There was only one place to start our Scout Notes from Saturday’s trilogy of Premier League matches.
Leicester City put four goals past relegated Huddersfield Town in West Yorkshire and there was plenty of joy for those investing in the Foxes’ Fantasy assets for this Blank Gameweek 33 encounter.
We recap the goals, assists, latest injury updates, stand-out manager quotes and key Fantasy talking points from the John Smith’s Stadium in our article below.
Huddersfield Town 1-4 Leicester City
- Goals: Aaron Mooy (£5.0m) | Youri Tielemans (£6.1m), Jamie Vardy (£9.1m) x2, James Maddison (£6.9m)
- Assists: Karlan Grant (£5.0m) | Ricardo Pereira (£5.4m), Jamie Vardy
With Leicester City not having a Double Gameweek 35 and facing three of the “big six” in Gameweeks 36 to 38, their Fantasy assets may be on borrowed time in some managers’ squads.
Those deploying their second Wildcard or loading up on players with two fixtures in Gameweek 35 may be overlooking the Foxes and their in-form players but a comprehensive win for Brendan Rodgers’ troops at Huddersfield on Saturday may have further sown seeds of doubt into the minds of FPL bosses who already own the likes of Jamie Vardy (£9.1m) et al.
This was Leicester’s fourth win on the bounce and the Foxes face fairly appealing opposition in Newcastle United (who are winless in eight away matches) and an out-of-sorts West Ham United before their fixtures turn for the worse in three weeks’ time.
There aren’t any Fantasy Premier League forwards who can compete with Vardy when filtered by their last six matches.
Vardy has nine attacking returns (seven goals, two assists) in the half-dozen fixtures since Claude Puel was fired, with no other FPL player able to match that tally when filtered by the same criteria.
Even after a barren first half for the striker at the John Smith’s Stadium, there was always the sense that Huddersfield’s fragile backline could be exposed at any moment by the Foxes’ lurking number nine.
It took just two minutes of the second half for Vardy to convert Ricardo Pereira‘s (£5.4m) superb cross from the right flank and, while Ben Hamer (£3.9m) almost kept out the Leicester striker’s 83rd-minute penalty, Vardy deserved that slice of luck having being fouled for the spot-kick when presented with an open goal.
Vardy also recorded a “Fantasy assist” after being felled for the free-kick that James Maddison (£6.9m) brilliantly converted, capping off a memorable afternoon for his owners – and those who captained him.
No player on show in West Yorkshire registered more attempts on goal or penalty box touches than Vardy, while the two “big chances” that he converted means that the Leicester striker only trails Romelu Lukaku (£10.8m) for clear-cut opportunities over his last six matches.
Vardy’s goal conversion rate over this season and the previous three campaigns is over 20% and he is the only FPL asset who can boast such a strike rate from 2015/16 onwards.
Brendan Rodgers said of his in-form centre-forward:
It’s been a real joy to work with Jamie. He’s 32 but he’s very hungry, and he’s
hungryto improve and get better.
The style of the team and the aggression of the team always helps him because you’re pressing the game hard when you haven’t got it and you’re creating opportunities.
He’s one of the best in the league, he’s already proven that, but he’s shown the hunger to continue with that.
Vardy wasn’t the only Leicester asset who rewarded his owners on Saturday afternoon.
Maddison and Youri Tielemans (£6.1m) both found the back of the net with long-range strikes and again shone in the middle of the park, with Maddison, in particular, impressing with his improved distribution (a 95% success rate) and sharp turns in midfield.
Maddison was the more advanced of the two players and Tielemans found the back of the net without touching the ball once in the Huddersfield box, having superbly smashed in Leicester’s opener from a cleared corner.
While Tielemans’ three shots all came from outside the Terriers’ area, Maddison twice had close-range “big chances” saved by Hamer after good work by Harvey Barnes (£5.5m).
On Maddison, Rodgers said:
He’s an outstanding talent, he’s a better player than I thought he was.
Coming into work with him, what he has is a hunger. He’s not just a good player.
His free-kicks, he works on them every day, so it’s not by accident.
He does what he’s asked to do in his job, which
is creategoals and score goals.
The front five players were very dynamic, very quick and looked a real threat.
Barnes didn’t record a single shot before being hooked on 60 minutes but looked dangerous down the left in the early exchanges, whipping in an excellent ball that Maddison failed to connect with before later setting up his team-mate for those two aforementioned big chances.
Rodgers explained why the youngster had been replaced by Shinji Okazaki (£5.2m) with half an hour to go:
The thinking was to get four players on the inside, to gain that control. I felt that, when it got to 2-1, they had a bit of momentum.
I just wanted to change the dynamic of the team, rather than play with a winger, just bring in an extra midfield player to give us four versus three in the middle.
Demarai Gray (£5.4m), the fifth member of the Leicester attack, blanked again and hasn’t delivered a single attacking return under his new boss.
Gray should have been on the scoresheet here, though, blazing over after good work by Vardy and then firing straight at Hamer when clean through on goal.
A clean sheet failed to materialise for the Foxes but Ricardo at least picked up a bonus point to go with his assist.
Ben Chilwell (£5.1m) left with only two appearance points, however, despite having over twice as many touches in the final third as his fellow full-back.
Caglar Soyuncu (£4.8m) had a mixed game at the back, giving away the penalty that Aaron Mooy (£5.0m) converted to reduce the arrears to 2-1.
His manager – as one would expect – was full of support after full-time, however:
A special mention to Cags, our centre-half. He was only told this morning he was playing.
Apart from a loose pass at the end when he was tired, I thought he was outstanding in the game, having not played for five months.
Soyuncu was only playing because of a minor injury to Jonny Evans (£4.8m), with the Leicester boss saying:
He had a slight hip problem, Jonny. He trained yesterday but felt a bit sore. We gave him 24 hours to see if it could calm down but he still felt the pain. I didn’t want to risk it.
Harry Maguire (£5.4m) also missed out but Rodgers confirmed his absence was on compassionate grounds rather than anything fitness-related:
I took the choice away from him. Harry’s partner Fern was in
hospital, a few little complications within the pregnancy and birth.
I said, “Listen, go and look after her”. Thankfully, the baby was born, everything is healthy.
Harry can come back in safe in the knowledge that they’re both fine. He gets ready now for Monday to train and ready for next week.
Huddersfield at least went down fighting and had a brief go at Leicester, with Karlan Grant (£5.0m) wasting a glorious chance to level the game at 1-1 shortly before Vardy doubled the visitors’ lead.
Substitute Steve Mounie (£5.8m) also forced Kasper Schmeichel (£5.0m) into an excellent save but the relegated Terriers’ deficiencies were again exposed at both ends of the pitch.
It’s Huddersfield’s recent defensive record that will be of interest to those considering Watford assets for Double Gameweek 35, as well as Spurs and Liverpool players either side of that round of fixtures.
No club has conceded more goals or big chances than Jan Siewert’s side when Premier League sides are filtered by their last four matches.
The Huddersfield boss said after full-time:
First of all, I have to say the credit from our side to Leicester as they were much more clinical than we were.
We tried everything and this is exactly the quality in the Premier League, I would say.
In the situation where they have a 50/50 chance, they score. We need too many possibilities to score then.
Steve [Mounie] came on the pitch and tried everything.
He had his chances, so he showed that he wanted to change the game, unfortunately, he could not, but he tried everything to do it.
Isaac Mbenza (£5.9m) returned for the hosts’ in this match after a lengthy lay-off, while Terence Kongolo (£4.3m) shrugged off a minor injury to play the full 90 minutes.
Jonas Lossl (£4.4m), Philip Billing (£4.5m) and Zanka (£4.4m) again missed out, with Siewert saying after full-time:
They were not injured. I have to look at each player in the squad and have to look at each player who has a contract, so I did this today. This is the reason.
Huddersfield Town XI (4-2-3-1): Hamer; Smith, Schindler, Kongolo,
Leicester City XI (4-1-4-1): Schmeichel; Ricardo, Soyuncu, Morgan, Chilwell; Ndidi (Choudhury 87′); Gray, Tielemans, Maddison, Barnes (Okazaki 61′); Vardy (Ihenacho 90′).