This week’s team is a little more squeezed for goals than the last one, but defensively it’s pretty solid. Gameweek 33 saw a number of stalwart defensive performances as well as some dominant attacking displays – more of a variety than last week! The team of the week again features some familiar names, as well as a few surprises.
Ben Foster – total payout 54p; base payout 44p
There was really very little to choose between Ben Foster and Bournemouth’s Aaron Ramsdale for the goalkeeper’s spot this week. They both had base payouts of 44p, and Foster edged it on the basis of conceding fewer goals – it could also be argued that Ramsdale could’ve done better for one or two of United’s goals. Foster did all he could with the shots he faced, making six saves and earning 7p for ball recoveries.
Kieran Tierney – total payout 53p; payout/min 0.95p
Arsenal’s left wing-back was the main beneficiary of a co-ordinated effort to keep Adama Traore quiet as the Gunners travelled to Wolves at the weekend. While Sead Kolasinac lined up as the left centre-half in a back three and paid out 53p, Tierney is deserving of SportStack accolades for the fact he paid out the same amount despite being subbed off in the 56th minute. Tierney has been struggling with injuries since his arrival at the Emirates, so it was refreshing to see him lead the plan to stifle one of the league’s most potent wingers. Tierney had 4p from tackles won, 7p from ball recoveries and 12p from CBIs.
James Tarkowski – total payout 75p; base payout 40p; 1 goal
After his captain made the team the week prior, James Tarkowski laid on a performance that reminded people why he was deemed worthy of an England performance and Liverpool links a couple of years ago. He scored in the first half to put Burnley ahead against Sheffield United, had an additional shot on target, and earned a massive 20p in CBIs. John Egan, who levelled the score ten minutes from time, was also in with a shout of taking this position, but Tarkowski pipped him on the basis of a higher base score.
Jan Bednarek – total payout 73p; base payout 48p
Bednarek has featured in our team of the week before, and he was at his magnificent best again at the weekend. Manchester City travelled to Southampton having wiped the floor with champions Liverpool last week. Southampton went ahead through a wondrous Che Adams strike that came rather out of nowhere, and Southampton’s rearguard action helped them hold onto the win. Alex McCarthy did all he needed to in goal, while Jack Stephens earned a payout of 68p upon returning to the side, after his red card against Arsenal a couple of weeks back. Bednarek had a total payout of 73p and a base payout of 48p, the highest of the weekend, which was made up almost entirely of CBIs. That’s no exaggeration, he earned 48p for CBIs – a flawless performance from Southampton’s defensive cornerstone.
Adam Smith – total payout 2p; base payout 2p
It feels as though there is a slot reserved each week for a Bournemouth player in our team of the week, but that is really a function of their defensive fragility and lack of direction on the attacking end. Adam Smith had a torrid time up against Marcus Rashford as Bournemouth faced Manchester United at the weekend. He was on the pitch for all five goals that United scored, while struggling to muster many positive contributions. To top it all off, he gave away the penalty that Rashford converted, leaving him with a total payout of 2p and a base payout to match.
Wilfred Ndidi – total payout 62p; base payout 37p
This midfield needs a bit of steel and Ndidi provided that in abundance against Crystal Palace on Saturday. Although he gave away four fouls, he ended on a total payout of 62p with no goal involvements. He had 10p for CBIs, 10p for passes made and 14p for ball recoveries as Leicester stifled Palace and were clinical on the break – a flash back to the Leicester of late-2019.
Bruno Fernandes – total payout 81p; 1 goal, 2 assists
Another week, another Bruno nomination. Against Bournemouth, the Portguese playmaker notched a goal and two assists, tying together the United attack which was firing on all cylinders. With United now three points off third place, it is likely to be full steam ahead for Ole and he will be hoping for opportunities to rest Bruno ahead of United’s Europa League run beginning in August. Manchester United’s dominance over Bournemouth translated to 10p for passes made for Bruno on Saturday but little else, but it’s difficult to knock him for that!
Mason Greenwood – total payout 66p; payout/min 0.88p; 2 goals
Despite having entered lockdown with 11 goals to his name this season, it seems to have been in the last couple of games that he has really announced himself. First a goal and an assist against Brighton, then a brace against Bournemouth on Saturday; Greenwood has seen his stock soar rapidly, with talk growing of him making it to the Euros next summer. Like Bruno, Greenwood did the business on the offensive end, but didn’t contribute much else while he was on the pitch. He was subbed in the 75th minute, giving him a payout/min ratio of 0.88p.
Willian – total payout 83p; base payout 43p; 1 goal
Willian extended his fine run of form at the weekend, netting his fourth goal in three games (three of which have been penalties). He was a constant thorn in Watford’s side, and a large reason for Ben Foster doing so well. He had four shots on target, while also earning well from dribbles, ball recoveries and passes made. He finished with a strong base payout of 43p, and a payout/min score of 1.09p, the highest of the weekend.
Adama Traore – total payout 17p; base payout -2p
For all the games where Adama has scored or assisted, or racked up an obscene number of dribbles to achieve a strong payout, this is the perfect example of how it can go the other way. Arsenal planned perfectly for him, doubling up on Wolves’ right-hand side. Adama played the full 90 minutes, losing a whopping 20p from being tackled, while earning only 4p for dribbles. He ended with a total payout of 17p, and other teams will be looking at the Arsenal performance for ideas on how to try and keep the mercurial talent in the future.
Jamie Vardy – total payout 77p; 2 goals
After a long dry spell, Jamie Vardy produced the archetypal Jamie Vardy performance to bag two goals against Palace on Saturday. He worked tirelessly in the first half, and was on hand in the second, first to exploit a careless turnover of possession to score his 100th Premier League goal, and then bending his run brilliantly to stay onside and finish for his second of the game in stoppage time. Compared to the usual, Vardy’s base payout here was reasonably good, at 22p. This is the first time since 8th December that Vardy has paid out more than 50p, and with that, traders may be more interested in going long the former England international.