Crystal Palace 1-1 Leicester
- Goals: Wilfried Zaha (£7.5m) | Harvey Barnes (£6.7m)
- Assists: Andros Townsend (£5.7m) | Jonny Evans (£5.5m)
- Penalty misses: Kelechi Iheanacho (£5.6m)
- Penalty saves: Vicente Guaita (£4.9m)
- Bonus points: Evans x3, Guaita 2, H Barnes x1
Harvey Barnes (£6.7m) is making a strong case for winter investment as he added his fifth Premier League goal of the season against Crystal Palace.
It was the midfielder’s second in as many outings, made all the more impressive by the gap between his two most recent outings.
Despite Leicester facing matches on Saturday and Monday, Barnes played 90 minutes on each occasion, suggesting he is more nailed-on to start and, therefore, more viable as a Fantasy asset, than many of us had previously thought.
Brendan Rodgers praised his powers of recovery in the aftermath of the Foxes’ 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park, as well as his performance – helpful information for anyone considering a swoop for Barnes.
“I thought he was outstanding, to play a second 90 minutes having done so well against Man United, to play with that level of fitness. His movement was very helpful, getting us the penalty as well. All around he was a good threat.” – Brendan Rodgers
As mentioned by Rodgers, Barnes’ running would have ensured two attacking returns for Gameweek 16 had Kelechi Iheanacho (£5.6m) not missed the first-half penalty he won.
“I just said at half-time, it’s one you’ve got to let go. Kel’s practised five penalties this week in training and they were great. He was confident going in to take it and that’s all I can ask.” – Brendan Rodgers
……….. IT’S JAMIE VARDY
Even without adding that assist to his Gameweek 16 score, Barnes has still matched Jamie Vardy (£10.1m) as a Fantasy asset over the last four matches.
Bringing in eight points at Selhurst Park, one through bonus, the winger has racked up 20 during that time, an average of five per game.
The fact that Vardy suffered an inevitable benching on Monday means he also has 20 points over that period and an average of five per game – despite a £3.4m gap between him and Barnes’ price.
Leicester are certainly on the Fantasy radar right now with a Gameweek 17 trip to Newcastle in mind as well as Double Gameweek 19 meetings with Southampton (home) and Chelsea (home).
Considering that Vardy has suffered a dip from the form shown earlier in the campaign, and typically performs better away from home, Barnes could well be used as a cheaper alternative route into their attack based on recent performances.
The fact that he has started each of the last four, lasting 90 minutes in three of them, might count against him in the short-term, although Leicester do have a six-day gap between Gameweek 16 and 17 fixtures.
GOOD WIL HUNTING
It feels like some time since Wilfried Zaha (£7.5m) has delivered for his 19.4% ownership but there are plenty of encouraging signs moving forward.
His contribution to Crystal Palace’s campaign was, of course, limited by his self-isolation period for Gameweeks 9 and 10 – perhaps why he has been off the radar to some extent recently.
However, Zaha’s Gameweek 16 opener ensured he has now scored or assisted in all but one home start against sides outside the Premier League’s current top two.
With that in mind, the winger is worth considering between now and Gameweek 21, when Palace face three home matches from a possible five.
Even better, those home meetings are with Sheffield United, West Ham and Wolves – exactly the sort of opponent Zaha has enjoyed posting attacking returns against this season.
Crystal Palace XI (4-4-2): Guaita; Mitchell, Kouyaté, Tomkins, Clyne; Schlupp (Ayew 84′), Riedewald (McArthur 74′), Milivojević, A Townsend; Zaha, Benteke.
Leicester City XI (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; L Thomas, Evans, Amartey, Justin; N Mendy, Choudhury (Tielemans 57′); H Barnes, Praet (Vardy 66′), Pérez; Iheanacho (Gray 72′).
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