Another blitzkrieg round of football has passed, with plenty of notable performances. Unfortunately, we have only one really poor one to talk about, but plenty of good displays to balance that out, including two close-to-max payouts. This week’s defence is solid, while the midfield and forward players are (mostly) wonderfully creative.
Kasper Schmeichel – total payout 61p; base payout 39p
Leicester’s shot stopper had a busy first half on Wednesday evening as Arsenal came out swinging. Schmeichel was largely up to the task though as Leicester went into the break 1-0 down with him having made five saves. By full-time, Schmeichel had 30p for saves, 5p for passes made and 5p for ball recoveries, in amongst a base score of 39p and a total payout of 61p. Martin Dubravka would have been in with a shout for this position had his team not conceded five goals – the Newcastle keeper made six saves of his own on his way to equal total and base payouts of 41p.
Diego Rico – total payout 65p; base payout 40p
Bournemouth’s Spanish left-back put in a rock solid display at home to Spurs on Thursday evening – something that the Cherries could have done with more of since the return. Rico had a base payout of 40p, including 12p for tackles won, 16p for CBIs and 10p for ball recoveries.
Adam Webster – total payout 52p; base payout 42p
Like Rico next to him, Adam Webster put in a strong performance during the week, although his Brighton side did not fare so well. Hosting Liverpool, the Seagulls lost 3-1, but Webster’s base score of 42p is nothing to be sniffed at. He had 28p from CBIs, 7p from passes made and 7p from ball recoveries.
James Tarkowski – total payout 67p; base payout 42p
For the third week running a Burnley centre-half makes our team of the week, and for the second week running, that centre-half is James Tarkowski. This performance is perhaps more impressive than last week’s, or Ben Mee’s the week before that, as he hit pretty much the same score without finding the net. Since the drubbing at Manchester City on their first game back, Burnley have been tough to break down, conceding only one goal in four games. Despite a yellow card, Tarkowski recorded a base payout of 42p, featuring 32p of CBIs, 7p of ball recoveries and 8p of tackles won.
Cesar Azpilicueta – total payout 57p; base payout 42p
Although he actually played Tuesday’s game at Selhurst Park as Chelsea’s left-back, Azpilicueta features at right-back this week. He marshalled Wilfried Zaha well when required – Zaha’s goal was not only special, but came when he was afforded too much space centrally, so we can’t blame Azpilicueta too much there. Like his TOTW centre-backs, Azpi recorded a base of 42p, with 24p from CBIs, 8p from pases made, 5p from ball recoveries and 6p from tackles won.
David Silva – total payout 98p; payout/min 1.09p; 1 goal, 2 assists
It was a delight to see David Silva roll back the years as City welcomed Newcaste to the Etihad for a demolition job. The cup fixture between the two sides a couple of weeks back was dull as dishwater, and while Newcastle set up in much the same fashion this time around, they were not able to keep City at bay for quite as long. Silva recorded a goal and two assists on top of a solid base, to finish with a 98p payout. He had two shots on target, four dribbles, six ball recoveries and four CBIs. In a game of this nature, him finishing with 14p for passes made isn’t really a susprise, but it’s worth mentioning for the fact he made 108 out of 113 passes, for a 96% completion rate.
Bruno Fernandes – total payout 82p; payout/min 1.15p; 1 goal, 1 assist
We refuse to continue with the superlatives at this point, so we will just give you the facts. Bruno won a dubious penalty as Villa hosted United. He got up to score the spot kick, and later assisted Paul Pogba. This, along with some good defensive work, amounted to a tasty 82p payout, in just 71 minutes of play – a payout/min ratio of 1.15p.
Willian – total payout 84p; base payout 45p; 2 assists
We’re not quite as bored of writing about Willian as we are Bruno Fernandes, so we can elaborate on his performance at Selhurst Park. Although he didn’t find the net, Willian contributed two assists. Although one might consider the first lucky (Gary Cahill pulled his hamstring in the buildup, giving Willian an easy cutback), what was less about luck was Willian’s best-of-the-week base payout of 45p. He registered three shots on target, four dribbles and 12 ball recoveries.
Riyad Mahrez – total payout 72p; payout/min 0.96p; 1 goal
In his 75 minutes of playing time, Riyad Mahrez was a constant threat to Newcastle. Although he only scored the one goal, he had a decent base payout of 32p, with 15p from shots on target, 5p from passes made and 8p from CBIs. Adding this all together gave him a total payout of 72p, and an attractive payout/min ratio of 0.96p.
Mohamed Salah – total payout 98p; payout/min 1.09p; 2 goals, 1 assist
Liverpool’s Egyptian forward was back at his talismanic best on the South coast on Wednesday evening. With his two goals and one assist, he matches David Silva for best performance since lockdown. Mohamed Salah was, as one might have come to expect, only involved in the game in fits and starts. His goal contributions amounted to 50p, while shots on target accounted for another 20p of his final payout. Liverpool have little left to worry about with the title race over, but it’s good to see that their star players have retained some interest in playing football after dreary performances against City and Villa over the last week.
Eddie Nketiah – total payout -10p; base payout -17p; base payout/min -4.25p
From the sublime to the ridiculous; Eddie Nketiah is unfortunately the sole low-scorer in our team this week, but it’s a belter of a performance. After being subbed on in the 71st minute against Leicester, he received a straight red four minutes later. The incident drew a range of opinions, and the referee initially just blew for a free kick, but VAR commanded a second look. Arsenal conceding later on left Nketiah with a final payout of -10p and a base payout of -17p. Most comical are his per minute figures – payout/min of -2.5p and base payout/min of -4.25p. We’d be surprised to see such stats again any time soon, although interestingly Ansu Fati of Barcelona managed a near-identical display for Barcelona the following day!