Premier League Fantasy Picks: Kepa shows safe hands and Son can sink Saints
Kepa Arrizabalaga looked to be yesterday's man at Chelsea, but such has been his recent form the goalkeeper might have a long-term role to play for the Blues.
He might also be a quick fix this weekend if your fantasy league goalkeeper is having a rough time of it.
In north London, title-chasing Arsenal have a pillar of strength in their backline, and a goal threat too, as Gabriel Magalhaes makes his presence felt at each end of the pitch.
Chelsea face Everton this weekend, while Arsenal tackle Crystal Palace, and away from the capital there is a chance for Ollie Watkins to show his prowess as Aston Villa take on Bournemouth.
Tottenham, still in the hunt for a Champions League place, travel to Southampton with Son Heung-min facing perhaps his favourite opposition.
Using Opta data, Stats Perform has assessed why these four players could help your fantasy league team bring in useful points this weekend.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea v Everton)
The turnaround in Kepa's Chelsea career has been astonishing. From looking destined to be a permanent understudy, he has responded to Edouard Mendy's injury absence by making a huge impression and staking a strong claim to keep his place for the long term. Since the World Cup, only Alisson and David de Gea, each with six shutouts, have kept more clean sheets than Arrizabalaga (5).
Spaniard Kepa's 79.55 per cent save rate in this period has been bettered only by Brentford's David Raya (84.62), and this weekend he faces an Everton side who have a joint-worst goals-per-game record this season. The Toffees have 20 goals in 27 Premier League games, or just 0.74 goals per game, the same record as Southampton and Wolves.
Gabriel Magalhaes (Arsenal v Crystal Palace)
Gabriel got Arsenal's opener in the 3-0 win at Fulham last week, and the central defender can be a set-piece threat in another London derby on Sunday.
The Brazilian's goal at Craven Cottage was his 10th in the Premier League, more than any other defender has managed since his debut in 2020-21. This season, no defender has more Premier League goals (3) or clean sheets (12) than the Brazilian, so can you really afford to be without him?
Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa v Bournemouth)
Villa striker Watkins netted his 100th English league goal last time out (excluding play-offs) and is one away from reaching 10 Premier League goals for a third successive season.
Bournemouth will be on their guard, no doubt, a week on from shutting out Liverpool. Watkins has scored six goals in his last seven Premier League games, with only Marcus Rashford (8), Erling Haaland and Harry Kane (both 7) netting more in 2023.
Watkins has missed out on selection for the latest England squad, so he may also feel he has a point to prove this weekend.
Son Heung-min (Southampton v Tottenham)
Son hit four for Tottenham at St Mary's in September 2020, when the pandemic made it a behind-closed-doors game.
The South Korean forward has more goals (10) and more goal involvements (14) against Southampton than he has against any other side in the competition, including eight goal involvements in his last six games against them (6 goals, 2 assists).
He scored in the win over Nottingham Forest last weekend, and will fancy it against struggling Saints.