Scout Notes

How Vardy was restricted by Benitez and whether he is worth holding onto

Rafa Benitez’s tactical nous proved to be the stumbling block for Fantasy managers who backed Jamie Vardy (£9.2m) for Double Gameweek 34.

The Leicester forward blanked at home for the first time since Gameweek 27 as Newcastle left the King Power Stadium with all three points.

Whether Vardy has already outlived his usefulness for the season is the subject of this Scout Notes article.

Leicester City 0-1 Newcastle United

Goals: Ayoze Pérez (£6.1m)

Assists: Matt Ritchie (£5.8m)

Vardy and Leicester were heavily restricted by Newcastle’s tactics on Friday night. The forward is typically more effective against sides who leave space to exploit behind their defences, but there was no quarter given by Benitez’s men on this occasion.

As per usual, the Magpies lined up with a five-man defence with centre-backs Jamaal Lascelles (£4.7m), Paul Dummett (£4.4m) and Fabian Schär (£4.6m) flanked by Matt Ritchie (£5.8m) and Javi Manquillo (£4.3m). With a four-man deployed in front of them, space came at a premium in the Double Gameweek 34 opener.

That seemed to have an effect on Leicester’s usually free-flowing attacking football. The Foxes had won four Premier League matches in a row before Newcastle rocked up and did a job on them. Having averaged 3.75 shots, three in the box and 1.75 on target per game in the last four matches, Vardy managed just two efforts on goal, two in the box and one on target. When he did have a big chance just a few yards out, he snatched at the ball and sent it over when it looked easier to score than to miss.

The Leicester striker has historically struggled with the problem of breaking down defences that sit deep and new manager Brendan Rodgers admitted that it was something he is working on with the player. Whatever they have looked at so far appears not to have had much impact just yet but the former Celtic and Liverpool boss has not been at the club long.

“It was something we touched on with him (playing against defences that sit deep). What I said to the players was, ‘we need to improve, even the best teams are good on counters but also in possession, so that’s something we need to work towards. With Jamie, in that situation, he plays offside more. So his start position is behind the centre-backs. With some strikers, they get frustrated when they’re not touching the ball, but you’re not going to get it at times, you have to be ready when it comes. We’ve worked with him, playing in an offside position because then it’s difficult for defenders, they’re always looking. It’s just understanding the type of games, everything isn’t counter-attack. He’s been a joy to work with. What’s surprised me, again when we come in from the outside, he is a really really bright footballer.” – Brendan Rodgers

Vardy owners should not panic after this performance though. Up next for Leicester is a trip to West Ham. Unlike Newcastle, who were looking for points to confirm their Premier League safety this week, the Hammers have little left to play for this season and are in terrible defensive form. Not only do they not have the personnel or tactics to limit Vardy’s space, but they have also conceded an average of 1.4 goals per match in their last five at home. Furthermore, West Ham have been among the bottom three for shots conceded in the box across their last four matches too. After that, Leicester will host Arsenal, the only Premier League side without a clean sheet on the road this season.

On this occasion, not only did Vardy not have much space to work in, he was left isolated from his midfield support. James Maddison (£6.9m) and Youri Tielemans (£6.1m) were not at their best on Friday night, but were also put under pressure by Newcastle’s organised structure. Neither player managed to register more than one key pass in the match. Maddison, in particular, was off his game in terms of delivery, sending one free-kick into the wall when trying to lay it off to a runner that never surfaced. However, Rodgers is not worried about the two creative players getting in each other’s way having found success with two central attacking midfielders next to each other, backed up by a defensive-minded one, in his time at former clubs.

“The two boys are probably two number tens, James and Youri, but they both have that ability to press the game. The job is to create goals and they’ve done that, so it’s similar to that. It’s nothing new really, I’ve always played with that single pivot. Back at Swansea it was Leon Britton and at Liverpool we transferred Stevie (Steve Gerrard) into that position, with two advanced attacking players ahead of them.” – Brendan Rodgers

Marc Albrighton (£5.1m) made a much-anticipated return from injury in the second half. His last appearance for Leicester since Gameweek 24. The former Aston Villa man might not find it too difficult to reclaim his place in the side after he added more creativity to Leicester’s efforts down the flanks than Harvey Barnes (£5.5m) or Demarai Gray (£5.4m) had up until that point. In fact, despite playing just 10 minutes he finished the game with more key passes than any other player.

Not that we needed much more confirmation of it, but Leicester’s defence demonstrated once again on Friday night that they are not worth covering at that end of the pitch. Newcastle’s first-half goal ensured that the Foxes still only have one clean sheet at home since Gameweek 15. Given Rodgers’ defensive record even when in a title battle with Liverpool several years ago, it seems unlikely that this issue will improve during his time in Leicester.

After the way they performed against Leicester on Friday night, it is entirely possible that Newcastle could prove a spanner in the works of Double Gameweek 35 too. They host Southampton next Saturday, in the first of the Saints’ two fixtures. There has been some interest in Ralph Hasenhüttl’s squad, but they may struggle to make a dent in the Magpies’ well-drilled defence, led by their captain Lascelles.

“He’s important for us because he is a big lad. But I would say today that all of them, not just the defenders, had a lot to do because they were playing against a team who play between the lines.” – Rafa Benitez

It was more than just a park the bus job from Benitez on Friday night as Newcastle still carried a threat of their own. Despite managing just 23.1% possession in the game, the Magpies had just one fewer shots inside the box as Leicester, the same number of shots on target, the same number of big chances and a higher expected goals score.

Ayoze Pérez (£6.1m) was the standout performer for Benitez’s men. He had more touches inside the penalty box than any other player at the King Power Stadium and was joint-top for shots on target too. His goal, an excellent header that saw him get the better of Wes Morgan (£4.6m), was just his seventh of the season, but the third since Gameweek 30.

“Last year he scored eight goals. You can see he has the ability to do a lot of times the right thing. Sometimes he just needs to be more consistent. If he was, he would be playing for Man City already!” – Rafa Benitez

Miguel Almirón (£6.0m) continues to show potential but once again struggled to get his first goal in Newcastle colours. He certainly did not have a bad game and was unfortunate not to come away with attacking returns. He was level with Pérez for shots on target and had more efforts inside the box than any other player in the game.

“He’s working really hard, running behind the defenders. It’s the first months, he will take time to adapt.” – Rafa Benitez

After earning attention for his goal threat in the Blank Gameweeks, Salomón Rondón (£6.0m) played more of a support role in this match. He held the ball up very well and worked incredibly hard for his team. However, it was the sort of performance that did not particularly inspire any interest from Fantasy angle, other than his ability from set pieces. Rondón had a free-kick from distance in the first-half which he directed at goal beautifully, only for it to cannon back off the crossbar.

“I think the kind of forward we were looking for was like him. He’s strong enough – sometimes to hold up the ball, sometimes to flick and even to run with the defender. He’s been doing a great job and it was the same today. Even defensively he goes to the right position and gives time for the midfielders. He is an important player for us and now obviously it’s just concentrate and enjoy today.” – Rafa Benitez

Leicester City XI (4-1-4-1): Schmeichel; Chilwell, Maguire, Morgan, R Pereira; Ndidi (Mendy 72′); H Barnes (Albrighton 80′), Maddison, Tielemans, D Gray (Iheanacho 72′); Vardy.

Newcastle United XI (5-4-1): Dúbravka; Ritchie, Dummett, Lascelles, Schär, Manquillo; Almirón (Atsu 78′), Ki (Diamé 82′), Hayden, Pérez; Rondón.

352 Comments Post a Comment
  1. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 4 days ago

    What time is our breakfast booking? 11:15? Might be a bit late, someone order me cappuccino with oat milk, thanks. I'll get you back.

    1. Rupert The Horse
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 4 days ago

      |'m not ordering anything with oat milk.

      1. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 4 days ago

        How about oats? Porridge? You're sure anti oat for a horse.

        1. Rupert The Horse
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          That is acceptable. You may pass.

      2. Ask Yourself
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        Please do it’s so tasty and creamy and it means my farmers don’t have to jack off bulls then inject it into me via a giant wooden rod forced into my bum

        1. Rupert The Horse
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Now that id pay to watch.

          1. Ask Yourself
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            It’s all very real and scary and available on YouTube I encourage you to watch and consider

            1. Rupert The Horse
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 4 days ago

              Oh yes, Ive known about this for a very long time.
              Just knew more accessible docus have made more people aware.
              I'm just not responsible enough to care enough.

              1. Ask Yourself
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 4 days ago

                Well I sure bet you’re glad you’re not a racehorse no one cares about us animals whilst we die for the minimal pleasure of a human

                1. Rupert The Horse
                  • 6 Years
                  3 months, 4 days ago

                  Not true. You you.

        2. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Oat milk is the stuff!

  2. Demel
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 4 days ago

    Lots of people freaking out over who they have captained. As long as you own Son and Duffy it makes very little difference to where you finish the week. If Duffy gets 50 points and you own him and don't captain him you will leap ahead of 5% of players. If Son scores 50 points and you own and don't captain him then you will fall behind 20% of players.

    Not owning any of Jimenez, Aguero, Eriksen, Mane or Sterling and one of those going onto get a monster haul will damage you. These are the guys to worry about. You will fall behind nearly 50% of people (gameweek rank).

    You should sit behind the sofa if you don't own Son or Duffy but don't sweat how they do if you do own them.

    1. Cilly Bonnolly
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 4 days ago

      Yup. Sterling is the only one I'm worried about not having.

      1. Demel
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        Aguero, Eriksen and Mane all hurt me.

        1. Rupert The Horse
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Where does it hurt?

          1. Demel
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            Here. Here. And here...

    2. CostaCoffee
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 4 days ago

      If Duffy (C) gets 50 points you would climb over much more than 5%, that’s not how EO% works

      1. Demel
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        If you put everyone in the top 10k and he scores 50 points then the average person will score 47.5 points.

        If you don't own him you score 0. If you do own him you score 50. If you captain him then you score 100.

        If you captain him you will move up a lot in rank if he scores 50 points. But if you do not captain him your rank barely moves.

        1. Hotdogs for Tea
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          What about the player you own instead though 😉

          1. Demel
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            That is a different conversation. My point was that not owning the wrong captaincy pick of those two will not harm your rank much. Owning the right captaincy pick of those two will likely give you a green arrow. There are other players you should be more worried about not owning.

      2. Vasqujg
          3 months, 16 hours ago

          Duffy ain't scoring 50 points. That's 20 games worth of points for him.

          Duffy and Brighton might let in, 8 goals this weekend. So Captain Duffy is more likely a 0 to 4 point haul.

      3. Amey
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Yep.
          I want Deulofeu, Bobby & Lloris to do well as they are less owned.

          1. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 4 days ago

            Let's do this, firminowners!

          2. Demel
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            They are your swords. Lacazette and Salah would be great for me.

        • Eytexi
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Jiminez & Aguero could ruin my season this week.

        • VanDijksToWatchOutFor
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Aguero is the fear here.

        • AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Sound advice. Own everyone mentioned - so I will relax then 🙂

          Just in reference to your grav…Guy Demel was a beast wasn't he. Having a flashback to his goal against Liverpool back in the day. West Ham could actually have used him this season. They have an unusual record of never spending good money on full backs - especially right backs. Repka is the only RB I can remember money changing hands for.

          1. Demel
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            He was a cult legend. I can't honestly remember why I picked him in the first place. I was actually thinking about it the other day.

            1. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 4 days ago

              He's no Sebastien Schemmel, but I liked him 🙂

              1. Demel
                • 7 Years
                3 months, 4 days ago

                He was no Tomas Repka or Julien Dicks.

        • circusmonkey
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Everton is the fear

        • BEATaroundDEBUCHY
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Duffy, 50 points?

          Hahaha

          Think people might be getting a tad bit carried away

          1. Demel
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            Just an example.

            1. BEATaroundDEBUCHY
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 4 days ago

              15 points would have been a little more realistic. Imo 8 is more likely.

          2. Demel
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            You do realise 50 points was an extreme example on purpose.

        • Hotdogs for Tea
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          Duffy & Mane will start. The others may not even make the bench ... now that would shake things up 😉

          1. Demel
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            Very true and possible.

        • lilmessipran
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          I am only concerned about my money ML, he has Son captain and I have duffy captain so makes a huge difference for me

          1. Demel
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            Fair enough. I was talking about OR. But it is different in close mini leagues.

        • bench boost for every gamew…
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          well put

          like last week, i had the 3 highest scoring players and even wrong cap i had a decent week. Sometimes just picking a sound team with covering the most important players could be enough.

          1. Demel
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            Exactly. A large part of my philosophy in a nutshell.

        • Vobinho In Wengerland
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 4 days ago

          My thinking this week was owning most of the important ones (slightly limited as no WC) but have Vardy, Son, Salah, Mane, Robbo, Maddison, Duffy, Lacazette.

          Because I had all those, and no captain option pointed out to me as obvious (and need to catch up in ML) , I opted for Camarasa (c).

          Cardiff need to win at all costs this week, he's on pens and set pieces and focal to the Cardiff attack.

          And if it fails, I know I have most other shields except Jimenez. But if it goes right, could be a huge differential as not many own him for a start.

          1. Demel
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            I think the problem with captaining Camarasa is his limited upside. He could get a goal or an assist. But I think that is likely to be his ceiling. With no clean sheet points to match defenders it rules out a key scoring potential.

            Saying that I had 12 points from him on my bench boost and I am sure you would be happy with that total. Good luck.

      4. Team Cruel
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 4 days ago

        Martial to start at full back with all of United's absentees there?

        1. Amey
            3 months, 4 days ago

            Darmian/Rojo LB
            Dalot RB

          • fr3ddy
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 4 days ago

            Pogba - Smalling - Lindelof - Martial back 4

            1. Amey
                3 months, 4 days ago

                How can you forget about Romelu Lukaku
                😀

          • Rupert The Horse
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            Oof, just watched the Lomachnko fight.
            What hilariously brutal knockout. Crolla couldn't even out his arms out to stop himself landing on his own face.

            1. Ógie
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 4 days ago

              Lomachnko is possibly the most technical boxer currently active in the sport and it is a joy to watch the way he practices the sweet science.

              1. Rupert The Horse
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 4 days ago

                I'd say he is by far and away the most technical.
                It's a beautiful thing getting to watch him.
                Love things like his Matrix move.

          • JohnRoss
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 4 days ago

            Morning. Has the lolling at Vardy cappers stopped yet?

            1. Rupert The Horse
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 4 days ago

              Did anyone actually do that?

            2. kalmoffit
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 4 days ago

              Go ahead-still time.

            3. Amey
                3 months, 4 days ago

                Haven't started yet.

              • FPL Pillars
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 4 days ago

                Back in the day there was a kid in my primary school called John Ross who used to eat rubbers 😀

            4. Team Cruel
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 4 days ago

              Glenn Murray has Dunk last on the bench. They must have discussed an own goal and a red card? 😯

              https://fantasy.premierleague.com/a/team/3288744/event/34

              1. La Roja
                • 7 Years
                3 months, 4 days ago

                His captain is Kasper

                Sums it up well

              2. Ógie
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 4 days ago

                Worrying for me Glenn does not have himself in his team not to mind not armbanding himself. 🙁

              3. Amey
                  3 months, 4 days ago

                  I think he's too old for this sh.t 😀

                  1. Team Cruel
                    • 3 Years
                    3 months, 4 days ago

                    Isn't he younger than Jonty, Ronke etc?

                • lilmessipran
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 6 Years
                  3 months, 4 days ago

                  Seems like a dead team to me

              4. KINGS
                  3 months, 4 days ago

                  Shane Duffy captaining himself this week

                  1. Rupert The Horse
                    • 6 Years
                    3 months, 4 days ago

                    Yep.

                    1. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
                      • 1 Year
                      3 months, 4 days ago

                      David button has no defensive coverage from Brighton

                  2. The Duffy Dunk Shaw
                    • 4 Years
                    3 months, 4 days ago

                    So glad to see that

                • Colonel Shoe 肝池
                  • 7 Years
                  3 months, 4 days ago

                  captains 35?
                  on jimi here

                  1. Rupert The Horse
                    • 6 Years
                    3 months, 4 days ago

                    I'll transfer out Murray this week at get Deeney.
                    Probably stick it on him.

                    1. Colonel Shoe 肝池
                      • 7 Years
                      3 months, 4 days ago

                      bold i like it

                      1. Rupert The Horse
                        • 6 Years
                        3 months, 4 days ago

                        See how he goes this week first though.

                  2. Amey
                      3 months, 4 days ago

                      Raul Jimenez

                    • fr3ddy
                      • 1 Year
                      3 months, 4 days ago

                      Same, I think

                    • lilmessipran
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 6 Years
                      3 months, 4 days ago

                      Probably.. even Deeney could be a good option

                    • Ask Yourself
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 3 Years
                      3 months, 4 days ago

                      Jiménez or deeney not chosen yet

                    • Demel
                      • 7 Years
                      3 months, 4 days ago

                      Potentially Lacazette.

                  3. Kopkloppers
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 5 Years
                    3 months, 4 days ago

                    Give me odds
                    Duffy Ryan 4 points GW35
                    Duffy Ryan 14 points GW35

                    1. Kopkloppers
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 5 Years
                      3 months, 4 days ago

                      In Total

                    2. Vasqujg
                        3 months, 16 hours ago

                        Brighton is Championship bound

                        25%- 0 to 4 points
                        50% - 4 to 6 points
                        1% - 14 points

                        Use the betting sites for likelihood of clean sheets

                        Also consider that Duffy will probably be given a rest. Bagolun is the sub for him and Dunk

                    3. KINGS
                        3 months, 4 days ago

                        Guys. Please give your thoughts.

                        A) Murray+Cama > Deeney+Deu (-4)

                        B) Cama > JWP

                        C) Save the transfer

                        1. Lazaretti
                          • 1 Year
                          3 months, 4 days ago

                          A

                        2. AnzhiBabakin (AKA: FC Akhma…
                          • 3 Years
                          3 months, 4 days ago

                          I think A would be worthwhile - but JWP is a nice squad balancer for the rest of the season. Don't do C if on BB.

                          1. KINGS
                              3 months, 4 days ago

                              Thanks

                        3. Rupert The Horse
                          • 6 Years
                          3 months, 4 days ago

                          Finally Maddison hits the crossbar.
                          He's not very good at this game.

                          1. Team Cruel
                            • 3 Years
                            3 months, 4 days ago

                            Is Soccer AM still relevant? Their peak was 15 years ago with the soccerettes etc.

                            1. Rupert The Horse
                              • 6 Years
                              3 months, 4 days ago

                              Relevant?
                              It's a good laugh.

                        4. JohnRoss
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 9 Years
                          3 months, 4 days ago

                          Spurs, Burnley, Everton, United four fold. Someone talk me out of it and save me a tenner

                          1. Holmes (specialist in failu…
                            • 5 Years
                            3 months, 4 days ago

                            low risk, only Burnley can disappoint I guess

                          2. kalmoffit
                            • 5 Years
                            3 months, 4 days ago

                            Cardiff to upset the apple cart

                          3. Demel
                            • 7 Years
                            3 months, 4 days ago

                            Backing Burnley at odds on seems foolish to me.

                        5. Eytexi
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          3 months, 4 days ago

                          Vardy VC if no Son is sat there ready to ruin my weekend before the lunchtime kickoff begins.

                          1. Super Saints
                            • 2 Years
                            3 months, 4 days ago

                            He's walking round the pitch!

                            1. Eytexi
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              3 months, 4 days ago

                              Good stuff 🙂

                            2. Demel
                              • 7 Years
                              3 months, 4 days ago

                              It could be a doppelganger.

                            3. DR0GBA
                              • 2 Years
                              3 months, 4 days ago

                              surely he would be in the squad if he's there.. they wouldn't take him at all if he was getting a rest

                              1. Ógie
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 6 Years
                                3 months, 4 days ago

                                20 min cameo from the bench to keep him sharp should do the job. 😉

                              2. Demel
                                • 7 Years
                                3 months, 4 days ago

                                That is the point he is making.

                              3. Klein
                                • 3 Years
                                3 months, 4 days ago

                                Rest but just in case option is my guess

                        6. Vobinho In Wengerland
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 3 Years
                          3 months, 4 days ago

                          Son benched

                          1. Vasqujg
                              3 months, 16 hours ago

                              Could happen.

                              1. Jarvish
                                • 4 Years
                                3 months, 16 hours ago

                                You are replying to posts from 4 days ago mate

                                1. Hy liverpool
                                  • 5 Years
                                  3 months, 16 hours ago

                                  You came from the future?

                          2. VanDijksToWatchOutFor
                            • 1 Year
                            3 months, 4 days ago

                            Walker Peters

                          3. Homer21
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 2 Years
                            3 months, 4 days ago

                            Scenes!

                          4. buzzkill
                            • 4 Years
                            3 months, 4 days ago

                            Son benched, hopefully he doesn’t come on at all as I have Eriksen VC and Jimenez in the #1 bench slot...

                          5. Old Man
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 8 Years
                            3 months, 1 day ago

                            I think this season's GW34 is going into FFS folklore. So many had invested heavily in Brighton's defenders in a plum DGW and some had broken all rules by captaining Duffy. I enjoyed all the gallows humour when they each scored 1 point from two games, but that was about all.