The Bale fitness latest as his impact on Son and Kane in FPL is assessed |

Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 Crystal Palace

  • Goals: Gareth Bale (£9.4m) x2, Harry Kane (£11.3m) x2 | Christian Benteke (£5.5m)
  • Assists: Kane x2, Matt Doherty (£5.6m), Son Heung-min (£9.6m) | Luka Milivojevic (£5.6m)
  • Bonus: Kane x3, Bale x2, Benteke x1


Can we trust Gareth Bale as an FPL asset under Jose Mourinho?

Free from the shackles of Fulham’s hugely underrated backline, Gareth Bale (£9.4m) was back in scintillating form in north London on Sunday.

Two goals supplied by Harry Kane (£11.3m) took the on-loan Madridista to six attacking returns in the last three Gameweeks – that’s two more than Son Heung-min (£9.6m) has managed in his 11 most-recent appearances.

The Korean did claim an assist for Kane’s second goal in Spurs’ 4-1 win over Crystal Palace, with the England international having earlier curled in a sensational strike from distance.

Bale and Kane are first and second in the ‘transfers in’ column ahead of Gameweek 28, with the Lilywhites’ premium picks set for more investment beyond that given that they have a fixture in Blank Gameweek 29.

It should be said that Spurs have faced three bottom-half clubs in Gameweeks 26 and 27.

Up next is an altogether trickier run up until a blank in Gameweek 33, with four of the next five on the road.


There were concerns about whether Bale would even start against Palace, given his track record with injuries and the swift turnaround in matches this week.

The Wales international’s fitness was discussed after the game, with boss Jose Mourinho saying:

All the credit is for him. We just trust him to mentally analyse his own body and feelings.

We never want him to arrive at high levels of fatigue. Minute 55, 60 we are already in eye contact. The plan is to take him off when the first signs of muscular fatigue arrive.

We have to take care because we need him, it’s as simple as that.

The player himself was asked if he was back up to full speed and replied:

Time will tell, I’m not 21 anymore. I’m just going to keep working hard, take each game as it comes and we’ll go from there.

Your body changes over time; you haven’t got that youthfulness where you can recover quickly where you can go and sprint for 90 minutes. You learn your body as you get older and that’s what I’m having to do.


In between the salvo of attacking returns for Kane and Bale, Christian Benteke (£5.5m) had given Palace a lifeline with a 45th-minute leveller.

But the Gameweek 27 headline from the Eagles’ perspective was the return of their own wing wizard, with Wilfried Zaha (£7.1m) thrown on as a half-time substitute for Eberechi Eze (£5.8m) in what Roy Hodgson later confirmed was a tactical switch.

Asked why the Ivory Coast international didn’t feature from the start, Hodgson said:

Well I thought first of all, I thought we played very well against three difficult teams – Brighton, Fulham and then Man United – and I think the team has done very well, so I don’t think it would have been the moment to necessarily change that with everyone fit and ready and wanting to play, especially with Wilf having been out for such a long time and having done so few training sessions..

So I suppose the aim always was to ease him back and get him some minutes in the game tonight. But I thought the right time to do that was at half-time to give him 45 minutes because he knows that we’re going to need him in the 10 games going forward to get the results we want. So the sooner we get him back into action, the better.

Zaha sits in the top ten of FPL midfielders for goals per 90 minutes this season, although Palace’s post-Gameweek 28 fixture run and memories of their spectacular tail-off when effectively assured of safety last season will likely see interest remain muted.

Tottenham Hotspur XI (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Doherty, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Winks (Sissoko 70); Lucas, Bale (Lamela 70), Son; Kane (Vinicius 80). 

Crystal Palace XI (4-2-3-1): Guaita; Ward, Kouyate, Cahill, Van Aanholt; Milivojevic, Riedewald; Eze (Zaha 46), Ayew, Townsend (Schlupp 65); Benteke (Mateta 74). 

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