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James Maddison x Harvey Barnes is one of the Premier League’s most underrated double acts

Think of the following couple of minutes as a reaffirmation.

Earlier this season we highlighted the individual ability of Harvey Barnes (£3.1m) and James Maddison (£3.7m) — and most importantly, their point-scoring potential in Dream Team 2020/21.

Such has been the Leicester midfielders’ progression in recent weeks, we felt it was worth a follow-up stressing the pair’s value.

On the plane

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On the plane

Let’s start with the raw numbers.

Barnes is now just five points short of a century with only three midfielders above him in the rankings and an ownership of 11.4%.

Maddison is not far behind in both metrics on 90 points and an ownership of 11.1%.

Most pressingly, both have been in especially good form in recent weeks — the former has added 39 points since the start of Game Week 14 while the latter has 30 points in the same time frame despite sitting out a couple of fixtures.

Barnes has scored more goals from open play than Jamie Vardy (£6.0m) this season with six in the league, three in Europe, and one in the FA Cup.

Dream Team has always favoured players who perform across multiple competitions.

Maddison has scored eight goals in all competitions but has contributed more assists than his team-mate and has a higher average rating.

Combined, they have 23 goal involvements in 2020/21 and have forced Gareth Southgate to take note as the England gaffer considers his plans for Euro 2020 (2021).

Brendan Rodgers has shuffled his deck successfully despite injury concerns for much of the season

AFP
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Brendan Rodgers has shuffled his deck successfully despite injury concerns for much of the season

As a pair, they complement each other through contrasting strengths.

Barnes possesses pace, directness, and a willingness to shoot that is especially adept at punishing defences on the counterattack.

Whereas Maddison is a more cultured playmaker who tends to prioritise creating chances for others, in open play and through set-pieces — though he has exhibited a keener eye for goal this campaign.

The 24-year-old is on course for his best ever season in terms of goals for the Foxes and possibly his entire career.

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Experienced Dream Team bosses will know that goal involvements are crucial for a successful midfield — you only have to look at Bruno Fernandes’ (£5.3m) points tally to see that.

Midfield has been something of a problem area this season with people struggling for inspiration beyond the obvious names of Fernandes, Kevin De Bruyne (£6.4m) and Jack Grealish (£4.5m).

Maddison and Barnes have emerged as excellent long-term options, more than just the streaky performers some may have thought a few weeks back.