From last week’s defensively suspect 3-4-3 formation, we move this week to a more functional 4-4-2 that is likely to struggle for goals, at least based on the performances seen during gameweek 27!
Martin Dubravka – total payout 69p; base payout 49p
To be quite blunt, Newcastle’s day would have been a lot worse without Martin Dubravka’s heroics in goal at Selhurst Park. Palace had 9 shots on target, prompting Dubravka to make a whopping eight saves; the shot that did beat him was a well-placed Patrick van Aanholt free kick. Dubravka was, harshly in my view, awarded an error leading to the goal, and without this he would’ve had a base payout of 56p – the highest we have seen since beginning the blog.
Luke Shaw – total payout 74p; base payout 49p
Luke Shaw has thrived in the face of strong competition for his place from Brandon Williams. He started at left-back on Sunday and barely put a foot wrong. His payout of 74p is phenomenal given he had no goal involvement. He lost 2p for giving away a foul, but earned 20p for CBIs, 8p for ball recoveries, 8p for passes made, and had a few attacking involvements to boot. His base payout of 49p is tied with Dubravka for the highest in this gameweek.
Issa Diop – total payout 65p; base payout 42p
Diop was at the heart of West Ham’s monumental effort to upset the odds at Anfield. The towering centre-back opened the scoring early on (with a bit of help from Allison) and proceeded to put on a strong defensive display. He had a total payout of 65p and a base payout of 40p in spite of a yellow card; but 38p in CBIs will do that for you.
Shane Duffy – total payout 62p; base payout 42p
Brighton were able to hold Sheffield United to a draw at Bramall Lane, in no small part due to the defensive efforts of Shane Duffy who anchored Brighton’s back five. The Irishman earned a monster 30p from CBIs, making for a strong base payout of 42p. On the other side was Oliver McBurnie, who himself made 18p from defensive actions, showing how much pressure the Seagulls were under.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – total payout 78p; base payout 43p; 2 assists
Although Adam Smith’s 14p payout at the weekend was highly entertaining, we couldn’t not select Trent for the right-back slot here. Since our UtS blog where we looked at his December performances, he has continued to rack up assists – two more in January and another two against West Ham on Monday night. He was a constant goal threat, hitting the target three times, as well as earning 11p from passes, 8p from ball recoveries and 6p from tackles won. This resulted in a strong base payout of 43p.
Diogo Jota – total payout 88p; payout/min 1.38p; 2 goals
To add to his midweek Europa League hat-trick, Jota notched two goals against Norwich on Sunday. The most remarkable part of his performance was that his payout, good enough for third highest of the weekend, came in only 64 minutes. His payout/min ratio of 1.38 is the highest we have seen since we began blogging, and aside from his goals, this was built on a lack of negative contributions, as well as additional chances on goal.
Bruno Fernandes – total payout 94p; base payout 44p; 1 goal, 1 assist
Bruno’s payout was the highest of the weekend, and his performance really had it all. He won a penalty, dusted himself off and tucked it away, teed up Mason Greenwood for his goal, and contributed on the defensive end. The way in which he won the penalty was questionable for sure, but his coolness from the spot was mightily impressive and his regular involvement at both ends of the pitch led to a strong base payout of 44p.
Ruben Neves – total payout 73p; base payout 48p
More impressive than Bruno’s 44p base payout was Ruben Neves’ 48p base, without a penalty win to lift it higher. It certainly felt like Norwich were dominant in parts of Sunday’s game, and this paved the way for Neves to rack up strong payouts for CBIs (12p), ball recoveries (12p), and tackles won (8p), while he also managed three shots on target. This is the sort of well-rounded game that traders should love to see, as it makes Neves a more reliable asset.
Dwight McNeil – total payout 89p; payout/min 0.99p; 1 goal, 1 assist
Dwight McNeil managed the second highest payout of the weekend, and this is large part due to him doing nothing wrong. He collected payouts for a goal, an assist, and hitting the woodwork as well as an additional shot on target. He added to that with a couple of dribbles, a tackle, some ball recoveries and CBIs. In a similar vein to Neves above, this was a wonderfully well-rounded display from McNeil, but traders should be wary that he is unlikely to produce the same goal threat against most teams not named Bournemouth.
Sergio Aguero – total payout 22p; base payout -3p
After we wrote our second UtS blog about Sergio Aguero’s January exploits, he had to go and turn out a display like this. Man City struggled to assert themselves on parts of the game at Leicester on Saturday, and this meant Sergio Aguero struggled to get into the action. He had a couple of shots on target, but in SportStack terms these were completely undone by his missed penalty – only a matter of time before Ederson steps up to take one! He offered little else, but did give away the ball on several occasions.
We certainly should not be jumping at the chance to short Aguero on the back of this performance, as it clearly just wasn’t his day, but a base payout of -3p is absolutely horrendous, and shows that even the top strikers can have games like this on SportStack.
Raul Jimenez – total payout 35p; base payout -5p; 1 goal
While his strike partner produced one of the most dominant, hour-long performances we have seen on the platform against Norwich, Raul Jimenez did not fare so well. Despite bagging himself a goal – a rebound from a Diogo Jota effort striking the post, no less – Jimenez only managed a 35p payout, which gives him a woeful base payout of -5p. Contributing factors were his yellow card, Norwich being active in crowding him out as he was tackled four times, and his inability to finish from more than two feet from the goal. On another day, his four other attempts on goal might have been on target, and he’d be looking at a healthy 59p payout, but Sunday was not his day.