With the midweek matches mere hours from kick-off, the weekend recap will be brief. Six of the ten Premier League GW24 matches ended in a draw, as the Merseyside Derby finished 0-0 in Steven Gerrard’s presumptive final appearance at Goodison. Gerrard’s performance barely registered on Fantasy Premier League manager’s radar, but he wasn’t one of the one’s to watch heading into the weekend. The man who had all FPL eyes on him was Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero.
Facing a reeling Hull City side which had lost three on the spin and not scored a League goal since New Year’s Day, the Citizens were widely tipped to keep the pressure on Chelsea in a run out that would be more training ground than Training Day. David Meyler’s first goal of the campaign upset the apple cart and left Manuel Pellegrini’s side scrambling to rescue a point – with a fine James Milner free kick securing the draw.
That free kick would have been the goal of the weekend – and may well top many a pundits list – but for the schoolyard effort of one Cheikhou Kouyaté. The £4.9m-rated FPL midfielder plying his trade at Upton Park sent a scorcher past David de Gea in a match largely dominated by the Hammers until late.
It was just Kouyaté’s second tally of the campaign and we’re certainly not suggesting adding him ahead of the trip to St. Mary’s. With 1415′ played, he’s had ample chance to prove his FPL value, but this will forever be a case of better in real life than your fantasy XI. Still – that goal was an exceptional strike and it was an exceptional strike which was required to beat “Spanish Dave”. The 24-year-old ‘keeper once more proved his mettle to keep the Red Devils from falling behind by two. He matched Adrian save-for-save as the duo each recorded five in the match. De Gea’s brilliance allowed for late dramatics as a stoppage time Daley Blind goal denied the Hammers a famous victory and consigned neutrals to another draw.
A draw was not on the cards as Chelsea visited Aston Villa, though another unlikely goal scorer did produce a leveler on 48′. Defender James Okore cancelled Eden Hazard’s early strike to breathe some life into the match at Villa Park. The goal cost fantasy premier league manager’s clean sheet points for the Chelsea defense, notable the 24.6% of sides that boast Branislav Ivanovic and 6.7% who own Ceasar Azpilicueta. The duo lost the four-point clean sheet bonus, but responded well. It was Ivanovic who latched onto the cross from Azpilicueta to secure three points for Chelsea and hand FPL managers eight. Exceptional performances from Hazard (3 bps) and newcomer Carles Gil (2 bps) kept Ivanovic (1 bps) from increasing his return.
There was, arguably, no finer performance in GW24 than the match-winning heroics of Mr. Harry Kane. The 21-year-old striker put the Gunners’ to the sword, scoring both of Spurs goals to send them ahead of Arsenal into fifth place. Kane’s brace was his second on the bounce and third in the last five matches. His record of late is sublime and caused quite the stir on Twitter.
Kane is now owned in 42% of sides in the Official game where his price is a paltry £6.1m. Rated £5.0 at the start of the season, he has been nothing short of Fantasy Player of the Year to this point. His 115 points on the season is fourth amoung strikers behind Costa (119), Aguero (117) and Austin (116) and at a fraction of the cost. His two goals against Arsenal are even more impressive as the Gunners had posted three consecutive clean sheets leading into the North London Derby. Kane and Spurs will travel to Liverpool midweek and host West Ham GW26 in two fixtures which will largely determine the fate of those three sides. Fantasy managers have no cause to sit Kane at this point, but should note Tottenham’s cup obligations mean a blank in GW27. The GE27 blank, however, opens the door on massive potential in GW28 as Spurs will play the a tantalizing double-gameweek home to Swansea and away at Loftus Road. No doubt Kane’s ownership will tick-up and the majority of those FPL players will hand him the armband that weekend.
With the short turnaround leaving FPL managers little time to prepare – the Weekly Fantasy Premier League Rankings are a great resource. Published at Togga, the ranks incorporate four experts individual ranks for each position. Goalkeepers and Defenders published Monday of the short week with Midfielders and Forward to post Tuesday.