Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) moved to the top of the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) points table with a third double-digit haul in five Gameweeks, scoring and assisting in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Ivan Toney (£6.3m) also rewarded his patient remaining owners with two attacking returns in Brentford’s 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, while Ismaila Sarr‘s (£6.0m) brace saw him record the day’s joint-highest FPL score – a feat that Matthew Cash (£5.0m) matched in Aston Villa’s 3-0 win over Everton.
Ferran Torres (£7.2m) was an unused substitute as Southampton held Manchester City to a goalless draw, while Arsenal registered back-to-back 1-0 wins thanks to budget midfielder Martin Odegaard‘s (£5.5m) free-kick.
Our usual, more detailed Scout Notes will follow for all of the day’s games but in the meantime, our resurrected Scoreboard series rounds up the key goings-on from the day’s Gameweek 5 fixtures.
GOALS, ASSISTS, PROJECTED BONUS
INJURIES AND BANS
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) missed Liverpool’s meeting with Crystal Palace through illness but Jurgen Klopp confirmed that the right-back’s ailment wasn’t Covid-related, adding:
“This morning, after breakfast, Trent didn’t feel right. We actually planned to start him but Millie did an incredible job.”
Thiago Alcantara (£5.4m) also picked up a calf problem in the 3-0 victory over the Eagles that Klopp hopes isn’t serious.
Pontus Jansson (£4.6m) and Rico Henry (£4.5m) limped out of Brentford’s win over Wolverhampton Wanderers but Thomas Frank confirmed the former was “fine”:
“[Pontus Jansson] is good, he’s fine, no problem. [Rico Henry] had a minor issue with his ankle plus he was also on a yellow card and he played against Traore.”
Shandon Baptiste (£5.0m), sent off for two bookable offences in the win over Wolves, will serve his one-match ban in the EFL Cup in midweek.
Mikel Arteta said that Kieran Tierney’s (£4.9m) substitution in the victory at Turf Moor was due to cramp:
“He had a problem and he was cramping. The pitch was pretty difficult today. It was long and it was pretty warm to be playing here and some players suffered in the last 10 or 15 minutes.”
Rodrigo (£5.5m) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.3m) both missed out on Manchester City’s clash with Southampton due to previously undeclared injuries, meanwhile.
We knew that Everton were set to be without the sidelined Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.1m) for their Gameweek 5 match but Rafael Benitez was hit by a further three injury blows in the run-up to the trip to Villa, with Jordan Pickford (£5.0m), Richarlison (£7.5m) and Seamus Coleman (£5.0m) all absent.
The Everton boss said:
“With the tackle of Tarkowski, Richarlison was complaining about his knee during the week and he couldn’t do it.
“Pickford has a problem with his shoulder, he couldn’t do it.
“Seamus Coleman. At the end of the training session, he was a little bit tight, he felt his hamstring.”
Leon Bailey (£6.4m) had an eventful 20-minute cameo: he scored and assisted before limping off late on, saying of his injury:
“I think it was from the shot, I think I hit it too hard! I started feeling a little bit stiff in my quad – I don’t think it’s anything too serious.”
Dean Smith also was forced to withdraw Cash and John McGinn (£5.9m), who had a concussion.
- Brentford’s defence again impressed, with a misfiring Wolves not hitting the target once and mustering only four shots from inside the opposition area. To neatly sum the two sides up: the Bees’ rate of expected goals conceded (xGC) can only be bettered by Manchester City, while Bruno Lage’s troops have the division’s worst shot-to-goal conversion rate.
- Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola had both sounded warning noises in the run-up to Gameweek 5 about rotation and tiredness, and the pair followed those ominous comments up by making six and five changes respectively from their midweek line-ups. Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) and Ferran Torres (£7.2m) were among the most high-profile benchings, with Klopp pledging more of the same in 2021/22.
- As was the case in their last top-flight stint, Norwich’s defence looks there for the taking. While the benefit of doubt could be given to the Canaries after a tough Gameweek 1-4 fixture run, they allowed a Watford side who were without a big chance in three matches six such gilt-edged opportunities on Saturday. Four of those openings fell to Sarr alone.
- After keeping just two clean sheets in 2021 up until the beginning of September, Southampton have recorded back-to-back shut-outs. They didn’t allow Manchester City a single shot on target until the last minute at the Etihad.
- Two £4.0m goalkeepers made the starting XIs on Saturday: Ben Foster and Asmir Begovic. Pickford’s injury accounted for the latter, while the Athletic reported that Daniel Bachmann (£4.5m) had a knee problem – although he did make the Watford bench.
- Salah has reached 50 FPL points quicker than in any of his five previous seasons.
- With Aaron Ramsdale (£4.5m) again between the posts and the back four unchanged, Arsenal recorded a second successive clean sheet – and, as they did last week, didn’t allow a single big chance en route to their shut-out.
FPL OWNERSHIP AND CAPTAINCY – TOP 10K
Salah was hugely backed with the armband among the leading top 10,000 managers this weekend, with the other four main captaincy contenders either yet to play or uninvolved on Saturday.
Just over 5% of the top 10k played their Wildcard in Gameweek 5, with Wolves pair Marcal (£4.6m) and Nelson Semedo (£4.9m) entering the ‘template’ overhauled team along with Leeds duo Patrick Bamford (£8.0m) and Raphinha (£6.5m) plus Demarai Gray (£5.7m).