Fantasy Premier League

FPL pre-season watch: Chelsea and Brighton forwards in form

By The Scout 23 Jul 2023
Nicolas Jackson celebrates scoring for Chelsea against Brighton

Summer signings Nkunku, Jackson and Pedro all score as two sides share seven-goal thriller

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The new forwards at Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion have quickly found form ahead of the 2023/24 Fantasy Premier League next month.

The two clubs shared seven goals in their Premier League Summer Series encounter on Sunday morning, with summer signings Christopher Nkunku (£7.5m) and Nicolas Jackson (£7.0m) impressing in a 4-3 win for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

Nkunku’s first-half strike means has scored in each of the Blues’ two pre-season matches, while Jackson has been involved in a team-high four goals across those fixtures.

After replacing Nkunku at the break, Jackson produced a goal and two assists against the Seagulls, adding to his assist against Wrexham last week.

Conor Gallagher (£5.5m) has been another standout performer for the Stamford Bridge side, scoring in each of their two matches. 

Winger Mykhailo Mudryk (£6.5m) also found the net as Chelsea took their tally to nine goals in two matches under their new head coach.

Having scored a mere 38 goals in the previous campaign, managers in Fantasy will be hoping the Blues’ potential can be revived by Pochettino.

Add Jackson to your FPL squad

Certainly, the early 2023/24 schedule gives their key attackers the chance to impress from the outset. According to the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR), five of Chelsea’s first eight matches score only two.

Pedro offer value?

Joao Pedro’s (£5.5m) debut display for Brighton lifts his appeal as a handy budget forward in Fantasy.

While the summer signing played just under 40 minutes as a substitute, he was still involved in two of his side’s goals.

He converted a penalty after being brought down in the box, then assisted a goal for his fellow forward Deniz Undav (£5.5m).

Pedro remains overlooked in Fantasy, being found in just over three per cent of squads. 

Kaoru Mitoma (£6.5m), by contrast, is Brighton’s most-popular player with an ownership over 37 per cent. The Japanese winger also enjoyed a positive start to pre-season with a headed assist for Danny Welbeck’s (£6.0m) opener.

Similar to Chelsea, Brighton have a kind opening schedule that lifts their appeal at both ends of the pitch. Indeed, each of their first three matches score only two in the FDR.

Fernandes's fast start

Elsewhere, Bruno Fernandes (£8.5m) has increased in ownership Fantasy after scoring his first goal of pre-season in Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Arsenal.

The United captain has profited from the growing popularity of a 3-5-2 formation this season in Fantasy, which allows managers to spend more on their midfielders.

Fernandes has climbed to over 24 per cent ownership, making him the fifth most-selected player in his position.

Investment in the United defence also looks a wise tactic, with Erik ten Hag’s men keeping a clean sheet in each of their three pre-season matches. 

Full-backs Luke Shaw (£5.5m) and Diogo Dalot (£5.0m) made their first appearances of the summer after extended rests.

While left-back Shaw is owned by 33 per cent, Dalot’s battle with Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£4.5m) for the right-back berth can ultimately provide a more budget-friendly route into Ten Hag’s back four this season.

Also in this series

Part 1: Pair Haaland with Stones
Part 2: Buendia and Wissa can be big differentials
Part 4: Versatile Young a value target?
Part 5: Salah and Nunez becoming deadly duo

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