Leicester 3-1 Bournemouth
Goals: Jamie Vardy x2 (£8.9m), Youri Tielemans (£6.4m) | Callum Wilson (£7.8m)
Assists: Ben Chilwell (£5.4m), Vardy, Tielemans | Ryan Fraser (£7.3m)
Bonus: Vardy x3, Tielemans x2, Fraser x1
Jamie Vardy (£8.9m) punished his early-season doubters once again as he registered a double-figure haul in Leicester’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth on Saturday.
A portion of the forward’s ownership lost faith after two blanks and just one shot in the first two Gameweeks, but since the third match of the campaign, Vardy now has three goals and one assist.
After his clinical finish helped Leicester edge a scrappy encounter with Sheffield United in Gameweek 3, the latest win saw Vardy prove a constant menace to Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale (£4.5m).
Not only did the Foxes’ centre-forward press from the front and catch the visiting shot-stopper in possession twice but he also lobbed him to open the scoring.
As far as lobs go, this one was pretty special. It was a trademark run from Vardy onto a long-pass forward from Ben Chilwell (£5.4m), and with Ramsdale approaching to pressurise the striker, he tipped it over him with the outside of his boot, from outside of the penalty area.
Next, Vardy drifted wide to ask questions of make-shift left-back Nathan Aké (£4.9m), and once he had forced his way past the player, he put a square-ball on a plate for Youri Tielemans (£6.4m) to clip a finish into the left-hand corner.
In the second half, it was Vardy’s positioning that led to his second goal, loitering inside the box even after Leicester had lost possession so that he was free to convert Tieleman’s through-ball once it arrived.
“I think you can see with the performance we weren’t the best when we played Chelsea in the first half, but I think in the second half in that game we were showing our true colours. It was a bit scrappy last week as well but managed to dig in and get the result and then today it’s just like you said. The momentum has taken us into it, and we’ve put in a full, solid performance.” – Jamie Vardy
Vardy now has 12 league goals in 14 appearances since Brendan Rodgers took over at Leicester. No top-flight player has found the net more often in that time as him.
That will almost certainly trigger interest in Leicester’s centre-forward, although some managers might be put off by his upcoming fixtures.
In three of the next four Gameweeks, the Foxes face top-six opposition. Next up is a trip to Manchester United, Spurs come to the King Power Stadium in Gameweek 6, followed by Newcastle. Gameweek 8 takes Rodgers’ men to Anfield to face Liverpool.
While that may put some punters off Vardy, others might be even more interested given the quality of opposition, as he tends to perform better against top-six clubs. Manchester United and Liverpool are two that Vardy has a decent scoring record against too.
Those who had patience in Tielemans were finally rewarded with his first attacking returns of the campaign, as he got a goal and assist against Bournemouth.
However, the Belgian midfielder was probably fortunate to remain on the pitch after a nasty high foot in a tackle on Callum Wilson (£7.8m) that also went unpunished by the Video Assistant Referee.
“I have seen it back and I still think it’s a stonewall red. It’s a bad challenge. He has tried to protect himself and shield the ball but he’s gone straight over the top of it – not even looking at the ball from what I’ve seen as well. He’s not meant it but, at the end of the day, it’s a naughty challenge.” – Callum Wilson
Meanwhile, James Maddison (£7.1m) failed to register any having provided two assists in Gameweek 2 and 3.
That said, the Englishman was unfortunate not to get some offensive points in this one.
He headed just wide in the first half and played a pivotal part in Vardy’s second goal, winning the ball back high up the pitch. Tielemans standing close by is probably what removed Maddison’s chance to play the striker in himself.
By contrast, interest in Ayoze Pérez (£6.3m) appears to have reached a deserved end after an uninspiring start to the campaign.
The former Newcastle forward, turned midfielder at Leicester, was largely anonymous in the first three matches of 2019/20 and had not been playing in as advanced as a position as his
Amid a slew of sales, Pérez was dropped to the bench for the first time this season in Gameweek 4, replaced in the starting XI by Marc Albrighton (£5.4m).
Rodgers explained that he wanted to go down a different route for this match, hinting at some rotation for his wide midfielders, as well as Pérez’s loss of security of starts.
“It was just a different idea. He has played a lot of games up until now. I have got other really, really good players like Marc Albrighton, who can come into the game Ayoze has played and we felt that we needed a freshness against a team that are very dynamic and fast, so the three players we brought in were all fast and aggressive in Marc, Wilfred (Ndidi) and Ben (Chilwell) I think Ayo will show over his time here is that he is a top-class player, but I’ve also got Demarai Gray who is a very good player, so it’s very much about the squad.” – Brendan Rodgers
To make matters worse for Pérez, Albrighton was comfortably one of Leicester’s best players at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
His delivery from wide areas is considerably better than the former Newcastle man, and he would have registered an assist had his exquisite cross for Maddison had ended up in the back of the net.
Leicester may still only have one clean sheet this season, but there have still been some impressive performances at the back.
Centre-half Çaglar Söyüncü (£4.5m) has drawn plenty of praise from fans, the press and his manager alike.
Filling in for the departed Harry Maguire (£5.5m), the Turkish international has started every match of the season so far and has done well in multiple departments.
Not only has Söyüncü stepped up to replace Maguire’s defensive contributions, but he has also helped get Leicester on the front foot with the way he presses forward from the back too. Against Sheffield United, he also got an assist.
There have been some teething problems with the latter but there is still plenty of potential for Söyüncü, although getting in on his budget price might be more advisable when Leicester’s fixtures clear up in Gameweek 9.
“If you look at him in our third goal, that’s exactly what we want, defenders who defend forward. I think you sense the supporters are really enjoying watching him play. He does a couple of wee maverick things that makes you wonder sometimes, but he is very young, you can see he is aggressive, attacks the ball well. For me, first and foremost, he can defend. He will learn from the first goal because he has got to track the runner. On that one there he has got to go with Callum Wilson into the box when he is so close to the goal. So these are things that show his youth, but he has huge potential and he is very good.” – Brendan Rodgers
Meanwhile, Bournemouth’s attack as a whole continues to underwhelm somewhat, averaging 1.25 goals per game.
However, Callum Wilson has managed to tick over with points this season.
His goal at Leicester was his first of the campaign, but the Cherries’ forward actually now has attacking returns in every Gameweek so far in 2019/20.
Despite that, his price has dropped by £0.2m over the first four matches, potentially opening up an opportunity for Fantasy managers looking to make a change in the forward department.
Bournemouth’s fixtures over the coming weeks are actually rather favourable with Everton and West Ham the next two sides to come to the Vitality Stadium, while Southampton and Arsenal are the next two venues for their away trips.
After a rotten start to the campaign, Ryan Fraser (£7.3m) finally got his first assist of 2019/20 too, suggesting that he could slowly replicate last season’s form over the appealing run on the horizon.
It is also worth pointing out that Harry Wilson (£6.0m) started for the second time this season, as he continues to establish himself in the first-team.
Furthermore, neither he or Fraser were required at left wing-back in the absence of Charlie Daniels (£4.5m), ruled out for the season with a knee injury.
Against Leicester, Howe pushed centre-back Aké across to the left-back position, while Diego Rico (£4.0m) remained on the bench.
Leicester City XI (4-1-4-1): Schmeichel; Chilwell, Söyüncü, Evans, R Pereira; Ndidi; H Barnes (Choudhury 71′), Maddison (Fuchs 86′), Tielemans, Albrighton (D Gray 64′); Vardy.
Bournemouth XI (4-4-2): Ramsdale; Aké, S Cook, Mepham, A Smith (Ibe 64′); Fraser, Lerma, Billing, H Wilson (Solanke 64′); C Wilson, J King (Surman 79′).
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