West Brom finished 10th in the 2016/17 Premier League campaign and surprisingly spent much of the season in 8th place. With most of their points being accumulated before Christmas, Tony Pulis and the boys were criticised for being on the beach and this notion was underpinned by taking just 5 points from the last 12 games of the season!
Regarding summer transfers, West Brom captain Darren Fletcher has followed Berahino to Stoke City, which was a big surprise for fans and players. Coming the other way is Jay Rodriguez, a steal at £12 million (real money) and a viable Fantasy Premier League (FPL) option if he keeps those wee legs fit. Also, Egyptian international Hegazi has joined the Midlands club from Al Ahly on a season long loan (a very odd bit of business) and has seemed to fit nicely in the back four, whilst goal machine Gareth McAuley is injured. It is worth noting that our out of position (OOP) friend Chris Brunt has now been changed from a defender to a midfielder and is priced at 5.5m.
Compared to most teams, WBA have a relatively relaxed start to the 2017/18 campaign with a very attractive fixture list up to gameweek 6. However, the squad is limited at the current time due to injuries and along with the implementation of a new captain, FPL point returns may be few and far between.
STAR MAN – Jay Rodriguez (6.0m)
At an affordable 6.0m, Jay arrives at the Hawthorns hungry to prove his worth as a premier league player. The 2013/14 season saw him score 15 goals and provide 3 assists amassing 152 points on FPL. If he keeps fit, there is no reason why he cannot match that haul once again. Currently owned by 3.2% of FPL managers also means that he falls into the differential bracket. With the tasty fixtures coming his way and the pre-season form that he is showing, Jay could be our first FPL bandwagon of the season. All aboard!
HIDDEN GEM – Ahmed Hegazi (4.5m)
As said before, Ahmed has joined on loan for the season with the option to buy from Egyptian outfit Al Ahly. Believe it or not, he is the only WBA defender who is priced less than 5.0m which already makes him an attractive option. It’s hard to say whether he is a nailed on starter, but he has continued to start in McAuley’s absence during pre-season. Tony Pulis has been singing his praises and has been awarded a man of the match award in a pre-season friendly, against… Burton Albion.
Worth noting that if he does start, Hegazi will rise in price since he is the cheapest West Brom defender.
BARGAIN – Ben Foster (4.5m)
Foster is still somehow valued at 4.5m which is an absolute bargain for this shot stopper. Despite being leaky towards the end of last season, WBA are notorious for being defensive and limiting teams attacking potential. Ben still faces a lot of shots which has a positive effect on save points. As mentioned before, WBA have good fixtures to start with which adds more potential for clean sheet points and Ben played every single premier league minute The Baggies so guaranteed appearances. WBA’s highest owned player is Foster which is currently at 17%.
Dawson – Evans – McAuley – Brunt
Phillips – Yacob – Livermore – Chadli
Rodriguez – Rondon
If you have enjoyed this early view of the fantasy potential of West Brom, be sure to check the other teams here.
Written by FPL Opi (@FPL_Opinion)