A fascinating weekend in the Championship raised many questions but answered few.
Are Reading genuine contenders?
Can anyone resist a Tyrhys Dolan stepover?
Will Wycombe win any games this season?
Is it time to panic and use the Overhaul boost?
We won’t be resolving any of this. Instead, we’ll calmly let you know what happened and allow you talented GAFFR managers to make sense of it.
Gameweek 3 Review
Derby County had 60% possession against Blackburn but lost 4-0 and remain in the relegation zone.
Prince of stepovers Tyrhys Dolan (5.6m) got a tap in from a Ben Brereton (5.0m) shot off the post – Joe Rothwell (5.0m) would have assisted had the first shot gone in. Rothwell was involved again with a jammy ‘assist’ for Bradley Johnson (5.7m)’s long-distance strike against his old side. Soon after, some great trickery by Dolan led to a dangerous cross, to allow Johnson to get his second goal of the afternoon with a sharp volley off the clearance.
Louie Sibley (4.9m) had Derby’s best chance in the first half and Jóźwiak should have done better from a clever Wayne Rooney (6.4m) pass. The Blackburn strikeforce looks really exciting, creating lots of chances and all their attackers look threatening including Brereton who took part in much of the build-up.
Bright Osayi-Samuel (6.6m) scored again for QPR in a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough which they probably feel was 2pts lost. Boro’s Britt Assombalonga (6.5m) really should have scored from six yards out but failed to find the net with an ill-conceived diving header. Tom Carroll (5.5m) hit the post for QPR and Osayi-Samuel could have clinched it for the R’s if he hadn’t narrowly missed the rebound.
GAFFR managers across the league will have been horrified to see Rico Henry (6.5m) come off in the 3rd minute with what looked like a long-term injury. He was replaced by the modestly priced Dominic Thompson (4.5).
Pontus Jansson (6.0m) lost his boot trying to defend against Bennet’s cross for Jed Wallace (10.1) to score while Shawn Hutchinson (6.6m) lost his mind to bring down Ivan Toney (9.0m) for the penalty. Toney tucked it away with aplomb and it finished 1-1. Saïd Benrahma (11.4m) came on as a sub, could he be staying?
Tom Barkhuizen (6.9m) was sent off in the 1st half for Preston as they lost 0-1 to a Stoke side who look to be finding their feet for the first time this season. John Obi Mikel (5.0m) picking up a rare assist for Gregory’s goal (who’s scored 3 in 3 matches now if you count cup games). Steven Fletcher (6.9m) impressed and even tried an audacious chip which hit the crossbar but many GAFFR managers will be shipping out Nick Powell (5.5m) as he’s struggling to get into the Stoke side at the moment.
We’re desperately trying to avoid referring to Wycombe Wanderers as the whipping boys but they really do look to be the worst side in the league by a distance.
This was a comfortable 2-0 victory for the Swans, the game was over as a contest after a dominant first half but we could have seen many more goals. André Ayew (10.0m) owners were rewarded with a 14 pt haul after a slow start for the striker this season but it could easily have been more had he taken his chances. Three clean sheets already this season and Swansea are sitting pretty in 3rd without really setting the league alight. Both wingbacks, Jake Bidwell (6.7m) and Connor Roberts (6.6m), looked good and could afford to push high up the field. Bidwell put in a number of high-quality crosses and was rewarded with an assist. The much-owned Morgan Gibbs-White (7.1m) was heavily involved as usual and played well but didn’t manage to get any fantasy returns aside from performance points.
This was the first meeting between these fierce rivals in 14 years and the kick-off was moved to lunchtime to ‘avoid crowd trouble’, we’re struggling to understand that one.
Ismaïla Sarr (9.4m) started and Troy Deeney (9.4m) appeared for the first time this season putting GAFFR managers on alert but neither made much of an impression on a fairly ordinary match. James Collins (6.5m) hit the crossbar for Luton, couldn’t have come closer to scoring and in a vicious twist of fate Watford got the rebound and scored on the counter. 19-year-old João Pedro (7.6m) finished from a Ken Sema (6.6m) cross.
It was an even game but Cardiff conceded some soft goals to high-flying Reading and slumped to a 1-2 defeat. Reading have three wins from three and looked comfortable throughout. Santos João (6.2m) looked great again for the Royals, scoring a good goal but later went off with a possible dislocated shoulder. We’ll be updating his injury status when we know more. Lee Tomlin (6.9m) scored for Cardiff from the bench and they’ll need him back fit if they’re to get their season back on track.
Forest manager Sabri Lamouche is under pressure after a series of poor performances and his Tricky Trees have looked in disarray. Team selections are becoming increasingly erratic, after both Lewis Grabban (9.0m) and Joe Lolley (7.9m) didn’t start. Jonathan Hogg (5.0m) probably should’ve been sent off in first few minutes for a bad tackle on Harry Arter. Sammy Ameobi (6.5m) came close with a shot and Luke Freeman (7.0m) is doing his best to create chances that no one can manage to finish. Huddersfield scored a great goal – Harry Toffolo (4.6m) – tipped in our previous article – played a cross from the byline and Fraiser Campbell (5.4m) pulled off a cracking volley. A better side would have punished Forest further. Brice Samba (6.0) made a terrific double save towards the end of the second half to keep them in the game.
Bristol continued their good form and are already starting to dream of promotion after two second-half goals secured another 3 points. Tommy Rowe (5.0m) capped a clever move for the Robins to put them ahead before Jamie Paterson (5.6m) put the win beyond doubt in the 93rd minute. It was Wednesday’s first loss of the season and the Owls were probably the better side in the first half. The points deduction doesn’t seem to be weighing on the squad and they do not look like a team destined for League One. Dominic Iorfa (5.6m) has impressed in defence this season and there’s been talk of a possible move to Watford.
Arnaut Danjuma (6.7m) grabbed the points for Bournemouth, scoring the only goal in a fairly drab affair. Norwich have been inconsistent so far but it should be remembered they were way off the pace early in their last Championship campaign and Daniel Farke’s side went on to win it by a distance. Still no sign of Emi Buendia (9.4m) (we hear it’s a shin injury) for Norwich but we saw Max Aarons (6.5m) take the field despite repeated links to Barcelona and other glamorous overseas clubs.
Gameweek 4 Preview
Coventry v Bournemouth
Friday evening sees Bournemouth take on a tricky Coventry side who’ve taken 4pts from three matches. Looking at the stats, the Cherries concede a lot of shots and the Sky Blues attempt a lot of shots so we expect a busy night for Asmir Begovic (5.0m).
We can see Matt Godden (5.1m) nabbing a goal upfront for Coventry in an even game. Arnaut Danjuma (6.7m) is proving difficult to stop at this level and will have an influence for Bournemouth.
Lots of GAFFR managers looking to Dominic Solanke (8.1m) now that we know he’s a definite starter for Bournemouth.
Norwich v Derby
The early kick-off on Saturday features a stuttering Norwich City hoping to get back to winning ways against a Derby side on zero points having conceded 8 goals in 3 matches. On paper, this should be a one-sided encounter.
Seven of Derby’s last 12 away matches produced over 3.5 goals should be the perfect match for the Canaries and we expect GAFFR managers to be captaining Teemu Pukki (10.1m) in the hope he’ll add to his two goals so far this season. The pace of Adam Idah (7.0m) will trouble this Derby defence and he’ll be hoping to get on the scoresheet.
Blackburn v Cardiff
Cardiff have struggled to find consistency so far this season and though they generally score when they get the ball to Kieffer Moore (7.6m), they’ve looked disjointed. Having said that, the Bluebirds have won their last three away matches and know they can trouble any side on their day.
Blackburn Rovers are the most exciting attack in the Championship at the moment and their front three have been irresistible. Saturday will be a big test and fantasy managers will be interested to see if the modestly priced Ben Brereton (5.0m) can start getting attacking returns.
Reading v Watford
Top of the table Reading will be hoping to make it four wins in a row but will need to breach a miserly Watford rearguard who’ve yet to concede this season. It looks as though The Royals will have to do it without their star performer Santos João (6.2m) who came off injured in their last match. Can George Pușcaș (6.4m) step up and offer the same attacking threat?
Midfielder Ken Sema (6.6m) has assisted both of Watford’s Championship goals so far, and has scored their only away goal so far. A lot will depend on whether Sarr and Deeney are fit enough to start this match.
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