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VICENTE GUAITA £5.0M (1.5% ownership) Guaita is the main man in goal for Palace. He was brought in from Getafe for free and has replaced Wayne Hennessey.
Last season he started 35 of 38 games, only missing the other three due to injury. He conceded on average 1.2 goals a match, which is fairly low for a Palace side. He also averaged 3.1 saves per 90 minutes, which in FPL would give you a save point every game – exactly what you want from a keeper as well as clean sheets. In terms of clean sheets, he had 10 in all, which was the ninth best in the league.
Is Guaita a good FPL asset? In my opinion yes, however his price is just a little bit too expensive. At £5.0M, you could either go up £0.5M to get Spurs’ Hugo Lloris, Wolves’ Rui Patricio or Nick Pope at Burnley. Or for £0.5M cheaper, you could get Southampton’s Alex McCarthy or Brighton’s Matt Ryan, who were 12th and 15th respectively in the clean sheet table.
Palace’s run between gameweeks 5 and 13 look really appealing, with fixtures against Brighton, Fulham, Wolves, Leeds, Burnley, West Brom, Newcastle, Spurs, West Ham, Liverpool and Villa. This could be a good time to have a Palace defender in your team. Here are your options to consider:
NATHAN FERGUSON £4.0M (5.9% ownership) Ferguson is a new boy that has come in from West Brom on a free transfer. He is a right-back but can also fill in on the left (like he did at the Baggies last term). The 19-year-old started 19 games for West Brom, scoring one goal and supplying one assist. Looking at Ferguson’s heatmap, he gets in some advanced positions too.
Is Ferguson a good FPL option? I believe he is a good bench option for your FPL team. He is priced at the lowest value for a defender too, which will enable upgrades in other positions. One thing to note is he currently has a knee problem and will miss the start of the season. Ferguson should be good for the long-term though, and might even be first choice right-back over Joel Ward. If you need a cheap playing defender to start, go for Palace team mate Tyrick Mitchell, Ben Johnson at West Ham or Leeds’ Barry Douglas if he breaks into the first XI.
TYRICK MITCHELL: £4.0M (6.2% Ownership) You may not have heard of Mitchell before. Like Ferguson, he is a bright prospect who plays at left-back. He broke into the team at the end of last season, making two starts, following a bad injury to Patrick van Aanholt.Embed from Getty Images
Mitchell made his debut against Wolves and Amara Traoré, and kept him fairly quiet; although the Wolves goal did come from a run and cross from the flying winger. Mitchell’s next game was in the 1-1 draw with Spurs, and after another good performance, earned the praise of opposition boss Jose Mourinho.
Is Mitchell a good FPL option? Again, he could provide great value early on. It is very likely he will begin as first choice left back ahead of Jaïro Riedewald and Jeffrey Schlupp. A Palace defender for £4m is a bargain if he starts, the only problem is Van Aanholt is expected back around October. If planning an early wildcard, you could start Mitchell in GW1 against Southampton and GW3 against Everton, then remove him if you need a nailed player. If wildcarding late, the better move might be Ferguson, who should be a starter when fit.
Palace have a couple of possibilities when it comes to their midfield.
WILFRIED ZAHA £7.0M (6.6% Ownership) Let’s talk about the talisman Zaha. He is so important to Crystal Palace, driving forward with the ball, committing defenders and winning free kicks and penalties. Last season he started 37 of 38 games, missing only the trip to Liverpool through injury. His heatmaps are always promising down the left wing, with lots of penalty box touches. In 2019/20 Zaha scored four goals, had three assists and missed five big chances, which isn’t amazing to be honest. He averaged 4.3 dribbles a game and was fouled 3.2 times per 90 minutes.
Is Zaha a good asset to look at? The Ivory Coast winger is not a bad price at £7.0M, but he has struggled with goal contributions in recent campaigns. Firstly, due to Palace preferring to play on the counter attack, he doesn’t get massive opportunities to push forward. Secondly, the opposition always double up on him, limiting his threat. It is often said that if you stop Zaha, you beat Palace. On his day though, he is unplayable, and this season I think he is more of an asset. Firstly, Eberechi Eze, another attacking, creative player, has been signed from QPR in a great bit of business. Zaha may get more freedom with managers now having to worry about a duel threat, and more returns could follow as a result. Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster and Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher have also been linked with loan moves, which would further boost any attacking potential. With Zaha, it’s a wait and see, with Palace’s GW5-13 run in my sights.
EBERECHI EZE £6.0M (1.6% Ownership) The new man! The 22-year-old attacking midfielder has just signed from QPR for £15M, which could rise to £19M. In the Championship Eze played in all 46 games for the R’s, scoring 14 goals with 8 assists. He was QPR’s talisman, taking their free-kicks and penalties (scoring 4 from 4). His heatmaps are good, in and out of the box, and he likes to drift out to the left too.Embed from Getty Images
Is Eze a good option? Like Zaha, it is a wait and see. Obviously, he has a great talent, the way he glides past defenders is incredible. The question is, where does Roy Hodgson play him? Playing Eze out wide in a 4-4-2 would be less appealing, whereas he could flourish more playing as a CAM role in a 4-2-3-1. Second reason to hold fire is to see if he adapts. If Eze replicates his Championship form, then £6m will be a steal. He is at a frustrating price point, £5.5M would have made him very interesting. Eze is the same price as West Brom’s talisman Matheus Pereira, but going up £0.5m could get you Man City’s Phil Foden. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Stuart Armstrong (Southampton) and Allan Saint-Maximan (Newcastle) might be just as good in the lower price bracket.
LUKA MILIVOJEVIC £6.0M (0.9% Ownership) Milivojevic is the skipper at Palace and one of the most nailed players (when not suspended for bookings). Last season he played in 31 games in midfield, netting three goals and one assist, which was down on the 18/19 season. However he is the set-piece taker, which could be promising if Zaha and Eze can win enough penalties and free kicks. Then he could become an option at £6.0M.
Is Milivojevic a good FPL option? In my opinion at the moment, he is not. For £0.5M more you can pick up Diogo Jota at Wolves, who netted six goals, or Phil Foden at Manchester City who should get a lot more minutes this season. He scored two goals and two assists post-restart.
Furthermore, for £0.5M less you have Allan Saint-Maximin from Newcastle (three goals, four assists in 2019/20) and Southampton’s Stuart Armstrong (five goals, three assists). In order for Milivojevic to be a good asset, Palace will have to become Manchester United for the amount of penalties they get, to make him half-decent.
JORDAN AYEW: £6.0M (7.3% Ownership) The only striker to really consider is Jordan Ayew. Last season he was very influential for Palace with his goals and all-round play. When we got him cheap after a loan deal, I was not impressed, but he has changed into a different player!Embed from Getty Images
Ayew played in 37 out of 38 games last season, which meant when Benteke came into the side Ayew moved to the right as he was needed on the pitch. Ayew got 9 goals and two assists in the Premier League, averaging a return just over three games. If players like Eze and Zaha can create chances for him, Ayew will score goals. Already in pre-season, he bagged himself a double in a friendly with two good finishes. He also won Palace’s goal of the season with a fantastic strike versus West Ham in the 90th minute.
Is Ayew a good FPL option? I really like Ayew as an option this season. He is in the 6.0M price bracket, where I only see a couple other alternatives. The first is Aleksandar Mitrovic, the talisman for Fulham, who in my opinion is a red card waiting to happen, and also how many chances can his team mates create? The other option is Che Adams from Southampton. Adams had a good post-lockdown and should have the second striker’s spot alongside Danny Ings. But Ings is the main man and Adams could lose his spot if he fails to hit he ground running. Ayew is the number one striker, and usually scores when Palace do. If Zaha and Eze can create, he could be getting 10+ goals, which is not bad for a £6.0M striker.