Scout Notes

Tuchel’s wing-back system renews interest in old hands Azpilicueta and Alonso

CHELSEA 2-0 BURNLEY

  • Goals: Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.6m), Marcos Alonso (£5.6m)
  • Assists: Callum Hudson-Odoi (£5.7m), Christian Pulisic (£8.2m)
  • Bonus: Azpilicueta x3, Alonso x2, Thiago Silva (£5.6m) x1

Marcos Alonso (£5.6m) and Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.6m) reminded new head coach Thomas Tuchel that Chelsea aren’t just a group of exciting young talents, with both making Fantasy Premier League managers feel nostalgic by scoring in a comfortable 2-0 win against Burnley.

HELLO MARCOS, MY OLD FRIEND

Pre-match, Alonso stole the headlines by emerging from the wilderness to replace Ben Chilwell (£6.1m) at left wing-back. Chilwell’s many owners could only look on in envy as Alonso smashed home a powerful finish after an 84th-minute exchange with Christian Pulisic (£8.2m), who found the Spaniard on the edge of the six-yard box.

Following a bright Burnley start, the Chelsea clean sheet was never really in doubt. However, with Chilwell, Kurt Zouma (£5.6m) and Reece James (£5.1m) benched, only a small minority of FPL managers will have taken advantage of their third shut-out from four matches.

Chilwell may not be reduced to bit-part player status just yet, however, with Tuchel saying after full-time:

We had a reason. It wasn’t that we were unhappy with Chilly (Chilwell), absolutely not. We opted for a bit more size for defending set-pieces, and I know from the time of Antonio Conte that Marcos is used to playing this role. He has good timing for arriving in the box.

GOLD RU-DIGER?

Perhaps the most intriguing route into the Blues’ backline ahead of fixtures against Sheffield United (a) and Newcastle United (h) is the cheap Antonio Rudiger (£4.5m), another who is experiencing a rebirth.

The German has taken Zouma’s place in five of the last six matches and seems to be a Tuchel favourite. With Chelsea’s popular defensive assets now in and out of the side, Rudiger provides an affordable option with a goal threat.

Yet it may still be too early to determine what Tuchel’s favoured formation and starting XI is, with the new boss saying:


If we manage to find a starting XI that can guarantee to win us 20 in a row, we will not change! It’s very unlikely this will happen and we need everybody. Right now every player has every right to start for us because I’m very happy with the quality, intensity and devotion in training. It’s super hard selections, or maybe super easy because I give everybody the chance to show up.

Tuchel’s two matches in the Stamford Bridge dugout have involved three centre-backs and two very attacking wing-backs. With Azpilicueta playing centrally, this should have been good news for James – but Callum Hudson-Odoi (£5.7m) was again outstanding in that right-sided role.

His early shot was blazed over the bar, with two later contributions deflected onto the post by Burnley defenders. Minutes before half-time, the 20-year-old got the points he deserved by assisting the opening goal. A free-flowing counter-attack saw Mason Mount (£6.8m) find Hudson-Odoi, who cut inside before slipping the ball through to goalscorer Azpilicueta.

Before being replaced by James, he had time to put an easy shot on a plate for half-time substitute Pulisic but the American fired wide.

DOUBTING THOMAS

As for favoured players, Tuchel rotated his front three after the midweek 0-0 draw with Wolves. Mount, Tammy Abraham (£7.2m) and Timo Werner (£9.2m) played on this occasion, with Hakim Ziyech (£8.1m), Kai Havertz (£8.2m) and Olivier Giroud (£6.7m) doing so previously.

Putting this uncertainty alongside the wing-back swaps, it would be risky to choose any Chelsea assets right now, especially in attack. Ziyech didn’t even make the squad this time, with £70m signing Havertz limited to a cameo.

Simply put, competition is fierce and nobody is bringing in the points to justify selection. One of Tuchel’s main objectives must be to get Havertz and Werner firing, with both struggling since their summer moves.

Three of Havertz’s four attacking returns occurred in the Gameweek 3-5 period. All four Werner league goals came between matches five and eight, with the forward visibly lacking confidence.

He found himself in the right position on numerous occasions but a 15th-minute shot was too easy for Nick Pope (£5.4m) to save, as was a 52nd-minute header. Midway through the first half, a cross was pulled back to Werner on the penalty spot and he couldn’t even connect properly. Whilst it’s a positive that he’s getting these chances, he can’t reasonably be transferred in until his luck changes.

Chelsea have no postponed matches to be rearranged and, assuming they defeat Barnsley in the FA Cup, will likely find themselves with no fixture in Gameweek 29 and a difficult double in 26 against Manchester United (h) and Liverpool (a).

ONE SHOT OR ONE OPPORTUNITY

Chelsea were dominant – particularly in the second half – which was underscored by the goal-shy Burnley having just one shot during the entire 90 minutes.

The Clarets’ head coach, Sean Dyche, admitted his side were second best:

I’ve no complaints because the best side won. In the first half, I thought we contained the game pretty well and kept them to a pretty slow tempo. But in the second half, they were by far the better sides and that happens. They brought a better tempo to their passing and their pressing and we couldn’t get a foothold at all. All credit to them; it was top players doing what top players do to win a game.

Burnley’s Gameweek 17 meeting with Fulham (h) needs to be scheduled and most eyes will be on their defensive assets for the Brighton (h), Crystal Palace (a) and West Brom (h) run of fixtures that follows Man City (h) in midweek.

The Clarets arrived in west London high on confidence after beating Aston Villa 3-2 and ending Liverpool’s 68-game unbeaten Premier League home run. With 1-0 away wins at Arsenal and Liverpool, they hoped to claim another scalp here but barely threatened Chelsea’s goal after an encouraging first half hour.

Already entering the weekend with the league’s second-lowest goals (13), expected goals (17.17) and goal attempts (173) tallies, seeing striker Chris Wood (£6.2m) limp off after receiving treatment will not be good for their attacking capabilities.

Yet they have collected four clean sheets from eight matches, largely due to established FPL titan Pope. After Gameweek 20, he was the game’s top-scoring goalkeeper. His 17 bonus points were by far the most in his position and, already ranked third for saves, Pope made another seven here.

His price is high but he offers more than the defence in front of him. Ben Mee (£4.9m) may have headed two goals from five matches but isn’t much cheaper, while budget-friendly options like Charlie Taylor (£4.5m) and Matt Lowton (£4.4m) are either injured or offer no attacking threat whatsoever.


Chelsea XI (3-4-3): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Rudiger; Hudson-Odoi (James 73’), Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount (Havertz 80’), Werner, Abraham (Pulisic 46’).

Burnley XI (4-4-2): Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; Brady (Mumbongo 76’), Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Wood (Gudmundsson 62’), Vydra (Rodriguez 57’).

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Marc Jobling Newcastle fan that spends far too much time thinking about FPL.”

1,228 Comments Post a Comment
  1. CaptainKazuru
      4 months, 13 days ago

      Any ideas on this? 1FT / 5.7M ITB

      Martinez
      Stones / Justin / cancello
      Bruno / salah (c) / gundo / soucek
      Antonio / DCL / bamford

      Meslier / raphina / chillwell / coufal

      Thinking of holding the xfer and doing chillwell > alonso & gundo > Sterling / mane next week.

      Thanks!

      1. Coys96
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 13 days ago

        Save 🙂

      2. Skymonkey
          4 months, 13 days ago

          Gundo transfer next week is a great idea. You could even do it this week as it could benefit you a lot more than being a risk. It's a pretty solid team.

        • CaptainKazuru
            4 months, 13 days ago

            Thanks both - don’t have enough ITB surprisingly enough so would have to take a -4 - not sure if it’s worth it but Sterling does love a game against Burnley....

          • Plonatron
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            4 months, 13 days ago

            I wouldn't bring in Alonso .... very doubtful he will be a regular starter

        • internal error
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          4 months, 13 days ago

          Score predictions?
          1) Everton vs Leeds
          2)Aston Villa vs West ham

          1. Coys96
            • 3 Years
            4 months, 13 days ago

            1-1
            2-2

          2. Mr Ozil
            • 6 Years
            4 months, 13 days ago

            1-1
            1-1 or 2-2

          3. bench boost for every gamew…
            • 4 Years
            4 months, 12 days ago

            2-2
            3-1

        • Steve The Spud
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          4 months, 13 days ago

          Sounds like laca should be good to go

        • james 101
          • 9 Years
          4 months, 13 days ago

          Such a weird season.

          Currently have 9.9m in the bank, and yet I’m more or less happy with my squad!

        • Corgzzzz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          4 months, 13 days ago

          Guys, Bench one.....

          A, Gundo.
          B, Bamford,
          C, Son

          1. Skymonkey
              4 months, 13 days ago

              Bench Bamford

            • Jellyfish
              • 9 Years
              4 months, 13 days ago

              Son

          2. merin
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            4 months, 13 days ago

            Any suggestions for transfers here? (bottomed)

            Martinez Steer
            Chilwell Cancelo Digne Coufal Dallas
            Salah Bruno Son Gundogan Soucek
            DCL Antonio Watkins

            1. Coys96
              • 3 Years
              4 months, 13 days ago

              Spotless, save!

              1. Coys96
                • 3 Years
                4 months, 13 days ago

                But if you have 2FT, Chilwell to Dias maybe

                1. merin
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  4 months, 13 days ago

                  I have 1 FT, 3.7 ITB

              2. merin
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                4 months, 13 days ago

                What about Chilwell?

                1. Coys96
                  • 3 Years
                  4 months, 13 days ago

                  Keep for now so u have 2ft next gw

                  1. merin
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 5 Years
                    4 months, 13 days ago

                    Any particular reason why you'd save instead of changing Chilwell now?

            2. Skymonkey
                4 months, 13 days ago

                Pretty solid team but the concern with Chilwell starting or getting returns against TOT. I personally have Maddison in for Son as Leicester has a great fixture. Or you could bring in Zaha as a differential with 5 great fixtures in a row next week. I would start 5 mids and 3 Defs with your squad.

                1. merin
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  4 months, 13 days ago

                  Cheers! Which one of the forwards would you bench?

                  1. Skymonkey
                      4 months, 13 days ago

                      Tough choice but probably Watkins, Antonio can exploit Aston Villa, and DCL faces Leeds who don't defend very well

                      1. merin
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 5 Years
                        4 months, 13 days ago

                        So what you're saying is that you think Soucek will outscore Watkins this week?

                        1. Skymonkey
                            4 months, 13 days ago

                            probably. I feel he and Antonio will link up as they look good together. Soucek is also the biggest aerial threat. But don't rely on my prediction because, in the end, it is just luck. But if you want to start 3 forwards, Soucek should be on the bench

                            1. merin
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 5 Years
                              4 months, 13 days ago

                              cheers! good prediction! I hope DCL finds form... 🙂

                2. Atimis
                  • 4 Years
                  4 months, 13 days ago

                  Which one would you do?

                  1) Soucek to Grealish, get Antonio for free for GW23

                  2) Keep Soucek, do Stephens to Grealish, means if I want Antonio for GW23, I have to take a hit (Already have 3 WH Souce, Coufal, Martin)

                3. G Banger
                  • 3 Years
                  4 months, 13 days ago

                  Which TWO of these to PLAY this week: 🙂

                  A) Holding
                  B) Coufal
                  C) Dallas
                  D) Souchek

                  1. Coys96
                    • 3 Years
                    4 months, 13 days ago

                    DC

                    1. Tcheco
                      • 3 Years
                      4 months, 13 days ago

                      This

                4. dbeck
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  4 months, 13 days ago

                  1ft and 0.7itb, best to save this week with an eye on double moving Digne out to Bamford

                  Ederson
                  Dias Stones Roberton Digne
                  Salah Grealish Son Bruno
                  Watkins Antonio

                  Johnstone Soucek Targett Brewster

                5. Andy_Social
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 8 Years
                  4 months, 13 days ago

                  All these posts on benching decisions - I can't help thinking it'll all be moot. With 2-games-a-week there will be a lot of rotation, not just this last weekend. It's pot luck if you have starters or not and I expect most of us to end up with 1, 2 or 3 coming off our benches anyway.

                  1. hullcityfan
                    • 6 Years
                    4 months, 13 days ago

                    I’m just glad to have a strong bench given the unpredictability of this season.

                    1. Rassi
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 6 Years
                      4 months, 13 days ago

                      Yeah, me too. People were telling me not to have so much value on my bench on December. Glad I decided to decide myself.

                6. JJeyy
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  4 months, 13 days ago

                  No way Liverpool will actually sign Kabak, Skalke are bottom of Bundesluwith by far the most xg conceded. For sure a ploy to get that Caleta-Car deal through

                7. Athletico Underachieving
                    4 months, 13 days ago

                    Play Dallas or Targett? Got Mart in goal so inclined to spread the risk and go Dallas, but he only seems to deliver when he comes in off the bench...

                    1. Tcheco
                      • 3 Years
                      4 months, 13 days ago

                      Tough one but would play Dallas for the reason you mentioned

                  • Rog.
                    • 9 Years
                    4 months, 13 days ago

                    Bench one

                    A) Cresswell (SOU)
                    B) Shaw (avl)
                    C) Dallas (EVE)

                    1. Tcheco
                      • 3 Years
                      4 months, 13 days ago

                      what

                  • Tcheco
                    • 3 Years
                    4 months, 13 days ago

                    Rashford owners, is his time up?

                    1. GuenDoozy
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 1 Year
                      4 months, 13 days ago

                      Hold imo

                    2. No Professionals
                      • 3 Years
                      4 months, 13 days ago

                      has looked poor for a number of weeks. looks low on confidence. depends who you're moving him out for though, Southampton is a decent fixture right now.

                      1. Tcheco
                        • 3 Years
                        4 months, 13 days ago

                        Was thinking Grealish. That or rolling FT

                    3. Skymonkey
                        4 months, 13 days ago

                        No, an assist against Southampton last time out and usually gets more than one attacking return when he fires. I don't have him in so an option is Zaha, Grealish, Maddison.

                      • Jon Walter's Hatty
                        • 7 Years
                        4 months, 13 days ago

                        I've had enough regardless of what he does from now on. Likely going back to Grealish for DGW prep and form.

                    4. Gun gun
                      • 4 Years
                      4 months, 13 days ago

                      Gundo owners, if u start him and he is bench.
                      Chances of him coming out?

                      1. Skymonkey
                          4 months, 13 days ago

                          Pretty slim. City now plays with Jesus at the top so Gundogan has fewer chances of getting goals while coming inside the box, but he is on penalties and corners. if he doesn't start expect a midfield of Foden, Bernardo, Rodri/Fernandino

                      2. CrouchDown
                        • 8 Years
                        4 months, 13 days ago

                        Play two:
                        (A) Coufal
                        (B) Mitchell
                        (C) Dallas
                        (D) Digne

                        Bench one:
                        1. Bamford
                        2. DCL
                        3. Soucek
                        4. Gundogan

                      3. fpork
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 5 Years
                        4 months, 13 days ago

                        I see most people go for Salah as captain. To me, Bruno seems like the better option given the fixtures. Thoughts?

                        1. Skymonkey
                            4 months, 13 days ago

                            Salah this week with Bruno vice. Salah might be benched and Bruno is Bruno

                        2. yosim
                          • 1 Year
                          4 months, 13 days ago

                          upgrade McCarthy to

                          A) Martinez
                          B) Mendy
                          C) Leno

                          1. Skymonkey
                              4 months, 13 days ago

                              Martinez but not this GW as West Ham looks really good. Also expect McCarthy to get more saves against MUN

                              1. yosim
                                • 1 Year
                                4 months, 13 days ago

                                thanks, maybe i will hold

                          2. Skymonkey
                              4 months, 13 days ago

                              Managers,

                              What do you think of the strategy of having strong bench options and an injured player in the starting line up. The highest-scoring bench option will come on. Worked well for me as I got 82 points while Kane was in my starting lineup and Wilson came on. Pep-roulette worked for me as Stones and Cancelo in my starting line up got replaced by Dallas and Creswell, both getting returns. Thinking of actually having a loaned out cheap forward or midfielder in my starting XI for coming gameweeks.

                              1. Andy_Social
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 8 Years
                                4 months, 13 days ago

                                Yeah, that works fine if the player has a yellow warning like, say, Saka. If there's a small chance he starts, put him in your line up and have a strong sub ready.

                                1. Gun gun
                                  • 4 Years
                                  4 months, 13 days ago

                                  But his one is kane. So its lame

                              2. Gun gun
                                • 4 Years
                                4 months, 13 days ago

                                Mate, if the person is injured. Its the obviousur sub is coming off. Whats the diff of u jus starting the one u think will come on?

                                U are just lucky wilson got smth, thats all.

                                1. Skymonkey
                                    4 months, 13 days ago

                                    oh, cause I thought the highest scorer will come on as long as the formation is legal. but I did transfer Kane for Antonio cause he is a big investment.

                                2. ⱼₐᵣᵥᵢₛₕ
                                  • 6 Years
                                  4 months, 13 days ago

                                  Eh?

                                3. Pukki Blinders
                                  • 1 Year
                                  4 months, 13 days ago

                                  Your pure luck isn’t a strategy. Stop pretending it is

                                  1. ⱼₐᵣᵥᵢₛₕ
                                    • 6 Years
                                    4 months, 13 days ago

                                    He thinks the highest scoring sub comes on, when it is the first sub that comes on.

                                    1. Skymonkey
                                        4 months, 13 days ago

                                        yup i found out. lmao it just sounded good in theory idk.

                                    2. Gun gun
                                      • 4 Years
                                      4 months, 13 days ago

                                      Exactly lol

                                      1. Skymonkey
                                          4 months, 13 days ago

                                          also who are you gonna captain, and what formation

                                    3. mynameisq
                                      • 7 Years
                                      4 months, 13 days ago

                                      The highest scoring doesn't come on, your first bench option comes on depending on the formation you have and player injured

                                      1. Skymonkey
                                          4 months, 13 days ago

                                          Thanks mate.

                                    4. FantasyClub
                                        4 months, 13 days ago

                                        Salah or Grealish?

                                      • Pchids
                                          4 months, 13 days ago

                                          Martinez
                                          Roberston, Stones, Cancelo
                                          Salah (c), Bruno (v), Gundo, Soucek
                                          Watkins, DCL, Bamford

                                          Johnstone, Dallas, Coufal, Klich

                                          3.8m ITB 1FT

                                          What do you reckon? Save FT? I don't have WC left so thinking I should start building towards DGWs coming up.
                                          Maybe time to move Gundo or Soucek on soon?

                                        • FantasyFooty01
                                          • 3 Years
                                          4 months, 13 days ago

                                          Into week 2 of last man standing, who should I pick? comment below.
                                          Already picked:
                                          Man City

                                        • CrouchDown
                                          • 8 Years
                                          4 months, 13 days ago

                                          Play two:
                                          (A) Coufal
                                          (B) Mitchell
                                          (C) Dallas
                                          (D) Digne

                                          Bench one:
                                          (1) Bamford
                                          (2) DCL
                                          (3) Soucek
                                          (4) Gundogan