Scout Notes

No blank or double FPL Gameweeks for Liverpool after Saints’ cup exit

Southampton bowed out of the FA Cup on Wednesday evening after losing their third-round replay to Derby County on penalties.

From a Fantasy perspective, the result was significant in that it confirmed that Liverpool – as they did in 2017/18 – will avoid a blank or double Gameweek in the season run-in (barring any future weather-related postponements, we hasten to add).

In Gameweeks 27, 31 and 33 (the set of fixtures that clash with the EFL Cup/FA Cup), Liverpool will face Manchester United, Fulham and Southampton away from home.

Liverpool’s trip to Craven Cottage is the solitary fixture that has so far been confirmed as definitely happening in Gameweek 31, while Huddersfield Town v Leicester City and Southampton v Liverpool are the only two Gameweek 33 matches that we can say for certain, at this stage, will avoid a clash with the FA Cup semi-finals.

As if they weren’t already popular Fantasy assets before, the likes of Mohamed Salah (£13.4m), Virgil van Dijk (£6.4m) and Andrew Robertson (£6.7m) will surely only become more in-demand as we navigate the blank Gameweeks in the months ahead.

Southampton 2-2 Derby County (3-5 penalties)

  • Goals: Stuart Armstrong (£5.1m), Nathan Redmond (£5.2m)
  • Assists: Shane Long (£4.7m), Jack Stephens (£4.2m)

As well as having implications for the Gameweeks ahead, Southampton’s FA Cup third-round replay defeat to Derby last night may have ramifications for their very next Premier League fixture – and owners of Everton assets.

The Toffees head to the south coast to face Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side on Saturday afternoon, less than 72 hours after the Saints were taken to extra time and penalties by their Championship opposition.

Reflecting on his team’s cup exit, Hasenhuttl said:

What hurts more is that we played 120 minutes on a Wednesday evening and we have to bring a good performance two days’ later against Everton at home.

That will be a challenge to get the players fresh again and for them to recover well. We will have to find fresh players to put in.

The Austrian head coach made only five changes to his starting XI from the side that defeated Leicester City in Gameweek 22, with Alex McCarthy (£4.4m), Jan Bednarek (£3.9m), Matt Targett (£4.2m), Nathan Redmond (£5.2m) and the suspended Yan Valery (£4.0m) dropping out.

Redmond, however, was introduced at half-time and played 75 minutes as Derby forced extra time, while Shane Long (£4.7m) and Stuart Armstrong (£5.1m) were handed 73 and 90-minute run-outs respectively.

Jack Stephens (£4.2m), Jannik Vestergaard (£4.6m), Oriel Romeu (£4.3m) and James Ward-Prowse (£5.0m)were the four first-teamers who started against the Foxes who then played a full two hours on Wednesday evening.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (£4.4m), along with Charlie Austin (£5.5m) and Valery, will return from suspension in Gameweek 23 and it could be that Romeu or Ward-Prowse are handed a breather against Everton given what Hasenhuttl said above about fielding “fresh players”.

Fantasy managers who own the likes of Richarlison (£6.9m), Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.3m) and Lucas Digne (£5.3m)would certainly have been content to see Southampton toiling for 120 minutes just days before their assets visit St. Mary’s.

Hasenhuttl didn’t seem overly downbeat to bow out of the FA Cup, highlighting the extra preparation time it will give his side ahead of future Premier League encounters:

I’m not that frustrated, it’s a pity we gave it [the lead] away two times, but I know that it will be tough until the end of the season.

I think it can be an option that if we aren’t in the FA Cup anymore, then we will prepare for the important games in the league.

You will see this if we prepare in the week with a lot of training sessions, then we will have more chance to be in shape and defend against a good team.

You always hear from managers saying that if they step out of the FA Cup that they can focus on the league. In our situation, it’s very important.

Hasenhuttl can’t be accused of deliberately orchestrating an early exit, of course, and his decision to throw on the influential Redmond at the break underscored his intent to win the tie.

The Saints had lined up in a now-familiar 3-4-2-1 at kick-off, with Kayne Ramsay (£4.0m) joining Vestergaard and Stephens in a back three, and Cedric Soares (£4.2m) and Tyreke Johnson (£4.5m) lining up as wing-backs.

However, Southampton had only registered two shots by half-time – a Stephens header from a corner and a Long sitter that Derby goalkeeper Kelle Roos kept out – and Hasenhuttl shook things up by introducing Redmond for the booked Johnson and switching to a 4-2-3-1.

Redmond was deployed first on the flank and then centrally in a “number ten” role when Hasenhuttl withdrew Armstrong and had a significant impact on the game – superbly chipping the Saints into a 2-0 lead, wasting a glorious opportunity in extra time and then missing the decisive penalty in the shoot-out.

The former Norwich City winger almost carved out a tap-in for Mohamed Elyounoussi (£6.1m) and went on to register the joint-highest number of attempts on goal in the match.

Hasenhuttl said of Redmond’s display:

I was very upset about the chance he missed in overtime because he made the wrong decision. If he chipped it in like he did with the first goal, then it would have been perfect and maybe the winning goal from us.

He showed today that he is a key player for us. When he stepped in the game in the second half, we were the better team. He helps us a lot by creating chances.

The guy who makes the turnaround after the break is the guy who misses the penalty, but that’s football.

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1,338 Comments Post a Comment
  1. AuFeld
    • 3 Years
    7 months, 4 days ago

    GTG? Swap Holebas for Barnes?

    Schmeichel
    Pereira - Doherty - Holebas - Digne
    (c) Salah - Hazard - (vc) Pogba - Rich - Fraser
    Auba

    Guaita - Barnes - Jim - AWB

    1. Ajax Hamsterdam
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 4 days ago

      For Jimenez ?

      1. AuFeld
        • 3 Years
        7 months, 4 days ago

        Poor form imo. Twelve goal attempts and only three on target over the last four. Seems like Jim is grasping for straws.

    2. bautasten
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 months, 4 days ago

      I prefer to play the attackers. Would play both Barnes and Jim

  2. Ajax Hamsterdam
    • 5 Years
    7 months, 4 days ago

    If Chelsea goes to the lc final and gw25 is a double one Chelsea have hud and Brighton at home it's stuff made of dreams !

    1. RustyBz
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 4 days ago

      can stock up on Hazard and Hazard

      1. Zenith UK
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        7 months, 4 days ago

        Haz & Hig?

    2. Vobinho In Wengerland
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 4 days ago

      Not with the way Chelsea have been playing! Also so much uncertainty about who will start, especially given new signings that could come in.

  3. mojoindojo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    7 months, 4 days ago

    How's it looking? Took -8 hit.

    Foster
    Robertson Digne Luiz
    Salah Pogba Rich Nasri
    Rash Auba Kun

    Rui Kante Bednarek AWB

  4. Wolves Ay We
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    7 months, 4 days ago

    Because I''m so black and blue after all the hits I've taken to replace injured players, people in the office keep asking me if I'm alright. 😀

  5. Ian Davis
    • 9 Years
    7 months, 4 days ago

    Which wildcard team looks the best?:

    A)

    Patricio / Button
    Digne / Shaw / VVD / AWB / Bednarek
    Salah / Pogba / Richarlison / Sané / Puncheon
    Rashford / Aubameyang / Firmino

    B)

    Fabianski / Button
    Digne / Robertson / Shaw / AWB / Bednarek
    Salah / Pogba / Alli / Sané / Camarasa
    Rashford / Aubameyang / Jiménez

    1. bautasten
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 months, 4 days ago

      B for me!

  6. bautasten
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    7 months, 4 days ago

    Would you do Lingard -> Sane for a -4? (Already on -4 after Kane-exit, so it brings the total to -8).

  7. Pia06rc
    • 1 Year
    7 months, 4 days ago

    Who scores more pts this week, Sané or Salah?

  8. Hermanos FC
    • 1 Year
    7 months, 4 days ago

    My Current Team:
    Patricio
    Robertson Alonso Digne
    Hazard Sane Richarlison Pereyra
    Rashford Kane Jimenez

    Fabianski McNeil WB Cedric

    So I have 2FTs and 1.9m in the bank.
    I was thinking of
    A) Kane To Auba And Hazard To Salah
    B) Kane To Aguero And Hazard To Salah
    Or something else you suggest?

  9. Michelle Davin
    • 2 Years
    7 months, 4 days ago

    Hazard to sane for min 4?

  10. TopwithKlopp
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    7 months, 19 mins ago

    My friend Jesus (10.1 mill) has done nothing for me,of late.
    I also have Martial (7.3) who I want to ditch.

    Who shall I bring in for them with an additional 2,5 mill in the bank?

    Will take a hit for - 4 or maybe just swap Martial now and wait one week With Martial.

    Thinking Pogba and ............?

    1. TopwithKlopp
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 months, 18 mins ago

      Correction: Swap Jesus now and Martial later