Manchester United continued their 100% winning record in pre-season with a narrow victory over Real Salt Lake overnight.
After thumping LA Galaxy 5-2 in their previous game, the Red Devils’ recovered from having Antonio Valencia sent off to clinch a second win of their US tour.
Romelu Lukaku – the £75m signing from Everton – got off the mark for his new side by capping an excellent team move before half time.
But what did we learn with regards to fantasy football for the upcoming Premier League season?
1 Lukaku is a snip at £6m
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s future uncertain and Diego Costa almost destined to return to Spain, the Premier League currently lacks depth when it comes to elite level strikers.
That means Lukaku (£6m) is likely to be a dead cert for your Dream Team this season – and so far that rings true with over 60% of managers selecting the big Belgian in attack.
He demonstrated his goalscoring prowess against Real Salt Lake on Monday night, taking his time before firing home after a clever pass by Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
If Lukaku can get the right service this season he can improve on the 25-goal tally he totalled at Everton last season.
2 Mkhitaryan is set for a big second season
The former Borussia Dortmund man’s first season in England was disrupted by form and fitness problems but he can really settle this campaign.
Mkhitaryan (£4.5m) recorded the most assists in the Bundesliga in his final season in Germany and produced a smart pass to set up Lukaku for what proved to be United’s winner.
The Armenian also equalised for the Red Devils on 28 minutes and he could be Jose Mourinho’s main attacking man this season on this evidence.
3 Martial left in the dark
The arrival of Lukaku and potentially Ivan Perisic too means even more competition for places in attack, leaving Anthony Martial staring into the abyss in terms of his United future.
It’s common knowledge that the Frenchman isn’t exactly Mourinho’s cup of tea and it seems likely he’ll feature even less this season.
Martial scored just 108 Dream Team points last season – less than Leighton Baines.
4 Pogba x Lukaku is a match made in heaven
Paul Pogba established an almost instant rapport with Ibrahimovic last season and now he’s got his best mate to find with his famous raking passes.
How did Pogba perform in fantasy football last season?
- Third-highest rated player (7.72) in the Premier League last season, behind only Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez
- Consistent points scorer throughout the Premier League season
- Scored 236 points Dream Team last season, the third-highest for a midfielder
- Want him in your fantasy football team this season? Sign up now
The duo showed glimpses of an understanding already against Real Salt Lake, with Lukaku looking dangerous on the shoulder of the last defender.
United could score buckets of goals this season if the two can stay fit and firing.
5 Mourinho is still figuring out his best defence
As many Premier League managers do, Mourinho named two completely different XIs in each half against Real Salt Lake allowing all of his defenders a chance to impress.
Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones started at centre-back before being replaced by Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly at the break.
Jones was too easily beaten for pace and his positioning was exposed for the Salt Lake goal and Smalling is being linked with a move away from the club.
So while Lindelof and Bailly are generally expected to start the season together, it might be worth holding fire for your Dream Team until it’s actually underway to see what Mourinho prefers.
How does fantasy football work?
The setup for Dream Team is rather simple – as a manger you get a budget of £50m to spend on your team of 11 players.
Game Weeks will run from Friday to Thursday this season and you’ll be allowed to transfer out players who have already played in that Game Week.
Each manager gets a maximum of three transfers a month – so it’s important to pay attention to upcoming fixtures.
And if the incentive of beating your mates in our Mini-League system isn’t enough, there’s a whopping £750,000 prizepot at stake too.
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