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Scout Notes

Hazard’s latest display in the false nine role furthers FPL concerns

Our write-ups of the weekend’s matches continue with a look at events at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Chelsea defeated a dogged Newcastle United side in yet another underwhelming match for owners of two of the Blues’ more popular Fantasy assets, though there was joy for the differential alternatives to this premium pair.

As ever, we’ll cover the main Fantasy talking points, key manager quotes and headline injury updates in the Scout Notes below.

Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle United

  • Goals: Pedro (£6.3m), Willian (£7.2m) | Ciaran Clark (£4.5m)
  • Assists: David Luiz (£5.9m), Eden Hazard (£11.1m) | Matt Ritchie (£5.8m)

Another Gameweek and another Chelsea display that left owners of Marcos Alonso (£6.7m) and Eden Hazard with a lot of pondering to do.

Our reviews of the Blues’ performances in recent weeks have had a similar refrain, as Maurizio Sarri’s side have struggled to break down opponents who have sought to frustrate their attacking instincts (see Crystal Palace, Southampton and even Spurs in the Carabao Cup).

The visit of Newcastle United always threatened to be a tricky prospect on that front, given what happened between the two teams in Gameweek 3 and Rafael Benitez’s knack of organising his very limited Magpies side into a difficult-to-penetrate outfit.

An eighth-minute goal from Pedro (£6.3m) seemed to be exactly what Chelsea and owners of their FPL assets needed but any hopes that the Blues would cut loose and subsequently steamroller their visitors were dashed as Sarri’s troops produced yet another disjointed offensive display: it is now 12 Premier League matches since the Blues scored more than two goals in a game.

Sarri acknowledged his side’s struggles after full-time:

I’m really very happy with the result. I was happy with the performance at Tottenham, today we started well for ten minutes but after the goal, we thought it was easy and it wasn’t. We slept for 25 minutes and we were in trouble.

It was better in the second half but we need to improve in the mental reaction because after the first goal something happened. We stopped playing. It was very important to get three points and to score, and for now, that’s enough.

It’s very difficult to understand. In the last five matches, it was difficult to score. Today, we did it after eight or nine minutes so I think the team felt it was easy. We stopped playing and then, of course, we had problems. We were not able to react in the right way to the difficulties but today there were no difficulties as we scored after nine minutes.

For the first time, at Watford, we reacted well to their goal in the last minutes of the first half. We reacted very well at Tottenham. Today we only had to manage a positive situation, not a difficulty. I think we need to improve our mentality.

There was no Alvaro Morata (£8.4m) to blight Hazard in west London on Saturday evening but the Belgian was arguably the least effective of Chelsea’s front three, registering only one attempt on goal – which was blocked – and a single key pass in his 87-minute showing.

Hazard was deployed as a false nine with Pedro and Willian (£7.2m) either side of him but despite the Magpies’ spine looking particularly weak – three of their senior central midfielders being injured or unavailable – the Belgium international was unable to wreak the kind of havoc he has often caused against Newcastle down the years.

Hazard did give the United backline some problems whenever he did receive possession and his brilliant turn and scamper 40 yards out led to an assist for Willian’s curling winner on 56 minutes.

Ultimately, though, there wasn’t enough of Hazard on the ball. The Belgian had the fewest touches of any Chelsea outfield player in the opening 45 minutes and although he was more involved after the interval, his touch count was the lowest it has been at Stamford Bridge this season – with the exception of the counter-attacking win over Manchester City in December.

Sarri was positive about Hazard’s second-half display, though, and hinted that the set-up will continue, highlighting the defensive stability it brings:

Not in the first half but in the second half my feeling was that he enjoyed it. I wanted to see the solution with the three small players and in this moment it is a very good solution because we are not less dangerous in the offensive phase and in the defensive phase, we are more balanced.

In the last six matches, we have conceded only three goals, and one was a penalty, so in the moment in the defensive phase we are doing very well and one of the reasons, in my opinion, is that Eden is playing in that position.

For his characteristics, of course, he goes to the direction of the ball. We need to learn to attack spaces or to attack the box with other players. It was better on Saturday with the wingers in attacking spaces more than the box. We scored inside ten minutes by attacking the spaces behind the line with Pedro, and I remember very well one time at the beginning of the second half the same situation with Willian.

So it is better now, we need to improve in attacking the box when the ball is out of the box on the lateral side. It is impossible for Eden to stay in the box.

Sarri mentioned there about other players attacking the vacant spaces and Pedro and Willian certainly seemed to be the beneficiaries of the vacuums that Hazard was creating when dropping deep and searching for the ball.

The pair racked up seven shots between them and both got on the scoresheet, with Willian spurning two excellent one-on-one situations with Martin Dubravka and Pedro forcing the Slovakian into three stops – one a superb save from the Spaniard as he broke free in the Newcastle box just after half-time.

Chelsea and Hazard’s rhythm wasn’t helped by another poor performance by Jorginho (£4.7m), the midfield metronome who Sarri brought to Stamford Bridge in the summer with the intention of building a team around.

Sarri continues to overlook the impressive N’Golo Kante (£5.0m) for that “regista” role and hinted that the departure of Cesc Fabregas would force him into the transfer market, though mentioned that Ethan Ampadu (£4.4m) is a potential long-term option in that position:

After 20 minutes he [Jorginho] lost a lot of balls and it is unusual, so I think he was in trouble. Maybe he was tired, I don’t know, but if Fabregas was on the bench I think in the second half Fabregas would have been on the pitch instead of Jorginho

The player who plays in that position usually touches about 120 to 130 balls [a match] and so I think we need a specialist there.

The bench is not really very short. It is left short for only one position at the moment because Hudson-Odoi is improving, Hudson-Odoi in one or two months will be at the same level as the other players. I hope the same for Ampadu. Of course, playing as a central midfielder in our team is not easy, we need to try and try and try in training.

As for Alonso, this was more of the same: the third-highest number of touches in the final third among all players on show at Stamford Bridge and plenty of gallops into the Newcastle half but ultimately lacking in any serious threat going forward.

It’s now 12 Premier League matches since Alonso delivered an attacking return and while Hazard’s owners may consider the upcoming trips to Arsenal and Bournemouth something of a boon given the spaces likely to be gifted by those two unconvincing defences, the prospects of Alonso compensating his lack of goals or assists with a clean sheet in Gameweeks 23 and 24 look slimmer than in recent weeks.

An away match at Manchester City in Gameweek 26 will also fuel doubt among Alonso’s existing owners.

The Spanish full-back has always been a streaky player, of course: in Gameweeks 23-33 last season he didn’t register a single attacking return and recorded only two clean sheets in that period.

Alonso’s underlying numbers were still competitive during that stretch of games in 2017/18 (racking up the joint-highest number of shots among FPL defenders) and in Gameweek 12-22 of this season, he indeed ranks joint-third for attempts on goal among players in his position.

The Spain international’s creativity has tailed off, however, and with David Luiz (£5.9m) outscoring him from Gameweek 4 of this season onwards, there is even a viable alternative option in the Chelsea defence for those still wanting representation from the Blues’ backline.

Luiz produced a sublime through-ball for Pedro to score his goal on Saturday and the Brazilian walked off with maximum bonus to bolster his assist points.

Newcastle caused the Chelsea occasional problems in attack, with Salomon Rondon‘s (£5.7m) presence a particular threat: the Venezuelan nodded a late chance wide and it was from his flick-on that Ayoze Perez (£6.1m) wasted an excellent opportunity in the first half.

Ciaran Clark (£4.5m) nodded in a Matt Ritchie (£5.8m) corner to restore parity in the 39th minute and this was another spirited performance from the Magpies, showing that they can at least limit the damage that Fantasy assets from the title-chasing clubs can inflict on any given day: this was their fifth 2-1 defeat to a “big six” side in 2018/19.

Benitez said of his side’s display:

We conceded a goal we could avoid but after that, we were fighting for every ball. These players care, you could see that.

We were working so hard against a good team, and we were doing well. It’s a pity that a player with quality made the difference at the end.

We finished the first half – the last 20 minutes – being the better side. That, for me, is clear. In the second half, they started moving the ball with more pace.

You could see a lot of positives with the performance but no points. We knew that they would keep the ball and we had to maximise what we did when we got the ball. We had some chances on the counter but our final pass wasn’t there.

We will have chances to get points against teams who will be closer to us. We have to be better than three teams and if we play like we did today we will do it.

Florian Lejeune (£4.4m) made his first league start of the season and performed admirably as part of the Newcastle back three, with Benitez highlighting his ability in possession:

He is giving us something on the ball, and he helps us to play the way we want to play sometimes from the back.

He can play short or he can play long, and I am happy with him coming back because he is another player, and he can give us more competition.

Sean Longstaff (£4.5m) made his full league debut in central midfield in the absence of Ki Sung-yueng (£4.7m), Jonjo Shelvey (£5.3m) and Mohamed Diame (£4.8m), meanwhile.

Chelsea XI (4-3-3): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic (Barkley 63′); Pedro (Hudson-Odoi 81′), Hazard (Giroud 87′), Willian.

Newcastle United XI (3-4-2-1): Dubravka; Lejeune, Lascelles, Clark; Yedlin (Manquillo 82′), Longstaff, Hayden, Ritchie; Atsu, Perez (Murphy 82′); Rondon.

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828 Comments Post a Comment
  1. frenchfries
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Thoughts on what to do this week? 2ft 0,5itb

    Fabianski
    Robertson Digne Doherty
    Salah Sane Pogba Richarlison Anderson
    Kane Rashford

    Boruc Bennett WB Kamara

    Was thinking Kane to Aguero if Kane is out.

    1. Teddy Brewski
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Yep sounds good. Or Kane to Firmino and Anderson/Rich to Sterling?

      That is all assuming Kane is out obviously

      1. frenchfries
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 6 days ago

        Would be pretty good, but is 0.7 off im afraid

        1. Teddy Brewski
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 6 days ago

          Just Kane to Aguero then. Anderson to Alli too if you still want Spurs player

          1. frenchfries
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 6 days ago

            Maybe next week, not very exited about Spurs if Kane and Son is gone

          2. frenchfries
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 6 days ago

            Thanks btw

  2. frenchfries
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Depends on rest of defense, but A i think

    1. frenchfries
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Reply fail..

  3. Nose for baps
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 6 days ago

    What is your bgw27 plan? Man City and Everton definitely out and either Spurs or Chelsea also. Add to that the fact that Liverpool plays against ManU. Most have probably 4-6 of their players. What is your approach and why?

    1. Nose for baps
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 6 days ago

      United are home vs Liverpool naturally.

    2. SADIO SANÉ
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      just have 2FTs going into it, try to bench Digne if there's no obvious alternative, swap City for Arsenal/Spurs players - and play the Liverpool/United players

      1. SADIO SANÉ
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 6 days ago

        I don't really mind playing players against each other, TAA v Rash & Pogba isn't a big deal - if they both fail he probably gets a clean sheet

        1. Nose for baps
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 6 days ago

          Not ideal imo. I have atm Alisson, TAA, Salah + Pog&Rash. Not extremely happy with that fixture myself. Martial, Lukaku or Lingard scoring only goal would mean many blanks. No solution found yet though 🙁

    3. Maneonthemap
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Try and have 2FT to go Digne+Rich>Pereira+Maddison, then bench whichever city/spurs or Chelsea players i still own (probably just Kane and a city attacker by then)...sure most people will have more than 4-6 players

    4. Karan14 - (RoboKlopp)
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Looking to add Maddison & Pereira that week for Digne & Richarlison. Will keep Pool/United players for sure as they have good fixtures to come after that week.

    5. Morph - Finding Nuno
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Depends whether the corresponding DGWs are before or after.

      Either way, I think that you'll need 15 decent starters around GW27 to cope.

      Definitely want triple Liverpool though, as they play in GW31 too.

    6. farmerfat
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Maybe free hit. But might hold it for 1 it the double gws

  4. ☠Cypress Chill☠
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Want to do Haz to Mo,but need money.How can i make it happen?
    a) VVD to Lindelöf (have Robbo)
    or
    b) Lingard/Rich to a 5.0 mid

    thanx

    1. Too Many Hits
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Ditch Lingard 100%

    2. Maneonthemap
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Lingard>Brooks if possible, if not probably Camarasa

    3. Amey
      2 months, 6 days ago

      B

  5. Team Cruel
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    If Kane is out for a month then I'm getting 0.2% owned Llorente (5.6).

    ful WAT NEW LEI bur

    Couldn't ask for better fixtures. In decent form too after his hat-trick last week.

    1. Nose for baps
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Will Poch play Llorente is another question.

      1. Team Cruel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 6 days ago

        With Son gone too he doesn't have much option.

        1. Teddy Brewski
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 6 days ago

          Depends entirely on Moura's fitness. If Moura is fit he starts over Llorente

      2. ☠Cypress Chill☠
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 6 days ago

        With Son off to Asian Cup,who else can Poch play as striker?

        1. g40steve
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 6 days ago

          Moura, Lelemon or play Alli as false 9

        2. Meinhoff
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 6 days ago

          Lucas Moura

    2. Pinball Wizard
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Is it looking that bad? Good luck to him.

    3. The UnderFKtaker
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Last season vs bournemouth kane was injured on the sunday n spurs released statement on the wednesday so we might know something in next couple of days. Also for info he has injured his ankle 3 times in the previous 2 seasons and missed 5, 4 and 3 prem games respectively. Each of those times he was seen to leave the stadium in a protective boot. Llorente could be great pick if kane is set to miss those 4 or 5 games.

      1. The UnderFKtaker
        2 months, 6 days ago

        *Was 3 weeks but only 1 prem game his latest ankle spell out my bad. So 5 prem games, 4 n then 1.

    4. Maddamotha
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Rumours he is out for a month?

  6. Too Many Hits
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Button - Fabianski

    Robertson - Alexander-Arnold - Holebas - Wan-Bissaka - Doherty

    Hazard - Pogba- Sterling - Richarlison - Billing

    Calvert-Lewin - Rashford - Kane

    How do I get Salah in

    0 FT (Thank you Asia Cup) £1.2 ITB

    1. Maneonthemap
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Don’t get him this week, not worth a -8

    2. Teddy Brewski
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Kane to Kamara and Billing to Salah looks the best way (assuming Kane is out). Not sure whether it's worth -8 though

      1. Too Many Hits
        2 months, 6 days ago

        If Kane is confirmed out I'd do Kane + Sterling > Aubamayang Salah

        Held too many injured players this season I'd take the hit

  7. Team17
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Who on earth to bench next week? Leaning towards a 4-5-1 but maybe not...

    Kepa (Hamer)

    TAA Roberson Digne Shaw (AWB)

    Salah Erikson Pogba Fraser Sane

    Aub (Jiminez, Long)

    1. Maneonthemap
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Can’t bench Jimenez surely...Digne is probably the most sensible but high ownership- might be safer to go with shaw

      1. Team17
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 6 days ago

        It's s tough one. I'm not that keen on benching Long either given that he's likely to have a run in the team as well. Shaw's at home to Brighton who are terrible away from home. Digne is the only choice really. But feels like a crime after hauling 12 points....

    2. Too Many Hits
      2 months, 6 days ago

      I would probably do the same, Maybe Jiminez over Fraser

      1. Team17
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 6 days ago

        Yeah, that's a good suggestion. Thanks!

  8. HAMMERTIME107
    2 months, 6 days ago

    A | Pogba and Milojevic
    or
    B | Sane and Redmond/Brooks??

    Already have Aguero and Rashford

  9. Pierce34
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Stuart Bingham playing like he has a bet on Ronnie to win 6-1.

  10. Karan14 - (RoboKlopp)
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Fab
    Alonso - TAA - Doherty
    Mo - Haz - Pog - Rich - Pereyra
    Kane - Jimenez

    (Button / Digne / Awb / Kamara)
    1ft & 0.0m

    If Kane is fit:

    A) Alonso ➡️ Robbo
    B) Alonso & Jimenez ➡️ Shaw & Rashford (-4)

    Appreciate your thoughts! 🙂

    1. Maneonthemap
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Definitely wouldn’t do B, Jimenez fixtures are far too good to lose for a hit. A looks good but not essential, maybe consider saving

    2. Amey
      2 months, 6 days ago

      A
      Just because I won't sell Jimmy now.
      Nice run of fixtures & playing Bournemouth away in Blank gw. So could be handy

    3. Teddy Brewski
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      A. Or Save and downgrade to Bednarek and upgrade Pereya next week?

    4. HIAFL (Howe to Train your D…
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 6 days ago

      y get shaw/robbo and bench digne.SEEms a waste

  11. New post
  12. Niho992
    2 months, 6 days ago

    That own goal in Burnley is essential. Anyone thinking to brig him?

  13. #FPLBhuna
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    how we all doing with hits vs OR this season?

    I'm currently 12.8k
    Hits: -64

    1. CRO KLOPP
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 6 days ago

      13 k -20
      170+ benched points

    2. Niho992
      2 months, 6 days ago

      24 K
      -8 on hits

    3. TheBrazilianRonaldo
      2 months, 6 days ago

      161 benched
      44 points hits
      Just inside top 5k

    4. avfc82
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      OR 599, 0 point hits.

      1. Too Many Hits
        2 months, 6 days ago

        112k
        32 points hits
        197 points benched

  14. Niho992
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Is Tammy Abraham coming to Wolves? He could hurt Jimmy place in starting 11

    1. avfc82
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Nope, I believe that move is dead in the water.

  15. Holteenderinthesky
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Hazard has killed me over the past few weeks I was top 6k. Now down to 38k. Took him out before Man city returning 9, 13, 2, 15. Brought him back and captained him every game. 3, 3, 5. He's now back out so expect a nice haul Vs Arsenal.

    I never have a front 8 but somehow have found myself with 8 decent attackers. And have no idea who to bench.

    Salah(CRY)
    Sane(hud)
    Pogba(BRI)
    Anderson(bou)
    Richarlson(sou)
    Auba(CHE)
    Rashford(BRI)
    Jimenez(LEI)

    Who do I bench ? I'm leaning towards Richarlson or Jimenez

    1. TheBrazilianRonaldo
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Auba versus chelsea. Controversial!

      1. Holteenderinthesky
        2 months, 6 days ago

        Don't think I could bring myself to bench Auba. Last time I benched a premium was Sane Vs Liverpool and that backfired. After scoring me nothing for weeks.

    2. HIAFL (Howe to Train your D…
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 6 days ago

      auba fwiw.Unreal foolishness mate and u have ditched hazard not learning from ur previous lessons

      1. Holteenderinthesky
        2 months, 6 days ago

        Had to get Salah back so Hazard>Salah was the move I Made.

    3. avfc82
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Tough one, I'd probably bench Jimenez.

    4. Too Many Hits
      2 months, 6 days ago

      Jiminez

    5. 11 smelly shirts
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 months, 6 days ago

      I would bench Richarlison. He didn't deliver since weeks. I have him too and consider selling, even vs teams you expect him to score he just brings you 2 or 3 points. I know about his thread, but would definitely bring Jimenez before him. Auba scores at home, so don't bench him

  16. Klein
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    Eriksen playing deeper a concern?
    Save ft or do something to him? Leaning towards save

  17. Kopkloppers
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 6 days ago

    40 points from 5 defenders this week.(25.3 mil)
    41 points from the rest (57.7 mil)
    Started to analyse value for money in various positions and Mid range Mids and forwards are worth about a 5 to 5.5 mil defender.