Identifying the players who could weigh in with valuable points in your fantasy football side in the closing weeks of the season is no mean feat. While some take their foot off the gas with the Euros approaching, having nothing to play for, others are fighting for the title, European qualification or are stuck in a relegation battle. Then there's the congested fixture list and rotation to contend with. All part and parcel of being a fantasy football manager.
The Independent have teamed up with daily fantasy football game www.oulala.com and together we have analysed the key stats to identify four players that simply must be in your fantasy football team this weekend. Oulala's extensive database of statistics, which comprises of 70 different criteria sourced straight from Opta, offers the perfect platform to pick out the stars you cannot afford to be without in the upcoming weeks.
The Premier League's toughest defender according to Watford's Troy Deeney, Robert Huth has been a colossus in the heart of the Leicester City defence this season. The German is the only member of the Leicester squad to have won the Premier League, winning back-to-back titles in both 2004/05 and 2005/06 with former club Chelsea. With just four games of the season to go that could change very soon as his side look to complete their title winning fairytale, sitting five points ahead of second placed Spurs. Huth has had a terrific campaign and his recent form echos that. In his last six league appearances he has helped Leicester to five clean sheets. The two goals the Foxes conceded last weekend in their 2-2 draw with West Ham were the first since the beginning of March, testament to the performances the defence have been putting in of late. Huth can boast some excellent individual stats during that period including winning five tackles, four blocks, 14 interceptions, 31 successful aerial duels and an extraordinary 53 clearances. Leicester's opponents on Sunday, Swansea City, have conceded eight goals in their last three away games and are without a win on the road since the beginning of March.
Described as "outstanding" by former Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher, following his performance in Tottenham's 4-0 away demolition of Stoke City on Monday night, Christian Eriksen was unlucky not to collect the Man of the Match award. His two assists against the Potters took his tally to 12 for the season, second to only Arsenal's Mesut Özil in the Premier League and only bettered by four other players in Europe, Luis Suárez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ángel Di Maria and Koke. The Dane has coasted through the season relatively quietly due to Harry Kane's goalscoring exploits and the rise of Dele Alli. However, judging by his recent form, Eriksen is just as vital to Tottenham's title charge. In his last six league games, the 24-year-old has created 21 chances for teammates, four of which have been converted into goals. Eriksen is averaging an impressive 43 successful passes per game at a success rate of 82 per cent. While in front of goal the midfielder has had 18 shots, finding the back of the net once. Eriksen has even weighed in defensively, winning nine tackles, seven interceptions and seven clearances, a clear indication of his overall work rate. Spurs face West Brom on Monday night, a side that has gone four games without a win and who are without an away victory since the beginning of February.
Having been involved in seven of Southampton's last 10 Premier League goals, Saints striker Graziano Pellè is a man in red hot form. In his last six games, the Italian has notched up four goals from 21 shots, a conversion rate of 19 per cent. He has also turned provider, creating 12 chances for teammates, three of which have been converted into goals. Pellè has been dominant in the air in recent weeks too, winning an impressive 20 aerial duels since the beginning of March. The 30-year-old forward has said he now feels "really good", following an injury that saw Pellè's form take a dip for a few of months after a good start to the campaign. He now seems back to his best as Southampton travel to Aston Villa on Saturday, a team in turmoil. The Villans have lost all of their last nine league matches and have conceded a shocking 17 goals at home in their last five games at Villa Park.
With Divock Origi set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Daniel Sturridge has the remaining few weeks of the season to convince Reds manager Jürgen Klopp he's ready to become Liverpool's main man once again. England boss Roy Hodgson will also be keeping a close eye on the 26-year-old as Sturridge looks to fight for a starting place in the national team in the build up to this summer's European Championships. The striker's recent form has been exceptional. In his last six Premier League games, Sturridge has found the back of the net five times, the most from any player in the Liverpool squad stretching all the way back to mid-February. He also leads for shots during this period (24), boasting a conversion rate of 21 per cent and a shot accuracy of 59 per cent. Each of his last five strikes have come, on average, every 84 minutes. Sturridge has also registered one assist in his last six league appearances. Liverpool play Newcastle United at Anfield on Saturday, a side fighting to avoid the drop. The Magpies are without an away win since mid-December and have conceded 13 goals in their last five matches on the road.
Stats supplied by daily fantasy football game www.oulala.com
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