30 March

GW30 & GW31 Top Five Key Players

Headliner - Bamidele Alli (bur, swa)

We look to Alli (8.9) to step up as our headline pick for gameweek 30, in the absence of Kane (11.2). The young Englishman has attempted an effort on goal every 34.2 minutes, which betters both Hazard’s (10.2), 40.3 minutes and Mane’s (9.8), 40.6 minutes. Other than Sánchez (11.6) who has scored 18 goals this season (predominantly playing from a lone-forward position), Alli has scored the second highest total of goals across the midfield, with 14. In his last three league games he has scored three and assisted one. Sandwiched in the middle of that was an Emirates FA Cup game where he also scored and assisted one. Is his form back that he possessed during his hot-streak which spanned from gameweek 17 to gameweek 22. During that period Alli bagged eight goals and one assist. In the absence of Kane, Alli will be relied upon more heavily, which could enhance his point returns. He also appears to have been handed penalty duties having taken a spot-kick in the absence of Kane versus Southampton. Burnley have been very strong at home this season, but have derailed a little recently having only managed to pick up three points from a possible 15. Spurs on the other hand have won 12 points from a possible 15, scoring 10 across those five games. It looks promising for 12+ points from Alli over the next two gameweeks.


Sergio Agüero (ars, che)

Of all the premium strikers, Agüero (12.7), is the form pick away from home this season, believe it or not. As you can see from the infographic below, he has averaged more shots on target and more average points per game versus Lukaku (10.5), Costa (10.7), Ibrahimovic (11.4) and Kane. The Argentinian, who has endured a very inconsistent season due to Pep’s penchant for tinkering should now benefit from City’s Champions League departure. With no reason to rotate the highly-rated forward, owners should see him flourish with a security of starts. While he has been in and out of the team (recording only 17 starts), he has still managed the second most shots of all forwards with 93 versus Lukaku’s, 80, Costa’s, 78 and Kane’s, 69. So, it is time for the South-American to deliver in line with his shooting output, and when we consider that Agüero has contributed an attacking return every 82.9 minutes across six seasons of Premier League football, we cannot help but think it is only a matter of time before his fortunes improve. First up for Manchester City and Agüero is Arsenal away in gameweek 30, and the Gunners are a side bang off form, having picked up only three points from their last 15, conceding 11 goals across those five games. With Cech (5.4) confirmed out, leaving Ospina (4.7) to debutise, we believe this could be a high-scoring fixture, benefiting Agüero. Chelsea could pose more of a challenge, but it is worth remembering that Agüero has scored four goals in his last three league games up against the Londoners, including a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge last season.


Jamie Vardy (STK, SUN)

We were beginning to wonder whether Vardy’s (9.8) infamous Postman doppelgänger had kidnapped the Premier League winner and was passing himself off as last season’s 24 goal hero. Between gameweek’s 16 to 25 the charismatic Englishman amassed an appalling 10 points. In contrast, the last three gameweeks have seen Vardy score three goals as well as lay on a pair of assists leading him to pick up an impressive 29 points, at an average of 9.67 points per game. His Premier League record speaks for itself weighing in with an impressive attacking return every 137.8 minutes. Since Craig Shakespeare took charge, Leicester have gone on to secure nine points from a possibly nine and reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League, winning every game in the process. Vardy is predicted to score 4.3 points according to our Fix algorithm in gameweek 30, which is only 0.1 less than the obscenely in-form Lukaku. Stoke will make the trip to the King Power stadium in gameweek 30 to face Vardy and co. The Potters have really struggled on the road since the Christmas period, having conceded a colossal 14 goals in their last 6 away games. Vardy has been involved in 55.6% of his teams’ goals over the last four gameweeks, so we believe he will be walking away from this encounter with attacking returns to add to his solid Premier League record. In gameweek 31 Sunderland are likely to travel to Leicester having to deal with an even more confident striker. Away from home they have conceded 13 goals in their last six games, which should again benefit a lively Vardy.


Cédric Soares (BOU, CRY)

Many will be looking to Valencia (5.9) as their replacement for Coleman (6.0). However, with doubts over the Manchester man’s league game time given United's hectic April schedule (where they have nine games across all competitions) we have decided to look for another solid alternative. The man in question is Southampton’s Cédric (4.8), who has actually managed more goal attempts, 14, and shots on target, five, versus Valencia over the course of the season, with the Ecuadorean only managing seven and three respectively. While he trails Valencia (39) in successful open play crosses with 29, he is a huge 38% ahead of third placed, Matt Lowton (4.5) and 242% ahead of this week’s FPL price-riser Bertrand (5.5), who has only managed 12 successful crosses. It is 3.8 points predicted by our Fix algorithm this week for the Saints right-back. Looking at that from a human eye we believe his predicted points total could be much greater given the underlying numbers which demonstrate attacking returns are more likely than most defenders in the game. Cédric will line-up against Bournemouth in gameweek 30, a side who have been incredibly reliant upon the in-form King (5.8). If Romeu (4.5) who we highlighted as being one of the best CDM performers this season on Twitter can mark the Norwegian out of the game, there does not appear to be a clear source of goals from elsewhere in the team. Only three goals have been scored by other teammates in the last eight gameweeks. Bournemouth have conceded 2.21 goals a game away from home this season, which also bodes well for Cédric’s attacking exploits. Crystal Palace make the visit to St. Mary's Stadium in gameweek 31. The Eagles have scored just five goals in five away games, so new suitors could well benefit from two clean sheets on the trot.


Differential – Dusan Tadic (BOU, CRY)

Tadic (7.0) has not quite lived up to last year’s form which pitted the Serbian amongst players like Eriksen (8.7) 178 points, Firmino (8.4) 155 points and De Bruyne (10.4) 131 points, with his 157 points - Which his eight goals and 13 assists contributed to. But, there is room for optimism. Southampton’s last three gameweeks have had their challenges given that all three have been away from home. Nevertheless, the tricky left-footer has risen to the task and in doing so has shown signs he is back to his best with one goal and three assists and a pleasant run of games now follow. Tadic will face Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Hull at home in the next six gameweeks, with an away fixture against West Brom sandwiched in between. Investing in the winger therefore makes long-term sense, as well as having short-term appeal for gameweek 30. Tadic has created opportunities for his teammates every 34.9 minutes, which is better than Coutinho (8.2) with 35 minutes, Hazard with 41.9 minutes, Sigurdsson (7.8) 42.8 minutes and Sterling (7.7) 58.2 minutes. As commented on above in the piece on Cédric, Tadic lines up against Bournemouth in gameweek 30. The Cherries have looked defensively inept since losing Aké (3.8) and we expect Tadic (who also takes left-sided set pieces and penalties) to mop up in this South coast battle. Crystal Palace follow on in gameweek 31 down at St. Mary's, so we are expecting a big haul from Tadic across these two.