Pre-Season

The lessons from all FPL teams’ pre-seasons: Arsenal to Leeds

With Gameweek 1 of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) days away, we’re welcoming back our stellar team of Pro Pundits, Hall of Famers and guest contributors for the new campaign.

Our writers will be providing regular articles and team reveals throughout the new season, with only Premium Members able to access every single one.

Next up is FPL Focal, who shares his takeaway points from pre-season.

The lessons from all 20 FPL teams' pre-seasons

After somewhere in the region of 100 pre-season matches, Fantasy Premier League (FPL) is ready to get underway.

Here I look at each Premier League club’s summer, highlighting the players who are in form (for what that’s worth in pre-season) and other important topics such as budget players who are getting game-time, tactics used and more.

READ MORE: The Complete Guide to FPL Pre-Season 2022/23: Best players, fixtures, transfers + more
READ MORE: Every minute played by FPL players in pre-season

FPL pre-season: Trossard hits hat-trick from wing-back role 1

ARSENAL

Arsenal have had a confidence-boosting pre-season, scoring in every game and winning all but one – the exception being a 2-1 defeat to Brentford, which was basically a ‘B’ side match between the two teams.

New signing Gabriel Jesus (£8.0m) has been sensational, with the seven goals bagged by the Brazilian including a hat-trick against Sevilla. In fact, he scored more goals from open play in that game than Alexandre Lacazette managed in the whole of the 2021/22 season. Typically, teams start with the first-choice XI for their final warm-up game and this was Arsenal’s line-up; I’m expecting the same 11 to face Crystal Palace on Friday.

FPL team guides: Arsenal - Best players, predicted line-up + more 2

Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.0m) has played left-back in the absence of the injured Kieran Tierney (£5.0m), who has just returned to training. Zinchenko has played really well and linked up with Gabriel Martinelli (£6.0m) but from an FPL perspective, there has been nothing eye-catching from the Ukraine international. His heatmap was barely in the opponent’s half and interestingly, he tucked inside a lot, essentially playing centre midfield – but not in an area to pick up attacking returns. He’s prominent on my watchlist but for now, I’m siding with the set-piece threat of Gabriel Magalhaes (£5.0m).

Bukayo Saka (£8.0m) and Martinelli have had terrific pre-seasons too and look great picks for your Gameweek 1 draft. I can really see Arsenal starting this season well.

ASTON VILLA

Aston Villa kept clean sheets in their opening three games, followed by a tougher test against an in-form Manchester United side.

Winger Leon Bailey (£5.0m) has been the stand-out performer out wide and is in my current draft. After a troubled first season with injuries, he recently said that he feels better and trusts his body considerably more. It looks like Villa could play with Philippe Coutinho (£7.0m) and Bailey either side of Ollie Watkins (£7.5m) against Bournemouth in Gameweek 1.

In the Man Utd game, Villa were two down at half-time but Bailey came on and got two attacking returns to level it. Post-match, Gerrard said:

“If I had to pick a team for the real thing tomorrow, Leon Bailey’s starting in my team”.

Bailey went on to start and score again in Saturday’s game against Rennes.

Cameron Archer is perhaps likeliest to get any minutes this season of the £4.5m forwards but don’t bank on it, as none are expected to be involved much at all.

BOURNEMOUTH

Bournemouth have had an underwhelming pre-season, losing three and winning once. Scott Parker’s comments after the defeat to Real Sociedad should fill owners of Aston Villa assets with optimism.

The only player worth highlighting is Dominic Solanke (£6.0m), who has two goals to his name. The 24-year-old striker was Bournemouth’s main man last season in the Championship, scoring 29 goals and supplying seven assists; the Cherries will be counting on him if they are to stay up.

Bournemouth have some of the worst opening fixtures so he could be one to pick up a few Gameweeks down the line, potentially for £5.9m or £5.8m if he sees a price drop or two.

BRENTFORD

Bryan Mbeumo (£6.0m) has been the most impressive in the Brentford camp with three goals in pre-season, with just the one goal arriving for Ivan Toney (£7.0m). They would have otherwise been on two goals each if not for an Mbeumo penalty taken while Toney was off the field.

Keane Lewis-Potter (£5.5m) scored on his debut against Strasbourg and he could end up eating into the game-time of Yoane Wissa (£5.5m) this season, with the latter expected to start in Gameweek 1.

New goalkeeper signing Thomas Strakosha (£4.5m) has only made one appearance in seven pre-season games, which was the aforementioned match against the heavily rotated Arsenal side, so there’s little doubt that David Raya (£4.5m) remains the current #1 and in turn a great pick in the budget ‘keeper bracket.

BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION

Brighton finished their season on a high, winning 5-1 on Saturday – a match that included a Leandro Trossard (£6.5m) hat-trick from left wing-back. The Belgian really hit form towards the end of last season and is another one to keep an eye on.

Danny Welbeck (£6.5m) has lead the line on a few occasions, including the Espanyol game to end the pre-season, so looks set to start the season up top.

Budget forward Deniz Undav (£5.5m) unfortunately looks like an ‘avoid’ for now but is one to monitor in case he breaks into the first team later in the year.

CHELSEA

Chelsea’s pre-season has been a bit of a mixed bag.

Mason Mount (£8.0m) has impressed, however, chipping in with a couple of goals.

Summer signing Raheem Sterling (£10.0m) has played well overall, linked up well with Mount and Kai Havertz (£8.0m), and taken up very dangerous positions, although that trademark wastefulness in front of goal was in evidence against Udinese.

Reece James (£6.0m) has looked the sharper between him and Ben Chilwell (£6.0m), who continues to build up match fitness after a lengthy lay-off in 2021/22.

The Chelsea side to take on Udinese side last Friday looked like it could be the planned XI for Gameweek 1, with Marcos Alonso (£5.5m) starting over Chilwell at left wing-back.

FPL team guides: Chelsea - Best players, predicted line-up + more

Chilwell is thus an avoid but James is still a good pick, and although Thomas Tuchel briefly experimented with a back four over the summer, it looks like he’ll revert to a three-man central defence with wing-backs for the Everton game.

CRYSTAL PALACE

Crystal Palace have been the busiest side in pre-season, although they’ve had to stage more matches than others due to half their squad jetting off to Singapore and Australia and the other half staying at home.

The penalty-taking Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m) has been absolutely flying with five goals and three assists. Palace’s opening four games are Arsenal, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Man City, however, so despite the form, he’s an avoid for now. If he continues to impress even against tougher opponents, he’s a strong contender to grab around Gameweek 5 when the fixtures turn.

Eberechi Eze‘s (£5.5m) looked really tidy on the ball. His 2021/22 season was disrupted by an Achilles injury and he could be in for a great season if he can stay fit.

Odsonne Edouard, Jean-Philippe Mateta and Christian Benteke (all £5.5m) have all chipped in with goals over the summer so the rotation may well continue among the forwards as it did last season.

EVERTON

A pre-season of two halves for Everton, who lost their opening two games and won the final two matches.

Dwight McNeil (£5.5m) arrived from Burnley this window and promptly scored twice on his debut against Dynamo Kyiv.

Anthony Gordon and Demarai Gray could also be longer-term options at £5.5m but not from Gameweek 1, at least until we suss out which of the wingers looks most secure for game-time.

Everton’s fixtures are good after Chelsea so perhaps form player(s) will emerge, as they did under Rafa Benitez in the early weeks of 2021/22.

Budget FPL defender Nathan Patterson (£4.0m) has been one of few highlights and the 20-year-old has been playing at right wing-back with Seamus Coleman (£4.5m) currently sidelined. He’s done well too, with two assists in pre-season, although there will be that medium-term uncertainty about rotation when Coleman recovers.

FULHAM

Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.5m) set a Championship record last season, scoring 43 times in 44 appearances, and has continued to put them away in pre-season with four goals and an assist.

Fulham open their campaign hosting Liverpool, which is an off-putting fixture for the Serbian, but £6.5m is a fair price and he is one to keep on the watchlist. He’ll be playing under a manager who is more attack-minded than the one he served in 2020/21, too.

Andreas Pereira (£4.5m) has been eye-catching and looks to be the perfect bargain-bin bench player. In his first two games he picked up two assists, and both were from corner-kicks.

LEEDS UNITED

Leeds ended their pre-season on a high, beating Cagliari 6-2 with a Rodrigo (£6.0m) hat-trick. No one from the White has caught my eye as an option for Gameweek 1, with Brenden Aaronson (£5.5m) one to monitor after picking up three assists in the Cagliari game but not yet tempting me.

READ MORE: FPL new signings: Who is Leeds midfielder Brenden Aaronson?

Illan Meslier (£4.5m) would be the only Leeds player I’d consider from Gameweek 1, with favourable fixtures and a predilection for picking up save points in his favour.

Patrick Bamford (£7.5m) registered a 194-point season a couple of years ago and if he can stay injury free, he may re-emerge as a great pick again. £7.5m is a tall ask for now, however, and FPL seemed to have somewhat overpriced him and other mid-price forwards considering that £7.0m gets you Andrew Robertson or Joao Cancelo.

New signing Luis Sinisterra (£6.5m) is currently out injured and it looks like he will miss Gameweek 1.


COMING SOON: Pre-Season Lessons – Leicester to Wolves


757 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Ilicz
      14 days, 7 hours ago

      Haaland+Diaz same value as Salah+Alvarez..
      Any reason people stay away from Alvarez?
      6.5 man City striker not a bargain?

      1. Top Lad Dakes.
        • 5 Years
        14 days, 7 hours ago

        Will hardly start over Haaland

      2. The Units
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 12 Years
        14 days, 7 hours ago

        Minutes

      3. Ilicz
          14 days, 6 hours ago

          Hi might be new Sterling tho

      4. Top Lad Dakes.
        • 5 Years
        14 days, 7 hours ago

        No takers for Rashford anymore?

      5. Horace Pike
        • 8 Years
        14 days, 7 hours ago

        What is actually going on with Leicester? They usually recruit well, sell well, and have owners that are loved for being proactive and trying to get them up the table and to silverware

        1. SonnyPikey
            14 days, 7 hours ago

            no money

            1. Horace Pike
              • 8 Years
              14 days, 7 hours ago

              Strange thought they had rich owners with endless bags of money

          • The Sun'll Come Out To…
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            14 days, 5 hours ago

            Their beloved owner died a little while ago in freak accident. Not sure how involved new leadership is.

        2. Assisting the assister
          • 6 Years
          14 days, 7 hours ago

          Any interest in Bruno G - seems to have dropped off teams

          1. SonnyPikey
              14 days, 6 hours ago

              better options

            • Crusher K-1
              • 11 Years
              14 days, 6 hours ago

              Gone but not forgotten
              remains on my watch list for sure

          2. Top Lad Dakes.
            • 5 Years
            14 days, 7 hours ago

            No love for ASM or Rashford? Why?

            1. The Units
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 12 Years
              14 days, 6 hours ago

              There are better picks

            2. Kiwivillan
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              14 days, 6 hours ago

              Was on Rashford but rather Martinelli and spend 0.5m elsewhere. Only interested at Trippier from Newc

          3. Kiwivillan
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            14 days, 7 hours ago

            Is Ward GK happening or will they buy new GK?

            1. SonnyPikey
                14 days, 6 hours ago

                iversen starts

                1. The Units
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 12 Years
                  14 days, 6 hours ago

                  2 x 4mil. Keepers a shout then

                  1. jayzico
                    • 11 Years
                    14 days, 6 hours ago

                    Yo the UNITS

                    Been playing FFS 10 hears or over. JOIN. PLEASE

                    https://fantasy.premierleague.com/leagues/auto-join/dycq5h

                2. Kiwivillan
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 8 Years
                  14 days, 6 hours ago

                  Read article Rodgers says Ward. Where you get this?

            2. jayzico
              • 11 Years
              14 days, 7 hours ago

              Been playing FFS 10 hears or over. JOIN. PLEASE

              https://fantasy.premierleague.com/leagues/auto-join/dycq5h

              1. Top Lad Dakes.
                • 5 Years
                14 days, 6 hours ago

                Why so pushy fella !

                1. SonnyPikey
                    14 days, 6 hours ago

                    this. nobody cares

              2. Josh.E
                  14 days, 7 hours ago

                  robertson and walker or cancelo and perisic?

                  1. Crusher K-1
                    • 11 Years
                    14 days, 6 hours ago

                    I would go Cancelo Perisic

                    1. jayzico
                      • 11 Years
                      14 days, 6 hours ago

                      I've got Walker and Perisic and TAA

                      1. jayzico
                        • 11 Years
                        14 days, 6 hours ago

                        Walker is like a cheap Dias

                        1. Josh.E
                            14 days, 6 hours ago

                            really worried about not owning robertson, he's always burnt me in mini leagues

                  2. Top Lad Dakes.
                    • 5 Years
                    14 days, 7 hours ago

                    James or Perisic? Why?

                    1. OneMan
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 6 Years
                      14 days, 6 hours ago

                      James, Perisic won’t last to 60min in all games.

                  3. Ttrplayer
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 4 Years
                    14 days, 7 hours ago

                    As Ward is £4m playing GK, thoughts on having two £4m GK?
                    At mo have £4.5 GK, £4.5 defender and £0.5 in bank. Could have £5.5 defender and £0 on bank. Tempting.

                    1. WallerWallerBingBANG
                      • 7 Years
                      14 days, 6 hours ago

                      Do it, no downside for that value.

                      Get Walker/Trip/Gabriel and save 0.5mil, or go Perisic.

                      1. Ttrplayer
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 4 Years
                        14 days, 2 hours ago

                        I think you are right. Perisic was the target. Very tempting. Possibly foolish. Two more sleeps to decide.

                  4. Crusher K-1
                    • 11 Years
                    14 days, 7 hours ago

                    James to start. Easy switch to Perisic. A little more involved to go Perisic to James unless money in the bank.
                    I feel the potential is for both to score about the same if both stay healthy and you can save that all important .5 which will sure be needed.

                    1. Top Lad Dakes.
                      • 5 Years
                      14 days, 6 hours ago

                      Fair assessment!

                  5. jayzico
                    • 11 Years
                    14 days, 7 hours ago

                    Currently about 50 players have joined

                    If you've been playing FFS 10 hears or over. PLEASE Join:

                    https://fantasy.premierleague.com/leagues/auto-join/dycq5h

                    1. jayzico
                      • 11 Years
                      14 days, 6 hours ago

                      Yo, anyone that's joined - do you want to play £1 in, winner takes all?

                      1. SonnyPikey
                          14 days, 6 hours ago

                          stop asking

                          1. jayzico
                            • 11 Years
                            14 days, 6 hours ago

                            Sorry Pikey

                      2. OneMan
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 6 Years
                        14 days, 4 hours ago

                        Don’t join this league, prob a scam since he’s pushing it so hard.

                    2. OneMan
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 6 Years
                      14 days, 7 hours ago

                      Anybody else benching Martinelli first game against Palace ?

                      1. SonnyPikey
                          14 days, 6 hours ago

                          lol no

                      2. Top Lad Dakes.
                        • 5 Years
                        14 days, 7 hours ago

                        Someone convince me in Reece James… never done well for me when I’ve owned

                        1. jayzico
                          • 11 Years
                          14 days, 6 hours ago

                          Don't. Get perisic instead. May get as many assists

                          1. SonnyPikey
                              14 days, 6 hours ago

                              not nailed and old

                              1. Top Lad Dakes.
                                • 5 Years
                                14 days, 6 hours ago

                                My thoughts

                        2. OneMan
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 6 Years
                          14 days, 7 hours ago

                          This article has Sterling playing as a No. 9, is that accurate ?

                          1. Chris_l25
                            • 4 Years
                            14 days, 6 hours ago

                            Yes he has been playing as a false 9 but in general the front 3 have been fairly interchangeable during pre season

                        3. Bacon3339
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 3 Years
                          14 days, 7 hours ago

                          Think I'm there - final decision. Bailey would be a 3 week punt

                          4.5 + Neto (Likely Raya)
                          Pope and Bailey

                        4. OneMan
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 6 Years
                          14 days, 7 hours ago

                          Who to bench
                          A. Martinelli away to palace

                          Or

                          A. Bailey away to Bournemouth ?

                        5. tibollom
                          • 5 Years
                          14 days, 7 hours ago

                          Current team, leaves me with 1m ITB.. any upgrades or downgrades needed? Hesitating between mount and Diaz and unsure on rash atm...Could also do Rash to sancho with 1m...

                          Sanchez Ward
                          Cancelo Taa James Gabriel Neco
                          Salah Bailey Rash Mount Andreas
                          Jesus Kane Archer

                        6. klopptimusprime
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 6 Years
                          14 days, 7 hours ago

                          Which is better
                          a) James, Saka, Bailey
                          b) 5m Def, Martinelli, Mount

                          Ward
                          TAA - Robbo - Cancelo - xxx
                          Salah - xxx - xxx - Aaronson
                          Kane - Jesus

                          Fodder

                          1. klopptimusprime
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 6 Years
                            14 days, 6 hours ago

                            Sanchez bench GK*

                          2. OneMan
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 6 Years
                            14 days, 4 hours ago

                            A.

                        7. Ballistics
                          • 5 Years
                          14 days, 7 hours ago

                          Really like this team atm

                          4.0 lei gks
                          TAA James Walker
                          Son Martinelli Salah Mount
                          Wilson Jesus Alvarez

                          Alvarez minutes limited but 5 subs this season he’ll be on the pitch at some
                          point every game.

                          X2 4.0 defs 4.5 mid

                        8. The Big Fella
                          • 5 Years
                          14 days, 7 hours ago

                          With DCL injured, is Rondon likely to play? He is only 5m. I know they are looking at Bats too, from Chelsea but as he isn't priced in the game at the moment, he won't be as good value (6m?) than if he were already priced and then moved to Everton.

                        9. Kei19255
                          • 6 Years
                          14 days, 6 hours ago

                          Can I have some votes please?

                          A.

                          Alisson
                          Taa trippier zinchenko walker
                          Salah Bailey martinelli
                          Kane Jesus Haaland

                          B.
                          Ederson
                          Taa Cancelo James Dalot
                          Salah Bailey martinelli
                          Kane Jesus Darwin

                        10. markwillows
                          • 6 Years
                          14 days, 6 hours ago

                          Thoughts on the below, room for improvement?
                          Will I regret not having Salah?

                          Ward
                          James/Walker/Perisic/TAA
                          Martinelli/Sancho/Bowen
                          Haaland/Jesus/Kane

                          Bench
                          Sanchez , Keane/Bailey/Andreas

                          1. markwillows
                            • 6 Years
                            14 days, 5 hours ago

                            Keane>Dalot updated.

                        11. vuksa11
                            14 days, 5 hours ago

                            What would be your choice:

                            A) KDB + Kane
                            B) Son + Halland

                            Thanks!

                          • The Head-Ake
                            • 5 Years
                            14 days, 5 hours ago

                            1) Bueno, Neto, Kane
                            2) Archer, Guehi, Son

                          • Alghayeb
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 8 Years
                            13 days, 12 hours ago

                            guys, is there any data for the pre-season games per team? who scored / assisted, clean sheets, etc..?