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GW24 Ones to watch: Xherdan Shaqiri

The Scout 18 Jan 2018
Xherdan Shaqiri, Stoke

Midfielder can steer Stoke City's revival and regain the faith of FPL managers as well, says The Scout

The Scout is selecting five Fantasy Premier League players set to make an impact in Gameweek 24.

Xherdan Shaqiri (STK) £6.0m

After replacing Mark Hughes at Stoke City, Paul Lambert is set to turn to Xherdan Shaqiri to inspire their bid to climb the table.

And the Swiss midfielder can step up for his new manager and restore his reputation in Fantasy.

Shaqiri emerged as a key figure earlier in their campaign.

From Gameweek 5, he enjoyed a burst of form that brought four goals and five assists from his next 10 starts.

That prompted interest from FPL managers and, by Gameweek 18, he was found in more than 555,000 squads.

Stock slump

But having failed to produce a goal or an assist since Gameweek 16, Shaqiri’s stock took a dip and he is now owned by just over 315,000 managers.

That could reverse in the coming Gameweeks.

Lambert has taken over just as the schedule swings in Stoke's favour.

Five of their next six opponents score just two in the Fixture Difficulty Rankings (FDR).

Stoke's next six Gameweeks
GW Opponent FDR
24 HUD (H) 2
25 WAT (H) 2
26 BOU (A) 2
27 BHA (H) 2
28 LEI (A) 3
29 SOU (A) 2
Huddersfield chance

The run begins on Saturday when Huddersfield Town come to the bet365 Stadium.

The Terriers have conceded seven goals in the last two Gameweeks, and are without a win in their previous five.

Having scored or assisted 47% of Stoke’s goals when selected, Shaqiri is likely to be heavily involved in any goal threat.

He has created 47 chances, more than double that of any team-mate.

Big-chance specialist

Eleven of those opportunities were big chances, opportunities where the receiving player is expected to score.

Only Kevin De Bruyne (£10.2m), who is FPL’s joint-leader for assists with 11, has provided more big chances, with 12 this season.

Monopolising set-pieces and high in the pecking order for penalty-kicks, Shaqiri’s potential for points remains strong.

If Lambert can restore some confidence in the Potters camp, Stoke's No 22 could exploit the schedule to make a return to FPL squads.

Also in this series

Part 1: GW24 Ones to watch: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Part 2: GW24 Ones to watch: Jordan Ayew
Part 3: GW24 Ones to watch: Callum Wilson
Part 4: GW24 Ones to watch: Jamie Vardy

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