Fantasy Premier League managers were finally able to get some points out of their Crystal Palace defensive assets in Gameweek 14.
After months of warming our benches, there was cause to start Aaron Wan-Bissaka and he duly delivered.
We’ve got all the talking points from the Eagles 2-0 win in this latest Scout Notes.
Crystal Palace 2-0 Burnley
Goals: James McArthur (£4.7m), Andros Townsend (£5.7m)
Assists: Townsend, Cheikhou Kouyaté (£4.7m)
A first home win of the season for Crystal Palace appears to once again prove that the ‘Burnley effect’ is alive and kicking in the Premier League this season. The Eagles have struggled to record points at Selhurst Park in 2018/19, coming into Gameweek 14 with just two goals there. No team had found the net fewer times in home matches than the Eagles on Saturday morning, but going up against Burnley, they were able to double their home goal tally in just 90 minutes of football.
Sean Dyche’s men once again gifted shots to their opponents with the final total for Palace ending up at a whopping 29. Only two teams have managed more in one match this season. Furthermore, in their previous six home matches of the campaign, the Eagles were averaging 13.67 per game.
It was a good job that Palace were afforded so many opportunities as they were only accurate 31% of their shots. Wilfried Zaha (£6.7m) was especially guilty for missing the goal, hitting the crossbar at one stage. That said, his three shots on target from this match are the only ones he has recorded in his last five matches.
Andros Townsend (£5.7m) paid us back for including him in our most recent Spot the Differential article by emerging from the game as its top-scorer. He provided the assist for James McArthur‘s (£4.7m) first-half strike and found the back of the net with a stunning effort of his own in the second. The FPL midfielder continues to be deployed as a centre-forward alongside Zaha, and is largely matching his shot count but proving more accurate of late.
“He has got that in his locker, there is no doubt about that. We have seen that move or that shot quite often, but we have seen the ball either go wide or over the crossbar, or the goalkeeper has produced a save. It is no surprise to me to see him do that, and I expect him to produce that level of a shot. It is a question of whether he can keep it n target, and if he does, then it makes the goalkeeper have to make a good save. I remember two or three occasions where Andros has produced that shot and it has produced very good saves from goalkeepers, but it was so good today though, that I don’t think Joe Hart had any chance with that because it was a really good strike.” – Roy Hodgson
Palace sent most of their attacking play down the left-flank with Patrick van Aanholt (£5.4m) especially offering plenty of threat. Interestingly, we recently discovered that Burnley’s right flank was their most vulnerable this season, with them allowing more chances in that area of the pitch than anywhere else. It is possible that Hodgson was also aware of this, hence the focus on van Aanholt’s forward play.
Crucially, there was a second clean sheet in a row for Hodgson’s men meaning that Fantasy managers finally got points for starting Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£4.2m). With the fixtures the Eagles have on the horizon, the budget defender, along with his goalkeeping counterpart Wayne Hennessey (£4.5m), should see their usage increase in the coming weeks.
However, it must be said that Burnley offered very little going forward. They had just four efforts on goal in the game, none of them on target. In fact, their first attempt came well into the second half. Neither of those is hugely surprising considering that they came into Gameweek 14 ranked worst in the league for shots on target. Just as they increasingly being seen as a team to target when considering attacking options, they are becoming exactly the sort of team to expect clean sheets against too.
There was further rotation up front again with Sam Vokes (£5.3m) dropping to the bench for the first time since Gameweek 4 and Chris Wood (£6.2m) recording his third start in a row.
Elsewhere, Johann Berg Gudmundsson (£5.9m) returned to the Burnley line-up following that illness-related no-show against Newcastle.
James Tarkowski (£4.7m) made a return to the matchday squad for the first time since Gamweek 11 after recovering from a back injury. However, he was named among the substitutes and stayed there for the duration. Whether or not he can help stop Burnley’s dreadful defensive slump is questionable too, given that the Clarets were still bottom for shots in the box faced during his spell of full fitness between Gameweeks 1 and 11.
Robbie Brady (£5.4m) was a substitute again at Selhurst Park but he was forced out of the game in stoppage time with an ankle injury.
Crystal Palace XI: Hennessey; Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, van Aanholt; McArthur (Schlupp 78′), Milivojevic, Kouyaté, Meyer (Puncheon 90+2′); Townsend (Sørloth 88′), Zaha.
Burnley XI: Hart; Lowton, Long, Mee, Taylor; Lennon (Brady 45′), Defour (Vokes 60′), Cork, Johann Gudmundsson; Hendrick; Wood (Barnes 80′).
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