A goal and an assist apiece for Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson in Bournemouth’s 2-1 win over Huddersfield Town last night helped both players to another double-digit haul in Fantasy Premier League, their fourth and third such returns respectively this season.
The pair are proving to be economically shrewd purchases in FPL: returning 13.9 and 13.3 points per million spent, Fraser and Wilson are by far the best-value players in their respective positions this campaign.
Brighton and Hove Albion have also offered us Fantasy managers some decent cut-price options in recent months but it was a largely disappointing night for their most-popular assets: Shane Duffy was dismissed for violent conduct, Luka Milivojevic‘s late penalty wiped out the Seagulls’ clean sheet and Glenn Murray was substituted with a shoulder injury.
Murray did, at least, get on the scoresheet before his withdrawal and picked up two bonus points for his efforts in helping ten-man Albion to a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.
We round up the goals, assists, team news, injury updates, Fantasy talking points and manager quotes from the two remaining Premier League matches contested on Tuesday evening.
Bournemouth 2-1 Huddersfield Town
- Goals: Callum Wilson (£6.9m), Ryan Fraser (£6.2m) | Terence Kongolo (£4.3m)
- Assists: Ryan Fraser, Callum Wilson | Zanka (£4.4m)
With a home match against Liverpool and trips to Wolves, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United to come in the next five Gameweeks, Bournemouth sit bottom of our Season Ticker for fixture difficulty until the end of 2018.
Despite that, would anyone contemplate offloading their Cherries assets now?
Eddie Howe’s side have breached the defences of United, Arsenal and Manchester City in recent weeks and while there are mid-price alternatives available elsewhere with “better” fixtures, there are – as we mentioned in the introduction above – no midfielders or forwards who can compete with the value-for-money returns that Ryan Fraser (£6.2m) and Callum Wilson (£6.9m) have delivered in 2018/19.
It is a mark of just how successful a season Fraser is having that he now sits level with Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) on 86 points in FPL, though the Egyptian can, of course, pull clear of that score tonight against a porous Burnley side.
Wilson, meanwhile, sits top of the FPL forwards’ total points list until tonight at least.
It should be noted that this was Fraser’s first goal since Gameweek 5, though the Scottish winger had delivered four assists between his 18-point haul against Leicester and last night’s win over Huddersfield.
Goals aren’t something we can realistically expect too often from Fraser, either, given that his rather unimpressive minutes-per-chance average of 60.7 is bettered by over 80 other FPL midfielders.
The Scotland international’s goal last night indeed came from his only shot (and penalty box touch) of the evening.
Creativity is Fraser’s obvious plus point, with the Bournemouth man again demonstrating his assist potential from set-piece situations by whipping an indirect free-kick onto the head of Wilson for the Cherries’ opening goal and then providing a chipped cross that Joshua King (£6.3m) could only nod wide from inside the six-yard box.
No FPL midfielder has, at the time of writing, supplied more key passes or big chances than Fraser this season.
Wilson has combined goalscoring with assist-making this season and has now delivered eight of each in 2018/19.
The Bournemouth forward teed up Fraser for what turned out to be the Cherries’ winner and also provided two chances for King in the second half, which the Norwegian striker failed to capitalise on.
Just as Fraser was peerless in his position for creativity, no FPL forward has created more opportunities or big chances for his team-mates than Wilson ahead of Wednesday evening’s matches.
While Wilson’s rate of shots this season is far from outstanding (one every 36.7 minutes, bettered by over 30 other FPL forwards) it is the quality of his chances that mark him out as a particular menace in attack.
All 36 of his shots this season have come from inside the opposition box, with exactly half being deemed “big chances” – no other striker comes close to matching this number of clear-cut opportunities.
Tuesday’s goal against the Terriers indeed came from Wilson’s only attempt all match.
Howe praised Fraser and Wilson after the game:
They are both having very good seasons.
Callum Wilson’s an excellent finisher and the second goal was trademark from us this season. It was a good move and excellent finish from Ryan Fraser.
I was pleased to see our attacking play looking so dangerous early in the game but unfortunately for those players we didn’t have enough of the ball afterwards to sustain any pressure.
As Howe intimated, Bournemouth were largely ineffective from an attacking point of view after Fraser’s strike, not managing another shot on target after this point.
David Brooks (£5.2m), who had narrowly scored more FPL points than Fraser from Gameweeks 6-14, didn’t have the best of games on his return to the starting XI and was replaced by Junior Stanislas (£6.0m) on the hour, having not recorded a single shot, penalty box touch or key pass.
Brooks certainly looks the bigger rotation risk over Christmas, having twice been dropped to the bench when Howe changed formation against Champions League-chasing sides (of whom the Cherries play three of before the turn of 2019) and having completed 90 minutes on only three occasions.
The manner of Bournemouth’s win last night might have been of some concern to owners of Messrs Wilson, Fraser and Brooks, but of course, the Cherries’ rearguard effort might not have happened had they not raced into a 2-0 lead and forced Huddersfield out onto the front foot.
Howe reflected on his side’s “uncomfortable” victory:
We got the dream start and looked in total control, but they threw caution to the wind, put a lot of bodies forward ahead of the ball and played very well so credit to them for that.
Credit to my players as well for how we responded in the second half and how we managed to contain their aerial bombardment in set-plays and long throws. We dealt with that really well.
We always want the ball and it’s unlike us at home to be without it for long periods. Whether the scoreline or our recent run of results affected that I don’t know, but it was uncomfortable and that’s where I credit the players because they didn’t panic, and we managed the second period excellently. Some of our defending was superb and our goalkeeping played a big part in that.
David Wagner ought to have been pleased with his side’s efforts after going 2-0 down, with Terence Kongolo (£4.3m) halving the deficit before the break after a spot of head tennis and the Terriers then peppering the hosts’ penalty box with umpteen crosses thereafter.
Laurent Depoitre (£5.1m), in for the suspended Steve Mounie (£5.8m), was dominant in the air, with four of his five attempts on goal coming via headers. The Frenchman was profligate in front of goal though and wasted the best of Huddersfield’s chances when nodding at Asmir Begovic from a teasing Florent Hadergjonaj (£4.4m) cross.
Hadergjonaj, playing at right-back as Wagner switched to a 4-4-2, was so advanced in this match that his average position was further forward than that of any Bournemouth player. The Swiss defender fired over ten crosses in this match and had four attempts on goal himself.
Kongolo was shifted over to left-back as Wagner temporarily shelved a 3-5-1-1, with Erik Durm (£4.4m) playing further forward “out of position” on the left of midfield.
Alex Pritchard (£4.8m) was perhaps Town’s stand-out player on the night, playing alongside Depoitre up front and also registering five efforts on goal – his best opportunity being a turn and shot from six yards that Begovic beat out.
Aaron Mooy (£5.1m) was prominent playing on the right of midfield, meanwhile, coupling his usual menacing delivery at set-piece situations with two shots that forced Begovic into smart stops.
Despite the positive performance, Wagner was magnanimous in defeat:
I don’t think we deserve something from this game because you have to get your defensive work and offence right.
We’ve had enough opportunities to score four goals tonight, but we didn’t take them. How we played was great, yes, but you don’t deserve something if you give them goals away and don’t score.
The Huddersfield boss also gave an update on Abdelhamid Sabiri (£4.3m), who was withdrawn three minutes after himself being introduced as a substitute:
Abdelhamid Sabiri has what looks like a serious shoulder injury, but we will see what it looks like tomorrow.
Philip Billing (£4.5m) will miss out in Gameweek 16, meanwhile, having collected his fifth yellow card of the season.
Bournemouth XI (4-4-2): Begovic; Francis, S Cook, Ake, Daniels; Brooks (Stanislas 62′), L Cook, Lerma, Fraser (Mousset 87′); Wilson, King (Mings 90+3′).
Huddersfield Town XI (4-4-2): Lossl; Kongolo (Mbenza 75′), Jorgensen, Schindler, Hadergjonaj; Durm, Hogg, Billing (Sabiri 75′, Sobhi 78′), Mooy; Pritchard, Depoitre.
Brighton and Hove Albion 3-1 Crystal Palace
- Goals: Glenn Murray (£6.7m), Leon Balogun (£4.2m), Florin Andone (£5.0m)| Luka Milivojevic (£6.0m)
- Assists: Jose Izquierdo (£5.9m) | Wilfried Zaha (£6.7m)
Brighton came out on top in the “M23 derby” on Tuesday evening despite playing for over an hour with ten men.
Shane Duffy (£4.7m) was dismissed on 28 minutes for a headbutt on Patrick van Aanholt (£5.4m) and will now be unavailable until Boxing Day.
The Irish centre-back’s FPL ownership had risen towards the 8% mark over the last month but with a three-match ban to follow and the Seagulls’ fixtures stiffening from Gameweek 17 onwards, we can surely expect a mass exodus over the coming days.
Duffy apologised for his actions on social media after full-time:
Can only apologise to everyone tonight for letting us down. Grateful for the team we have here for a huge win tonight, the boys were unbelievable. I’m disappointed in myself for even getting myself into the situation.
Brighton’s other defensive assets made it five matches without a clean sheet as Luka Milivojevic‘s (£6.0m) 80th-minute spot-kick denied Chris Hughton’s side a shut-out that they had worked so hard to preserve.
Leon Balogun (£4.2m) will stand to benefit from Duffy’s absence over the coming three matches and the Nigerian defender continued where Brighton’s first-choice centre-backs left off in scoring with his first touch of the game on 30 minutes to double the hosts’ lead.
That was the sixth goal scored by a Brighton centre-half this season.
Glenn Murray (£6.7m) had opened the scoring from the penalty spot but was to have his evening curtailed on 35 minutes when gingerly walking from the field of play with a shoulder injury.
Hughton provided an update after full-time:
He’s sore at the minute. We’ll see how he is in the morning.
The player himself provided more detail to The Argus:
I fell and hurt my AC joint. Right now it’s sore but hopefully it will settle down and we will make a decision on Wednesday or Thursday.
[The physios] are withholding their judgement so we will see what it’s like when it has cooled down.
Just as Balogun had made an impact on his introduction, so too did Murray’s replacement, Florin Andone (£5.0m).
The pacy Romanian striker had shown promise in the 2-1 win at Huddersfield on Saturday and his speed on the break led to Brighton’s third goal, with Andone latching onto a hoofed clearance and extending his side’s lead with a fine individual effort five minutes before the interval.
Should Murray’s injury prove to be a serious one, then Andone’s cut-price availability may make him a tempting third-price forward option for those Fantasy managers packing their defence and midfield with heavy hitters – though as we mentioned earlier, Brighton’s upcoming games are among the toughest in the division.
Jose Izquierdo (£5.9m), who had controversially won the penalty that Murray converted, also limped off early in the second half, with Hughton providing an update on the Colombian winger’s injury:
Izquierdo’s injury got worse as the game went on. We certainly didn’t want to make our last substitution that early in the second half, particularly knowing we’d be up against an onslaught.
That Mathew Ryan (£4.6m) had precious little to do in the Brighton goal up until Milivojevic’s penalty said as much about the Seagulls’ excellent rearguard effort as it did about Palace’s limitations in attack, with the Australian goalkeeper saving comfortably from Andros Townsend (£5.7m) and Max Meyer (£5.6m).
Milivojevic had gone closest to pulling a goal back in the first half when his shot was cleared off the line and it was the Serbian penalty specialist who gave the Eagles a glimmer of hope with ten minutes remaining after Wilfried Zaha (£6.7m) had been felled.
James Tomkins (£4.3m) proved to be a threat in the air again, forcing Ryan into his third save of the match in stoppage time after registering two other efforts from set pieces earlier in the game, though struggled from a defensive point of view and was culpable for Andone’s solo goal.
That Palace’s strike pairing of Zaha and Townsend failed to record a single shot on target from inside the Brighton box summed up the Eagles’ attacking output.
A disappointed Roy Hodgson said after the match:
The second and third goals are just as disappointing and frustrating [as Brighton’s first goal], to use two buzzwords. When you come here hoping to win the game and you lose 3-1 there are no good feelings or anything particularly positive that I can say.
In every football match you can point to episodes and things being different but the second goal is something that we have to take total responsibility for and the third even more so; it wasn’t even an attack, just a clearance.
Brighton and Hove Albion XI (4-4-1-1): Ryan; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; March, Gross (Balogun 30′), Propper, Bissouma, Izquierdo (Knockaert 49′); Murray (Andone 35′)
Crystal Palace XI (4-4-2): Hennessey; Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt; McArthur (Schlupp 73′), Milivojevic, Kouyate (Sorloth 58′), Meyer; Townsend, Zaha.
Become a Member and access our data
Memberships for the 2018/19 campaign are now available for the price of just £15.
Join now to get the following:
- Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
- Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
- Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
- Get access to over 130+ exclusive members articles over the season.
- Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
- Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
- View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
- Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.