Scout Notes

Analysing Fernandes and United’s other FPL assets after narrow West Brom win

Manchester United 1-0 West Bromwich Albion

  • Goals: Bruno Fernandes (£10.7m)
  • Assists: Juan Mata (£5.9m)
  • Bonus: Fernandes x3, Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.4m) x2, Victor Lindelof (£4.9m) x1

A twice-taken Bruno Fernandes (£10.7m) penalty was just enough for Manchester United to see off a spirited, if limited, West Brom side.

It was the Red Devils’ first league win at Old Trafford this season, prompting a relief-heavy comment from manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer:

We needed that win at home. It’s never comfortable against players of this quality.

FERNANDES TO THE FORE

Over-hyping the opposition continues to be a Solskjaer trait because the Baggies were organised and committed, but that was generally where their qualities ended.

Then again, there wasn’t much of the good stuff on display from the home side either, with midfielder Fernandes the best of an average lot on the night.

That was the most pleasing Fantasy Premier League (FPL) aspect of the match as the 34.5%-owned midfielder was by far the most popular player on the pitch.

His ownership had been boosted by a Gameweek-leading one million-plus new owners for the West Brom encounter and yet another penalty – seven of his 14 goals for the club have come from the spot – meant he produced a second straight double-digit return for his managers old and new.

He did require a re-take to score it, however, when his first attempt was saved by the excellent Sam Johnstone (£4.5m), albeit from well off his goal-line.

But the goal was just reward for an influential performance from Fernandes.

He created two of the game’s three big chances, which forced fine saves by Johnstone from Anthony Martial (£8.7m) and Marcus Rashford (£9.5m) respectively, and scored from the other one.

Fernandes’ form, and United’s fixtures, are tempting more managers into the midfielder’s fold – he’s currently one of the most popular purchases for Gameweek 10.

And a pleasant mix of matches over the next six Gameweeks, with four games away and the two at home against more progressive opposition in Manchester City and Leeds, should better suit United’s counter-attacking strengths.

NOT SO FORWARD THINKING

Penalties have nourished Fernandes owners through thin times. There’s not a lot of sustenance available for the team’s other attacking options.

On another day and against a rather less inspired keeper, both Martial and Rashford might have found the net.

But the former has had a truly terrible season so far, with more red cards than goals, while Rashford’s last four starts – which have included three stints up front – have produced just one assist.

Solskjaer has handed four starts out of the last five to Juan Mata (£5.9m) and it was the veteran’s cross that drew the handball for Saturday’s penalty award.

The Spaniard now has two assists from those starts, but his lack of pace does the side few favours and his freer role seems to compromise Fernandes’ ability to get forward at times.

Many United fans would rather see the more dynamic Donny van de Beek (£6.7m) given a chance in Mata’s place, a move that the conservative Solskjaer is yet to make, and might not even have contemplated.

The manager did provide an update on another midfielder – Paul Pogba (£7.7m):

Paul got a knock in the last game (for France) and he started feeling it yesterday after the session. Well, he felt it before the session, but he couldn’t carry on. Hopefully, he’ll be okay for Tuesday.

But the only attacking game in town at the moment remains Fernandes. United have had 109 attempts so far this season and just over a fifth (24) have come solely from him.

DEFENSIVE DIVIDENDS

At least the team’s backline is starting to produce points, with two clean sheets (and just two goals conceded) over the last four Gameweeks.

The side’s most popular defender, Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.4m and 9.2%), brought in two bonus points, and eight overall, while Alex Telles (£5.5m) marked his league debut with a solid return for his 1.2% ownership.

United’s schedule is attractive enough to suggest more clean sheets can be kept for the foreseeable future.

But the prospect of attacking returns from the flanks remains remote.

United’s full-backs – including the injured Luke Shaw (£4.8m) – have created nine chances between them this season. 

That’s a total bettered by six defenders on their own, while West Ham’s Ryan Fredericks (£4.3m) can match that tally from just three appearances.

Until Solskjaer risks pushing his wide men further forward, Harry Maguire (£5.4m) is probably the better bet as a consistent attacking threat.

The centre-half’s 13 attempts this season is joint-top among defenders.

As for the Baggies, manager Slaven Bilic was understandably bitter about VAR overturning a penalty award when Fernandes tackled Conor Gallagher (£5.5m):

I’m very disappointed with the result and the decisions from the referee.

But from a Fantasy perspective, the less said about a team with just six goals and one clean sheet from nine games, the better.


Manchester United XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles; Matic, Fred (McTominay 84); Mata (Cavani 62), Fernandes, Rashford (van de Beek 79); Martial.

West Bromwich Albion XI (5-4-1): Johnstone; Furlong, Bartley, Ivanovic (Krovinovic 79), Ajayi, Townsend; Gallagher, Sawyers, Diangana (Robson-Kanu 62), Pereira; Grant (Robinson 62).

Lessons Learned from FPL Gameweek 9

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1,126 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Ëð
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 22 hours ago

    What to do here, is bringing back Salah essential? 2FT

    McCarthy, Steer
    Chilwell, Cresswell, Justin, KWP, Mitchell
    KDB, Son, Bruno, James R., Soucek
    Kane, DCL, Brewster

    1. Ëð
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 22 hours ago

      £0.9m ITB

    2. FPL_Motty
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 months, 22 hours ago

      Enough cash for James > Grealish // Son > Salah?

      1. Ëð
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 22 hours ago

        Wish I did but sadly no

    3. Klaren
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 22 hours ago

      Only feasible way looks like downgrading Kane to mid priced forward (probably Bamford or Watkins) and upgrading James R. to Salah.

      So it mainly depends on whether you prefer Salah or Kane.

    4. Mr Wolf
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 22 hours ago

      Not essential, but I’d rather have him...James to Jota and Son to Salah?

      1. Ëð
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 22 hours ago

        Yes that could work. Just difficult to know if Jota is guaranteed starts

        1. Mr Wolf
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 21 hours ago

          I brought him in as 5th Mid in a 3-5-2, with a strong bench (Coufal,Kilman and Brewster from next week). A Liverpool attacker at 6.5 (6.6 now) with a good chance of playing has a big upside and their fixtures are pretty good going forward....worth a shot! I doubled up with Salah and planning on bringing Robbo for Fulham.

  2. Klaren
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 22 hours ago

    Best option for 3rd City player?
    A) Dias
    B) Torres
    C) Jesus

    Currently have Sterling (will become KDB) and Cancelo.

    1. leonickroberts
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 22 hours ago

      Out of interest what's the rationale on Sterling>KdB? I also have Sterling, and not sure it's worth the move.

      1. Klaren
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 22 hours ago

        He plays really wide, have had very little involvement in the box since the Leeds match. KDB is central to most City attacks and is on most set pieces. Also I think Sterling has a higher rotation risk now that everyone is fit.

        So I think KDB is likely to outscore Sterling by more than 4 points in the medium term.

    2. Ëð
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 22 hours ago

      I wouldn't bother with a 3rd city player. Too much rotation risk

      1. Mr Wolf
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 21 hours ago

        Agreed

    3. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 22 hours ago

      Stick with two until City attack pick-up some form

    4. SuicideSquad
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 21 hours ago

      Is it really worth City triple up with their current form? I own Sterling (wish it had been KDB for the above mentioned reasons), but may be it is worth investing in other teams with a decent run of fixtures.

  3. leonickroberts
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 22 hours ago

    How sure are we that Jota is nailed once Salah returns? Keen to bring him in but want to be confident he won't drop back to the bench.

    1. Mr Wolf
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 22 hours ago

      You’d need a good bench but the upside might be worth it

    2. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 22 hours ago

      I can see LIV playing a 4231 to accommodate Jota since he is on form.

    3. ClassiX
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 22 hours ago

      Honestly believe the change in formation has helped Pool. Other teams were coming up with ways to blunt the Pool formation and this has created a new problem for them. Having Jota means it's a formation that allows Minamino some playing time.

  4. Sterling Malory
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 22 hours ago

    Repost, bottomed. Not sure what to do here. 1FT 1Mitb

    Martinez
    Chillwell Cresswell KWP
    KDB Bruno Son Grealish
    DCL Kane Bamford
    P-F Lamptey Stephens Mitchell

    A) KWP > Cancelo
    B) Kane > Vardy
    C) Both for - 4
    D) Roll
    E) Bring Salah back (-4 likely)

    1. Mr Wolf
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 22 hours ago

      Tough...probably B

    2. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 22 hours ago

      You already have 1-2 captaincy options for this GW so I wouldn't bring in Vardy. Cancelo or Roll FT

    3. SuicideSquad
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 21 hours ago

      I would consider B given how explosive Vardy can be against weak opposition, hatrick incoming?? + Plus Kane's fixtures turn tougher, yet owing to Mourinho-tactics he could score anytime now against anyone.

  5. Totti
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 22 hours ago

    is saiss tested positive for sure?

    1. El Presidente
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 22 hours ago

      No indication of that so far.

    2. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 22 hours ago

      Only seen rumours and nothing confirmed

  6. Tonyawesome69
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 22 hours ago

    A. Kane to Vardy
    B. Son to Salah
    C. Kane and Rodriguez to Bamford and Salah (-4)

    3.3itb 1ft
    Martinez
    Chilwell Cancelo Justin
    Grealish Son Rodriguez Bruno
    Watkins DCL Kane
    (Peacock Ayling Taylor Bissouma)

    1. ⚔★Vibudh★⚔
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 22 hours ago

      B if fit

  7. ⚔★Vibudh★⚔
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 22 hours ago

    So I have to choose either KDB or Bruno, does it make sense to pick KDB for the fact that he can be easily downgraded to Bruno anytime, while for Bruno it's hard to have a way back to KDB

  8. Pukki Blinders
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 22 hours ago

    The people that think Jota is nailed on will cop a huge shock when Salah returns. If you think Firmino will sit on the bench every week you are mistaken...

    Liverpool’s system won them the league, not their players... and Firmino is essential to that system.

    1. ClassiX
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 21 hours ago

      Systems have to change - other teams work them out. People also have short memories - when Coutinho was around it was also a 4-man attacking system, and was very effective.

    2. Mr Wolf
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 21 hours ago

      Not sure as when you bring him in you know there is a chance he might not start every game. Based on current form, I would be surprised not to see him quite often in the starting 11 anyway, but a good bench is going to make this bet affordable. Also, if PL go back to 5 subs he would have a very good chance to play every game, even if it's the last 30 mins. A tired opponent and a Liverpool pushing forward...Jota is in for me 😉

    3. Plant Based Footballer
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 18 hours ago

      $40 million seems just on the higher end for someone who won't get major minutes.

  9. Shark Team
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 21 hours ago

    Get Jota now or wait because he will come for Jrod who has LEE(H) ?
    Jrod is great at home but Jota can haul vs Bha on the counter attack

  10. DannyDrinkVodka
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 21 hours ago

    Start Watkins or Foden?

    1. Klaren
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 21 hours ago

      Foden doesn't seem to be 1st choice anymore so Watkins.

  11. james 101
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 21 hours ago

    Martinez
    Digne Cresswell Chillwell Justin Kilman
    Son Bruno Grealish Rodriguez Zaha
    Kane DCL Bamford.

    Want to do Bamford + a mid to Vardy plus 5.6 mid. Who do I lose?

    A. Grealish
    B. Zaha
    C. JRod
    D. Don’t do it.

    And if I do, is Soucek the right choice or?

  12. Yordan Letchkov
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 12 hours ago

    How does this move look like?

    Brewster/Zaha -> Vardy/Fornals

  13. RED_ARMY
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 29 days ago

    Werner is shocking