Fantasy Football

Chelsea’s Ross Barkley and Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri emerge as must-have players

Chelsea’s Ross Barkley played his first full 90 minutes of the Premier League season against Burnley at the weekend. The Englishman recorded two assists and a goal. Barkley has excelled under the management of Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge. He has shaken off the “transfer flop” tag that was given to him after last term’s four appearances in all competitions under Antonio Conte. Barkley is now one of the emerging talents to buy in Fantasy Premier League, but he isn’t the only one.

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Chelsea’s Ross Barkley and Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri emerge as must-have players

Like Chelsea’s Ross Barkley, Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri is rising up the ‘must buy’ list for FPL managers. Shaqiri was controversially dropped for Liverpool’s game against Cardiff City for the often injured Adam Lallana. While Lallana did nothing of value in the contest, Shaqiri made a 25-minute cameo in which he scored his first goal of the season. It came on the heels of gameweek 9 when Shaqiri assisted a goal and completed a full 90 minutes for six points.

Both players are showing their value to FPL managers. Those bold enough to sign the duo — or at least one of them — ahead of gameweek 10, would have benefitted greatly. Over 140,500 FPL managers selected Shaqiri for gameweek 10. Priced at £7 million, Shaqiri’s lack of game time has put FPL managers off his selection. The midfielder started the season being selected by over 360,700 managers. The numbers went down, but have recently climbed back up.

The big question is whether Shaqiri will start against Arsenal in gameweek 11. Seeing Lallana struggle and Liverpool having injury worries, manager Jurgen Klopp may play Shaqiri from the start.

Gameweek 10 was the first time Barkley finished a full 90 minute match this season. It was his second double-digit performance in three weeks of action. It appears the longer Barkley plays in a match, the more points he scores. Prior to gameweek 10, Barkley’s longest appearance was 80 minutes against Southampton. He tallied 13 points thanks to a goal, assist, and clean sheet.

Barkley is a bargain at just £5.8m. But like Shaqiri, his inclusion is not guaranteed. Over 85,700 FPL managers added Barkley to their squads for gameweek 10. That number is rapidly growing heading into gameweek 11.

Can Chelsea’s Ross Barkley and Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri continue their great FPL performances? They are in-form and dangerous, and both still have plenty to prove in the Premier League.