Pre-Season Catch Up - Man Utd to West Ham

We complete our run through of pre-season action this week beginning with Manchester United and ending with West Ham and every club in between. We're looking at all the results, goals and performances to get your FPL team ready for the big kick off.

Man Utd

Chevrolet FC Cup
23 July Los Angeles Galaxy 0-7 Man Utd (Welbeck, Rooney, James 2, Young 2)
Guinness International Champions Cup
26 July Man Utd 3-2 Roma (Rooney 2, Mata)
29 July Inter Milan 0-0 (3-5 pens) Man Utd (Young, Hernandez, Cleverley, Kagawa, Fletcher)
2 August Man Utd 3-1 Real Madrid (Young 2, Hernandez)
4 August Liverpool (Final), Miami, USA

Louis van Gaal has had an excellent beginning as Man Utd manager going undefeated against some strong teams whilst also trying out a new system for his team to play. The new 3-5-2 system seems to be suiting certain players , particularly those going forward with Ashley Young scoring five goals, Rooney three and Hernandez two. Utd have looked dangerous going forward as they play with a much higher tempo than last season which should lead to them scoring more goals on a consistent basis over the course of the year. New £28m signing Ander Herrera has impressed throughout preseason as he dictates the play in the middle of the park and picks out (forward) passes others haven’t in the famous red shirt for a long while. If he can carry his preseason form into the first few matches then he’ll be one to keep an eye on.

The other new name at Man Utd has become one of fantasy football’s most owned players these last few weeks as Luke Shaw finds himself in a left wing-back position in the new system. He’ll be further up the pitch than he’s used to which may end up giving him good attacking returns but don’t expect Utd to be particularly solid at the back this season unless they make some world-class defensive signings before the season begins. If Ashley Young finds a starting position in the new system then he’d be worth considering since he’s always capable of scoring and is reasonably priced at £5.5m, despite potentially playing wing-back.

Newcastle

15 July Oldham Athletic 2-1 Newcastle United (De Jong)
22 July Sydney 0-4 Newcastle United (De Jong, Riviere, Yanga-Mbiwa, Armstrong)
26 July Wellington Phoenix 0-1 Newcastle United (Gouffran)
30 July Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Newcastle United (Perez)
Schalke 04 Cup
2 August Malaga 3-1 Newcastle United (Obertan)
3 August Schalke 04 1-3 Newcastle United (Riviere, Aarons, Cabella)
10 August Real Sociedad (H), 1.30pm, St James' Park

Newcastle have had a good preseason so far, only losing one game whilst comfortably winning the rest. The new signings seem to be settling in quickly with De Jong, Riviere, Perez and Cabella all getting on the scoresheet with particularly impressive performances from De Jong and Cabella. Both Cabella and De Jong are listed as midfielders on FPL yet both are capable of playing as strikers and having one in your team could end up being very astute this season. Newcastle look like a totally different team this preseason compared to the abysmal form they showed for the second half of last season with an abundance of confidence and flair going forward. If they can hit the ground running there are several new imports into Newcastle who could score big this season.

QPR

14 July Return to training
22 July Rot Weiss Erfurt 0-1 QPR (Austin)
26 July RasenBallsport Leipzig 2-0 QPR
29 July Leyton Orient 2-2 QPR (Hoilett, Barton)
30 July Southend United 0-0 QPR
2 August Shamrock Rovers 0-4 QPR (Austin 2, Hoilett 2)
4 August Athlone Town (A), 6pm, TBC, Republic of Ireland
9 August PAOK (H), 3pm, Loftus Road

QPR have had a mixed preseason so far with a couple of wins, a couple of draws and a loss. Faurlin and Granero have both made appearances which will be a big boost to the squad since the both missed significant chunks of last season with knee injuries. As Ferdinand and Caulker develop a relationship in central defence they should form a strong foundation to build the rest of the team on but much of the attacking pressure will be on Charlie Austin. After scoring 65 goals in the last three seasons Austin will be hoping the step up to the Premier League won’t be too much for him. Both Austin and Hoilett have scored three goals this preseason but Austin, valued at £6m, looks to be the main attacking threat of this QPR squad.

Southampton

15 July EHC Hoensbroek 0-4 Southampton (McQueen, Chambers, Sharp, Davis)
17 July KSK Hasselt 0-6 Southampton (Pelle 2, McQueen, Weerts og, Mayuka, Gallagher)
21 July Swindon Town 0-1 Southampton (Hooiveld)
25 July Bournemouth 0-1 Southampton (Isgrove)
31 July Brighton & Hove Albion 1-3 Southampton (Tadic, S. Davis, Ward-Prowse)
9 August Bayer Leverkusen (H), 5pm, St Mary's Stadium

Despite selling off their core players this summer Southampton have had a very strong preseason as they’ve conceded just one goal in 5 games whilst scoring 15. With gaps opening up in the midfield James Ward-Prowse has been given the chance to shine and has taken it with both hands with a series of impressive displays. This could be his breakthrough season and valued at just £5m he could offer great value for your midfield. New signings Pelle and Tadic have also both been impressive with the former showing he has fine instincts in front of goal with some sharp finishes.  It’s likely that most of Southampton’s play this season will go through Tadic as he becomes their new playmaker and also set-piece expert with his £7.5m price tag reflecting that. New manager Ronald Koeman is known for playing attractive attacking football which is what the Saints were known for last season but how they set up defensively, especially without Shaw and Lovren, is still to be seen, especially against stronger sides.

Stoke

20 July Borussia Monchengladbach 1-1 Stoke City (Crouch)
26 July 1860 Munich 2-0 Stoke City
29 July Schalke 2-1 Stoke City (Krkic)
2 Aug Burton 0-0 Stoke City
3 Aug Blackburn 1-1 Stoke City (Krkic)
6 Aug Betis 0-2 Stoke City (Krkic, Pieters)
9 August Freiburg (A), 5.30pm, Freiburg, Germany

Stoke struggled early on to build any real momentum through summer with their preseason fixtures and are yet to win more than a single game, but at least have had a chance to ‘bed in’ some of their new players. Bojan Krkic has scored three goals so far and is an intriguing FPL prospect since he obviously has the talent to succeed but has never fully lived up to his potential. Whether Stoke is the place he’ll flourish is something we’ll just have to wait and see but you can see the physicality of the Premier League being too much for him as the season goes on. Premier League veteran Peter Crouch continues to lead the line for Stoke through preseason with new signing Diouf playing off him. Diouf was never given the chance to prove himself at Man Utd but established himself as a reliable striker at Hannover 96 over the last three seasons scoring 26 goals in 57 appearances in the Bundesliga.

Sunderland

19 July Darlington 1-5 Sunderland (Fletcher 2, Giaccherini, Wickham, Gomez)
22 July Carlisle United 0-1 Sunderland (Mandron)
23 July Hartlepool 0-3 Sunderland (Lawson, Cartwright 2)
29 July Recreativo de Huelca 0-1 Sunderland (Mandron)
30 July Nacional 1-0 Sunderland
2 August Vitoria Setubal 0-0 Sunderland

Costel Pantilimon made a start in goal whilst Adam Johnson got his first game of pre-season in the 3-0 win against Hartlepool. Sunderland dominated for large spells of the game but didn’t manage to penetrate the Hartlepool defence until the second half when an injection of youth proved enough to break the deadlock. Despite Johnson and Fletcher both going close in the first half, it was Carl Lawson and a brace from Andrew Cartwright who scored the goals to give Sunderland a comfortable 3-0 victory against the Pools. Since then Sunderland have only scored one goal (a penalty) in three games as they seem to lack firepower going forward. Steven Fletcher however has come through preseason unscathed and will be looking to rediscover the form we saw from him in his first season for the Black Cats. It is worth noting that Pantilimon has played 286 minutes in goal this preseason compared to Mannone’s 107 minutes with the latter yet to complete a full game.

Swansea

16 July Chivas Guadalajara 1-1 Swansea City (Dyer)
19 July Minnesota United 2-0 Swansea City
27 July Plymouth Argyle 0-4 Swansea City (Donnelly, Amat, Sigurdsson 2)
29 July Exeter City 0-2 Swansea City (Gomis, Sheehan)
1 August Bournemouth 3-1 Swansea (Montero)
2 August Reading 1-3 Swansea City (Routledge 2, Gomis)
9 August Villarreal (H), 3pm, Liberty Stadium

Swansea’s new signings have settled in quickly with Gomis (2), Sigurdsson (2) and Montero all getting on the scoresheet this preseason. With the future of Wilfried Bony in doubt, Gomis looks to become the main man going forward for the Swans this season and will be supported by the long range efforts of Sigurdsson, who could prove to be a real FPL bargain at £6m after his transfer from Spurs. Good partnerships are being formed all over the pitch and Garry Monk seems pleased with both the fitness of his squad and the different systems they’ve been trying out. If Swansea do manage to keep Bony over the next few weeks they could be a real threat going forward even if they have looked a little suspect at the back as they look to adjust to the loss of Michel Vorm and Ben Davies.

Tottenham

19 July Seattle Sounders 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur (Holtby, Soldado pen, Falque)
24 July Toronto 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur (Lamela 2, Townsend)
27 July Chicago Fire 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur (Kane, Lennon)
2 August Tottenham Hotspur 6-1 Celtic (Kane, Soldado, Holtby, Lamela, Eriksen, Adebayor pen)
9 August Schalke 04 (H), 5.30pm, White Hart Lane

Spurs have had a very strong preseason with a successful tour of America and Canada where they scored eight goals in three games before they fired in six at home to Celtic. New manager Pochettino got Southampton playing fast, attractive, attacking football last season whilst being solid at the back and will be looking to replicate that with his Spurs team in the coming season. Erik Lamela really  struggled with injuries last season as he tried to fill the boots of Gareth Bale but has been extremely lively in preseason, scoring three goals in an advanced role just behind Soldado. He proved during his time in Italy that he knows where the goal is and could be a real wildcard for your fantasy football team throughout this campaign. With only one clean sheet against average teams, Pochettino has some work to do in defence despite their attacking promise. Harry Kane looks like he’ll get some game time from the bench this season and showed at the tail-end to the last campaign that he can score goals in the Premier League. Townsend has also had an encouraging preseason after struggling with injuries last year and will be one to watch with his explosive style.

West Brom

12 July West Brom 2-0 Bury (Dorrans, Berahino)
15 July Shrewsbury Town 1-2 West Brom (Anichebe, Mulumbu)
21 July Sacramento Republic 0-1 West Brom (Dorrans pen)
25 July Sacramento Republic 1-3 West Brom (Berahino, Mulumbu, Anichebe)
2 August Nottingham Forest 1-0 West Bromwich Albion
5 August Port Vale (3-2 West Brom (Roofe, Garmston)
9 August Porto (H), 4pm

West Brom have had a strong preseason results-wise with four victories and just one defeat. Berahino, Mulumbu, Anichebe and Dorrans have each gotten on the score sheet twice so far, giving an early indicator of where their goals may come from. This of course is without their new signing Brown Ideye who has had an impressive goalscoring record in Russia and will now link up with the team having resolved his visa issues. Albion have been struggling with injuries this preseason with new signing Lescott managed 35 minutes of the second half against Forest but had to be withdrawn before the end of the game. The much talked about Andre Wisdom, on loan from Liverpool, was named in the starting line up and may offer a consistent performer at a budget price this season.

West Ham

12 July Stevenage 2-2 West Ham (Jarvis, Downing)
16 July Ipswich Town 0-0 West Ham
23 July Wellington Pheonix 2-1 West Ham (Zarate)
26 July Sydney 3-1 West Ham (Jarvis)
Schalke 04 Cup
2 August Schalke 04 0-0 West Ham United (West Ham win 7-6 on penalties)
3 August Malaga 2-0 West Ham United
9 August Sampdoria (H), 3pm, Boleyn Ground

West Ham have had a very poor preseason so far, with only one game remaining to get their first (normal-time) win on the board before the start of the season. With three draws and three losses so far they’ve struggled to build any momentum which would be a worry for Hammers’ fans. Sam Allardyce has been charged with playing a more attractive brand of football this season but doesn’t seem to have the tactical nous or the personnel to be able to do that. With Carroll being injured until at least November and Enner Valencia expected to miss the start of the season, West Ham could carry their poor form into the upcoming campaign. Carl Jenkinson also hobbled off after an hour of his debut against Malaga giving Big Sam a defensive headache too as they’ve been struggling to shut out their opposition. 

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