promoted Hudderfield Town AFC” (CC by 4.0) by Nigel Taylor

Towards the end of every season the main focus of the fans and the media is automatically on the fight for the title, and that’s logical. After all, when the 20 best teams in England (and Wales) compete for the number one spot over a period of ten months you are going to want to know who wins, and how they did it. At the other end of the table the stakes are very different though. The battle against relegation can be heartbreaking at times, but at least from a fans’ point of view there is one big upside to relegation: three new sides will be adding to the Premier League’s colours next season. For the 17/18 season these are Brighton & Hove Albion, Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United, and in this article we’ll take a deeper look at some of the players in these sides with potential value to FPL managers. Promoted sides often offer several players with an excellent points-to-price ratio, just think of last season’s Alvaro Negredo (Boro), Harry Maguire (Hull) and Tom Heaton (Burnley), just to name a few. Another great points-to-price ratio to look at are these enhanced odds at KickOff.

Brighton & Hove Albion
Promoted sides often offer interesting options in terms of budget third strikers for Fantasy teams, and the Seagulls’ Glenn Murray might just fall into this category coming season. Scoring 22 goals in 42 Championship games represents quite an achievement, and at a price of 6.0 he’s definitely worth checking out.

Brighton also is the team of the Championship Player of the Year, midfielder Anthony Knockaert. This obviously decreases his status as a differential a bit, but with 15 goals and 8 assists over 42 games to his name many managers might not care. Knockaert is priced at 6.0 in the official game, and the expectation is that he will be a popular pick amongst FPL managers, especially as a fifth midfielder.

Defensively it’s always interesting to see how the newcomers manifest themselves in the league of all leagues, but it’s worth a punt sometimes. In the case of Brighton & Hove central defender Lewis Dunk might be the one to consider. Dunk was a mainstay in the Seagulls’ starting line-up last season (he’s been with them his whole career) and it looks like he will be as well in the Premier League. Known to carry a decent threat during attacking set pieces and priced at 4.5 he’ll be in the minds of more than a few FPL managers to fill up their defenses.

Huddersfield Town AFC
The last time Huddersfield played in England’s top division was in the season 1971/72, so after they clinched promotion to the Prem last season the statement was clear: we’re not waiting another 45 years for our next chance after this season, this time we’re here to stay. Of course, actions are louder than words, and signing Dutch-Australian Man City midfielder Aaron Mooy for 8 million pounds was a first action. Mooy is a hard-working number 10 with excellent oversight, both with and without the ball, and he is central to Huddersfield’s game. Or as his coach David Wagner said, “Aaron is the heart of our game”. He played for the Terriers on loan already last season and he was chosen as the Man of the Match in the final play-off versus Reading, so we know he can cope with high pressure.

A legendary surname is in no way a guarantee for a successful career as a player (just ask Jordi Cruijff), but it seems like Tom Ince has the potential to live up to his. The son of legendary English midfielder Paul Ince was bought by Huddersfield for 10 million pounds from Derby County where the winger scored 26 goals in two seasons, 14 of which came last season. Previously mentioned Championship Player of the Year, Knockaert was the only non-striker to score more. With more than 250 games under his belt at just 25 years old it’s not likely that the Premier League will phase Ince and to make matters even more interesting: Ince is listed as a midfielder (6.0) in the official game!

Newcastle United

The Magpies are a newcomer this season, but can they really be classified as such? Despite their relegation woes in recent years Newcastle United is still widely considered a Premier League outfit, even if it was just because of their huge potential in terms of fanbase and financials. Sleeping giant is a description that keeps popping up, even though the giant has been asleep for a while now. Maybe this season is the season he wakes up again?

As part of their return the Magpies paid around 8.5 million pounds for Eibar’s Florian Lejeune. Not only was Eibar one of the surprises of Spain’s LaLiga last season, Lejeune played a pivotal role in their 10th place finish. The 26-year old Frenchman plays as a centre back, although he can also be deployed as a defensive midfielder as well, and he was the defender with most successful clearances in LaLiga last season. At a price of 4.5 in the official game Lejeune is going to be a popular target amongst managers, or he should be.

At the other end of the pitch the Magpies benefit from the services of Dwight Gayle. Any first-choice striker who bags 23 goals in just 32 games in the incredibly competitive Championship is worth at least a mention, which is why Gayle is on here. Given he has not been snapped up by a Premier League rival by the time the football festival starts, the 26-year old should be on your list of potential bargains (he’s priced at 6.5 in the official game).