Scout Notes

A first look at Leicester’s Fantasy assets under Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers’ reign as Leicester City manager got off to a losing start on Sunday as his new charges fell to a last-gasp 2-1 defeat at Vicarage Road.

Jamie Vardy was on the scoresheet for the second successive match but was later substituted after suffering the ill-effects of a collision with Ben Foster – more on that incident can be found below.

We run the rule over how the Foxes’ players performed under their new head coach from a Fantasy perspective in our latest Scout Notes article.

Watford 2-1 Leicester City

  • Goals: Troy Deeney (£5.9m), Andre Gray (£5.9m) | Jamie Vardy (£8.9m)
  • Assists: Gerard Deulofeu (£5.6m), Troy Deeney | Youri Tielemans (£6.0m)

Brendan Rodgers wasted no time in putting his own stamp on Leicester City in his first game in charge.

While he made only one change to the starting XI from the team that defeated Brighton in midweek, the ex-Celtic boss ditched the recently-favoured 4-1-4-1/4-2-3-1 set-up of his predecessor in favour of a wing-back system for the trip to Watford on Sunday.

Veteran Wes Morgan (£4.5m) came into a back three alongside Harry Maguire (£5.4m) and Jonny Evans (£4.8m), with Ricardo Pereira (£5.4m) and Ben Chilwell (£5.0m) pushed forward as wing-backs in a 3-4-3.

Harvey Barnes (£5.5m) and James Maddison (£6.7m) were the two attacking midfielders chosen to flank Jamie Vardy (£8.9m), meanwhile, with Demarai Gray (£5.4m) dropping to the bench.

The initial results at Vicarage Road were mixed: the Foxes understandably struggled for any kind of coherence in the opening exchanges of Sunday’s loss to the Hornets and fell behind to their now trademark early goal, though steadily took control of the match in the second half without carving out too many clear-cut opportunities.

The positive news is that the trip to eighth-place Watford was arguably Leicester’s toughest fixture until Gameweek 36 and the Foxes next take on a Fulham side that have shipped two or more goals in all nine of their Premier League matches contested in 2019 – though who were admittedly much-improved in the west London derby today.

Rodgers only had four days of training with his new side ahead of today’s game, so a full week of preparation can only be beneficial in the run-up to a meeting with the Championship-bound Cottagers.

There are plenty of creases to iron out, of course.

Leicester have fallen 1-0 down in 20 of their 29 league matches this season, with their fallibility in the opening ten minutes again in evidence at Vicarage Road.

Moments after Kasper Schmeichel (£5.0m) had made an excellent save from Adrian Mariappa (£4.2m) and Morgan heroically blocked a follow-up effort, Troy Deeney (£5.9m) nodded Watford in front from a teasing Gerard Deulofeu (£5.6m) free-kick.

All of that happened in the opening five minutes and the frustration for Fantasy owners of Leicester’s defenders was that, much like in the recent games against Liverpool and Manchester United, the Foxes’ backline largely contained their opponents thereafter.

Watford, indeed, only had another three attempts on goal after that point – one of which was the injury-time winner that Andre Gray (£5.9m) converted after a sloppy kick out from Schmeichel.

While Leicester bossed possession and registered more than twice as many shots as their hosts, there weren’t any gilt-edged chances for the Foxes until Vardy raced onto a Youri Tielemans (£6.0m) through ball on 74 minutes to level the scores up.

Vardy recorded only 15 touches at Vicarage Road, fewer than any other outfield player who started in Gameweek 29 – a testimony to how well Mariappa and Craig Cathcart (£4.6m) played for the Hornets at centre-back but also to how little Leicester actually did with the ball for the bulk of this match.

There were glimmers of promise: Maddison flickered into life late on and set up an excellent headed chance for Morgan, while Chilwell and Pereira were prominent in the wide areas and racked up 72 touches in the final third between them.

While Leicester’s wing-backs couldn’t turn their touches into meaningful end product, there were faint signs of encouragement that the new system could improve their chances of registering attacking returns going forward. Chilwell, indeed, found himself in a handful of promising situations late on but couldn’t produce a telling final ball.

Tielemans’ passing from central midfield looks key to Leicester’s attacking prospects, with the Belgian having provided the assist for Vardy’s goal and having found the two wing-backs out wide on a number of occasions.

Rodgers said of Tielemans’ role in this 3-4-3 set-up:

The idea today was to have three centre-backs plus Wilf [Ndidi] just controlling the counter-attack. That would give Youri the license to move forward that bit more. You can see he can make that pass and play it.

Vardy’s strike came from his only shot of the match, with the groggy-looking Leicester forward being substituted late on after an earlier clash with Ben Foster (£4.6m).

Rodgers’ assuaged any fears of a serious injury after full-time, however:

He’s OK. He’s more from the impact from the actual collision so he’s just felt a little bit wary. Other than that, he should be OK. Just didn’t feel quite right, he maybe could have stayed on but there’s no point in risking him.

We are hoping he will be OK in the next couple of days.

The former Liverpool manager also provided some comments on Vardy’s role under his stewardship, which will be encouraging for those Fantasy managers who own the premium forward or who are considering a move for him:

He’s a player I’ve always loved, we’ve seen in the last number of years, he’s a born goalscorer, but he is perfect for us in the intensity in which he presses and his running ability.

He showed what he is great at, the pass by Youri, great speed and a wonderful finish, so it is just about getting players in and around him, so he is not on his own and we did that in the second half.

Rodgers said of his side’s efforts overall:

I was really disappointed for the players and supporters today because we got off to a slow start and conceded early on in the game, which was not ideal, especially away from home.

I know it’s a trend that we need to eradicate. Then, I thought we worked our way into the game. We were a little bit slow with our passing in the first half, but we still got into some good positions.

We addressed one or two items at half-time and I thought in the second half, the players were excellent. I thought we looked like the team that would equalise, and we did.

We scored a fantastic goal and it just looked like a matter of time before the second would come. We had all the pressure and really sustained our attacks. You could just sense that they were going to be happy to take a point, Watford.

The more we get used to working together, the better we’ll become.

Watford’s Fantasy assets might be largely unfavoured for the rest of March, given that they face away matches at both Manchester clubs either side of a blank in Gameweek 31 (though the Hornets could have a Double Gameweek 32, depending on what happens in the FA Cup quarter-finals and the subsequent fixture rearrangement).

The hosts were much-improved from a defensive perspective after the 5-0 hammering at Anfield in midweek, with their solid backline helped out by the formidable twosome of Abdoulaye Doucoure (£5.9m) and Etienne Capoue (£4.8m) in central midfield.

It was a curious match for Watford’s attacking assets – the bustling Deeney emerging with a double-digit haul from one shot and one key pass, while Deulofeu was mostly anonymous after his assist for his strike partner’s early goal.

Gracia cited uncertainty over Leicester’s tactics as a mitigating factor but added that the rearguard effort in the second half was by design, rather than as a result of any dominance from the visitors:

We always try to prepare for games the same way but in this case, it was different because Leicester had a new coach and we didn’t know the shape and the players they would choose.

When we started playing against three at the back we tried to adapt quickly and I think we played better in the first half, we adapted very quickly we scored and created more chances.

In the second, it was the moment when we tried to defend close to our goalposts, tried to be compact and in this way we were able to win against a very good team as Leicester is.

Jose Holebas (£4.8m) returned at left-back for Adam Masina (£4.3m) in what was Gracia’s only change to his starting XI.

Watford XI (4-4-2): Foster; Janmaat, Mariappa, Cathcart, Holebas; Hughes (Cleverley 90′), Capoue, Doucoure, Pereyra; Deulofeu (Gray 69′), Deeney.

Leicester City XI (3-4-2-1): Schmeichel; Evans, Morgan, Maguire; Ricardo, Ndidi, Tielemans (Mendy 83′), Chilwell; Maddison, Barnes (Gray 66′); Vardy (Iheanacho 83′).

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2,773 Comments Post a Comment
  1. SirT83
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    14 days, 20 hours ago

    Any West Ham fans around? Is Arnie out in the cold or just coming back from illness?

    1. HammersFan
      • 3 Years
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      Hernandez has been playing ok to be fair. For the first time this season all our strikers are actually fit to play. Carroll, Hernandez, arnie and Perez so might be some rotation.

      Lanzini back will help arnie out though, they play well together. Pellegrini just doesn’t like him anymore after the whole China thing.

      1. SirT83
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        14 days, 19 hours ago

        Thanks. So your take would be keep or sell for next few GWs?

        1. HammersFan
          • 3 Years
          14 days, 19 hours ago

          I would keep if you already have him, he will be used somehow just don’t expect him to play full 90 every game as we have options now.

          1. SirT83
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            14 days, 19 hours ago

            Thanks. So it's not like he is totally out in the cold then. Just a little more rotation?

            1. HammersFan
              • 3 Years
              14 days, 19 hours ago

              Yep that’s my feeling

      2. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
        • 3 Years
        14 days, 19 hours ago

        Agreed - I'd get Lanzini to be honest if I had a spare transfer.

        1. HammersFan
          • 3 Years
          14 days, 19 hours ago

          Lanzini Anderson Arnautovic, might be the best attack outside the top 6

          1. La Roja
            • 7 Years
            14 days, 19 hours ago

            Biased comment alert

            1. SirT83
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              14 days, 19 hours ago

              Not totally. They have a good attacking setup when all fit.

            2. HammersFan
              • 3 Years
              14 days, 19 hours ago

              More than welcome to through another team into the hat rather than call me out. We already know how good arnie and Anderson are, Lanzini is like our version of David Silva. Just keeps everything ticking and links all the play. Will be great to finally see them all together.

          2. SirT83
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            14 days, 19 hours ago

            Kind of the reason why I want a Hammer attacking option. And as I allready have Arnie...

    2. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
      • 3 Years
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      It's a little bit of both I think. Chica genuinely looked good in the last game and appears to be there on merit. Arnie is the better player, but I think Pell wants him to fight for his place, so I wouldn't say get him in that's for sure.

      1. SirT83
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        14 days, 19 hours ago

        Allready have him. Want to swap Rondon and Aguero for Higuain and Vardy. But light change my thinking if Arnie is not to play.

    3. Sedemuda
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      Arnie owner here.
      Been looking at the last few games.
      He would have started against City if he hadn't been ill.
      Looked more dangerous than Chico in both games he came on, linking up much better with mids.
      Interestingly Noble gave him the armband when he went off last game.
      I'm holding.

      1. SirT83
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        14 days, 19 hours ago

        Thanks! I'm keeping as well I think.

  2. BobbyDoesNotLook
    • 1 Year
    14 days, 20 hours ago

    Can we have an official poll of FFS users nationalities? Would be interested to see how it is spread. Do we know that from actual FPL btw?

  3. balint84
    • 2 Years
    14 days, 19 hours ago

    A) Rich to Maddison
    B) Bennett to Bednarek

    1. cheeky moses
      • 3 Years
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      A

    2. HammersFan
      • 3 Years
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      A

    3. SirT83
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      A

  4. Atimis
    • 2 Years
    14 days, 19 hours ago

    Choose one:
    1. Shaw Doherty to Azpi Smith
    2. Just Shaw to Luiz

  5. Irbox ⚽
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    14 days, 19 hours ago

    A) Jimenez to King
    B) Doherty to Chilwell

    1. HammersFan
      • 3 Years
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      Would say B. Not like wolves have been keeping many cleanies. Jiménez seems to be fpl gold.

    2. Sedemuda
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      B

  6. HammersFan
    • 3 Years
    14 days, 19 hours ago

    Can’t believe I got pereira in just for in preparation of blank game weeks. I guess the fixtures looked good to be fair.

    1. Irbox ⚽
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      Is that consecutive 0’s for him? Horrible

    2. Kiwivillan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      Most people got in for Palace at home. Palace had scored previous 6 games and 3 away. Also 11-0 vs Leicester previous 4 meetings. That said I almost got him with exact money but that was enough to put me off

    3. davidmcnamara
      • 2 Years
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      Only positive is now playing at wing back so more potential attacking returns. Horrible defensively though

  7. Juaari
    • 3 Years
    14 days, 19 hours ago

    Suarez, Barreca price fall. Again!

  8. Champions united
    • 2 Years
    14 days, 19 hours ago

    Whom to sell to bring BGW player

    Kola doherty awb
    Pogba sterling mout son
    jimnzy

    Mout>fraser/brooks

  9. JurgenRodgers
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    14 days, 19 hours ago

    Best combo for Gw31

    (A) Mane/Higuian

    (B) Hazard/Firmino

    1. davidmcnamara
      • 2 Years
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      A

  10. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
    • 3 Years
    14 days, 19 hours ago

    Do I need to bring someone in for Guaita or might he return? Only have Button in reserve.
    If so, choosing between...
    A. Heaton
    B. Fabs
    C. Boruc
    The former two means I go Brooks probably, the latter means Fraser.

    1. Kiwivillan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      I have Button. Spent about 4 hours pre deadline debating -4 Pat to Ryan Guaita or Boruc(who I wanted 2nd keeper before Pat rested). Went Guaita. I'm doing Button>Boruc. Hope this helps

      1. good biashara
        • 7 Years
        14 days, 19 hours ago

        I also like Boruc's price and fixture, but I don't know much about Bournemouth... do we know if he's now the official number 1 and likely to start till the end of the season?

        1. Kiwivillan
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          14 days, 19 hours ago

          Bournemouth fans voted him MOTM match again if you read the boards. 2 goals conceded in 4 home games including Chelsea and Man City

  11. davidmcnamara
    • 2 Years
    14 days, 19 hours ago

    Salah, Rash to Mane and Higuain for a hit?

    1. Irbox ⚽
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      Definitely not

  12. balint84
    • 2 Years
    14 days, 19 hours ago

    gw32
    Jimenez-Jota-Jonny
    Pogba-Shaw-Lukaku

    I have only Pogba&Jimenez

    Choose 2 from above that neccessary to buy

    (unfortunatelly next week arsenal&chelsea)

    1. balint84
      • 2 Years
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      sadly I have 3 Wolves players, Bennett and Rui Pat are useless, need get rid of them for Jota 🙁

  13. Jam0sh
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    14 days, 19 hours ago

    Thoughts about Son and Jimenez to Fraser and Higuain?

    1. money face bandwagon
      • 5 Years
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      Good moves imo

    2. Irbox ⚽
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      Next week? Would want Son this GW

  14. Irbox ⚽
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    14 days, 19 hours ago

    Possible to crack top 1000 with all chips in tact and currently 31 points behind?

    1. Jam0sh
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      Of course

  15. StayoutheSpiceZone
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    14 days, 19 hours ago

    Those without the WC chip, what are your strategies?

    I am building carefully towards GW31 (not bringing in rubbish I will have to shift in the future)
    FH 32
    TC 33 or 36
    BB 34

    What do you think? Any others in the same boat?

    1. fedolefan
      • 4 Years
      14 days, 19 hours ago

      What are you doing in DGW35? Could also TC there to counter everyone BBing.

  16. Differential (c)
    • 3 Years
    14 days, 18 hours ago

    Just realized Huddersfield have kept consecutive Clean Sheets. And they have a 3.9m starting defender!

    Is Stankovic worth considering? 7 pts in the last two games vs BHA and WOL.