Scout Notes

Son scores from the spot as £4.0m FPL defender Johnson struggles in Hammers loss

We round off our coverage of Saturday’s pre-season friendlies with a look at how Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Leeds United and Leicester City got on in their final warm-up matches before Gameweek 1.

Watford 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur

  • Goal: Son Heung-min (£9.0m)
  • Assist: Erik Lamela (£6.0m)

Son Heung-min (£9.0m) led the line and scored from the spot as Tottenham Hotspur rounded off their pre-season campaign with a defeat at recently relegated Watford.

With Harry Kane (£10.5m) away on international duty, the Korean was again given the nod to spearhead the Lilywhites’ attack in front of an attacking midfield trident of Erik Lamela (£6.0m), Dele Alli (£8.0m) and Lucas Moura (£7.0m) at Vicarage Road.

On paper, it seems that Lamela would be the placeholder for Kane, with Son moving back to the left flank, but the South Korea international has shone in pre-season in a central role and his energetic displays were in sharp contrast to the sluggish performance that Kane turned in for his country at the weekend.

The England striker has mitigating circumstances for his rustiness, of course, having been quarantined following a trip to the Bahamas, and even if half-fit, it’s difficult to see Jose Mourinho omitting him for the visit of Everton this weekend.

Son’s goal from 12 yards came after Lamela had been fouled and with Alli on the pitch, which, even if it is only a meaningless pre-season kickabout, may be an indication that the Korean is next in line in the penalty-taking pecking order whenever Kane is absent.

Alli had caught the eye in his first two pre-season starts, bagging a goal and two assists, but he was unable to replicate that form here, being moved into a deeper central midfield role in the second half as Tanguy Ndombele (£6.0m) was sacrificed for young winger Jack Clarke; Alli’s ball-playing skills perhaps required from deep as the two long-passing centre-backs – Eric Dier (£5.0m) and Toby Alderweireld (£5.5m) – were not on the pitch.

That’s not a position Fantasy managers want to see him in and it likely isn’t the plan long term but with Giovani Lo Celso (£7.0m) not featuring at all in pre-season, Harry Winks (£5.5m) withdrawing from the England squad because of injury and Ndombele locked in a never-ending battle to regain match-fitness, there is a lingering question over who gets the nod alongside midfield anchor Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (£5.0m) in Gameweek 1.

Youngster Dennis Cirkin and Juan Foyth (£4.5m) both got 45 minutes at left-back in the absence of Ben Davies (£5.0m), who was away with Wales, while Serge Aurier (£5.5m) stepped into the void at right-back with Matt Doherty (£6.0m) and Gedson Fernandes (£5.0m) away on international duty.

None of the deputy full-backs turned in particularly convincing displays, with Cirkin giving away a converted penalty and Aurier’s distribution typically erratic, so there was little to worry prospective owners of Doherty and Davies.

Mourinho said after the game:

I would say that those are the positives, players who needed minutes had them, some players played 90 minutes. Also positive was that Watford took it very seriously. I liked that. They competed, they were aggressive, they made the game very hard, those are all positives.In the same way I wasn’t super-enthusiastic after winning three friendlies, wins that don’t give us any points, I’m not sad that we lost this one.

I said to the players at half-time, maybe in the Premier League if we are losing 2-0 at half-time, we have the second half to fight for the result. It was a game to give us minutes and a competitive mentality and I really liked the fact that in the last minute, we are fighting to try to score, and then Sonny makes a 100-metre sprint to stop the 3-1 on the counter-attack. So, overall, it was okay.

*With thanks to TopMarx for his observations

Tottenham Hotspur XI (4-2-3-1): Hart (Gazzaniga 46′); Aurier, Sanchez, Carter-Vickers, Cirkin (Foyth 46′); Ndombele (Clarke 46′), White (Bowden 81′); Lamela, Dele, Lucas; Son.

West Ham United 3-5 Bournemouth

  • Goals: Jarrod Bowen (£6.5m) x2, Felipe Anderson (£6.5m)
  • Assists: Josh Cullen x2, Robert Snodgrass (£6.0m)

A West Ham United side who have kept only two Premier League clean sheets since David Moyes took charge in January were again exposed on Saturday, this time by a team who have just dropped down to the Championship.

The alarm bells were ringing upon the release of the teamsheets as Moyes, without the unavailable and influential Tomas Soucek (£5.0m) and Declan Rice (£5.0m) due to their international commitments, opted to name the attack-minded Manuel Lanzini (£6.5m) and the ageing Mark Noble (£5.0m) in a two-man central midfield.

Noble was overrun and Lanzini lasted all of 32 minutes before limping off but they weren’t the only ones culpable, with the back four unconvincing as ever and back-up goalkeeper David Martin (£4.0m) not doing his future prospects any good.

In a possible blow to managers who were looking for playing defensive bench fodder, Ben Johnson (£4.0m) turned in such a poor performance that he was hooked for Ryan Fredericks (£4.5m) with less than half an hour gone, a withdrawal that can’t have done the youngster’s confidence any good.

The return of Rice especially (providing he isn’t sold) will add much-needed protection to the back four but the Hammers haven’t recorded a single shut-out in pre-season and, given the fixtures that are to come, few Fantasy managers will be interested anyway.

Goals at the other end have been flowing at least, with Jarrod Bowen (£6.5m) continuing his fine form with a brace on Saturday – both strikes being set up by Josh Cullen.

Encouragingly, Bowen was loitering around the six-yard box for each one and he took his tally to four goals in three warm-up matches with that double at the weekend.

Felipe Anderson (£6.5m) added a late consolation with a header from fellow substitute Robert Snodgrass‘s (£6.0m) corner.

Michail Antonio (£6.5m) didn’t get on the scoresheet, however, and one of the form FPL players of the post-restart era rounded off pre-season without a goal to his name.

Antonio was paired up front with Sebastien Haller (£6.5m) as Moyes plumped for a 4-4-2 but the recently reclassified forward saw little joy against the Cherries, eventually being replaced just after the hour mark.

West Ham United XI (4-4-2): Martin; Johnson (Fredericks 26), Diop, Ogbonna (Balbuena 63), Cresswell; Bowen (Masuaku 63), Noble (Wilshere 63), Lanzini (Cullen 32), Fornals (Snodgrass 82); Antonio (Felipe Anderson 63), Haller (Xande Silva 82).


Leeds United 3-1 Pacos de Ferreira

  • Goals: Pascal Struijk (£4.0m), Pablo Hernandez (£6.0m), Helder Costa (£5.5m) 
  • Assists: Barry Douglas (£4.0m), Patrick Bamford (£5.5m) x2

With at least half a dozen possible/probable starters away on international duty, including new signings Robin Koch (£4.5m) and Rodrigo (£6.0m), a patched-up Leeds United side saw off Portuguese outfit Pacos de Ferreira in their final warm-up match before Gameweek 1.

Two budget FPL defenders combined for the Whites’ opening strike, with Barry Douglas‘ (£4.0m) free-kick being nodded in by the ‘out of position’ (at least, in Fantasy terms) Pascal Struijk (£4.0m) two minutes after the visitors had gone in front.

Patrick Bamford (£5.5m) went on to claim a brace of assists after the break, first teeing up Pablo Hernandez (£6.0m) for a net-busting strike from distance and then providing a lofted through-ball for substitute Helder Costa (£5.5m) to convert.

The fluid 4-1-4-1/3-3-1-3 Bielsa set-up was again in evidence, with the hosts putting in an improved display after the interval and Hernandez looking more effective when moving into a central role from his original position on the right.

Douglas may well get the nod in Gameweek 1 if Bielsa opts to use Luke Ayling (£4.5m) at centre-half over new recruit Koch, although the longer-term prospects don’t look quite so positive for the bargain-bin defender.

Few will be wanting him to be anything other than emergency bench fodder this weekend anyway, given that reigning champions Liverpool are providing the opposition.

Leeds United XI (4-1-4-1/3-3-1-3): Casilla; Douglas, Ayling, Casey, Davis; Struijk; Hernandez (Gotts 73′), Shackleton, Roberts (Costa 45′), Harrison (Poveda 70′); Bamford (Cresswell 88′).

Leicester City 1-1 Blackburn Rovers

  • Goal: Daniel Amartey (£4.0m)
  • Assist: None

An under-strength Leicester City side drew their final warm-up match against Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, with only a handful of first-teamers featuring.

Harvey Barnes (£7.0m) and Demarai Gray (£5.5m) flanked Jamie Vardy (£10.0m) in a strong-ish looking three-man attack but there was little to report from the long-serving striker, who forced an early save from distance and then took one of his trademark tumbles in the opposition box without reward.

Ayoze Perez (£6.5m) chalked up his first pre-season minutes as a substitute but there was again no James Maddison (£7.0m), who looks to be a major doubt for Gameweek 1 given that he was only training in the ‘rehab gang’ with fellow absentee Ricardo Pereira (£6.0m) last week.

Daniel Amartey (£4.0m) made his return after a lengthy period on the sidelines, nodding home the Foxes’ only goal from a corner following a goalkeeping howler.

Wilfred Ndidi (£5.0m) was deployed as a centre-half for this one and it’ll be interesting to see if he is again given the nod alongside Caglar Soyuncu (£5.5m) in Gameweek 1, with Jonny Evans (£5.5m) suspended and Wes Morgan (£4.5m) nursing an injury – although Filip Benkovic (£4.5m) is a more natural fit and James Justin (£4.5m) could potentially deputise.

Brendan Rodgers has favoured a back four in pre-season over the wing-back system he ended 2019/20 with, although the knowledge that Evans will be suspended for Gameweeks 1-3 has perhaps forced the Leicester manager’s hand, given the lack of options at centre-half.

Leicester City XI (4-3-3): Stolarczyk; Daley-Campbell (Leshabela 84′), Ndidi (Amartey 62′), Knight (Johnson 62′), Thomas; Mendy, Choudhury, Dewsbury-Hall; Gray (Perez 71′), Vardy (Iheanacho 75′), Barnes (Albrighton 71′).

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2,395 Comments Post a Comment
  1. tokara
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 13 days ago

    Who is asm?

    1. Puntillimon
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Allan saint max

      1. tokara
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Thanks

    2. Hotdogs for Tea
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      newcastle mid

  2. Jacky boy
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 13 days ago

    Thoughts?

    McCarthy
    TAA Davies KWP Justin
    Salah Auba Havertz Son
    Werner Nketiah

    4x fodder

    Plan:
    Salah to Bruno for gw2
    Auba + nketiah to rashford + martial for gw3

    Will give me 1.0 to upgrade justin too

    1. Hotdogs for Tea
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      doubt you will get 11 starters

  3. Puntillimon
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 13 days ago

    Reposting as bottomed

    Matt Ryan or McCarthy? Leaning to McCarthy, but slightly worried he’s not first choice. Back up is button

    1. PogBruno
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      McCarthy if not going with KWP

      1. LC1
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        McCarthy imo

    2. Wild Card this...
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      McCarthy is first choice.

    3. Puntillimon
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Thanks!

    4. Make United Great Again
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      McCarthy

  4. PogBruno
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 13 days ago

    Best placeholder for Bruno upto 10.5?

    1. Hotdogs for Tea
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Son or Alli

      1. PogBruno
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Got so already, and not keen on doubling up against Everton 🙂

        Any other options or is it simply better to bench him?

        1. Andy_Social
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          What about the 12m trio?

          1. PogBruno
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 13 days ago

            Got only 10.5 left

    2. Hotdogs for Tea
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      A cheap bolter like ASM or someone like him, Siggy, Zaha Soucek etc that may haul and get a double digit price rise 😉

      1. PogBruno
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Thank you

      2. Make United Great Again
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        This

  5. Denniezy
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Looking for more pundits!
      Code: baiaia
      https://fantasy.premierleague.com/leagues/auto-join/baiaia

    • LC1
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Morning all - not long now!

      Hopefully my final draft;

      McCarthy
      TAA KWB Dier Saiss Mitchell
      Son Auba Salah ASM (4.5)
      Werner Ings (4.5).

      Will be doing Salah to Bruno GW 2 and Auba to KDB GW3 which will free up some funds moving forward.

      Any comments or suggestions are much appreciated!

      Thank you

      1. PogBruno
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        You may want another 4.5 defender as backup for your back 4, otherwise it will be waste of a transfer in the near future

        1. LC1
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          Have been thinking the same tbh.

          Have 0 ITB so would have to downgrade elsewhere but unsure who...

      2. baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Is KWB AWB or KWP?

        1. LC1
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          KWP Hahah.

          All these acronyms are hurting my head at 7am.

          1. Hotdogs for Tea
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 13 days ago

            TBF it’s a PITA if your are not ITK 🙂

            1. LC1
              • 5 Years
              1 month, 13 days ago

              IKR

    • Brosstan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      You see some ridiculous stuff people say on here to justify their picks. Example: "I see Liverpool winning 1-0 in their first 3 games with Salah and Mane getting nothing'. Against Leeds (H) che (a) Ars (H) this is simply a ridiculous prediction. No price for guessing which 3 Pool players this poster has...

      1. Andy_Social
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        I stand by it. We'll see....

      2. Hotdogs for Tea
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        isn’t that a bit like saying Auba outscoring other premiums gw 3-5 is just extremely unlikely, 😉

        1. Brosstan
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          No, my prediction is probably backed by the bookies. Salah and mane to score 0 goals combined gw 1-3 would be a massive upset. Salah is more likely to brace gw1 than he is to blank 1-3

          1. Hotdogs for Tea
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 13 days ago

            😉

            1. Andy_Social
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 13 days ago

              Heh, timing!

    • Tinker Nat
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Soz guys I got bottomed:

      I think I have a team that I feel comfortable with. Any feedback is most appreciated...

      McCathy, (Button)
      Doherty, Saiss, Justin (Mitchell, Taylor)
      Salah, Auba, Son, ASM, Soucek
      Werner, Ings (Brewster or 4.5)

      The plan is:
      Son to Bruno GW2
      Auba to KDB GW3
      Ings to Martial GW4

      I will take a hit if the prices are moving and keeping an eye on the Soucek isolation situation.
      For me it came to TAA and Mitro or Ings and Saiss - (Ings to become Martial)

      I think Martial is going to do well especially in the first 10 GW's. Liverpool seem a little off at the moment and Fulham ...meeah!

      TAA will be in my team, a downgrade from someone who is not firing.

      Good luck Gents

    • Whiskerz
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Been flipping and flopping between having salah for 1 gw, or holding bruno on the bench.

      This is my current setup

      Ryan
      TAA . Davies . KWP . Mitchell
      Auba . Rice . Zaha
      Adams . Kane . Vardy

      Button . Bissouma . Pieters . Bruno

      Salah team is 343 with bruno and zaha being salah and asm.

      Thoughts?

      1. Tinker Nat
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 13 days ago

        I read an article here that Rice is a rotation risk - Might want to look into that.
        Kane my be missing GW1 getting rested, or so I heard

        Zaha could be a great pick, looking at him myself.

        Nice team

    • PartyPooper
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 13 days ago

      How about those rumours that Wolves are about to sign Telles from Porto. Any Wolves fans here that can say how much truth to those rumours?

      1. Inazuma X1
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Yep either Wolves or United

        1. PartyPooper
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 13 days ago

          Wow. For either one that would be a really nice signing

    • NEXUS-6
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Apparently Mason Mount fuming that Chelsea signed Kai Havertz.

      Dissent in the camp from the youngsters that carried Chelsea last year could be a factor. Lampard gone before Santa is polishing his baubles?

      1. Silecro
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        That was a fake rumour quickly dissolved by Mount's father

        1. Brosstan
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          More like true rumor with daddy providing damage control

        2. Andy_Social
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          True or not, the trio of signings are possibly a severe setback for the career development of the English kids - Mount, Abraham, CHO, RLC. They must have thought with the transfer ban and an England legend as new manager they'd be heart and soul of a new English golden generation. I can see all of them failing to establish themselves at Chelsea and having to plough their trade at midtable clubs.

          1. Make United Great Again
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 13 days ago

            Yep. They’re all squad players now unfortunately

          2. Brosstan
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 13 days ago

            Spot on. Especially CHO should be fuming (except for his massive wages ofc) after being convinced to stay and now looking at a cup game role for the coming years.

          3. Werner Brothers
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 13 days ago

            Lots of game will be played. They will get their chances.
            These additions should increase their level & if the rumour is true, surely lampard himself will kick mount out.

      2. Eastman
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Not a chance

      3. Old Man
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        If that is true then it's a very unprofessional attitude, even though he is very young. It's incredibly naive to assume that a wealthy club are going to avoid buying new top class players just to keep him happy. He should resolve to buckle down and improve. Besides, if these new players improve the team then there's a better chance of silverware.

        I prefer to believe his dad.

      4. NEXUS-6
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Tifo’s podcast identified Chelsea as potentially the season’s “biggest disappointment” in part because the size of their outlay encourages thoughts of the title and in part because of that potential division in the dressing room.

        Not saying I agree with that but with the non-existent pre-season and the jury still being out on Lampard tactically, can he get a tune out of this squad straight away and longer term is he capable of getting the best out of them?

        1. Werner Brothers
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          He can do that with his limited sauad last season, surely he can do it again. Being in 3rd position with little gap with pool or city is an achievement for me.

    • Strchld
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      Pick one

      A) Mitro (4-3-3)
      B) Doherty (5-3-2)
      C) ASM +0.5m (4-4-2)

      1. Tinker Nat
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 13 days ago

        B

    • Make United Great Again
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      McCarthy
      TAA Davies Vinagre
      Salah Auba Son Armstrong ASM
      Werner Ings

      4.0, Mitchell , Johnson, Davis.

      Thoughts?

    • I am 42
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 13 days ago

      anyone has a crystal ball?

      which mid will score more than 6 points in gw 1?

      max price 10.5m

      1. Tinker Nat
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Son

      2. Old Man
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        It will either be Son or Alli and I can guarantee I'll choose the wrong one.

      3. ivantys
          1 month, 13 days ago

          My guess is zaha or son

      4. King Kohli
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        How many G+A for these in the first 5 gws?

        A. TAA
        B. VVD
        C. Robbo

        1. Make United Great Again
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          Impossible question to answer

        2. Old Man
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          You're just as likely to give a correct answer as any of us on here - we don't know. It's a guess.

        3. PogBruno
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 13 days ago

          Robbo to get most points out of those three in first 5 GWs and then TAA to take over

      5. Brosstan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        New article btw

      6. PogBruno
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        From GW2 until Vardy's good fixtures, which combo would you choose?

        A) Vardy, Ings
        B) Werner, Martial/ings

      7. SpagBol
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        Hey guys,

        What do you think of this latest draft?
        Cheers 🙂
        ____________________________________________
        Ryan
        TAA Dier Saiss KWP
        Salah Auba Son Barnes Armstrong
        Werner

        Button | Mitrovic Brewster Ferguson
        ____________________________________________

        PLAN:

        - Bench Mitro for KWP in GW1
        - Bench Saiss for Mitro in GW2

        GW2 --> Salah to Fernandes
        GW3 --> Auba to KDB/Sterling + Barnes to Havertz/Pulisic

      8. Rondon9
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 13 days ago

        A or B?

        A Wilson Armstrong/JWP
        B Adams ASM

      9. Custard Gannet
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 12 days ago

        Everton sign Doucouré