Pre Season Watch: Manchester United

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Aug 07, 2019, 08:45

@varunesque / FPL Academica

An Overview

Pre-season is always tricky to deal with as an FPL manager. On one hand, we know that it doesn’t mean anything and on the other, we cannot stop thinking about it. This pre-season is no different. So, instead of shying away from it, let’s make the best use of whatever information we do have available and that’s what I’m here to help you with.

It is a very well kept secret but I think it’s time I let it out, I am a Manchester United fan, and having watched all of United’s pre-season games I think I’m in a good position to give several insights that might help you make a couple of decisions. Let’s get straight into it.

Man Utd finished sixth after a string of poor performances at the end of last season undid all of the good work that started with the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Hoping to have a fresh start, big changes were expected at Old Trafford, and with the signing of Daniel James from Swansea and Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace, it looked well underway. Paul Pogba also seems like he’s staying but there’s still work to do in the window as the pre-season preparation begins.

A couple of easier games to start off, Ole gave 45 minutes to almost all his players in both the opening games against Perth Glory and Leeds United, both games ending in comfortable 2-0 and 4-0 victories respectively which showed a positive intent. The team played with an intensity that was not seen before, pressing from the front and countering with speed through Rashford, James, Martial and the youngsters Chong, Greenwood and Gomes getting onto the ball often, with Mata and Pogba spreading the play. Aaron Wan-Bissaka made an instant impact with outstanding defensive displays in both games with a 100% tackle win rate as well as an assist in the second game, the two clean sheets showing promise after the horrendous defensive displays of last season.

That was all for Australia and the team’s next destination was Singapore where they played Inter Milan, fully dominating the game, winning just 1-0 slightly flattered the Italian side. A very solid defensive display again with the goalkeepers being spectators all game. The team looked to be gelling well into the new system and playing some good football, and with the lack of more transfer activity causing frustration to the fans, at least the team was delivering on the field. This was also the first time few players played 60 minutes, providing us with an idea of what the lineup might be against Chelsea.

Next up, Spurs in Shanghai, another win, 2-1 this time, Martial playing at striker and scoring, makes my FPL sense tingle, another solid performance and another 45 minutes with AWB in the team and no goals conceded.

A win against Norweigan side Kristiansund followed, Martial playing striker with Rashford on the field, Greenwood and Gomes were still impressive. Not much there to it apart from that and finally AC Milan, a 2-2 with a few players getting 90 minutes, I think I have a fairly good idea about the lineup.

Predicted Lineup

De Gea, Wan Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, Matic, Pogba, Mata, Martial, Rashford, James

This is assuming no new signings though I’m confident there will be one or two more incomings.

Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford would rotate between the striker and left-wing position, even the left-sided player is pretty central to support the press, we can say they are playing as a two up top, this to me increases Martial’s appeal a lot, his best season coming when he played upfront and I predict him to be the first choice penalty taker.

Potential FPL Assets

Daniel James should be starting right-sided winger and at 6.0 million could be a great differential. However, he didn’t score or assist in pre-season but was crucial with the press and the counter-attack, he also makes the run into the channels so he does seem to have better assist potential than goalscoring pedigree.

Aaron Wan Bissaka could be gold even at 5.5m if United start keeping clean sheets, he will be in the bonus and he definitely will contribute more in attack than what he did at Palace, I currently have him in my team.

There is also talk about Mason Greenwood as 4.5m fodder, with his ownership as high as 14%. That might be a mistake because a lot of the players will be crucial because of other tournaments- The Cups and the Europa League, this includes Greenwood, Chong, Gomes, Garner and even Andreas Pereira, not sure they’ll get much game time in the league, so having him could lead to serious loss of team value.

I personally think Man Utd are severely underrepresented in FPL this season, the disappointing season last year means that there are cut-price options available and I’m confident that they’ll be in more and more teams as we go on. Do watch out for new signings, some interesting stuff might be coming your way.

That’s all from my side, I hope this article was helpful and you transfer out Alexander-Arnold for Wan-Bissaka.

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