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Dream Team: Debutants make the difference

The Scout 21 Mar 2017
James Ward-Prowse, Southampton

James Ward-Prowse and Jesse Lingard hit double-figure returns to earn maiden call-ups to the weekly elite

Southampton's James Ward-Prowse (£5.0m) and Manchester United's Jesse Lingard (£5.6m) earn Fantasy Premier League Dream Team bows following double-figure returns in Gameweek 29.

With a full programme of fixtures, Crystal Palace were the only side to boast more than one representative in the weekly XI, as their centre-back pairing make the cut following a third consecutive clean sheet. 

A graphic of the FPL Gameweek 29 Dream Team

Jordan Pickford (Sunderland) £4.1m

The Sunderland goalkeeper earns a third Dream Team call-up after registering a clean sheet, save point and three bonus points in the goalless draw with Burnley. The 10-point haul gave Pickford a first double-digit score of the season and his first maximum bonus. He is picked ahead of Tom Heaton (£5.1m), with whom he was tied with for both points and Bonus Points System (BPS) tally, as he is £1m cheaper.

Craig Dawson (West Brom) £4.8m

The top-scoring player in Gameweek 29 with 17 points, Dawson scored with a pair of headers in West Bromwich Albion’s 3-1 win over Arsenal to earn a first Dream Team appearance. He has netted three goals in his last four starts but, with nine bookings for the season, is one caution away from a two-match suspension. 

West Bromwich Albion's Craig Dawson
West Brom's Craig Dawson was the Gameweek's leading points scorer with 17

Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace) £4.7m

Another Dream Team debutant, Sakho's impact on the Eagles’ backline has been substantial with clean sheets gained in each of his three appearances following Saturday's 1-0 victory over Watford. The Frenchman has also collected maximum bonus points in both his last two starts, with an 82% pass completion bettering any Palace team-mate.

James Tomkins (Crystal Palace) £4.9m

Slotting alongside his centre-back partner, Tomkins earns a second Dream Team appearance of the campaign. With more clearances, blocks and interceptions (83) than any other Palace defender since claiming a starting role in Gameweek 19, he continues to keep Scott Dann (£5.2m) out of the side. 

James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) £5.0m

Despite suffering a 2-1 loss at Tottenham Hotspur, Ward-Prowse’s second-half strike was enough to earn the midfielder a Dream Team debut. Found in only 0.4% of FPL squads, he has started seven of the last eight Gameweeks and produced two goals, an assist and five bonus points in his previous five. 

Jesse Lingard (Man Utd) £5.6m

Deployed in a central-attacking role behind the lone striker, Lingard was handed a first start since Gameweek 20 at Middlesbrough. He took his opportunity to impress by blasting a first goal of the season, though suffered a knock to make him an early doubt for Gameweek 30.

Manuel Lanzini (West Ham) £6.4m

A superb free-kick, along with three bonus points in the Hammers' defeat by Leicester City, secured a third Dream Team appearance. Lanzini has produced double-figure hauls in three of the last five Gameweeks. 

Willian, Chelsea
Willian has earned more Dream Team call-ups (4) than Chelsea team-mates Eden Hazard and Diego Costa

Willian (Chelsea) £7.0m

The Brazilian scored his sixth goal of the season as Chelsea beat Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium. Willian claims a fourth Dream Team appearance, surprisingly surpassing both Eden Hazard (£10.2m) and Diego Costa (£10.7m), who have earned three call-ups apiece. 

Romelu Lukaku (Everton) £10.5m

The Toffees striker stretched his lead at the top of the FPL forward standings after providing another two goals and an assist for his 46.5% ownership. Finding the net in each of his last six Goodison Park outings, Lukaku was again the Gameweek's most popular captain choice, with more than a million FPL managers entrusting the Belgian with the armband.

Benik Afobe (AFC Bournemouth) £5.4m

Leading the Cherries’ attack for a third successive Gameweek, the striker's season-high 12-point tally in the win over Swansea City was enough to earn a maiden Dream Team call-up. Only two FPL forwards – Lukaku and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (£12.7m) – have fired more shots than Afobe's nine over the last three Gameweeks.

Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) £9.8m

A goal and an assist at London Stadium took the Foxes striker to 29 points from the last three Gameweeks, ensuring that he is a key target for FPL managers. Vardy is the second-most popular transfer target since Saturday’s deadline, attracting 40,000+ new owners.

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