Scout Notes

Lundstram delivers as Sheffield United’s budget defenders impress

Our Gameweek 2 reviews continue with a look at Sunday’s first match.

Sheffield United’s first Premier League fixture at Bramall Lane since 2007 ended in victory for the hosts, with plenty to interest Fantasy managers who love a budget buy.

Sheffield United 1-0 Crystal Palace

  • Goal: John Lundstram (£4.0m)
  • Assist: None

There were two starting £4.0m FPL defenders at Bramall Lane on Sunday, with the less-popular asset delivering big for his owners.

Sheffield United’s John Lundstram (£4.0m), owned by less than a third of the Fantasy managers who had Martin Kelly (£4.0m) in their squads at the point of the Gameweek 2 deadline, banked a goal, a clean sheet and maximum bonus points as Sheffield United deservedly beat Crystal Palace and maintained their unbeaten start to 2019/20.

A defender in FPL, Lundstram was again deployed in his usual central midfield position as Chris Wilder named an unchanged starting XI and stuck with the 3-5-2 set-up that earned the Blades a point at Bournemouth.

The portents weren’t good early in the match as Lundstram picked up a yellow card after just seven minutes.

That was as bad as it got for the budget FPL defender and his owners, however.

Having already created a big chance that David McGoldrick (£5.5m) spurned before half-time, Lundstram showed he is no mere deep-lying midfield clogger by pouncing on the loose ball from a Luke Freeman (£5.5m) cross-shot to fire the Blades in front on 46 minutes.

Sunday might well have represented Lundstram’s high point as a Fantasy asset in 2019/20 but his spot in the Sheffield United starting XI would appear to be safe for the time being, with his place in the Blades’ midfield very much merited on his early-season performances.

Loan signing Muhamed Besic (£4.5m) may pose a long-term threat (although this is a midfielder who himself hasn’t yet proved anything in the top flight, having spent the previous 18 months on loan in the Championship with Middlesbrough) and Wilder may at some point ditch the flat three in midfield for the 3-4-1-2 he favoured last season but the balance of the Blades’ side looks ideal at present and the United boss would surely be averse to upsetting the current status quo in midfield.

An injury picked up by John Fleck (£5.0m) against the Eagles on Sunday may further lessen the competition in the engine room, although the severity of the Scotland international’s problem has yet to be determined.

Hailing Lundstram after full-time, Wilder said:

It has been a really difficult period for John. We brought in Ollie Norwood last year, who was arguably the best player in the Championship, and we played a two.

John’s more of an athletic midfield player and we’ve played with three players in the middle of the park. He’s a modern-day midfield player, he’s athletic, he’s mobile and he’s got good ability.

Everyone is delighted for him as he is such a good kid and sometimes, you just need a little bit of a break.

I said to him at the back-end of the season that if we did manage to go up, don’t start thinking: ‘that is me done’.

It was not and I always thought he had a part to play and for John now he needs to show that level of consistency. But I thought he was outstanding today.

Lundstram’s fine display both on and off the ball (no United player won more tackles) was only a small part of the Blades’ victory.

Substitute Freeman had an effective afternoon in the midfield three with Lundstram and creator-in-chief Oliver Norwood (£5.0m), while Callum Robinson (£5.5m) – who himself was withdrawn with an as-yet-undiagnosed injury in the second half – and McGoldrick pressed well from the front.

The stand-out performers were arguably the Blades’ defenders, though, with a Palace side that scored 32 goals on the road last season (only three sides netted more) barely getting a sniff.

Wing-back George Baldock and centre-half Chris Basham (both £4.5m) nullified Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m) after the Ivory Coast international had made a lively start, while Christian Benteke (£6.0m) was easily handled by the hosts’ back three.

The Eagles were perhaps the more threatening side in the opening quarter of an hour but Benteke’s fourth-minute effort was Palace’s only attempt from close range all game, with their other five speculative shots coming from 18 yards out or further.

Basham’s overlapping runs in open play again caught the eye, while Jack O’Connell‘s (£4.5m), himself not averse to a dash forward, posed a real threat at set plays, twice going close with headers from dead-ball situations.

Reacting to criticism of the Blades’ robust approach, Wilder said of his defence:

It’s still a contact sport. Players are still allowed to make contact with each other and they should be allowed to make contact. That’s part and parcel of what we do.

We did not allow them to get into any rhythm. They are an outstanding side away from home and had won seven out of their last 10 [on the road].

We got the balance and the shape of the team right. Even late on in the game, when we had to stand tough, I thought we did that. It was a good day from my point of view as the manager in terms of how we played with and without the ball.

The cliched, Match of the Day pundit-style response to whether the Blades were good or Palace were bad was appropriate today: “it was a bit of both”.

The Eagles’ bright-ish start didn’t really amount to much and, after Benteke’s aforementioned chance, Dean Henderson (£4.5m) only had to deal with long-range efforts from Andros Townsend (£6.0m) and substitute Jeffrey Schlupp (£5.5m).

The Blades predictably targeted Zaha and, when the Ivory Coast international is muscled out of the game, Palace’s lack of threat from other areas becomes apparent.

Two blanks in front of goal aren’t enough for us to completely write off their attacking assets but Palace now face nine of last season’s top ten between Gameweeks 3 and 13 and sit bottom of our Season Ticker as a result, so there is little incentive to invest at present.

Palace weren’t shambolic at the back but presented the Blades with enough chances to win the game without Lundstram’s goal, with McGoldrick missing a sitter, Robinson blazing over, and O’Connell and Oliver McBurnie (£6.0m) going close with headed efforts in the second half.

Let’s not forget that the Eagles were without first-choice centre-halves James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho (both £5.0m) and haven’t really replaced one of 2018/19’s stand-out right-backs in Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.5m) – the difference in class between Manchester United’s summer signing and Joel Ward (£4.5m) glaringly obvious again on Sunday.

Certainly, there would be plenty to encourage owners of the Red Devils’ Fantasy assets heading into Gameweek 3.

Members’ Analysis


Sheffield United XI (3-5-2): Henderson; Basham, Egan, O’Connell; Basham, Norwood, Fleck (Freeman 29′), Lundstram, Stevens; McGoldrick (Jagielka 89′), Robinson (McBurnie 56′).

Crystal Palace XI (4-4-2): Guaita; Ward, Dann, Kelly, van Aanholt; Townsend (McCarthy 70), McArthur (Wickham 82′), Milivojevic, Meyer (Schlupp 65′); Zaha, Benteke.


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Lessons learned from Gameweek 2

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957 Comments Post a Comment
  1. southernpacific
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 4 days ago

    Current WC....

    DDG (4.0)

    VVD Laporte Digne (Lund Kelly)

    Ceballos Sterling KDB Salah Mount

    Pukki King ( 4.5)

    Would like Son in there but struggling to figure out a way? Any advice

    1. Utensilitility
        1 month, 4 days ago

        sell sterling, kdb or salah to get him in

      • Another Hoops
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 4 days ago

        Nice team. Maybe Jota instead of King. I would consider Salah & Mount to Mane & Maddison but that's my personal preference.

      • RFCSPACE
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 4 days ago

        I've got the same dilemma. Currently Salah on the way out to get him in then use the cash to upgrade King to someone (maybe Firminho)

    2. MikeBravo
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 4 days ago

      I don't get why Billy Sharp doesn't get given a decent chance in the Premier League. Saints never really used him when his goals got them there, and now deja vu with the Blades. He must be peed off...

      1. Little fekirs
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 4 days ago

        Agreed Mcgoldrick didn’t exactly set the world on fire last year.

    3. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 4 days ago

      Have to say this team is mighty tempting to wildcard to.

      Pope
      VVD Digne Montoya Lundstram
      Sterling Mané KDB Trossard
      Kane(c) Pukki

      Woodman Soyuncu Greenwood Dendocker

      1. Little fekirs
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 4 days ago

        Decent but wouldn’t use your WC now. Only 2 weeks of data, could be drafting in more problems.

        A hit or two is a much better option.

      2. pingissimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 4 days ago

        Might change tonight after United play 😉 . Think Martial and City defence may yet prove better value than KdB midterm.

        Trossard? We’ve yet to see enough from Potter to really know imo. Suspect it’ll be different each week. Might go back to him if he really does look central to Brighton

    4. Dynamic Duos
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 4 days ago

      Well this me still having Salah.

      Pope
      VVD Soyuncu Digne
      Salah Sterling Martial Perez Donk
      Kane(c) King

      Button Zinc Lund Greenwood

    5. tabzy
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 4 days ago

      On wildcard!

      Is VVD to Dunk a viable move to get KDB in? It means I have no Liverpool defense which feels like I’m walking into town with the fanciest jacket... but no underwear

      1. De Gea Van Dijk. 10
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 4 days ago

        Hold VVD.

      2. pingissimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 4 days ago

        I’d hold one Liverpool defence personally on WC. They’ll be hard to get back without a hit given their price and 16/7 weeks is a long time to wait for next WC.

    6. Jeanz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 4 days ago

      Can’t remember so many wildcards being thrown about this early on in the season. Feels like WC Anonymous in here.

      1. Christina.
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 4 days ago

        Its great.

        1. Jeanz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 4 days ago

          This place used to be a lot more measured...

          1. Christina.
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 4 days ago

            it was bound to happen with all the big defences early in the season.

      2. Visionaries
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 4 days ago

        It is early but you can definitely already spot the bandwagons and potential bargains

        1. Jeanz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 4 days ago

          No doubt. Usually a hit or two will get you the bandwagons though.

          Just remarking that there seems to be a lot more than usual for this time of year.

      3. Jarvish
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 4 days ago

        Always seems more than it actually is, as you don't hear from the people not WCing.

        1. Jeanz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 4 days ago

          Valid.

      4. Rasping Drive
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 4 days ago

        It always happens, doesn’t it? If not GW2, then certainly GW3.

    7. Little fekirs
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 4 days ago

      Son captain sounds good.

      1. Utensilitility
          1 month, 4 days ago

          I prefer to captain a guaranteed starting player

          1. Little fekirs
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 4 days ago

            Son nailed when fit.

      2. The Man Pastore
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 4 days ago

        Hope Jota scores today

        1. RFCSPACE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 4 days ago

          Me too

        2. RFCSPACE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 4 days ago

          Or doesn't show up at all so Lundstram subs in.

          1. Visionaries
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 4 days ago

            Haha, wishful thinking

          2. Rasping Drive
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 4 days ago

            So much this.

        3. HarryB29
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 4 days ago

          Desperate for some goals from him as well

      3. yakirh
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 4 days ago

        How is it looking?

        Heaton
        VVD AWB Digne Montoya
        Salah Sterling Martial Perez Mount
        (K)ane

        Bench: Cathcart and fodders

        1. Utensilitility
            1 month, 4 days ago

            awful bench.

            1. yakirh
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 4 days ago

              I dont think I need more than 1 playing sub until first wildcard

              Thoughts on the starting eleven?

              1. Utensilitility
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  it's ok I suppose

          • Vj_04
              1 month, 4 days ago

              Mane or Salah?

            • bigbudgie
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              1 month, 4 days ago

              Ryan Button
              Robbo VVD Digne Maguire Rico
              Salah Sterling Siggy Perez Dendonker
              Wilson King Greenwood

              2FT guys and gals, price changes have priced me out of all the popular moves in two, would have liked to get KDB TBH but no easy way now. What looks better? Also think patience with the likes of Siggy and Perez will pay off

              A) Robbo/Wilson > Lundstrum/Kane - would mean playing Lundstrum or Dendonker every week
              B) Siggy/VVD > KDB/4.5 who plays every week
              C) Wilson/Perez > Pukki/Martial

              1. PukkiBlinder123
                • 8 Years
                1 month, 4 days ago

                Nice to see someone with similar team and similar situation with Siggy...

                Would have liked KBD also, but going to wait a few weeks with Everton’s fixtures

            • Vj_04
                1 month, 4 days ago

                A)Mane, Kane
                B)Salah, son

                1. Visionaries
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  A

                2. Little fekirs
                  • 1 Year
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  A if that 0.5 isn’t super important.

                3. Four Hit Wonder
                  • 2 Years
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  A defo

                4. liverpool01
                  • 1 Year
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  B

                5. Basil1977
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  B

              • Bartowski
                • 9 Years
                1 month, 4 days ago

                Is there any real threat to James's place in the Man U team?

                Who played for them on the right last season?

                1. Little fekirs
                  • 1 Year
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  Lingard and Periera were preferred V Chelsea. Definitely not nailed.

                2. Visionaries
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  I think for the moment he will be an impact sub. As the season wears on I imagine he take that position on the right

                  1. Bartowski
                    • 9 Years
                    1 month, 4 days ago

                    Yeah you're probably right. I guess we'll wait and see if he starts tonight.

              • Four Hit Wonder
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 4 days ago

                I got 6.5m ITB after doing the first part of a double whammy. The second part can be:

                a) McGinn --> Mane (got Sterling, KDB, Ceballos, Dendy) - this is the original plan
                b) Pukki --> Aguero / Kane / Auba (got Rashford)
                c) Greenwood --> Aguero / Kane / Auba (would bench either Maitland-Niles in 3-4-3 or Ceballos in 4-3-3)

                I do need Mane as the intention was to replace Salah, but do b) and especially c) have any merit?

                Please don't talk about me shipping Salah. That's done and over.

                1. Rasping Drive
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 10 Years
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  Whay on earth would you want to sell Pukki?

                  Of course C has merit if you choose Kane since Spurs’ upcoming hime fixtures are mint.

                  1. Four Hit Wonder
                    • 2 Years
                    1 month, 4 days ago

                    To bank 0.1m 🙂

                    1. Four Hit Wonder
                      • 2 Years
                      1 month, 4 days ago

                      And let other people sell in panic when he blanks for the first time.

                      1. Rasping Drive
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 10 Years
                        1 month, 4 days ago

                        Hmm. Not sure he’s gonna blank against that Chelsea defence tbh.

                2. Basil1977
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  a for me

              • Basil1977
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 4 days ago

                current team, i have 2ft and no money in the bank.
                ryan, button,
                taa, vvd, digne, zinchenko, rico
                salah, kdb, siggy, barkley, dendonker
                kane, king, greenwood

                rico, barkley, king to lundstram, ceballos, pukki for -4?
                or am i just chasing last weeks points?
                can anyone else think of another move?

                1. Rasping Drive
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 10 Years
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  I would just do Rico to Lundstrom and roll the other trade.

                  1. Basil1977
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 3 Years
                    1 month, 4 days ago

                    Barkley not playing is an issue

                    1. Rasping Drive
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 10 Years
                      1 month, 4 days ago

                      Ah yes, you’re right, I stand corrected. I think Four Hit Wonder’s suggestion makes sense in that case.

                2. Four Hit Wonder
                  • 2 Years
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  The move makes sense, it's not chasing points. Though Rico isn't a priority, unless you want to catch Lundstram price rise. You shouldn't take hits to replace one 4.0m player with another.

                  Barkley & King --> Ceballos & Pukki for free makes perfect sense.

                3. Basil1977
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  Thank you for the replies guys

                4. Four Hit Wonder
                  • 2 Years
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  Alternatively, if you're so serious about Lundstram - play him. Ship one of your four main defenders for him. Use the extra 1.5-3.0m to upgrade Siggy to Pepe or something.

                  1. Basil1977
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 3 Years
                    1 month, 4 days ago

                    Happy to keep Siggy at the moment due to fixtures, Wanted to shift Rico and Barkley due to playing time. Wanted to get a piece of the Pukki party!!

              • BradtheLAD
                • 6 Years
                1 month, 4 days ago

                What to do with this team? Got 2 Ft and 0itb.

                Pope Heaton
                VVD Robbo Digne Rico diop
                Salah Sterling Pérez Lucas Moura dendoncker
                Vardy King Greenwood

              • OBAMA
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 4 days ago

                keep trent or robbo?

                1. Four Hit Wonder
                  • 2 Years
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  Of the two I'd keep TAA, though I own VVD only.

                  TAA always looks more likely to get an offensive return. He can get a good FK anytime, while with Robbo you need the team performing well. He's more dependant on other players, he makes assists when they're in position. TAA can make it rain on his own, he's got Pirlo vision. Robbo is a really stubborn workhorse.

                  At least that's how I see them.

                  1. Fiffo1892
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    1 month, 4 days ago

                    As a LFC fan I tend to disagree. This season in the 4 games so far it seems like Salah would be on some of the right-sided FKs as well as left-sided corners. Robbo is more involved offensively too - look at their comparison stats in the Members area for a proof. Also Robbo has had shots on target in both PL games and was unlucky not to score, while TAA has had the better crosses in these two games.
                    But yeah, Robbo is more nailed on as Gomez has already played some minutes at the right back, even though these were not in PL games.

                2. Basil1977
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  robbo is the safe choice plays every game, taa is more likely to get benched, but is more likely to haul. tough call if you have a playing bench i would go for taa

              • cnewman7
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 4 days ago

                What do to with 2 FTs?

                Ryan (Button)
                Coleman Robertson Cathcart (Lundstram, Diop)
                McGinn Salah Sterling Perez Trossard
                Wilson Kane (Greenwood)

                Thinking of just downgrading Wilson --> Pukki, rolling free TF and keeping the $$

                Thoughts?

                1. Paddy Gooner
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  I would. I have Wilson and Pukki. Gonna get rid of Wilson GW5 though.

              • Paddy Gooner
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 4 days ago

                I need to take a -4 as I have 2 defenders who don't play. Taylor and Guilbert. So I'm thinking of replacing Guilbert with

                A: Mina or
                B: Keane

                ...any suggestions?

                1. Basil1977
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  Mina out of these 2 due to be being great in the air, so is a threat at set pieces.

                  1. Paddy Gooner
                    • 3 Years
                    1 month, 4 days ago

                    Thanks Basil. Love this site.

              • purple lamborGhini
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  Captaining Pukki vs Chelsea is very tempting, but city will probably get like 40+ goals vs Bournemouth so I guess Sterling it is :/

                • farmerfat
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  Wilson Fraser and TAA > > > Jota KDB & Zinchenko. (-4)
                  Happy with this move, wild card not needed.
                  Thoughts?

                • HMC
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 9 Years
                  1 month, 4 days ago

                  Milivojevic to one of Lanzini or Ndombele?
                  Will the latter be impacted by Son?
                  Other suggestions welcome
                  Looking for next 4 GW with good fixtures every week midfielder max 7m (not opposed to freeing up funds either)
                  Have Salah kdb Pérez McGinn also
                  TIA

                  1. ElBuffalo20
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    1 month, 4 days ago

                    I’ve went with Lanzini, looks a good pick

                • FOO FIGHTER
                    1 month, 4 days ago

                    Vardy and Perez out, Pukki and KDB in with only -4 hit is very tempting.

                    My WC is still in tact

                  • ElBuffalo20
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    1 month, 4 days ago

                    How’s my team looking? Will change kwp to Aurier if he takes the place back

                    Ryan (Button)
                    Kwp zinch dunk (Lund) (Kelly)
                    Mane Sterling kdb Maddison Lanzini
                    Kane Jota (Greenwood)

                    On my wc, I’m I good to go?

                  • jai1212
                    • 5 Years
                    1 month, 4 days ago

                    Zaha/Maitland Niles to Mount/AWB for -4?

                  • Gudjohnsen
                    • 2 Years
                    1 month, 4 days ago

                    How's this for a -4?

                    Pope, Button
                    Van Dijk, Zinchenko, Lundstram, Kelly, Rico
                    Salah, Sterling, De Bruyne, Perez, Dendoncker
                    Kane, Pukki, Greenwood

                  • PukkiBlinder123
                    • 8 Years
                    1 month, 4 days ago

                    Siggy owners, what are your thoughts? I’m losing patience...

                    1. Bookkeeper
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 2 Years
                      1 month, 4 days ago

                      keeping and be patient.

                  • Kingy81
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 6 Years
                    1 month, 4 days ago

                    What is the best 4.5 defender coverage

                    Is it Dunk or Montoya or is there another option ?

                    [first time question for the scoutcast ]

                  • rowdog24
                    • 1 Year
                    1 month, 3 days ago

                    TAA, Sig, Wilson >>> Souyuncu, De Bruyne, Rashford (-4)

                    Yay or nay?