Scout Notes

Assessing Salah’s blank as Robertson moves top of the FPL defenders’ points table

Newcastle United 0-0 Liverpool

  • Goals: None
  • Assists: None
  • Bonus: Andrew Robertson (£7.3m), Federico Fernandez (£4.7m) x3, Karl Darlow (£5.0m) x1

The final fixture of an eight-match Gameweek that refused to stick to the script ended in suitably underwhelming fashion at St James Park on Wednesday.

Liverpool failed to score for the first time in the Premier League this season as poor finishing and a dogged defensive effort from Newcastle United left the Reds, and those Fantasy managers who backed their attacking assets, frustrated.

EGYPT ME OUT OF POINTS

A second successive blank for Mohamed Salah (£12.6m) capped off a below-par week for many Fantasy Premier League bosses, with the Egyptian backed with the armband by huge swathes of the FPL community for the clash with Newcastle.

Both he and Sadio Mane (£11.9m) never really got going on Tyneside but even taking into account their listless displays, this was one of those games when the margins between double-digit haul and a three-pointer were slim.

But for the merest brush on the fingertips of Karl Darlow‘s (£5.0m) gloves, Salah would have opened the scoring and potentially the floodgates in the 33rd minute.

His second wasted big chance arrived midway through the second half, the Egyptian failing to even hit the target with this effort, but Salah has historically had a profligate side to his game and occasional frustrating afternoons come with the territory.

Mane was also denied a tap-in by a goalmouth clearance from Fabian Schar (£4.9m), while Firmino spurned three very presentable headed opportunities and ought to have continued his good festive form.

INJURY LATEST

In terms of positive news, Liverpool appeared to emerge from their Gameweek 16 clash on Tyneside relatively unscathed.

An early injury to Andrew Robertson (£7.3m), in which the left-back needed treatment, seemingly amounted to nothing, with the Scot going on to last the full 90 minutes – the 16th time in a row he has done that in the Premier League in 2020/21.

Jurgen Klopp said after the game:

As far as I know, in the moment, nobody got injured tonight, which is a very important thing. So that means we probably can go with the same squad to Southampton.

The return of Thiago Alcantara (£5.7m) as a second-half substitute was a boost to the Reds but from a Fantasy perspective, the most pertinent injury news of the evening concerned Joel Matip (£5.5m).

Any notion that the Cameroon international could offer FPL managers a reliable, cut-price route into the Liverpool backline over the coming weeks and months were dashed yet again when the injury-prone stopper succumbed to yet another fitness issue in Gameweek 15.

Klopp said after full-time on Wednesday:

The normal stuff with these kind of injuries, around about three weeks.

That would put Matip on a collision course with Double Gameweek 19, so any punt on Nathaniel Phillips (£4.0m) and Rhys Williams (£4.0m) for the home fixtures against Manchester United and Burnley is a risky one at this stage.

Even if Matip was ruled out for that double-header, the fact that the two bargain-bin defenders continue to share game-time is off-putting; it was Williams who got the nod to deputise for Matip in Gameweeks 13 and 15, and Phillips at St James Park.

GREAT SCOT

On the subject of Liverpool’s backline, Robertson produced another fine performance from left-back en route to a tidy haul.

With much focus on Ben Chilwell (£6.1m) et al this season, the Scotland international has quietly gone about his business and this latest nine-point return moved him into first place in the FPL defenders’ points standings.

But for Roberto Firmino‘s (£9.3m) poor miss from Robertson’s 67th-minute corner, the in-form full-back would have been looking at another double-digit score.

One slight concern on the clean sheet front might be the absence of Matip, with neither Williams nor Phillips looking particularly solid.

This was the first match that Liverpool have kept a clean sheet in this season when either one of those budget assets has played and it took a last-ditch block from Fabinho (£5.4m) to stop Callum Wilson (£6.5m) from extending that drought, with the Newcastle striker having brushed off Phillips all too easily to carve out an early opening.

DARLOW V DUBRAVKA

Included in the Newcastle United squad for the first time this season was goalkeeper Martin Dubravka (£4.8m), who had been sidelined for four months with a heel problem.

The Slovak will have to be content with a place among the substitutes for now, however, with Darlow producing a well-timed masterclass between the posts and earning his manager’s backing after full-time:

Karl has waited patiently for his chance because of the form of Dubravka but he’s number one at the moment because of the performances that he’s putting in.

FIVE GO DEFENDING

A solid defensive showing from Newcastle at the Etihad on Boxing Day was followed up by an even better display against Liverpool, with centre-backs Schar and Federico Fernandez (£4.7m) particularly impressing.

Fernandez proved to be a bonus point magnet whenever the Magpies kept clean sheets last season and it so proved again on Wednesday, with the stopper collecting maximum bonus along with Robertson.

The problem with targeting Newcastle’s defence in FPL is Bruce’s determination to roll out a more attacking formation in the so-called ‘easier’ games – good news for the talismanic Wilson, who continues to thrive despite the limited service and who went close to scoring against Liverpool, but less so elsewhere.

The Magpies resemble a solid outfit in a backs-to-the-wall 5-4-1 but look less so in a 4-4-2/4-2-3-1, conceding goals against the likes of Burnley, Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Brighton and Hove Albion – all at home – this season when playing without a third centre-half.

Jamaal Lascelles (£4.2m), incidentally, looks likely to miss Gameweek 17 on his long road back from a positive COVID-19 test, but he’s one for the watchlist at that ever-dwindling price.


Newcastle United XI: Darlow, Murphy (Almiron 67), Yedlin, Ritchie (Lewis 86), Clark, Fernandez, Schar, Hayden, M.Longstaff, Wilson, Joelinton.

Liverpool XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Fabinho, Robertson, Jones (Wijnaldum 68), Henderson, Milner (Thiago 73), Salah (Shaqiri 90), Firmino, Mane.


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811 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Inazuma X1
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    Barcelona plan to announce an agreement with #ManCity in January for Eric Garcia as a free agent next summer. The tactic is to announce his signing for the summer so that he doesn’t renew at @ManCity or sign a pre-contract with another club.

    https://twitter.com/City_Xtra/status/1344581661544116225

  2. Camzy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    I need a Taylor replacement. Who to buy for 5.1m?

    I would love some fixtures announced. If City have a game in 19, Stones would be the easy pick. Worth the risk?

    1. Inazuma X1
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 17 days ago

      Lowton?

      1. Inazuma X1
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        I am thinking of getting him but I feel I should get a Palace defender since I only need him for next 2 GWs but I don't see anyone nailed (upto 4.8m)

        I feel Palace have the best fixtures for next 2 for cleansheets

        1. Mr. O'Connell
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Palace last clean sheets was GW1

      2. Camzy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        I don't think Bur - Ful is likely to go ahead.

    2. Mr. O'Connell
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 17 days ago

      If you don't have a City defender then Stones looks good

      1. Camzy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        I'm FH in 18 for sure. Ideally looking for a DGW19 player.

        1. Ozils Nozle
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          What about Southampton kwp or Bednarek? Also if city get a dgw 19 that creates another couple of options. I’m leaning towards Bednarek myself just now as have to make the transfer this gw to line up with chip strategy

    3. Klip Klopp
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 17 days ago

      Im swapping for Dier

    4. Finding Timo
        3 months, 17 days ago

        I am in a similar situation with same money if sell lampety, but I was thinking bellerin , holding , Saiss, Burnley, Leicester or palace defender due to fixtures ?!

        1. Camzy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Leicester might be good. Maybe I go for Fofana.

      • Davros
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Are City going to play next GW?

        1. Fozzyb34r
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          They’re all back in training so I don’t see why not

      • Magic Zico
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Saiss

    5. unitednations
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 17 days ago

      Currently planning to play through gw18 and gw19. 2FTs and 0.3m

      Martinez --- Forster
      Cancelo Coufal Dallas -- Taylor Lamptey
      Salah Bruno Son Kdb -- Burke
      Dcl Watkins Bamford

      A: Taylor >> Shaw/Holgate/Lowton/Holding
      B: Lamptey >> Stones
      C: Lamptey >> Holdings + 0.5m itb to maybe do Forster > Johnstone if i BB19 depending on how fixtures get allocated

      I assume it will inpart be dictacted by whether Taylor or Lamptey are fit for this gw?

    6. Fergymac
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 17 days ago

      Saiss or Dallas?

      1. Davros
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        For what? To buy- Dallas

        1. Fergymac
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Yeah as replacement for Taylor. Wolves fixtures are decent, is Dallas a trap?

          1. Davros
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Not at all

      2. Magic Zico
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Play 18 or 19? For 18 Saiss, for 19 Dallas/Justin

        1. Fergymac
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 17 days ago

          I’m free hitting 18 so all GWs apart from that. Saiss has West Brom in 19. Justin is a good shout but how much longer do you think he’s got?

    7. winchester
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Hello lads! have 1,6m itb and 0ft

        martinez (martin)
        robbo coufal kwp (dallas taylor*)
        salah son bruno soucek (bissouma)
        bamford kane adams

        What to do here lads? plan on fh gw18 and bb gw19
        How long will taylor be out?
        a) save
        b) taylor-> which defender? -4
        c) bissouma-> raphinha -4
        d) martin-> 4,8 GK -4

      • Klip Klopp
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Taylor to Dier for free?

        1. Captain Scarlet
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Yes

        2. Magic Zico
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          This week is not the best time v LEE?

      • Inazuma X1
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Any Palace fans here?

        Is there any defender upto 4.8m nailed for next two?

      • melvinmbabazi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Thoughts on what to do? 0.1 ITB 1FT

        McCarthy
        Robbo I Chilwell I Coufal
        Salah I Bruno | Rashford | Son | I Bowen
        DCL | Rodrigo

        Forster I Dallas I Brewster I *Taylor

        Cheers

        1. melvinmbabazi
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          *0.3 ITB

      • Hybrid Theory
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        If I save a transfer this week, then FH GW18, will I still get 2 free transfers in GW19?

        1. Mr. O'Connell
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          No

      • bros
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Charlie Taylor injury, any idea how long he may be out for?
        Thanks

        1. Camzy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Nope but if it's hamstring it's usually 3 weeks or so.

          1. bros
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Thanks, time to move him on then!

        2. Ginkapo FPL
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          At least till the end of the year

          1. Davros
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            If not longer

        3. Lev Yashin
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Hammy so a few weeks, I guess.

      • Neo-Viper
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Play McCarthy(Liv A) or Johnstone (Ars H) this week?

        1. Ginkapo FPL
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Never play Johnstone

          1. Neo-Viper
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            I feel Liverpool at home will be even more rampant having to not score with the chances they got yesterday. Vestegard being injured too puts me off.

            Johnstone on other hand plays a lack lustre Arsenal side.

        2. waltzingmatildas
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Hmm same choice and I was going for johnstone

          1. Neo-Viper
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            I am. going Johnstone! 80-20 on it!!

        3. claretparrot
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          I have both too, but Johnstone is only there for the DGW (although may not even BB now!) and otherwise I'm pretending he doesn't exist.

          1. Neo-Viper
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Same for me too but i think Johnstone will come good this week

        4. Davros
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Same dilemma and I keep switching. Currently on McCarthy

          1. Davros
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            As he will at least get save points

            1. Neo-Viper
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 17 days ago

              Pool as very clinical at home. Can see them scoring atleast 2 if not more.

      • PocketZola
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Chilwell, mitchell to justin and stones for -4?

        Or

        Kdb,Brewster to soucek, vardy for -4

      • The Red Devil
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Taylor to holding/lowton or save FT?
        Other defenders- Alioski zouma bednarek dunne

        1. waltzingmatildas
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Wait until pressers, but probably

        2. Lev Yashin
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Dier

        3. Inazuma X1
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          I am thinking of getting Lowton

        4. Davros
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Be surprised if Burnley play this weekend as against Fulham

          1. The Red Devil
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            I'd need Chelsea vs city to be played

      • waltzingmatildas
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Bench one of
        A) soucek
        B) raphina
        C) wood

        1. claretparrot
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          B. May well come on anyway though if Ful-Bur is canned

      • claretparrot
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Just thinking out loud here... Until all the fixture uncertainty dies down (which may not be this season!), I think I'm going to keep a full bench including keeper and take a far shorter-term view of transfers. Also toying with jumping off my current triple-up on Leeds.

        If fixtures get properly thrown up in the air then everyone is screwed to some degree. It will be worse though if you've done lots of long-term planning with your transfers. Better to target points in the next week or two and deal with each week as it comes.

        1. chaser123
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Agreed. More reason for strong bench and balance across teams/fixtures.

        2. Davros
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Interesting argument for avoiding triple ups. But I can’t tear myself away from the Leeds drug!

      • Bounce
          3 months, 17 days ago

          I actually think I'm going to burn 2 free transfers this week as I can't see ANY move that would improve this team... any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

          2 FT, £0.3 ITB, FH18, BB19

          McCarthy, Johnstone
          Dias, Justin, Dallas, Coufal, Taylor
          Salah, Fernandes, Son, Raphinha, Soucek
          Kane, Calvert-Lewin, Bamford

          I could maybe do Dias > Robertson & Calvert-Lewin > Adams?

          1. Davros
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Both look good, although not really convinced by adams. Maybe different with Ings back? Dias and Taylor may not play this weekend

        • Captain Scarlet
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Do I ever feel anger towards FPL? No. Do I feel disappointment? Of course.

          At the end of the day, cancellation of fixtures is not a new thing and emphasises the importance that a bench can have - even if it's for a net gain of 6 points. I remember 7 or 8 years ago when cancellations due to winter weather was the norm and boy did that add some extra spice to the game with the resulting additional DGWs

          At the end of the day, it's just a game, and frustration is part of any game, whether that be FPL, Monopoly or Call of Duty.

          1. Lev Yashin
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            At the end of the day, I usually say things, at the end of the day.

            1. Herman Toothrot
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              3 months, 17 days ago

              At the end of the day, you go to bed

            2. Captain Scarlet
              • 7 Years
              3 months, 17 days ago

              Haha, one day we will have an edit function. At least I know you read to the end though...

          2. NETFLIX & CHILWELL
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            At the end of the day, it's night.

        • Inazuma X1
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Will Pablo Mari play next 2 GWs?

          1. Neo-Viper
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            D. Luiz knocking on the door

        • Atimis
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Should Justin be nailed for the DGW?

          1. Magic Zico
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            If not am stuffed

        • chaser123
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Taylor replacements (ideally with good GW17 and GW19 fixtures):
          A) Lowton
          B) Alioski
          C) Struijk
          D) Phillips/Williams
          E) Other

          (£4.7m to spend unless I sell James too)

          1. claretparrot
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            B if you don't have Leeds defence already, otherwise A. Consider Holding for the fixtures?
            Not D!

        • Budweiser
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          If you look at the sequence of Bruno's points he tends to score for 3 weeks and then blank for 2 weeks so don't captain him next

          1. Lev Yashin
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Agree. I'm sure that's how he prepares for every game.

          2. ⱼₐᵣᵥᵢₛₕ
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Sounds like happenstance to me

        • Herman Toothrot
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          To the photographer of the article photo. Thank you for framing them further apart.

          1. ⱼₐᵣᵥᵢₛₕ
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Definitely some Photoshop opportunities.

        • One Wheels Enough
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 17 days ago

          People are looking to swap Taylor with another Burnley def. Will we know if Fulham will play before the deadline...

          1. Ajax Hamsterdam
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            keeping taylor until before dgw just in case

        • tom2224
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Taylor + Grealish > Dier + Rashford?

        • lordkippe
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Can I get away with not FH in 18 ?

          Atm got this

          Martinez

          Dier - Dias - PVA

          KDB - Torres - Grealish

          DCL - Brewster

          Also got 2FTS so with 3 transfers I can also get Son, Kane & 1 more player

          1. Captain_Shirokov
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Yeah I definitely think so

            But what do I know

        • The Yorkshire Pirlo
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Thoughts?

          OUT; James, KDB, Adams

          IN; TAA, Saka, Vardy

        • Inazuma X1
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Crazy to get a SHU def for next two?

          They're facing Palace and Newcastle next two

          1. ⱼₐᵣᵥᵢₛₕ
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Not crazy

          2. Captain Scarlet
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Crazy, yes. Newcastle looked surprisingly sharp last night and I'd expect Palace to at least get a goal against them.

        • Nespinha
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Sticking to BB19 anyway. Pick two to remove until then:

          A) taylor
          B) grealish
          C) son
          D) martial

        • Captain_Shirokov
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          I've never felt so clueless fpl wise

          1. Party time
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Can I help you?

        • YoungPretender
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Grealish > Rashford (-4)?

          Playing FH in 18