WEST BROMWICH ALBION 3-0 SOUTHAMPTON
- Goals: Matheus Pereira (£5.4m), Matt Phillips (£5.1m), Callum Robinson (£5.2m)
- Assists: Mbaye Diagne (£6.0m), Okay Yokuslu (£4.5m)
- Penalty miss: James Ward-Prowse (£5.9m)
- Penalty save: Sam Johnstone (£4.5m)
- Bonus: Johnstone x3, Robinson x2, Pereira x1
There will no doubt have been a few more Triple Captain chips activated between the hours of 6-8pm on Monday evening.
Southampton are one of the two sides that Tottenham Hotspur face in Double Gameweek 32 and the Saints turned in a thoroughly abject showing against West Bromwich Albion, succumbing to a 3-0 defeat.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side should have been well behind even before Matheus Pereira (£5.4m) opened the scoring from the spot, with Mbaye Diagne (£6.0m) wasting a big chance and having a headed goal chalked off for a more-than-dubious offside call.
Goals from Matt Phillips (£5.1m) and Callum Robinson (£5.2m) either side of half-time gave the scoreline a more just feel, with James Ward-Prowse’s (£5.9m) missed penalty compounding a miserable evening for the visitors.
While the distraction of an upcoming FA Cup semi-final could be used in mitigation for their wide-open defensive display, this wasn’t a one-off for the Saints.
Southampton have shipped 11 more goals than any other club from Gameweek 19 onwards (37 in 14 matches), 12 of which have come in their last four games.
No team have conceded more goals via the penalty spot (seven) in the Premier League this season than the Saints, either, which will be music to Kane’s ears.
As for the Baggies, they have now scored eight goals in their last two outings.
There have been eye-catching displays from the budget-friendly Robinson, Diagne and Phillips in Gameweeks 30 and 31 but from an FPL perspective, Pereira being on penalties and now in his favoured number 10 role has been key to unlocking his long-dormant points potential.
The playmaker has had nine shots in the last two Gameweeks alone, twice as many as any of his teammates.
Defensively, the impact of the excellent Okay Yokuslu (£4.5m) and Ainsley Maitland-Niles (£4.6m) in front of the back four has been key: since the former’s debut in Gameweek 24, only Manchester United have conceded fewer goals than the Albion.
The remaining fixtures may not look great for the Baggies on paper but four of their final seven games are against mid-table sides, the type of opponent that subscribers of the ‘nothing to play for’ theory love.
West Brom XI: Johnstone, Furlong, O’Shea, Bartley (Ajayi 85), Townsend, Yokuslu, Maitland-Niles, Phillips, Pereira, Robinson (Gallagher 72), Diagne (Robson-Kanu 76).
Southampton XI: Forster, Walker-Peters (Djenepo, 87), Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand, Ward-Prowse, Diallo, Walcott (Adams, 76), Armstrong, Ings (Tella, 87), Redmond.
BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION 0-0 EVERTON
- Bonus: Robin Olsen (£4.5m), Lewis Dunk (£5.0m), Ben White (£4.5m) x3
A tedious affair at the Amex Stadium was more notable for a player who wasn’t involved than the events on the pitch.
This didn’t feel like a match in which one team racked up 23 shots but that’s exactly what Brighton did, continuing a season-long profligate trend: their goal conversion rate of 8.2% in 2020/21 is worse than all bar two teams.
A more fitting reflection of the game was that there were only four shots on target throughout, with the south-coast clash the only Gameweek 31 fixture that didn’t feature a single ‘big chance’.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin‘s (£7.6m) absence was not only keenly felt by an impotent Everton attack, but it also had implications – both positive and negative – for the legions of Fantasy managers who own the England international.
Carlo Ancelotti is hopeful of having his striker back for Gameweek 32, along with Allan (£5.2m) and Andre Gomes (£5.3m):
In the last training session, Dom had a little problem on his abductor. He came here but this morning he was not comfortable so I prefer to leave him out. It’s the same with Allan and Andre Gomes – they are not 100%. I hope they will be available for the next game.
An injury-hit Everton – who are Spurs’ other Double Gameweek 32 opponents – fielded six recognised defenders in the Monday night stalemate, with one of them, Yerry Mina (£5.5m), becoming the latest addition to the casualty list.
Ancelotti added after full-time:
Yerry Mina had a muscle problem on his adductor and I don’t think he will be available for a few weeks. The others, I hope to recover. For sure, Pickford will be available, I hope Allan and Gomes will be available, Calvert-Lewin and Joshua King.
Albion’s clean sheet was their tenth of the campaign, seven of which have arrived in 2021 – some belated reward for a solid backline with the third-best expected goals conceded (xGC) tally in the Premier League this season.
Brighton XI: Sanchez, Veltman, Dunk, White, Moder (Burn 87), Gross, Bissouma, Lallana, Trossard, Maupay (Jahanbakhsh 87), Welbeck.#
Everton XI: Olsen, Godfrey, Mina (Iwobi 58), Keane, Coleman, Davies (Broadhead 88), Holgate, Sigurdsson, Digne, Rodriguez, Richarlison.
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