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FPL tips: Lingard and Iheanacho lead list of 2021’s in-form favourites

Jesse Lingard’s watch
(Image credit: John Walton)

A new Premier League season means no current form to go on for FPL managers – but analysing the back end of the previous campaign can help identify those who could hit the ground running this time around.

With that in mind, the PA news agency has produced a list of the top prospects according to the proportion of FPL points scored in the second half of the 2020/21 campaign.

It will come as no surprise to anybody who kept a keen eye on the competition last year to see Jesse Lingard top the charts.

A graphic showing which Premier League players scored the highest proportion of their FPL points in the second half of the 2020/21 season

The England forward’s 106 points were remarkably all scored in the back half of the campaign, after Lingard’s loan move to West Ham was completed.

Having landed at Upton Park, he managed nine goals in his first 10 games, and only failed to make the England squad after his form cooled somewhat.

With goals against Tottenham, Arsenal and Leicester, Lingard helped the Hammers secure European football with a sixth-placed finish, and ranked 32nd out of 220 midfielders for Threat all season, despite his slow start.

Another man who found his shooting boots shortly before he had to put them away again is Kelechi Iheanacho, who unleashed hell against all comers in the second half of the season.

Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho celebrates at the final whistle during the Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. Picture date: Monday April 26, 2021

(Andrew Boyers/PA)

Thanks to a purple patch that saw the Nigerian score 11 goals in 11 games, 90.9 per cent of the Foxes forward’s points were scored in the second half of the season.

The striker ended the campaign with a higher price than he started with, and looks a potential bargain at just £7.5m this time around.

At Arsenal, blockbuster signing Nicolas Pepe has yet to justify his hefty transfer fee, but turned heads in the Gunners’ final few fixtures.

The 26-year-old – priced at £7.5m this season – scored five goals in his final three league games, with almost 80 per cent of his FPL points coming in part two of the season.

Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe scores their side’s third goal of the game during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Wednesday May 19, 2021

(Frank Augstein/PA)

Meanwhile Mason Greenwood at Manchester United also added gloss to a disappointing season with a spell of six goals in as many games – will he get his chance to shine with Marcus Rashford out injured?

And rounding out the top five is Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, who played in just one of the Seagulls’ first 12 games.

He went on to take his chance with both gloves later on, securing consecutive clean sheets against Fulham, Tottenham and Liverpool at the start of the season’s second half.

He eventually accrued 101 points and helped his side avoid relegation to the Championship.

While form is tough to predict at the start of any season, FPL bosses would do well to remember those who finished strongly just a few months ago.