Newcastle fans have been blessed with a further year under the managerial prowess that is Rafa Benitez despite the lack of any substantial investment in the side and the lack of backing in that respect from Mike Ashley. Muto, Schar and Ki have been added this year as well as the purchase of Dubravka on a permanent deal with Kenedy returning on loan. These incomings provide great promise for Newcastle to be closer to mid table mediocrity than facing a relegation battle.
The club captain boasts attacking threat with an average of a goal every 10 games last time out, and with Dubravka signing on a permanent deal, the Newcastle defence is further solidified. The majority of Newcastle’s clean sheets were notched beyond his signing in January, including against Manchester United, Chelsea and Southampton. There are limited options at the £5.0M range but Lascelles should be nailed on as not only the captain, but an often used player under Benitez thus far. His early fixtures aren’t favourable but he may well be one to get in on your wildcard for GW9 and beyond.
The young Brazilian provided a great option towards the end of last season and the renewal of his loan to Newcastle was welcomed with open arms by FPL managers. The jury is still out on just how good an asset he is but returns of 4 goal contributions in 13 games last season, or an average of roughly 1 in 3, are more than sufficient for a £5.0M midfielder. This price point sees him compete with the likes of Ruben Neves, Cairney and Wilshere, all unlikely to match this rate of returns. If Kenedy can pick up where he left off, he looks to be a great option once more, though his early fixtures are tumultuous and he may be a pick for later on in the season after his quality is further tested.
The Spaniard was another to provide a great option towards the back end of last season, notching a goal contribution on average every second game. This is a solid rate of return for a £6.5M player and continuing to play in the No. 10 role, and with a stronger team around him, the returns should be maintained in the 2018/19 season.
The Saints come into the 2018/19 season off the back of a close scare with relegation a very real prospect until late into the season just gone. Things are looking up with Mark Hughes replacing Pellegrino and likely to instil some defensive rigidity that had been so badly lacking into the side. Armstrong and Elyounoussi provide offensive reinforcements whilst the emergence of McCarthy last season only boosts the defensive prospects of Southampton.
After displacing the fallen from grace Fraser Forster, McCarthy put in a number of solid performances in the business end of the 207/18 and made some significant saves as Southampton just about scraped Premier League survival. He averaged a clean sheet in every 4.5 games and 2.3 saves per game, as well as 3 Bonus Points total, within 18 games. McCarthy also provides a great £9.0M home/away rotation option with Fabianski of West Ham and whilst Angus Gunn has been signed to provide competition, he is unlikely to take over as first choice.
Albeit currently a doubt to be fit for GW1 having missed the friendly with Celta Vigo on Wednesday due to a lack of match fitness, at just £4.5M, Cedric provides a great option as a defender with attacking threat, having averaged a goal contribution every 10 games over the last 3 seasons. Over the same period, he’s been involved in keeping a clean sheet on average every third game. This is a decent return for a player of his value, yet under the guise of Mark Hughes I anticipate the Saints becoming more defensively sound and keeping a few more shutouts.
Somewhat of an unknown, Elyounoussi provides an option at the £6.5M midfield range. How he adapts to the Premier League we can’t truly judge but we all remember a certain former Basel winger doing fairly well last season. The £16 Million signing scored a 90th minute winner against Celta Vigo in the aforementioned friendly and could go on to provide many a crucial goal. Last season saw him notch 19 goal contributions in 33 games in the Swiss Super League and half as good a return this year would be welcomed. Currently sitting at just 0.7% TSB, he also provides a differential option in comparison to more popular assets at this price point such as Jota and Sessegnon who carry just as much mystery.