FULHAM 1-2 MAN UNITED
- Goals: Ademola Lookman (£5.0m) | Edinson Cavani (£7.8m), Paul Pogba (£7.7m)
- Assists: André-Franck Zambo Anguissa (£4.5m) | Bruno Fernandes (£11.3m)
- Bonus points: Pogba x3, Zambo Anguissa x2, Cavani x1
POG IN THE WHEEL
Paul Pogba‘s (£7.7m) latest Fantasy Premier League return has installed him on many a radar ahead of Gameweek 20.
The Frenchman netted the winner in Manchester United’s 2-1 victory at Fulham on Wednesday night and has involved himself in three goals since Gameweek 17.
No member of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad has matched Pogba’s attacking returns over the last four matches, in which he has produced an average of seven points.
By comparison, the more expensive Bruno Fernandes (£11.3m) has a goal, assist and five points per game during that period and Marcus Rashford (£9.6m) has a solitary assist to his name.
“I would like to say so (Pogba is at his fittest and most focused). He is happy, physically in good shape and we know all about his talent. Today we played him in midfield and it was worth it.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Whether Pogba can sustain this form beyond Double Gameweek 19 is certainly worth monitoring.
It must be noted, pinning down his favoured position in Manchester United’s formation remains a challenging prospect.
After starting on the left-hand side of attacking midfield against Aston Villa and Burnley, he has returned to the holding roles for the last two matches.
And some cynics might point out that his stunning out-of-the-box goal at Craven Cottage came from his only shot of the game.
According to the Fantasy Football Scout Season Ticker, no team has better fixtures for defensive potential over the next six Gameweeks than Manchester United.
They face Sheffield United (home), Arsenal (away), Southampton (home), Everton (home), West Bromwich Albion (away) and Newcastle (home) between now and Gameweek 25 – encouraging indeed.
Their preparation for that run of matches has been relatively positive. Since Gameweek 16, only Arsenal (four) have more clean sheets than Manchester United (three).
However, their start at Fulham might have worried owners of Harry Maguire (£5.4m), Luke Shaw (£4.8m) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.4m).
With the Red Devils producing some sloppy passing and poor defending early-on, the Cottagers exposed their high line in the fifth minute when Ademola Lookman (£5.0m) ploughed through the middle to open the scoring.
And some might argue that United’s defence is not as strong without Victor Lindelöf (£4.8m) next to Maguire, the centre-back missing out at Craven Cottage.
“(Lindelof) is not bad, it’s still his back we’ve got a few issues with, I felt it was better he stayed home, trained a bit and can be ready for the weekend,” – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
TAKE A LOOK
A third Premier League goal of the season for Lookman is sure to increase attention on the player for differential potential.
His Wednesday-night opener was his second attacking return of the last three matches and it is possible he could find himself deployed out-of-position from now on.
With Aleksandar Mitrović (£5.5m) still fit enough only for cameo appearances from the bench and Bobby De Cordova-Reid (£5.3m) missing out through suspension, Scott Parker used Lookman as the centre-forward in a 3-4-2-1 formation.
“(Deploying Lookman through the middle) worked to a tee in the first goal. His finishing was deadly. I thought that worked well. He’s vital, everyone has seen he is quality and he proved that tonight. For sure (Lookman will relish the pressure). He needs to relish. A young player who is thriving and getting a run he’s not had over the last couple of years. Huge player and he’s going to be a difference-maker for us.” – Scott Parker
His positioning is, of course, something to monitor in the next few matches although some Fantasy managers could benefit from jumping early.
When sorting the Season Ticker by attacking potential over the next six Gameweeks, Fulham rank second best with Brighton (away) and West Bromwich (away) their next two opponents.
Fulham XI (3-4-2-1): Areola; Adarabioyo, Andersen, Aina (Mitrović 83′); Bryan, Reed, Zambo Anguissa (Lemina 79′), Tete; Cavaleiro (Kamara 71′), Loftus-Cheek; Lookman.
Manchester United XI (4-2-3-1): de Gea; Shaw, Maguire, Bailly, Wan-Bissaka; Fred, Pogba; Martial (McTominay 85′), B Fernandes (Matić 90+5′), Greenwood (Rashford 85′); Cavani.