Well, where did that come from? After two gameweeks of drab 0-0s and teams sneaking 1-0 victories, the Premier League snapped out of its post-lockdown slumber in gameweek 32+, as we saw 34 goals from the ten fixtures. Base scores remain suppressed, and we’re confident now that that is down to the number of substitutions as much as anything else, but payouts this week offer plenty to talk about and allow us to build a team with awesome firepower and a few familiar faces.
Ederson – total payout 58p; base payout 33p
Manchester City’s Brazilian sweeper keeper didn’t have much competition for this spot. Many keepers over the last week either shipped 3-4 goals or didn’t have much to do. Usually Ederson would fall into the latter category, but Liverpool called him action into several occasions – and Salah was the width of the post away from changing Ederson’s payout materially early on. In the end, he had a total payout of 58p, comprised of 6p from passes made, 15p from saves, and contributions from ball recoveries, CBIs, ‘keeper sweepers’ and punches.
Michael Keane – total payout 58p; base payout 38p
There was little to choose between Everton’s centre-backs this week, and it is worth dropping Mason Holgate’s name in here while we’re talking about his defensive partner. Although Everton did concede by way of a comical Iheanacho goal, their centre-backs were solid throughout. Keane, who is deserving of a spot in the lineup for the second consecutive week, had 32p for CBIs, while Holgate had 28p for the same.
Ben Mee – total payout 69p; base payout 29p; 1 goal
Burnley’s captain emerged the match-winner at Selhurst Park on Monday, with a little helping hand from Vicente Guaita. Like Keane last week, he layered a goal on top of a clean sheet and a decent base score. In addition to his goal, he had 4p for ball recoveries, 12p for CBIs, and 6p for passes made, without a single negative action.
Joe Gomez – total payout 7p; base payout -3p
Jurgen Klopp may have breathalysed Joe Gomez when he subbed him off at half-time on Thursday. The England centre-back was defending like he’d turned up at the Etihad straight from the pub after a week of celebrating Liverpool’s title win. If that wasn’t enough of a narrative for fans to dig their teeth into, Raheem Sterling turning him inside-out to eventually win a penalty added a bit more spice given their history. 6p for passes made did little to offset the penalties for three goals conceded, and the foul and yellow card that came with the penalty he gave away, leaving Gomez with a final payout of 7p and a base score of -3p.
James Ward-Prowse – total payout 80p; base payout 43p; 1 goal
JWP makes the lineup for the second time in three weeks, and really there is very little way we could’ve left him out. He produced the highest base score of the weekend as Southampton travelled to Watford. He had 4p from tackles won, 9p from ball recoveries, 14p from CBIs and 7p from passes made. On top of sealing the win for Southampton with a stunning free kick in the 82nd minute, he had one more attempt on target late on.
Kevin De Bruyne – total payout 65p; base payout 15p; 1 goal, 1 assist
It’s never a surprise to see Kevin De Bruyne feature in our Team of the Week – he affects every game he plays in, and this week was no different. He, along with Phil Foden, registered a goal and an assist to bury Liverpool in the first half. We note De Bruyne’s performance here for the fact that, aside from the spot kick and teeing up Foden, he had little net impact on the game (as far as SportStack is concerned). His base score of 15p is unusually low, but Manchester City’s adaptability was on full display as they allowed Liverpool to have the ball but sprung into action when opportunities presented themselves. This is demonstrated by De Bruyne scoring only 3p for passes made over the course of the 90 minutes.
Bruno Fernandes – total payout 82p; payout/min 1.28p; 2 goals
Bruno Fernandes is also becoming a familiar face in this team. While his sample size remains small, his season average payout of 67p is remarkable, and we may have to look at raising the bar for him to make the team if he continues to perform like this! He was a constant threat against Brighton, scoring Manchester United’s second and third goals to end any chance of a Brighton comeback. He had a solid game aside from the two goals, as he also hit the woodwork, won three tackles, made two ball recoveries and completed 28 passes. Being subbed in the 64th minute means a payout/min score of 1.28p for Bruno this week.
Allan Saint-Maximin – total payout 69p; 3 assists
ASM was at the heart of everything good for Newcastle on their trip to Bournemouth, where they made light work of Eddie Howe’s struggling side. Saint-Maximin recorded three assists before being subbed after just 62 minutes, with the game already wrapped up. Remarkably, he only had one dribble in the game; his payouts otherwise came from shots on target, passes made and ball recoveries. Given he has recorded 20p in a game before from dribbles, it’s scary to think how much was left on the table here with ASM subbed before the game really opened up later on.
Joshua King – total payout 7p; base payout -6p
Joshua King is our second unfortunate entry this week, and the second representative from Bournemouth’s front line in two weeks. On this occasion Bournemouth were put to the sword by a rampant Newcastle team. King played 90 minutes and had a phenomenally bad base payout of -6p. Firing a blank, he ended up with a total payout of 7p, as he gave away three goals, was tackled three times, missed his only effort of he game and was caught offside once. Despite offering more positive actions than his strike partner Wilson did last week, he was on the pitch for all four goals Bournemouth conceded.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – total payout 94p; payout/min 1.14p; 2 goals, 1 assist
Arsenal’s star striker finally found his shooting boots against Norwich on Wednesday, bagging two goals and assisting Granit Xhaka. Norwich are struggling terribly with injuries, so for them it was an unfortunate day for Arsenal to find their groove. Aubameyang managed two additional shots on target, and contributed well defensively before being subbed in the 82nd minute. This left him with a monstrous payout of 94p, the highest since lockdown, and a payout/min of 1.14p.
Danny Ings – total payout 82p; 2 goals
Danny Ings is looking like England’s best striking option at the moment, so it’s a good thing for Harry Kane that the Euros were postponed. Ings scored two more at Watford to take his PL tally to 18 for the season. He is creating chances himself, with the parts around him seemingly interchangeable. In addition to 8p for dribbles, Ings earned 6p for ball recoveries and 6p for CBIs. Do not be surprised if we see Ings in our lineup again before the season is up – Southampton are six points off that coveted 8th place, with other contenders proving inconsistent since the break.