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FPL Watchlist: Zaha soars after forward move

The Scout 22 Jul 2018
Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace attacker can profit from opening fixtures to become big target for early squads

As Fantasy Premier League managers can now select their 15-man squads, The Scout analyses standout budget and premium players in each position.

Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m) CRY

Fantasy managers have flocked to the Crystal Palace attacker since the launch of FPL this month.

Zaha sits in 30.4 per cent of squads, making him the fifth-most popular player in the game. 

He has been reclassified from a midfielder to a forward in 2018/19.

Forward move

His output in Fantasy was boosted thanks to a switch from the wing to centre-forward in Gameweek 30 last season.

Five of Zaha’s nine goals, four of his seven assists and all eight of his bonus points arrived in that period.

The underlying numbers from Gameweek 30 onwards highlight his potential further.

Zaha recorded seven big chances, or opportunities where the player receiving the pass is expected to score.

That was ranked fourth behind the 11 of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m), the nine of Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) and eight from Raheem Sterling (£11.0m).

Bonus hopes rise

His prospects in the Bonus Points System (BPS) could improve this season.

Forwards score 24 points in the BPS for every goal scored, while midfielders are awarded only 18.

Palace’s kind run of opening opponents is another reason why Zaha is proving so popular.

Only one of the Eagles’ first nine matches scores more than three in the Fixture Difficulty Ranking (FDR).

Palace's first nine Gameweeks
GW Opponent Venue FDR
1 Fulham A 2
2 Liverpool H 4
3 Watford A 3
4 Southampton H 2
5 Huddersfield A 2
6 Newcastle H 3
7 AFC Bournemouth A 3
8 Wolves H 2
9 Everton A 3

That is in Gameweek 2, when Liverpool visit Selhurst Park.

Even then he has form against the Merseysiders, providing an assist in each of their last two home meetings.

All these factors combined suggest that Zaha, who scored for Palace against Oxford United on Saturday, can become a key figure in opening FPL squads.

Tomorrow: FPL Watchlist: Sergio Aguero

See: The Scout's 2018/19 FPL Watchlist

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