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FANTASY FORECAST 2017/18: FPL Pre-Season Predictions

Over the course of the 2017/18 Premier League season The Hype Train will be running its Fantasy Forecast for a second season, inviting members of the FPL community as guests, who will do battle in Premier League Predictions and Scout Picks surrounding a Gameweek in the Fantasy Premier League. Before we all draw swords to prove our FPL superiority, the Hype Train has provided its pre-season predictions for how we think the season will pan out in regards to its winners, losers, and surprise packages. We've also invited a long list of FPL guests to go on this ride with us, so buckle up and be ready to look at what players in the FPL think (and so desperately want) to happen this upcoming season. Welcome to the Forecast. All aboard.

The 2017/18 Pre-Season Forecast

It's August and it's finally ramping up to the Premier League season that we all know and love. An addition that we're adding to the Forecast this season is a pre-season special. The format is quite simple. We've asked some basic questions about who we think will win the Premier League, finish in the Top 4, those to get relegated, and more. Just to make the joys of editing this article together last even longer, we've reached out to our good friends and bitter rivals in the FPL Community to pitch in with their ideas.

The end goal of this article, as most predictions are, is to have a look back at the end of the season, and have a good laugh at how totally wrong you were with your picks. Or alternatively, to cry that you didn't put money on your correct estimations of how the Premier League panned out.

We're excited to bring another season of our Forecast to FPL lovers everywhere. We've kept our format the same and look forward to having new and old faces appear throughout the season! If you'd like to know how we fared last season, check out our 2016/17 Forecast review below.

Premier League: 2017/18 Predictions

Premier League Champions:

Chelsea

Premier League Top 4:

1st – Chelsea

2nd – Liverpool

3rd – Man City

4th – Man United

The Relegated Teams:

18th – Swansea

19th – Burnley

20th – Brighton

Top Scorer:

Romelu Lukaku (MUN)

Most Assists:

Christian Eriksen (TOT)

Most Clean Sheets:

Chelsea

First Manager Sacked:

Slavan Bilic (WHU)

Premier League Surprise Package:

Watford (#MarcoSilvaForm)

FPL Forecasting: Pre-Season FPL Predictions

Teams with good Attacking potential:

  1. Liverpool

  2. Man City

  3. Chelsea

  4. Arsenal

  5. Spurs

Teams with good Defensive / Clean Sheet Potential:

  1. Chelsea

  2. Man United

  3. Southampton

Which player will have the most FPL points at the end of the season?:

  1. Alexis Sanchez: his future may be in doubt, but he still an absolute point’s magnet, either at Arsenal, or at Man City. Should he not be there:

  2. Philippe Coutinho: I expect a big year for the Brazilian, and now that he is THE man at Liverpool he’ll be on set-pieces and everything else. However, if he moves to Barcelona, I predict that the next one will get the most points:

  3. Romelu Lukaku: Proven goal scorer, and with Spurs playing at Wembley their form could dip, meaning Lukaku could be the best FPL option in your attack.

Who do you think will flop (players and/or teams) in the FPL this season?:

  1. Paul Pogba: I’m not buying the love affair with Lukaku.

  2. Joe Hart: The goalkeeper will make mistakes, guaranteed.

  3. Stoke City: lost best player, showing no ambition.

  4. Brighton: Can’t see how they are going to stay up.

  5. Swansea: Should they sell Sigurdsson they are doomed.

  6. Spurs: The Wembley factor means they are unsustainable all season.

Who are your top 5 Essential picks ahead of GW1:

  1. Romelu Lukaku

  2. Philippe Coutinho

  3. Dele Alli

  4. Maya Yoshida

  5. Marcos Alonso

Who are the players that might make the difference this Gameweek in the Draft?:

  1. Romelu Lukaku

  2. Philippe Coutinho

  3. Dele Alli

  4. Maya Yoshida

  5. Marcos Alonso

  6. Ben Foster

Who are the teams to look out for early on?:

  1. Liverpool

  2. Huddersfield

  3. Man City

  4. Chelsea

  5. Southampton

Who are the teams to avoid early on?:

  1. West Ham

  2. Swansea

  3. Everton

  4. Arsenal

Who are your favourite FPL Differentials heading into GW1?:

  1. Maya Yoshida

  2. Sadio Mane

  3. Steve Mounie

  4. Dwight Gayle

  5. John Stones

Who are your Gameweek 1 Captaincy contenders?:

Romelu Lukaku

Premier League: 2017/18 Predictions

Premier League Champions: With the Premier League squads refreshing across the board it’s hard to make an educated decision. Based on squad depth Manchester City are way out in front. £200mill on full backs tells you all you need to know. But will they struggle with rotation? Man United have upgraded in a big (Belgian) way but will that be enough to close a significant gap.

My two front runners are Chelsea and Spurs. The hopes of Chelsea retaining the title rest heavily on the shoulders of two young strikers both looking to probe themselves and I’m not sure they can dominate in their first season starting in the PL. My pick has to be Spurs at this stage. If they can keep their make XI on the pitch it is their year. Kane will score 30+ goals, with help from Eriksen and Alli and the defence remains the best in the league.

Premier League Top 4: 1st – Spurs 2nd – Chelsea 3rd – Man City 4th – Arsenal

The Relegated Teams: 18th – Brighton 19th – Swansea 20th – Watford

Top Scorer: Harry Kane with 30+ goals

Most Assists: Alexis Sanchez or Cesc Fabregas (If he gets regular starts)

Most Clean Sheets: Hugo Lloris - Spurs have the best back line. Period.

First Manager Sacked: Mark Hughes. Just not got the quality in his squad and struggles to inspire his players.

Premier League Surprise Package: Huddersfield - will push for a top half finish.

FPL Forecasting: Pre-Season FPL Predictions

Teams with good Attacking potential: 1. Man City 2. Arsenal 3. Man United 4. Chelsea 5. Tottenham 6. West Ham

Teams with good Defensive / Clean Sheet Potential: 1. Tottenham 2. Chelsea 3. Man United 4. West Brom 5. Burnley

Which player will have the most FPL points at the end of the season?: 1. Harry Kane: we know he’s guaranteed 20-30 goals in a season. 2. Gabriel Jesus: I can see Jesus pushing Kane for the golden boot this year. His partnership with Aguero will allow him to be goal scorer and provider. 3. Alexis Sanchez: the Premier Leagues best player has been dominant in the FPL since his arrival.

Who do you think will flop (players and/or teams) in the FPL this season?: 1. Paul Pogba: a lot of talk about his potential but yet to see him produce the goods. Even in pre season he’s has been in the shadows of his team mates. 2. Alvaro Morata: it pains me to say it but Chelsea have signed a player that has spent a season on the bench. For at least the first few months he will struggle with physical fitness, match fitness and settling into a new club.

Who are your top 5 Essential picks ahead of GW1: 1. Harry Kane 2. Romelu Lukaku 3. Kevin De Bruyne 4. Cedric/Bertrand 5. Sadio Mane

Who are the players that might make the difference this Gameweek in the Draft?: Getting a as many of the top ranked players as possible is key to start off with. Some sleepers could turn out to be: 1. Dusan Tadic 2. Ben Davies 3. Michy Batshuayi 4. Rob Holding 5. Phil Jones

Who are the teams to look out for early on?: 1. Man United 2. Southampton 3. Tottenham 4. Man City 5. West Brom

Who are the teams to avoid early on?: 1. Everton 2. West Ham 3. Leicester

Who are your favourite FPL Differentials heading into GW1?: 1. Michy Batshuayi 2. Dusan Tadic 3. Henrikh Mkhitaryan 4. Theo Walcott

Who are your Gameweek 1 Captaincy contenders: 1. Romelu Lukaku 2. Harry Kane 3. Kevin De Bruyne

Other Season Comments: Looks like 4 premium Mid/Fwd players is the maximum achievable while still having a viable XI. The transfer window stays open for while yet so rotations and sales are inevitable. Only pick certain starters.

Premier League: 2017/18 Predictions

Premier League Champions:

Chelsea – I think that Chelsea will be pressed to the Premier League title by Man City’s millions, and by Liverpool’s goal-hungry nature, but eventually, like always, the Blues will prosper through consistent form in the league, something other top six clubs struggle with in periods. Chelsea face the Champions League this season, something Conte didn’t have to manage last season, but that will not be a hindrance.

It could be a big season for Liverpool if they keep their key players at the club, and most importantly fit. Mane was a big miss at times, and with Salah at the club, full-backs will be praying every night for a miracle when coming up against the pair of rapid wingers.

Premier League Top 4:

1st – Chelsea

2nd – Liverpool

3rd – Man City

4th – Spurs

Arsenal and Man United don’t make my top 4 this season. Arsenal are still papering over cracks with Wenger in charge, whilst Mourinho needs to turn many draws into many wins. I think they’ll do better, but I’m not convinced that they’ll beat any of the top four that I’ve listed, which it might ultimately come down to.

The Relegated Teams:

18th – Burnley (second season syndrome in the Premier League, without Michael Keane)

19th – Swansea (The Swans are going to have to change everything if Gylfi leaves)

20th – Brighton (worried about where the goals are coming from)

Top Scorer:

Harry Kane (TOT) – No matter if Kane gets off the line slowly, Kane works his way into seasons and will no doubt be in contention for the golden boot with some familiar faces.

Most Assists:

Philippe Coutinho (LIV) – With a deeper midfield role, Coutinho will turn into the assist king this season. On all set-pieces and feeding in Mane, Salah, and Firmino, is going to attract of lot of FPL points, and the attention of every big club in the world.

Most Clean Sheets:

Chelsea (obviously) – The clean sheet kings will line up in a similar fashion this season and will finally have the squad Conte is looking for to compete on all fronts. Chelsea are always good for a clean sheet, and I see them achieving similar feats this season.

Top FPL Player at the end of the Season:

Harry Kane (TOT) – If The Hurrikane can figure his feet out before October, he should storm to the top of the FPL charts. The Wembley factor might hinder slightly, but Kane’s the natural ability to shine regardless of where he plays.

First Manager Sacked:

Mark Hughes (STK) – A lot of our Forecast guests agree, and the writing is on the wall. Stoke’s squad looks in terrible shape ahead of the season with some key departures. Stoke always start slowly in the Premier League, and whether Stoke come out the other side is down to Hughes’s ability to take a worse squad to similar heights. It’s recipe for disaster.

Premier League Surprise Package(s):

Steve Mounie (HUD) – The Huddersfield forward looks set to lead the line for the newly promoted side. He’s tall, powerful, quick, and had a good scoring record in Ligue 1. With Huddersfield’s fixtures, he could be a gem of a find.

Markus Suttner (BHA) – Relatively unknown to those in the Premier League, the Austrian left-back fights it out with Christian Fuchs for a position in the national side. Has qualities like Fuchs (aka being good at free kicks and set-pieces). Suttner could be a cheap and explosive option for players.

Watford – Under Marco Silva the Hornets might find a fighting spirit that has been missing through many manager changes. They’ll do good to finish mid table

FPL Forecasting: Pre-Season FPL Predictions

Teams with good Attacking potential:

Chelsea, Spurs, Huddersfield, Newcastle, Liverpool, Southampton, Man United, Man City

Teams with good Defensive / Clean Sheet Potential:

Chelsea, Spurs, Southampton, West Brom, Man United

Who do you think will flop (players and/or teams) in the FPL this season?:

Arsenal: The Gunners promised huge signings this summer, and delivered with Lacazette, the kind of forward the club’s fans have been crying out for. I just think that even with Sanchez staying, and Laca at the club, there is still the Wenger factor. The club literally ignored every outcry for Wenger to step aside. It’s been getting worse and worse for Arsenal in recent years, and their inclusion in the Europa League isn’t going to improve on matters.

Paul Pogba: A chunk of the FPL community love Paul Pogba, but I’m not on that bandwagon. Man United fans are quick to point out that he hit the bar seven times last season. I’m not fussed either way with Pogba. He has the opportunity to prove me wrong, but it just takes one injury before Pogba is limited, and you’ve an 8m dent in your team. I’d advise to avoid him like the plague.

Who are your top 5 Essential picks ahead of GW1:

1. Romelu Lukaku (MUN): Even if just for the West Ham game on the opening day of the season, Big Rom is always good for a goal against the Hammers.

2. Ben Foster (WBA): The Baggies goalkeeper is the best £4.5m goalkeeping option, with only Brighton’s Matt Ryan really putting in stock for the same position and price.

3. Kevin de Bruyne (MCI): With Man City’s game of rotation, most of the FPL community pull their hair out thinking about their player options. KDB looks the safest bet, and it doesn’t hurt that he is their set-piece maestro.

4. Philippe Coutinho (LIV): Mane and Salah are the attacking options to heavily consider, but Coutinho is the master in Liverpool’s deck and has a habit of scoring on the opening day.

5.. Marcos Alonso (CHE): For Gameweek 1 alone, Marcos Alonso is a must. He’s got Burnley, and is an attacking element that has had some good moments in pre-season. There’s also a lack of potential cover on the left-side of defence… for now.

Who are the players that might make the difference this Gameweek in the Draft?:

Premium midfield options will yield the most points – so Liverpool midfielder assets, Willian, Zaha, Alli/Eriksen, and Willian, will ultimately make the difference. Just try to plan for midfield supremacy if you can.

Additionally, get in a premium defender whilst you can. Marcos Alonso is a massive difference maker in the Draft as an attacking option, as well as a defensive one. James Milner is also on penalties, and Leighton Baines has potential too. These acquisitions are key in the FPL Draft as only a limited selection of players take set-pieces, and they’ll be the first to go.

Just do your homework on set-piece options so you have a fallout plan.

Who are the teams to look out for early on?:

Huddersfield, Man City, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Southampton, Bournemouth

Who are the teams to avoid early on?:

Arsenal, Everton, Stoke, Brighton, West Ham

Who are your favourite FPL Differentials heading into GW1?:

Huddersfield have some intriguing options in Mounie, Chris Lowe, and Aaron Mooy.

Brighton have Ryan, Suttner, Knockaert, and Murray, who are all left-field choices against a Man City team who can’t defend.

Newcastle’s Matt Ritchie is lowly selected.

Stoke’s Ramadan Sobhi is £5.0m and looks set to take the place of Marko Arnautovic.

Who are your Gameweek 1 Captaincy contenders:

Harry Kane (TOT) vs. Newcastle

Romelu Lukaku (MUN) vs. West Ham

Mo Salah (LIV) vs. Watford

Kevin de Bruyne (MCI) vs. Brighton

Either Willian/Morata (CHE) vs. Burnley

Wilf Zaha or Benteke (CRY) vs. Huddersfield

Other Season Comments:

I’ll use this section to just end on my beloved Newcastle, as I feel that we are a big unknown this season. We could finish top 10, or get relegated. It’s been a frustrated summer for Rafa as he looks to build his squad for the season, but with some established names already in the squad, pressure will fall to Ritchie and Gayle to deliver the goals that the Magpies need for survival. Rafa’s big advantage is playing away from home with an organised system, so my main recommendation is to not back many captains against Newcastle if they are coming to town, as tempting as it may be.

Ultimately, we here at The Hype Train are just glad the season is back. There’s nothing like the Premier League, and upping the stacks with the FPL!

Who from the FPL Community is aboard the PL Predictions hype?

We've had a large number of responses from within the FPL Community, so we've provided a tweet and their social media address under each guest heading, in case you want to check them out for yourselves. For the sake of creating the longest article in FPL history, we've asked our 42 pre-season guests just the first part of our predictions.

GUEST 1: FPL JESUS

Twitter: @FPLJesus

Premier League Champions:

MUFC (Man United)

Premier League Top 4: 1st – Man United 2nd – Man City 3rd – Chelsea 4th – Arsenal

The Relegated Teams: 18th – Swansea 19th – Brighton 20th – Huddersfield

Top Scorer: Romelu Lukaku (MUN)

Most Assists: Kevin De Bruyne (MCI)

Most Clean Sheets: Tihbaut Courtois (CHE)

Top FPL Player at the end of the Season: Kevin de Bruyne (MCI)

First Manager Sacked: Whoever the Watford manager is (For the record Jesus, it's Marco Silva)

Premier League Surprise Package: Bournemouth

GUEST 2: FPL Guidance

Twitter: @tips_fpl

Premier League Champions: Man City

Premier League Top 4: 1st – Man City 2nd – Man Utd 3rd – Chelsea 4th – Tottenham

The Relegated Teams: 18th – Burnley 19th – Huddersfield 20th – Brighton

Top Scorer: Harry Kane (TOT)

Most Assists: Kevin De Bruyne (MCI)

Most Clean Sheets: David de Gea (MUN)

Top FPL Player at the end of the Season: Harry Kane (TOT)

First Manager Sacked: Frank De Boer (CRY)

Premier League Surprise Package: West Ham

GUEST 3: FPL United

Twitter: @FPL_UTD

Premier League Champions: Man City

Premier League Top 4: 1st - Man City 2nd – Man Utd 3rd – Chelsea 4th – Liverpool

The Relegated Teams: 18th – Burnley 19th – Brighton 20th – Huddersfield

Top Scorer:

Romelu Lukaku (MUN)

Most Assists:

Kevin de Bruyne (MCI)

Most Clean Sheets:

De Gea (MUN)

Top FPL Player at the end of the Season:

Kevin de Bruyne (MCI)

First Manager Sacked:

Paul Clement (SWA)

Premier League Surprise Package:

West Ham

GUEST 4: FPL AID

Twitter: @FPLAid

Premier League Champions: Man City

Premier League Top 4: 1st – Man City 2nd – Chelsea 3rd – Man United 4th – Arsenal

The Relegated Teams: 18th – Watford 19th – Brighton 20th – Burnley

Top Scorer: Sergio Aguero (MCI)

Most Assists: Cesc Fabregas (CHE)

Most Clean Sheets: Ederson (MCI)

Top FPL Player at the end of the Season: Kevin de Bruyne (MCI)

First Manager Sacked: Craig Shakespeare (LEI)

Premier League Surprise Package: West Ham

GUEST 5: FPL Intellect

Twitter: @FPL_Intellect

Premier League Champions:

Manchester City

Premier League Top 4: 1st – Man City 2nd – Man United 3rd – Spurs 4th – Liverpool

The Relegated Teams: 18th – Stoke City 19th – Huddersfield 20th – Brighton & Hove Albion

Top Scorer:

Harry Kane (TOT)

Most Assists:

Kevin De Bruyne (MCI)

Most Clean Sheets:

David de Gea (MUN)

Top FPL Player at the end of the Season:

Harry Kane (TOT)

First Manager Sacked:

Mark Hughes (STK)

Premier League Surprise Package:

Team - West Ham

Player - Chicharito (WHU)

GUEST 6: FPL JUDAS

Twitter: @FPLJudas

Premier League Champions: Man City

Premier League Top 4: 1st – Man City 2nd – Chelsea 3rd – Man United 4th – Spurs

The Relegated Teams: 18th – Brighton 19th – Burnley 20th – Huddersfield

Top Scorer: Harry Kane (TOT)

Most Assists: Kevin de Bruyne (MCI)

Most Clean Sheets: Spurs

Top FPL Player at the end of the Season: Alexis Sanchez (ARS)

First Manager Sacked: Slaven Bilic (WHU)

Premier League Surprise Package(s): Manuel Lanzini (WHU)

Charlie Austin (SOU)

Andrew Robertson (LIV)

GUEST 7: INSIDER FPL

Twitter: @insiderFPL

Premier League Champions:

Man City

Top 4:

1) Man City 2) Man United 3) Chelsea 4) Liverpool

Relegated Teams:

18) Burnley 19) Watford 20) Huddersfield

Top Scorer: Romelu Lukaku (MUN)

Most Assists: Kevin de Bruyne (MCI)

Most Clean Sheets: Man United

Top FPL player: Kevin de Bruyne (MCI)

First Manager Sacked: Sean Dyche (BUR)

Surprise Package: Crystal Palace finish in top half

GUEST 8: Mark Dinkha (MD Fantasy)

Twitter: @MD_F4NT4SY

Premier League Champions: Manchester City

Premier League Top 4: 1st – Man City 2nd – Chelsea 3rd – Spurs 4th – Man United

The Relegated Teams: 18th – Swansea City 19th – Brighton 20th – Huddersfield Town

Top Scorer: Harry Kane (TOT)

Most Assists: Kevin De Bruyne (MCI)

Most Clean Sheets: Man United

Top FPL Player at the end of the Season: Kevin De Bruyne (MCI)

First Manager Sacked: Slaven Bilic (WHU)

Premier League Surprise Package: Everton

GUEST 9: FPL Bandit

Twitter: @FPLBandit

Premier League Champions: Man City

Premier League Top 4: 1st - Man City 2nd - Chelsea 3rd - Man United 4th - Spurs

The Relegated Teams 18th - Brighton 19th - Watford 20th - Huddersfield

Top Scorer: Romelu Lukaku (MUN)

Most Assists: Kevin de Bruyne (MCI)

Most Clean Sheets: Chelsea

Top FPL Player at the end of the Season: Dele Alli (TOT)

First Manager Sacked: Marco Silva (WAT)

Premier League Surprise Package: Alex Iwobi (ARS)