Scout Notes

How Aston Villa fared without Grealish ahead of Double Gameweek 26

Aston Villa 1-2 Leicester

  • Goals: Bertrand Traore (£5.9m) | James Maddison (£7.3m), Harvey Barnes (£6.8m)
  • Assists: John McGinn (£5.5m) | Barnes, Jamie Vardy (£10.1m)
  • Bonus points: Barnes x3, Maddison x2, Traore x1

Double Gameweek 26 messages, both good and bad, abounded as Leicester City impressed in their win over Aston Villa.

Two high-flying teams with a brace of fixtures to come next week meant a lot of Fantasy interest in the game at Villa Park.

And while it was the Foxes who won the match, it was not all doom and gloom for the home side. Mostly, but not all.

A Lack Of Jack

The build-up was dominated by rumours of a shin injury sustained by the 36.9%-owned Jack Grealish (£7.7m), with a tweet from FPL Insider detailing the number of Villa players and staff apparently transferring the midfielder out of their Fantasy teams proving prescient.

Manager Dean Smith was optimistic after the game, contradicting BBC reports his talisman will be out for a month.

“We will assess it as we go. It is certainly not a recurrence of an old injury and certainly not long term. I expect him to be pushing, if not for Leeds, then the week after. But I’ll be guided by the medical staff. They haven’t told me how long he’ll be out for yet, so the speculation is great. We’ll just see how it goes.” – Dean Smith

Smith was rather less positive about the news of Grealish’s injury leaking out.

“I was made aware on social media there were rumours he was not going to play. If that is coming out of our training ground, I will find out where it is coming from and reprimand whoever it is coming from. It is something I would not be happy with.” – Dean Smith

Should the leak end up being linked to FPL transfer activity, it would be a curious case of Fantasy affecting reality – and one which might lead to a clampdown by clubs on their players’ and staff’s involvement in the game. Could that afford Fantasy managers less information from the likes of FPL Insider moving forward?

Ross No Boss

Grealish’s absence certainly blunted Villa’s attacking threat, hardly surprising when the midfielder had been directly involved in half of the side’s goals (six goals, 12 assists) before Sunday’s match.

His obvious understudy, Ross Barkley (£5.9m), had an entirely forgettable game, with zero chances created or shots attempted.

Nor was it a good afternoon for FPL’s most popular keeper, Emiliano Martínez (£5.3m), who got a touch on James Maddison’s (£7.3m) opener and could probably have done better when his parry of Jamie Vardy‘s (£10.1m) shot fell to Barnes for what turned out to be the winner.

Things did pick up for the home side after a dreadful first half, however, and even if Grealish is missing for more than the one match, Villa’s next two opponents, Leeds and Sheffield United, are unlikely to offer the same balance of attacking threat and defensive resolve as Leicester had in abundance.

But there is no denying Grealish’s absence is keenly felt by Villa. They’ve lost all three Premier League matches without him since the start of last season. 

Leicester Fiesta

Goals from Maddison and Harvey Barnes (£6.8m) kept the pair in the top 10 for points scored by FPL midfielders, with the latter adding an assist for a second straight double-digit return.

Maximum bonus meant Barnes finished with 13 points on the day – his joint-best haul of the season – as he led the way, with Maddison, for attempts and by himself for chances created (both four).

Despite nine goals, five assists and a points total now one ahead of the 31.2%-owned Ilkay Gundogan (£6.1m), Barnes is still only found in 9.0% of FPL squads.

Goals against the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and now Villa suggest he could be fixture-proof, which might up his appeal for Double Gameweek 26’s games against Arsenal and Burnley, two teams who have put in improved defensive performances over recent weeks.

Maddison, meanwhile, is owned by 16.4%, although they wouldn’t have enjoyed seeing their man taken off just after the hour mark at Villa Park, a move Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers explained post-match.

“James Maddison had an issue with his hip last season so we’ll assess that. He felt some pain so as a precaution we took him off.” – Brendan Rodgers

Fatigue Factor

Gundogan fit to start as De Bruyne returns to City XI and Foden drops to bench 1

Leicester played with a speed and intensity that Villa could not cope with in the first half, but that dropped after the interval – perhaps as a result of their Europa League exertions away to Slavia Prague on Thursday.

They will be in continental action again in midweek and although next Sunday’s opponents, Arsenal, will be in the same Euro boat, the Foxes’ fine current run – they’ve lost only once since Gameweek 13 – will be harder to sustain as the fixtures continue to come so thick and fast.

Luke Thomas (£4.2m) was excellent at left-back on Sunday and would be a bargain basement way into a side with nine clean sheets this season – only three teams have managed more – if he can nail down a starting berth that has so far eluded him.

On the opposite flank, Rodgers picked both Timothy Castagne (£5.7m) and Ricardo Pereira (£5.9m), presumably to counter the threat of Grealish.

When that failed to materialise, Pereira played essentially as a right winger, although he’s unlikely to be handed further out-of-position roles in the coming weeks.

Aston Villa XI (4-2-3-1): Martínez; El Mohamady, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz (Sanson 81), McGinn; Traoré, Barkley (Ramsey 76), El Ghazi (Trezeguet 67); Watkins.

Leicester City XI (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; Castagne, Soyuncu, Evans, Thomas; Ndidi, Tielemans (Choudhury 88); Maddison (Mendy 64), Pereira (Amartey 76), Barnes; Vardy.

Double Gameweek 25 so far…

Become a Member and get unrestricted access to our data and articles

Full-year memberships are now available for the price of £19.99. Monthly subscriptions also cost just £2.99. A FREE trial is now available during December.

Join now to get the following:

  • Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
  • Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
  • Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
  • Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
  • Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
  • Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
  • Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
  • View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
  • Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.

ALREADY A USER? CLICK HERE TO UPGRADE YOUR FREE ACCOUNT

NEW TO SCOUT? CLICK HERE TO START A MEMBERSHIP ACCOUNT

439 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Oooo Matron
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    6 days, 12 hours ago

    A, B or C?

    A) Bamford & Mee to DCL & Digne (-4)

    B) Bamford, Raphina & Mee to DCL, Barnes & Holgate (-8)

    C) Brewster, Sterling, Dawson, Button to DCL, Gundogan, Digne & Areola (BB & - 12)

    Current team:
    Martinez
    Dias Cancelo Mee
    Raphina Fernandes Sterling Salah Son
    Bamford Watkins

    Subs: Button, Dallas, Dawson, Brewster

    1. Sid07
      • 6 Years
      6 days, 12 hours ago

      A

  2. Sid07
    • 6 Years
    6 days, 12 hours ago

    Who scores more point
    1) mee + 4
    2) Shaw

    1. wulfranian
      • 4 Years
      6 days, 12 hours ago

      2

    2. alsybach
      • 11 Years
      6 days, 12 hours ago

      1)

  3. FPL Touches
    • 9 Years
    6 days, 12 hours ago

    Have just enough money to do this:

    Bamford, Robbo ➡ Kane, Stones (-4)

    Doesn't thrill me tbh with Antonio sitting on the bench and losing value but will give me 9 x DGWers this week and at least 4 in DGW27.

    Means no Leicester or Everton attack in my side though.

    1. Yozzer
      • 3 Years
      6 days, 11 hours ago

      Stones probably won't play both games. They have a game almost every 3 days. Robbo vs Sheff UTD is worth keeping

  4. Forgetmeknot
    • 2 Years
    6 days, 12 hours ago

    What am I missing about this Aston Villa banning their players from FPL? Story?

    Surely they could just use an alias rather than their real name?

    1. Chrisitis
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      6 days, 12 hours ago

      Clubs at this level should never ever get in a situation like this

    2. SADIO SANÉ
      • 5 Years
      6 days, 12 hours ago

      the leak/rumour wasn't even anything to do with FPL, those FPL transfers just confirmed the leak to probably be correct - and who cares anyway, hardly like Leicester are going to play worse because you sprang the surprise that Grealish ISN'T playing until the last moment

  5. DAZZ
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    6 days, 12 hours ago

    Need a Dan Burn brace tonight

    1. JohnWick
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      6 days, 12 hours ago

      Nice pick

    2. Warby84
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      6 days, 12 hours ago

      I need a dunk brace

  6. Sun Jihai
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    6 days, 12 hours ago

    Mitchell CS + 3bps incoming

  7. mille
    • 1 Year
    6 days, 12 hours ago

    Anyone think B. Davies will have a chance to get 2 outings in the DGW?

    1. BeWater
        6 days, 12 hours ago

        Which B Davies?

        1. mille
          • 1 Year
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          Ben Davies, Spurs.

          1. BeWater
              6 days, 11 hours ago

              Give it a miss. He won't play both and even if he does he won't do anything apart from conceding a goal.

      • Steve The Spud
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        6 days, 12 hours ago

        Mateta starts! Get in!

      • Shark Team
        • 3 Years
        6 days, 12 hours ago

        Only a Dunk 15 pointer can save my GW after suffering a huge red arrow from 200k to 300k

        1. Warby84
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          He’s a massive differential for me..

      • Lazaretti
        • 3 Years
        6 days, 12 hours ago

        Best WBA defender Brunt or McAuley? Anyone else to consider from WBA?

        1. Magic Zico
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          6 days, 12 hours ago

          WHU Dawson

          1. Lazaretti
            • 3 Years
            6 days, 12 hours ago

            Good shout. Only prblm WHU doesn't have DGW.

        2. KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
          • 6 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          I'd rather go Fulham

        3. Fulchester's New Centr…
          • 3 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          Bryan Robson, Cyrille Regis?

        4. fedolefan
          • 6 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          Berahino

      • F_Ivanovic
        • 5 Years
        6 days, 12 hours ago

        The thing I don't get about press conferences is why do they even bother saying anything at all? Why do some managers tell us who's out - surely it makes sense for everyone to say nothing?

        1. Fulchester's New Centr…
          • 3 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          Some still think that if somebody asks you a question you should reply

      • Bobby Digital
        • 3 Years
        6 days, 11 hours ago

        Mitchell (FUL, MUN)
        or
        Dallas (AVL)

        1. Fulchester's New Centr…
          • 3 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          Dallas. Mitchell not nailed and Palace trash

      • KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
        • 6 Years
        6 days, 11 hours ago

        Vardy or Barnes?

        1. user.n
          • 4 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          Thinking both

      • Buck The Trent
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        6 days, 11 hours ago

        I have not watched Brighton matches all season. Who will be dropped if Lamptey returns ? Burn, Veltman, White ?

        1. Messiah Hazard
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          Veltman is the consensus...

          1. Buck The Trent
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            6 days, 11 hours ago

            So burn is nailed on, you reckon ?

            Need a BHA fodder for GW29 and worry if he might not be playing when needed once Lamptey returns

            1. Fulchester's New Centr…
              • 3 Years
              6 days, 11 hours ago

              Burn playing on the left while March is out. They are doing much better without Lamptey.

            2. Messiah Hazard
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              6 days, 11 hours ago

              I think so yes

      • user.n
        • 4 Years
        6 days, 11 hours ago

        Hi guys.
        Son to Barns and Antonio to DCL?
        Or keep Son?

        1. Garth Marenghi
          • 4 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          Get Barnes in but for someone else

          1. user.n
            • 4 Years
            6 days, 11 hours ago

            Thanks

      • tabby98
        • 5 Years
        6 days, 11 hours ago

        Pope, Johnstone
        Cancelo, Stones, Digne, Lowton, Dallas
        Salah, Bruno, Son, Raphinha, Soucek
        Antonio, Bamford, Ings

        1FT £0.1m ITB

        What should I do here guys?

        A) Antonio ---> Watkins
        B) Salah + Antonio ---> Gundogan/Barnes + Kane (-4)
        C) Ings + Soucek ---> DCL + Gundo (-4)
        D) Salah + Antonio + Soucek ---> Gundo + Kane + Barnes (-8)
        E) WC

        Or suggest something else please??

        1. luk46
          • 2 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          C looks good

      • Sly Fly
        • 11 Years
        6 days, 11 hours ago

        Hi all,

        I have a fair few players playing twice... but not particularly the ones I want. Would you WC this lot to get in Vardy / shift out some Leeds / etc.?

        Martinez

        Cancelo / Dias / Dallas / Coufal / Mitchell

        Salah / Fernandes / Gundogan / Son / Raphinha

        Bamford / Ings / Watkins

        Was planning to do Ings > Kane, and keep Son as I think the pair of them get back on track. Many thanks for any advice!

        1. Oooo Matron
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          Would do Ings to Vardy. Spurs look dreadful

      • Oooo Matron
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        6 days, 11 hours ago

        Best 4.8 and under defender for the DGW?

        1. Fulchester's New Centr…
          • 3 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          Aina?

          1. TheBiffas
              6 days, 11 hours ago

              not the best fixtures

              1. Fulchester's New Centr…
                • 3 Years
                6 days, 11 hours ago

                Just for the double I mean. Palace and Spurs both look awful

        2. I SPEAK ENGELS AND DRINK GI…
          • 1 Year
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          Pope
          Dias Stones Robertson Mee
          Salah Bruno Grealish Gundo
          Watkins Cavani
          Forster, Bamford, Dallas, ESR

          Certainly doing Cavani -> Kane (TC) for free but what else for hit(s)?
          A) Grealish -> Barnes
          B) Mee -> Digne
          C) Robertson -> R.Perreira

          Or any combo above?

          1. Fulchester's New Centr…
            • 3 Years
            6 days, 11 hours ago

            A

          2. luk46
            • 2 Years
            6 days, 11 hours ago

            A the obvious one

        3. Weasel Boy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          This ok for-4
          WC & BB still in tact.

          Martinez
          Cancelo Stones Lowton Aina
          Salah Bruno Son Gundo
          Watkins Kane

          Still Unsure whether to TC Kane or Bruno.

          1. Fulchester's New Centr…
            • 3 Years
            6 days, 11 hours ago

            G2G. Bruno seems safer

            1. Weasel Boy
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              6 days, 11 hours ago

              Thanks

          2. ash and swanson inc
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            6 days, 11 hours ago

            Genuinely confused as to whether go Salah, Fernandes, Kane or Gundogen for TC they all have potential - perhaps kanes ankles and the midfielder extra potential points will swing it for me...so down to three to choose from and son is not a ridiculous prospect but seems to have regressed recently. bruno probably

            1. Weasel Boy
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              6 days, 11 hours ago

              Yeah defo Gundo an option also just worry about pep rotation.

        4. JamTart
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          Salah and Antonio to Barnes and Kane (4) on bench boost?

          1. JamTart
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            6 days, 11 hours ago

            -4*

            1. mille
              • 1 Year
              6 days, 11 hours ago

              How does your bench look?

              1. JamTart
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                6 days, 11 hours ago

                Pope, Bamford, raphinha, pereira

        5. luk46
          • 2 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          is Ings > DCL for a hit too kneejerk? just did the reverse transfer this gw

          1. Fulchester's New Centr…
            • 3 Years
            6 days, 11 hours ago

            Likely not

            1. luk46
              • 2 Years
              6 days, 11 hours ago

              so you reckon DCL outscores Ingsy by minimum +4 in gw26? I dont think the two games for Ings in gw27 matter too much, since one of them is €ity

              1. Fulchester's New Centr…
                • 3 Years
                6 days, 11 hours ago

                DCL should easily outscore Ings, don't you think? 2 easy fixtures for a team that has no trouble scoreing goals

                1. luk46
                  • 2 Years
                  6 days, 11 hours ago

                  I think so too. Ings might score tho, he likes to play against them

          2. St Pauli Walnuts
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            5 days, 22 hours ago

            I did too and am doing too. I think it makes sense.

        6. camarozz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          Okay so who's going with Jo Spurs for the double etc??

          Ownership terrifies me..

          1. camarozz
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            6 days, 11 hours ago

            Jo Spurs!!

            No Spurs I mean

            1. Messiah Hazard
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              6 days, 11 hours ago

              Their fixtures are good for the DGW... I am captaining Kane after all... But they are not in the form which they were in the first half of the season... So it all depends on the risk you want to take.

          2. Weasel Boy
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            6 days, 11 hours ago

            Have son but considering going without Kane.
            I dont see many goals in either of their games based on recent form.

          3. 2hotty
            • 3 Years
            6 days, 11 hours ago

            Yes my thoughts may just go double leicester instead

        7. Weasel Boy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          DCL (tc) being overlooked?

          1. fedolefan
            • 6 Years
            6 days, 11 hours ago

            D(TC)L

            1. aborg
              • 3 Years
              6 days, 11 hours ago

              If I had TC chip I would surely use it on DCL for this DGW.

              I can’t see Kane hauling with two teams with tight defenses. Spurs did not even produce much in their last game !

        8. Bada Bing
          • 4 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          So apparently Dean Smith has declared an all out war on fpl and banned his players and everybody at Villa playing it. I think that is a losing battle in this day and age with social media and everything. It might work in North Korea or some other dictaturship and police state, but not in a western democracy.

          1. Steve The Spud
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            6 days, 11 hours ago

            What’s he crying about ? Why does it effect the game so much if a couple of hours before the other team knows Grealish MIGHT be out, just making excuses imo

            1. Bada Bing
              • 4 Years
              6 days, 10 hours ago

              He really should lighten up and concentrate on coaching his team, not act like he's the head of some Stasi like secret police.

          2. Tony Moon
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            6 days, 10 hours ago

            That's not what he said at all. He said he'd reprimand whoever spilled the leak, that's all.

            1. Bada Bing
              • 4 Years
              6 days, 10 hours ago

              That was before. According to The Times he's banned fpl at Villa.

        9. OLEgend
          • 6 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          Barnes rising tonight?

          1. Messiah Hazard
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            6 days, 11 hours ago

            For sure 235K have brought him in

          2. St Pauli Walnuts
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            5 days, 22 hours ago

            I let him. They have a 2nd leg Europa fixture currently poised at 0-0, way too risky to move before then.

        10. aborg
          • 3 Years
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          I’m bringing in Kane and DCL for DGW but seriously considering captaining DCL with such favorable fixtures and did so well in reverse fixtures.

          1. St Pauli Walnuts
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            5 days, 22 hours ago

            It's a tough call, currently on Kane but tempted to move to DCL too.

        11. Steve The Spud
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          6 days, 11 hours ago

          I see a few our discounting spurs because fixtures and Burnley + Fulham have improved but jumping on Leicester despite having the same fixture except away from + a game against a decent arsenal defence

          1. St Pauli Walnuts
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            5 days, 22 hours ago

            Leicester are in form, Spurs are awful.

        12. JayKay1
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          6 days, 10 hours ago

          So, current team:

          Martinez
          Cancelo | Stones | Mee | Davies
          Salah | Bruno | Sterling | Grealish*
          DCL | Watkins

          Bench: McCathy | Bamford | Dallas | JWP

          Already used 1 (of 2) FT to do Antonio to Watkins (before I was priced out, and before Grealish news), and likely to do Grealish to Barnes tonight with other FT (prior to drop / rise, as looks like Grealish will likely miss both BGW26 games)...

          Will leave me with no FT and 0.5m ITB...

          Still worth playing BB with 4 SGW players? Only other thought is McCathy to Pickford for a -4?

        13. BusbySwede
          • 3 Years
          6 days, 8 hours ago

          BB or TC?

          Martinez, Pope
          Mee, Dallas, Rudiger, Digne, Cancelo
          Sterling, Gundogan, Bruno, Rashford, Raphinha
          DCL, Bamford, Ings

          What do you think about Ings+Rashford -> Kane+Barnes for -4?
          Worth -8 and swap Mee/Rudiger for another defender?

          1. BusbySwede
            • 3 Years
            6 days, 8 hours ago

            Im guessing neither of Cancelo/Sterling will start both matches, so would it be wrong to sell Sterling instead of Rashford?