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FPL Price Review: Midfielders

Thursday, July 12, 2018


It maybe be hard to focus on the upcoming Premier League season with the final week of the World Cup underway, but we’re just a short few weeks away from Gameweek 1, so Sean Sullivan and I are here to give you all the preseason tools you need to find the value buys and sleeper picks for your FPL.com team.

 

 

GOALKEEPERS | DEFENDERS (Coming Soon) | FORWARDS

 

 

With this next edition of our FPL Price Review Series (see the links above for the rest), I’ll be looking at our options in midfield. It should come as no surprise that reigning Premier League Player of the Year Mohamed Salah enters the season as the most expensive player in the game at £13.0, but there are some standout bargains spread throughout. 

 

 

Without further delay, here are some value picks ahead of the 2018/19 season. I’m welcoming all suggestions and debates on Twitter (@gastelumEPL) and hopefully I can include your thoughts here in this column. Just five weeks before the start of the season!

 

 

MIDFIELDERS:

 

 

Paul Pogba (Manchester United) £8.0

 

Plain and simple: I think Paul Pogba will have a breakout year this season, the one we’ve all been waiting for since he made the then-world-record move back to Manchester United. Now, before you accuse me of being the United fan that I am not, let me explain myself further. Last season, Pogba put together the second best offensive season of his career with six goals and 10 assists with less than a third of the minutes of his eight-goal, 12-assist final campaign with Juventus in 2015/16. And, more importantly, those numbers happened under Jose Mourinho last year, where Pogba played out of a more defensive role that didn’t suit him.

 

 

Now, I firmly believe that Manchester United has added the crucial piece in Fred that will push Pogba farther up the pitch in the attacking role he so dearly wants and deserve. The Brazilian will slot alongside Nemanja Matic in central midfield to provide the defensive stability Mourinho wants which means Pogba will be free to roam forward from midfield and form an attacking bond with Romelu Lukaku, although possibly and probably to the detriment of Jesse Lingard. But at only £8.0, Pogba looks like a true bargain who could put up some devastating numbers in the realm of Kevin De Bruyne this season.

                         

 

 

Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) £6.5

Milivojevic may no longer be the £5.0 superstar that lifted so many of our FPL.com teams last season, but his £6.5 still presents plenty of value in a midfield pool that is more and more difficult to pick from as the years go on. Last season, I featured the Crystal Palace captain early on in my Bargain Hunter series, and he provided a massive boost with 10 goals, two assists and 21 bonus points as the Eagles’ top fantasy point-getter on 144 points—not bad for a central defensive midfielder.

 

 

But that’s only because Milivojevic was the penalty taker on a team that featured devastating pace on the wings in Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha (who has since been promoted to forward in FPL.com), and I don’t expect that to change much this season as long as the in-demand Zaha stays put in the summer transfer window. And with such a promising opening schedule to start the season—only one team in the club’s first eight games finished with more PL points than Palace last season—I’d expect the Serbian international to start close to where he ended.

 

 

 

Michail Antonio (West Ham) £7.0

Plagued by various injuries that never saw him find a groove, Antonio suffered a down year last season that saw him record only three goals and two assists. But, barring any more injuries or other issues, I’m backing the winger to bounce back under new manager Manuel Pellegrini after a full offseason to recover and regain his fitness. And a crowded, competitive midfield and attack (see: Marko Arnautovic, Chicharito, Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini) can only bring the best out of Antonio in the hopes that he will regain his form from those brilliant first two seasons.

 

To me, a £7.0 price-tag is well worth it considering Antonio’s first two Premier League seasons with West Ham saw him record two straight eight-plus-goal, seven-plus-assist years out of midfield. If Antonio can reproduce those numbers, you can bet on his value rising and his differential being an important factor in seeing your fantasy team rise to the top.

 

 

 

Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton) £6.5

Jota was part of a young Portuguese resurgence with Ruben Neves, Helder Costa, and Ivan Cavaleiro, all of whom are 24 years old or younger, and former Porto manager Nuno that saw Wolves absolutely dominate the Championship last season with 99 points and a league-leading 82 goals. At the helm of that record-setting attack was Jota, who recorded the most goals out of any midfielder in the second division last season with 17 tallies. Despite being only 21 years of age, I think Jota is set for another impressive year, but this time with all eyes on him on the big stage.

 

 

The biggest reason, from a fantasy perspective, is the fact that the young Portuguese attacker is listed as a midfielder despite being the club’s main attacking force, often being played up top as a false nine or tucked in behind a bigger forward (like Benik Afobe for the upcoming season). In addition to leading the club in goals, Jota led Wolves in shots per game and appearances, showing how much the club truly relies on him. With a price of £6.5, I like Jota as more than just a risk but also as a major sleeper pick in midfield.

 

 

 








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