EPL

Premier League Fantasy Picks: Bale and Greenwood enjoying late-season flourishes

By Sports Desk May 07, 2021

As we head into the decisive matchdays in the Premier League season, match-winners will become worth their weight in gold to all 20 sides in the division.

With that in mind, our latest suggestions for fantasy football enthusiasts include a good number of forwards who will be expected to chip in with goals.

There are also two of the league's most in-form defenders and a goalkeeper who might just have won himself the number one spot.

Our tips for this week – powered by Opta, as always – are below...
 

DEAN HENDERSON

Since taking over Premier League duties while David de Gea was in Spain for the birth of his daughter, Dean Henderson has made it clear he does not intend to relinquish the Manchester United starting spot.

The former Sheffield United loanee has the best save percentage (82.4) in the competition this season, while he has conceded just 0.6 goals per game on average – the best rate of any keeper to play at least 200 minutes.

Henderson will likely keep his spot for the trip to Aston Villa, a team who have beaten United just once in their previous 44 Premier League meetings.

BEN CHILWELL

Fresh from celebrating reaching the Champions League final, Ben Chilwell will be looking to keep up his strong league form for Chelsea.

The left-back has been directly involved in seven goals this season (two scored, five assisted) – no defender in the competition has been involved in more.

Expect him to provide his customary threat on the break when Chelsea take on Manchester City.

AARON WAN-BISSAKA

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer challenged Aaron Wan-Bissaka to improve his attacking output, and the tough-tackling right-back appears to have heeded the call.

Three of his four goal involvements (75 per cent) and 21 of his 26 chances created (81 per cent) have come since the turn of the year.

The United man also boasts 13 Premier League clean sheets this season; among defenders, he is behind only Ruben Dias and Matt Targett (14).

MOHAMED SALAH

Liverpool might have struggled for consistency this season, but Mohamed Salah's goal output has remained impressively high; he has 20 in the league, behind only Harry Kane (21).

On Saturday, he will meet some of his favourite opposition in Southampton, a team against whom he has scored seven goals in seven league appearances, including five in three at Anfield.

Saints have also lost their past three league games away to Liverpool by an aggregate score of 10-0.

GARETH BALE

With a hat-trick against relegated Sheffield United, Gareth Bale proved he could still be a vital asset in Tottenham's European chase.

Bale has scored nine goals in 727 minutes in the division this season, averaging a goal every 81 minutes, which is the best record in the competition in 2020-21.

Should he take his tally to 10 against Leeds United, Bale will set a new record for the longest gap between 10-goal seasons in Premier League history (eight), overtaking Paul Scholes and Nwankwo Kanu (seven).

MASON GREENWOOD

Mason Greenwood has recaptured some of his better form in recent weeks to help United... well, if not catch Manchester City, at least consolidate second place.

The forward has four goals and one assist in his most recent four league games, which is more direct goal involvements than he managed in his previous 28 appearances.

Solskjaer will likely have to rotate given the hectic week ahead, but expect Greenwood to be involved at Villa Park, even if it's as a substitute.

KELECHI IHEANACHO

Speaking of rediscovering form, nobody in the league has done so quite as spectacularly in recent weeks as Kelechi Iheanacho.

The Leicester City striker has scored nine goals and assisted two in his most recent eight league appearances – that's one more direct goal involvement than he managed in his previous 57 league games.

The Foxes are also on a run of eight wins in 10 league games against Friday's opponents Newcastle United.

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    Carlo Ancelotti believes Vinicius Junior has "something special" after his stunning late strike sealed a 2-1 win for Real Madrid against Sevilla on Sunday.

    Karim Benzema had cancelled out Rafa Mir's opener before half-time at the Santiago Bernabeu, setting the stage for Vinicius to secure maximum points in the 87th minute with a thunderous drive from 22 yards.

    The Brazil international has now scored nine goals in 14 LaLiga appearances this season – one more than in his previous 82 games for Los Blancos in the competition.

    Ancelotti has long been impressed with the forward's all-round play, but he is delighted that the 21-year-old has added goals to his game.

    "Vini has something special," Ancelotti said. "His goal was extraordinary; a spectacular shot.

    "He did not have the opportunity to make a difference with dribbling, he could not do what he wanted, but he has focused on being effective in the game.

    "It's another step towards being one of the best. I knew his quality in one on one situations, in dribbling, but he did not have that ability to score goals in the past. He has shown another quality; he had never shown it."

    The result moved Los Blancos four points clear of Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad at the top of the table, with Sevilla a further point back in fourth.

    It meant Madrid have now won more points from losing positions than any other team in LaLiga this season (10).

    "The rival was very strong and they showed all their qualities in the first half," Ancelotti said. "After their goal it was difficult for us to press up; we became unbalanced and we gave them opportunities.

    "After our first goal, though, we controlled the game. We finished the game well."

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    Vinicius Junior's stunning late strike helped Real Madrid to a 2-1 win over Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

    Sevilla, led by former Los Blancos boss Julen Lopetegui, could have moved a point clear of Madrid at the top of the table with victory, and they got off to a fine start thanks to Rafa Mir's early header.

    Karim Benzema pulled the hosts level shortly after the half-hour mark, before Vinicius secured maximum points three minutes from full-time with a wonderful long-range drive.

    The result moved Carlo Ancelotti's men four points clear of Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad at the top of the table, with Sevilla a further point back in fourth.

    Sevilla went ahead in the 12th minute when an unmarked Mir headed Marcos Acuna's corner past Thibaut Courtois from 12 yards.

    The striker should have scored again just minutes later, but David Alaba cleared his initial effort off the line and Courtois got down well to block the follow-up.

    Lucas Ocampos hit the crossbar from distance as Sevilla sought to consolidate their lead, but Madrid pulled level when Benzema slotted into an empty net after Yassine Bounou had spilled Eder Militao's long-range strike onto the post.

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