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Middlesbrough defence make their point

The Scout 3 Apr 2017
Victor Valdes, Middlesbrough

Boro backline impress to tempt FPL investors ahead of a promising schedule and Double Gameweek

The Bonus Points

Middlesbrough goalkeeper Victor Valdes (£4.6m) claimed maximum Fantasy Premier League bonus points as he shut out Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.

The Spaniard made three saves in the 0-0 stalemate, while his 13 recoveries proved a key factor in returning 30 in the Bonus Points System (BPS).

Boro’s Ben Gibson (£4.9m) was able to collect two bonus points after registering eight clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI).

The centre-back also completed 88% of 43 attempted passes, finishing with a BPS total of 28.

Kyle Naughton (£4.3m) picked up the final bonus point for Swansea City.

The right-back contributed five recoveries, won a single tackle and completed a dribble to score 26 in the BPS.

The Scout Notes

With Boro facing two matches in Gameweek 34 – travelling to AFC Bournemouth and hosting Sunderland – Sunday’s clean sheet provided a timely reminder of the value available in their backline.

Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson, right, and Adam Clayton
Ben Gibson, right, is Middlesbrough's top-scoring defensive asset on 99 points

Gibson, who has played every minute of the season so far and is more than 30 points ahead of any defensive team-mate, is the standout option.

Valdes, meanwhile, has earned at least one save point in six of his last seven outings, strengthening his claims.

Boro also enjoy favourable fixtures in the short-term, with Wednesday night’s trip to Hull City leading into a crucial home encounter against Burnley in Gameweek 32 on Saturday.

Swansea City's Fernando Llorente
Swansea City's Fernando Llorente missed Sunday's 0-0 draw but could return for the Gameweek 31 meeting with Tottenham Hotspur

Swansea’s attempts to break down the visitors were hindered by the absence of striker Fernando Llorente (£6.6m).

He was the sixth most popular target in the FPL transfer market ahead of Gameweek 30, with more than 84,000 managers recruiting the Spaniard.

But his 14% ownership were left disappointed when he was ruled out due to an ankle injury.

His availability for Wednesday’s home clash against Tottenham Hotspur remains uncertain and Llorente has already been sold by over 43,000 managers ahead of Gameweek 31.

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