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In-form Negredo gaining popularity

The Scout 19 Dec 2016
Alvaro Negredo, Swansea City

After four goals in as many matches, only one FPL forward has received more transfers in ahead of Gameweek 18

The Bonus Points

Two first-half goals from Alvaro Negredo (£6.2m) helped Middlesbrough to a 3-0 victory over Swansea City and the Spaniard to a Fantasy Premier League Bonus Points System (BPS) score of 52.

Negredo collected maximum bonus points for the third time this season, with team-mates Ben Gibson (£4.8m), Adam Forshaw (£4.5m) and Marten de Roon (£4.3m) all rewarded with two bonus points each, tied on 29 in the BPS.

Gibson registered 15 clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI) and won two tackles to help his side to a fifth clean sheet of the season.

Forshaw provided the assist for the second goal, converted by Negredo, and also won three tackles and completed 100% of his 36 passes.

Fellow midfielder de Roon scored the home side’s third goal, and registered seven CBI together with nine recoveries.

Ben Gibson, Middlesbrough
Ben Gibson moved to five clean sheets and nine FPL bonus points after Saturday's victory

The ICT Index

Negredo topped the ICT Index with a score of 12.3 - his second-best total of the season.

His Threat tally of 38 was made up of four touches and two shots from inside the Swansea City penalty area.

But it was the visitors' Fernando Llorente (£6.3m) who registered the highest Threat score of 53, earning him 7.5 in the Index overall.

Llorente led the way for penalty-box touches (10), allowing him to record two close-range efforts.

Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.5m) scored 6.3 in the Index.

He produced five goal attempts, all of which arrived from outside the box.

The Scout Notes

With four goals in as many Gameweek starts, Negredo's recent ascent has boosted his claims for the third striker slot in FPL squads.

Middlesbrough face trips to Burnley and Manchester United next but, following that, Leicester City, West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion will all visit the Riverside Stadium.

George Friend, Middlesbrough
George Friend returned to the Middlesbrough bench following injury and will now challenge Fabio for the left-back role

Negredo is currently second only to Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic (£11.3m) for transfers-in among FPL forwards ahead of Gameweek 18 - more than 44,000 have swooped for the Spaniard.

Aitor Karanaka's rearguard also looks appealing heading into the New Year fixtures.

Gibson, having picked up nine bonus points this season, appears the standout option.

George Friend's (£4.4m) return from injury clouds the situation at full-back, however.

He faces a battle to displace the impressive Fabio (£4.4m), who may even switch to right-back to challenge Antonio Barragan's (£4.6m) starting credentials.

Calum Chambers (£4.4m), who has featured in 11 of the last 12 Gameweeks, could offer the most secure value option.

Fernando Llorente, Swansea City
Fernando Llorente has earned 135,000+ FPL owners in the last two Gameweeks but was unable to break his scoring duck away from home

Swansea City conceded three goals for a second successive Gameweek on Saturday, casting doubt on Bob Bradley's back-four selection for the Boxing Day visit of West Ham United.

In attack, both Llorente and Sigurdsson drew blanks away from home once again; the former is yet to score on his travels.

More than 135,000 FPL managers had acquired Llorente in the last two Gameweeks, with Sigurdsson now found in more than 435,000 squads.

Their owners will look to the meeting with West Ham, together with the Gameweek 19 visit of AFC Bournemouth, as an opportunity to deliver returns.

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