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Friendly signs can lead to early FPL joy

The Scout 7 Jul 2017
Etienne Capoue, Watford

Studying form and tactics in pre-season matches can inspire a flying start in Fantasy, according to The Scout

The summer months can be vital in helping Fantasy Premier League managers set the tone for a successful campaign.

Taking time out to assess the pre-season friendlies can make all the difference when it comes to getting the jump on mini-league rivals.

It is crucial to monitor the tactics and formations used.

Friendly signs

This was highlighted last season by Watford’s Etienne Capoue (pictured above), whose FPL potential was transformed by a change in position.

The midfielder had scored just a single goal in the previous three campaigns but in a new advanced role, he netted twice in pre-season.

That signposted early returns, with Capoue – priced at just £4.5m – supplying four goals and an assist in the opening five Gameweeks.

By Gameweek 8 he had returned 44 points with his price soaring to £5.3m.

Three at the back

A three-man defence with full-backs pushed forward as wing-backs was a common tactic used throughout 2016/17.

Marcos Alonso, Chelsea
Marcos Alonso, right, thrived after Chelsea turned to wing-backs becoming the second highest-scoring FPL defender

As a result, five of the top seven top scoring FPL defenders in 2016/17 played either as a full-back or wing-back.

FPL managers would be wise to check on the summer friendlies for those teams trialling a three-man defence. It could reveal some early bargains. 

New signings

The form and position assigned to a new signing can also be crucial in guiding our early decisions.

Back in 2012/13, Swansea City signed midfielder Michu from Rayo Vallecano as a replacement for Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Valued at £6.5m, he was handed a No 10 role during the club’s pre-season after netting 15 times in La Liga in 2011/12.

Michu went on to return 18 goals and three assists, peaking in price at £8.5m to offer exceptional value for money.

With FPL set to launch next week, we can soon begin to compile our initial squads over the summer.

The pre-season fixtures not only offer an early indication of form, they provide valuable insight into the tactics that could transform our thinking and shape our selections.

See: All the clubs' pre-season friendlies

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