West Bromwich Albion's Gareth McAuley celebrates scoring their second goal against West Ham

Gareth McAuley (£5.2m) has been a potent force at set-pieces this season, providing six goals for West Bromwich Albion as well as his 32% Fantasy Premier League owners, yet his FPL stock is in decline.

West Brom and McAuley face a trip to Manchester United in Gameweek 30, and are without a fixture in Gameweek 34 and, with four points from his last three outings, he is the fourth-most sold defender this Gameweek.

But according to the ICT Index, there is a case to retain McAuley’s services.

 

The Threat element of the Index is a measure of a player’s potential to provide goals and it ranks McAuley sixth among FPL defenders over the last six Gameweeks.

Team-mates Craig Dawson (£4.8m) and Jonny Evans (£4.4m) also feature in the top 10.

Dawson has scored three goals over the last four Gameweeks and has matched McAuley’s tally of five shots.

While only three of West Brom’s remaining nine matches score a Fixture Difficulty Ranking (FDR) tally of two or less, clean sheets have arguably never been the basis of their appeal – Tony Pulis’s rearguard have kept only five all season.

But the side have scored 46% of their 39 goals from set-pieces, a higher proportion than any other side, indicating that FPL managers should be wary of shedding their Baggies defenders.

Jonny Evans, West Bromwich Albion

It should also be noted that, while they miss out in Gameweek 34, West Brom have three successive home matches against Southampton, Liverpool and Leicester City from Gameweeks 32 to 35.

Defenders’ ICT Threat over last six Gameweeks

Defender Team Mins played ICT Threat
Matip LIV 540 174
Alonso CHE 450 134
Dawson WBA 503 109
Alderweireld TOT 408 105
Kone SUN 360 103
McAuley WBA 540 99
Jones SUN 449 98
Evans WBA 398 93
Maguire HUL 540 92
Keane BUR 540 88

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