It was Lucas Moura (£6.7m) who proved to be the chief beneficiary of Harry Kane‘s (£12.6m) injury on Saturday afternoon.
Fantasy Premier League managers have spent the last few days trying to work out which of the crocked forward’s colleagues would take his place as the main goal threat, especially considering Spurs’ favourable fixtures.
A hat-trick for Moura in Spurs’ 4-0 win over Huddersfield has now thrown him into the Fantasy conversation for the coming weeks.
However, it was a result that only exacerbated the frustration of managers whose key options were rotated out of the side by Mauricio Pochettino.
Spurs 4-0 Huddersfield
Goals: Victor Wanyama (£4.9m), Lucas Moura x 3 (£6.7m)
Assists: Fernando Llorente (£5.1m), Moussa Sissoko (£4.9m), Christian Eriksen (£9.3m), Heung-Min Son (£8.8m)
With a Double Gameweek coming up against Manchester City (away) and Brighton (home) next week, Moura has played his way into our thoughts with an impressive display against Huddersfield. Owned by just 5.8% of managers, he has the potential to be a cheap and powerful differential in Kane’s absence between now and the end of the season.
Only Fernando Llorente (£5.1m) had more touches in the penalty area than the Brazilian on Saturday lunch-time, while no player had more shots on target than him in the whole match. Crucially, Moura was deployed as a centre-forward next to Llorente, a position that could get the best out of him if he can hold onto it. Pochettino was full of praise for the player so his chances of heavy involvement in the coming weeks look good at the moment.
“He was so important even before people start to recognise his value. We are happy because people can see how good he is now. He’s doing a fantastic job, he’s a great professional and a great guy.” – Maurizio Pochettino
“It’s a special day for me, a good moment, it’s my first hat-trick in Europe so I’m so happy and I don’t have words to express this moment. I just have to say thank you to God, my teammates, I’m so happy here and we’ll keep going strong to make history here.” – Mauricio Pochettino
Llorente huffed and puffed up front and did everything but score in a very good performance. He registered six shots in the box, more than any other player on the pitch, but did not hit the target with any of them. The Spaniard went very close at the start of the second half, showing great control to bring down a Juan Foyth (£5.0m) pass in the box, only to rattle the crossbar.
Llorente also flashed two headers wide, one in each half. His 0.8% ownership can rightly feel disappointed with just an assist. He also picked up a knock towards the end of the game which is why Son Heung-min (£8.8m) had to come on. Pochettino had the following to say when he was asked about the current injuries ahead of the return leg against City, including Llorente’s:
“We need to assess Fernando (Llorente). We hope we can recover Dele Alli and Harry Winks. We’ll see because yesterday he felt his groin in training. Dele, we’ll see. It’s not clear and we’ll see what happens.” – Mauricio Pochettino
Son captainers would have been pulling their hair out after he came on for a brief cameo to replace the exhausted Llorente in the 86th minute. However, he did at least manage to get an assist when he teed up Moura to complete an impressive hat trick.
The South Korean was one of many key Spurs assets to fall foul of the rotation that Pochettino had promised us. Influenced by Champions League matches before and after Double Gameweek 34, the Spurs boss rang the changes on Saturday lunch-time, making seven changes in total.
The leader of the captaincy poll Son found himself on the bench alongside Kieran Trippier (£6.0m), Danny Rose (£5.8m) and Toby Alderweireld (£6.0m). Not surprisingly, Dele Alli (£8.8m) and Kane missed out completely due to their respective injuries.
“We’ll see (on Alli’s hopes of playing midweek). He’s doing some training sessions with the protection. He needs to feel comfortable. It all depends on the time.” – Mauricio Pochettino
Kyle Walker-Peters (£4.2m) came in for just his first start in 2019 at right wing-back in place of Trippier with Ben Davies (£5.6m) on the left in place of Rose.
Davinson Sanchez (£5.8m) was flanked by Jan Vertonghen (£5.9m) and youngster Foyth who made his first appearance since Gameweek 27 in a back three.
Walker-Peters and Davies got forward at every opportunity and were always a threat but neither are viable FPL options with Trippier and Rose likely to be Pochettino’s first-choice wing-backs for the final few weeks of the season. These rotation-prone players are probably best avoided.
As mentioned, Moura and Llorente were tasked with leading the attack for Spurs and they did so to great effect, linking up well throughout. They earned praise from their manager for how they performed together, with Pochettino especially pleased to get a positive result with so much rotation.
“The football is moving so quickly. I think today Fernando was very good and an unbelievable afternoon for Lucas Moura. When you have 24/25 players they need to play. I thought the performance was very professional. The hat-trick will help build his confidence.”
Spurs dominated possession throughout and opened the scoring midway through the first half through Victor Wanyama (£4.9m) who broke from midfield to get on the end of a Davies pass which was intended for Llorente. The Spaniard was deemed to have got a slight touch on the ball before it ran through to the Kenyan who coolly rounded Ben Hamer (£3.9m) to slot home his first goal for over a year.
Three minutes later, the game was all but over, this time Wanyama’s midfield partner Moussa Sissoko (£4.9m) burst forward and played in Moura who finished in style, giving Hamer no chance. Spurs were able to take their foot off the gas after half an hour. Moura wrapped the game up late on with two great goals, one a fine finish from a great cross from Christian Eriksen (£9.3m), the other provided by Son.
Eriksen made his owners sweat, leaving it late to register his assist for Moura’s second. Otherwise, it was a quiet display from the Dane. He spent a lot of the game playing deep, receiving the ball from the centre backs and spraying it around the pitch. In fact, Wanyama and Sissoko were often more advanced than the Dane. Eriksen got forward a bit more in the second half and had a decent shot deflected onto the post. Despite playing deeper at times, he still managed five shots at goal, more than Moura, but none of them landed on target.
Eriksen also created more chances than anyone else on the pitch (six) although his set pieces were below his usual standards. He hit the wall from a good position in the first half. That continued a run of over three years in which he has no goals from direct free-kicks for Spurs.
Huddersfield posed little threat to Hugo Lloris (£5.4m) in the Spurs goal. Their best chances fell to Jon Stankovic (£3.9m) who should have done better when he got on the end of a corner slicing his effort wide and Steve Mounie (£5.8m) who headed wide from a good chance not long after coming on. The clean sheet never looked in too much danger of being wiped out. The French goalkeeper was a popular pick for those playing their second Wildcard this week and they’ve got off to a good start with him. Aside from the City fixture, Spurs have a nice run-in which should yield more shutouts.
Jan Siewert made three changes to his side with Juninho Bacuna (£4.2m), Florent Hadergjonaj (£4.3m) and Elias Kachunga (£4.8m) coming into the starting XI to replace Tommy Smith (£4.4m), Aaron Mooy (£5.0m) and Alex Pritchard (£4.8m) who were all named on the Terriers’ bench. Jonas Lossl (£4.4m) and Philip Billing (£4.5m) were once again omitted from the matchday squad.
“I’m disappointed because the result doesn’t reflect the way we played today. We wanted to be the first team to score here and we know it’s not easy to play Spurs because they’ll run you ragged.” – Jan Siewert
Tottenham Hotspur XI (3-5-2): Lloris, Walker-Peters, Sanchez, Vertonghen (Rose 83’), Foyth, Davies, Sissoko (Skipp 73’), Wanyama, Eriksen, Moura, Llorente (Son 86’)
Huddersfield Town XI (4-4-1-1): Hamer, Durm (Mounie 68’), Kongolo, Schindler, Hadergjonaj, Lowe, Stankovic (Mooy 81’), Hogg, Bacuna (Williams 90’), Kachunga, Ahearne-Grant.