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FPL tips: Will Manchester United stars’ resurgence be short-lived?

Newcastle United v Manchester United – Premier League – St James’ Park
(Image credit: Owen Humphreys)

Manchester United’s attack finally fired late in their 4-1 win at Newcastle while Crystal Palace’s early threat has subsided, according to the underlying Fantasy Premier League Threat ratings.

According to the Premier League website, Threat produces “a value that examines a player’s threat on goal” – with historical analysis suggesting a score of around 100 equates to a goal’s worth of chances.

Here, we take a look at what week five’s figures can tell you when planning your team changes.

United on the up?

Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 5 Threat

Manchester United fired in gameweek five while Crystal Palace gave cause for concern (PA graphic)

United’s score of 367 is the stand-out figure from week five – but is it evidence of a decisive change in their fortunes?

It is the second-best team threat score of the season, bettered only by Liverpool’s 385 in their 4-3 win over Leeds in week one and 78 points clear of the field in week five.

Marcus Rashford led the way with 111 points of threat, earning his reward with a stoppage-time goal, but the team’s tally almost matched their combined 392 in their three previous games and upcoming tests against Chelsea and Arsenal will show whether United have turned the corner or whether it was a one-week peak.

Liverpool dominate City

Sergio Aguero

Can Sergio Aguero’s return lift Manchester City back to Liverpool’s levels? (Michael Regan/PA)

With the season’s results so unpredictable, it is unclear whether Liverpool and Manchester City will again fight for the Premier League title or whether new contenders are here to stay.

Between the two rivals from recent seasons, though, the threat ratings provide a clear contrast.

Jurgen Klopp’s reigning champions are averaging almost 285 points of threat per week – 50 more than any other club with Tottenham and Aston Villa the only other sides averaging over 200 – and have only once dipped below 260 in five games.

City’s average of 193.5 ranks fourth in the league but they have only one score above 200 in four games – 248 in their 1-1 draw with Leeds. Will Sergio Aguero‘s return lift them from that level or will the £10.4million striker’s potential be capped?

Palace faltering

Wilfried Zaha, left, and Andros Townsend

Wilfried Zaha, left, and Andros Townsend could be held back by Crystal Palace’s decline (Peter Cziborra/PA)

Roy Hodgson’s side showed encouraging early signs, with Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend on song in opening wins over Southampton and United – but the decline in their threat level since is alarming.

Their 51 in the 4-0 defeat to Chelsea was the lowest score of gameweek four and they crashed further to an abject 29 in their 1-1 draw with Brighton.

Zaha, who scored from a penalty, accounted for 21 of that while Brighton’s team tally of 245, the third-best of the week, suggests the game was dramatically one-sided. Palace will need to quickly turn the corner if their players are to remain relevant.

Son is shining

Son Heung-min, right, scores against West Ham

Son Heung-min, right, scores against West Ham (Matt Dunham/PA)

In terms of individual players, Tottenham duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-min are FPL’s leading points-scorers by a wide margin and the threat and creativity figures illustrate why.

Kane’s threat score of 336 ranks second behind Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (396), with Son clocking in seventh on 237.

The South Korean also scores well in creativity, the equivalent metric pointing towards the likelihood of assists, with a score of 204.9 placing him third – one place ahead of Salah and behind Everton’s James Rodriguez and United’s Bruno Fernandes. Kane ranks ninth on 148.3.

Son and Salah therefore stand out in the combined ratings and with Son cheaper by £3m at £9.3m, it is easy to see why almost half of all managers (48.9 per cent) have now selected him.