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FPL pre-season lessons: Zaha shining under Vieira

The Scout 26 Jul 2021
Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace

The Scout assesses recent friendlies as Palace talisman makes his case for opening Fantasy squads

The Scout is highlighting the form players in Fantasy Premier League and making key tactical observations during pre-season.

Zaha quick to impress

Back-to-back winners for Crystal Palace suggest Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m) could be set for a strong start in Fantasy.

Playing on the left of a front three, Zaha has made an immediate mark under new head coach Patrick Vieira. 

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He followed up his winner against Walsall with the decisive penalty at Ipswich Town as Palace claimed successive 1-0 victories.

Listed as a midfielder in Fantasy, the Ivory Coast international can be found in only 6.4 per cent of squads.

Zaha's winner at Ipswich

That is perhaps down to a tough opening run of opponents, with five of Palace’s first eight matches scoring four in the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR).

Nontheless, Zaha’s displays for Vieira indicate he can build on his career-best return of 11 Premier League goals in 2020/21.

Flying start for Wilson?

Newcastle United forward Callum Wilson (£7.5m) looks set to make a quick impact this season.

Wilson netted his first goal of the summer in a 3-2 win over Doncaster Rovers last time out.

Wilson's goal v Doncaster

When selected, he was involved in a team-leading 58 per cent of Newcastle's goals last term. 

He scored 12 times, including a debut goal in a 2-0 win at West Ham United, whom he faces in Gameweek 1 of 2021/22.

Steve Bruce’s side have a favourable early schedule, with only one of their opening nine matches scoring more than three in the FDR. 

That could also promote the appeal of their full-back Jamal Lewis (£4.5m), who supplied two assists at Doncaster. 

Rodriguez offers short-term appeal

Burnley’s Jay Rodriguez (£5.5m) has the form to offer managers a short-term solution as a cut-price forward. 

Rodriguez has scored three goals and supplied an assist over his two summer appearances, most recently netting in a 2-0 win at Oldham.

And with his strike rival Chris Wood (£7.0m) currently representing New Zealand at the Olympics, Rodriguez is favourite to start against Brighton & Hove Albion in Gameweek 1.

Also in this series

Part 1: Buendia makes early impact
Part 3: Watkins double justifies early faith
Part 4: Man City duo look dangerous
Part 5: Bertrand can replace Fofana
Part 6: Bamford and Antonio strike again
Part 7: Ings emerging as top target

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