Scout Notes

Question marks over Chelsea defenders after heavy West Brom loss

CHELSEA 2-5 WEST BROM

  • Goals: Christian Pulisic (£8.2m), Mason Mount (£7.1m) | Matheus Pereira x2 (£5.3m), Callum Robinson x2 (£5.2m), Mbaye Diagne (£6.0m)
  • Assists: Marcos Alonso (£5.7m), Timo Werner (£9.2m) | Sam Johnstone (£4.5m), Diagne, Darnell Furlong (£4.5m), Pereira x2
  • Red cards: Thiago Silva (£5.6m)
  • Bonus points: Pereira x3, Robinson x2, Diagne x1

TUCHEL’S DEFENSIVE LOTTERY

Large numbers of Fantasy Premier League managers were left gobsmacked as their shrewd decision to invest in Chelsea’s defence completely backfired in a 5-2 defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

Thomas Tuchel’s back-line came into Gameweek 30 as the league’s strongest defence over his first 10 matches in charge, offering the lowest expected goals conceded (xGC) and fewest shots conceded since Gameweek 20. 

They had the chance to register a club-record eighth successive shut-out at Stamford Bridge, which would have made them only the second English team to go unbeaten between the sticks in a new manager’s first six home matches.

But Matheus Pereira (£5.3m) had other ideas. Aided by a 28th-minute sending off for Thiago Silva (£5.6m), the budget midfielder scored twice, added two assists and secured maximum bonus for a whopping 21-point haul.

And, much like September’s reverse fixture, which finished 3-3, Callum Robinson (£5.2m) added another brace, ensuring Chelsea’s supposedly impenetrable defence was breached five times by relegation battlers.

In first half stoppage time, Pereira latched onto a long pass from goalkeeper Sam Johnstone (£4.5m) before lobbing over Edouard Mendy (£5.2m). It was only the third goal conceded in Tuchel’s 15 matches and, with Silva sent off minutes later, they let in four more.

“We’ve just demolished Chelsea. Demolished them. The quality of our football and the quality of our finishing today deserves a huge amount of credit. I don’t want any talk of the fact they went down to ten men rubbish. Demolishing Chelsea’s ten men today was still a massive task.” – Sam Allardyce

Such a result has naturally caused questions to hang over investing in Chelsea’s defenders, especially as the supposedly reliable Antonio Rüdiger (£4.7m) has now been benched twice in the last three matches.

Could this result be an indicator that West Bromwich Albion are nothing more than a bogey team for Chelsea this season? The eight goals they have conceded to the Baggies in 2020/21 are the most the Blues have ever conceded to a single team in a Premier League campaign.

Meanwhile, the Stamford Bridge side still have a promising run of fixtures against Crystal Palace (away), Brighton and Hove Albion (home), West Ham United (away) and Fulham (home) before a potential Double Gameweek, although the latter is far from certain. 

That said, those planning to use their Wildcard chip will be disappointed at the uncertainties presented by such a large, deep squad.

Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.9m) and Mendy seem the most nailed-on defensive starters, despite the latter being rested against Newcastle in Gameweek 24. This 5-2 shock will emphasise to Tuchel that there’s a battle to secure Champions League football and they cannot afford to take any opponent lightly.

The return of Silva from a thigh injury means the two remaining centre back spots are shared between himself, Rüdiger, Kurt Zouma (£5.3m) and Andreas Christensen (£4.7m). But the Brazilian let his team down by collecting two yellow cards, forcing the attacking Hakim Ziyech (£7.9m) to be replaced by Christensen and giving confidence to the visitors that was emphatically rewarded.

“After the red card we could not adapt to the situations. We gave away two very easy goals before half-time, but even in the second half. What could go wrong went wrong after the red card, and we have to accept a big loss today. So maybe, hopefully, it is a big wake-up call for all of us, me included.” – Thomas Tuchel

WEST BROM NEED MIRACLES

For the final nine games of the season, Sam Allardyce’s side realistically needed to double their 18 points from 29. This was a great start, following on from 1-1 December draws at Liverpool and Manchester City. In truth, their free-flowing second half football was just as visible in the game’s opening stages, mostly the better side when both had 11 men.

The fantastic Pereira is now on seven goals and six assists, following up his equaliser by scoring even deeper into stoppage time. It was a hectic few minutes which also saw Matthew Phillips (£5.1m) hit the crossbar, the winger then acting as a blocker so that Pereira could land a dummy, cut inside and shoot low past Mendy.

After almost securing a hat-trick in the 61st minute, the majestic Pereira settled for simply setting up Mbaye Diagne (£6.0m) and then the fifth goal, as Robinson calmly dinked over Mendy to become the first player in Premier League history to score twice in both matches against Chelsea. Out-of-favour under Allardyce, this was only a cameo appearance from Robinson after coming on for the injured Branislav Ivanovic (£4.4m) in the 37 minute, himself a replacement for Dara O’Shea (£4.2m) 13 minutes previously.

BAGGIES’ IMPROVED DEFENCE

It was mixed feelings for the beloved former Chelsea man, who missed out on returning to a packed Stamford Bridge, picked up an injury but went away with the win. Owners of Johnstone will be encouraged by three clean sheets from their last six matches, although it’s perhaps wise not to expect assists on a regular basis. By setting up West Brom’s first goal, Johnstone became the second goalkeeper to assist this season, following Ederson in Gameweek 24.

Entering this match, West Brom had the eighth best xGC and fifth best shots conceded tallies of the previous five gameweeks, meeting Southampton (home), Leicester City (away), Aston Villa (away), Wolverhampton Wanderers (home) and Arsenal (away) in upcoming weeks. Full-back Darnell Furlong gets forward often and could be a maverick pick for FPL managers, assisting their third goal by overlapping, then pulling back a cross for Robinson to volley home.

Chelsea did threaten often, though. Zouma had three goal attempts from corners, whereas the threatening Marcos Alonso rewarded his new owners by assisting Christian Pulisic’s (£8.2m) opener. After early shots on goal that often saw him be furthest forward of all Chelsea players, Alonso’s free kick hit the post and the American pounced upon the rebound. He struck the woodwork again in the second half, scrambling a right-footed shot that hit Semi Ajayi (£4.8m) on its way.

WERNER AND MOUNT COMBINE

Timo Werner’s (£9.2m) barren spell in front of goal continued here, now with one league goal in 1,440 minutes. Tuchel started him as a show of faith after his horrific miss for Germany against North Macedonia and the striker at least managed to assist the consolation goal of Mason Mount (£7.1m). 

4-1 down, Alonso’s cross found Werner very close to goal and, perhaps low on confidence, he chose to unselfishly square the ball for a Mount tap-in. It was the fourth goal in eight matches for Mount, also benched by Tuchel after playing 225 minutes during the international break.

His price has risen three times in recent weeks and is a known favourite of Tuchel. After such an astonishing defeat here, Mount will now be relied upon by both his real-life and Fantasy managers.

Chelsea XI (3-4-3): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Zouma; James, Jorginho (Havertz 72’), Kovacic, Alonso; Ziyech (Christensen 33’), Pulisic (Mount 46’), Werner

West Bromwich Albion XI (5-4-1): Johnstone; Furlong, Ajayi, O’Shea (Ivanovic 24’ (Robinson 37’)), Bartley, Townsend; Phillips (Livermore 89’), Yokuslu, Maitland-Niles, Pereira; Diagne

Elsewhere in Gameweek 30

Leeds beat Sheffield United as expected on Saturday afternoon although it was largely a result that left Fantasy managers wondering what might have been.

Patrick Bamford (£6.7m) registered a blank while Raphinha (£5.7m) was subjected to another outing characterised by his colleagues missing key chances.

In the end, the Brazilian got one assist, was denied a goal by Phil Jagielka‘s (£3.9m) intervention on Jack Harrison‘s (£5.4m) cross, who was the only Leeds player involved in both goals at Elland Road.

Meanwhile, Stuart Dallas (£5.1m) was arguably one of the best players on the pitch but managed only two points in the end.

Not only did he miss two decent chances created by Raphinha, he also missed out on a clean sheet as Sheffield United scored a rare goal.

Ben Osborn‘s (£4.7m) first-half effort was the Blades’ seventh on the road this season.

Pep Guardiola was arguably the key man in Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Leicester as he rang the changes.

Ilkay Gündogan (£6.1m), John Stones (£5.3m) and João Cancelo (£6.1m) were all benched for Gameweek 30 and, thankfully for their owners, none of them took to the pitch for one-point cameos.

Raheem Sterling (£11.4m) emerged to get a second-half assist while Phil Foden (£6.1m) replaced Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m) in the 88th minute and was unable to involve himself in the goals.

Ruben Dias (£6.1m) kept up his run of starts, making his eighth in a row and capitalising on Manchester City’s 17th clean sheet of the campaign.

Benjamin Mendy (£5.9m) got his second goal of the season while Gabriel Jesus (£9.2m) now has four in his last four starts.

Meanwhile, this match was also notable for the return of James Maddison (£7.1m) coming on as a 72nd-minute substitute for Marc Albrighton (£5.2m).

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

613 Comments Post a Comment
  1. aleksios
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Morning all.Any thougts on this WC team?
    0.1itb.

    --Lloris
    --TAA--Cresswell--Rudiger
    --Bruno--Gundo--Jota--Son
    --Kane--Vardy--Antonio

    --Sanchez--Coady--Neto--Phillips.

    Thanks guys.

    1. Chandler Bing
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Looks good. I'd have pretty much the same team if on a WC. Although I'd consider going for Semedo ahead of Coady.

    2. Amey
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Looks decent.
      No Salah can hurt though. It's either Vardy or him isn't it

      1. aleksios
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Yes.Hard to choose.

        1. Sadio come here often?
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 11 days ago

          Could Vardy become Ihenacho & leave the money in the bank to transfer Son to Salah after gw32?

  2. Chandler Bing
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Who is everyone captaining next GW? Slim pickings especially for people like me without Salah

    1. Christina.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Gundog

    2. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Good question, haven't really thought about it. Maybe Jota.

    3. Amey
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      It has to be a City attacker. Which one ? Will decide after CL game.
      On WC so can get anyone ....

    4. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Depends on wildcard. M Pereira for now.

    5. Pops15
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Cheeky Aguero captain vs Leeds then switch back to Kane for the double

  3. Amey
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Why was Robbo taken off yesterday ?? Injury ??

    1. Christina.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      tactical app. it was brilliant. less than 3 mins after that Jota scored 1-0

      1. Amey
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Wow.
        He never gets subbed off so early so I was confused.
        Thanks 🙂

        1. Christina.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 11 days ago

          well thats what commentators said. he wasn't injured. Could also be fatigue due to internationals

          1. Amey
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 11 days ago

            Yeah.
            Liverpool gave a great audition yesterday... 😀
            Taa Jota Robbo Salah all look good option. Ha

            1. Christina.
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 11 days ago

              jip
              change of plans for me I reckon for the run in

    2. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Based on Google feed, he was tired

      1. Amey
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Cheers Holmes !

  4. Christina.
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    so what are all the chelsea owners doing?
    😆

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Getting rid asap

    2. Amey
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      On WC, looking at Rudiger only now.. 😆

      1. Christina.
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        forget about them.
        get Taa, Coady,Keane or holgate

        1. Amey
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 11 days ago

          What are your thoughts on Salah vs Vardy ?
          Can only afford one ...

          1. Christina.
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 11 days ago

            Salah
            I dont think Vardy is fit tbh
            Prefer Barnes/Maddison if you want leic

            1. Amey
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 11 days ago

              Thanks !
              Much appreciated.

    3. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Contemplating Mendy to Ederson, again.

    4. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Picked the wrong Mendy.

      1. Amey
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        LOL
        Nice

    5. The 12th Man
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Alonso > TAA

  5. aleksios
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Salah-Bruno-Son-Kane-Vardy.
    Who to drop on wc?
    Cant afford all.

    1. Christina.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      v

    2. Amey
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Have to lose one ...
      Looks like Vardy will be the fall guy ....
      I want him though for those 4 GW's.

    3. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Son to Jota.

  6. Mreidfelt
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    Made my gamble prior to this game week...shipped Gundogan and Bale...got Mason and Son..

    I thought none of Gundogan or Bale would start this gw....

    Today I sent Dunk and Raphinha out for Jota and Phillips...

    Liverpool needs to win and motivation goes further than anything...

    Feedback?

    1. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Jota is a good pick, Raphina a good player too mind you, think Leeds will score v City between Dortmund games. Pool defence not tested enough last night to have too much CS confidence in.

    2. MightyGar
        1 month, 11 days ago

        I am considering the exact same transfers, but I'm waiting until after the CL games. Phillips at 4M is a low risk choice IMO

    3. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Tough to decide GK spots... Was on Martinez-Leno but can't afford due to Son, sigh!!!

      1. The 12th Man
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Leno/Meslier works.
        A little cheaper.

      2. GreennRed
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Martinez plus fodder?

    4. Jinswick
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Would you WC the below team this week?

      Pope
      Cancelo, Shaw, Coufal
      Son, Auba, Bale, Gundogan, Raphina
      Kane, Bamford

      Martinez, Watkins, Targett, Dallas
      Bank 0.0m, 1FT, WC & FH left

      1. n-doggg
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        As you also have FH, might be worth saving for the remaining blank and DGW?

    5. King Kohli
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Which one to sell this week for Jota?

      A. Gundog(LEE)
      B. JLingz(LEI)

      Will see the other next gw for Son.

      1. GreennRed
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        A

    6. n-doggg
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      You would think that pep now rests his best players in the premier league as it’s basically one and focuses on the cups. Players like Kdb might not get as much game time now?

      1. n-doggg
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        *won!

      2. GreennRed
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        He still wants to keep them fresh and hungry. De Bruyne's FPL form more concerning than his gametime.

    7. Plagued by indecision
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Time to wildcard right?

      Pope / Martinez
      Shaw / Stones / Dunk / Targett / Dallas
      Fernandes / Odegaard / Lookman / Son / Raphinha
      Bamford / Kane / Antonio

      1. Holmes
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        You can still survive one more week with couple of moves.

    8. The 12th Man
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Which one to fund Alonso >> TAA?
      A) Tierney > Phillips
      B) Mahrez > Jota
      C) Bamford > Iheanacho

      1. Holmes
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        B

        1. The 12th Man
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 11 days ago

          Yeh probably a chance Mahrez gets benched next game.

      2. Neo-Viper
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        B is in upgrade with those Pool fixtures.

    9. Cometh The Aouar...
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      How unusual - I wake up to a green arrow despite being one point below the average. Go figure.

      1. GreennRed
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Grealish, well rested but not matchfit. Needs a few goid weeks to guarantee his spot for Euros. Like a bull at a gate 😉

      2. GreennRed
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Reply fail!

    10. Ha.
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      WC draft v1

      Patricio
      Dias, TAA, Azpi
      Gundo, Jota, Son, Bruno, Maddison
      Jimi*, Kane

      Meslier Adams Coady Shaw

      Assuming Jimi plays some part today

      1. Cometh The Aouar...
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Jimenez? Really? Is he due back earlier than expected then?

        1. Neo-Viper
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 11 days ago

          He has transferred himself in this Fantasy team

          1. Cometh The Aouar...
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 11 days ago

            Interesting. Got Neto on WC so hopefully this rings true and he has someone to finally finish off those chances he creates!

            1. Neo-Viper
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 11 days ago

              Yes. Hopefully he hits the ground running. Good run of fixtures helps his cause too.

    11. PogBruno
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Your opinions on this WC team are much appreciated

      ---- Current team ------

      Martinez* 4.0
      Alonso Cresswell Digne Dallas Dias*
      Son* Bale Gundgon Grealish Rafinha*
      Kane* DCL Watkins

      ---- WC team -----

      Martinez Mendy
      Azqui TAA Coady Vestergaard Dias
      Son Salah Jota Maddison Rafinha
      Kane Illeanacho Adams

      1.3 ITB
      *Unsold players

    12. Disturbed
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 11 days ago

      Any early suggestions here? 1ft, 6m itb. WC, BB available.

      Martinez
      Azpi Digne stones
      Bruno son gundo lingard
      Kane bamford Antonio

      Forster raphina coufal Dallas

      1. Neo-Viper
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Hold WC I would say. Might have to put Wolves and Leicester in the mix. Juicy Fixtures.

        1. Disturbed
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 11 days ago

          Cheers

      2. MightyGar
          1 month, 11 days ago

          Raphina to Jota, bench Bamford. Jump on that Jota bandwagon

          1. Disturbed
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 11 days ago

            Cheers. Maybe coufal > taa for a hit as well?

      3. Neo-Viper
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Martinez Johnstone
        Dias AWB Stones Azpi Dunk
        Salah Gundo Bruno Raphinha Trossard
        Bamford Kane Antonio

        Hold of WC31 for this current team?

      4. Cometh The Aouar...
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Will Jota rise again during this week?

        1. Christina.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 11 days ago

          supply/demand
          Economics 101

          1. GreennRed
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 11 days ago

            Just demand.

      5. Neo-Viper
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Should I do the below for a hit?

        Stones to TAA
        Bamford to Iheanacho OR Raph to Jota for pool triple up

        Martínez
        Dias AWB TAA* Azpi
        Salah Bruno Gundo
        Kane Antonio Iheanacho*

      6. davewg59
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 11 days ago

        Is Cresswell Lingard Antonio overkill on w/c?

        1. CaptainKazuru
            1 month, 11 days ago

            Last 5 games of the season for WHU - Burnley, Everton, Brighton, West Brom, Saints - and they are battling for Europe so if you can manage them until then, definitely worth it!

        2. CaptainKazuru
            1 month, 11 days ago

            Pope
            Azpi / Cresswell / Stones
            Jota / Kevin (C) / Gundo / Soucek / Raphina
            Kane / DCL

            Martinez / Bamford / Dallas / Dunk

            Anything worth a hit here?

            0FT 4.7M ITB

            Thanks!

          • PScholes18
              1 month, 11 days ago

              0,1 short for this WC team.
              Could maybe go Robertson over TAA or keep Bamford for Antonio.
              Other ideas? Input appreciated!

              Mendy - 3,9
              Dias/TAA/Shaw/Phillips/Holding
              KdB/Bruno/Son/Neto/Jota
              Kane/Antonio/Iheanacho

              1. RamaJama
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 8 Years
                1 month, 11 days ago

                Although Bamford dissapointed yesterday, he’s been pretty stable so far this season