Scout Notes

Golden Boot race hots up as Aubameyang and Vardy score again

Arsenal 1-1 Leicester City

Goals: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.9m) | Jamie Vardy (£9.7m)

Assists: Bukayo Saka (£4.7m) | Demarai Gray (£5.0m)

Bonus Points: Vardy x3, Aubameyang x2, Kasper Schmeichel (£5.4m)

A late goal from Jamie Vardy (£9.7m) earned Leicester City a point and denied Arsenal a fourth straight league win.

A sluggish return from lockdown meant more Vardy family members had issued writs against Coleen Rooney than scored Premier League goals, until the striker broke a three-match drought with a brace against Crystal Palace in Gameweek 33+.

His patchy form had lost him close to 600,000 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) owners since Gameweek 28, but three goals in the last four days means he’s now back in the top five for transfers-in heading into the weekend’s fixtures.

Vardy is also two goals clear of the pack in the race for the Golden Boot; a gap that had been reduced to one when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.9m) opened the scoring last night.

The Arsenal forward had been in poor form himself, with four blanks spanning the start and end of lockdown, but three goals and an assist from Gameweek 32+ onwards has now brought in 26 points for his 23.1% ownership.

What it hasn’t done is persuade many to bring him into their Fantasy squads. Aubameyang is not even in the top 30 for Gameweek 35+ purchases as an immediate schedule involving the North London Derby and then a visit from Liverpool seems too rich for most people’s blood.

Fixtures trumping form? Presumably, because the Gunners were unlucky not to make it four league wins on the bounce, and ten victories in their last 13 matches in all competitions, last night.

That they didn’t was down to a superb display by Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (£5.4m), who made five stops during a one-sided first-half, and a red card that reduced the home team to ten men for the final 15 minutes of the match.

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah (£4.4m) had only been on the pitch for four minutes when he failed to control a sliding tackle on the rain-slick pitch and he went in high and studs-up on James Justin (£4.7m). He was initially only booked for the challenge, until VAR had other ideas and referee Chris Kavanagh agreed once he’d taken a look on the pitch-side monitor.

A Foxes team that had threatened only intermittently before the sending-off were ruthless after it. 

Manager Brendan Rodgers went from a 3-4-1-2 to a 4-5-1 formation, which hugely improved the supply line to Vardy, as although the forward ostensibly had a strike partner in Kelechi Iheanacho (£5.7m), the Nigeria international dropped very deep for much of the match, leaving Vardy isolated up front.

The pair did combine well on occasion, with Iheanacho having a goal ruled out for offside in the first half, but once Harvey Barnes (£6.0m) replaced him and Nketiah trudged off a few minutes later, the visitors used patience, and the width of the pitch, to stretch Arsenal.

The tactic finally came good with six minutes to go when Vardy slotted home a cross from the impressive substitute Demarai Gray (£5.0m), although VAR had a long, long look at possible offsides before the goal was finally confirmed.

Rodgers was somewhat one-eyed in his post-match reaction to the result.

“I thought a point was the minimum we deserved. At 11 versus 10 we managed it really well, got the goal and unfortunate not to have got a second.” – Brendan Rodgers

Arsenal would have been extremely unlucky not to get something from a game they ran for lengthy spells.

Schmeichel earned two save points and a bonus for his superb display, denying Bukayo Saka (£4.7m) and Hector Bellerin (£5.3m) with fine stops and Alexandre Lacazette (£9.2m) with a brilliant one.

He could do little about the goal, however, as Aubameyang finished following fine work by Saka.

The 5.4%-owned midfielder, made it two straight Gameweeks with a haul – and three in his last four starts – as Arteta continues to use him as part of a front three.

But what is great news for some is potentially less pleasing for others – Lacazette was handed the central striker role last night, meaning Aubameyang’s owners had to make do with their man cutting in from the left flank.

Arteta, however, believes the move does not harm his attacking threat.

“He is scoring a lot of goals coming from that position, he’s done it all his career. We know he can play as at nine but at the moment the balance of the team is a little bit better like this. He is a team player.” – Mikel Arteta

The stats back the boss up – Aubameyang and Lacazette had exactly the same number of shots (two), all of which were inside the area, and they also had one big chance each. The Gabon international also had four penalty area touches to his teammate’s two.

While the Gunners’ attacking prowess has rarely been in doubt, their defensive improvement has been impressive under Arteta.

A fourth straight clean sheet was beyond them last night, in part thanks to Nketiah’s indiscretion, but the much-maligned Shkodran Mustafi (£5.1m) has been a man transformed in recent weeks, although his major contribution last night involved taking a stray Vardy boot to the face, an (entirely accidental) incident that the Arsenal coach thought should have led to the forward’s dismissal.

“I was agitated for a previous incident that was a red card. The referee has made a decision and we have to learn from that, as well it is our fault because it is the fourth time since I have been here we have played with 10 men and we have to reflect on that.” – Mikel Arteta

That speaks volumes for the, let’s just say, ‘more robust’ Arsenal that is emerging under their new coach, and although few Fantasy managers seem keen to invest right now, their final two fixtures – away at Aston Villa and home to Watford –  should tempt plenty more.

The situation is, essentially, reversed for Leicester.

The Foxes travel to Bournemouth and then host Sheffield United next. Small wonder, then, that Vardy is enjoying purchases.

But they end the season with a trip to Tottenham and a potentially huge home game with Manchester United that could determine which of them earns a Champions League spot for next year.

That will mean a motivated, and mostly rotation-free, side from now until the end of the campaign, but Leicester’s patchy form – a win, a loss and three draws – since Gameweek 30+ is not wholly convincing.

Arsenal (3-4-3): Martínez; Kolasinac, D Luiz, Mustafi; Tierney, Xhaka, Ceballos (Torreira 80), Bellerín; Aubameyang (Maitland-Niles 90+3), Lacazette (Nketiah 71), Saka (Willock 71).

Leicester City (3-4-1-2: Schmeichel; Söyüncü, Evans, Bennett (Gray 76); Justin, Tielemans, Ndidi (Praet 82), Albrighton (Fuchs 59); Pérez; Vardy, Iheanacho (Barnes 59).

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672 Comments Post a Comment
  1. linkafu
    • 1 Year
    7 months, 25 days ago

    Hope Sterling comes out the bench and has a brace.....
    This line up shot me

  2. diesel001
    • 4 Years
    7 months, 25 days ago

    Sterling coming in for next GW

    🙂

  3. Hot Toddy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    7 months, 25 days ago

    5/5 lovely. Good luck all.

    1. Hot Toddy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      *4/4 dont even remember my own team. Such nonsense.

  4. FDMS All Starz
    • 5 Years
    7 months, 25 days ago

    Sterling captain next week?

    1. InSaneMan-e
      • 7 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Got me thinking for sure. Was set on vardinho but not sure now

    2. drughi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      with liverpool home game to burnley and vardy up against bournemouth ? I''ll pass

  5. Super Saints
    • 4 Years
    7 months, 25 days ago

    Should be a few goals for Newcastle here with Ota and Stones starting!

    1. TomSaints
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      I’d take a 7-2

      1. Old Man
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        7 months, 25 days ago

        Wouldn't we all, but these Geordies are becoming a bit more resilient than that.

  6. Klaren
    • 3 Years
    7 months, 25 days ago

    Bib theory was right then. A lot of credit should be given to whoever came up with that analysis. (not certain about the original source).

  7. Top Lad Dakes. - WC/TC left
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    7 months, 25 days ago

    KDB hattrick assisted by Mahrez and away we go

    1. Steve The Spud
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Haway!

    2. bench boost for every gamew…
      • 3 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      actually the other way round as a hattrick by Mahrez is rank killer. Whatever KDb gets is almost irrelevant as long as he gets something. 20 odd pointer from Mahrez is jubilee jubilee.

  8. Mr. O'Connell
    • 8 Years
    7 months, 25 days ago

    Wish list for tonight:

    KDB blank
    Pope blank
    Salah blank
    Doherty blank

    1. TheDragon
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Pope blank is the only acceptable one on that list

      1. Bury94
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        7 months, 25 days ago

        This

    2. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Not asking for much then I see.

    3. Noah’s Ark
      • 8 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      I literally want the opposite to all of those 😆

    4. Old Man
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Your team must be a strange one without any of those

    5. KunDogan (B.D.)
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Nah

  9. TheDragon
    • 2 Years
    7 months, 25 days ago

    Any suggestions what to do with this team and 2FTs? 1.0ITB

    DDG
    TAA, Doherty, Fernandez
    Salah, KDB, Fernandes, Foden
    DCL, Jimenez, Rashford

    4.0 | Saiss, Saka, Holgate

  10. Herman Toothrot
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    7 months, 25 days ago

    KDB captain, Mahrez and Foden

    Please be goals...

  11. Nightcrawler
    • 1 Year
    7 months, 25 days ago

    Salah to Sterling if salah gets 90 mins tonight

    1. Greek Freak
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      I was thinking the same thing, I want Salah for Burnley though...

      1. Nightcrawler
        • 1 Year
        7 months, 25 days ago

        Yeah i dint think ill go through with it lol

  12. Top Lad Dakes. - WC/TC left
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    7 months, 25 days ago

    No Lascelles???? Benched him but worrying?

    1. SomewhatPleasing
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Yeah same.

    2. Greek Freak
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      I'm glad there's no Lascelles, saves me a negative score off the bench if someone's rested.

    3. Pipermaru
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Ankle injury after last game.

  13. Greek Freak
    • 5 Years
    7 months, 25 days ago

    I wonder if KDB (TC) can beat my triple captain haul from last year. Can't remember if it was -3 or -6 but I do remember I triple captained Son when he was sent off.

    The way this season has gone I'll be happy with a 3x0 from KDB.

    1. Van der Faart
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      KDB TCers unite. Lets goooooo

  14. Von Lipwig
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    7 months, 25 days ago

    Nil-Nils all round Please

  15. Firminoooo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    7 months, 25 days ago

    My Salah to Sterling transfer this GW not my best move.

    1. Aztec Kamara
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      I did the same. I hate this game sometimes.

  16. Nightcrawler
    • 1 Year
    7 months, 25 days ago

    Kdb deeper today ugh

    Wd have preferred rodri and gundogan in cm witb kdb ahead

    1. FDMS All Starz
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Newcastle will sit back so he will push forward more

    2. bench boost for every gamew…
      • 3 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      no, he plays alongside silva as the attacking ones with Rodri behind.

    3. Klaren
      • 3 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      This is how they usually play vs non top 6 teams though. Hopefully penalties/set pieces should help.

  17. FDMS All Starz
    • 5 Years
    7 months, 25 days ago

    If Mane & Mahrez both play 90mins today, who would you take out for sterling next week?

    1. RamaJama
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Mahrez

  18. Sun Jihai
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    7 months, 25 days ago

    Wonder how many did Salah > Sterling this GW!

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Loads were saying that they were...

      1. Klaren
        • 3 Years
        7 months, 25 days ago

        I was going to until I saw the bib theory and decided to keep Salah.

  19. InSaneMan-e
    • 7 Years
    7 months, 25 days ago

    Prefer 1-1. Zinchenko goal and a City og

  20. Don Kloppeone
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    7 months, 25 days ago

    I can see not having Foden being an issue tonight!

    1. TheDragon
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Hopefully!

      1. Don Kloppeone
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        7 months, 25 days ago

        *not!

        As long as he scores less than Puli cos I had considered doing that move!

        1. TheDragon
          • 2 Years
          7 months, 25 days ago

          Puli got 9 didn’t he so it can’t exactly go badly for you 🙂

    2. RamaJama
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      It’s time to see if he’s consistant or not

      1. Don Kloppeone
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        7 months, 25 days ago

        Exactly mate

  21. Phlajo
    • 1 Year
    7 months, 25 days ago

    Feels good with Mahrez Foden and KdB in starting 11... or did I just use all my luck right there?

  22. Reg83
      7 months, 25 days ago

      So I guess time to sell mahrez? Pep won't start him 3 in a row right?

      1. FDMS All Starz
        • 5 Years
        7 months, 25 days ago

        Depends on if he gets hooked early because he was subbed early last game too and they don’t have many options to play RW

      2. JabariParkersEyelid
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        7 months, 25 days ago

        He's only not started once since the restart. So maybe I guess.

    • ajay_kl +42
      • 10 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Did Mahrez to Foden this week. I feel dumb.

      KDB captain and Foden in this game

    • AC/DC AFC
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Laporte and Garcia benched too for good measure...

    • TomSaints
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Please pope concede - I can’t take the punishment

      1. Old Man
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        7 months, 25 days ago

        No Mee, so you should be OK.

    • AC Yew
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      All 3 of my Man City boys starting. Nice one!

    • Basil1977
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Hoping for a Salah 1 point cameo tonight, mini league leader has captained him, I've gone KDB

    • TheDragon
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Anyone here not own KDB? If so, how you feeling?

    • Whats the Mata?
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Early thoughts for gw35 (as I have the exact cash)

      Would you do

      1. Son + Jota to Pulisic/Antonio/Foden + Vardy  FOR A HIT (Vardy to Auba in gw37 for free)

      Or

      2. Son to Sterling for free.

    • Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      7 months, 25 days ago

      Family reminder not to follow random Twitter accounts with no track record for lineups.

      Another one bites the dust.

      @FPL_Driver: https://twitter.com/FPL_Driver

      1. Jeremiah
        • 8 Years
        7 months, 25 days ago

        One post surely enough?