Scout Notes

Final straw for West Ham defence in comeback win

The Fantasy Premier League interest in West Ham’s defence hit rock-bottom in Blank Gameweek 31 in a high-scoring game at the London Stadium.

The Hammers conceded three goals to bottom side Huddersfield Town after FPL managers had stocked up defensive assets.

Whether this spells the end for investment in Lukasz Fabianski (£4.8m) and his colleagues at the back, is the focus of this latest Scout Notes article.

West Ham United 4-3 Huddersfield Town

Goals: Mark Noble (£4.8m), Angelo Ogbonna (£4.2m), Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández x2 (£6.1m) | Juninho Bacuna (£4.2m), Karlan Grant x2 (£5.0m)

Assists: Manuel Lanzini (£6.4m), Aaron Cresswell (£5.0m), Samir Nasri (£5.2m), Felipe Anderson (£7.2m) | Aaron Mooy (£5.0m), Chris Löwe (£4.4m), Terence Kongolo (£4.3m)

West Ham’s defensive issues were laid bare by the most goal-shy side in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. In the four matches prior to Blank Gameweek 31, Huddersfield were bottom of the league for shots in the box, efforts on target, big chances and goal conversion rate. That, understandably, led to mass investment in Hammers options additional to Fabianski at the back, 145,000+ signing Declan Rice (£4.7m), with Angelo Ogbonna (£4.2m) and Issa Diop (£4.4m) also considered. However, in Blank Gameweek 31, the Terriers recorded more big chances than any other side, were joint-second for total goal attempts and joint-third for shots on target.

“We talked before the game that maybe this team don’t win too many games because they don’t have many goals but they always score from set pieces. They then scored two goals from set pieces.” – Manuel Pellegrini

Before this match, Huddersfield had scored eight away league goals all season but they added three to that total after visiting West Ham, an increase of 37% in one match. Considering how late we are in the campaign, that is a huge figure that demonstrates the levels to which the Hammers’ defence have fallen.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men have seriously struggled to keep clean sheets in home matches against favourable opposition this season, Newcastle the only side outside the top six to blank at the London Stadium in 2018/19. Bournemouth, Wolves, Burnley, Cardiff City, Crystal Palace, Watford, Brighton and Fulham have all come to West Ham and scored when Fabianski has largely been turned to as a starting goalkeeper for his 18.4% ownership.

Conceding three to Huddersfield’s attack is likely to be the final straw for Fantasy managers as we approach Free Hit and second Wildcard season. With goalkeepers such as Rui Patrício (£4.5m) and Vicente Guaita (£4.2m) already confirmed to have two fixtures in Double Gameweek 32 and Ben Foster (£4.6m), Mat Ryan (£4.4m) and Neil Etheridge (£4.7m) likely to have the same, Fabianski, who faces Everton at home, will not be an option worth considering next time out. After that, it’s a trip to Chelsea in Blank Gameweek 33 and Manchester United in Gameweek 34, by which point second Wildcards are likely to have seen him removed for better shot-stoppers.

Only two West Ham defensive options came away with healthy Gameweek scores. The first was Ogbonna, who scored a second-half headed goal. The centre-back hadn’t shown a great of threat in the four matches prior to Blank Gameweek 31, but out of West Ham’s defensive options, he was joint-top for shots inside the box with Diop.

Aaron Cresswell (£5.0m) was the other, registering the assist for Ogbonna’s strike. The left-back was making his second start in a row, having missed out on a place in the first XI in Gameweeks 28 and 29. Crucially, it was Cresswell who largely benefited from a surprise benching for Robert Snodgrass (£5.0m), the usual set piece taker. The former Ipswich Town defender took three corners at the London Stadium, more than any of his colleagues, although Manuel Lanzini (£6.4m) and Felipe Anderson (£7.2m) chipped in with one each.

The latter experienced some advantages from Snodgrass’ absence, but not as many as was expected when the team-sheet came out. As already mentioned, Anderson was able to take one corner against Huddersfield, but also had a crack at a direct free-kick, which he fired into the wall. Either way, he finished the match with more key passes than any other player, with the majority of them coming from open play. Anderson’s number of chances created against Huddersfield was higher than the total he had recorded across the previous matches, hence how he was able to provide a first assist since Gameweek 25.

The striker situation at West Ham still seems rather unsettled, even after Pellegrini’s comments last week about Marko Arnautovic (£6.9m) returning to the solitary forward position for the Huddersfield match. The Austrian did indeed make his first start since Gameweek 24 but had just one shot and was booed off the pitch when he was replaced by Lucas Pérez (£6.2m) in the 68th minute.

“I think that, as every player who is not at their best, Marko did not have the best game. When Samir Nasri came as a playmaker, he gave more balls to the attackers. The complete team played very bad during most part of the game, conceding two goals from set pieces and after that, the complete team improved and we changed the score.” – Manuel Pellegrini

Meanwhile, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández (£6.1m) was absent for just the second time since Gameweek 25 after a poor performance against Cardiff, in which he was booked for diving. However, the Mexican was brought on for Michail Antonio (£6.8m) at half-time and scored twice, getting the winning goal too. He probably has the advantage over Arnautovic at this point but it is hard to tell, given the minutes he and his colleague have played in recent weeks.

“I think that Javier was playing well all the games except against Cardiff, where all the team played very bad. Maybe in that action [his dive] he felt someone touch him and he made a mistake. But he is an important player, every time he is in the box he is a danger to the other team. Today, I think he did not have so much pressure without having Marko behind him. But I always say to the players who are a substituted you are still involved in the game, it is so important.” – Manuel Pellegrini

Mark Noble (£4.8m) registered further confirmation that he is still on penalties for West Ham after he dispatched a first-half spot-kick following a foul on Manuel Lanzini (£6.4m). The Argentinian midfielder has now started the last three matches in a row.

With set pieces proving important for Huddersfield against West Ham, it is no surprise to see that no player created more chances at the London Stadium than Aaron Mooy (£5.0m).

Meanwhile, no player from either side registered more shots on target than Karlan Grant (£5.0m), who emerged from the match with two goals and a 13-point haul. It was the third start in four for the striker, who this time kept Steve Mounié (£5.8m) out of the starting line-up for the first time since Gameweek 27. It sums up Huddersfield’s season that, even though he arrived in January and has scored just three times in the Premier League, Grant is now the top-scorer both for the Terriers and former club Charlton Athletic this season.

In defence, Christopher Schindler (£4.2m) missed the match through illness and with Thomas ‘Zanka’ Jørgensen (£4.4m) benched for the third time in four Gameweeks, it was Terence Kongolo (£4.3m) and Jon Stankovic (£3.9m) at centre-back. The latter, who has been used in central midfield of late, looks like he could make for decent bench-fodder for those playing the Free Hit in Double Gameweek 32 as he has started the last four in a row. Also, FPL defender Chris Löwe (£4.4m) made his first start since Gameweek 27 and was used on the left-wing.

However, defensive issues continue to plague Huddersfield as much as they did their opponents. Despite having a comfortable hold on the game in the 75th minute, with a 3-1 lead, the Terriers let it slip with no team conceding more shots than them in the Blank Gameweek. That bodes well for Crystal Palace options preparing for a home match against them in Gameweek 32.

“There are reasons why we are bottom of the table (referring to goals conceded in the second half). I said it from the beginning but I still kept fighting as you saw today.” – Jan Siewert

West Ham United XI (4-1-4-1): Fabianski; Cresswell, Ogbonna, Diop, Zabaleta; Rice; Anderson, Lanzini, Noble (Nasri 59′), Antonio (Hernández 45′); Arnautovic (Pérez 68′).

Huddersfield Town XI (4-2-3-1): Lössl; Durm, Kongolo, Stankovic, Smith; Mooy, Bacuna (Puncheon 67′); Löwe, Pritchard, Rowe (Billing 55′); Grant (Mounié 70′).

1,169 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Fantasydreamer
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 10 days ago

    A. Luiz/martial/jimi (have az in defence already)

    B. Lindelof/son/rashford

    And

    1.zaha
    2. Batshuayi?

    1. AuFeld
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      A1. Garbage condiment.

  2. Pad Randa
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 10 days ago

    Last on last:

    FH draft number 1

    Lloris
    Kola - WB - Young
    Sterling - Pogba - Jota - DSilva
    Michy - Jimi (v) - Kane (c)

    Pickford (hoping to catch him rising), Valery, Stephens, Bednarek

    4.5 ITB

    1. TheDragon
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 10 days ago

      No Aguero = start again

      1. Pad Randa
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        I mean, he'll be pretty easy to squeeze in there, but which of the forwards do you expect him to outscore? Maybe Michy, but he does have HUD at home...

        1. Pad Randa
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Yeah, Michy >>> Aguero and Pickford >>> 4.1 works. I don't need to make that decision right now, though.

          1. TheDragon
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 10 days ago

            To me, Aguero and Sterling are the stand out captaincy options. They will have a double GW.

            Sterling and Aguero are 100% essential. Aguero will outscore all 3 strikers combined.

            Jimenez likely to have his minutes managed as Wolves will be 100% focussed in FANTASY cup

            1. TheDragon
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 10 days ago

              *lol, FA cup!

            2. Pad Randa
              • 7 Years
              3 months, 10 days ago

              Yeah, I've only just realized City have a DGW as well, it's just not being shown. I'll tinker, re-post later.

              1. TheDragon
                • 1 Year
                3 months, 10 days ago

                Chelsea are expected to have one too

  3. Eytexi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 months, 10 days ago

    Choose and Name one:
    A) 5.1m Defender (eg Lindelof).
    B) 5.5m Midfielder (eg JWP).
    C) 5.8m Forward (eg no idea).

    1. AuFeld
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      A) Holebas
      B) JWP
      C) Barnes, but no DGW. Austin has limited playing time. Keep an eye on Danny Ings.

      1. Eytexi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Probably my bad for not asking it right, but which of your A, B or C would you choose?

        1. AuFeld
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          JWP. In form, on set pieces, and on corners.

  4. BobbyDoesNotLook
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 10 days ago

    When are dgw32 fixtures announced?

    1. F_Ivanovic
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Wednesday I believe.

  5. F_Ivanovic
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 10 days ago

    Is there any reason to press the FH button instead of just doing transfers and waiting? I figure if you do the transfers w/o pressing FH they count towards the price rises - might not be much, but every bit helps.

    1. Kub3
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Prices rises count once you’ve activated. No?

        1. F_Ivanovic
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Don't they count even if you don't activate?

          1. Kub3
              3 months, 10 days ago

              The way I understand it is they don’t count until you hit the activate button. I could be wrong though.

        2. Greek Flair
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Many of the fodder 3.8-4.0 options are going up in price. Plus sterling and a few others. Multiple 0.1 gains can make a. It difference

        3. Mo Mané Mo Problems
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          My understanding is that they are like wildcard transfers, and they don't count.

          The difference with the FH is that the players you are removing you are going to get back. So it might cause price drops for your players you still technically have.

          e.g. I didn't hit FH yet. Did Salah to Mane. As Salah drop didn't lose me value, but from now on will. I'll probably hit it once Salah gets near -99% as to try and stop drops. Hopefully Mane will have risen by his 2nd 0.1 by then. But if not, it's probably better to just hit FH and stop the falls on the players you own, as that loss in $$ is permanent.

          If 20% of people use FH, 10% of people use WC (arbitrary guessing) then price falls/rises will be much less in my opinion.

      • Ay Ay Ron
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Any thoughts on this FH team?

          Guaita
          Smalling - Luiz - Laporte
          Hazard - Sterling - Pogba - Deulofeu - Millivojevic
          Kun - Kane

          Any help is appreciated!

          1. Firminoooo
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 10 days ago

            Gunn if Southampton get DGW.

        • Kub3
            3 months, 10 days ago

            Anyone doing TC on a City player seeing that they may well have Cardiff and Fulham in GW32? Or is rotation too much of a risk?

            1. DA Minnion
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 10 days ago

              Yeah sterling or Aguero for me.

            2. The 5% Team
                3 months, 10 days ago

                going TC Sterling...City in battle for title, just hoping he starts both but pretty confident

                Patricio
                Azpilicueta AWB Laporte
                Pogba Hazard Sterling (TC) Pedro Son
                Aguero Rashford

              • Snevitz
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 10 days ago

                If I wasn't free hitting and I still had it then definitely.

            3. Atimis
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 10 days ago

              My main question now - is Kane worth it? Is any Spurs worth it?

              1. DA Minnion
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 10 days ago

                Kane will want to be the first player to score at their new ground.

              2. AuFeld
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 10 days ago

                Kane is worth it. Three goals in his last four matches, nailed, and on PK's.

              3. The 5% Team
                  3 months, 10 days ago

                  if I were to FH, I'd get him in yes

                • Snevitz
                  • 9 Years
                  3 months, 10 days ago

                  Difficult to see him as value for money when Sterling, Aguero and Hazard all have such good fixtures.

                  1. KingOllie
                    • 3 Years
                    3 months, 10 days ago

                    i got all 4

                    1. Snevitz
                      • 9 Years
                      3 months, 10 days ago

                      Yeah it's possble but sacrifices have to be made somewhere and it's also difficult to ignore the value offered by Pogba and Rashford.

              4. Whazza
                • 7 Years
                3 months, 10 days ago

                Thoughts on something different? I present to you my BB32 FH35 strategy

                GUAITA Boruc
                AWB AZPI Van Dijk Kolasinac Pereira
                POGBA HAZARD Salah Mane Fraser
                Vardy Barnes King

                BB is like having 4 DGW players, so it's like 9 DGW players pre transfer(s).

                Thinking Salah to Sterling (c) with FT.
                Got no WC or TC, so could use FH35. Fixtures look great fwiw.

                Would have a full XI for GW33 either way

              5. Chrisscfc
                • 5 Years
                3 months, 10 days ago

                still got WC, BB, TC, FH to use where should I use these?!

              6. 007 [RoboKlopp]
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 10 days ago

                Hi, how about this 442 FH team?
                Double Utd defense too much?
                Really need some differential to catch up.

                Guaita
                Laporte, Luiz, Shaw, Lindelof
                Sterling, Haz, Pogba
                Kun, Kane
                [all fodder]

                Cheers 🙂

                1. 007 [RoboKlopp]
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 10 days ago

                  and Mili as 4th mid

                  1. Magumbo
                    • 7 Years
                    3 months, 10 days ago

                    Shaw on 9 bookings

              7. Snevitz
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 10 days ago

                Just because everyone else is here's my FH team....

                Etheridge
                Azpi, Luiz, Schlupp
                Sterling (C), Hazard, Sane, Pogba.
                Aguero, Rashford, Batshuayi

                1. AuFeld
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 10 days ago

                  Etheridge could be good. Sane, not so much.

                  1. Snevitz
                    • 9 Years
                    3 months, 10 days ago

                    Etheridge should get a few save points with those games.
                    Sane has the 5th highest ppg out of any mid, if he starts he should do well in those fixtures.

                    1. AuFeld
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 10 days ago

                      Big IF. Hasn't played over 60mins since GW24.

                2. antis0cial
                  • 3 Years
                  3 months, 10 days ago

                  You think Sane will get much game time? Looks good but I think I prefer a city defender/keeper. Bats over Zaha?

                  1. AuFeld
                    • 2 Years
                    3 months, 10 days ago

                    Zaha > Bats.

              8. Wijnaldum FC
                • 1 Year
                3 months, 10 days ago

                When are city having a double gw?

                1. Snevitz
                  • 9 Years
                  3 months, 10 days ago

                  Week 32 vs CAR and ful. It will be announced any day.

              9. Magumbo
                • 7 Years
                3 months, 10 days ago

                With Man U playing Watford at home and then a wolves team that will most likely be heavily rested, no one fancying Pogba, Rashford and Lukaku?

                Could have

                Kepa
                Laporte, Luiz, Schlupp
                Hazard, Sterling, Pogba, Deulofeu/JWP
                Aguero, Lukaku, Rashford

                1. AuFeld
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 10 days ago

                  Lukaku and Pogba. Rashford is on a dry spell. Young is a good shout if you want to triple up.

                  1. TheDragon
                    • 1 Year
                    3 months, 10 days ago

                    He scored in the cup?

              10. TeddiPonza
                • 8 Years
                3 months, 10 days ago

                Essential FH 32 players?

                Currently I am trying to squeeze in all of Sterling, Haz, Aguero, Kane and Pogba. Any other essentials out there?

              11. pundit of punts
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 10 days ago

                Really liking the look of this FH team. It's a bit different.

                Ederson
                Luiz - Rudiger - Schlupp
                Sterling - Hazard - Pogba - Martial
                Aguero - Rashford - Zaha

                With Watford and Wolves having one eye on the cup, it could be profitable to have triple united attack. Double chelsea defense just because of the fixtures and Zaha interest me because he plays Cardiff and a leaky Spurs.

                Thoughts? 🙂

                1. TheDragon
                  • 1 Year
                  3 months, 10 days ago

                  I like it. It’s got the core template (Ederson,Luiz,Sterling,Haxard,Pogba,Aguero,Rashford) with some interesting differentials.

                  Only big decision is whether you are okay without Kane

                  1. pundit of punts
                    • 6 Years
                    3 months, 10 days ago

                    Kane needs to much compromise elsewhere as Aguero, Sterling, Hazard, Pogba and rashford are untouchables. Could go Son but not too sure.

                    1. TheDragon
                      • 1 Year
                      3 months, 10 days ago

                      I agree - I’m in the ‘no Kane’ camp at the moment but 2 weeks is a long time!

              12. Firminoooo
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 10 days ago

                Not sure about 3xChelsea.

                Kepa (or maybe Gunn)
                Lindelof Luiz Laporte(or gamble on Mendy) Valery(or max 4.5)
                Pogba Hazard Sterling
                Kane Aguero Rashford
                Bench: cheap

                Front six is sorted. Also think there is more value in a cheap defender than a cheap midfielder.

              13. Purse83
                  3 months, 9 days ago

                  Opinions appreciated:

                  1) Ederson & Jimi (343)

                  2) Kepa & Laporte (442)

                  Cheers

                • Pinball Wizard
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 9 days ago

                  Should I be worried about Luke Shaw missing one game in 32?
                  I am a non free-hitter so he was part of my plan

                • Atimis
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 9 days ago

                  0.5 short on this team

                  Kepa
                  Laporte/Lindelof/WB
                  Hazard/Sterling/Pogba/Deulofeu
                  Kane/Kun/Rash

                  Bench cheap as possible.
                  Ideas?

                  1. Ay Ay Ron
                      3 months, 9 days ago

                      Kepa to Guaita and WanB to Luiz?

                    • Ay Ay Ron
                        3 months, 9 days ago

                        Or how about JWP instead of Deulofeu. That will save you 0.5

                    • Ay Ay Ron
                        3 months, 9 days ago

                        Ward Prowse, lindelof & Rashford
                        Or
                        Smalling, Deulofeu & Milivojevic?

                        2nd choice will be 3-5-2