Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Newcastle United
- Goals: Lucas Moura (£6.9m) | Callum Wilson (£6.4m)
- Assists: Harry Kane (£10.5m) | Andy Carroll (£5.5m)
- Bonus: Karl Darlow (£5.0m) x3, Wilson x2, Lucas x1
Son Heung-min (£9.1m) looks set for a spell on the sidelines after the South Korean winger picked up a hamstring injury in Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle United on Sunday.
Having racked up a 24-point haul against Southampton the previous weekend, Son’s luck – and that of the Fantasy managers who owned him – turned on its head in Gameweek 3.
The in-form Korean had already struck the woodwork twice and seen Eric Dier (£5.0m) ruin a possible assist in the opening 45 minutes before he failed to reappear for the second half, with a taciturn Jose Mourinho later confirming to journalist Alasdair Gold that his player had picked up an injury:
AG: You took Son off at half-time – was that a pre-planned thing or was it an injury?
AG: Do you expect to miss him for long?
AG: Can you tell me what kind of injury?
Speaking to Sky Sports after full-time, Mourinho warned that Spurs’ three-games-a-week schedule could lead to more fitness issues:
It’s just the first one. I imagine that Tuesday, another one. Thursday, another one. Maybe Sunday, a couple more. But this is the respect that Tottenham gets.
With Spurs in action against Chelsea in the EFL Cup and then Maccabi Haifa in the Europa League before they head to Old Trafford in Gameweek 4, there should hopefully be plenty of media-facing opportunities for Mourinho to provide a more detailed prognosis on his stricken star before next Saturday’s FPL deadline.
An international break then follows so anything in the ‘grade I’ bracket would at least make him a possibility to return for Gameweek 5 against West Ham United – but a sizeable chunk of his existing owners may not have the luxury of benching a premium midfielder going into the next round of fixtures.
Elsewhere, new signing Sergio Reguilon (£5.5m) was fit enough for a place on the bench, which may be a cause of concern for owners of Ben Davies (£5.0m) from now on.
NEWCASTLE INJURY LATEST
Newcastle United have problems of their own, with Matt Ritchie (£5.0m) succumbing to a shoulder injury in the second half of Sunday’s draw.
Ritchie, who was only in the visitors’ starting XI because of unavailability problems down the Magpies’ left flank, may now require surgery and he could face a similar length of absence as Fabian Schar (£4.9m) did when he damaged his shoulder in July.
Schar has only recently returned to training.
Jamal Lewis (£4.5m) was only deemed ready for a substitute role at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after sustaining an eye injury against Brighton, while Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.4m) and Ryan Fraser (£5.9m) missed out altogether.
Those latter two players could be back for Wednesday night’s EFL Cup clash with Newport County, at least, with Steve Bruce confirming that they would be assessed ahead of the trip to Wales:
We’ll see how Allan and Ryan Fraser are for Wednesday. Allan has tweaked his ankle and Ryan has a bit of a groin injury. I am delighted we didn’t use [Fraser] because we’ve got away with it. If I’d have played him he could be out for six weeks. I couldn’t risk him.
We’ve got another one with Matt Ritchie doing the joint in his shoulder. We’ll see how it is but it’s not looking good.
We don’t think it’s a dislocation: it looks as though he’s done exactly the same as Fab Schar did, which will probably mean an operation.
We’ll know more in the next couple of days.
WILSON ON PENS
Ritchie’s injury could be all the more significant as he has been Newcastle’s main penalty taker for the last four years, ceding only the occasional spot-kick to Joselu, Kenedy and Dwight Gayle (£5.9m) – all of whom missed.
Ritchie himself failed from 12 yards against Southampton last season so his fitness issues could have been immaterial anyway, even more so as he now doesn’t seem to feature in Bruce’s first-choice starting XI.
It was Callum Wilson (£6.4m) who stepped up from the spot when Newcastle were awarded a contentious stoppage-time penalty on Sunday, with Dier deemed to have handled Andy Carroll‘s (£5.5m) aimless header in the new eyes of the law.
The decision to award a spot-kick prompted disbelief and anger from Mourinho, the Spurs camp, the footballing world in general and even Bruce, who said that the rule-makers had “lost the plot” with the stricter interpretation of the handball law.
Whatever the rights and many wrongs of the new ruling, the spike in spot-kick awards does add value to those Fantasy assets who are penalty takers for their respective clubs – and Bruce was unequivocal in revealing who was first in line for the Magpies:
I don’t think Andy has missed a penalty – or so he told me. But I can’t remember the last time he scored one.
Callum will be the penalty taker in the Premier League so that was my thought process.
It was great for Andy to step forward and show he had the courage to take it. But I think with Callum the way he has been taking them over the last 12 months, it had to be him.
A disappointing home result for Spurs would usually see the knives being sharpened for Mourinho but for once, the Lilywhites’ head coach couldn’t really cop much of the blame.
The hosts battered Bruce’s toothless side and it was a combination of profligate finishing and goalkeeping heroics, as well as that injury-time penalty concession, that cost Spurs the three points.
Visiting goalkeeper Karl Darlow (£5.0m) racked up three FPL save points for his efforts on Sunday – that’s as many as any other Premier League goalkeeper has registered all season.
Darlow could do little about Spurs’ opener, with Lucas Moura (£6.9m) tucking in a Harry Kane (£10.5m) cross after 24 minutes, but he was responsible for keeping the scoreline down and his side in the match.
Of the 11 stops that Darlow made, five of them came from the dangerous Kane – including a point-blank save just after kick-off, a claw out from the striker’s header on eight minutes and two diving efforts later in the game.
The England striker had looked sluggish when representing his country earlier this month and then again in Gameweek 1, perhaps understandably so given that his pre-season was disrupted by a period of self-isolation.
He has looked back towards full match-sharpness in the last two Gameweeks, even if it’s his assist count that is chiefly responsible for the 28 FPL points accrued so far.
Wilson may have penalty-taking duties in his armoury but he and Newcastle have posed little threat from open play since their Gameweek 1 win over West Ham.
Even including that match, the Magpies have had only three shots on target all season – and have scored from all of them.
They were as limp against Spurs as they were in defeat to Brighton last weekend and we saw Bruce opt for a safety-first approach on Sunday, with the Magpies boss changing formation for the third straight game and opting for a wing-back system.
Bruce explained his tactical decision after full-time:
My thought process was to stay in the game for as long as we could.
We were dealt a blow with Allan Saint-Maximin not being ready or Ryan Fraser who can obviously take us up the pitch quicker. They are our natural wide players with pace.
So yeah it was ‘stay in the game’ but we need to do better than we did in the first half. I know Tottenham were good but we didn’t do enough in my opinion.
Tottenham Hotspur XI (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Doherty, Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Hojbjerg, Winks; Moura (Lamela 79), Lo Celso (Ndombele 77), Son (Bergwijn 45); Kane
Newcastle United XI (5-4-1): Darlow; Manquillo, Hayden, Lascelles, Fernandez, Ritchie (Lewis 69); Almiron (Carroll 77), Shelvey, Hendrick (Murphy 74), Joelinton; Wilson.
Lessons Learned from FPL Gameweek 3
- Brighton and Hove Albion 2-3 Manchester United
- Crystal Palace 1-2 Everton
- West Bromwich Albion 3-3 Chelsea
- Burnley 0-1 Southampton
- Sheffield United 0-1 Leeds United
- Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Newcastle United
- Manchester City 2-5 Leicester City
- West Ham United 4-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Fulham 0-3 Aston Villa
- Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal