Every week the PlayON Analyst takes a look at the best and worst of the previous round of Premier League action. Here are the latest batch of stars and suspects.
PlayON Price: £15.0m
GW22 Points Tally: 3,325 pts
Diego Costa is in many ways Jose Mourinho’s ultimate representative on the pitch. The striker may look like an older, hardier, beat-up version of his boss, but it’s the ruthless efficiency, opportunistic edge, and will to win at all costs that makes them so alike. The Spain international has clocked 55 touches in the 18 yard area over the past five games, more than any other forward in the league – demonstrating the kind of poacher instinct that has escaped the likes of Falcao. Having scored his 16th and 17th goals of the season in GW22, Costa will relish the opportunity to play executioner in his side’s mammoth Manchester City clash in GW23. More than anything, Chelsea must navigate a series of tricky cup fixtures with their main man intact.
PlayON Price: £12.0m
GW22 Points Tally: 2,600 pts
Santi Cazorla has been in exceptional form over the past few weeks, but he hit a personal high note on Sunday, as Arsenal overcame defending champions City in their own backyard. Unleashed by the athletic and defensive prowess of Coquelin, Cazorla was sublime – dictating the tempo and flow of the game, while undertaking set piece duties to first, score from the penalty spot, and then float a free kick directly onto the forehead of Olivier Giroud to put the Gunners two up. With ten completed dribbles, the Spaniard showed his ability to mix the game up, providing an effective blend of miraculous footwork and pinpoint passing from the middle of the park. This man is undoubtedly set to get a lot more popular in the Fantasy world.
PlayON Price: £7.5m
GW22 Points Tally: 1,570 pts
The Liverpool custodian has come in for a tough time this season. The Anfield faithful began to meet his name with groans of ill-confidence, every ball kicked by the Belgian looked hurried and wayward, and the shot stopping prowess that he relied upon throughout his Premier League career seemed to escape his grasp. Here, as Liverpool surmounted to a sturdy 2-0 win away to Villa, the Belgian was key in maintaining his side’s clean sheet, twice denying countryman Benteke when he looked odds on to score. Unless Liverpool invest in a keeper this month, it is unlikely, in the Analyst’s opinion, that we’ll see Mignolet displaced for the remainder of the season. A potentially valuable asset now, as Liverpool slowly rectify and solidify their defence.
PlayON Price: £10.7m
GW22 Points Tally: 900 pts
If Villa are to escape the pitfalls of relegation this season, Christian Benteke simply must put away his chances. The Belgian had more involvement in the penalty area than any other forward in the league at the weekend but has precisely nothing to show for it. Simon Mignolet expertly denied him on two notable occasions, but the striker had five clear attempts on goal in total. His supporting players may not be the most creative bunch, but they did their duties here. Facing a newly dominant Arsenal away in GW23, his chances of adding to a paltry two goal return this season look slim.
PlayON Price: £9.8m
GW22 Points Tally: 625 pts
Another Belgian addition to this list of infamy. Kevin Mirallas has been Everton’s standout performer when fit this season, but rumours abound that his selfish penalty histrionics and subsequent miss could very well be his last act in a blue shirt, with the likes of Spurs and Dortmund eager to secure his signature. With five goals and an assist from wide in twelve starts, and compatriot Lukaku very much in a rut, can Martinez and the PlayON faithful really afford to lose him?
PlayON Price: £7.0m
GW21 Points Tally: -425 pts
As Chelsea swaggered to a near-perfect game, someone had to suffer. There were a number of takers in that regard, but perhaps none came in for more of a slating than World Cup finalist Federico Fernandez. The Argentine was culpable on more than one occasion in defence, and practically teed up Diego Costa with a poorly timed backpass. A defensive blip from Swansea? This isn’t the first time a bigger side has racked up the goals against them, with Liverpool providing a 4-1 trouncing over the Christmas period.