Last week’s team didn’t seem wholly functional, and this week’s is certainly no better, but you have to work with what you’ve got. This week, we have outstanding performances from three left-backs, and leaving any of them out wouldn’t have been right. We also feature a United midfield and a sort of Jekyll-and-Hyde strike partnership.
Vicente Guaita – total payout 70p; base payout 45p
Guaita collected his second monster payout facing Brighton this season when Palace went to the Amex on Saturday. Perhaps the most striking thing about this performance – the highest payout among goalkeepers from the weekend’s fixtures – was the fact that Brighton could have done so much more damage. Solly March missed the target from close range, and Neal Maupay dollied a one-on-one into Guaita’s hands. The Spanish stopper didn’t put a foot wrong, making eight saves, but he wasn’t really tested in the Palace goal.
Jamal Lewis – total payout 73p; 1 goal
Norwich’s left-back was one of the most unlikely goalscorers on the pitch as the Canaries welcomed Leicester to Carrow Road on Friday night. Nonetheless, it was Lewis’ 70th minute strike that gave Norwich the points, and capped off an excellent performance from the young defender. He didn’t have a single negative action in the game, and clocked up a 33p base payout built on passes, CBIs, tackles and dribbles.
Marcos Alonso – total payout 85p; payout/min 0.94p; 2 goals
The much maligned left wing-back came to Chelsea’s aid on Saturday, and not for the first time in recent weeks. He was a constant threat to Bournemouth’s goal, registering seven (SEVEN) shots from left-back – of course two of these found the net while two more were on target, which is a really decent return. In addition, he racked up payouts from passes, CBIs and ball recoveries, to pay out a whopping 0.94p per minute.
Jan Bednarek – total payout 57p; base payout 47p
The best from a disappointing selection of centre-back performances at the weekend, Jan Bednarek was solid at the heart of the Southampton defence, while others let him down. The Saints lost 3-1 at the London Stadium, but Bednarek racked up 34p for CBIs, 8p for passes, and 7p for ball recoveries, giving him a fantastic base payout of 47p, good for third-highest this weekend. His total payout of 57p dwarfed those of the players either side of him: Jack Stephens (26p) and Ryan Bertrand (35p).
Matt Doherty – total payout 80p; base payout 40p; 1 goal, 1 assist
We all know Matt Doherty loves to get deep into the opponent’s half. Typically he is seen out on the right, but in the last couple of weeks, he has popped up in the box for valuable goal involvements. At the weekend he registered a goal and an assist, helping Wolves to an impressive win at Spurs. He also had an impressive 14p in CBIs.
Patrick van Aanholt – total payout 75p; base payout 50p
While we have already shoe-horned two left-backs into this team, we could not ignore Patrick van Aanholt, as any player with a base payout of 50p deserves serious credit. He was another with an all-green performance, collecting 16p for ball recoveries, 20p for CBIs, 8p for passes made and 6p for tackles won. This display puts him in rarefied air, as we tend to see base payouts of 50p+ from goalkeepers who have saved a penalty, or outfielders who have earned one.
Bruno Fernandes – total payout 80p; base payout 43p; 1 goal
Bruno makes his second consecutive appearance in the AS TOTW. He had some serious help from Jordan Pickford to register a strong total payout of 80p, but his base payout shows how seamlessly he has slotted into this United side (and also how Bruno-centric Ole’s system now is). He had three SoTs in addition to his goal, while the rest of his payouts were spread evenly among passes, CBIs, ball recoveries and tackles. As the games go by, he is emerging as a reliable asset on SportStack.
Nemanja Matic – total payout 72p; base payout 40p; 1 assist
For a lack of other options, Matic claims the second central midfield role this week. Ancelotti’s Everton side were happy to surrender the ball at home to United, and while Matic’s assist to Bruno came with a huge chunk of good fortune, Matic was instrumental in breaking up Everton’s play. He scored 16p from CBIs, 7p from ball recoveries, and 6p from tackles won, giving him an impressive total payout and a nice base score.
Jarrod Bowen – total payout 79p; base payout 42p; 1 goal
Jarrod Bowen made his mark at the London Stadium on Saturday, putting West Ham 1-0 up in their victory over Southampton. We noted a few weeks ago how Robert Snodgrass had a terrible base score while contributing vital goals as West Ham drew with Brighton; Bowen’s base score here was a tremendous 42p, built upon a foundation of good defensive work and a willingness to run at defenders. He racked up a 79p total payout in just 78 minutes, giving a payout/minute of 1.01p.
Kelechi Iheanacho – total payout 17p; base payout -5p
Iheanacho flies the flag for the underperformers this week. In fairness to Kelechi, he was called up at late notice, as it emerged Jamie Vardy would be unavailable, and he did have the ball in the back of the net but for the ball touching his arm in the buildup; handball only by the letter of the law. Nonetheless, the Leicester striker was frustrated up front, giving away numerous fouls and unable to impose himself on the Norwich defence. A base payout of -5p is simply horrendous, and he’ll be looking to bounce back against Villa should Vardy remain absent.
Ismaila Sarr – total payout 93p; payout/min 1.13p; 2 goals, 1 assist
It would be wrong not to include a Watford player in this post given their heroics last weekend. Fortunately, we get to save the best for last, as Ismaila Sarr spearheads this week’s attack. Liverpool have looked beatable for a couple of weeks, and Watford were able to take full advantage of that despite an injury to Gerard Deulofeu during the first half. Dejan Lovren’s presence at centre-back created a structural weakness in the Liverpool defence, and Troy Deeney made Lovren’s afternoon awfully difficult.
Sarr finished well to give Watford the lead and open up the game, and then pounced when Liverpool’s defence was stretched. His payout of 93p came in only 82 minutes, giving him an impressive payout/minute ratio of 1.13p, and although he had two goals and an assist, he was very close to sealing his hat-trick just before being subbed. It will be interesting to see if he is able to carry this form into Watford’s next game away at Palace – the Hornets will need him to remain dangerous during the run-in with the team safe only on goal difference at the moment.