Burnley 0-3 Chelsea
- Goals: Hakim Ziyech (£7.9m), Kurt Zouma (£5.1m), Timo Werner (£9.3m)
- Assists: Tammy Abraham (£7.2m), Mason Mount (£6.8m), Ziyech
- Bonus points: Ziyech x3, Zouma x2, Werner x1
THE ZIYECH FACTOR
Hakim Ziyech‘s (£7.9m) first Premier League start for Chelsea appears to have helped them finally unlock top gear this season.
The Moroccan playmaker has been conspicuous by his absence thus far, with the Blues labouring to their results far too often for those invested in their attackers.
At Burnley, Chelsea were a transformed outfit with Ziyech on the right-hand side of the front-three, hinting that they can do some damage in upcoming meetings with Sheffield United and Newcastle.
“We’re really impressed and really excited (with Ziyech). His work rate off the ball, which someone might not expect of a winger with technical ability, we saw today. Compared to what we had last season, he offers something different.” – Frank Lampard
Taking Wednesday’s 4-0 win at Krasnodar, the former Ajax man already has three attacking returns in his first two starts for Chelsea, netting in Russia and getting a goal and assist against Burnley.
Frank Lampard is still managing Ziyech’s minutes following an early-season injury, Callum Hudson-Odoi (£5.8m) coming on in the 73rd minute, but even at this early stage, he could prove a simple solution to frustrated Christian Pulisic (£8.4m) owners.
The 4.2% invested in Pulisic proved to be exceptionally unfortunate in Gameweek 7 as he sustained an injury in the warm-up at Burnley.
The American international was set to make a third consecutive Premier League start since returning from a previous issue, but now faces weeks on the sidelines again.
“He felt a little feeling in his hamstring. We tried to manage him in the week. We’ll have to see how he’s doing in the next 24 hours. Hopefully short-term, we’re talking weeks. It’s a minor feeling that he had.” – Frank Lampard
That stroke of misfortune for Pulisic was exactly the opposite for owners of Timo Werner (£9.3m), who still sits in 20.7% of teams worldwide.
He had been handed a first Premier League benching at Burnley but came into the side to occupy Pulisic’s left-sided position in the front-three.
That led to the German international’s third Premier League goal of the season and sets him up for a potentially profitable meeting with Sheffield United in Gameweek 8.
As we highlighted in our analysis of Manchester City’s latest win, the Blades have given up more chances on their right-hand side than any other this season. Accordingly, João Cancelo (£5.4m) was afforded the freedom of Bramall Lane in Gameweek 6 occupying a similar on-field position to what Werner could next Saturday. And, even if the former RB Leipzig man is chosen to lead the line ahead of Abraham, we know tends to drift in that direction, anyway.
ON THE MENDY
Keeping a clean sheet in their 3-0 win at Turf Moor, Chelsea’s defence is quickly becoming a key source of investment – especially when we consider how rare shut-outs seem to be for big-six clubs right now.
Naturally, the signing of Edouard Mendy (£5.0m) has had a significant impact in this area, as has Thiago Silva (£5.5m) bedding himself into the team.
In the three Premier League matches that they have started together, they have kept a clean sheet in each one.
And, most importantly, the underlying statistics from those games have also been encouraging in terms of sustainability. Chelsea have conceded just one big chance in the matches that Mendy and Silva started together, compared to giving up eight in the four that they did not.
With Sheffield United boasting the second-worst goal conversion rate in the Premier League this season, another clean sheet seems likely in Gameweek 8, while no team has registered fewer shots than their Gameweek 9 opponent Newcastle.
While Silva and Mendy have arguably had the biggest impact on Chelsea’s defence, Ben Chilwell (£5.9m) and Kurt Zouma (£5.1m) remain the key assets to consider when looking to capitalise on it.
Left-back Chilwell was the people’s choice for Gameweek 7, earning more transfers in than any other player but it was Zouma who left Turf Moor with the bigger score (14), thanks to his second-half goal and two bonus points.
Perhaps we should not be too surprised at the centre-back’s third goal of the season considering that, between Gameweeks 1 and 6, Werner and Abraham were the only Chelsea players with more shots in the box and the German was the only one of Zouma’s colleagues with more efforts on target too.
The prospects of both Chilwell and Zouma look especially good for the next two matches.
We have already highlighted that Werner will face Sheffield United’s weak right-flank in Gameweek 7, which Chilwell will also have the privilege of lining up against too.
However, Zouma can offer decent match-ups in both of the next two outings. Considering his continued threat from set pieces, he might fancy attacking returns against a Sheffield United side that has given up more headed efforts than any other this season while Newcastle have conceded the most attempts from dead-ball situations in 2020/21.
Burnley XI (4-4-2): Pope; C Taylor, Tarkowski, K Long, Lowton; McNeil, D Stephens (Rodriguez 46′), Westwood, Brownhill; Wood, A Barnes (Brady 73′).
Chelsea XI (4-3-3): E Mendy; Chilwell, Zouma, T Silva, R James; Havertz (Jorginho 86′), Kanté, Mount; Werner, Abraham (Giroud 77′), Ziyech (Hudson-Odoi 73′).
LESSONS LEARNED FROM FPL GAMEWEEK 7
- Wolves 2-0 Crystal Palace
- Sheffield United 0-1 Manchester City
- Burnley 0-3 Chelsea
- Liverpool 2-1 West Ham United
- Aston Villa 3-4 Southampton
- Newcastle United 2-1 Everton
- Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal
- Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Fulham 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
- Leeds United 1-4 Leicester City
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