Sunderland are coming up strong and goalkeeper Vito Mannone was the surprise star of FPL Gameweek 36, earning himself a place in this week’s edition of Champs and Chumps.
Vito Mannone (Sunderland)
PlayON Price: £6.3m
PlayON Points: 4,063
For the second time in a row Vito Mannone was among the top performers in PlayON. This week, in fact, he was number one. The Sunderland custodian came back to haunt his old side with a stunning display between the sticks that saw him make six crucial saves and claim a hard earned clean sheet.
It’s difficult to tell if fantasy managers will throw their faith in the Italian for Sunderland’s final run-in. With Stoke City up next, you can certainly see the temptation.
Adam Lallana (Liverpool)
PlayON Price: £10m
PlayON Points: 3390
Jurgen Klopp has reportedly been watching highlights of Adam Lallana’s Southampton career and he finally caught a real-life glimpse of a player who’s been harder to find than Whitey Bulger since moving to Merseyside. A move to the tip of midfield diamond against Newcastle saw Lallana flourish – much like he had in his Saints days – as the creative fulcrum of his team.
The English international combined superbly with Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino, scored a superb goal from outside the area and picked up an impressive 3390 points over the course of the Gameweek.
Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City)
PlayON Price: £8.3m
PlayON Points: 3,120
As he has done many times over the season, Riyad Mahrez settled the Leicester nerves with the deadlock-breaking opener against Swansea in Gameweek 35. However, the man who turned what could have been an edgy clash into a carnival was Leonardo Ulloa.
The Argentine striker is a very different beast from Jamie Vardy, who he replaced in the starting line-up, but he was no less effective in front of goal – scoring two to cement the Foxes’ three points. With Vardy suspended again against Manchester United, Ulloa may now find pride of place in daily fantasy line-ups.
Artur Boruc (Bournemouth)
PlayON Price: £6.3m
PlayON Points: -550
Cesc Fabregas had been clawing his way back to the standard we’ve grown accustomed to over the past 13 years, so it was no surprise the Spain international played a starring role in Gameweek 36. The Spaniard was at his mercurial best when laying on three assists as Chelsea steamrolled Bournemouth 4-1 on Saturday afternoon.
What was a shock was the sight of Eden Hazard scoring a double – his first league goals since last May . The Belgian was generously facilitated by an exceedingly poor performance from Artur Boruc. Despite plenty of opportunities, the Pole didn’t make a single save all day and his performances have regularly undercut the efforts of his team this season. It would be a surprise to see him back next year.
Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City)
PlayON Price: £7.1m
PlayON Points: -175
For a man that’s supposed to be Stoke City’s on-field and spiritual leader, Ryan Shawcross has lead his team down the path of disaster over his last three Gameweeks. Stoke’s 4-0 defeat to Manchester City was the third game in a row where they’ve conceded four goals, grim reading for side whose solidity was their number one identifier.
The Potters’ defensive situation hasn’t been helped by injuries to both Shay Given and Jack Butland, but it was noticeable how off the pace Shawcross looked against the likes of Sergio Aguero or the brace scoring Kelechi Iheanacho.
Alberto Moreno (Liverpool)
PlayON Price: £7.5m
PlayON Points: 3,120
It seems a bit unfair to single out a man who scored a very impressive 3,120 PlayON points in Gameweek 35, but here in lies the problem with Alberto Moreno. The Spaniard had a stellar first half showing at home to Newcastle on Saturday, lighting up Anfield with electrifying bursts forward and turning provider on two occasions for Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge.
However, the second half displayed the major flaws of his game. Moreno’s offensive nature left massive gaps in defence for Andros Townsend to attack and ultimately claw Newcastle back into game. His potential to be fantasy diamond is immense if he could just mature his game.