- Goals: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.5m), Yerry Mina (£5.5m), James Rodríguez x2 (£7.7m) | Neal Maupay (£6.5m), Yves Bissouma (£4.5m)
- Assists: Gylfi Sigurdsson (£6.9m), Rodríguez, Alex Iwobi (£5.9m), Abdoulaye Doucouré (£5.5m) | Leandro Trossard (£6.0m), Solly March (£5.0m)
- Bonus points: Rodríguez x3, Bissouma x2, Mina x1
James Rodríguez (£7.7m) is fast developing a taste for playing at Goodison Park, as he registered a second successive home double-digit haul in Gameweek 4.
The Colombian has shown shine in every Premier League outing so far this season, but he has exhibited a considerably more ruthless streak when operating on Merseyside.
Against West Bromwich Albion in Gameweek 2, Rodríguez found the net and provided an assist, while he scored twice on Saturday afternoon and provided the cross for Yerry Mina‘s (£5.5m) first-half effort.
It means that the former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder is now the highest FPL points scorer in home matches for Everton this season, even outperforming the popular Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.5m) by 30 to 25.
Rodríguez has, of course, been helped in that respect by his midfield classification, which awards more points for goals and clean sheets but, as of Saturday afternoon, he has more goal involvements at home than Calvert-Lewin too (five to four).
But an analysis of his underlying numbers between home and away matches so far this season is also quite revealing for Fantasy managers.
Considering the disparity in FPL points scores between home and away matches for Rodríguez, it will be interesting to see how he fares between now and Gameweek 9.
This period brings Liverpool and Manchester United to Goodison Park, while three of Everton’s next five matches are away from home. Thankfully for his growing ownership, the next road trips take them to favourable opposition. in Southampton, Newcastle and Fulham.
Right now, Calvert-Lewin couldn’t care less about the venue or opposition, having now scored against every defence face so far this season.
Now owned by 42.4% of Fantasy managers, the Everton forward is bested only by Kevin De Bruyne (£11.7m) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) for popularity.
That figure seems certain to rise between now and Gameweek 5 considering another blank for Timo Werner (£9.4m) on Saturday afternoon. The German international is still in 25.3% of teams but replacing him with Calvert-Lewin is perhaps the easiest upgrade in FPL right now.
A home match against Liverpool hardly seems offputting for the former Sheffield United man either, considering the Reds have kept one clean sheet from a possible three at the start of 2020/21.
Another encouraging facet of Everton’s was the fact that they controlled proceedings in Gameweek 4 despite suffering from a slew of injuries.
They came into Saturday’s meeting with Brighton short of Allan (£5.5m) and André Gomes (£5.4m), who had anchored central midfield effectively in the first three matches of the season.
However, Gylfi Sigurdsson (£6.9m) and Tom Davies (£5.4m) filled those roles comfortably, the former putting up a smart assist for Calvert-Lewin’s opening goal.
Elsewhere in the team, Richarlison (£8.0m) spent the second half of the week trying to shake off an ankle injury sustained against West Ham. He did manage to shake off the knock in time to feature in Gameweek 4 but suffered a recurrence of the knock in the 25th minute.
But, as was the case with Sigurdsson, Richarlison’s replacement Alex Iwobi (£5.9m) slotted into the front-three relatively seamlessly, earning an assist for Rodríguez’s first goal of the afternoon.
Everton weren’t even particularly jarred by losing Seamus Coleman (£5.0m) to a hamstring issue in the second half either. Unfortunately for Fantasy managers, the veteran full-back’s absence is unlikely to unlock a budget defender. With Jonjoe Kenny (£4.4m) also injured, Ancelotti’s solution to Coleman’s injury was to move Davies to right-back and bring on Fabian Delph (£4.9m) to cover in central midfield.
Of course, Everton have the international break to potentially recover some of their key personnel, although it seems that even if they had to draw on second-string options, they would not necessarily suffer as much as was first feared ahead of Gameweek 4.
ONGOING DEFENSIVE PROBLEMS
That said, Everton’s defence still continues to disappoint those searching for clean sheets this season.
In the first four matches of the campaign, the Toffees have recorded just one shut-out, in arguably the most challenging fixture. Since the 1-0 win at Spurs, they have conceded twice at home to West Bromwich Albion and Brighton.
Jordan Pickford (£5.0m) was the chief culprit for Brighton’s first goal as he failed to hold onto Leandro Trossard‘s (£6.0m) shot, dropping it at the feet of Neal Maupay (£6.5m).
The goalkeeper nearly gave away another goal just after the hour mark. Solly March (£5.0m) produced a cross from the flanks, which Pickford simply punched straight forward into the chest of Maupay, lurking on the edge of the six-yard box. The only reason it did not end up in the back of the net was probably that the Brighton forward did not expect it, but also because of an impressive last-ditch block by Davies.
“I think this is not the right place to talk about Jordan. If I say something it will be when he comes back, I am going to talk to him.” – Carlo Ancelotti
The other source of Everton’s defensive issues makes for interesting reading for those sizing up their Liverpool assets for Gameweek 5.
Even though Brighton suffered a third defeat of the season, their Fantasy assets are continuing to offer great value.
Perhaps because of their disappointing results, the form Seagulls options remain largely unpopular, which increases their differential potential.
The penalty-taking Maupay already has four goals and one assist to his name this season, and could have added even more to that tally in another energetic performance at Goodison Park on Saturday.
However, despite pulling in 32 points in the first four Gameweeks, only 4.1% of Fantasy managers have been convinced by the former Brentford man, who faces Crystal Palace (away) and West Bromwich Albion (home) in his next two matches.
Trossard has been another reliable figure in Brighton’s spirited attack this season, registering attacking returns in three of his four outings thus far and, of course, probably should have scored a hat-trick against Manchester United.
Despite that solid record thus far, the Belgian is owned only by 2.0% of Fantasy managers.
Meanwhile, March now has an attacking return of each of his last two Premier League appearances but is selected by just 0.7% worldwide.
Meanwhile, Tariq Lamptey (£4.6m) owners were left shorthanded once again. For the second time in four matches, the right-back was taken off before the 60-minute mark. Against Everton, this was reportedly due to a tight hamstring, which forced him off at half-time, to be replaced by Joël Veltman (£4.4m).
“(Lamptey) had tightness in his hamstring. We don’t know Tariq so well so we just wanted to make sure we didn’t put him out and risk him out for a big period. It was precautionary more than anything.” – Graham Potter
Everton XI (4-3-3): Pickford; Digne, Mina, Keane, Coleman (Delph 58′); Sigurdsson, T Davies, Doucouré; Richarlison (Iwobi 25′), Calvert-Lewin, Rodríguez (Walcott 78′).
Brighton and Hove Albion XI (3-4-2-1): Ryan; Webster, Dunk, White; March, Alzate (Groß 82′), Bissouma, Lamptey (Veltman 46′); Maupay, Trossard; Connolly (Lallana 66′).
Lessons Learned from FPL Gameweek 4
- Chelsea 4-0 Crystal Palace
- Everton 4-2 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Leeds United 1-1 Manchester City
- Newcastle United 3-1 Burnley
- Leicester City 0-3 West Ham United
- Southampton 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
- Arsenal 2-1 Sheffield United
- Wolves 1-0 Fulham
- Manchester United 1-6 Tottenham Hotspur
- Aston Villa 7-2 Liverpool
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