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11 Jan.

GW23 Top Five Key Players

By The Editor ()

Headliner - Harry Kane (EVE)

Kane (12.9), has been an ever present figure in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) headlines for much of this season, some supporting, some doubting. One thing that has not seen peaks and troughs is his underlying numbers - almost supreme in each and every game he has played. He may have been frustrating to own during the double gameweek but the Premier League’s leading goal scorer has taken more shots, 124, shots from inside the box, 78, and shots on target, 47, than any other player this season, while only Salah (10.1) has been involved in more big chances, 24 to 22. We’ve seen the England international weigh in with two hat-tricks during the last four gameweeks and no player has scored more or taken more shots on target than Kane’s 10 during this period. Spurs have scored 11 goals over the last four gameweeks which is more than Chelsea, Arsenal and Man. City while only Liverpool, with 12, have scored more. Spurs adopted home, Wembley, will host Everton in gameweek 23. The Toffees have looked more solid at the back since the arrival of Allardyce but have still conceded four goals in their last two league games. Kane and co. convincingly dispatched Everton’s Merseyside neighbours in gameweek nine, in a 4-1 win, and will be hoping to do the same here. Our Fix algorithm predicts a score of 7.2 points for Kane, the highest prediction across the game.

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Eden Hazard (LEI)

Hazard (10.7), ran much of the show in gameweek 22’s showdown away to Arsena, which is a big statement with talents such as Morata (10.5), Özil (9.3), Lacazette (10.3) and Sánchez (11.8) on the field. The Belgium international ended his six match goal drought after winning and converting a penalty during that 2-2 draw and he has now provided 10 FPL involvements this season (six goals, four assists). Only Morata (10.5), with 14, has more amongst Chelsea players. On average this season Hazard has had 1.3 shots on target per game a figure which can only be beaten by Sánchez (11.8), with 1.4, and Salah, with 2.0, across the midfield. Over the last four gameweeks that average has increased to 1.7 shots per game and only Wilson (5.7), with 1.8, Salah, with 2.3, and Kane, with 2.5, have better totals among those who have played at least twice during that period. Leicester travel to Stamford Bridge for gameweek 23 and we expect this one to be a bit of a goal-fest. The Foxes have conceded nine goals in their last five games and Chelsea have scored 10 goals in their last five. Hazard is tipped to score 4.4 points via our Fix algorithm and an attacking return (or more) looks likely.

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Jesse Lingard (STK)

With the nickname “Messi” Lingard (6.3) it was surely only a matter of time before the young Man. United midfielder found a place in our top five. Lingard is currently the most transferred in player ahead of gameweek 23 after scoring his seventh league goal of the season against Everton in gameweek 22. The young Englishman has returned FPL involvements in four of his last five games (four goals, one assist). In that time, Lingard’s total of eight shots on target is on par with Sterling (8.9). Salah is the only midfielder to have managed more, with nine, while Alonso (7.3), with nine, and Kane, with 11, are the only other players that can better the Man. United man. When compared with Pogba (7.9) over the last four gameweeks, Lingard’s total of six shots on target is two more than the French international has achieved, while his contribution of three big chances also compares favourably against Pogba’s one big chance. Old Trafford welcomes Stoke for gameweek 23. The Potters have been on a hapless run winning only twice from their last 12 games and have conceded 11 goals in their last five games. Man. United are predicted to score the most goals, with 3.05, in gameweek 23 via our Fix algorithm and Lingard is projected to score 4.9 points.

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Marcos Alonso (LEI)

The word “essential” and FPL should be sparsely used alongside one another. Each season we are presented with a few justifiable cases, Alonso (7.3), is one such example who now fits the bill for 2017/18, as he did for most of 2016/17. The Chelsea left wing-back has found four attacking returns during the last six gameweeks whilst also managing to keep four clean sheets over that period. Over the same timeframe he has also had nine shots on target which is level with Salah, and only Agüero (11.7), with 11, and Kane, with 16, have taken more across the game. When compared with other defenders, Bellerin (6.0) is second for shots on target during the last six gameweeks, having mustered three compared to Alonso’s colossal total of nine. It is also noting that no defender has provided more than the Spaniard’s 12 attempted assists during the last six. Chelsea host Leicester at home in gameweek 23 and while the Foxes have rekindled some of their title winning form under Puel, they have only scored one goal in the two away ties against “top six” opposition this season. Add the Mahrez (8.6) to Liverpool rumours into the mix and all of a sudden an Alonso clean sheet looks more likely. Our Fix algorithm predicts a score of 5.3 points for Alonso.

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Callum Wilson (ARS)

Wilson (5.7), has had a bit of an up and down season having picked up a hat-trick in gameweek 12 only to be dropped three gameweeks later for two games, but with starts over the last four and two goals to boot, he could be just the player for those looking to move on Calvert-Lewin (5.5). Wilson scored his fifth goal of the season against Brighton in gameweek 22 coming from just nine league starts. Over the last four gameweeks Wilson’s seven shots on target puts him in esteemed company - Agüero and Salah also have seven to their name and only Kane has had more, with 10. When compared with other forwards priced under 9.0 the Bournemouth man is ranked first for shots, with 14, shots from inside the box, with 12, and shots on target, with seven, as well as joint first for goals scored alongside Vardy (8.6), Carroll (5.8) and Ayew (5.0), who have all also scored two. Bournemouth have a tricky looking fixture on paper for gameweek 23, but Arsenal have been far from resolute at the back recently. The Gunners have conceded eight goals in their last four league games and Wilson’s fixtures after this see him face seven sides placed 10th or below over the next ten gameweeks. This could be a longevity transfer that many are looking for.

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The Editor

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