Our Scout Notes round-up summarises Sunday’s top-flight action and key Fantasy Premier League talking points.
GOALS, ASSISTS AND BONUS
(Courtesy of LiveFPL)
There always seems to be at least one name that emerges from low-owned anonymity to haul in a Double Gameweek.
Josh Maja (£5.5m) did just that on Sunday evening, scoring twice at Goodison Park on his full Fulham debut as a flat, Dominic Calvert-Lewin-less (£7.7m) Everton were beaten 2-0.
Owned and started by little more than 1,000 Fantasy Premier League managers, the deadline-day signing banked 13 points in part one of the Cottagers’ Gameweek 24 double-header.
Both goals were poacher’s strikes from point-blank range, with the on-loan striker reacting quickest to convert a low centre from Ola Aina (£4.5m) and then tap home a rebound after Harrison Reed‘s (£4.4m) shot hit the upright.
All three players who delivered attacking returns are owned by 0.5% of FPL managers or less.
Fulham, so defensively sound over the last 13 Gameweeks, have missed a natural goal-getter more than anything: the Cottagers have created more chances (213) than the likes of Spurs, Leicester and West Ham this season, just haven’t had anyone to stick the ball in the net.
Three shots – two of them converted – from inside the six-yard box against Everton suggests the loanee has an eye for goal (even if his record at Bordeaux doesn’t) and he is a name to monitor in FPL, with two clubs who are averse to clean sheets up next for Fulham in Gameweeks 25 and 26.
A guaranteed match for Scott Parker’s troops in Blank Gameweek 29 – plus a Double Gameweek in the pipeline – are also ticks next to his name.
As for the Toffees, this was grim and Wednesday’s match against the meanest defence in town doesn’t bode well for the underwhelming Gameweek 24 scores logged by the likes of Lucas Digne (£6.1m) so far.
While Calvert-Lewin may return in that fixture, there is a fresh concern over James Rodriguez (£7.7m):
One of two teams who have a Double Gameweek 25, Southampton aren’t putting in much of an audition for Fantasy managers.
Their sixth defeat in a row was handed out to them by Wolves on Sunday, with second-half goals from Ruben Neves (£5.1m) – his third penalty in seven Gameweeks – and the brilliant Pedro Neto (£5.7m) leaving them empty-handed.
Alex McCarthy (£4.5m) kept his place over Fraser Forster (£4.0m) but again didn’t come close to registering a clean sheet, while the loss of the returning Kyle Walker-Peters (£4.7m) to a hamstring injury is a further blow to a backline that has little in reserve at full-back.
Further forward, we saw another ‘out of position’ run-out up front for Nathan Redmond (£6.4m) and a benching for Che Adams (£5.8m), neither of whom has shown much conviction in front of goal of late.
Danny Ings (£8.4m) is an altogether more clinical finisher and he ended a four-game drought with a spectacular volley from a Stuart Armstrong (£5.5m) cross.
Even he might be a bit of a tough sell for the upcoming Double Gameweek given the glut of cheaper options available in attack.
On top of that, Saints have scored just six Premier League goals in the last 13 Gameweeks, fewer than any other club, and one of their Double Gameweek 25 fixtures is against a Chelsea side yet to concede a goal to an opposition player under Thomas Tuchel.
LUKE WHOSE ASSISTING
West Bromwich Albion became the third team in the relegation zone to breach Manchester United’s defence in the last six Gameweeks, with Mbaye Diagne‘s (£6.0m) early header ruining the Red Devils’ clean sheet prospects in Gameweek 24.
The loss of a shut-out didn’t stop Luke Shaw (£5.0m) from racking up a tidy score, however, with the corner-taking left-back registering his fourth assist in three matches with a cross for Bruno Fernandes‘ (£11.5m) equaliser.
Shaw again led the way for chances created (four) in this fixture, taking his total to 34 over the last 13 Gameweeks – only Jack Grealish (£7.8m) has provided more opportunities in that time. The left-back’s creativity, indeed, played a big part in him securing maximum bonus at the Hawthorns.
With Anthony Martial (£8.7m) anonymous, Marcus Rashford (£9.6m) looking out of place on the right flank and Edinson Cavani (£8.0m) not managing a single shot, it was again left to Fernandes to spare United’s blushes.
There’s little left to be said about the Portuguese playmaker but this was a landmark day of sorts, as it marked the 38th Premier League appearance for the United number 18.
Fernandes has racked up 41 attacking returns and 295 points in that full season’s worth of run-outs – only eight short of Mohamed Salah‘s (£12.6m) record total in 2017/18.
It’s too early to judge if West Brom, who finally featured the full complement of Sam Allardyce signings, have turned a corner despite an improved showing from the Baggies’ backline.
An attractive upcoming fixture list against four clubs in the bottom seven likely won’t even be enough for many of us to consider Albion assets, although Diagne was a lively presence in attack and had the beating of United’s lumbering two centre-halves time and time again.
Diagne now has three attacking returns in four Gameweeks for the Baggies and had two glorious chances to win the match late on, spurning both from around six yards out.
He’ll struggle to compete with the abundance of other £6.0m+ forwards in FPL for popularity but it wouldn’t be a shock to see him net a goal or two over the next four Gameweeks – providing he can get the hang of the offside rule.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.3m) hit his highest-ever single Gameweek score on Sunday, bagging a hat-trick in Arsenal’s 4-2 win over Leeds United.
Such has been his fall from favour in the FPL world, it’ll have mostly been ‘dead teams’ who benefitted from his 20-point haul: only 0.02% of the top 10k owned the Gabonese forward in Gameweek 24.
Aubameyang’s treble included assists from increasingly popular budget buys Emile Smith Rowe (£4.3m) and Bukayo Saka (£5.3m), with Hector Bellerin (£5.1m) also getting in on the goalscoring act.
The Gunners’ tough upcoming fixture schedule will dampen interest in Mikel Arteta’s side but many of us have Leeds on the brain ahead of the Whites’ Double Gameweek 25.
It’s feast or famine with Marcelo Bielsa’s side, who are just as capable of producing a swaggering attacking display as they are of capitulating at the back – often in the same game.
The Whites have recorded a respectable seven clean sheets this season; the problem is, they concede at a rate of 2.6 goals per match when they don’t shut the opposition out.
Stuart Dallas (£4.9m) and Ezgjan Alioski (£4.4m) ended up with negative scores on Sunday as Illan Meslier (£4.7m) turned in a horror show between the posts.
The picture is a lot rosier going forward, however. Even on a day when Patrick Bamford (£6.8m) and co didn’t really hit top gear, Bielsa’s troops still scored twice.
Raphinha (£5.3m) is looking very hard to ignore for the Double Gameweek: his assist for Pascal Struijk‘s (£3.9m) headed goal at the Emirates was his ninth attacking return in ten Gameweeks.
A boost for our Leeds assets in Double Gameweek 25 would be the return of the injured Kalvin Phillips (£4.9m). The Whites have lost four in a row without their influential midfielder, conceding 13 goals in the process.
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