Every week we review three studs and three duds from the previous round of Premier League action. Which players shone brightest in Gameweek 25? Who flattered to deceive?
Robert Huth (Leicester City)
PlayON Price: 6.7m
GW 25 Points: 2,975
We’ve heard of Indian summers, but it’s safe to say that as the season began, nobody expected Robert Huth to fulfil his promise some 14 years after his Premier League debut.
Yet among all the insane things to come out of Leicester’s march to the top of the table, this possibly doesn’t even rank in the top three. In what should have been the toughest test of the season, Leicester won at a canter and Huth usurped his more marquee colleagues, Mahrez and Vardy, by grabbing an unlikely two goals.
The Foxes ran out as 3-1 victors away to Manchester City and the German’s performance was arguably his finest of the season. Not only did he effectively win the game for his side but he also managed to the keep the persistently threatening Sergio Aguero to just one goal.
The age of the no-nonsense defender is back, and they don’t come much more no-nonsense than Robert Huth.
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
PlayON Price: £10.5 m
GW 25 Points: 2,650
As Liverpool’s status plummets this season, one man is slowly but surely enhancing his reputation at Anfield.
Roberto Firmino took a bit of time to kick it into the kind of gear that saw him get 16 Bundesliga goals and 11 assists in 2013/14 with Hoffenheim, but with the extended absence of Phillipe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge, the winger-cum-striker has risen to the role of Liverpool’s primary attacking force.
His numbers for the season now stand at six goals and five assists across 16 Premier League starts and that was bolstered with his star showing in a 2-2 draw against Sunderland. The Brazilian opened the scoring – one his five attempts on goal in the match – before setting up Adam Lallana for the Reds’ second.
With the aforementioned Coutinho and Sturridge coming back into the fold in Gameweek 26, it will be intriguing to see whether this has a negative or positive affect on Firmino’s fantasy production.
Gylfie Sigurdsson (Swansea)
PlayON Price: £10.4 m
GW 25 Points: 2,500
With the arrival of the experienced ex-Udinese boss, Francesco Guidolin, to south Wales, it appears that a previously wayward ship has been effectively steadied. Unbeaten in their last four with two wins and two draws, Swansea owe a lot to the talismanic Icelander, Gylfie Sigurdsson.
The midfielder has now scored in his last three Premier League games and has bagged seven in total this season. Always a favourite in fantasy football terms, Sigurdsson is going a ways to cementing his status as the top set-piece specialist currently plying his trade in England. He scored another one against Palace last time out to seal a 1-1 draw, but may have a sterner test in beating the in-form Fraser Forster and Southampton in Gameweek 26.
Erik Pieters (Stoke City)
PlayON Price: £6.7 m
GW 25 Points: -150
The top tackler in the league this season with 3.6 challenges won per game, the Dutchman rounded out Gameweek 25 as the worst performer in PlayON Daily Fantasy Football.
The importance of Ryan Shawcross to Stoke’s defence is once again becoming all too clear. In the two games without their captain, Stoke have been on the receiving end of two 3-0 defeats – last weekend it was Everton who did the damage and in truth the margin could have been much greater.
As a result, Mark Hughes’ remaining defenders and star goalkeeper do not boast promising fantasy potential at this moment in time. With a points total in the red at -150, and and an all round ineffectual performance, Erik Pieters’ gets this column’s wooden spoon.
Simon Mignolet (Liverpool)
PlayON Price: £7.2 m
GW 25 Points: -50
As over 10,000 fans marched out of Anfield at the 77th minute of play against Sunderland in Gameweek 25, Liverpool were enjoying both a two goal cushion and likewise, the run of the game. It wasn’t to last.
Within five minutes, Sunderland had clawed one back, and it was really nobody’s fault other than Simon Mignolet. The often maligned shot stopper not only made a critical error in keeping out Adam Johnson’s free kick by failing to ensure proper protection from his wall, but he likewise was well enough positioned to make the save in the first place.
He was less at fault for Sunderland’s equaliser and equal credit in that regard should go to both Jermain Defoe’s predatory instincts and the Liverpool defence’s inability to keep him in check.
Liverpool are not only enjoying some of the worst form in the league, but the Belgian and his defence have conceded in their last six Premier League games. A daily fantasy no go, at this moment in time.
Victor Wanyama (Southampton)
PlayON Price: 7.3m
GW 25 Points: 545
It’s now getting to the stage where Victor Wanyama’s momentary lapses into clumsy and violent challenges are beginning to overshadow the good work he is very often capable of providing.
The Kenyan international has tested his manager’s patience previously with unruly discipline, but his dismissal against West Ham counted as the third red card of the season so far.
Southampton ran out as winners despite the 35 minute stretch they had to withstand without the services of the ex-Celtic man – impressively claiming their fifth clean sheet in a row in the process. It wouldn’t surprise many if Koeman decides to drop him from the first XI upon his return, but one thing is certain, for all his defensive fantasy value, Wanyama is becoming a liability.