Scout Notes

Arnautovic brace triggers West Ham rethink

West Ham’s role in Fantasy Premier League shifted once again in their Gameweek 21 draw with Brighton.

A blank for the options who have proved popular in recent weeks may cause some movement in midfield, while it was another match without a clean sheet.

We take a look at the Hammers in this latest Scout Notes article.

West Ham United 2-2 Brighton & Hove Albion

Goals: Marko Arnautovic x2 (£6.9m) | Dale Stephens (£4.4m), Shane Duffy (£4.6m)

Assists: Mark Noble (£4.8m), Michail Antonio (£6.8m) | Pascal Groß (£6.7m)

Marko Arnautovic (£6.9m) announced his return to the Fantasy Premier League picture by scoring a brace in West Ham’s 2-2 draw with Brighton on Wednesday. After coming back from a hamstring injury to make his first start since Gameweek 15 at Burnley, the Austrian forward had a much bigger impact against the Seagulls. No player had more efforts on goal than Arnautovic, nor did anyone record more shots on target either. That looks like an almost immediate return to the role he was playing for West Ham before missing four Premier League matches and suggests he could be once again the main Fantasy asset to own from their ranks. By contrast, the popular Felipe Anderson (£7.4m), owned by 20% now, had just one shot in the box, played only one key pass, and now has three blanks in his last four matches.

For the second match in a row, West Ham looked disjointed going forward, frustrating for them after a streak of wins earlier in December. This time it appears that their attempts to play Arnautovic in a front pairing with Andy Carroll (£5.4m) largely unsuccessful. It was the former Liverpool man’s first start in exactly a year so, not surprisingly, he looked rusty and failed to link-up very well with Arnautovic. Ultimately, he was substituted at half-time, although his withdrawal may have had something to do with the facial injury sustained when Lewis Dunk (£4.5m) caught him with an elbow.

“Yes, he did [have stitches] on his eyebrow, yes.” – Manuel Pellegrini

Lucas Perez (£6.2m) was Carroll’s replacement and, given his versatility, was able to drop a bit deeper and support Arnautovic, now the lone striker, from midfield. That and the introduction of Mark Noble (£4.8m) and Michail Antonio (£6.8m) later in the second half saw West Ham play the ball around more comfortably. Those changes were what led to the goals, suggesting that ultimately what cost the Hammers such consistent attacking fluidity over the Christmas period was the need to chop and change personnel from each game to the next. However, Robert Snodgrass (£5.4m) has been a consistent starter over the festive fixtures but has now gone four consecutive matches without an attacking return.

While there was the encouragement for West Ham of their fight-back, the usual defensive problems persisted prior to it. They found themselves 2-0 down inside the opening 13 minutes of the second half. Both of them came from set pieces, to ensure that Lukasz Fabianski (£4.7m) still waits for his fourth clean sheet of the campaign. Just four saves from the goalkeeper meant nothing more than two points for him, registering no more than that in just one of West Ham’s last four matches. Admittedly, the Hammers are still missing Fabian Balbuena (£4.3m) after losing him to injury in Gameweek 18. Accordingly, it was the third start for Angelo Ogbonna (£4.2m) against Brighton.

“I’m absolutely frustrated. The most important way that Brighton scores is from set pieces, they had seven goals from corners. And we allowed them to score two goals this way. I don’t remember any other chances for them, but we didn’t create in the first 45 minutes.” – Manuel Pellegrini

The most important talking point for Brighton was further confirmation that David Button (£4.0m) is the starting goalkeeper while Mathew Ryan (£4.4m) is away at the Asian Cup with Australia. After claiming nine points against Everton it was a less impressive FPL score at the London Stadium but the fact that he has now started two in a row can assuage any doubts over his position in the side. The fact that Chris Hughton has now confirmed Luke Steele (£4.0m) will start against Bournemouth in the FA Cup, further solidifies Button’s Fantasy appeal. However, it may be some time before any potential punters opt to start him again with Liverpool (home) and Manchester United (away) the next two matches for Brighton. A trip to Fulham in Gameweek 24 could be one worth considering for Button, provided Ryan is not back by then.

Jurgen Locadia (£5.3m) continues his run of games in the side operating from the left flank of midfield. He has started each of the last four matches there for Brighton, pushing Solly March (£5.0m) to the right against West Ham. It was the first outing since Gameweek 18 without an attacking return for Locadia, but he does appear quite established in the side now at the very least, interesting for anyone searching for value strikers.

Left-back Bernardo (£4.2m) was forced off the pitch with a hamstring problem in the second half, replaced by Gaëtan Bong (£4.4m).

“I don’t know if it was when I stretched my leg to block the cross or if it was during the sprint. I hoped the ball had gone out of play. I tried my best but it was not enough.” – Bernardo

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup action, Hughton has explained the injury is not quite as serious as first feared.

“He’s certainly better this morning. We are hoping it’s more fatigue, just felt his hamstring.” – Chris Hughton

West Ham United XI (4-4-2): Fabianski; Cresswell, Ogbonna, Diop, Zabaleta; Anderson, Rice, Obiang (Noble 63′), Snodgrass (Antonio 63′); Arnautovic, Carroll (Pérez 45′).

Brighton & Hove Albion XI (4-5-1): Button; Bernardo (Bong 73′), Dunk, Duffy, Montoya; Locadia, Pröpper, Stephens, Groß, March; Murray (Andone 82′).

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1,651 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Benditlike
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    How would you get Salah with this team?

    Fab, Hamer
    Alonso, Doherty, Digne, Kolasinac, AWB
    Hazard, Felipe.A, Richarlison, Pereyra, Camarasa
    Kane, Auba, Rashford

    2FT, 0.8 ITB

    My thinking is either:
    A) Hazard, Alonso > Salah, TAA
    B) Auba, Pereyra, Alonso > Jimenez, Salah, TAA (-4)
    C) Auba, Pereyra > Kamara, Salah

    What looks best? Any other suggestions?

    1. BobbyDoesNotLook
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 24 days ago

      BCA

    2. Royal5
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Why so desperate for Salah? Your team looks solid.

      1. Benditlike
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        Well, since getting rid on WC for GW 16 not owning him has hurt my rank pretty bad. I will also probably captain him 4 out of the next 5 gameweeks.

        1. Royal5
          • 7 Years
          5 months, 24 days ago

          If I had to pick I'd go C. Alonso and Hazard got Newcastle at SB. Hazard very unlucky to blank in the previous two. I do think Auba will score against West Ham though. Could be worth it if you captain Salah I guess.

    3. Emp
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      taking abamayang out for a hit is just crazy I would cap him

    4. Kopkloppers
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Good side IMO. Nobody is essential and an algorithm has yet to be invented for the future.
      Go without and your season will be more interesting than others.

    5. Come on you Kante
        5 months, 23 days ago

        I would stick good team and differentials vs others imo

    6. BobbyDoesNotLook
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 24 days ago

      I am getting 2nd Pool defender in. 2FT. Which one?

      a) Holebas -> Lovren (can afford Lovren with 1FT)
      b) Holebas, Ings -> TAA, Kamara (can't afford TAA with 1FT)

      TAA is my first choice but do not have exact money. Any opinions on how Ings and Kamara look currently since Ings is having minor injury problems (and possibly other rotation) and Kamara stealing penalties and also rotated?

      Fan Speroni
      Robertson Doherty Digne Holebas Awb
      Salah Hazard Pogba Richarlison Fraser
      Kane Jimenez Ings

      1. Kopkloppers
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        The question is when Gomez and Matip back.
        You could end up with Loren for 2 weeks.

    7. dashdriver
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Felipe A & Aubameyang > Mané & Firmino or Salah & 7.0 fwd (have Rashford) for a hit?

      1. Garth Marenghi
        • 3 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        B

      2. ROLLING THE DICE
        • 3 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        B

      3. Emp
        • 7 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        no ways

      4. Kopkloppers
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        Why any?

    8. ROLLING THE DICE
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Morning,
      Please rate my WC team below:

      Etheridge (Button)
      Robbo TAA Doherty (AWB) (Bednarek)
      Salah Pogba Rich Fraser (Billing)
      Kane Aguero Jimenez

      Thanks,
      John

      1. Royal5
        • 7 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        Bertrand is back soon. Bednarek likely to return to the bench. Midfield a bit weak, rest looks pretty good.

        1. Srv210
          • 1 Year
          5 months, 24 days ago

          Bertrand replaces Targett I think

        2. ROLLING THE DICE
          • 3 Years
          5 months, 24 days ago

          I thought Bednarek is playing as one of the 3 CB's?

          1. Srv210
            • 1 Year
            5 months, 24 days ago

            Yes he plays as a CB, Bertrand replaces Targett as LB imo

            1. Royal5
              • 7 Years
              5 months, 23 days ago

              You could be right!

      2. Emp
        • 7 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        I don't think Robertson is worth the money over lovren/ Gomez but that's just me. I wouldn't have two big strikers with rashford and arnie around both offering premium returns ( albeit rashford needs to be monitored) for a cutthroat price. Also be aware that its quite likely either Chelsea or spurs will have a dgw25 depending on who wins their cup semifinal midweek.

        1. ROLLING THE DICE
          • 3 Years
          5 months, 24 days ago

          Thanks for the feedback. Improving midfield would be downgrading Kane/Aguero for Hazard. I've had him throughout December and wouldn't want to captain where as Salah/Kane/Aguero offer better captain options IMO.

        2. Kopkloppers
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          5 months, 24 days ago

          gametime?

      3. Kopkloppers
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        6 6
        8 6 7 7 3
        9 7 6 7
        8 7 7

        94 about average. 3 forwards different from usual

        1. ROLLING THE DICE
          • 3 Years
          5 months, 24 days ago

          Cheers

    9. Atimis
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Can't decide which one is best

      A)Keep FT
      B)Son to Salah, Martial to Sane/Eriksen next week
      C)Martial to Sane, Son to Salah next week

      Either way will have to downgrade Alonso next week to afford further moves

      1. FredrikLD
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        B

      2. ROLLING THE DICE
        • 3 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        C

      3. Srv210
        • 1 Year
        5 months, 24 days ago

        C, Brighton away is not an easy fixture

    10. villian-ty
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Any suggestions with my team. Have 2 FT

      Ryan Button
      Robertson Digne Docherty AWB Bennett
      Salah Son Anderson Kennedy Pogba
      Kane Wilson Mitro

    11. andre_c
        5 months, 23 days ago

        How would you fit salah in this team?

        Fab Hamer
        Luiz Digne Doherty AWB Schindler
        Hazard Son Sane Pogba Rich
        Kane Wilson Jimmy

        1FT 0.3ITB
        Thanks

      • AYLD28
        • 3 Years
        5 months, 23 days ago

        Would you wildcard this team:

        Currently -8

        Fabianski
        Digne TAA Doherty Shaw AWB
        Salah Sterling Hazard Pererya Pogba
        Aubam Jimenez Kamara

      • smix
        • 3 Years
        5 months, 23 days ago

        A. Rashford & Fraser
        B. Arnie & Richarlison

        The better option ?