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FPL tips: Elites agree on best fantasy forwards

Manchester City v Liverpool – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

As the final weeks of the Premier League season approach, elite FPL managers appear to have reached a consensus on the subject of the best attacking players in the game.

By gathering a sample of 1,000 managers with multiple top-10,000 finishes to their name, we are able to see what the game’s pedigree managers are up to.

And with only a handful of gameweeks remaining, seven players locked down the trust of the cream of the crop in gameweek 34.

Midfield must-haves

A graphic showing the most popular midfielders among a sample of elite FPL managers

Five midfielders were owned by more than 65 per cent of our sample in GW34, while the range of prices suggests this is likely the midfield many of them have in its entirety.

They are: Mohamed Salah (80.7 per cent), Jesse Lingard (73.8 per cent), Son Heung-min (71.6 per cent), Bruno Fernandes (70 per cent) and Diogo Jota (65.2 per cent).

Costing £47.5million – a mix of two premium midfielders, one mid-priced and two bargains – this is very much a midfield that you could assemble within the bounds of the £100m budget.

Salah, Son and Fernandes are among the top four FPL points scorers this season, all with around 200 points to their name, having contributed 52 goals and 27 assists between them so far.

Meanwhile, Lingard and Jota – costing £6.7m and £7m respectively – have been deemed worth gambling on due to the purple patches they have enjoyed.

The next most-popular midfielder among the top bosses is Leeds’ Raphinha at 20.5 per cent, a gap of 44.7 percentage points.

Keep Kane and Carry Kelechi

A graphic showing the most popular forwards among our elite sample of FPL managers

If five midfielders are selected in a starting XI, only two forwards can be used – among the elite, those two forwards were likely to be Kelechi Iheanacho and Harry Kane in GW34.

Iheanacho’s 88.9 per cent selection is a reflection of not just his form, but his price as well – £6.3m for a player who has scored nine goals in his last eight games is difficult to ignore.

With strong Threat and Creativity scores to back those direct goal involvements up, the 24-year-old’s popularity last week will only have been strengthened ahead of a double gameweek in GW35.

Kane was only marginally less popular at 84.6 per cent – his ownership appears to be driven by hope as much as form.

The England striker has no blanks for the rest of the season, with favourable fixtures against Leeds, Wolves, Aston Villa and Leicester to come.

While Tottenham may seem too inconsistent to bank on right now, Kane leads the goalscoring charts in the division and will be hell-bent on winning the Golden Boot.

With a couple of braces in recent weeks, those backing him will be hoping for the sort of goal glut that secured the trophy for him in 2017 when he scored four goals against Leicester in May.

Hey Arnold

A graphic showing the most popular defenders among our elite sample of FPL managers

It is a different story in defence, however, where Trent Alexander-Arnold (66.7 per cent) was the only player owned by more than 50 per cent of our elite sample.

The Liverpool defender has added one goal, two assists and two clean sheets in his last five games to his modest season tallies, and a favourable fixture list could offer the chance to further furnish his totals.

Southampton, West Brom, Burnley and Crystal Palace are all rated a two on the FPL’s Fixture Difficulty Rating, with five representing the most difficult fixtures – the Reds will face them all in the coming weeks.

Elsewhere, Stuart Dallas has more FPL points (149) than any defender so far this season and has played in every league game for Leeds too.

The £5.3m man has accrued seven goals, three assists and 10 clean sheets, while his side have three games rated a two on the FDR system left to come.

His place as the second-most popular defender in GW34 amongst the best managers is testimony to the job he has done for Leeds this season.