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FANTASY FORECAST 2019/20: FPL Pre-Season Predictions

Ahead of each Gameweek in the Fantasy Premier League, The Hype Train's three front-men, Robert Austin, Sam Austin and Phil Jones, duel for FPL supremacy in predicting Premier League scores, as well as going head to head in picking a Scout Picks squad for each round of games. With the Premier League season less than a week away, we provide our Pre-Season Predictions about how we think the season will be scripted. Welcome to the Forecast. All aboard.

Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 1 Deadline

For the 2019/20 Premier League season, the FPL deadline will be one hour before the commencement of the week's first game. Our website provides a real-world countdown timer for the the upcoming Gameweek, whilst you can read our latest Fantasy articles from the season on our 2019/20 FPL weekly hype sub-section.

How does our Forecasting work this season?

For three years we invited guests from the FPL Community to tackle us with picks for the upcoming Gameweek in Fantasy Premier League. We'll be taking a break from inviting guests onto this article for a year, and have introduced a new feature, Fantasy 5's, which we'll be asking weekly guests their top pick in each position ahead of each Gameweek.

For the sake of respecting the rules of the Forecast, we have provided an example of what we're sending out to interested parties that will feature throughout the season.

  • Premier League Fixture Prediction: As pundits, we are testing our football acumen with PL predictions and will be providing regular updated tables and stats in each edition of the FPL Forecast. A perfect score is worth 3 points whilst a correct result is worth 1 point.

  • FPL Gameweek Forecasting: Answering the regular questions that come up every single week in the Fantasy Premier League community that helps with identifying captaincy picks, transfers, attacking options, clean sheet potential, teams to look our for and avoid, players to consider for the Draft game, the wildcard differential players, as well as general analysis and comments.

  • Scout Picks: Picking a squad of 15 for a single Gameweek, without any budget, using the rules of the FPL - formations, captains and vice captains, and the player limits of 3 per club (chips will not be feature of these weekly picks)

  • Each team must pick a Captain, labelled as (c) and a Vice Captain listed as (vc).

Pre-Season Forecast: 2019/20

Robert Austin (@HypeTrainSam)

Premier League Winners:

Manchester City

PL Top 6:

1 – Man City

2 – Liverpool

3 – Spurs

4 – Chelsea

5 – Man United

6 – Arsenal

Reasoning behind Top 6:

Liverpool haven’t strengthened or used their momentum as Champions League winners to enhance their depth. An injury to any of their key starting eleven will curtail their entire season.

Last year Liverpool lost Gomez, Lovren, Trent, and Matip all at the same time with Virgil suspended for a key Champions League tie, and I can see similar situations this year. City know how to grind the easy games which will give them the edge to the title. I can see Spurs being the best team behind the chasing pack, and Lampard to inspire Chelsea to fourth in the wake of Eden Hazard’s departure.

I think Man United have improved their defence and will do one better than sixth place from 2018/19. Arsenal may have also improved their squad, but as it currently stands, they are the worst defensive team of the top six and I expect that to reflect by their place in the table.

The Relegated Trio:

18 – Norwich

19 – Aston Villa

20 – Sheffield United

Top FPL Player at the end of the Season:

Mohamad Salah (LIV)

Top FPL Player by Position:

GK – Alisson

DEF – Robertson

MID – Salah

FOR – Kane

Best Budget Option (that comes good):

Harry Kane, which is now FPL confirmed after they tweeted saying that the £11.0mil forward, yes…the joint fifth most expensive in the entire game, would be the best ‘budget’ option for the opening week.

Biggest FPL Disappointment:

Arsenal. Because, Arsenal are Arsenal. I can see Pepe, Aubameyang, and Lacazette being rotated and frustrating FPL managers. They also don’t have a good defence which is going to hurt them.

Top PL Goal Scorer:

Mohamad Salah.

Back-to-back Golden Boots says it all.

Most PL Assists:

Trent Alexander-Arnold first.

Ryan Fraser second.

Gylfi Sigurdsson third.

Andrew Robertson fourth.

Most Clean Sheets (Team):

Liverpool first.

City second.

First Manager Sacked/Left:

Dean Smith (Aston Villa). I think that the number of signings and investment made in the team will put a huge amount of pressure on Smith to perform, and if Villa struggle, which I think they will, he will be the first one gone and we’ll see John Terry as temporary manager. Villa travel to Stamford Bridge in early December which could see a clash between two Chelsea managers as legends.

Surprise Package (Player):

I can’t make a clear pick of one player, but I think these are players that may rise into huge ownership figures for the rest of the season:

Ross Barkley (Chelsea, Midfielder)

Che Adams (Southampton, Forward)

Nick Pope (Burnley, Goalkeeper)

Joelinton (Newcastle, Forward)

Kyle Walker-Peters (Spurs, Defender)

Surprise Package (Team):

Brighton. Graham Potter could rejuvenate the club after spells abroad.

Chelsea without Eden Hazard a close second.

Pre-Season Forecast: 2019/20

Phil Jones (@HypeTrainPhil)

Premier League Winners: Liverpool

PL Top 6: 1 – Liverpool 2 – Man City 3 – Spurs 4 – Arsenal 5 – Spurs 6 – Chelsea

Reasoning behind Top 6: Liverpool and City could go either way, the only thing that’s clear is nobody else is in the conversation this year. I’m hopeful for Chelsea but, with a heavy reliance on youth in 2019/20, it is a lot to ask. Spurs and Arsenal will be close but the Gunners defensive woes will once again be their downfall.

The Relegated Trio: 18 – Sheffield United 19 – Burnley 20 – Norwich

Top FPL Player at the end of the Season: Raheem Sterling (MCI)

Top FPL Player by Position: GK – Alisson DEF – Andy Robertson MID – Raheem Sterling FOR – Harry Kane

Best Budget Option (that comes good): Ross Barkley / Mason Mount: not sure who will be given the biggest chance here but I’m confident either one has the potential to be a top 15 Mid this year. Barkley has Pens and Free Kicks in his locker and looks the most likely to start. At 6.0mill that is a bargain.

Biggest FPL Disappointment: Kevin De Bruyne (MCI) is being highly topped to have a big year but it would be no surprise if he faces months of the season on the sideline again.

Top PL Goal Scorer: Harry Kane with 30+ this year. Expect Salah and Mane to be 20+ too.

Most PL Assists: Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal)

Most Clean Sheets (Team): Alisson (Liverpool)

First Manager Sacked/Left: Daniel Farke (Norwich)

Surprise Package (Player): Moise Kean (Everton)

Surprise Package (Team): Newcastle United

Pre-Season Forecast: 2019/20

Robert Austin (@HypeTrainRob)

Premier League Winners:

Man City – Another season of nearing 100 points looks a certainty. Liverpool will have to give more than they have to beat City and their squad depth.

PL Top 6:

1 – Man City

2 – Liverpool

3 – Spurs

4 – Man United

5 – Arsenal

6 – Chelsea

Reasoning behind Top 6:

There’s too much of a gap between Man City, Liverpool and the rest of the pack. I’ve been really surprised that Liverpool haven’t added another attacker to their squad in case of an injury to their front three, and some defensive cover for Robertson, so it looks like another season of City domination, unfortunately.

Spurs should profit from playing a full season at their new stadium, which should be enough for third. Just like last season, there will be a scramble for 4th and I think that Man United will throw enough money at the situation to squeeze into contention.

Arsenal haven’t strengthened enough and a dire defensively, whilst Chelsea have lost Hazard and have a new Manager in Frank Lampard, so I’ll air on the side of caution, especially as they have to manage the Champions League and Premier League with a transfer ban.

Wolves, Leicester and Everton aren’t anywhere near the Top 6 conversation, yet.

The Relegated Trio:

18 – Brighton

19 – Norwich

20 – Sheffield United

Norwich and Sheffield United look certain for the drop already, whilst the last spot will be contested by Newcastle, Brighton, Aston Villa and Burnley. I’ve just got a feeling Brighton might struggle for goals and have changed Manager, which might actually prove decisive in going down this season.

Top FPL Player at the end of the Season:

Mohamed Salah (LIV) – The Egyptian is a points magnet in FPL. Might as well put him in now and forget about him. He’ll get you the points, barring a horrific injury that might rule him out for a lengthy period of time. Additionally, Milner looks set to take on reduced minutes this season, meaning Mo should get the majority of penalties this season in VAR’s debut season.

Top FPL Player by Position:

GK – Ederson (MCI)

DEF – Andrew Robertson (LIV)

MID – Mohamed Salah (LIV)

FOR – Harry Kane (TOT)

Best Budget Option (that comes good):

Ross Barkley (CHE) – Might be an early pre-season shout, but £6.0m Barkley looks set to share set-piece responsibility at Chelsea. If Chelsea are to finish in the Top 6, Lampard’s squad, priced no higher than £7.5m, offer tremendous value.

Biggest FPL Disappointment:

Callum Wilson (BOU) – The ceiling literally can’t get any higher for a Bournemouth Forward, so if Wilson stays at The Cherries, I can’t see his price getting much higher, and if he starts slow, I can only see his pricing, and people’s estimations of the England international falling to rock bottom. That said, I want Wilson to do well, this is more a statement about his over-valuation at £8.0 million.

Top PL Goal Scorer:

Mohamed Salah (LIV) – Penalties should push Salah back nearer to the 30-goal mark this season. Liverpool and Salah played poorly in parts last season, so if Liverpool find their groove, Salah will be to main man this season, yet again.

Most PL Assists:

Kevin De Bruyne (MCI) – A default selection. If fit, KDB should get the most assists of any player in the league.

Most Clean Sheets (Team):

Man City – Can’t see City conceding many goals this season. If they can cut out the odd goal they concede, they could hit between 20-25 clean sheets this season.

First Manager Sacked/Left:

Roy Hodgson (CRY) – It’ been a bad pre-season for Palace and all of the other Manager’s in the league are either relatively new, or just won’t be sacked. Could it be Woy’s time?

Surprise Package (Player):

Joelinton (NEW) – The prophecy might not come through straight away due to Newcastle’s horrible fixtures, but the Brazilian is a very good player that looks like he’ll score the goals to keep Newcastle up. By the end of the season, if Steve Bruce has ANY idea what he is doing, Almiron should be up to speed and we should be in a good position to secure a mid-table finish.

Surprise Package (Team):

Southampton – If there’s one team who could catch up with the chasing pack of Wolves, Everton and Leicester, it’s Southampton. Ralph Hasenhüttl has had time to embed in to the South Coast, so could see his hard work pay off in a big way, especially as he’s had a transfer window to help shape his squad.

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.

We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.

In 2019, Hype Train Football Club was formed, becoming the first Fantasy Football website to take to the field. HTFC is a socially active team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles.

The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog' in 2016 by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), and were again shortlisted as a finalist in 2019 in the 'Best Fantasy Football Blog' category.

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All aboard.


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