Burnley 0-1 Spurs
- Goals: Son Heung-min (£9.5m)
- Assists: Harry Kane (£10.9m)
- Bonus points: Son x3, Toby Alderweireld x2 (£5.4m), Hugo Lloris x2 (£5.5m)
Jose Mourinho’s tactical tweaks were a key reason why Spurs assets were somewhat subdued in Gameweek 6.
Fresh from surrendering a 3-0 lead to West Ham the previous weekend, the former Chelsea and Manchester United manager made important changes to his team for the trip to Burnley.
Fully expecting a physical and aerial battle, Mourinho replaced full-backs Sergio Reguilón (£5.6m) and Serge Aurier (£5.2m) with Ben Davies (£4.8m) and Matt Doherty (£5.8m) respectively, altering our expectations for the game.
“I did not want to risk losing the game. I thought about on many occasions of bringing Reguilon to the game because he is very fast through the corridor. I thought many times of bringing Lo Celso to play with Ndombele but that would mean losing Ben Davies, losing Moussa Sissoko. And when you lose aerial power against Burnley instead of winning maybe you lose (the situation where) Kane stopped a goal in our box. When they take the game to the direction they want they put long balls into our box.” – Jose Mourinho
While Mourinho’s plan successfully won the three points for his side, and a first clean sheet of the season, the absence of Reguilón and Aurier did somewhat dampen Spurs’ creativity in wide areas.
The question facing Fantasy managers now is whether Mourinho will take a similar approach to their upcoming home meeting with Brighton and the impact that could have on Son and Kane for the second week in a row.
It is certainly a potential strategy to use again, considering the Seagulls have registered the same number of attempts from set plays as Burnley this season (19), although that is admittedly from an extra match.
Corners appear to be where Brighton cause the most problems. Their total of 13 shots direct from corners is the joint-third highest in the Premier League so far. That said, they will travel to Spurs without the suspended Lewis Dunk (£4.9m), one of their greatest aerial goal threats.
Of course, the team Mourinho selects to face Antwerp in the Europa League on Thursday is likely to give us more clues to help us with predicting the Spurs team for Sunday evening.
While Spurs’ more conservative approach in light of the West Ham draw played a big part in their subdued performance, Burnley also played their part.
Sticking to their 4-4-2 formation with textbook organisation and discipline, the Clarets frustrated Spurs on Monday night, highlighting once again that they can still provide Fantasy appeal of their own in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, they also managed to force Spurs back in key moments, especially in the second half. Burnley’s robust, direct approach led to them finishing the match with more shots on goal and a greater expected goals (xG) score.
“The shape was good, I thought the belief in the shape and working from it defensively (were good too). We broke up their tempo and kept key players quiet. We mixed the game up well in attack and asked questions, more than we normally do in games like this.” – Sean Dyche
Burnley host Chelsea next, who have a round-trip to Russia to navigate this week. A combination of that travel-time and the Clarets increased assuredness at the back could make life hard for Timo Werner (£9.3m) and his colleagues.
Kane I help you?
The shot counter from Burnley v Spurs
In a week where so many of the key Fantasy assets let their owners down, we should not overlook the fact that Kane and Son each still managed to get attacking returns despite the mitigating circumstances we have already covered in this article.
As you can see from the table above, Kane still managed to unleash four shots on goal, three of which were in the box, while Son got away with two there and one big chance. That said, the quality and accuracy was mostly lacking on the night, the results of creators missing from the back and Burnley’s approach, no doubt.
“I think it’s a bit of both (tactical decision by the manager and natural evolution of my game). When the gaffer first came in he said that when I drop deep, the wingers have to run in behind. There’s no point in having two or three players dropping as it gives no space to play those balls. It’s something I’ve been doing for a while but there’s more of a finished product than before. My passing is better than before, the finishing is a lot better, so yeah it catches the eye a bit more.” – Harry Kane
With Burnley’s restrictive structure, the pair were forced to improvise in order to continue their impressive run of form, Kane peeling away from the main pack following an Erik Lamela (£5.9m) corner, nodding back into Son’s path on the back-post.
“It was an unusual assist. When things are going your way they fall to the right people. I’m not too sure (how the streak has kept going). This season I’ve been dropping deeper and the wide players have been running beyond and that gives me space. Doing that together helps, when in previous years it hasn’t worked out that way.” – Harry Kane
Son has now been involved in nine of Kane’s 13 attacking returns this season, while the pair have combined for 29 goals (not including Fantasy assists) during their time in the Premier League. Only Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard (36) have a more productive partnership since assist records began, further pushing the case to own both players. As of the Gameweek 6 deadline, 27% of managers were in possession of his highly-effective double-up.
Burnley XI (4-4-2): Pope; C Taylor, Tarkowski, K Long, Lowton; McNeil, Brownhill, Westwood, Gudmundsson (Rodriguez 84′); Wood, A Barnes (Vydra 89′).
Tottenham Hotspur XI (4-2-3-1): Lloris; B Davies, Dier, Alderweireld, Doherty; Højbjerg, Sissoko; Son (Rodon 90+3′), Ndombèlé (Lo Celso 79′), Moura (Lamela 57′); Kane.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM FPL GAMEWEEK 6
- Aston Villa 0-3 Leeds United
- West Ham United 1-1 Manchester City
- Fulham 1-2 Crystal Palace
- Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea
- Liverpool 2-1 Sheffield United
- Southampton 2-0 Everton
- Wolves 1-1 Newcastle United
- Arsenal 0-1 Leicester City
- Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1 West Bromwich Albion
- Burnley 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur
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