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Arnautovic produces early FPL return

The Scout 6 Mar 2017
Marko Arnautovic, Stoke City

1.25%-owned midfielder scores 16 points in first of two Gameweek 27 fixtures for Stoke City

The Bonus Points

Two goals from Marko Arnautovic (£7.1m) earned Stoke City victory over Middlesbrough and the midfielder maximum Fantasy Premier League bonus points.

Scoring 51 in the Bonus Points System (BPS) – his biggest tally of the season – Arnautovic completed four dribbles, three open-play crosses and a key pass in addition to his brace.

Glenn Whelan (£4.3m) provided the pass for the Austrian's opener (his first assist of the season). Whelan completed 86% of 56 passes, supplying four chances in total.

That helped him earn 33 in the BPS to claim two bonus points.

Potters goalkeeper Lee Grant (£4.4m) collected the final bonus point on offer.

He picked up an eighth clean sheet of the season, registering 25 in the BPS with a pair of saves and 10 recoveries. 

Lee Grant, Stoke City
Lee Grant earned a single bonus point after recording an eighth clean sheet of 2016/17

The ICT Index

Arnautovic's goals helped him top the ICT Index, thanks in the main to an Influence score of 74 which earned him 15.8 overall.

But Ramadan Sobhi (£4.8m) ranked top for Threat in Saturday's match, scoring 69 after firing two close-range efforts. The Egyptian winger also laid on two chances, impressing on his third successive start.

Whelan recorded the highest Creativity tally (58) after supplying four key passes and the same number of successful crosses from 11 attempts. His overall Index score of 9.8 was his best of the campaign. 

Stoke City's Ramadan Sobhi
Stoke City winger Ramadan Sobhi, left, ranked top for ICT Threat in Saturday's match

The Scout Notes

Stoke City's assets were ripe for investment ahead of two Gameweek 27 fixtures and it was Arnautovic who provided the early dividend with a 16-point return.

Owned by just over 41,000 (1.25%) managers prior to Saturday's match, only 11,590 drafted in the Austrian ahead of the Boro encounter and Wednesday's trip to Manchester City.

Joe Allen (£5.2m) and Peter Crouch (£4.9m) were the more popular targets, with the latter offering a reward as he provided the assist for Stoke's second on Saturday.

That was Crouch's first return since Gameweek 23, with his starting role remaining under threat from recent signing Saido Berahino (£6.0m). 

Stoke City v Middlesbrough
George Friend, right, returned to the Middlesbrough line-up to renew his FPL stock

Having scored only one goal from their last seven away trips, Middlesbrough's FPL appeal still appears limited to their defensive candidates.

With Calum Chambers (£4.4m) injured, George Friend (£4.3m) returned to the teamsheet on Saturday and could be the go-to option in the Boro rearguard.

Aitor Karanka's men face a home meeting with Manchester United next, before fixtures with Swansea City (a), Hull City (h) and Burnley (a).

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