We analyse the very best and worst of the Premier League’s fantasy performers for Gameweek 7.
Diego Costa (Chelsea)
PlayON Price: £14m
PlayON Points: 3050
Diego Costa has punched his way back to the forefront of Premier League fantasy royalty after, what was by his standards at least, a season in the wilderness.
The Chelsea man now has six goals so far this season and leads the domestic scoring charts as a result – adding to his tally with a fine effort against Hull. The Blues conquered the Tigers 2-0 and Costa was the chief outlet in all things positive for Conte’s men. With a new look 3-4-3 formation, Chelsea looked an all-round more stable and sturdy side and the striker was the most obvious to benefit as he not only scored, but likewise turned provider for Willian.
Costa rounded out the Gameweek 7 as the highest scoring player in PlayON Fantasy Football and will almost certainly see his selection rate take an upturn after the international break.
James Milner (Liverpool)
PlayON Price: £9.6m
PlayON Points: 2500
As unlikely as it may sound, the outstanding left back in the Premier League this season has been a right-footed central midfielder.
James Milner has managed four goals – all penalties – and an assist from six matches while providing a far more solid option to the erratic and inconsistent Alberto Moreno. When converting Milner to this position earlier on in the season, Klopp assured him that he would see more action and more of the ball than if he was in the centre of the pitch – and on the face of it, the German seems to be correct. Milner has always been the model pro, but his move to left-full may have benefitted his team by likewise making room in the midfield for the dynamic and creative talents of Lallana and Wijnaldum.
Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)
PlayON Price: £7.2m
PlayON Points: 2170
The well worn cliche in football, is that playing badly and winning is the stuff of champions. Arsenal may have scraped past Burnley with a last minute winner, but to say they played like potential league winners is a stretch. Champions put away their chances and the Gunners’ profligacy should be a cause for concern for Arsene Wenger.
Still, one thing that he has appeared to get very right in recent weeks, is the defensive balance of his side. The combination of Koscielny and Mustafi is starting to reap dividends with clean sheets across three games in all competitions. Laurent Koscielny in particular seems to benefit most from the current arrangement and ranked as the highest scoring defender in PlayON Daily Fantasy Football.
David De Gea (Manchester United)
PlayON Price: £8m
PlayON Points: 1200
Manchester United’s start to the Mourinho era has been stop start at best but rarely has any recent United manager been undone by the hand of their star goalkeeper.
United relinquished their lead and a full three points at home to Stoke City on Saturday and uncharacteristically David De Gea was the guilty party. It was a mishap more akin to the Spain international’s early days in the Premier League. Namely flapping under an aerial ball and teeing up the opposition for an easy score – in this case, Joe Allen.
In a game that Manchester United dominated, David De Gea would ultimately be outdone by his opposite number, Lee Grant who thwarted the home team on eight separate occasions. Still, don’t expect De Gea’s fantasy selection to drop in favour of the Stoke man.
Aleksander Kolarov (Manchester City)
PlayON Price: £8m
PlayON Points: 400
“For me, Kolarov’s a poser. He just wants to take a free-kick, he wants to knock a 60-yard ball.”
“You see him defend, he’s involved in the two goals… so there’s no doubt the full-back area they’ve got problems.”
These were the words Jamie Carragher used to describe the Manchester City left-back and while it seemed harsh at the time and a clear attack on his character, it was somewhat justified. Kolarov was one of the worst performers of the weekend.
The Serbian was caught napping for Spurs’ opener and Son and Dele Alli breezed past him for the second. Manchester City’s air of invincibility was certainly dented but Kolarov’s standing in Guardiola’s plans may have suffered irreparable damage.
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
PlayON Price: £13.8m
PlayON Points: 330
Domestically, Leicester City just can’t recapture the right blend of players and style that made them such an effective unit last season. Aside from the clear lack of productivity coming from the boot of Riyad Mahrez, the biggest issue currently facing the Foxes is Jamie Vardy’s dry-spell.
The England international has struck twice in the Premier League in 2015/16 but his last goals in any competition came some six games ago. With Leicester’s defensive problems taking the brunt of the media criticism and attention, Vardy’s struggles have gone under the radar. In Gameweek 7 he only managed one shot against the opposition and played second fiddle to Islam Slimani as the focal point of Leicester’s attacks.
It’s clear that Ranieri has an issue in balancing these two contenders in his team but you get the suspicion that no matter how the Italian manages it, Vardy will fall well short of his record 24 goal haul this season.