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Negredo ideal for third striker slot

The Scout 19 Apr 2017
Alvaro Negredo, Middlesbrough

Only one FPL player has fired more shots from inside the box since Gameweek 28 than Boro's Double Gameweek asset

After scoring his eighth goal of the season in the 2-1 defeat to Arsenal, Alvaro Negredo (£6.2m) presents a tempting short-term option for Fantasy Premier League managers as Middlesbrough prepare for two fixtures in Gameweek 34.

Boro travel to AFC Bournemouth on Saturday before hosting Sunderland the following Wednesday. 

Negredo has scored in his last two starts and provides a cheaper FPL alternative to Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke (£7.2m), who also benefits from two fixtures in Gameweek 34. 

Since Saturday’s FPL deadline, the Eagles striker has proved the more popular target, attracting 45,000+ new owners to Negredo's 37,000.

But while Benteke boasts the superior form - registering three goals and an assist in the last four Gameweeks - his fixtures with Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur provide a stern test.

Negredo’s opponents appear more promising.

Middlesbrough's Alvaro Negredo
Only Sergio Aguero has had more shots in the area than Alvaro Negredo over the last six GWs

Only two teams have conceded more goals than AFC Bournemouth's 11 over the last six Gameweeks, while Sunderland have mustered a single clean sheet from their 15 away matches.

Notably, Negredo also produced three assists in the reverse fixtures earlier this season, totalling 15 points.

Since the appointment of Steve Agnew as Boro manager, there has also been a significant improvement in Negredo’s underlying statistics, suggesting that this could translate into further FPL returns.

From Gameweek 29, the striker has been shooting more often, getting more opportunities in the penalty area and hitting the target with greater frequency.

Negredo in FPL
  GW1-28 GW29-33
Minutes per shot 49.2 14.8
Minutes per shot in box 64.8 17.6
Minutes per shot on target 148.2 40.4

Over the last six Gameweeks Negredo has fired 16 shots from inside the box, a total bettered only by Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero (£12.8m and 20) over the same spell.

Negredo is still found in 11.6% of FPL squads, primarily due to his early season success.

But with managers rushing to acquire the services of the in-form Harry Kane (£11.4m), along with Benteke and Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic (£11.5m), who also boasts two Gameweek 34 fixtures, Negredo can still provide an effective differential.

His form, underlying numbers and kind short-term schedule all offer encouragement for those seeking a compelling third striker option.

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