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Lukaku threat maintains FPL boom

The Scout 24 Mar 2017
Romelu Lukaku, Everton

Everton striker's relentless form ensures Fantasy managers continue to flock to the top-scoring forward

Fantasy Premier League managers have continued the scramble for Everton’s Romelu Lukaku (£10.5m), with the ICT Index highlighting the striker’s irrepressible run of form.

Sitting top of the FPL forward standings, the Toffees forward has scored nine goals over the last six Gameweeks. Lukaku produced more shots (23) and shots on target (15) than any other player in the Premier League during that spell.

Already owned by 46.7% of FPL managers, he is the No 1 transfer target ahead of a Gameweek 30 trip to Merseyside rivals Liverpool, with more than 50,000 making a belated move for his services. 

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Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero (£12.7m) registered just three shots fewer than Lukaku (20) in 186 minutes' less pitch time, yet lacked a cutting edge and scored just twice in five appearances.

The Argentinian has scored only three times in his previous 10 Gameweek outings ahead of back-to-back trips to Arsenal and Chelsea.

ICT Threat since Gameweek 24

Forward  Team  Mins played  ICT Threat
Lukaku EVE  540  367
Aguero MCI  354  268
Benteke CRY  450  247
Deeney WAT  450  236
Costa CHE  450  225
Gabbiadini SOU  277  224
Kane TOT  354  190
Ibrahimovic MUN  270  185
Vardy LEI  435  168
Carroll WHU  325  164

Like Aguero, Diego Costa (£10.7m) has 10 fixtures still to play in the remaining nine Gameweeks.

But the Blues forward has struggled in terms of accuracy, managing only three shots on target over the last six Gameweeks.

Nonetheless, the consistent Costa has still supplied two goals and a pair of assists in five appearances, leaving him second behind Lukaku in the forward standings.

Despite drawing blanks in all five recent matches, Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke (£7.0m) still boasted a significant threat – he sat joint third for both shots (17) and shots inside the box (14) over the last six Gameweeks.

From Gameweek 32, in particular, Benteke could force his way into the plans of FPL managers.

Christian Benteke, Crystal Palace
Christian Benteke is ranked third for shots and shots inside the box over the last six Gameweeks

Palace will host Leicester City, Burnley and Hull City and also offer two fixtures in Gameweek 34, with a trip to Liverpool preceding a home encounter against Tottenham Hotspur.

Elsewhere, Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic (£11.4m) makes the top 10 for ICT Threat despite playing only three of the previous six matches.

Set to serve the last of a three-match suspension in Gameweek 30, Ibrahimovic has 10 fixtures in the final eight Gameweeks, including trips to both Burnley and Manchester City in Gameweek 34.

Jamie Vardy, Leicester City
Jamie Vardy has produced three goals and two assists in his last three appearances

With averages of 6.9 and 6.5 points per match respectively, Harry Kane (£11.2m) and Manolo Gabbiadini (£6.9m) are poised to play a major part in the run-in – provided that they can overcome recent injuries.

The Spurs striker has produced six goals and an assist in four appearances across the last six Gameweeks, and his return from an ankle injury is expected later next month.

Having scored four goals in his first three appearances for Southampton, the prognosis on Gabbiadini’s groin injury is also eagerly awaited ahead of 11 matches in the final nine Gameweeks. The Saints have successive home encounters against AFC Bournemouth and Crystal Palace after the international break.

Meanwhile, Leicester City's recent revival under new manager Craig Shakespeare has sparked Jamie Vardy (£9.8m) into life.

With three goals and a pair of assists in his last trio of appearances, the Foxes striker has earned over 47,000 new owners ahead of back-to-back home encounters against Stoke City and Sunderland.

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