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Ever-present Gibson the clear Boro target

The Scout 10 Apr 2017
Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson

Defender boosts his FPL stock with 10th clean sheet ahead of Middlesbrough's double Gameweek 34

The Bonus Points

Burnley's Stephen Ward (£4.5m) collected his first Fantasy Premier League bonus points of the season in Saturday's 0-0 draw at Middlesbrough.

Scoring 32 in the Bonus Points System (BPS), the left-back produced six clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI), along with five recoveries and a successful tackle.

Ward was also a key figure going forward, completing two dribbles and providing two open-play crosses, setting up a "big chance" for striker Sam Vokes (£5.7m) late on.

Burnley's Stephen Ward, left, and Middlesbrough's Rudy Gestede
Stephen Ward, left, earned his first FPL bonus points of the season against Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson (£5.0m) moved to 13 bonus points for the season by collecting another two in Saturday's contest.

The centre-back contributed eight CBI and completed 86% of his 74 pass attempts - more than any other player at the Riverside Stadium.

Burnley defender Ben Mee (£4.7m) shared a BPS score of 27 with Middlesbrough's Grant Leadbitter (£4.4m), each earning an additional point.

Mee recorded six CBI, three recoveries and a successful tackle and has now earned bonus points in three of his last four Gameweeks.

Leadbitter's first bonus point of the season arrived courtesy of four successful tackles and having completed 90% of 63 pass attempts.

The ICT Index

With neither side able to break the deadlock and with just five shots on target, this was a low-scoring encounter in the ICT Index.

Leadbitter topped the overall Index (6.0) with the highest Creativity score on show (38), having supplied four chances.

Meanwhile, centre-back Daniel Ayala (£4.8m) recorded the highest Threat score (42), registering three touches and two close-range shots within the Burnley penalty area.

Alvaro Negredo, Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough striker Alvaro Negredo was limited to a 33-minute appearance from the bench

The Scout Notes

With two fixtures in Gameweek 34 - at AFC Bournemouth and home to Sunderland - Middlesbrough's FPL assets remain targets despite recent form.

But Alvaro Negredo (£6.2m) was relegated to the bench for Saturday's stalemate, meaning attacking options in Steve Agnew's side remain extremely limited.

That leaves us looking to the defence, with Gibson the prime asset following a 10th clean sheet on Saturday.

The top-scoring Middlesbrough defender by a 40-point margin, he is the only ever-present in Agnew's squad.

In addition, Gibson's points-per-million (ppm) value is second only to West Bromwich Albion's Gareth McAuley (£5.3m) among active FPL defenders (22.4 to 22.8).

Burnley's rearguard also remains a source of value. With 26.3 ppm no player in any position can better goalkeeper Tom Heaton (£5.2m).

His ninth clean sheet of the campaign took him to 134 points, some 15 ahead of Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois (£5.9m) at the top of the FPL goalkeeper standings.

See: FPL goalkeeper standings

While Burnley play just seven fixtures over the run-in, Heaton remains a key figure who is again the most popular transfer target for goalkeepers ahead of a Gameweek 33 trip to Everton.

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