Scout Notes

The latest on the Chelsea injury situation as Hazard gets an extended run-out

Our summary of the weekend’s FA Cup matches continues with a closer look at three ties contested on Saturday afternoon.

As usual we’ll be rounding up the main Fantasy talking points, manager quotes and injury updates concerning the Premier League sides involved.

Chelsea 2-0 Nottingham Forest

Eden Hazard (£11.1m) was handed more minutes than perhaps anticipated in this FA Cup third round victory for Chelsea, with the Belgian introduced as a 42nd-minute substitute after Ruben Loftus-Cheek (£5.2m) suffered a recurrence of his back injury.

It was a relatively quiet afternoon for Hazard, who had only one (blocked) attempt on goal but who nevertheless teed up another five chances for his team-mates in the second half.

The Belgium international also played the last 15 minutes of this match as a central striker, though understandably appeared to be conserving his energy for more important matches ahead.

Assistant coach Carlo Cudicini gave an update on Loftus-Cheek, who had been deployed on the right wing for this tie, after full-time:

We are very sorry for the kid to be honest. His impact on the games he played so far has been very good. Even today I feel he was contributing very much so it’s a pity.

It’s something that is affecting him and something we need to look at resolving. Obviously, it’s been going on for a while and now he will probably have to stop for a bit to try to resolve it.

The star of the show in west London was Callum Hudson-Odoi (£4.2m), who has been recently linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge.

Hudson-Odoi began brightly on the left flank before being switched to the opposite wing on Hazard’s introduction, delivering two fantastic crosses for Alvaro Morata (£8.4m) to convert after the interval.

Cudicini said of the youngster:

He did very well, it was a very good performance, as we say in Monaco, a “360 performance”. Two assists and he worked very hard defensively. Even when we had a few problems in midfield with Ampadu, he was running for two.

His commitment was great and you want him to have performances like that so he can put some doubts in Maurizio’s mind and be in contention for a place.

It was another rollercoaster afternoon for Morata, who spurned an excellent headed opportunity in the first half and who missed an absolute sitter when flagged offside just after the break.

The Spanish striker was at least back on the scoresheet for the first time since November with two tidy finishes (one a header) from pinpoint Hudson-Odoi deliveries.

Cudicini said of the much-maligned forward:

I think Alvaro played an important part in today’s performance, he was very good in terms of working for the team, offensively but mainly defensively.

It was very important for him to score two goals, which can only be good for his confidence. We are all pleased with his performance but we were even when he didn’t score in previous games so hopefully, it will be good for his morale that he scored, and hopefully he will be more free in his mind.

Gianfranco Zola mentioned in the press conference before the match that for a striker it’s difficult when you go through a spell when you don’t score many goals, so his body language was a bit down, but in training he’s working very hard and we all knew that sooner or later he would be able to turn the corner and start scoring goals. Thankfully he did it today, it was very important because we really care about this competition and we want to do well.

He’s a great striker, he has great qualities and now his confidence is back I’m sure he will keep on scoring goals for us.

Willian (£7.2m), Olivier Giroud (£7.7m) and Pedro (£6.3m) missed out on this match through injury, with Maurizio Sarri making eight changes to his side following the 0-0 draw with Southampton in midweek: only Morata, Ross Barkley (£5.3m) and David Luiz (£5.9m) keeping their places.

Marcos Alonso (£6.8m) was one of the eight players handed a breather, with Emerson Palmieri (£5.2m) producing an Alonso-esque performance in his stead: decent going forward, suspect at the back.

Cesc Fabregas (£6.2m) missed a first-half penalty in what could have very well been his farewell appearance in a Chelsea shirt, with the former Barcelona midfielder seemingly set for a move to Monaco.

Fabregas was substituted with a knock late on, meanwhile.

Chelsea XI (4-3-3): Caballero; Zappacosta, Christensen, Luiz, Emerson; Ampadu, Fabregas (Kante 85′), Barkley; Loftus-Cheek (Hazard 42′), Morata (Azpilicueta 75′), Hudson-Odoi.

Everton 2-1 Lincoln City

Richarlison (£6.9m) had an eventful ten-minute cameo as Everton edged past Lincoln City: the Brazilian curled a shot just wide, cleared a late Imps effort off the line and caught an elbow to his face after being introduced as an 80th-minute substitute for Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.3m).

It was a fairly unremarkable performance from the Icelandic midfielder, who was one of six Everton players to keep their place in Marco Silva’s starting XI following the New Year’s Day defeat to Leicester City.

Sigurdsson, who lined up in the hole in a 4-2-3-1, stung the hands of visiting goalkeeper Josh Vickers with one half-volley in the second half but didn’t particularly impress against League Two opposition.

Much of Everton’s good work came down the left flank, with Leighton Baines (£5.0m) and Bernard (£5.9m) being the Toffees’ two stand-out players.

Baines crossed for the fit-again Ademola Lookman (£5.1m) to nod the hosts in front before Bernard chipped in Everton’s second following neat build-up play from Sigurdsson and central striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£5.3m).

Calvert-Lewin, who missed a decent chance to extend Everton’s lead, was one of two players hooked at half-time, with Silva also sacrificing Tom Davies (£5.1m) for Cenk Tosun (£6.5m) and Andre Gomes (£5.4m).

Silva said:

In that moment, I felt we needed a player like Andre.

We completely controlled the game with the ball and were creating problems for them but when they score we started to have some doubts in our build-up and we needed Andre in that moment.

About the situation with Dominic, it was the moment for us to give Cenk the chance to show his quality.

Baines’ impressive performance at left-back may have slightly ruffled owners of Lucas Digne (£5.2m), who was handed a rest for this encounter, though consideration of course has to be given to the calibre of the Toffees’ opposition on Saturday afternoon.

It was another match without a clean sheet for Everton’s backline, with Lincoln defender Michael Bostwick halving the deficit just before the half-hour following a set-piece situation.

Lookman also caught the eye on the right flank and Silva was asked about the youngster’s prospects of starting in Gameweek 22. The Everton boss said:

You’ll have to wait and see next Sunday. He is important for us and will be more important for the future. I have no doubts about him, now he is ready to play if I take the decision.

Everton XI (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Kenny, Mina, Zouma, Baines; Davies (Gomes 45′), Gueye; Lookman, Sigurdsson (Richarlison 80′), Bernard; Calvert-Lewin (Tosun 45′).

Derby County 2-2 Southampton

Southampton will have to contest a third-round replay in between Gameweeks 22 and 23 (games against Leicester City and Everton respectively) after spurning a two-goal lead at Pride Park on Saturday.

Nathan Redmond (£5.2m), who has two goals and as many assists to his name in his last five Premier League appearances, put the Saints 2-0 up with a brace of strikes, his second goal a fantastic, dipping effort from distance that left home goalkeeper Kelle Roos flatfooted.

Ralph Hasenhuttl made six changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Chelsea in Gameweek 21 and deployed a 4-2-2-2 formation – his favoured system during his tenure at RB Leipzig – for the first time.

Redmond and Mohamed Elyounoussi (£6.1m) – who wasted a great chance to win the game – were the two most advanced midfielders in this set-up, with Charlie Austin (£5.5m) and Shane Long (£4.7m) leading the line for the visitors.

Angus Gunn (£4.3m) once again lined up in goal, while Matt Targett (£4.2m) returned at left-back after his rest at Stamford Bridge.

Hasenhuttl was frustrated with the result and the subsequent replay that his new charges will now have to contest:

That’s a result we didn’t want to have. To play another game is not necessary today I think because for 60 minutes we were the better team and I felt the tactics were perfect.

After the break, the opponent tried long balls to get more chances but we didn’t give any away until the 60th minute. At 2-0, I think we were feeling too comfortable which is always dangerous in a cup match because the opponents will never give up. Then at 2-1, I felt we needed to push the tempo high again but we did it too late and you can see what happens.

In the last ten minutes, both teams tried to win the game and it was open with chances for both teams but we made it difficult for ourselves. If you start getting sloppy then it’s difficult to win, also against a Championship team. That’s what we have to learn.

We showed we are prepared with a new shape which is a positive thing to play the 4-2-2-2 for the first time but over 90 minutes we were not concentrated or sharp enough to take the win.

Danny Ings (£5.6m) and Stuart Armstrong (£5.1m) missed out on the draw, with Hasenhuttl providing an update on the injured pair:

We have a few injury problems with our forwards.

Danny Ings is injured for two weeks and that’s the reason he couldn’t play and Stuie Armstrong I gave a rest to and he couldn’t play as he has problem with his ankle also.

Austin and Long look to be Hasenhuttl’s go-to pair in the short-term, with Manolo Gabbiadini (£5.6m) seemingly set for a move away from St. Mary’s.

The Southampton boss said:

A few teams are interested in Manolo and we have a look and if there’s a result we tell you. Sure (there have been offers). We have to decide and he has to decide where he wants to go.

That Austin and Long were toothless in the Southampton attack underscored how disappointing the injury to Ings is, with the south coast club top of our Season Ticker for the next five Gameweeks and not offering too many other stand-out candidates for Fantasy investment.

Redmond and – if fit – Armstrong could perhaps prove to be savvy budget midfield options, however.

Southampton XI (4-2-2-2): Gunn; Cedric, Stephens, Vestergaard, Targett; Ward-Prowse, Slattery; Elyounoussi (Barnes 71′), Redmond; Long, Austin (Johnson 79).

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483 Comments Post a Comment
  1. tm245
    • 8 Years
    9 months, 16 days ago

    Best thing about these rounds in January is the potential for upsets -- seeing how many league places separate the two sides makes it alot more interesting than some of the PL dreck we get stuck watching on a cold MNF.

    1. Ginkapo FPL
      • 8 Years
      9 months, 16 days ago

      And giving non league talent a platform. Theres quality football outside the premier league.

      1. tm245
        • 8 Years
        9 months, 16 days ago

        Proximity to the stands/fans in some of the smaller venues is also great for that platform.

  2. tm245
    • 8 Years
    9 months, 16 days ago

    Newport close to a second.

    • 1 Year
    9 months, 16 days ago

    What should I do :
    A) Mitrovic-Brooks-Doherty
    B) Wilson-Pereyra-Jonny

    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    9 months, 16 days ago

    Help please
    Could do with a mini Wcard

    2 frees 0.3 itb

    Wan Biz David Luiz Robertson Digne
    Son Salah Martial
    Kane Wilson Auba(c)

    Hamer Balbuena Torreira Gunnarsson