Scout Notes

Grealish and his FPL owners frustrated as Lampard keeps us guessing with selection

Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea

  • Goals: Kortney Hause (£4.4m) | Christian Pulisic (£6.9m), Olivier Giroud (£6.6m)
  • Assists: None | Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.9m) x2
  • Bonus: Azpilicueta x3, Giroud x2, Pulisic x1

Arsenal and Sheffield United assets mostly disappointed in their second Gameweek 30+ fixtures and there was little joy for Fantasy managers in part two of Aston Villa’s double-header.

Kortney Hause (£4.4m), owned by 0.1% of Fantasy Premier League bosses and just one manager inside the top 10,000, was the only Villan to score more than two points in Sunday’s defeat against Chelsea, whose second-half comeback left Dean Smith’s side rooted in the relegation zone.

The Villa boss had named an unchanged side for the encounter with Frank Lampard’s troops, meaning another start up front for the ‘out of position’ and misclassified FPL midfielder Keinan Davis (£4.4m).

Davis had looked sharp in the goalless draw with Sheffield United but he was starved of service here, failing to register a single shot or penalty box touch before being replaced in the 57th minute.

Jack Grealish (£6.4m) saw slightly more of the ball but plenty of grass, too, being fouled nine times (the most of any player in Gameweek 30+) as Chelsea sought to thwart Villa’s talisman through any means necessary.

Grealish’s on-field frustrations mirrored those of his owners off it, with the most-bought FPL asset of this Double Gameweek compounding a second successive blank by being booked for a petulant foul in injury time.

Hause had given Villa the lead shortly before half-time, following up his own saved shot to break the deadlock.

The centre-half has caught the eye at attacking set plays in Double Gameweek 30+ but his manager praised his defensive contributions ahead of Wednesday’s match at Newcastle United, saying:

It looks like he’s got a really good partnership going with Tyrone Mings. The back four has looked really solid, which has been pleasing because we have been leaking chances and goals previously. With Bjorn Engels being injured as well.

Villa had defended reasonably well until Chelsea’s two-goal salvo on the hour-mark, with the visitors dominating possession but not crafting a real clear-cut opportunity until Christian Pulisic (£6.9m) fired the Blues level from Cesar Azpilicueta‘s (£5.9m) cross.

The Chelsea right-back was at it again two minutes later, assisting what turned out to be the winner in the shape of Olivier Giroud‘s (£6.6m) deflected strike.

Many of us will be looking at Chelsea assets from Gameweek 32+ onwards but settling on the right player or a combination of them will prove troublesome.

Lampard has a huge squad available to him for the run-in, with Jorginho‘s (£4.9m) imminent return from suspension only swelling the ranks.

A prime example is Tammy Abraham (£7.5m), the most-bought Chelsea asset of Gameweek 30+.

Over 200,000 FPL managers took the plunge on the striker ahead of last Wednesday’s deadline but he found himself only named among the substitutes at Villa Park, emerging for the dreaded one-pointer after the break.

Abraham was a regular starter when fit from Gameweeks 3-25 but Giroud’s fine pre-lockdown form earned him another run-out in the Midlands and the veteran Frenchman’s goal will only increase the ongoing uncertainty over when and how often his positional rival will get game-time.

Pulisic is another asset capable of some explosive returns but only did so from the bench on Sunday, with Lampard opting to start a rusty-looking Ruben Loftus-Cheek (£6.3m) down the left flank instead.

The Chelsea boss said of those two players:

I’m delighted for Ruben to be back in the fold. He’s got in the team on his own merit and for the way that he’s worked for a long time now. In the last few weeks he’s looked good and strong. We have to give him some time to adapt but I felt it was a good game for him to bring his physicality and something different.

He’s going to get much better. It’s been a long time since he last played but he has so much to give us a team and a squad. There were glimpses of it today but there’s much more to come.

The individuals who make the difference should always take all the credit so with Christian and Ross Barkley, who came on at the same time, they’re both players who have trained well and had cases to start this game.

I had some good selection problems and you have to consider the type of game. We knew that fitness would play a part so the idea of bringing on Christian and Ross early in the second half was always something that was in my mind depending on how the game went.

There was at least the familiar sight of Mason Mount (£6.2m) on the pitch, with Lampard’s most-trusted lieutenant keeping up his ever-present record.

Mount has started in 26 of his 30 league appearances this season and was arguably Chelsea’s brightest player throughout, with the three-month break looking like it had done the energetic midfielder the world of good after an arduous 2019/20 campaign.

Buzzing across the pitch from left to right, Mount drew a smart stop out of Orjen Nyland (£4.3m) and fizzed a low ball across the Villa goalkeeper’s six-yard box that evaded both defence and attack.

The young midfielder was namechecked by his manager after the match but it was Azpilicueta who Lampard reserved the most praise for:

I thought Azpi was really good in the game. Obviously he delivers the ball for Christian’s goal and got really high up in areas. We worked a lot before the game on how we wanted to attack and down the right-hand side was certainly an area for us to try to exploit.

Willian, Mason Mount when he moved to that side and Azpi with his energy to keep joining was a huge point of attack for us and eventually, we got the breakthrough from that. He showed his leadership and his quality.

While Azpilicueta delivered the goods, there was no such joy for Marcos Alonso (£6.2m).

The premium FPL defender was collateral damage of that decision to funnel play down the Villa left and he duly blanked, something he hadn’t previously done when starting a Premier League game this season.

The availability of Reece James (£5.1m), whose Gameweek 30+ benching was perhaps as much fitness-related as it was tactical, will also cause week-to-week jitters among Alonso’s owners going forward and the Spaniard remains a high-risk, high-reward punt.

As for Villa assets, Smith’s side at least have a not-too-awful Gameweek 31+ clash with Newcastle United to come, which acts as a bit of a buffer before the fixtures turn really bad.

The Magpies have been resilient at St James Park this season and demolished ten-man Sheffield United 3-0 on Sunday but Steve Bruce’s side does have an FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester City looming large next weekend and this may not be a terrible time to play them, especially as they are well clear of the drop zone and have relatively little to play for in the league.

Smith knows that getting Grealish on the ball and ticking on Tyneside will be key to their chances:

You’ve got to feed him the ball, yesterday we never had enough of the ball to feed him. After two games, I expect him to be right at it against Newcastle.

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1,251 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Kung Fu Football
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    On WC (have Doherty) :

    A - Pope & Saiss

    B - Rui Patricio & Lascelles

    Ta.

    1. Twisted Saltergater
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Burnley can’t field a full team without calling on the reserves. Pope might be a very busy man.

  2. TheDragon
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    This WC team as good as any (very template)?

    Pope, Hart
    TAA, Doherty, Saiss, Fernandez, Holgate
    Salah, KDB, Fernandes, Sarr, Saka
    Jimenez, Rashford, DCL

    1. Crunchie
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Salah to Son, Sarr to Richarlison?

      1. TheDragon
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Ye - ideally Sarr would be Son but I can’t afford that. So to get Son I’d have to downgrade one of Salah, KDB or Doherty ... tricky

        1. Crunchie
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          I am seriously considering downgrading Salah (see below) or KDB (but hold 1.1 value in him)

          1. Crunchie
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 20 days ago

            see below

      2. Crunchie
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Hart to be released at the end of the month

    2. Ricky - it doesn't tak…
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Hart is supposed to be leaving soon so may be worth getting another gk

      1. TheDragon
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Thanks - I can actually stretch to DDG and a 4.0... better idea?

        1. Ricky - it doesn't tak…
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          Maybe just Pope and Martinez

  3. Crunchie
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Bottomed

    Would you swap Barnes and Salah to Son and Richarlison or wait a week or two?

    (For a -4 hit?)

    Thinking seriously about it with Rotation, Placa e defence, future fixtures not great.

    Cheers

    1. Crunchie
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Palace defence

    2. TheDragon
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      I’m pretty confident Salah starts vs Palace but Palace are a bogey team for Liverpool

      1. Crunchie
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Cheer being a Palace fan myself I know this too well 🙂

  4. El Fenomeno R9
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Damn there goes my chance to hit 100pts,on 95 with KDB(C) left

  5. Camzy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Liking this! I have Aguero (c), Mahrez, KdB.

    1. Teahupo'o
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      C'mon Kun!!

    2. Jellyfish
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Same

    3. PLerix
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Me too, but I dont feel confident at all. Sterling and KdB cappers may get the last laugh imo.

  6. bigmacs
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    A) DCL + Martial
    B) Rashford + Traore

    Rest is:
    Pope
    TAA-Doherty-Aurier
    Mane-KDB-Son-Fernandes-XXX
    Jimmy-XXX
    (Button-Lacelles-Lundy-Greenwood)

  7. Fintroy
      1 month, 20 days ago

      That's me and Man City - too many changes, too expensive players....before we know it Pep will be playing his 2 year old dog upfront..... sticking with teams that have something to play for now.....Watford, Bournemouth, Man U, Spurs etc......

      1. Devo-McDuff
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 19 days ago

        You'll regret it, that's a lot of points you're passing up on.

    • sminkypinky
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Kun captaincy for me. None of ML rivals capped him. They all played Laporte. I picked Ederson.
      This’ll be the day City win my ML for me.

    • SuperMane Returns
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Why does it sound like theres planes flying over the stadium?

      1. maglia rosa
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Radio just mentioned that too

        1. SuperMane Returns
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          It's the airplanes with the 'BALD FRAUD' message trails trailing behind

      2. Twisted Saltergater
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Noisy neighbours

      3. jamiejoe
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        There are some planes in the sky but I guess the background to the crowd noise is recorded too.

    • Twisted Saltergater
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Ok, it’s not working, Pep. Get KdB on.

    • SuperMane Returns
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      As a Kun owner, KDB capper, Mahrez owner, I'd love a Mahrez brace now

      1. jamiejoe
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Set up by Kun...

        My captain to Mahrez my player, followed by a brace himself!

      2. Devo-McDuff
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 19 days ago

        Mystic Meg, is that you?

        I had the same 3 with KDB captain too, very happy.

    • SuperMane Returns
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Do we get 1/2 points if 'Little Kevin' scores?

      1. Devo-McDuff
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 19 days ago

        Look for his rap video on the tube of you, Lil Kev deserves a -2 every match for that effort.

    • Niho992
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Aguero C fail

    • QUEN
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 20 days ago

      A) Pope kiko guendozi Ings
      C) lloris Holgate Mount nkeitah

    • sminkypinky
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      And he’s croked

    • QUEN
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Will Pogba start?

      Debating him over Fernandez as a differential

      1. FPL Motty
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Fernandes not really a differential, more essential. Pogba probably starts most games if fit

    • Trophé Mourinho
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 20 days ago

      A Burnely plane flew over saying white lives matter? LOL wtf

    • FPL Pillars
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Thoughts on Pope now?

      All these contractual issues really putting a bit of a dent in CS potential perhaps?

      1. Devo-McDuff
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 19 days ago

        It's a tricky one isn't it. At the moment I'm still going with him on WC, last time I ditched when Burnley looked ropey he went on a crazy good points run.

        I might get itchy before the deadline though.