Fantasy Premier League

Dream Team: Baggies provide defensive spine

By The Scout 24 Jan 2017
Ben Foster, West Brom

A first clean sheet since Gameweek 12 helps a quartet of West Brom assets break into the FPL elite XI

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With Diego Costa (£10.3m) the only Fantasy Premier League forward with more than 6% ownership to score a goal, Gameweek 22 presented an opportunity for fresh faces to make Dream-Team berths.

West Bromwich Albion provided four such candidates, as a first clean sheet since mid-November helped them dominate the weekly elite XI. 

FPL Gameweek 22 Dream Team

Ben Foster (West Brom) £4.7m

A second Dream Team call-up of 2016/17 arrives following a clean sheet in the 2-0 win over Sunderland. A worthy option for FPL managers, Foster's stock is nonetheless dented by the appeal of the attacking promise offered among his back four.

Gareth McAuley (West Brom) £4.9m

A key figure in Foster's defence and having provided the assist for the Baggies' first goal, McAuley earns a third Dream Team appearance and is now ranked top for points per million among defenders priced below the £5.0m mark. 

Chris Brunt (West Brom) £5.0m

Raiding forward from left-back to drive home a third goal of the campaign, Brunt underlined his potential for attacking returns. He has scored or assisted 28% of the Baggies' goals when on the pitch; no regular starter among FPL defenders can rival that level of involvement. However, each of his goals and three assists have all arrived at The Hawthorns. 

Seamus Coleman (Everton) £5.6m

Another defender boasting strong attacking prospects, Coleman has embraced a wing-back role and top-scored for the Gameweek with 15 points following his winner at Crystal Palace. With four clean sheets in five Gameweeks, he also provides a way into a resilient Everton defence with kind fixtures to come.

Cedric Soares (Southampton) £4.8m

A victim of recent injury and the Saints rotation policy, Soares has largely been unable to realise his potential as an FPL asset. However, Sunday's assist and 12-point return in the 3-0 win over Leicester City provided a glimpse of the possibilities, earning him a Dream Team bow.

Gary Cahill (Chelsea) £6.4m

A third goal of the season, along with maximum bonus points against Hull City, elevated Cahill to the top of the defender standings ahead of team-mates Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso (both £6.6m). 

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Gary Cahill earns a second Dream Team call-up after soaring to the top of the FPL defender standings

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) £8.4m

Only Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez (£11.9m) has earned more Dream Team appearances than Firmino this season, as the Brazilian sealed a fifth call-up courtesy of a brace and 14 points in Liverpool's defeat to Swansea City.

Darren Fletcher (West Brom) £4.5m

Found in more than 400,000 (9.5%) FPL squads, Fletcher was benched by 259,893 of his owners for Gameweek 22. A second goal of the season and a first double-digit haul is rewarded with a Dream-Team debut.

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) £10.5m

The Belgian makes a belated return to the weekly line-up having last earned recognition in Gameweek 5. That fixture against AFC Bournemouth marked De Bruyne's previous Premier League goal, a dry spell halted by a close-range effort in the 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur to remind managers of his potential. 

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Fernando Llorente (Swansea City) £6.1m

A third appearance in the Gameweek XI arrives following the Spaniard’s first away goals via his brace against Liverpool. With seven strikes and two assists in his previous 10 appearances, Llorente has quietly emerged as a key mid-price consideration as a third striker.

Andy Carroll (West Ham) £6.2m

Another candidate making a play for a coveted slot in FPL attacks, Carroll's two strikes in the 3-1 win at Middlesbrough means he has returned four goals in as many Gameweek starts. Only Costa has earned greater transfer interest among forwards ahead of his Gameweek 23 home meeting with Manchester City.

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