Burnley 1-0 Crystal Palace
- Goals: Chris Wood (£6.2m)
- Assists: Jay Rodriguez (£5.8m)
- Bonus points: Nick Pope x3 (£5.4m), Wood x2, Charlie Taylor x1 (£4.4m)
WHERE THERE’S A WILF
Crystal Palace’s reliance on Wilfried Zaha (£7.4m) was exposed once again as his enforced absence coincided with a 1-0 defeat at Burnley on Monday night.
Ahead of kick-off, Roy Hodgson revealed that the out-of-position Fantasy Premier League midfielder had tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) and was now self-isolating.
While there has been no official line from the club to say he will play no part in Friday night’s Gameweek 10 opener against Newcastle, the unusually quick turnaround for Palace makes it very unlikely that Zaha will feature.
“[Zaha] has tested positive unfortunately for coronavirus so is self-isolating, and is awaiting the results of the next test. He is not feeling particularly ill, but unfortunately, the test proved [positive], and he is following the procedures.” – Roy Hodgson
Unsurprisingly, Palace were unable to get a positive result on the pitch without Zaha in the side. Since 2014/15, when he rejoined the club, the Eagles have lost 20 of a possible 28 Premier League games without him, including each of the last seven on the road.
Zaha’s absence was certainly frustrating considering his increasing ownership among the top 10,000 FPL managers (48.1%) and the fact that 32.7% of these took him into Gameweek 9 alongside Jack Grealish (£7.6m), who mustered only a solitary point in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Brighton.
That said, Zaha’s absence on Monday night did allow some fortuitous auto-subs and the nature of his flag does make it easier to sell him in light of movement in the midfield bracket.
WHILE MY GUAITA GENTLY WEEPS
The stock of Crystal Palace defenders continues to fall this season as they failed to even contain the Premier League’s lowest scorers in Gameweek 9, who were comfortably the better team.
In fact, the Eagles have kept just one clean sheet in their last 17 league games, conceding in eight consecutive matches since the 1-0 win over Southampton in Gameweek 1.
Against Burnley, Cheikhou Kouyaté (£5.0m), still filling in at centre-back, was at fault for the goal, his wayward header allowing Jay Rodriguez (£5.8m) to play Chris Wood (£6.2m) in.
Considering he is naturally a central midfielder, the fact that Gary Cahill (£4.5m) and Mamadou Sakho (£4.5m) were on the bench could spell the end for his time in defence, if Hodgson is looking for a way to freshen things up at the back.
Meanwhile, the 20% still invested in Tyrick Mitchell (£4.1m) are sure to be considering his place in their squad, provided they have the funds and/or transfer to move him on.
It is now three matches since he featured for Palace, return from his injury in Gameweek 9, having firmly lost his left-back place to Patrick van Aanholt (£5.4m), who ranks best for minutes per shot on goal among Palace players with at least two starts in the last four matches.
While the left-back could be the penalty taker in Gameweek 10, with Zaha likely absent through isolation and Luka Milivojevic (£5.6m) suspended, the lack of clean sheets does make it hard to justify his price right now.
Nick Pope (£5.4m) continues to highlight his impressive points potential, this time coming away from Gameweek 9 with a 10-point haul.
It was his second double-digit score in the last five matches, which has yielded three clean sheets, two at home.
Pope was a key reason for the latest shut-out rushing out to deny Michy Batshuayi (£5.8m) after a sloppy Dwight McNeil (£5.8m) back-pass before a brave, sprawling save stopped Christian Benteke (£5.5m) at close range in the dying moments.
Since the start of last season, no goalkeeper has registered clean sheets than Pope who has averaged 4.9 points per game in 2020/21.
And it is still worth noting that, despite his dearer price, no Burnley player can match him for value this year, offering 7.2 points per million spent.
During the Clarets’ most profitable period of the season in terms of defensive returns, between Gameweeks 3 and 9, Pope and Charlie Taylor (£4.4m) have both been present five times, but the goalkeeper has outscored the left-back by 35 points to 23. That margin of 12 is largely comprised of saves and bonus.
However, whether Burnley’s recent clean sheet pedigree will count for much moving forward is another matter.
It is clear they are more solid at home and three of their next four take them away from their happy place.
Furthermore, recent meetings with Manchester City, who they face in Gameweek 10 have proved too much for them. Across Burnley’s last five trips to the Etihad Stadium (in all competitions) they have lost by a combined score of 22-1 and the last three have all been 5-0 defeats.
Burnley XI (4-4-2): Pope; C Taylor, Mee, Tarkowski, Lowton; McNeil, Brownhill, Westwood, Gudmundsson (Brady 67′ | Pieters 84′); Rodriguez, Wood.
Crystal Palace XI (4-4-2): Guaita; van Aanholt, Dann, Kouyaté, Clyne; Eze, McArthur, Riedewald (Schlupp 67′), Townsend; Ayew (Benteke 77′), Batshuayi.
Lessons Learned from FPL Gameweek 9
- Newcastle United 0-2 Chelsea
- Aston Villa 1-2 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Manchester City
- Manchester United 1-0 West Bromwich Albion
- Fulham 2-3 Everton
- Sheffield United 0-1 West Ham United
- Leeds United 0-0 Arsenal
- Liverpool 3-0 Leicester City
- Burnley 1-0 Crystal Palace
- Wolves 1-1 Southampton