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kdb15(2)
1 Dec.

GW15 Top Five Key Players

By The Editor ()

Headliner – Kevin De Bruyne (WHU)

De Bruyne (10.1) has now started all 14 league games and although Sterling (8.2) is currently the form man it is now three goals and one assist for De Bruyne in the last four games and stats would suggest that he remains rotation proof. Three of his four goals have come during the last four gameweeks, so it is no surprise that De Bruyne is ranked joint second for shots on target amongst midfielders with six. Mohamed Salah (of course) leads the midfielders with eight. Although he has just one assist in his last four outings De Bruyne has strung together an impressive amount of attempted assists, with 13 to his name. Only Cesc Fàbregas is able to trump him with 15. Pep Guardiola’s side have been grinding out wins in their recent games but their total of nine goals scored during the last four gameweeks can only be beaten by Everton’s 10 and Liverpool’s 11. West Ham come into this gameweek 15 tie having conceded 16 goals in their last six league games at an average of 2.67 goals per game. A Fix algorithm prediction of 6.6 points ranks him highest of any player and appears to be a score that is more than achievable against the lowly and desperately out of luck East London outfit.

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KDB15(1)

Xherdan Shaqiri (SWA)

In just 990 minutes of league action this year (equivalent to 10 games), Shaqiri (6.0), has mustered eight FPL involvements (goals/assists) putting him amongst some elite company so we can no longer ignore his advances. Despite his impressive output he continues to go under the radar, sitting in just 6.9% of overall squads. Shaqiri has been directly involved in five league goals during the last five gameweeks and during that period the Switzerland international has produced more shots, with 12, shots on target, with four, and attempted assists, with eight, than his teammate Choupo-Moting (5.7) who has eight, three and three respectively. The Stoke midfielder has created four big chances over the last five gameweeks and no midfielder priced under 7.0 has topped that with Groß (6.0), Fàbregas (6.9), Ritchie (5.7) and Zaha (6.8) creating three, three, two and two respectively. Gameweek 15 sees Shaqiri and co. host Swansea who have now conceded 10 goals in their last seven games, failing to win any. Our Fix algorithm predicts that Shaqiri can score 4.0 points this gameweek so attacking returns could be on the cards again here.

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shaq15(2)

Oumar Niasse (HUD)

Niasse (5.0) has been one of the few positives to come out of Everton’s beleaguered 2017/18 campaign. A positive response against West Ham after a disastrous gameweek 13 for the Toffees does cast a little doubt over Niasse’s gametime for gameweek 15, but there are many factors working in his favour. The Senegalese international will be well rested as a result of his retrospective diving ban, the festive calendar needs negotiating and both Calvert-Lewin (5.1) and Lennon (5.4) have both proved relatively ineffectual in his two game absence. In his seven appearances so far this season Niasse has started on just three occasions making his five goals and one assist all the more impressive. In relation to other forwards priced under 7.0 Niasse has scored more goals, with five and had more shots on target, with seven. Murray (5.8), Tammy Abraham (5.9) and Callum Wilson (6.1) have all fared worse as can be seen in our info-graphic below. Everton face Huddersfield in gameweek 15 and should be able to build upon their emphatic 4-0 win over West Ham given Huddersfield’s recent record. The Terriers have conceded 14 goals in the last five league games at an average of 2.8 goals a game so Niasse could prosper.

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Álvaro Morata (NEW)

Morata (10.7) was unable to add to his tally of eight goals and four assists from 13 league games, but almost certainly felt the effects of Hazard’s (10.7) bench role, having formulated quite an understanding with the Belgian in recent weeks. While he failed to score during the win over Swansea in gameweek 14 he did register an impressive six shots with four of those being on target – so he can feel a little hard done by. The Spaniard has been directly involved in 12 league goals this season scoring eight times and providing four assists. Only Harry Kane (12.8) who has 10 and Sergio Aguero (11.7) who has nine have scored more goals amongst forwards. Over the last four gameweeks only Salah (9.7), who has nine, has registered more shots on target than Morata, who has eight. Newcastle travel to Stamford Bridge for gameweek 15 having not won a game in their last five. In that time they have conceded 11 goals at an average of 2.2 goals a game. Morata is projected to be one of the highest scoring players in gameweek 15 according to our Fix algorithm, with a projection of 6.0 points. Off the back of gameweek 14’s narrow victory versus Swansea at home, Chelsea will be looking to put on a show in front of their home fans and this projection should be more than attainable.

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Wayne Hennessey (wba)

Hennessey (4.3) arrives on our doorstep at a crucial point in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) season with teammate Speroni (4.0) and budget friendly option Elliot (4.2) both losing their places in gameweek 14. When compared with popular goalkeeping options such as Foster (4.4), Pope (4.6), Elliot (4.2) and Begovic (4.5) the Crystal Palace goalkeeper has produced more saves per game this season, making 4.1 saves per game on average. Crystal Palace have been far more resilient in defence since Roy Hodgson took charge picking up their first clean sheet of the season in gameweek 14 as well as conceding just four goals over the last four gameweeks. Hennessey now has 10 favourable fixtures across the next 13 games and if the Eagles are to stay in the Premier League they will need to keep more clean sheets against bottom half opponents (facing seven teams over the next 13 who sit below tenth). Crystal Palace face a West Brom side who have failed to score in three of their last six league games against Southampton, Huddersfield and Chelsea, so Hennessey looks a safe bet for those wavering away from their current option(s).

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The Editor

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