884
Scout Notes

Defensive injuries at Liverpool and Man United could impact FPL squads

Pre-season injuries for Manchester United and Liverpool may cause something of a defensive re-shuffle at both clubs and Fantasy Premier League managers should stay on top of the developments.

We’ve looked at the possible implications of Joel Matip and Antonio Valencia missing out on the start of the new FPL campaign in our latest Scout Notes, and will continue to track their fitness this summer.

Elsewhere, we learned a little more about who might start in Everton’s back four and Rui Patricio made an impact in his first outing for Wolves.

We’ve got all the goals, assists and Fantasy talking points from Sunday’s round of friendlies.

PORTO 1-0 EVERTON

  • Goals: None
  • Assist: None

Fantasy managers were handed some more information on Marco Silva’s defensive plans in their defeat to Porto on Sunday. With Everton hosting Southampton, Huddersfield and West Ham in the first six Gameweeks, as well as travelling to Wolves and Bournemouth, there is some interest in whether the Toffees can offer some defensive value for an early-season rotation.

Against Porto, Silva named the same back-five that lined up against Bury, having deployed a largely second-string side the previous day in a defeat to Lille. Not surprisingly, Leighton Baines (£5.5m) and Seamus Coleman (£5.5m) were stationed on the flanks of the defence in front of Maarten Stekelenburg (£4.0m), who made his fourth start in a row with Jordan Pickford (£5.0m) still away on World Cup leave. Phil Jagielka was the £4.5m man who slotted in beside Michael Keane (£5.0m), for his second start of the season. If he continues to be deployed in the back four, the former Sheffield United man may become the budget way into Everton’s defence, although he still faces competition from Ashley Williams (£4.5m), Mason Holgate (£4.5m) and Cuco Martina (£4.5m) – later pre-season matches will tell us more.

Cenk Tosun (£7.0m) made his third start of pre-season suggesting again that he will be first-choice when Everton face Wolves in Gameweek 1, although he has some work to do to convince Fantasy managers to invest in him ahead of Marko Arnautovic or Wilfried Zaha at the same price point. His main competitor Oumar Niasse (£5.5m) featured from the bench again. In midfield, Kevin Mirallas was handed another pre-season chance but both Theo Walcott (£6.5m) and Yannick Bolasie (£6.0m) are still expected to be above him in the pecking order when fit and the addition of Richarlison (£6.5m) to the ranks at Goodison Park could push him further away from the first team.

Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.5m) and Idrissa Gueye (£5.0m) were named in a match squad for the first time this summer after returning from World Cup leave, but neither of them featured against Porto. Both of them should be involved against Blackburn Rovers on Thursday, with Kieran Dowell and Tom Davies (£5.5m) to make way for them.

Tosun and Sandro Ramirez were Everton’s greatest threat against Porto but neither of them could take their chances.

Moussa Marega scored the only goal of the game slotting in under Stekelenburg’s legs following a through-ball from Otavia.

EVERTON XI (4-2-3-1): Stekelenburg; Baines, Keane, Jagielka (Holgate 75’), Coleman; Schneiderlin, Davies (Besic 87’); Ramirez, Dowell (Niasse 87’), Mirallas (Vlasic 71’); Tosun.

SV DARMSTADT 98 1-1 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN

  • Goals: Steve Mounié (£6.0m)
  • Assists: Jordan Williams

Steve Mounié (£6.0m) scored his first goal of the summer against SV Darmstadt on Sunday to end Huddersfield’s run of 270 pre-season minutes without finding the net. Young full-back Jordan Williams set him up for the finish.

Aaron Mooy (£5.5m) made his return to the side following the World Cup, featuring as a second-half substitute and nearly providing an assist for a late Mounié from a free-kick. Fellow World Cup competitors Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen (£4.5m) and Jonas Lössl (£4.5m) were not involved though, as they are yet to return to training.

Scott Malone (£4.0m) got his first start of pre-season having managed 45 minutes against Dynamo Dresden. By all accounts he was a threat going forward and defended well too, but he has some work to do to justify his current position as the most popular option in his price bracket. The former Fulham man is owned by 12.1 percent of Fantasy managers but has been utilised considerably less than club-mate Chris Löwe (4.5m) so far. The German has already registered 145 minutes this summer, posting two assists and one clean sheet in the process. Aaron Wan-Bissaka (three starts) looks a better option in Malone’s price bracket while Bournemouth’s Jack Simpson has two starts and a goal under his belt thus far.

Elsewhere in the side, new signing Adama Diakhaby made a first start on the right-flank with Ramadan Sobhi (£5.0m) coming on for his second appearance of pre-season. Rajiv van La Parra (£5.0m) and Alex Pritchard (£5.0m) are starting to look like sure options in the Huddersfield attacking midfield area both making their third starts of the summer on the left-flank and number 10 role respectively.

Ben Hamer (£4.0m) was unlucky to be beaten for Darmstadt’s goal. After a string of impressive saves in the match, he directed one into the path of Yannick Stark who converted easily. The former Leicester City man has now started all but one of Huddersfield’s pre-season games so far so is worth keeping an eye on in the unlikely event that Lössl misses any action as a result of his World Cup leave.

HUDDERSFIELD XI (4-2-3-1): Hamer; Malone (Williams 72’), Schindler, Hefele, Smith; Billing, Sabiri (Mooy 65’); van La Parra, Pritchard, Diakhaby (Sobhi 63’), Mounié.

BORUSSIA DORTMUND 3-1 LIVERPOOL

  • Goals: Virgil van Dijk (£6.0m)
  • Assists: Andrew Robertson (£6.0m)

Virgil van Dijk (£6.0m) demonstrated his appeal for the upcoming FPL season by opening his pre-season account against Borussia Dortmund on Sunday. The centre-back was unlucky not to find the net in his first six months at Liverpool but jumped high enough to convert an Andrew Robertson (£6.0m) cross in a promising first-half display for the Reds in Charlotte, North Carolina.

However, there was a first-half muscle injury for Joel Matip (£5.0m) which has ruled him out of further participation in the USA tour, which could potentially open the door for one of either Joe Gomez (£5.0m) or Ragnar Klavan (£4.5m) to take his place in the expected absence of World Cup finalist Dejan Lovren (£5.0m) for Gameweek 1. Either one is worth considering as cheap alternatives into what we expect to be a strong defence in 2018/19, especially with some uncertainty over whether Nathaniel Clyne (£5.0m) or Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.0m) will be first choice at right-back.

“Though the muscle injury suffered in his upper leg is not considered to be a long-term concern, Matip will not be available for selection in the remaining two games in America. He is therefore returning to Merseyside and will continue his recovery at Melwood.”

Matip may return to action before the start of the Premier League season so it’s worth keeping an eye on his fitness throughout the summer. However, Fantasy managers should also track the minutes of Gomez and Klavan to see if either of them stand a chance of lining up alongside van Dijk against West Ham on August 12. Both players have been involved in five matches, neither of them completing a full 90 minutes yet, although it was Gomez who specifically replaced Matip in Charlotte. He has also registered more game time (248 minutes to 225), but the cheaper Klavan has started more times (two to one). Furthermore, all of Klavan’s appearances have come at centre-back but two of Gomez’s have been at right full-back and a large portion of his outing against Dortmund was there too, after he was shifted wide to accommodate young centre-back Nathaniel Phillips coming on for Clyne. Although with Clyne expected to be first-choice in that position, Gomez may not be needed at full-back.

Naby Keita (£7.5m) impressed again, this time as a second-half substitute although he was unable to add to his pre-season tally of three assists. Alongside him in the second period was James Milner (£5.5m), who conceded a 66th minute penalty after fouling Christian Pulisic in the area. The American converted the spot-kick past Loris Karius (£5.0m).

In attack, Daniel Sturridge (£6.0m) played another match in a deeper number 10 role, although he remains Liverpool’s top scorer in pre-season with three goals. The Englishman is certainly worth keeping an eye on if any injuries come up in the Reds front line.

Pulisic scored an 89th minute goal on the counter attack to make it 2-1 before another Karius mistake allowed Jacob Brunn Larsen to add a third. Pulisic’s shot was parried by the goalkeeper straight into Larsen’s path.

Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) and Sadio Mané (£9.5m) watched the match from the sidelines and are expected to be involved against Manchester City on Wednesday.

LIVERPOOL FIRST-HALF XI (4-3-3): Karius; Robertson, van Dijk, Matip (Gomez 22’), Clyne; Jones, Lallana, Fabinho; Camacho, Origi, Markovic.

LIVERPOOL SECOND-HALF XI (4-2-3-1): Karius; Moreno, Klavan, Gomez, Clyne (Phillips 62’); Milner, Keita; Woodburn, Sturridge, Ojo; Solanke.

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES 0-0 MANCHESTER UNITED

  • Goals: None
  • Assists: None

Interest in Manchester United’s defensive assets may take a hit if Antonio Valencia’s (£6.5m) knock sustained against San Jose Earthquakes forces him to miss out on competitive action next month. Manager Jose Mourinho explained that the newly-appointed club captain is injured although there is no estimated return for the Ecuadorian just yet.

“He’s injured and I think we need to get used to it. Last season he was already in this type of situation and this season he will probably have more of that.

Were Valencia to miss out on the start of the Premier League campaign, it would be difficult to determine who would replace him at right-back and United’s defensive solidity may diminish somewhat too. New signing Diogo Dalot (£5.5m) is not expected to be fit until September as he deals with a meniscus problem, Matteo Darmian (£5.0m) may leave in the coming days amid interest from Juventus and Napoli, while Victor Lindelöf (£5.0m) will return late after World Cup involvement and is more naturally a centre-back anyway. Youngster Timothy Fosu-Mensah (not yet in FPL) could feature in his place, having amassed 12 appearances for United and 17 for Crystal Palace in the last three seasons. All the aforementioned options could provide further budget routes in United’s defence but it may be harder to trust without Valencia, so Fantasy managers are urged to keep an eye out for the next update on his fitness.

Other defensive options do seem a little easier to predict with United as Luke Shaw (£5.0m), Chris Smalling (£6.0m) and Eric Bailly (£5.5m) all started for the second match in a row. With Ashley Young (£6.0m) and Phil Jones (£5.5m) still missing for now, this trio may be the ones to look at for United defensive cover.

Aside from that, the team that faced the Earthquakes in America was another second-string one as Mourinho continues to miss a large number of key players as a result of World Cup leave. Anthony Martial (£7.5m), who has picked up some ownership in the last week, started another match as the centre-forward, lasting 90 minutes but was unable to capitalise on his advanced position once again. The Frenchman may have to improve his pre-season performances to convince Fantasy managers to keep him in their squads, even if he is playing out of position. Meanwhile, Alexis Sánchez (£10.5m) got his first start of pre-season under his belt ahead of a season where he could be an important asset.

Although it’s difficult to read too much into pre-season performances and results, Man United do feel a little out of sorts ahead of the new campaign. They will be missing a large number of key players if Mourinho delivers on his early claim that he won’t use anyone who played in the World Cup in Gameweek 1. This most recent quote about pre-season may also chastened interest in United players.

“We are not a team. We’re a group of players from different teams. Some are first-team, some under-23s, some coming from loans and going on loan, some are younger, under-18s. We don’t have a team to play much better than we did but it’s one more training session.”

Some good news for United is that Nemanja Matic (£5.0m) has now joined up with the training squad following his World Cup leave.

MANCHESTER UNITED XI (4-3-3): J Pereira (Grant 45’); Shaw (Mitchell 75’), Smalling (Fosu-Mensah 45’), Bailly (Tuanzebe 45’), Valencia (Darmian 8’); A Pereira (Gomes 83’), Garner (McTominay 45’), Herrera; Sánchez (Greenwood 65’), Martial, Chong (Mata 45’).

VfL Bochum 0-0 Wolves (5-4 on penalties) | Real Betis 0-0 Wolves

  • Goals: None
  • Assists: None

Rui Patricio (£4.5m) saved two penalties in the shootout between Wolves and Bochum on Sunday, although it was not enough to win the contest. But such a performance, in his first outing for the newly-promoted side bodes well for the Portuguese international ahead of his first Premier League campaign.

Raul Jimenez (£5.5m) also made his first start for Wolves against Bochum, taking up the role of centre-forward, flanked by Diogo Jota (£6.5m) and Bright Enobakhare (£4.5m) in a front three.

Nuno split his squad between two 45-minute matches, one against Bochum, the other against Betis. The first was the semi-final of H-Hotels Cup, which was lost on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

Ruben Neves (£5.0m), Ryan Bennett (£4.0m) and Jimenez had chances to score in the semi-final but the tie went straight to spot-kicks where Neves, Jota, Pedro Goncalves and Enobakhare found the net and Jimenez, Conor Coady (£4.5m) and Ryan Giles had their efforts saved.

It was another 3-4-3 formation used against Betis, and another goalless draw. Helder Costa (£5.0m) and Ivan Cavaleiro (£5.5m) were the biggest threat in that match but neither could break the deadlock.

WOLVES vs BOCHUM XI (3-4-3): Patricio; Hause, Coady, Bennett; Giles, Goncalves, Neves, Buur; Jota, Jimenez, Enobakhare.

WOLVES vs REAL BETIS XI (3-4-3): Ruddy; Boly, Batth, Saiss; John, Watt, Gibbs-White, Doherty; Cavaleiro, Ashley-Seal, Costa.

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884 Comments Post a Comment
  1. vova
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Anyone have a good three-way rotation for defenders priced 4.5 and 4.0?

    1. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Nothing better than a good three-way.

    2. Hotdogs for Tea
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      now that is frugal team planning 😉

  2. mcgrejam
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    A)
    Pickford
    Cedric, Daniels, Robertson, Tomkins
    Mane, Salah, Miki
    Tosun, Aubameyang, Aguero

    B)
    Ederson
    Robertson, Tomkins, Daniels, Keane
    Richarlison, Salah, Jota
    Aubameyang, Firmino, Aguero

    C)
    Ederson
    Robertson, Tomkins, Daniels
    Salah, Miki, Jota, Keita
    Tosun, Aubameyang, Aguero

    No good subs in any...which one please?

    1. Kizza_10
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      B

    2. Johnny Leghorn
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 20 days ago

      Too expensive starting 11 if you have no decent subs.

  3. Kizza_10
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Which team do you prefer ?

    1.
    Leno
    Mendy Shaw Robertson Coleman
    Pedro Silva Salah Sane
    Aubameyang Arnie

    Subs: Boruc, Cedric, Gunnarsson, Madine

    2.
    Ederson
    Shaw Davies Coleman Robertson
    Pedro Salah Richarlison
    Arnie Aguero Aubameyang

    Subs: Boruc, Wan B, Cairney, Gunnarson

  4. Dunk mee Jesus
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 21 days ago

    in the grand scheme off things, surley sane is a better option than mahrez?? he would be more nailed imo plus hes alot more to prove with not being picked for the germany squad

    1. Jean Claude Edam
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Who knows what tomorrow brings

      1. Dunk mee Jesus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 21 days ago

        defs thank sane is more an option than mahrez

        1. Jean Claude Edam
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 21 days ago

          I’ve gone for Sane myself

    2. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Maybe but he's also more expensive

    3. Chazz69
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 20 days ago

      Sané without hesitation

    4. rookie manager
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 20 days ago

      I think you are right - I have him in but keep getting tempted to switch to mahrez for that extra 0.5m but know I will regret it.

  5. donlobatto
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 21 days ago

    RP. After c. 2 months away cold turkey (judge me at will!) I return with my first attempt - good to be back. Initial thoughts?

    £0itb

    Alisson
    Bailly, Mendy, Ward
    Salah (C), Sané, Richarlison, Cairney
    Firmino, Auba, Arnie

    (Speroni) (Stephens, Kelly, Malone)

    Torn between Ederson v Alisson and Mendy v Robbo/VVD

    What do you think?
    Cheers!

    1. Kizza_10
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      I like the look of that team, the only change I’d make is Robertson & Ederson instead of Allison & Mendy

      1. donlobatto
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Yep this is exactly my main choice at this stage. I just have a feeling Mendy's creativity and returns may outscore Robbo whereas Ederson v Alisson is an unknown atm

  6. The old Arctic monkeys
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Barca officially sign Malcom. Could mean Willian is staying at chelsea

    1. Jean Claude Edam
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      I can smell the Roman fuming from here!

    2. MJFainty
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Was just thinking the same thing. He'd certainly be an attractive proposition in a Sarri side.

  7. GreenShark1
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Draft 007 (3-5-2 or 4-4-2 interchangeable to begin with)...how we looking? RMT and any thoughts much appreciated, ta.

    Foster
    Robertson / Bailly / van Aanholt
    Salah(c) / Mahrez / Mkhitaryan / Hughes / Costa
    Aubameyang / Aguero

    Fabianski, Cedric, Wan-Bissaka, Kamara.

    1. Jean Claude Edam
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      It’s different from my team so I don’t like it! 🙂

      1. GreenShark1
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Lol, thanks for your in depth feedback mate, will take it on board!! 😉

    2. Tempestic
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 months, 21 days ago

      I literally had almost this exact draft yesterday except with Van Aanolt being Shaw, Foster and Fabianski being Ederson and a 4.0.

      1. Tempestic
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 months, 21 days ago

        oh and coleman over bailly.

      2. Tempestic
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 months, 21 days ago

        I like it though

  8. Dr Funk
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Right, hows this...

    Patricio
    Robertson - Coleman - Douglas
    Salah - Mahrez - Martial - Jota - Cairney
    Aguero - Zaha

    Fabianski - Kamara - Cedric - Wan Bissaka

    I think its a good team to start with, but crucially, I have 2.5m in the bank which allows me to do...

    Cedric to Mendy with 1.0m left over
    Kamara to a striker up to 7.0m
    Zaha to Firminho
    Martial to Sane or Erikson
    Cairney to a midfielder up to 7.5m
    Cairney to a midfilder up to 6.0m and Cedric to Mendy

    etc...

    In other words, Im ready to pounce on whatever players look essential and change strategy with ease.

    🙂

    1. Midlands Saint73
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 20 days ago

      Nice bit of planning, team looks decent if a little Wolves heavy.

      1. rookie manager
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 20 days ago

        Hard not to be though isn't it, one of defender/mid/attacker looks to be a potential great value player, so hard not to use them to save some money

  9. Mad Marvin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Too many risks? If they come off it's a balanced team.

    Ederson
    Robertson Bellerin Mendy
    Salah Sessegnon Maddison Jota
    Firmino Zaha Aubameyang

    1. TheSaint
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Not really balanced without a bench

    2. rookie manager
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 20 days ago

      Feel you may be missing one of spurs/utd/city mid which may end up regretting, and not easy to get them in current set up.

    3. Johnny Leghorn
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 20 days ago

      Think you're investing in the wrong end of City. More likely goals than clean sheets.

  10. mcgrejam
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Anyone going for Keita from the start?

    1. Tempestic
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 months, 21 days ago

      He's tempting me, such a class player. Want to see how he fits in with the front 3 in pre season.

  11. n.p.m.smith
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Why is Maddison being overlooked?

    Created as much as du bruyne did last season in a terrible Norwich team. Now Mahrez is gone he will be on all set pieces...

    1. Nailed Jesus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 21 days ago

      There's probably some bloke out there who created four times as much as de bryune did last season in a Sunday league, doesn't mean he's gonna come good in the premier league.

  12. DJDave1979
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Anyone else on here think Liverpool are treating Karius quite badly? He's being dragged around on a 'dead man walking' tour of duty when he should be being allowed to seek a new role.

    His head can't be in the right place and it all looks terribly sad.

    1. jcdonaggio
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 20 days ago

      no, not in the slightest. they are paying in £20k a week ffs.the poor soul.

  13. FaraBro
    3 months, 21 days ago

    mahrez and sane in double citi cover why not or ?

    1. RomeluStormzy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      I'm doing it

    2. Chazz69
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 20 days ago

      Mahrez no way man

  14. pints18
    3 months, 20 days ago

    Can peps please help ?
    Not sure if Leno will start if not which 5mill keeper to switch him for
    Subs are dogs, not sure who else would be better. No money left

    Leno (Patrício)
    Keane Alexander-Arnold Cédric Mendy (Peltier)
    Sané Mkhitaryan Keita Salah (D. Ward)
    Aubameyang Vardy (Kamara)