Season Preview: Team Profiles 18/19 – Leicester to Newcastle

Our Team Profiles for the 18/19 season take an in-depth look at the prospects of each Premier League team from a Draft Fantasy Football perspective ahead of the new season.  We outline all major signings, and give a projected starting eleven for each team.

Page last updated: 10/08/2018 

 

🦊 Leicester City 🦊

Last Season:  Last season brought about an average year for the Foxes; 12 wins and 15 defeats for their 9th place Premier League finish.  In terms of Draft Fantasy Football, Leicester players of note were the reliably high scoring Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez although the January transfer saga surrounding Mahrez impacted his points tally and subsequently the Draft Fantasy Football world went crazy about the drama.  Defensively there wasn’t a great deal to shout about, Harry Maguire and Kasper Schmeichel were solid performers and a the classic Draft Fantasy Football 5th midfield choice Marc Albrighton was his normal reliable self chipping in with handy points.

Team Prospects:  The loss of Mahrez has split opinions, but from a Draft Fantasy Football perspective, we chaps think the loss of Mahrez to Manchester City is at a detriment to Draft Fantasy.  The transfer however opens the door to young winger Demarai Gray, who will be looking to link up with Premier League new boy James Maddison.  Puel has looked to reinforce the defence with Evans and Pereira joining World Cup in form chaps Schmeichel and Maguire.  If the defence can step up and Vardy can get decent service, we are predicting another mid-table finish.

New Signings:  It has certainly been a case of tightening up the defence for the Foxes, beating many rivals to the signature of Jonny Evans, and bringing in highly rated right back Ricardo Pereira from Porto on a 5 year contract.  But the most exciting piece of business is the signing of James Maddison from Norwich City for a reported £22m.  Maddison was in sublime form for the Canaries last term with 14 goals and 8 assists.  He looks to be a great mid range midfield option.  Algerian winger Ghezzal has also arrived from Monaco, and will be looking to fill the void left by Mahrez.  Young centre back Benkovic has been snapped up from Dinamo Zagreb, and Danny Ward has been brought in as a back-up goalkeeper.  Highly rated Turkish centre back Soyuncu has also arrived from Freiberg.

Predicted League Position:  8th

Projected Starting Eleven:  Puel has no reason, nor the resources available, to change his formula that served him so well last season, so we expect a classic 4-4-2 formation with perhaps the slight variation of Maddison dropping deeper into the no.10 role.  Iborra could start in central midfield ahead of Silva, and the right flank is an area to watch if The Foxes seek a direct Mahrez replacement.  Gray should get the nod for now, but Ghezzal will push him hard over the coming weeks.  Turkish defender Soyuncu will push Evans for a central defensive slot, or could the Foxes move to three at the back?

Leicester

 

🔴 Liverpool 🔴

Last Season:  Last seasons beaten Champions League finalists had a strong 2017/18, lead by Fantasy Football Legend Mo Salah.  For the Draft Fantasy Football managers who took a punt on Salah in last seasons draft as a probable 3rd round pick, congratulations.  Salah will be a guaranteed 1st rounder in this years draft as he and Liverpool look to build upon last seasons 4th placed finish.  Van Dijk’s arrival in January really stiffened up the defence, and Robertson put in some cracking displays towards the end of the season.

Team Prospects:  What did Liverpool need to help strengthen their side for 18/19 season…?  Another attacking midfielder?  Certainly not… Welcome to the red side of the Mersey, Xherdan Shaqiri!  All joking aside, Liverpool has assembled a very strong squad, Virgil van Dijk has strengthen the at times porous defence.  Alisson has joined for a world record fee, so all signs are pointing towards a great campaign for Liverpool.  Their first choice attacking players, as well as their best defenders, should have lots of interest come Draft Day.

New Signings:  Xherdan Shaqiri, Naby Keita, and Fabinho have all provided additional strength in depth to Klopp’s already heavily populated midfield riches.  With the departure of Emre Can, Fabinho looks to be a ready made replacement; Keita we understand to be versatile and could play slightly more advanced in a midfield 3.  Of course we know all about Shaqiri and his Draft Fantasy Football returns; it is a shame he will play second fiddle to Mane and Salah though.

Predicted League Position:  2nd

Projected Starting Eleven:  With the attacking firepower at Klopp’s disposal, it would be unlikely to see any other lineup than 4-3-3 with Keita sitting in front of defensive midfield duo of Fabinho and Jordan HendersonShaqiri will have to bide his time on the bench before he’s gaining regular starts for his new side.  The breakthrough 2017/18 season for full backs Alexander-Arnold and Robertson guarantee them as starters and offer excellent attacking potential to sit either side of record signing van Dijk and World Cup finalist Dejan Lovren.

Liverpool

 

🏆 Manchester City 🏆

Last Season:  They won the league at an absolute canter, made even more astonishing that this was achieved with a central midfielder playing at left back for the whole of the season.  Undoubtedly the best team in the country and with points in all departments for Draft Fantasy Football managers to dip into.

Team Prospects:  We (like everyone else) expect Manchester City to be at the top of the pile again this season; perhaps pushed by Liverpool who are the only side that can compete in an attacking sense.  First choice left back Benjamin Mendy is available and will provide Draft Fantasy Football managers with more points options; but the real headache comes in midfield for Draft Fantasy Football managers.  The addition of Mahrez looks to have congested things somewhat with Sane, David Silva, Mahrez and possibly Sterling competing for 3 places.

New Signings:  The big one, Mahrez.  This move has been on the cards for what seems like forever.  You’ve got to feel for the likes of Gundogan and Bernado Silva who after this transfer should be looking elsewhere.  Thankfully Manchester City missed out on new Chelsea man Jorginho.  Only time will tell if they seek an alternative.

Predicted League Position:  1st

Projected Starting Eleven:  Pep can literally do whatever he likes with the squad at his disposal, 4-4-2, 3-5-2, 3-4-3, 4-5-1 – with the players Pep is able to choose from; those formations all work.  But we think it will be 4-3-3 with two in midfield playing slightly higher than one (Fernandinho) and two of the front 3 playing wider.  The interesting decision will be who gets the nod for the two central defensive positions between Kompany, Stones, Laporte and Otamendi.  If fit, Kompany is a must.  Stones was exceptional in the World Cup, and Otamendi scored very highly and was ever-present last season.  Sane looks set to start the season in the starting eleven, but he could be the one to miss out when Sterling returns from pre-season after his World Cup exploits.  Jesus is a tricky one, how much game time will he get?

Man City

 

👹 Manchester United 👹

Last Season:  Runners up in the league, yet not even close to their noisy neighbours and beaten FA cup finalists.  Last season was a mixed bag for the Red Devils, with many insisting that Jose is just not getting the best out of the quality players at his disposal.  In terms of Draft Fantasy Football, it was again the same old chaps turning up with the points; De Gea, Valencia, Sanchez, and LukakuJesse Lingard was somewhat of a surprise package.

Team Prospects:  This season all Draft Fantasy Football managers will be hoping that consistency is brought to the likes of Pogba, Lingard, Martial and Rashford.  With the addition of Fred, there are hopes Pogba will be allowed the freedom to roam, and with a world class performance in the World Cup there could finally be the points haul that Draft Fantasy managers are hoping for.  Similarly, this World Cup has been the making of Lingard; raising his draft credentials.  January signing Sanchez from Arsenal has now had half a season, and a full pre-season with Jose, much will rest on his and fellow 1st round draft pick, Lukaku’s shoulders.

New Signings:  Nothing really of note here for Draft Fantasy Football managers with regards to getting a new signing into your squad.  The introduction of defensive midfielder Fred might free up Pogba; keep an eye on this chaps as a free roaming Pogba is an essential for your Draft Fantasy Football team.

Predicted League Position:  5th

Projected Starting Eleven:  Can you really see Jose actually sticking with the 3-5-2 from the end of last season?  He’s far too stuck in his 2004 ways.  The United centre backs provide huge question marks, with Smalling and Bailly most likely to start off the season in the starting eleven as Jones and Lindelof have returned late after World Cup duties.  Mata will be looking to make the most of his full pre-season after missing the World Cup, and looks set to start ahead of Lingard in GW1.  Similarly, Shaw looks set to start off at left back in the absence of Young.

Man Utd

 

⚫️ Newcastle United ⚪️

Last Season:  Retaining their Premier League status was surely all that could have been expected of Newcastle last season largely due to their functional defence and a couple of underrated attacking outlets.  Last season saw the Draft Fantasy world look to Newcastle for a cheap 5th choice defender in Lascelles and Yedlin, and cheap 5th midfielder option in Ritchie and Kenedy.  All worthwhile shouts and regularly featured in our ‘Punting for Gold’ and ‘Calculating the Cleanie’ features.

Team Prospects:  Second season syndrome could well be a real factor here.  Newcastle have not made any notable addtions to their 2017/18 squad, and whilst it is commendable to stick with the chaps who performed so well last year; it is also naive to not add 1 or 2 quality players to freshen things up.  This season could be a struggle and a bit of a scrap for survival.

New Signings:  Ki Sung-Yueng has been acquired from relegated Swansea, and talented winger Kenedy has rejoined the Toon from Chelsea in a move that will please Draft Fantasy Football managers across the country.  He will provide a great mid range midfield option.  Dubravka has also made his move permanent after a successful loan spell.  Rondon has completed a loan move from West Brom, and Japanese international Muto has joined from Mainz,  Swiss defender Schar has joined from Deportivo, and  Fernandez has arrived from Swansea – they will be competing with Clark for a place in the heart of the defence.

Predicted League Position:  11th

Projected Starting Eleven:  Rafa is likely to stick with the tried and tested formation which served them so well last season.  Concerns over whether Lascelles will still be with the Toon come the start of the season are growing, but all being well he should take his place in the heart of Newcastle’s defence.  New signing Schar should partner Lascelles, and Rondon will lead the line.

Newcastle

 

📢 More Team Profiles 📢

Check out our other Team Profiles here:

Season Preview: Team Profiles 18/19 – Arsenal to Cardiff

Season Preview: Team Profiles 18/19 – Chelsea to Huddersfield

Season Preview: Team Profiles 18/19 – Southampton to Wolves

 

📝 Draft Platform 📝

Here at The Fantasy Football Chaps, we’re proud to be pioneer’s for having a Draft Fantasy Football League that runs COMPLETELY OFFLINE!  Check out our article looking into how to make this a reality, and have full control over customising your Draft League!

If this sounds like too much effort, we would highly recommend using an online platform from the guys at Draft Fantasy.  Lots of customisation options available, including Kante bonus, end of season playoffs, flex positions, and customised squad sizes!  Check them out at www.draftfantasyfootball.co.uk

 

🔥 Hot or Cold Player Rankings ❄️

Our Hot or Cold Player Rankings are here to outline the current prospects of key Draft Fantasy Football Players.  Our ‘Hot‘ or ‘Cold‘ status will help take away your emotional attachment to certain Premier League players, and bring in the players that you need to help you dominate your Draft League.  Use these hints and tips to increase your chances of success!

 

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