Scout Notes

Pulisic and Willian continue fine FPL form as West Ham gear up for fixture swing

West Ham United 3-2 Chelsea

  • Goals: Tomas Soucek (£4.8m), Michail Antonio (£6.9m), Andriy Yarmolenko (£5.2m) | Willian (£7.1m) x2
  • Assists: Jarrod Bowen (£6.4m) x2, Antonio | Christian Pulisic (£7.0m) x2
  • Bonus: Willian x3, Antonio x2, Bowen x1

A late goal from substitute Andriy Yarmolenko (£5.2m) won West Ham United a game of twists, turns and one contentious VAR decision.

Such is the state of play at both ends of the table that the result could prove crucial for the Hammers’ Premier League survival and damaging for Chelsea’s Champions League aspirations.

But from a Fantasy perspective, it was not quite such a dramatic evening.

Of the players who brought in decent Fantasy Premier League (FPL) returns, only Chelsea midfielders Willian (£7.1m), who scored twice, and Christian Pulisic (£7.0m), who claimed assists for both goals, could be found in at least five per cent of Fantasy squads.

West Ham’s four main contributors – Yarmolenko, Tomas Soucek (£4.8m), Michail Antonio (£6.9m) and Jarrod Bowen (£6.4m) – are owned by roughly 120,000 FPL managers. In total.

For context, Kevin De Bruyne‘s (£10.7m) ownership is 32 times larger than that. All by his ginger self.

That said, the Fantasy repercussions could linger longer than last night’s hauls.

Chelsea coach Frank Lampard didn’t spare all of the horses in his line-up choices, making just two changes from the side that beat Manchester City six days previously and starting five players who were given extended run-outs in the weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final against Leicester City.

That was proof, if it were ever actually needed, that rotation won’t be a major issue for those managers looking to capitalise on the Blues’ next four fixtures, which involve Watford and Norwich City at home and trips to Crystal Palace and Sheffield United.

The fight for Champions League spots is now so intense – two places sought by four teams separated by just three points – that Lampard can’t afford to rest his key players.

Last night, the stars were Willian and Pulisic, who have both appeared in all four matches since football returned.

The Brazilian, owned by 5% in FPL, is in sparkling form, with four goals and an assist from the last four Gameweeks.

He made his mark from set-pieces against West Ham, converting a penalty – his second in successive league games – and then a free-kick, both times following fouls on Pulisic.

The American has been equally productive since the restart, with two goals and as many assists since Gameweek 30+, although he was profligate when blasting over the bar in the first half following a clever dummy from Tammy Abraham‘s (£7.5m) clever step-over.

Small wonder that the pair are the most popular transfer targets among Chelsea assets heading into Gameweek 33+, although Mason Mount (£6.2m), who created a couple of chances during a 37-minute cameo at the London Stadium, and Abraham are also attracting interest.

The England striker started his first league match since Gameweek 25 last night, but managed only one attempt, off-target, and a single chance created during an underwhelming performance that was in stark contrast to his dynamic turn from the bench in the win over Man City.

Lampard was left to rue his side’s defensive shortcomings against the Hammers:

There’s without a doubt a good group of players in there, but then when you analyse the consistency, you feel a game like this is coming. Again, that shows there’s work to do. If we are opening up to try and score that winning goal then we have to be prepared to run back the other way and defend. And defend better.

West Ham exposed a weakness at set-pieces for which Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga (£5.4m) deserves a sizeable chunk of the blame.

The Spaniard struggled to command his area last night; a fault that led to both of Soucek’s openers.

The midfielder thought he’d scored his first-ever West Ham goal when he hooked home following Antonio’s botched attempt from a cross, only for VAR to rule the Englishman was lying offside, which he was (just), and interfering with play, which he really wasn’t.

As it happened, the decision proved more derisory than costly, as another corner led to another Soucek goal, this time from a header back across goal and past the hapless Kepa.

In fairness, the Hammers’ other strikes could not be laid at the keeper’s door, with their second an emphatic finish from Antonio which gave Bowen his second assist of the night.

But the defending of Antonio Rudiger (£6.0m) and Marcos Alonso (£6.2m) certainly left a lot to be desired regarding Yarmolenko’s winner.

The Ukraine international finished sweetly from Antonio’s pass on the break, but he went past Rudiger all too easily and was helped no end by the fact that Alonso neglected to track his run in the first place.

Chelsea have kept just one clean sheet since Gameweek 22 and only six all season – that’s just one more than Norwich and Aston Villa – although, amazingly, Villa have conceded double (553) the attempts that Chelsea (276) have allowed.

Equally mystifying is that only Manchester City have allowed fewer shots than the 276 conceded by Chelsea, and only two teams (City and Liverpool) have better tallies for shots on target conceded than the Blues.

Whatever the causes of all that, it’s clear Chelsea defenders are not featuring highly on Fantasy managers’ wish lists, although Alonso’s attacking threat against the Hammers will be highlighted in the Members Analysis section below.

West Ham assets have not proved any more popular, but there’s a differential option or two to be had as David Moyes’ men prepare for the final six, potentially mad, matches of the season.

The madness will almost certainly arise from half of those fixtures involving do-or-die clashes with fellow relegation candidates Norwich, Watford and Villa.

The rest of their schedule is less fraught, but could prove testing for their goalscoring potential, as the defences of Burnley, Newcastle and Manchester United are among the tightest in the league.

In Antonio, Moyes has found a gem that he was keen to praise post-match.

We need him so much. He led the line really well.

Fantasy managers could be tempted by the midfielder if he remains in an out-of-position role up front – likely as the club’s recognised strikers are currently either injured or out of favour.

Bowen is another who could be worth a look as the January signing has a goal and two assists from his five Premier League starts now.

Both he and Antonio are hardly popular – owned by 0.1% and 0.8% respectively – which marks them out as major differentials.

And although Gameweek 21 was the last time the Hammers kept a clean sheet, their schedule involves a number of games that don’t exactly scream goals, so a low-cost punt such as Issa Diop (£4.3m) might be worth considering as well.

What’s for definite is that neither side is about to start thinking of the beach any time soon, leaving Fantasy managers with a number of motivated players to pick from as the season draws to  a close.


West Ham United United XI (4-5-1): Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice, Bowen (Yarmolenko 78′), Fornals (Balbuena 90′), Lanzini (Wilshere 68′); Antonio.

Chelsea XI (4-2-3-1): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen, Alonso; Kovacic (Mount 52′), Kante; Pulisic, Barkley (Loftus-Cheek 63′), Willian; Abraham (Giroud 63′).

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3,040 Comments Post a Comment
  1. FF Dirtbag
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Thoughts on
    Son, Guendouzi and DCL out
    Pulisic, Mahrez and Nketiah in

    Creating this team with 0.5 ITB:
    Patricio button
    VVD Doherty AWB Lascelles Simpson
    KDB Salah Fernandes Mahrez Pulisic
    Jimenez Rashford Nketiah

    1. Rinseboy
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      I like it

      1. FF Dirtbag
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Cheers rinse!

        1. Rinseboy
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 11 days ago

          give us a hand below mate

    2. The Big Fella
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Keeping Salah even after tonight? Not worried he will be rotated?

      1. Goonsquad245
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Selling Salah before villa at home under almost any circumstances is unbelievable overthink

        1. FF Dirtbag
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 11 days ago

          This.

        2. The Big Fella
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 11 days ago

          He could be rotated though

  2. Gudjohnsen
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Bruno or Salah captain?

    1. Better luck next year
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Bruno is safety is a priority

      1. Better luck next year
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 11 days ago

        If*

  3. JJeyy
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Jota to Origi thoughts?

    1. JJeyy
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      will mainly be benched, but played this week

    2. Rinseboy
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Good punt as long as you got a decent rest of playing squad

  4. Rinseboy
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Really nees your guys opinions! Leading my ML by 40 points.
    £500 top prize as league of about 80 people. Rivals in 2nd and 3rd have decent squads with Martial and Mahrez

    Would you do this for a -8 this week and sacrifice some points?
    Jota, Son and Saka to Nketiah Martial and Mahrez ?

    Pope
    TAA Doherty Maguire
    KDB Salah Bruno Son
    Jota Jimi DCL
    Martinez Saka Aurier Fernadnez.

    1. Goonsquad245
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      I’d just bring in Greenwood for Jota, no hits

      1. Rinseboy
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        could do more worried about Martial and Mahrez captainers

        1. Goonsquad245
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 11 days ago

          It’s a risky strategy to cover your opponents teams with a lead of just 30-40

    2. pingissimus
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Hold and get Ings in 35

    3. The Big Fella
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      I wouldn't be taking hits. You would be eroding your lead.

    4. Rinseboy
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      thanks all. Hoping Martial or Mahrez captainers don't destroy me this week

    5. FF Dirtbag
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      But you don't know what moves they are gonna make... -8 cuts your lead a bit too much for me. Block one of them, probably get Mahrez in.

  5. Goonsquad245
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Foden at 5.2 looks great but I’m struggling with the timing of the move. Doesn’t feel like the right week to bring him in.

    1. JJeyy
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      next week for me

    2. Catastrophe
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Shame he wasnt taken off early. Think I'm going ASM instead.

    3. Berbs
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      I'd say few mins vs Saints, 90 vs New

      1. Goonsquad245
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        This looks right, but I have Sarr who has NOR that week, so that doesn’t feel like the right time to sell either!

      2. Tempestic
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        this would be the logical thing to happen

  6. Catastrophe
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Pretty set on Grealish -> ASM but not seeing him in many/any teams? Great form, Newcastle playing well, half-decent fixtures? Or better to go with Foden who presumably wont start next GW?

    Planning Salah -> Sterling week after.

    Cheers

    1. Coys96
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Go ASM on a 1 week punt

    2. sunnyh
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      So many other options, he’s also a great option

      Pulisic Willian mahrez martial Bruno sterling Kdb salah mane Foden son Antonio all options for 4/5 slots

  7. FantasyTony
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Question time! First to 3 wins:

    DCL + Sarr > Ings + Foden

    Y/N?

  8. Tempestic
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Tempted by Auba, Son > Kane, Sterling for free but it means going without Liverpool mids and tbh I reckon they might comeback with vengeance so I'm unsure

    1. FPL_DON
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      this is my feeling, might hold

      1. Tempestic
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        I currently dont own any having taken a punt on Auba on WC instead (which i must say went rather well 😉 ) But now idk whether or not to get them in... if there was better budget strikers I would for sure but I'm honestly seeing no one I like the look of..

  9. Iggypop
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Fh team line up,
    Ryan
    Vvd-soyuncu-zinchenko (mendy played 90 tonight)
    Bruno-martial-salah-pulisic-mahrez
    Rashford-kane
    Bench - lascelles and rest 3.9 etc

  10. FPL_DON
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Any ideas what to do with this lot with 2 FT?

    DDG - (fodder)
    TAA - Aurier - Doherty - (Lascelles - Holgate)
    Mane - Son - Fernandes - KDB - (fodder)
    DCL - Jimi - Rashford

  11. Karan14
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Mahrez or Foden?

    1. Berbs
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Mahrez

    2. FF Dirtbag
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Mahrez this week. Foden the next week.

    3. Coys96
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Both great. Mahrez just though

    4. JJeyy
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      mahrez this week, foden next

    5. Amey
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Mahrez brother
      Mahrez
      😀
      Sold Son ...

      1. Karan14
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        I was really hoping he remained a differential 😛

    6. Karan14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Cheers all! 🙂

  12. pingissimus
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Eeeek - these jokers got me a minor green. Lightning won’t strike twice

    Ederson
    Boly Maguire Egan Lascelles
    KdB Bruno Son Sarr
    Jim Vardy

    Hendo Tammy Lund Grealish 3.9itb

    A Grealish to Martial
    B Grealish to Mahrez
    C Vardy Grealish to Greenwood Sterling -4
    D Grealish to Foden
    E Roll and play Lund!!!!
    F other

  13. Tsssst
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    A. Grealish to Pulisic
    Or
    B. Aubameyang to Greenwood, Grealish to Salah - 4

  14. Ian Davis
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Any tips for this free-hit team?

    Pope

    TAA / Chilwell / Saïss

    Mané(c)/Salah/Martial/Bruno/Willian

    Jimenez/Greenwood

    Subs: 3.9/Taylor/Nketiah/3.9

    1. Roysgotnoboys
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      I’d rather have Pulisic over Willian

    2. FDMS All Starz
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Laporte got subbed a little early, maybe he will start?...you really don’t think Salah and Mane won’t be rotated next game??

      1. Ian Davis
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Definitely a chance they could be, but with that fixture I can’t leave them out. Decent shout with Laporte, but Ings could get a goal.

  15. jason_ni
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Time to admit I was wrong and just bring kdb in for son for free?

    I know as soon as I do it, kevin will be benched.

  16. Syd.
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Jose Mourhino sold KDB 😆

    1. Tinkermania
        1 month, 11 days ago

        To be fair to Jose, it wasn't the same kdb!

        1. FantasyTony
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 11 days ago

          It wasn't the sand same Jose either

      • jason_ni
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Did he not also sell salah.. he sold a lot of players tbf!

    2. Puyol Pants Up
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Son owners, are we selling?

      Son to a rested Mahrez is very tempting rn

      1. FDMS All Starz
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Son very lucky to get an assist this week, Spurs look tired...might be time to ship considering his price

      2. Congers
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        He’s going as part of one of the following, but not sure yet:

        A) Mahrez and Greenwood
        B) Pulisic and Rashford

      3. JabariParkersEyelid
          1 month, 11 days ago

          Yeah selling. Mahrez in. Pretty template move but looks good.

      4. Printing Mane
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        2FT, any suggestions?

        DDG
        TAA Doherty Ritchie (Holgate Kiko)
        Salah Kdb Bruno Son (Guen)
        Jim Rash DCL

        Maybe?
        A Son, Guen to Mahrez, Foden
        B Son, Ritchie to Sterlo, 4.0
        C Son to Mahrez, save 1 FT
        D others

      5. TaiwanHC
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        I need a defender for 5.4 or less. Already have AWB and full on United players.

        Who should I get?

        1. ManUnitedComeBack
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 11 days ago

          Ritchie? Should start in the weekend

        2. Tempestic
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 11 days ago

          Jonny?

      6. Strchld
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Stick with DDG, Bruno and Rashford
        Or
        Do DDG to Ederson and DCL to Greenwood for free. Gives me 3 ManU attacker.

        Why I picked DDG on WC to be my 3rd ManU player.

      7. FDMS All Starz
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        What would you do here?

        Patrício
        TAA - Aurier - Doherty
        Mane - Kdb - Son - Fernandes - Richarlison
        Jimenez - DCL

        A) Richarlison & DCL —> Martial & Greenwood (free)

        Or

        B) Son & Richarlison —> Martial & Mahrez (free)

        1. Jullepuu
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 11 days ago

          B

      8. Jullepuu
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Auba and D. Luiz to Greenwood and Mahrez followed by Duda to Foden for gw 34? Anything better to do?

        Pope Krul
        TAA Doherty Lascelles Egan Basham
        KDB Salah Bruno Duda D. Luiz
        Auba Jota Rashford

      9. Rt505
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Missed the game tonight. Thoughts on Jesus? Worth Auba to Jesus for a hit?

        1. pingissimus
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 11 days ago

          Wretched - avoid

          1. mrodgers91
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 11 days ago

            Agree not suitable to take aguero place in future, even kane would be a better choice. Think kane had ball in the net 3 times even if two ruled out

      10. TaiwanHC
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Would you get Salah on WC?

      11. Syd.
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Undecided whom to captain

        Salah or Bruno

        1. Coys96
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 11 days ago

          Salah

        2. Amey
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 11 days ago

          Mo

      12. mrodgers91
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Pep on sky sports 'I think they have drunk a lot of beers in the past week's too right lad

      13. Coys96
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        So many nice captains this week

        Trent, Salah & Mane against Villa
        Bruno, Martial & Rashford against Bournemouth
        Mahrez, KDB against Southampton

      14. Athletic Nasherbo
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        No Salah hmm.

        Thinking Grealish + Rich > Pulisic + Willian (-4) thoughts?

        1. Coys96
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 11 days ago

          Really nice.

      15. EL tridente
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Auba and Grealish to Rashford and Mahrez?

      16. Smurf
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        I fully feel Pep can’t be guessed in terms of starting 11’s. I’ve tried in the past and sat with egg on my face multiple times. But here’s the minutes played over the 4 PL games and FA Cup game that City have had.

        KDB - 69 - 29 - 90 - 71 - 90
        Sterling - 90 - 0 - 90 - 90 - 78
        Mahrez - 64 - 60 - 90 - 64 - 32
        Jesus - 79 - 45 - 35 - 90 - 57
        Foden - 25 - 78 - 0 - 36 - 90

        Everyone saying Foden won’t start next GW because he played 90 tonight but he should still be fresh after only half an hour in the previous two games.