Marko Arnautovic delivered much joy for Fantasy Premier League managers in West Ham’s most recent win.
However he was not the only Hammer to grab our attentions at the London Stadium.
We’ve got all the talking points from the match in our latest Scout Notes article.
West Ham 4-2 Burnley
Goals: Marko Arnautovic (£7.1m), Felipe Anderson x2 (£6.8m), Chicharito (£6.2m) | Johann Berg Gudmundsson (£6.0m), Chris Wood (£6.2m)
Assists: Grady Diangana (£4.5m), Arnautovic, Michail Antonio (£6.8m) | Robbie Brady (£5.4m), Ashley Westwood (£4.5m)
Marko Arnautovic (£7.1m) delivered on his promise against Burnley on Saturday by registering his second double-figure haul of the campaign. Gameweek 11 had been pinpointed as the optimum time to own the West Ham forward with their embarkation on an appealing run of fixtures. Arnautovic was involved in absolutely everything for the Hammers and ran the show in an impressive performance.
No player in the match completed more passes in the final third than Arnautovic, who touched the ball in the opposition penalty box more than anyone else too. On top of that, he was positioned perfectly to pounce on James Tarkowski‘s (£4.9m) 10th-minute error to put his side 1-0 up.
The only Fantasy option to have more shots on goal than Arnautovic at the London Stadium was break-out star Felipe Anderson (£6.8m). He found the net twice to record his second double-figure haul of the season and turn the heads of Fantasy managers looking for mid-price options in midfield. The Brazilian is also involved in set pieces and has created nine chances in the last four Gameweeks, no West Ham player has more.
“I talked a lot with him, he never had no chance of not playing today. He knew from the beginning that despite playing bad against Tottenham, he was going to play today. It was a massive performance.” – Manuel Pellegrini
Putting some brakes on any potential Anderson bandwagon, for now, is the fact that five of his eight shots since Gameweek 8 came against Burnley. Furthermore, the Clarets have allowed more attempts on their goal than any other side this season. West Ham’s run of games is admittedly most appealing so we may see him continue that form into future Gameweeks, but perhaps a little more form is required yet before seriously considering him.
Also of Fantasy interest was attacking midfielder Grady Diangana (£4.5m). A potentially season-long injury to Andriy Yarmolenko (£6.8m) has opened up some space in the West Ham midfielder for a youngster such as Diangana to stake a claim for a place. Judging on his performance against Burnley, he has a strong case, registering an assist for Anderson’s first goal. He is another West Ham option to monitor for this long spell of appealing matches.
“Young, technical players they must demonstrate when they have the chance that they are able to handle the pressure. We tested Diangana in the cup and against a team of another level, then we continued with him, I think he is deserving to have these chances. He did it today, he did it very well. Technical players in this game are the players that make the difference. We can talk about the tactical things, of course, physical things but finally a technical players score when they are man to man with the goalkeeper and Diangana is a very good technical player, like Anderson and they were the two playmakers for us.” – Manuel Pellegrini
Also benefitting from Yarmolenko’s absence is Robert Snodgrass (£5.3m). He is yet to record any Fantasy returns this season but has created the same number of chances as Anderson since Gameweek 8 through his involvement in set pieces.
However, one of Anderson, Snodgrass or Diangana may have to drop out of the side when Mark Noble (£4.9m) returns from suspension in Gameweek 13. With options short in holding midfield, Pellegrini went with a 4-1-4-1 formation once again. Snodgrass was deployed in central midfield alongside Pedro Obiang (£4.4m), with Declan Rice (£4.4m) holding, while Anderson and Diangana were lined-up in wide areas. Given his lack of first team experience, it may well be the latter who drops out when Noble is back with Snodgrass shift to the right of midfield.
Obiang did suffer a minor calf injury in the first half but managed to continue his involvement in the game up to the hour-mark. It was him who made way for substitute goal-scorer Chicharito (£6.2m) but Pellegrini insisted after the match that he was in good shape.
“Yes, he is fine. He was coming from a calf injury, played 55 minutes on Wednesday, today he had a problem in his knee with that foul but he was OK.” – Manuel Pellegrini
West Ham’s defence remains a little questionable as they are now without a clean sheet since Gameweek 6. The shutout against Chelsea is their only of the season so far. Despite Burnley coming to the London Stadium with no big chances registered in their previous four outings, they still managed to score twice. That will be of frustration to Lukasz Fabianski‘s (£4.5m) 13.9% ownership.
Burnley’s problems are somewhat larger though as they shipped at least four goals for the third match in a row and for the fourth time this season. With just two clean sheets this season their defensive assets are simply too expensive to consider while Joe Hart (£4.6m) has recorded no more than one point in a match since Gameweek 8 – that is despite earning extras for saves in each of his last three appearances. Despite another pounding for his team, Sean Dyche was still pleased with his defence, with specific reference to Charlie Taylor (£4.4m) and Ben Mee (£4.8m) who made an impressive first-half headed clearance off the line.
“What a bit of defending from (Mee) today, that is as good as I’ve seen in a long time, and I thought he was excellent. So it’s finding the balance when you need the team to work, but Ben Mee’s excellent, Charlie Taylor was excellent, how can you find their performance and add it to the performance of the ones who are quiet, who are back on their game?” – Sean Dyche
Once again, there was rotation of Dyche’s forward players with Sam Vokes (£5.3m) and Matej Vydra (£5.8m) given the nod this time. Substitute Chris Wood (£6.2m) found the net from a second-half set piece to further complicate the striker rotation situation at Burnley.
Robbie Brady (£5.4m) continued his recovery from a long-term injury. After starting against Chelsea in Gameweek 10 he returned to the bench for this one, but assisted in a second-half 15-minute cameo appearance, taking the corner that Wood scored from.
It was revealed after the game that Ben Gibson (£4.8m) requires another operation after he went under the knife for a hernia in September. Tarkowski will also see a specialist this week for a groin problem.
“Gibbo’s not been quite right, so if you’re not right, you’ve got to get it done. It will only be keyhole, so it shouldn’t be a long one, but the same sort of thing. Tarky will see someone this week for a similar sort of thing. So there are a few challenges, so that’s the way it is.” – Sean Dyche
West Ham XI (4-1-4-1): Fabianski; Cresswell, Diop, Balbuena, Zabaleta; Rice; Anderson, Snodgrass, Obiang (Chicharito 61′), Diangana (Antonio 86′); Arnautovic (Ogbonna 91′).
Burnley XI (4-4-1-1): Hart; Taylor, Mee, Tarkowski, Lowton; Lennon (Brady 75′), Defour, Westwood, Gudmundsson; Vydra (Barnes 72′); Vokes (Wood 72′).
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