After recapping the events of five international fixtures earlier today, we turn our attention to the other European Championship qualifiers and friendlies contested on Thursday.
In our latest Scout Notes piece, we look at how Fantasy Premier League assets fared in the matches involving Belgium, Scotland, Denmark and Austria – among others.
Belgium 3-1 Russia
- Toby Alderweireld (£6.0m) – 90 minutes
- Jan Vertonghen (£5.9m) – 90 minutes
- Youri Tielemans (£6.0m) – 90 minutes
- Leander Dendoncker (£4.3m) – 90 minutes
- Eden Hazard (£10.9m) – 90 minutes
- Michy Batshuayi (£6.5m) – 90 minutes
- Christian Benteke (£6.3m) – 0 minutes
- Divock Origi (£5.0m) – 0 minutes
- Simon Mignolet (£4.7m) – 0 minutes
Eden Hazard (£10.9m) warmed up for Double Gameweek 32 with a brace in Belgium’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Russia in Brussels.
Hazard scored from the spot after being fouled by Yuri Zhirkov and then pounced on a miscontrol from Michy Batshuayi (£6.5m) to put the game to bed on 88 minutes.
While Belgium weren’t quite at their best, their pace on the break was more than enough to beat Russia and Hazard linked up well with his brother, Thorgen, down the left flank.
Hazard, who has only three goals and two assists in his last 11 Premier League appearances, made four key passes (one of them resulting in a “big chance”) and completed five dribbles on top of recording four shots of his own.
Batshuayi failed to find the back of the net but couldn’t have done much more to score, having seen a shot cleared off the line in the first half and then having struck the post after the interval with another attempt.
Youri Tielemans (£6.0m), who has four attacking returns in as many Gameweeks in FPL, had opened the scoring for the hosts with a shot from the edge of the box on 14 minutes.
That was Tielemans’ first ever goal for the national side but he had a further two attempts on goal in the second half as he got forward to support Belgium’s three-man attack.
Hazard praised the Leicester City midfielder when interviewed after full-time:
Compliments to him [Tielemans]. He will become a major player.
I am enjoying this victory in which I scored two goals. It went well. After our last match, the one against Switzerland [a 5-2 defeat], we had to answer our critics.
Leander Dendoncker (£4.3m) was paired with Tielemans in central midfield as Roberto Martinez rolled out his customary 3-4-2-1, with Spurs duo Toby Alderweireld (£6.0m) and Jan Vertonghen (£5.9m) playing the full 90 minutes as part of a back three.
Belgium’s defensive-minded assets were scarcely troubled by the visitors and indeed it was only an awful error from Thibault Courtois that allowed Russia to level the game up at 1-1.
Martinez praised three of his Premier League-based players after full-time:
When Eden plays like that, you just have to sit back and enjoy it. But we also used players with less caps and less experience. Leander Dendoncker and Youri Tielemans showed that there are many younger players waiting to make the breakthrough.
They have learned a lot over the last year and played as if they were long-standing regulars in the team.
Christian Benteke (£6.3m), Divock Origi (£5.0m) and Simon Mignolet (£4.7m) all watched on from the home bench, meanwhile.
Reports earlier in the week suggested Romelu Lukaku (£10.8m) had returned to Manchester for treatment on a foot problem but the United striker apparently remains in his homeland and hasn’t completely been ruled out of the match against Cyprus on Sunday.
Kazakhstan 3-0 Scotland
- Stuart Armstrong (£5.1m) – 90 minutes
- Scott McTominay (£4.2m) – 20 minutes
- Callum Paterson (£4.9m) – 0 minutes
- Ryan Fraser (£6.2m) – 0 minutes
- Andrew Robertson (£6.9m) – 0 minutes
Andrew Robertson (£6.9m), Ryan Fraser (£6.2m) and Callum Paterson (£4.9m) were all missing from the Scotland side that slumped to a dismal 3-0 defeat in Kazakhstan on Thursday afternoon.
Robertson will join up with his national team ahead of the match against San Marino on Sunday, having had dental surgery on an abscess.
Fraser and Paterson will do likewise after an agreement was apparently struck between Bournemouth, Cardiff City and the Scottish FA for those two players to avoid playing on the plastic pitch in Astana.
Stuart Armstrong (£5.1m) was the sole FPL representative in Alex McLeish’s inexperienced starting XI and the Southampton midfielder had one of Scotland’s only two shots on target, with home goalkeeper Dmytro Nepogodov denying the former Celtic man after he burst into the Kazakhstan box on 55 minutes.
Scott McTominay (£4.2m) came on for the final 20 minutes, by which point Scotland were already 3-0 down.
Kosovo 2-2 Denmark
- Arijanet Muric (£4.5m) – 45 minutes
- Kasper Schmeichel (£5.0m) – 90 minutes
- Zanka (£4.4m) – 90 minutes
- Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (£4.4m) – 90 minutes
- Andreas Christensen (£5.0m) – 60 minutes
- Christian Eriksen (£9.2m) – 30 minutes
- Jonas Lossl (£4.4m) – 0 minutes
- Philip Billing (£4.5m) – 0 minutes
There was a familiar-looking spine to Denmark’s team for their international friendly against Kosovo on Thursday evening.
Andreas Christensen (£5.0m) and Zanka (£4.4m) were the centre-back pairing playing in front of Kasper Schmeichel (£5.0m), with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (£4.4m) stationed just ahead of them in central midfield.
Christian Eriksen (£9.2m) came on for the last half an hour in his customary “number ten” role, meanwhile.
Eriksen, whose Spurs side enjoy a Double Gameweek 32, had his minutes managed with one eye on the Euro 2020 qualifier next Tuesday but had scored within three minutes of taking to the pitch in Pristina.
We saw in the World Cup last summer that Eriksen is chief penalty-taker for his country and the Spurs playmaker once again scored from the spot last night, after Martin Braithwaite had been felled.
Eriksen’s set-piece deliveries once again flattered to deceive but he produced two excellent chipped passes for fellow substitute Simon Kjaer from open play, one of which led to a disallowed goal.
Hojbjerg grabbed a last-gasp equaliser for the Danes when he burst into the Kosovan box and prodded past Samir Ujkani, who had replaced Manchester City’s Arijanet Muric (£4.5m) at half-time.
Schmeichel was beaten by two of the four shots on target that Kosovo could muster, while Christensen was perhaps partly culpable for letting Amir Rrahmani beat him to an inswinging free-kick for the hosts’ opener.
Huddersfield pair Philip Billing (£4.5m) and Jonas Lossl (£4.4m) were unused substitutes.
Austria 0-1 Poland
- Marko Arnautovic (£6.9m) – 90 minutes
- Sebastian Prodl (£4.2m) – 0 minutes
- Jan Bednarek (£4.0m) – 90 minutes
- Lukasz Fabianski (£4.8m) – 0 minutes
Marko Arnautovic (£6.9m) drew a blank as Austria were defeated 1-0 on their own turf by Poland on Thursday.
The West Ham striker, who was booed off by his own fans when being substituted in Gameweek 31, registered four shots on goal in Vienna but didn’t hit the target with any of his efforts.
Arnautovic missed by inches with a free-kick attempt in the second half having earlier scuffed an effort wide from inside the Polish area.
The former Stoke City striker also teed up Valentino Lazaro for an effort that his team-mate fired off target.
Arnautovic lasted the full 90 minutes and played as the spearhead of his country’s attack in a 4-2-3-1.
Jan Bednarek (£4.0m) had a solid game alongside Kamal Glik at centre-back for the visitors as Poland kept a clean sheet in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier.
Sebastian Prodl (£4.2m) and Lukasz Fabianski (£4.8m) were unused substitutes.
Israel 1-1 Slovenia
- Beram Kayal (£4.4m) – 63 minutes
- Jon Gorenc Stankovic – 0 minutes
Beram Kayal (£4.4m) lasted just over an hour of Israel’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovenia before being withdrawn.
The Argus report that the Brighton midfielder was merely feeling “sick and disoriented”, despite initial reports of an injury.
Israel are in action again on Sunday before Kayal returns to the UK ahead of the Seagulls’ run of three double-headers in four FPL Gameweeks.
Budget Fantasy defender Jon Gorenc Stankovic (£3.9m), who has played at both centre-half and central midfield for Huddersfield in recent weeks, was an unused substitute for the visitors.
England under-20s 1-3 Poland under-20s
- Dwight McNeil (£4.4m) – 90 minutes
- Eddie Nketiah (£5.0m) – 90 minutes
- Grady Diangana (£4.5m) – 65 minutes
Burnley’s Dwight McNeil (£4.4m) played the full game at St. George’s Park as England under-20s fell to a 3-1 defeat to their Polish counterparts.
The budget FPL midfielder, who has started every single one of the Clarets’ last 12 Premier League matches, was making his debut for his country.
Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah (£5.0m) grabbed a consolation for the hosts, while Grady Diangana (£4.5m), who hasn’t started a league match for West Ham in 2019, played the first 65 minutes.
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