Sunderland’s win over Everton on Wednesday night brought an end to the relegation fight, with Newcastle United and Norwich City joining Aston Villa in the Championship next season. Whilst the teams hovering above the relegation zone can breathe a sigh of relief, there is plenty still to play for in the quest for European football.
The Independent have teamed up with daily fantasy football game www.oulala.com and together we have analysed the key stats to identify four players that simply must be in your fantasy football team this weekend.
Oulala’s extensive database of statistics, which comprises of 70 different criteria sourced straight from Opta, offers the perfect platform to pick out the stars you should back to finish the season on a high.
Whilst Manchester City have been doing their best to keep the race for the final Champions League spot alive until the final day, picking up just one point in their previous two league games, Kelechi Iheanacho has continued to make the most of the game time he’s been given. The Nigerian international has netted four times in five league games, converting 40 per cent of his 10 shots in that period, with a decent shot accuracy of 67 per cent. The forward has also completed eight successful take-ons. Fellow City striker Wilfried Bony has fallen behind Iheanacho in the pecking order, and with good reason, too. Bony’s six Premier League goals in 32 appearances for The Sky Blues is just two more than Iheanacho has managed in his last five league games. Even though it’s very likely incoming manager Pep Guardiola will add another forward in the summer, the Nigerian’s impressive rise this season will surely have caught his attention. Manchester City can secure 4th place with a point away at Swansea City this weekend, but this will require ending the Welsh side’s winning run at home which stretches back to mid-February, including recent wins against Liverpool and Chelsea.
Southampton are unbeaten in their last five matches, winning four of those games, and a big part of that has been down to the form of Dušan Tadić. The Serb has scored twice in the last six matches and has also laid on a whopping six assists during that spell. The 15 shots he’s fired off are tied for best at the club, whilst Tadić also leads the way in chances created (17) and key passes (11). Tadić’s confidence will no doubt have been boosted by his manager’s recent comments that he is one of the best players at his position when firing on all cylinders. The midfielder has been key to the Saints’ attacking form of late, which has seen them score 10 goals in their previous three league games. Southampton welcome Crystal Palace to St. Mary’s this weekend, and you’d expect Alan Pardew to rest key players ahead of the FA Cup Final. Tadić and co will be looking to continue their fine goal scoring form against a Palace side who have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last four outings.
Nacho Monreal is one defensive player you should have in your team if you haven’t got him in already. Arsenal have been stingy at the back in recent weeks – keeping three clean sheets in their last six games, conceding just five goals in the process. Individually, Monreal has also excelled. He has won the 3rd most aerial duels in the team with 18, ranking behind only Koscielny and Giroud. For a player under 6ft that is especially impressive. The Spanish left back has also been in the top three for tackles won (8), interceptions (16) and clearances (29). Monreal has established himself as the no.1 in his position at the club, with Arsene Wenger preferring him to Kieron Gibbs. Despite consistent performances for club this season though, Monreal is still behind Jordi Alba in the national team pecking order. Arsenal play Aston Villa at Emirates this weekend, looking to make it three consecutive clean sheets at home.
One player who is expected to start at Euro 2016 is Anthony Martial. The Manchester United striker had a dream start to life at Old Trafford, and has been prolific in recent weeks for the Red Devils. The French forward has scored a team-best four goals in the previous six games. He’s hit the target 78 per cent of the time from 11 shots in that spell. He’ll be looking to improve on his conversion rate, though, which stands at 36 per cent. Martial leads the team in successful take-ons, with 16, and is also in the top in key passes made, with six. Manchester United are at home to Bournemouth this Sunday, and you’d be a fool not to back Martial to find the back of the net against a Cherries side who have failed to keep a clean sheet since 1 March.
Stats supplied by daily fantasy football game www.oulala.com
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