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Lukaku aims to knock Zlatan off top spot

The Scout 19 Feb 2017
Everton's Romelu Lukaku

The Scout assesses the most in-form Fantasy forwards as Everton striker closes in on Ibrahimovic's tally

The Scout's four-part series scanning in-form Fantasy Premier League assets by position ends with a focus on forwards.

FPL form last four Gameweeks

Forward Team Form
Gabbiadini SOU 10.0
Lukaku EVE 6.8
Deeney WAT 6.8
Jesus MCI 6.5
Niang WAT 5.0

Everton's Romelu Lukaku (£9.9m) is undoubtedly the emerging force among FPL forwards.

The 16-goal Belgian has produced 27 points over his last four starts, even if 21 arrived via a double-brace against AFC Bournemouth in Gameweek 24.

Lukaku looks poised to overtake Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic (£11.5m) as the top-scoring FPL forward.

Trailing by only three points (142 to 145), Lukaku benefits from three promising home fixtures in the next four Gameweeks, as Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion and Hull City are due at Goodison Park.  

Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still FPL's top-scoring forward, but only just

Everton are guaranteed fixtures in Gameweek 26 and 28, whereas Ibrahimovic risks missing both should United progress to the FA Cup quarter-finals. 

Having scored three goals in two starts, the form of Southampton's Manolo Gabbiadini (£6.5m) betters Lukaku.

The top transfer target among forwards since his two goals at Sunderland eight days ago, Gabbiadini is not scheduled to return to action until he travels to Watford in Gameweek 27 (Southampton will miss Gameweek 26 due to the EFL Cup final). 

Watford's Troy Deeney
Watford's Troy Deeney has fired three goals in his last four Gameweeks

M'Baye Niang (£6.0m) and Troy Deeney (£6.7m) also feature highly in the form guide, the Watford pair producing 27 and 15 points over the last four Gameweeks respectively.

Deeney has scored in three of the last four Gameweeks, while Niang has impressed with a goal and an assist despite being limited to only three appearances.

They enjoy back-to-back home matches against West Ham United and Southampton but face a postponement in Gameweek 28 after Chelsea's progress to the last eight of the FA Cup. 

ICT Index last four Gameweeks 

Forward Team Creativity Threat ICT Index
Ibrahimovic MUN 163 185 43.4
Deeney WAT 49 191 38.3
Lukaku EVE 77 137 36.6
Jesus MCI 65 136 31.8
Barnes BUR 49 189 30.7
Costa CHE 50 183 29.1
Benteke CRY 37 209 28.6
Gabbiadini SOU 39 138 28.5
Negredo MID 42 178 25.7
Stuani MID 24 174 25.2

Deeney also ranks highly in the ICT Index over the last four Gameweeks and represents the nearest rival to Ibrahimovic.

The Watford captain has fired five close-range efforts, coupled with 15 touches in the opponents’ penalty area.

Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke (£7.2m) betters Deeney for Threat over this period, recording 209 having produced 13 goal attempts and 23 penalty-area touches.

But the Belgian has returned only one goal in this spell, at AFC Bournemouth in Gameweek 23 (his only strike in 10 appearances).

Ashley Barnes (£4.5m) perhaps represents a more promising FPL option. 

Burnley's Ashley Barnes
Burnley's Ashley Barnes has registered 3.2 goal attempts per match since Gameweek 22

Owned by 3.2% of managers, Barnes has started the last nine Gameweeks for Burnley and produced 13 attempts in the last four outings.

Scoring 189 for Threat, no forward can better his six efforts on target over this period.

Compared with his averages from Gameweeks 17-21, Barnes' FPL potential is on the rise.

He fired in an average of 3.2 goal attempts in the past four Gameweeks, up from 1.0 from his previous five starts, despite facing Arsenal and Chelsea.

Burnley offer a guaranteed fixture in Gameweek 28, although managers should note they face four consecutive away matches.

Middlesbrough's Alvaro Negredo
Alvaro Negredo is one to monitor having upped his goal threat in recent matches

The Middlesbrough pair of Alvaro Negredo (£6.3m) and Cristhian Stuani (£4.7m) are also notable inclusions in the top 10.

Like Barnes, both have upped their output in recent matches.

Negredo had been averaging 1.6 goal attempts a match up to Gameweek 21. That has increased to 2.5 over his last four outings, courtesy of 10 efforts on goal, eight from within the penalty area.

Stuani, who scored Boro's FA Cup winner on Saturday, has shown signs of rekindling his potential as a budget FPL asset.

The Uruguayan has registered six attempts from inside the box, having started three of the last four matches.

Stuani had registered only nine penalty-area attempts over his 13 appearances up to Gameweek 22.

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