Two of Dream Team's top five strikers represent Crystal Palace – are the Eagles truly viable this season? | The Sun

THE great thing about Dream Team is that every weekend throws up several surprises to keep managers on their toes.

For example, how many gaffers would have predicted that two of the top five strikers in the game would be Crystal Palace players come the first international break?

Last season, the Eagles mustered just 40 league goals and they had only scored two in 2023/24 before Sunday's 3-2 win over Wolves.

That result, coupled with a 4-2 victory over Plymouth in the Carabao Cup, has changed the outlook entirely.

Suddenly, Odsonne Edouard (£2.6m) is second only to Erling Haaland (£8.1m) among Dream Team forwards with Jordan Ayew (£2.8m) not far behind in joint-fifth.

The former boasts an overall tally of 41 points while the latter has 31 to his name.

Edouard's brace meant he ultimately took Gary O'Neil's mob for 15 points while Ayew banked eight points thanks in no small part to his impressive tally of six tackles.

The Ghana international hasn't actually scored yet this season but he's been a creative force to be reckoned with, as evidenced by his three assists.

Whereas the ex-Celtic man is still waiting on his first assist but will be pleased to have scored four goals in all competitions at such an early stage of the campaign.

The unexpected nature of the pair's success is reflected in their Dream Team popularity.

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Edouard features in just 1.6% of teams while Ayew appears in just 0.3% – that's a lot of points that have gone begging!

What's really interesting is that the healthy returns of Roy Hodgson's forwards feeds into a wide narrative of the squad as a whole.

Joachim Andersen (£3.1m) started Gameweek 4 as Dream Team's outright best defender and has only slipped to fourth despite conceding twice at the weekend.

While Eberechi Eze (£3.4m) is the second-best asset in his position and third in the rankings overall!

The skilful midfielder has earned a whopping 44 points – 14 of them through the bonus system, which is the most among all players.

In truth, Eze's returns have not come as much of a surprise as he finished 2022/23 in fine style and seemed to thoroughly enjoy pre-season too.

Certainly, the steady stream of bonus points he's earning through successful dribbles and accurate crosses is likely to be sustainable as they're a natural by-product of his distinctive style.

Whether Andersen, Ayew and Edouard are equally as viable in the long run is another debate but the numbers don't lie and the fact is the minority of gaffers who have backed them across the first few Gameweeks have been well rewarded.

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It's worth noting that only Haaland has registered more shots on target than Edouard and no striker has made as many tackles as Ayew.

Palace assets are worthy of consideration at the very least.

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