Football has returned in a somewhat unfamiliar format. Artificial crowd noise is applied to give home viewers a sense of familiarity with what they’re watching; teams emerge from the tunnel sequentially, each half of football is bisected by a drinks break, and of course each team is permitted five substitutions. Perhaps all of these things are combining to mean games are played at a slower tempo, and this is showing showing up in the numbers. In previous weeks, the top ten base scores would tend to be over 40, while in GW30+, despite two additional fixtures, only five players passed that mark. We have still been able to put together a semi-functional team with plenty of talking points. Sit tight for AlphaStack’s Gameweek 30+ team of the week!
Don’t forget to also tune into our GW30+ review
Bernd Leno (vs MCI) – total payout 61p; base payout 51p
It’s not often a goalkeeper is legitimately in with a shout of claiming the man of the match award when their team has lost 3-0 in pretty catastrophic fashion, but this speaks to just how good Bernd Leno was on the opening day of the Premier League’s return. There was little he could do for any of the three goals, yet still made nine saves to keep the scoreline from getting too embarrassing. The nature of his injury in Arsenal’s second match of gameweek 30+ is gutting, and Arsenal fans will be distraught with their stalwart ‘keeper now out for around 12 months.
David Luiz – total payout -10p; base payout -20p
Aside from a Kevin De Bruyne, David Luiz was perhaps Manchester City’s best player on Wednesday. Luiz reverted to type pretty quickly after coming on for the injured Pablo Mari. He helped a KDB pass on to Raheem Sterling to give City their opening goal, and a few minutes into the second half he hauled down Riyad Mahrez to earn his marching orders. Between the three goals Arsenal conceded, his error leading to goal, red card, and penalty conceded, Luiz amassed an impressively bad payout of -10p in just 25 minutes of action.
John Egan – total payout 9p; base payout -1p
John Egan’s showing for Sheffield United wasn’t much better. The Blades have established themselves as one of the tougher teams to break down on their return to the Premier League, but we saw a chip in their armour as Egan earned himself a red card just after half time in the team’s trip to Newcastle. Egan had done fine up to the point where he rugby-tackled Joelinton to the floor shortly after the second half restarted – the pair had been given yellow cards for some nonsense in the first half, but Egan was deserving of a straight red for his challenge with Joelinton through on goal. From here, Sheffield United were unable to adjust to playing four at the back, and so Egan was deserving of a paltry 9p payout.
Craig Dawson – total payout 59p; base payout 54p
The only defender making the lineup for any good reason is Craig Dawson, who tucked away a 93rd minute bicycle kick to earn Watford a point at home to Leicester. The Watford defence did their bit to give the Hornets a chance against Leicester, only being beaten by a Ben Chilwell belter. Dawson was vital to this, earning a whopping 28p from CBIs and another 3p from ball recoveries.
Kevin De Bruyne – total payout 80p; payout/min 1.14p; 1 goal
Kevin De Bruyne’s display against Arsenal was worth waiting three months for. Despite, by Pep’s own admission, Man City not being fully fit, the Belgian was close to his best. Although Arsenal were desperately bad, we shouldn’t take anything away from him, as he pulled strings in midfield, provided a goal threat, and dazzled with his range of passing. Tucking away City’s penalty, he earned a well-deserved 80p payout in just 70 minutes, amounting to a payout/min score of 1.14p.
Paul Pogba – total payout 35p; base payout/min 0.89p
United’s trip to Spurs was not the most free-flowing game, but it was entertaining nonetheless. Pogba’s introduction in the second half gave Utd fans their first glimpse of the fabled Bruno-Pogba partnership, and it showed plenty of promise. Pogba was dynamic, winning United a penalty along the Spurs byline and putting in plenty of work on the defensive end. He earned a payout of 35p in just over 28 minutes, equating to a base/min score of 0.89p. Now we look forward to seeing whether Pogba can replicate and extend this sort of performance into upcoming fixtures.
James Ward-Prowse – total payout 81p; base payout 56p
While some teams have been slow to get off the mark, Southampton made light work of Norwich on Friday at Carrow Road. The goals were shared among Southampton’s dynamic front four but James Ward-Prowse was tenacious in midfield, offering a platform for his teammates to attack and also joining in on the action himself. Ward-Prowse had 20p from shots on target, 12p from ball recoveries, 22p from CBIs and 6p from passes made. This amounts to a remarkable base payout of 56p.
Stuart Armstrong – total payout 76p; payout/min 0.96p; 1 goal, 1 assist
All of Southampton’s front four benefitted from injuries to Shane Long and Moussa Djenepo, as they’d have been strong candidates for rotation on the first game back. Stuart Armstrong fed Danny Ings for his goal and was clinical in putting away Southampton’s second, racking up a very good 76p payout before eventually being subbed in the 82nd minute. He also earned payouts from two additional shots on target, six ball recoveries and four CBIs.
Matt Ritchie – total payout 75p; 1 goal, 1 assist
Aside from Joelinton, who scored his first goal in a billion years, Matt Ritchie was the chief beneficiary of Sheffield United’s collapse. He slid the ball across to record an assist for Allan Saint-Maximin’s opener (with a LOT of help from Enda Stevens) and beat Dean Henderson at his near post to score Newcastle’s second – we are of the view that Henderson was a touch out of position, but Opta did not hold him responsible for the goal. Ritchie contributed at both ends, and it’s good to see him back towards his best after missing the first half of the season with an ankle injury.
Son Heung-Min – total payout 73p; base payout 51p
Son’s performance was one of the most remarkable in gameweek 30, as he racked up a huge base payout which is rarely seen for a forward. He was thwarted on several occasions by David De Gea, as he earned 20p from his four shots on target, and he had another 6p from dribbles. He was particularly involved defensively, with 8p from ball recoveries and 18p from CBIs, and much of that coming in the first half. It is promising that even with Bergwijn in the side and Kane back from injury, Son is still providing a goal threat.
Danny Ings – total payout 81p; payout/min 0.92p; 1 goal, 1 assist
Danny Ings led the line for Southampton as though football had never gone away. He was a constant thorn in the side of the Norwich defence, robbing Ben Godfrey on one occasion in the first half in a warning shot to Daniel Farke’s side. In the second half the Southampton attack was in full flow, with Ings burying the opener in style. He managed a total payout of 81p, the joint-highest of the gameweek with his captain James Ward-Prowse, despite getting himself a booking in the second half.