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GW36 Bonus points: Azpilicueta the all-rounder

The Scout 1 May 2018
Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea

Extra points keep Chelsea defender on course for his best season in Fantasy

Cesar Azpilicueta's ability to pick up Fantasy Premier League bonus points has helped him stretch his lead as the top-ranked defender.

Azpilicueta (£6.9m) was awarded the maximum three bonus points for a fourth time in Chelsea’s win at Swansea City to move to 25 for the season.

That is seven more than any other defender and only one short of the top-scoring player in the game, Mohamed Salah (£10.6m), who has 26.

He has now surpassed his best tally for bonus points, having scored 22 in his 2016/17 title-winning season.

He is also only four shy of the 170 overall points he scored last season, his best FPL total. 

Azpilicueta's FPL record
Season Goals Assists Bonus points Total points
2012/13 0 6 8 100
2013/14 0 1 4 109
2014/15 0 3 19 132
2015/16 2 5 15 124
2016/17 1 5 22 170
2017/18 2 6 25 166
Why Azpilicueta's improving

The Spaniard has been in Antonio Conte’s starting XI for 14 of their 15 clean sheets this season, receiving bonus points in nine of those matches.

But Azpilicueta has also gained extra points in four matches when Chelsea have conceded.

This is due to his increased attacking influence.

He has been directly involved in eight goals, producing two goals and six assists. That combined total betters each of his last five seasons.

The link with Alvaro Morata (£10.4m) has been crucial. All six of Azpilicueta's assists have been to the striker.

That partnership has also helped the defender create 10 big chances. In comparison, he created only one big chance in 2016/17.

The mix of attacking points and his propensity to produce positive defensive actions have helped the defender dominate for bonus points.

Top Chelsea option

The Bonus Points System (BPS) decides how those extra points are distributed in a match.

This measures player performance based on statistics collected by Opta, producing a final score for each player.

Azpilicueta has always performed well in the BPS because of his defensive contribution. 

He is the top-ranked Chelsea defender this season for a series of key metrics, leading for tackles won (56), clearances, blocks and interceptions (171) and recoveries (186).

Other factors

Passing has also been a key factor.

Azpilicueta has attempted and completed more passes than any team-mate, with 2,197 and 2,533 respectively. 

This has developed him further as an FPL prospect, establishing him as the top defender to justify an initial price tag of £6.5m.

While Marcos Alonso (£7.1m) returns from his suspension in time for Chelsea's two fixtures in Gameweek 37, Azpilicueta is arguably the smart choice in their defence.

That could remain the case when looking ahead to the 2018/19 campaign.

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