Crystal Palace 4-1 Leeds United
- Goals: Scott Dann (£4.4m), Eberechi Eze (£5.8m), Jordan Ayew (£5.7m) | Patrick Bamford (£6.0m)
- Own goals: Hélder Costa (£5.7m)
- Assists: Eze, Patrick van Aanholt (£5.4m), Wilfried Zaha (£7.4m) | Mateusz Klich (£5.6m)
- Bonus points: Eze x3, Ayew x2, Bamford x1
Fantasy Premier League managers are likely to start targetting the Leeds United defence again when searching for attacking returns after another heavy defeat.
The Whites were beaten 4-1 by Crystal Palace in Gameweek 8, the second time in as many Premier League matches that they conceded four times.
That is the sort of form they displayed in the opening weeks, as Marcelo Bielsa’s men gave up seven goals in the first two matches of the campaign.
After a period of defensive improvement, in which they conceded just 0.5 goals per game against Sheffield United, Manchester City, Wolves and Aston Villa, Leeds have looked rather exposed in both of their last two outings.
There was an element of fortune about some of Crystal Palace’s goals, although their pace on the counter played a part in the build-up of each.
Scott Dann (£4.4m) nodded home a corner supplied by Eberechi Eze (£5.8m), who netted a direct free-kick won from his own determined running before Patrick van Aanholt (£5.4m) got into too much space in the corner before his cross was bizarrely turned into the Leeds net by Hélder Costa (£5.7m).
While there is unlikely to be Fantasy interest in Arsenal attackers for Gameweek 9, Leeds face trips to Everton and Chelsea in the following two rounds, two sides with plenty of talent in the midfield and forward positions.
While Leeds’ defensive credentials are slowly declining, Fantasy managers may still be intrigued by the role of Stuart Dallas (£4.5m) in Bielsa’s side.
The Whites manager rolled out his famed 3-3-3-1 formation for the first time this season as he took his side to Crystal Palace.
That featured Luke Ayling (£4.5m) on the right-hand side of a back-three with Liam Cooper (£4.4m) and Robin Koch (£4.5m) which, arguably restricted his ability to get forward and be involved in attacking play compared to when he is afforded a right full-back role.
By contrast, Dallas was afforded a spot on the right-hand side of central midfield which, accordingly, led to the FPL defender having a greater involvement higher up the pitch.
Meanwhile, there was a noteworthy start for £4.0m FPL defender Pascal Struijk (£4.0m) in that central midfield trio.
How long his run in the team can realistically last largely depends on the fitness of Kalvin Phillips (£4.9m) and, now, that of Jamie Shackleton (£4.8m), who sustained a muscle injury in training this week. Both of those players will have the opportunity for recovery over the international break, of course.
Owned by 33.5% and 29% respectively, this game’s popular options Bamford and Wilfried Zaha (£7.4m) both highlighted they were fully capable of ticking along.
Leeds’ first-choice centre-forward came away with a seven-point score but it could have been even more were it not for a rather contentious VAR call ruling out a first-half goal.
Finding the net courtesy of a Klich knockdown, Bamford is still yet to blank away from home in 2020/21, averaging 9.8 points per game on the road this season.
Meanwhile, Zaha’s assist may have been a little less than his owners wanted from Palace finding the net four times but it helps extend his positive start to the season.
Ahead of facing Burnley (away), Newcastle (home) and West Bromwich Albion (away) between now and Gameweek 11, the out-of-position midfielder has seven attacking returns to his name. It took him 23 Gameweeks to string together that many last season.
Anyone looking for a differential in the Palace attack for those favourable fixtures could consider Eze who offers a budget price as well as a role in corners and direct free-kicks, those helping him score 13 points in Gameweek 8.
Crystal Palace XI (4-4-2): Guaita; van Aanholt, Dann, Kouyaté, Clyne; Eze, McArthur, Riedewald (McCarthy 77′), A Townsend (Schlupp 71′); Zaha, Ayew (Benteke 85′).
Leeds United XI (3-3-3-1): Meslier; Cooper, Koch, Ayling; Alioski, Struijk (Roberts 71′), Dallas; Harrison, Klich, Costa (Raphinha 46′); Bamford.
Lessons Learned from FPL Gameweek 8
- Brighton and Hove Albion 0-0 Burnley
- Southampton 2-0 Newcastle United
- Everton 1-3 Manchester United
- Crystal Palace 4-1 Leeds United
- Chelsea 4-1 Sheffield United
- West Ham United 1-0 Fulham
- West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur
- Leicester City 1-0 Wolves
- Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool
- Arsenal 0-3 Aston Villa
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