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Fantasy football tips: Newly promoted players to star in the Premier League next season

Fantasy football is all about selecting the best possible players for the season ahead.

Logic would seemingly suggest you are therefore best served focusing on the teams most favoured to succeed: Liverpool, Man City, etc.

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But if recent Dream Team seasons have taught us anything, it’s that there is gold to be found in unexpected locations.

The likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah will cost you a virtual arm and leg, meaning you may have to shop for bargains elsewhere to stay within budget.

For example, those who started 2019/20 with Teemu Pukki in their team were richly rewarded as the Finnish striker raced out of the traps.

Jack Grealish earned 7+ ratings all season long while Dean Henderson and Sheffield United’s defenders proved be excellent value for money.


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Manchester United starlet Dean Henderson is being chased by Arsenal and Chelsea

Getty
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Man United’s No1?

The point being, you can gain an edge over your mates if you are able to identify the cheap newly promoted players who turn out to be Premier League quality.

Here’s seven players to keep an eye on ahead if 2020/21…

JOE BRYAN

Air time

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Air time

Play-off final heroics capped an impressive campaign for Fulham’s inexhaustible No23.

Bryan was arguably the best left-back in the Championship last season, finishing the campaign with seven assists, six of which were for Aleksandar Mitrovic.

If the two can maintain their profitable partnership in the top flight then Bryan might tick along nicely points-wise.

MATHEUS PEREIRA

Samba

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Samba

You could make a case for the Brazilian creator being the best player in the Championship for 2019/20.

Pereira was directly involved in 31% of West Brom’s league goals, scoring eight and assisting 16 — making him the most prolific playmaker in the league.

The 24-year-old is likely to be the one who garners borderline condescending praise from commentators, pundits and fans in the opening weeks of the season — think Grealish part two.
The Baggies won’t dictate games as often as they did in the Championship but we’re backing Pereira’s class to shine through.

The question is: will that translate to Dream Team points?

ILLAN MESLIER

The longest arms in the league

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The longest arms in the league

Having the best defensive record in the Championship was at the heart of Leeds’ mightily successful season.

The disgraced Kiko Casilla was between the sticks for the majority of the games but the former Real Madrid keeper may be leaving Elland Road unceremoniously after his eight-game ban for racist language.

Illan Meslier deputised for the Spaniard with such aplomb that the club made his loan a permanent switch and at this stage it seems as if the 20-year-old will be Marcelo Bielsa’s No1 come September.
Meslier impressed at the Emirates in the FA Cup last season despite Arsenal’s eventual 1-0 win en route to lifting the trophy.

This one is a risk as there’s no telling if Bielsa’s uncompromising tactics will be as effective in the Premier League but Chris Wilder’s Blades showed what a well-organised side can achieve when making the jump up.

ALEKSANDAR MITROVIC

A walking VAR review

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A walking VAR review

This is the big one.

The Serbian target man has top-flight experience and will be the most familiar player to Premier League viewers of the promoted crop.

Mitrovic pipped Ollie Watkins to the Championship Golden Boot after plundering 26 goals while bloodying the noses of a few centre-backs in the process.

Having reinvented himself at Craven Cottage, the ex-Newcastle striker will be out for revenge upon his return to the Premier League.

Whatever happens, it’s guaranteed to be box-office entertainment.

LUKE AYLING

Rock star

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Rock star

Much of what we said about Meslier applies his long-haired team-mate — if Leeds are even half as successful in implementing their approach in the Prem then they’ll probably do alright.

Ayling is one of the first names on Bielsa’s team sheet when fit and, like so many other Elland Road residents, he has improved immeasurably under El Loco.

Bielsa won’t sacrifice anything in terms of ambition or intensity this coming season so expect to see his full-backs spend just as time in the final third as their own half.

Ayling scored four goals and assisted four more as Leeds ended their long wait for promotion — like Joe Bryan, he’s a defender with a penchant for attacking.

GRADY DIANGANA

Iron or Baggy?

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Iron or Baggy?

It’s still not known whether the England Under-21 international will play for West Brom or West Ham in 2020/21.

He spent last season on loan at The Hawthorns where he seemed to take great pleasure in embarrassing any opponent brave enough to get near him.

However, from a Baggies point of view, he might have caught the eye a little too much as it’s now not inconceivable Diangana could play regularly for the Hammers.

Jarrod Bowen taking up residence in east London may allow Slaven Bilic to retain the electric winger who contributed eight goals and six assists to West Brom’s promotion campaign.

Like Pereira, he’s great fun.

JACK HARRISON

The number of top knots at Leeds during lockdown was genuinely outrageous

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The number of top knots at Leeds during lockdown was genuinely outrageous

We finish back in Yorkshire with another of Bielsa’s pet projects.

Harrison has committed to a third consecutive year on loan at Leeds from Man City — at this stage the Elland Road faithful have accepted him as one of their own.

Watch out for this lad’s first touch, it’s genuinely world class, and he’s got a serious engine on him too.

Critics are still unsure of his end product but only Pablo Hernandez provided more assists for Leeds in their title-winning season and only the Spaniard and Patrick Bamford scored more goals.

Harrison improved noticeably between his first and second seasons and if something similar occurs between his second and third then he may well prove to be a handy bargain in the mould of a Harvey Barnes.


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