In this edition of his regular article series, @Hibbo_FPL examines the merits of holding or selling Diogo Jota and replacements for Gameweek 34 and beyond. This article will provide FPL tips to help managers to break the template and make a late charge towards the top 10k.
Diogo Jota (£7.1m) returned to first-team action in Gameweek 26 having been sidelined with a knee injury sustained in UCL action against Midtjylland. The Portuguese international quickly rediscovered his pre-injury form notching against former club Wolves and scoring a brace against Arsenal off the bench.
Jota looked uncharacteristically wasteful against Newcastle and was substituted before the sixty-minute mark. The former Wolves attacker has flattered to deceive lately recording three consecutive blanks in hugely favourable fixtures which begs the question – is it time to move the 72% elite owned asset on?
Since Gameweek 27 amongst midfielders, Diogo Jota ranks joint top for shots on target (10) and second for shots in the box (17). Over the same period only Mo Salah (£12.6m) and Sadio Mane (£11.7m) have recorded more touches in the box (40). Furthermore, despite playing just 58 minutes against Newcastle Jota managed four shots on goal with three coming from inside the box.
In terms of fixtures, Liverpool has undoubtedly a difficult task when they visit Old Trafford in Gameweek 34. However, Liverpool comfortably tops the Hub’s fixture ticker when sorted by “goals for” over the final four gameweeks. Significantly, three of these sides are safe and have been found wanting for motivation of late.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (£6.9m) showed flashes of his brilliant best lighting up the match against former club Spurs with two goals and a 15pt haul. The Icelandic international has been involved in five goals in his last seven Premier League matches and was unfortunate not to return against Arsenal.
Since Gameweek 27 Sigurdsson’s numbers have been mediocre for shots (10), shots inside the box (4), and shots on target (3). The former Swansea man is currently Everton’s designated penalty taker scoring recently from the spot against Spurs. Furthermore, the Everton playmaker highlighted his dead-ball threat by rattling the crossbar against Arsenal with a wonderous freekick.
In terms of fixtures over the next three Everton rank top of the Hub’s fixture ticker when sorted by “goals for”. Aston Villa & West Ham have been particularly porous in recent weeks with neither side recording a league clean sheet in their last six. Furthermore, no side has conceded more big chances (21) in the last six league matches than already relegated Sheffield United.
In terms of motivation Everton sit six points off the final Champions League qualification spot with a game in hand and a fully healthy team. Furthermore, Everton’s favourable run over the short term could be boosted further if their outstanding match away to Aston Villa is scheduled into a possible Double Gameweek 35 as mooted by Ben Crellin.
Matheus Pereira (£5.1m) has enjoyed a stand-out Premier League debut season with nine goals and six assists for West Bromwich Albion. The former Sporting Lisbon man has assumed the role of West Brom talisman and boasts 54% FPL goal involvement for his club this season.
Staggeringly, the mercurial Brazilian is the highest-scoring player in FPL since Gameweek 19 despite blanking in 10 of his 15 games. During this period Pereira has recorded 11 attacking returns boasting more FPL goal involvement than heavyweights Bruno Fernandes (£11.5m) and Mo Salah (£12.7m).
Since Gameweek 27, Matheus Pereira ranks amongst midfielders fourth for shots on target (9) and second for goals (4). Furthermore, over the period the Brazilian ranks amongst midfielders second for key passes (13) and second for big chances (3).
In terms of fixtures over the next three West Brom unsurprisingly rank third-worst on the Hub’s ticker when sorted by “goals for”. However, West Brom host Wolves in a Gameweek 34 “Black Country Derby” with the Baggies very much fighting for survival. Conversely, Wolves have been consigned firmly to the “on the beach” category after a four-goal drubbing by Wolves at Turf Moor.
At Manchester United, Jesse Lingard (£6.6m) had become the victim of scorn and his resurrection has been nothing short of sensational. Before his loan move to West Ham, last term Lingard recorded just one attacking return – a goal against Leicester on the final day of last season.
Since his West Ham debut (Gameweek 22), Lingard ranks amongst midfielders third for shots (33), first for shots on target (19), first for goals (9), and first amongst all players for FPL points (91). Over the period Lingard ranks first amongst all players in the league for goal involvement (12).
West Ham rank fourth on the Hub’s fixture ticker when sorted by “goals for” until the end of the season. However, West Ham have suffered successive Premier League defeats for the first time this season following the loss of key first-team players.
Owned by 86% of elite sides Lingard won’t break the template but the Hammers midfielder has the form and fixtures to burn non-owners. Sitting just three points off fourth placed Chelsea the Hammers won’t lack in motivation and Lingard is gunning for Euro 2020 England inclusion.
In conclusion I am still very much of the belief that Diogo Jota represents good value for his price point. It could be easy to combine the recent hurt of Jota’s one point return against Newcastle with a look at the upcoming fixture away to Man United and make a kneejerk decision to move him on.
For those dead-ending into a late wildcard or punting with spare transfers and a perfect squad Jesse Lingard looks an obvious pick for non-owners. Owned by less than 3% of elite teams Matheus Pereira is the form man although his fixtures aren’t easy and his returns very much all duck no dinner.
Personally I am holding Diogo Jota and already own Jesse Lingard however if I was punting I would plump for the Sigurdsson’s rock bottom elite level ownership (sub 1%), kind schedule and possible double gameweek.
For those that have read, thank you. Keep an eye for more articles in the near future and good luck for the coming Gameweeks. Drop me a follow on Twitter @Hibbo_FPL.