Fantasy Premier League

FPL pre-season watch: Midfield duo deliver in Spurs' prolific attack

By The Scout 7 Aug 2023
James Maddison and Dejan Kulusevski

The Scout picks out the top performers from the latest round of pre-season friendlies

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James Maddison (£7.5m) and Dejan Kulusevski (£7.0m) were among a number of in-form midfielders in Fantasy Premier League who impressed over the weekend.

The pair supplied two assists apiece in Tottenham Hotspur’s 5-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk, with forward Harry Kane (£12.5m) scoring four goals in their first home match under Ange Postecoglou.

See: Player stats from pre-season matches

Although Kane’s future remains uncertain, the manner of Spurs’ display - scoring five goals for the second successive match - suggests their attackers can thrive in their first season with Postecoglou in charge.

A kind run of opponents from Gameweeks 3 to 5 lifts the appeal of Maddison and Kulusevski for FPL managers playing a 3-5-2 formation.

According to the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR), each of their matches against AFC Bournemouth, Burnley and Sheffield United score only two.

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Elsewhere, Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze and Newcastle United’s Miguel Almiron (both £6.5m) extended their run of form. 

Eze’s assist in a 2-0 win over Lens took his tally to two goals and five assists in pre-season.

No other player in Fantasy has been involved in more goals.

Almiron’s strike in Newcastle’s 2-0 win over Italian side Fiorentina means he has three goals and just two blanks in his last five outings.

Almiron's goal v Fiorentina
Saka and Rashford deliver

Meanwhile, Bukayo Saka (£8.5m) and Marcus Rashford (£9.0m), the most-popular midfielders in Fantasy, both delivered attacking returns at the weekend.

Saka assisted Arsenal’s late equaliser in their FA Community Shield against Manchester City, while Rashford delivered a goal and an assist Manchester United’s 3-1 win over French side Lens.

Both clubs also boast other in-form, budget-friendly players with low ownerships.

Leandro Trossard (£7.0m) emerged from the bench to score Arsenal’s goal, strengthening his claim for a Gameweek 1 start.

The Belgian has produced a team-high four goals over the summer, scoring three of Arsenal's last seven strikes. 

Antony (£7.0m) now has two goals and an assist in Man Utd’s last two friendlies after matching Rashford’s output against Lens.

Be different with De Bruyne?

Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne (£10.5m) could prove the ultimate differential after returning to action with an assist against Arsenal on Sunday.

The Belgian is owned by just 13.4 per cent of managers compared with the 86.7 per cent of his team-mate Erling Haaland (£14.0m).

In the first six Gameweeks, the champions face four of the six sides who have been promoted to the Premier League over the last two seasons.

Also in this series

Part 2: Estupinan and Trippier justify popularity

Remember, the GW1 deadline is this Friday, 11 Aug, at 18:30 BST.

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