Tottenham’s attacking assets continue to offer the potential for differential material after their comeback win over Watford.
Meanwhile, Wolves took advantage of a woefully out of form West Ham side at Molineux.
These two matches are the focus of our latest Scout Notes article.
Spurs 2-1 Watford
Goals: Son Heung-min (£8.6m), Fernando Llorente (£5.6m) | Craig Cathcart (£4.5m)
Assists: Llorente, Danny Rose (£5.8m)
Son Heung-min (£8.6m) put himself back on the FPL radar in a big way on Wednesday night as his energetic display inspired a much-needed comeback win for Spurs. The South Korean had only returned to England a few days before Gameweek 24 after his country unexpectedly crashed out of the Asian Cup to Qatar in the quarter-finals. Mauricio Pochettino had revealed that Son would likely be involved against Watford but couldn’t confirm if that would be from the beginning or as a substitute – in the end, he was named in the starting XI.
Despite all the comments both from the player and the manager about him being fatigued, Son produced another exciting and energetic performance, recording more sprints than any of his colleagues during the match (17). One of these was key for his goal, allowing him to connect with a loose-ball from Fernando Llorente (£5.6m). The South Korean also had more shots on goal than any other player at Wembley, playing himself into the transfer plans of many ahead of the Double Gameweek 25 meeting with Newcastle. At the time of writing, Son is the most transferred-in player in the build-up to Saturday’s deadline.
“He showed energy and I am so happy with his performance, but more happy because he showed massive commitment with the team and that is so important to tell everyone, because the energy that he spent and the commitment that he showed I think is a very good point to reward him with a lot of praise or praise from the coaching staff of the club.” – Mauricio Pochettino
Pochettino admitted after the game that he had not intended to leave Son on the pitch for the full 90 minutes, explaining that the circumstances forced his hand as Spurs tried to get back into the game. There has been some concern that Son came out of the win with an injury ahead of Double Gameweek 25, but Pochettino has since clarified that the South Korean was merely fatigued, understandably. As for his chances of playing against Newcastle, it appears he will be involved one way or the other, depending on how well he recovers.
“For me, it was too much (Son getting 90 minutes). It wasn’t the plan to play with him for the full 90 minutes but how the result was, you know in that moment I talked with Jesus [Perez] and I said maybe we need to take a little bit of a risk to keep him playing. He finished very tired, with some cramp. We’re going to see if he can recover for the next game, if he’s ok maybe he’s going to be in the starting XI, if not on the bench. For sure if we need him, he’s going to help the team. That’s one circumstance more.” – Mauricio Pochettino
Starting up front alongside Son in a 3-5-2 system was striker Llorente, who had something of a mixed evening. He missed two gilt-edged sitters, directing one effort over the bar with his knee from close-range and heading another into the side-netting four yards from goal. His assist for Son’s goal came from his inability to bring the ball under control too.
However, it was the Spaniard who scored the winner, ensuring that the headlines would be about his late heroics rather than his earlier mistakes. The fact that Llorente had more efforts in the penalty box than any other player, also jointly topping the chance creation charts, suggest he will continue to have decent chances to score points if he can hold down his place. At £5.6m he offers the potential for excellent value too. While Harry Kane (£12.4m) and Dele Alli (£8.9m) are both out his chances of playing alongside Son in a front two still look good. Those aforementioned quotes about the South Korean still imply enough doubt over whether he can start, so Llorente currently looks in a decent position to lead the line against Newcastle too.
“Also so happy because Fernando worked so hard, working the last four games with Harry Kane out, he’s working so hard for the team, to help the team to win three points today is a massive thing. Always it builds the confidence in a striker and more when you are competing with Harry Kane, or behind Harry Kane, one of the best strikers in the world, always it’s difficult. Always you need time. But in all this time he’s been a fantastic professional and always was pushing and helping the team.” – Mauricio Pochettino
Meanwhile, it was a poor game for Christian Eriksen (£9.4m) on a statistical level. Typically a creative hub for Spurs, he did not play a single key pass in the match while all three of his shots were outside of the penalty box and off-target.
Drawing attention to himself was Danny Rose (£5.8m), starting for the second match in a row while Ben Davies (£5.6m) is out injured. He provided the assist for Llorente’s late winner, level with the Spaniard at the top of the chance creation table for the match. The Englishman supplemented that with two efforts on goal, one in the box.
There was also the encouragement for Spurs to have Moussa Sissoko (£4.9m) back in the starting line-up for the first time since Gameweek 22. He initially played in a central midfield trio with Eriksen and Harry Winks (£5.5m), before slotting in at right-back for 25 minutes in between Serge Aurier (£5.8m) being hooked off at half-time and Kieran Trippier (£6.1m) coming on. A return of Sissoko’s typically high level of hard work will be good for Spurs moving forward, although it was him who Trippier replaced in the 69th minute, presumably to manage his minutes since coming back from a knock.
Curiously, Hugo Lloris (£5.4m) continues to make more mistakes in goal, having committed a string of blunders since that fumble in the World Cup final. He left himself in no man’s land when coming for Jose Holebas‘ (£4.8m) first-half corner, allowing Craig Cathcart (£4.5m) an open net in which to head an opening goal. As the club captain, it seems unlikely that Pochettino will consider dropping Lloris, although Paulo Gazzaniga (£4.5m) might be able to provide some competition given some decent displays in the cups this season.
Watford barely troubled Spurs’ goal outside of that 38th-minute opener, largely sitting back to defend at Wembley. Cathcart’s strike was the only effort on target the Hornets could muster, and they left the match with an expected goals score of just 0.46. That might tempt anyone with Brighton defensive options available to start them in Double Gameweek 25 when Javi Gracia’s men travel to the Amex Stadium.
As per usual, Watford lined up in a 4-4-2 system, with Gerard Deulofeu (£5.5m) and Troy Deeney (£6.0m) leading the line. There was a change in defence as Daryl Janmaat (£4.9m) came in for the injured Francisco Kiko Femenía (£4.2m), making his first start since Gameweek 20.
Defender Ben Wilmot (£4.0m) looked decent when he replaced Tom Cleverley (£5.0m), earning praise from Gracia. Cleverley’s departure was not injury-related, the midfielder simply tired according to the manager.
“Ben always plays well in my opinion. He is like a mature player. He is only 19 years old and he can play in different positions. Tom Cleverley was a little bit tired as the first half was very demanding. We wanted to be stronger in the middle, after the lateral crosses and defending set pieces. He was a good option in that moment when the game was very demanding. He is a very good player.” – Javi Gracia
Tottenham Hotspur XI (3-5-2): Lloris; Vertonghen (Lamela 79′), Sánchez, Alderweireld; Rose, Eriksen, Winks, Sissoko (Trippier 69′), Aurier (Moura 45′); Son, Llorente.
Watford XI (4-4-2): Foster; Holebas, Cathcart, Mariappa, Janmaat; Pereyra, Capoue, Cleverley (Wilmot 66′), Hughes; Deeney, Deulofeu (Success 61′).
Wolves 3-0 West Ham
Goals: Romain Saïss (£4.2m), Raúl Jiménez x2 (£6.5m)
Assists: Joao Moutinho x2 (£5.1m), Diogo Jota (£6.0m)
Raúl Jiménez (£6.5m) demonstrated his excellent Fantasy value once again with a brace against West Ham on Tuesday night. His 12-point haul should come as no surprise as he had more shots in the opposition penalty area than any other player on the pitch, five more than Diogo Jota (£6.0m).
The Mexican has proved to be quite a consistent source of points since arriving in English football, netting his seventh and eighth goal of the campaign at Molineux. Jiménez has now been involved in 15 league goals in 2018/19, more than any of his colleagues. Crucially, he has never gone longer than three matches without recording a goal or an assist, his driest spell of the campaign between Gameweeks 2 and 4. At £6.5m that level of consistency is truly remarkable and makes Jiménez a very important asset for Wolves’ continuing run of strong fixtures.
“Raúl is doing a fantastic job which goes beyond the goals he scores. The way he plays, his combinations, the way he works, he doesn’t stop – he is always giving us our first reaction to losing the ball. He has to keep on going.” – Nuno Espirito Santo
Amid transfer interest ahead of Gameweek 24, Jota could manage only an assist against West Ham but was still a key player. Trading in his explosive goal threat from the Leicester game, the former Porto man was more of a creator this time around, only Joao Moutinho (£5.1m) fashioning more opportunities than him on the night. That is excellent news for Jota’s 2.5% ownership though, as it proves how versatile the player is when it comes to Fantasy returns, while he is still operating in the front pair at Wolves.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side completely dominated this 3-0 win over West Ham, registering 20 efforts on goal. Nine of those were on target, which was actually Wolves’ best tally in one match since being promoted from the Championship.
Much of their attacking player came from wide areas, where nearly a quarter of Fantasy managers were pleased to see Matt Doherty (£5.2m) restored to the side having been named on the bench against Leicester. The Irishman was his usual energetic self on the right, making more sprints than any of his colleagues in the first half. He was also unfortunate not to win a penalty in the opening 45 minutes when Arthur Masuaku (£4.3m) clattered into him in the box.
Returning to the left flank, Jonny (£4.3m) had the chance to put Wolves ahead in the first half after Jiménez’s perfectly delivered cross met him at the back post, but he was unable to convert. However, the Spaniard continues to offer plenty of threat on his side of the pitch.
“Sometimes you play well and don’t achieve. [Matt] Doherty and Jonny did well and had chances. It requires a lot of effort and a lot of heart to keep going up and down.” – Nuno Espirito Santo
The clean sheet that Wolves picked up on Tuesday night was their sixth of the campaign and their first one since Gameweek 17. However, that said more about West Ham than it did their hosts.
The Hammers were completely toothless in attack, mustering just four efforts on goal in the game, none in the box and none on target. Manuel Pellegrini’s team now looks a shadow of the side that won four matches in a row between Gameweek 14 and 17. They scored a total of 11 goals in that period, an average of 2.75 per game, but have now managed just one in their last three. The 3-0 defeat at Wolves was their third consecutive loss and was the worst possible result after they were embarrassed out of the FA Cup by League One strugglers AFC Wimbledon over the weekend.
Given how Pellegrini spoke about his side at the end of the game, we should expect there to be some changes in the West Ham side when they host Liverpool on Monday night. With the form they are in, Mohamed Salah‘s (£13.6m) captain credentials will be boosted despite his Gameweek 24 blank, while many will hold faith in their Liverpool defensive assets too.
“We were looking for a reaction after we lost against Wimbledon in the cup. We couldn’t do it and we have to review all we are doing, because something we are doing is bad. No shots on target and we conceded three goals, so it is impossible to play worse.” – Manuel Pellegrini
To rub salt in the wound, Marko Arnautovic (£6.9m) was taken off with an injury after what looked to be an innocuous challenge. He left Molineux on crutches and Manuel Pellegrini was not particularly positive about things. However, it must be pointed out that when Arnautovic was taken off, West Ham’s attacking threat hardly dropped as it had been pretty low at that point anyway.
“Not at this moment but I think it will not be an easy [good] injury. I hope that he doesn’t have any problems but he must have a medical examination tomorrow. It was a hard kick on his foot, we will see tomorrow. Yes (it is disappointing) and also because we have just 15 players that are playing too many games. We have no creative midfielder at the moment, Lanzini, Yarmolenko, Wilshere, Nasri are all out so it is difficult for a team playing so many games with the same 15 players. Maybe they are feeling a little bit the number of games and we still have nine players injured.” – Manuel Pellegrini
Wolves XI (3-5-2): Patrício; Saïss, Coady, Bennett; Jonny (Vinagre 90+2′), Moutinho (Gibbs-White 89′), Neves, Dendoncker, Doherty; Jota (Cavaleiro 89′), Jiménez.
West Ham United XI (4-4-2): Fabianski; Masuaku, Ogbonna, Diop, Zabaleta; Anderson, Rice, Noble (Carroll 68′), Snodgrass (Obiang 69′); Arnautovic (Chicharito 77′), Antonio.
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