It was easy to miss due to the deluge of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) player price reveals but the summer pre-season friendlies got underway on Saturday.
Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers were among the teams in action, all entertaining Football League clubs on their training grounds.
As ever, we’ll be documenting all the goals, assists and (where available) minutes played ahead of Gameweek 1 of the 2022/23 FPL season – and the dedicated Pre-Season tab is the place to find it.
This information might be of limited use at this early stage of course but it’s more and more meaningful the closer we get to the start of the new campaign. It is, for example, how John Lundstram came to attention as an ‘out of position’ defender three years ago. Said Benrahma’s pre-season minutes and form were also noteworthy last summer ahead of his early-season burst of form.
As for the action on Saturday, Arsenal thumped Ipswich at London Colney. A strong-ish XI swept into a 4-0 lead at the interval, with Eddie Nketiah (£7.0m) bagging a hat-trick and setting up Albert Sambi Lokonga’s tap-in. An advanced Lokonga, indeed, teed up Nketiah for two of his strikes.
The academy was brought out for the second half, with Folarin Balogun finding the net at the second attempt to round off the Gunners’ scoring.
Arsenal first-half XI: Leno, Bellerin, White, Mari, Cedric, Partey, Maitland-Niles, Sambi Lokonga, Pepe, Nketiah, Nelson
Arsenal second-half XI: Okonkwo, Walters, Kirk, Awe, Sousa, Smith, Oulad M’hand, Patino, Hutchinson, Balogun, Flores
Palace’s team selection mirrored that of Arsenal’s, with several first-teamers taking to the pitch in the first half but mostly youth team players brought on at the interval.
Jean-Philippe Mateta was assisted by Odsonne Edouard for the Eagles’ opener, with the visitors drawing level after a raft of substitutions at half-time.
Palace first-half XI: Guaita, Ward, Watson, Tomkins, Mitchell, Hughes, Eze, Schlupp, Rak-Sakyi, Mateta, Edouard
Palace second-half XI: Matthews, Clyne, Quick, Phillips, D. Boateng, Riedewald, McArthur, M. Boateng (Raymond 85), Plange, Benteke, Street
No footage or game-time detail has emerged from Wolves’ 4-1 win over Forest Green but the social media account for Bruno Lage’s side revealed that Pedro Neto (£5.5m), Chem Campbell, forgotten man Adama Traore and Bruno Jordao were on the scoresheet at Compton.
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