West Ham 2-1 West Brom
- Goals: Jarrod Bowen (£6.3m), Michail Antonio (£6.3m) | Matheus Pereira (£5.6m)
- Assists: Vladimir Coufal (£4.7m), Andriy Yarmolenko (£5.5m) | Kamil Grosicki (£5.3m)
- Bonus points: Antonio x3, M Pereira x2, Coufal x1
THE BAGGIES BAG
Matheus Pereira (£5.6m) is quietly building Fantasy Premier League appeal again as he scored in West Bromwich Albion’s 2-1 defeat to West Ham on Tuesday evening.
It was the midfielder’s third strike in two matches and a fourth attacking return since Sam Allardyce arrived at the Hawthorns in Gameweek 14 – more than any colleague.
Crucially, it has made for excellent value for money too. Costing just £5.6m, Pereira’s score during the new manager’s reign working out at 5.5 points per million spent.
Pereira’s new central role has played a pivotal part in that upturn in fortunes, which has helped West Brom score four goals in their last two.
The Brazilian was deployed on the flanks for much of Slaven Bilic’s time in charge of West Brom this season but Allardyce has allowed him to play number 10 in each of the last three matches – which has yielded three goals for the midfielder.
Despite the 24-point score recorded in Double Gameweek 19, Pereira may have to be someone Fantasy managers keep only on their radar for now.
West Brom face Manchester City (home), Spurs (away) and Manchester United (home) between now and Gameweek 24.
Still, Gameweek 21 and 22 meetings with Fulham (home) and Sheffield United (away) offer some short-term appeal.
Michail Antonio (£6.3m) looks set to offer similar consistent form Fantasy managers witnessed during Project Restart.
On Tuesday night, he started back-to-back Premier League matches for the first time since Gameweek 6 and, despite still only working his way back to full fitness, already has two goals in two.
As we mentioned in our match report for the win over Burnley, Antonio’s knack of getting on the end of balls in and around the six-yard box is the true key to his appeal.
And it was exactly the story against West Brom, as he hooked a flying leg on the end of an Andriy Yarmolenko (£5.5m) knock-down in the second half.
Perhaps mildly ominous for owners and non-owners alike, is the fact that David Moyes insisted post-match that Antonio is still not back to his best.
The fact that the West Ham manager replaced him with Mark Noble (£4.6m) in the 84th minute suggests there is still game-time management required following his long lay-off.
That said, Sebastien Haller‘s (£6.1m) sale to Ajax is a continuing reminder that, at the very least, he is ready to start games consistently, if not finish them.
Meanwhile, anyone not in possession of Antonio might be somewhat concerned to see him score 18 points in Double Gameweek 19 only for his manager to imply there are remaining gears for him to cycle up through.
“He was excellent, his goal was great, but he is still not at full tilt. We are asking a lot from him and he is turning into a ruthless striker.” – David Moyes
VLAD THE IMPALER
West Ham’s run of defensive form was brought to an end by West Brom on Tuesday night.
Pereira’s second-half strike was the first Premier League goal the Hammers had conceded with Craig Dawson (£4.5m) in the side.
With Crystal Palace (away), Fulham (away) and Sheffield United (home) three of the next five opponents, there is certainly very little to worry owners of West Ham’s defensive assets from Double Gameweek 19.
The former Watford man looks closer and closer to squeezing his way into Fantasy consideration not least just because of his price but because he finally started offering threat against West Brom.
Dawson managed to find space on the back post to nod an Aaron Cresswell (£5.4m) corner towards Sam Johnstone‘s (£4.5m) goal in the first half, nodding just wide when he should have scored.
While Cresswell managed just two points on Tuesday night, his owners can still look forward to a period of strong potential for the left-back.
Of his six assists this season, five of them have come away from home and West Ham face road trips, to Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Fulham, in three of the next four Gameweeks.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Coufal (£4.7m) continues to be the more useful of West Ham’s full-backs at the London Stadium.
His assist for Jarrod Bowen‘s (£6.3m) opening goal was his third at home this season, the most of any West Ham defender in 2020/21.
The right-back even went close to his first Premier League goal in the first half, popping up in the box and watching his shot deflected wide for a corner.
West Ham United XI (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Cresswell, Ogbonna, Dawson, Coufal; Rice, Soucek; Benrahma (Yarmolenko 62′), Lanzini (Fornals 62′), Bowen; Antonio (Noble 84′).
West Bromwich Albion XI (4-4-1-1): Johnstone; Gibbs, Bartley, Ajayi, O’Shea; Grosicki (Furlong 70′), Sawyers, Livermore (Robson-Kanu 80′), Gallagher; M Pereira; C Robinson.
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