Scout Notes

The Aston Villa FPL assets who impressed in rout of Alisson-less Liverpool

Aston Villa 7-2 Liverpool

  • Goals: Ollie Watkins (£5.9m) x3, Jack Grealish (£7.0m) x2, John McGinn (£5.5m), Ross Barkley (£5.9m) | Mohamed Salah (£12.2m) x2
  • Assists: Grealish x3, McGinn, Trezeguet (£5.5m), Watkins | Roberto Firmino (£9.4m)
  • Bonus: Grealish x3, Watkins x2, Salah x1

Aston Villa put Liverpool to the sword with a display of pace and verve entirely in keeping with this increasingly maverick season.

A hat-trick for Ollie Watkins (£5.9m) grabbed the headlines, but it was the performance of Villa skipper Jack Grealish (£7.0m) that caught the Fantasy eye.

Two goals, three assists, maximum bonus and 24 points was the stuff of legend for his (at the time) 9.9% Fantasy Premier League (FPL) ownership and the stuff of nightmares for the 56,000 or so managers who’ve sold him on over the past two Gameweeks.

That lack of faith has cost them 32 points all in. A short-term schedule involving both Leicester and Arsenal is clearly not dissuading people now – Grealish’s ownership is close to 12% and he’s in the top ten for Gameweek 5 transfers-in.

Watkins (2.3%), who had to make do with just the 19 points, is another being snapped up and he set the ball rolling against Liverpool with an early goal.

Those managers still clinging to the ‘two Liverpool at the back’ formula would have been twitchy when news came through that Alisson (£6.0m) had injured his shoulder in training, meaning a start for the rather less reliable Adrian (£4.5m) in the Reds goal.

And they only had to wait until the fourth minute for their fears to be realised when the Spaniard’s slack pass to Joe Gomez (£5.4m) was intercepted by Grealish, who set up the unmarked Watkins to finish with ease.

It was the striker’s first Premier League goal in 184 minutes of action. His second came just 18 minutes later when he was released by Grealish down the left, cut back inside and hit a shot across Adrian and in at the far post.

In between those goals came a golden chance – wasted – for Villa debutant Ross Barkley (£5.9m), two saves by Emiliano Martinez (£4.6m) from Roberto Firmino (£9.4m) and a growing sense that Liverpool were going to score from a move down the left.

They did just that in the 33rd minute when Andy Robertson (£7.0m) and Diogo Jota (£6.3m) – in for the ill Sadio Mane (£11.9m) – combined well on that flank, the ball was moved inside and finally fell to Mohamed Salah (£12.2m), who finished clinically.

Salah’s goal sparked brief hopes of a Liverpool comeback, which lasted precisely two minutes before a deflected John McGinn (£5.5m) shot made it 3-1. The Egyptian scored again after the break, with an assist from Firmino, to suggest another rally might happen. It took all of six minutes for Villa to snuff that out for a second time.

But while Salah’s 13 points was the only decent FPL haul to be had from Jurgen Klopp’s men on the night, arguably the major talking point was the lopsided nature of the champions’ attack.

As can be seen in the Premium Members Area, the touch heatmap for Liverpool shows swathes of possession down their left flank and hardly anything of note down the right.

That meant a sorry night for FPL’s most-owned defender, Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m and 42.1%), who was kept to very occasional forays forward by the attacking presence of Grealish and Watkins.

On the opposite side, Robertson was considerably more advanced and dovetailed well with Jota all game. If that’s a sign of the times, it will be the cheaper Scot – currently owned by just 14.8% – who will find his way into more FPL teams.

But on the evidence of last night, selling Liverpool defenders will be the way forward, as Klopp acknowledged post-match:

Tonight, pretty much everybody made massive mistakes around the goals. The first one was obviously Adrian; that was a big mistake, yes, but the reaction on the goal was an even bigger mistake, how we reacted.

Yes, the first goal was not cool, of course. But apart from that, I don’t think he had anything to do with all the other goals pretty much. We didn’t help him tonight, let me say it like this, or we even did the opposite.

The coach also had an update on the health of the 13.2%-owned Allison:

No chance to play against Everton. We don’t know exactly. Let me say, it could have been worse with that injury, that’s for sure. We were slightly lucky but it’s not that he can play against Everton. I don’t want to put a time frame on it, but four weeks could be possible, six weeks is maybe more likely, but I don’t know.

Not that Liverpool with the Brazilian stopper in the side are anywhere near the defensive levels of last season either, but overall now they’ve kept one clean sheet in four matches and shipped 11 goals, which only West Brom (13) can ‘better’.

The Merseyside derby – against the current league leaders, don’t forget – and a Gameweek 8 trip to Manchester City mean that Liverpool will need to bounce back from the Villa debacle sharpish. But an otherwise favourable schedule through to early next year means there’s no need to panic just yet.

That, however, is enough about the Reds, because the night belonged to Villa.

Dean Smith’s side have now played three, won three in the league and some smart work in the transfer market has stabilised a previously giddy defence while adding pace and bite higher up the pitch.

No longer is Grealish the one and only attacking attraction, although he was superb on Sunday night, laying on a further assist for Barkley, whose shot was deflected, and then scoring twice himself, once with a deflected shot of his own and the other a calm finish when sent clean through by McGinn’s sweet pass.

That meant the latter brought in his second straight double-digit haul – budget returns enjoyed by just 0.8% of managers.

In amongst all that carnage, Watkins completed his hat-trick with a free header from Trezeguet’s (£5.5m) cross after Villa had sprung Liverpool’s terrible attempt at an offside trap from a free-kick.

The goal encapsulated the visitors’ defensive performance. Liverpool played a high line all night and it cost them. Time and again Villa broke at pace and exploited the acres of space in behind a Reds side that threw caution to the wind in their desperate desire to get back into the game.

That led to the home team having a chunky 11 attempts on target – they’d managed seven across their first two matches – which was a fact not lost on Smith.

The performance was outstanding from start to finish. We created an awful lot of chances against an exceptional defence and team.

Liverpool’s defence was, in truth, anything but exceptional, and the fact that three goals came via deflections should temper Villa fans’ (and Fantasy managers’) reactions to the match as well. 

Smith’s side are not going to be scoring like this again any time soon and future opponents are likely to sit deeper to negate their pace and threat on the break. But the side – enhanced further by Barkley – are full of attacking threat at present and their fixture list is passable now and set fair from Gameweeks 9 through to 15.

Then again, on the evidence of last night, form could very well trump fixtures for this Villa outfit anyway.

Time will tell, but their assets are now very much on the radar to further complicate a season shaping up to be like no other, in both real and fantasy life.


Aston Villa XI (4-3-3): Martínez; Cash (El Mohamady 80′), Konsa, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Luiz (Nakamba 80′), Trézéguet (Traoré 87′); Barkley, Watkins, Grealish. 

Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Adrián; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez (Jones 61′), van Dijk, Robertson; Keita (Minamino 45′), Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino (Milner 68′), Jota. 

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682 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Kim Jong Kün
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Jimenez. Stay patient and keep or switch to Wilson/Antonio whatever and use the difference to upgrade elsewhere?

    1. Drizz ✅
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      A

    2. DA Minnion
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      They don't look the same wolves to me as last year.

      1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        No team looks the same as last year tbf

      2. Klaren
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        They barely beat Norwich at home with a goal in last 10 min and had only 1 big chance against Bournemouth last season.

        They are the same Wolves, they will just keep ticking along and Jimenez has a very high goal involvement which is why he scores very well in fpl.

        1. mynameisq
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          This, their tactics and formation may be slightly different but they excel Vs teams that attack them. They always play defensive and back foot football regardless of opposition and Jimenez is basically DM most of the time, it's actually a testament to him that he actually ends up scoring that much

        2. Klaren
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          Sorry Norwich match was away, Bournemouth match was at home.

          1. Amey
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 27 days ago

            Villa home i remember last season after Restart when most © him and he blanked too.

    3. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      I'm switching

    4. Zim0
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      I'm switching to richarlison

    5. mynameisq
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Switching to Antonio, weighing up whether to do it now and get son for zaha too for free. Or just let zaha and Jim play out their good fixtures

    6. Amey
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      I sold him.
      Fixtures for Wolves are reverse as per FPL ticker. Deeper the defense, sh.ttier the output From Jimmy. That's my theory at least.

      Let's see

      1. mynameisq
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        100% this. His easy fixtures are usually his run of blanks, he's not explosive anyway and I honestly believe the only reason he doesn't have troll status is because he was too cheap to be a troll, everything was a bonus back then. This year his price is high enough for us to think "huh, you blanked in all these easy fixtures in a row?"

        1. Amey
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          Why TF did i forgot this on WC last GW and gone for Son instead of him .....

          Ahh i remember, that .......... Mou !

    7. Camzy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Patience.

      Those fixtures are really good. He's a very good forward. Wolves just need time. It was exactly the same last year.

      He dropped from 7.5m down to 7.1m. I had a chance to swap Pukki for him and was an idiot and didn't. That one decision probably cost me 50 points.

    8. Klaren
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Definite keep.

    9. Joey Tribbiani
        1 month, 27 days ago

        This is one of the most weird transfers out in my opinion. It only needs a couple amazing runs from Adama and Jimmy in the points.

      • Jordan.
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        could be on his way out of my team ,wolves looked really crap and a downgrade of trent to get aguero is deffo on the cards

        1. Amey
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          Awesome upgrade !
          Aguero is the one i need to turn my season around !

          1. Jordan.
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 27 days ago

            it will be a hit but trent to pva and jimi to kun could well be ahead of the curve,theres summat wrong with trent he looks an absolute shadow of last years player and that clown in goal doesnt help at all ....

            1. Amey
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 27 days ago

              I'm Taa Robbo.
              Not worried as of now. Will give them 3 GW's next. Then decide

      • Gentle_Turks
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Keep for the current run of nice fixtures.

        1. Jordan.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          thats the trap, for the wolves of last year they are great fixtures ,but this years edition doesnt fill me with confidence at all ,i reckon doherty and jota going has really rocked the boat i thought they were woeful vs fulham

    10. Amey
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      I know early transfers is a bad idea.
      I know anyone can get Corona.
      But i took a hit as soon as the GW was over.

      Feeling so calm now that I'm not going to look at my FPL team for a while.

      It's almost like torture last 2 GW's 😆

      1. Jordan.
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        same sunday night

        vinagre to chilwell
        mitrovic to watkins -4
        i had 1.0m coins,nothing to think about now ,apart from covid,parties and injuries #easyaboutit

        1. Amey
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          I did Jimmy Foden >> Son Watkins (-4)

          Should have went with same on my WC tbh. Arghhhh

          Sorry I'm repeating myself here 😀

      2. mynameisq
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        Who did you bring in?

        For the first time ahead of this week I have no obvious fires to put out so am second guessing myself as I have 2 free transfers and the below transfers are tempting me

        Zaha to Son
        Jim to Antonio

        1. Amey
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          Got Son Watkins IN
          Was on Mitro before Villa blown Pool away. He will get service from Ross & Jack

          1. mynameisq
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 27 days ago

            Solid players in, you can rest easy now and pray everyone wears a mask and keeps socially distanced as much as they can!

            1. Amey
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 27 days ago

              Fingers crossed bro 🙂

        2. Camzy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          I'd class Zaha as a fire.

          1. mynameisq
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 27 days ago

            Haha yeah true, but Everton and Chelsea aren't easy fixtures and Brighton are wide open so he gets one last chance

            Might just go Jim to Brewster and Burke up to Son

      3. skodaole2
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        I took an early hit last week and then waited, worst move of anyone in the website ever, i really hope your moves work mate. I cant imagine what i would do if last week I took an early hit to drop Watkins and Son for Jimenez and KDB. I like your calmness though, two weeks in this website you ll get crazy!

        1. Amey
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 27 days ago

          Thanks man...
          I know you sold both players i got IN. That is sick. Sh.t luck nothing else..

          1. skodaole2
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 27 days ago

            Problem is when i made the moves they looked so right that i wasnt even imagining not get the 4 points back, let alone losing like 35 points. Got Son back already, Watkins after Lei fixture for me.

            1. Amey
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 27 days ago

              I'm sorry.
              But it's out of our hands tbh.
              Mou played games so we all got done !

              1. skodaole2
                • 8 Years
                1 month, 27 days ago

                Hehe he did it, we all felt dumb but i laughed much more with Watkins 3 G 1 A vs Liv, i thought someone was making a joke

                1. Amey
                  • 2 Years
                  1 month, 27 days ago

                  That makes it weirder.
                  Completely out of the moon 😆

    11. Wonderful Wizard Hazard
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Worth to WC? Was hoping to keep, but now I want to get Kane/Son/J-Rod/Grealish. Also have two players who have moved out of PL.

      Current
      ---------
      McCarthy
      TAA VVD Justin
      Salah KDB Rash Soucek
      DCL Jim Mitro
      Nyland* Vinagre* Strujik (not playing) Bissouma

      WC Draft
      ------------
      Martinez
      TAA Aurier Saiss
      Salah Son J-Rod Grealish
      Kane DCL Wilson
      Forster Bissouma Targett Kilman

      1. mynameisq
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 27 days ago

        For me there's enough there to wildcard, the team isn't awful but at the same time it isn't enough to gain on people with better teams