FPL Fixture Focus: Should we invest in Crystal Palace assets?
Impressive results have recently been picked up against Man City, Arsenal and Wolves. But is mid-table safety a problem for Crystal Palace?
Crystal Palace form
Before last Sunday’s defeat at Leicester, the south London side had been in strong form. Three successive clean sheets included matches against Arsenal and Man City – who they beat at the Etihad earlier this season – alongside impressive away wins at Wolves and Watford.
They’re about to face Chelsea in an FA Cup semi-final. This both reinforces their progress under Patrick Vieira and possibly explains last week’s loss. The Eagles sit safely in mid-table, heading into the final straight.
Crystal Palace fixtures
Using Fantasy Football Scout’s Fixture Ticker, it looks like they have one of the stronger run-ins.
Palace rank near the top when sorted by difficulty, which places their assets firmly on the FPL radar. Should they defeat Chelsea, the Gameweek 37 meeting with Aston Villa will clash with the cup final. As Villa already have a Double Gameweek 36, the match will therefore likely move to Gameweek 35.
Either way, there will be concern amongst FPL managers about the annual ‘already at the beach’ situation that might occur. Certainly, if they reach the FA Cup final, Vieira’s players will naturally be distracted and excited. Should they not, their season is effectively over with a month to go.
Forward Jean-Philippe Mateta has been a fairly popular purchase of late, offering regular minutes and goals at a bargain £5.3m. He has three goals from six matches, although often gets substituted for either Odsonne Edouard or Christian Benteke. Managers fed up with Armando Broja, Emmanuel Dennis and Wout Weghorst may be taking this route.
In midfield, loanee Conor Gallagher had six goals and five assists by Gameweek 16. Only three returns have arrived since, seeing his ownership dwindle from 2.53 million to the current 1.13 million.
Wilfried Zaha has taken over the attacking duties, with six goals from the last nine matches. Whilst he is currently their penalty taker, it should be noted that two of his last four have been missed. An exciting differential exists via attacking midfielder Michael Olise.
Those needing to sell the injured Matt Doherty might be tempted by a Crystal Palace option. Beyond Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, not many defensive assets stand out.
None of Palace’s back line exceeds 2% ownership, despite having the fourth-best expected goals conceded (xGC) tally this season. It’s not a fluke, as they also rank fifth-best for conceding attempts, shots on target and shots inside the box. With this in mind, buying Marc Guehi or Joachim Andersen could prove beneficial.
Ted Talks FPL is planning with Crystal Palace in mind, after watching their 3-0 win over Arsenal.
Whereas Prop Joe still remembers the sudden, unpredictable disappearance of in-form Edouard. Scarred by that, will managers hesitate when buying Mateta?