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Man Utd backline delivers for FPL managers

The Scout 24 Apr 2017
Eric Bailly in action against Burnley

United's defence provides a third successive shutout as Marcus Rashford is limited to a cameo role at Burnley

The Bonus Points

A goal and an assist from Anthony Martial (£9.2m) helped Manchester United ease to a 2-0 victory at Burnley, with the Frenchman picking up his first maximum Fantasy Premier League bonus points since Gameweek 1.

Deployed as the central striker in place of the benched Marcus Rashford (£6.6m), Martial also completed four dribbles and provided two key passes to total 38 in the Bonus Points System (BPS).

Team-mate Daley Blind (£5.2m) received two additional points with a tally of 35 in the BPS.

The Dutchman was recalled to the starting XI as the left-sided centre-back and contributed 12 clearances, blocks and interceptions (CBI), and the same number of recoveries, as Man Utd earned a third successive clean sheet.

Daley Blind tackle against Burnley
Daley Blind received two bonus points to move to 14 for the season

Blind also completed 85% of 34 passes and won two tackles.

Midfielder Ander Herrera (£6.3m) made it a clean sweep for the visitors by picking up the final bonus point.

The Spaniard completed 93% of his 61 pass attempts and earned his third assist in as many starts. His pass for Martial's opener was one of two big chances he supplied in Sunday's contest as Herrera ended the match with 35 in the BPS.

The ICT Index

Handed his first start since Gameweek 27, Wayne Rooney (£8.6m) topped the ICT Index with a score of 15.8, his highest of the season.

Rooney enjoyed seven touches in the opposition box - no player has had more in Gameweek 34 so far - while also firing three shots, two from inside the box, to score 79 for Threat.

Marcus Rashford, Burnley v Manchester United
Signed by 457,000+ FPL managers ahead of GW34, Marcus Rashford was played 21 minutes

Martial ranked next in the Index with a total of 14.8; like Rooney, his best score of the season so far.

Recording 60 for Threat, Martial also registered seven touches and two shots from within the Burnley penalty area.

The Scout Notes

In the absence of the injured Zlatan Ibrahiomovic (£11.4m), Rashford was the hot property heading into Man Utd's Double Gameweek following a run of three goals in four starts in all competitions.

Signed by over 457,000 FPL managers and captained by 279,000 (6.3%), the 19-year-old was limited to a 21-minute cameo, with manager Jose Mourinho wary of Thursday's Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium.

Rashford has proved an initial disappointment, but investment in the Man Utd defence has reaped early dividends.

Antonio Valencia, Manchester United
In 17.6 of FPL squads, Antonio Valencia has made one start in the last four Gameweeks

Eric Bailly (£5.5m) was second only to Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson (£5.1m) for transfers-in among defenders ahead of Gameweek 34, snapped up by 102,000+ FPL managers.

The Turf Moor shutout means that the Ivorian has now supplied six clean sheets in his last eight Gameweek starts.

But Antonio Valencia (£6.0m) - owned by 791,000 FPL managers and signed by another 99,000+ heading into Gameweek 34 - was again absent.

The right-back has played only one of the last four Gameweeks, with Mourinho continuing to manage his pitch-time around a UEFA Europa League campaign.

Man Utd will face Celta Vigo in the semi-final of that competition on 4 May, a factor which could also influence Mourinho's selection policy for the Gameweek 35 home encounter with Swansea City four days earlier.

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