12 April

GW34 Top Five Key Players

By The Editor ()

Headliner - Harry Kane (MCI, bha)

Kane, has been all over the headlines this week and not for his wondrous ability to score, but more so his written ability which was deemed strong enough when lodging an appeal for a “Did he? Didn’t he?” type goal. The dubious goals panel deemed he did, but it is the intent shown in appealing which fills us with confidence for the double gameweek. His hunger and desire to be credited for goals makes his headline appearance a no-brainer for us this week. Kane now moves onto 25 Premier League goals which is just four behind Liverpool’s, Salah, as we enter the final stages of the season. No player has produced more shots on target than the Spurs man over the course of the season, with 68, or during this calendar year, with 24, which puts him eight and five ahead of his closest rival, Salah, across all positions. Kane is likely to feature in both fixtures, and even with reduced minutes it seems to be a sure fire bet that he will deliver. Spurs will face Man. City at home on Saturday evening followed by Brighton away on Tuesday night. Our Fix algorithm predicts that Kane will score 10.7 points this gameweek, and we can see many captaining him as a result. The algorithm also predicts that Spurs will score 3.56 goals as a team, which bodes well for Kane’s involvement, since he has contributed to 42% of his team’s goals this season.


Alexis Sánchez (WBA, bou)

Sánchez, was born for double gameweeks, many will remember his phenomenal double gameweek hauls in years gone by. Most notably a 25 pointer which benefited many who stuck the Triple Captain chip on him in gameweek 37 last year. The former-Arsenal midfielder provided two assists in the Manchester derby last weekend and has now been directly involved in six goals (two goals and four assists) across eight league appearances for Man. United. His four Fantasy Premier League (FPL) involvements (goals or assists) during the last two gameweeks is more than any other player, beating Alli and Eriksen, who have each managed three. Sánchez has created two big chances over the same period which is on par with David Silva, Alli and Pogba and no player has produced more. Man. United have scored 10 goals during their last four league matches which is level with Arsenal and only Spurs have scored more, with 11. Man. United will face West Brom at home on Sunday followed by Bournemouth away on Wednesday evening. While Mourinho will have one eye on the FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham on the Saturday, we do expect Sánchez to feature in both. Our Fix algorithm predicts 10.9 points for Sánchez which looks reasonable given that it also tips Man. United to score 4.32 goals, the most of any team.


Charlie Austin (CHE, lei)

Austin, plain and simply, knows where the onion bag is. During his 4,917 minutes (equivalent to circa. 54 games) of Premier League football the Englishman has managed 32 goals. A superb return for a player that could see significant game-time over the double gameweek, and will set you back just 5.8 in FPL. It has been a frustrating season for Austin with injuries plaguing him once again. But, the Saints forward did manage to come off of the bench to score against Arsenal last weekend, which was his seventh league goal of the season, coming from less than 700 minutes of football. Austin has an impressive record of five goals from his six starts this season and will be pushing for a recall to the starting line-up in gameweek 34, having returned from injury against West Ham a couple of weeks ago. The Saints man has averaged 1.8 shots on target per game across his six starts which compares favourably against the most prolific goal scorers the league has to offer, with Kane averaging, 2.2, and Salah, 1.9 shots on target per game. Southampton will face Chelsea at home Saturday lunchtime followed by Leicester away on Thursday, so a chance for Austin and his teammates to seize some momentum and we can see them fairing favourably against a lacklustre Chelsea side, who have conceded eight goals in their last five league games - keeping zero clean sheets.


Heung-Min Son (MCI, bha)

The South Korean superstar, like Austin, has an incredible points per game record in FPL, and for that very reason he cannot be overlooked in a gameweek where he could potentially feature twice. In 24 starts (31 appearances) the Spurs man has provided 18 FPL involvements, with 12 of those coming in the form of goals. Only Sterling, with 16, and Salah, with 29, have scored more goals amongst midfielders. His total of 16 efforts on target in 2018 is more than Hazard, with 12, Sterling, with 11, Mahrez, with 10, and only Salah has registered slightly more amongst midfielders, with 19. Over the last five gameweeks Son’s involvement in six ‘big chances’ is more than any other player, beating Aubameyang, with five, as well as Alli and Sterling, with four, and Salah, with three. As mentioned in our piece on Kane, Spurs face Man. City and Brighton in gameweek 34. While Son could be rotated with the likes of Lamela or Moura he is still predicted to score 10.1 points, which his underlying numbers suggest is achievable given his heroics from limited game-time this year.


Antonio Valencia (WBA, bou)

Valencia, has been flying under-the-radar recently with only one clean sheet from his last six games, but he could be back with a bang in gameweek 34, which will see the marauding winger turned right-back up against two bottom-half teams in West Brom and Bournemouth. And it is his guaranteed game-time and attacking traits that mean he gets the nod over other Man. United defenders. With competition for places at centre-back and Young listed as a midfielder, Valencia, appears the safest route for clean sheet points, aside from De Gea. Mourinho’s side are leading the way for clean sheets this season, with 16, keeping five of those during this calendar year and only Spurs have kept more in 2018, with six. The Ecuadorian also has three goals to his name this campaign and only Otamendi, Monreal, with four, and Alonso, with six, have scored more amongst defenders. Despite registering only one assist so far this season, Valencia’s 13 attempted assists in 2018 (from gameweek 22 to 33) is the second highest amongst defenders, beating Walker, with 11, as well as Robertson, Alonso and Azpilicueta, with 10. Only Davies, with 15, has produced more. As discussed in our piece on Sánchez, Man. United face West Brom and Bournemouth in gameweek 34 and our Fix algorithm predicts United to have the best chance of any team of one clean sheet this gameweek.


The Editor