Scout Notes

Is it time to sell Manchester United players in FPL?

We continue our Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Gameweek 7 write-ups with analysis of Manchester United v Everton.

For a briefer summary of Saturday’s games click here, while the recap of Sunday’s four matches is available here.

Manchester United 1-1 Everton

  • Goals: Anthony Martial (£7.6m)| Andros Townsend (£5.5m)
  • Assists: Bruno Fernandes (£11.9m) | Abdoulaye Doucoure (£5.6m)
  • Bonus: Townsend x3, Martial x2, Doucoure x1

UNITED’S DEFENCE POOR AGAIN

Is it time to sell Manchester United players in FPL? 2

The cries of “attack, attack, attack” started to echo around Old Trafford in the closing stages of Saturday’s draw between Manchester United and Everton.

That expectation for front-foot play coupled with the lack of a world-class defensive midfielder (and perhaps defenders) on United’s books frequently leaves the Red Devils looking open in fixtures in which the onus is on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to attack.

We’ve seen it already against Newcastle United and Leeds United (amongst others) this season, despite the comfortable winning margins, while their sole clean sheet of the campaign – against Wolves – came in a match in which they should have been comfortably beaten.

The Toffees were well worth their equaliser on Saturday, with Demarai Gray (£5.8m), Andros Townsend (£5.5m), Salomon Rondon (£6.0m) and Abdoulaye Doucoure (£5.6m) all denied by last-ditch blocks or a save before Townsend finished a fine breakaway move just after the hour-mark.

“We didn’t close down well enough outside the box, we didn’t clear the ball, we made many mistakes starting with my corner. We should do better, we should learn because it’s not the first time it’s happened. We have to be better next time. We need to change something, something’s not working to concede so many counter-attacks.

“That’s down to the players, not someone else. We have to make a foul, stop the game, I have to take a better corner. Many, many things have to be done better.” – Bruno Fernandes

“We gave them a few counter-attacks. I don’t know the stats, but I know we had the ball most of the time. They didn’t play through us at all really, they counter-attacked.

“That was the same as Wednesday night, we need to be better. When to risk it, how not to be counter-attacked. That’s the key lesson today.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Fred‘s (£4.9m) failure to dispossess or tactically chop down Gray in the build-up to the equaliser underscored his limitations as one of the bodies in the double-pivot, while Raphael Varane (£5.5m) can only be as good as the player alongside him – and neither Harry Maguire (£5.4m) nor Victor Lindelof (£4.8m) are performing well.

Despite a very favourable opening run of games in which they ranked fourth for fixture difficulty on our Season Ticker, some of their underlying defensive stats are poor:

Rank v other PL clubs (1st being the tightest defence)
Big chances conceded=12th
Expected goals conceded (xGC)9th
Clean sheets=13th

Only Manchester City have conceded fewer shots in the box than United this season but there are plenty of chances being given up just outside the area in almost-as-threatening positions, as the below heatmap shows:

It’s a recurring theme going on since the start of last season: United conceded to every team in the division ranked fifth or below in 2020/21.

Last 35 matches against non-big six sides
TeamClean sheets
Manchester City21
Chelsea17
Liverpool14
Manchester United8

The upcoming fixture list makes United’s defenders look even more unappealing on paper but it should be said that they fared far better defensively against the big guns in 2020/21, keeping six clean sheets in 10 ‘big six’ matches. Perhaps with not as much expectation on the Red Devils to attack, Solskjaer feels the pressure less to bomb forward.

But it’s a big ask for Luke Shaw (£5.4m) and to reproduce those numbers again, and with City and Chelsea enjoying some favourable fixtures in the short-to-medium term, there seems little sense in taking the risk with United defenders in FPL right now.

RONALDO AND GREENWOOD: KEEP OR SELL?

Is it time to sell Manchester United players in FPL? 3

While few FPL managers will waste time in getting rid of their United defenders, there’ll be more deliberation over transferring out the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.7m) and Mason Greenwood (£7.7m).

They’re most definitely in ‘no buy’ territory for those Fantasy bosses already without United representation and/or on a Wildcard over the international break, but for the rest of us who do own Ronaldo and co, perhaps they are worth one last crack of the whip in Gameweek 8.

That’s more to do with the calibre of opposition than faith in the United attack itself: Leicester City have been dreadful at the back this season, conceding more goals than all teams bar the much-maligned backlines of Newcastle United, Norwich City and Leeds United.

Jannik Vestergaard (£4.9m) and Caglar Soyuncu (£4.9m) continued their woeful individual form at Crystal Palace on Sunday, while Ryan Bertrand (£4.9m) has flattered to deceive too – and they would direct match-ups for Ronaldo and Greenwood, if selected, in the upcoming Gameweek.

Thereafter, United attackers look like easier sells until Gameweek 15 – particularly with rotation now a real risk for all and sundry.

Ronaldo didn’t start on Saturday, with Solskjaer citing the need for freshness ahead of kick-off when asked about his decision to leave the veteran Portuguese and Paul Pogba (£7.8m) out of his line-up and instead hand starts to Edinson Cavani (£8.4m) and goalscorer Anthony Martial (£7.6m)

“Wednesday night was a big effort, big emotional and physical output, so we needed to freshen it up when it’s an early kick-off.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Bruno Fernandes (£11.9m) averages only three points per match over the last six Gameweeks, meanwhile, despite an assist on Saturday.

EVERTON’S MID-PRICE MIDFIELDERS SHINE AGAIN

Is it time to sell Manchester United players in FPL? 4

Last week we devoted a bit of time to Everton’s mid-price midfielders, so we won’t quite go into the same detail this time around.

Suffice to say, Doucoure, Gray and Townsend remain well matched for underlying stats and FPL points, and still impress on the eye, even if they are continuing to wildly overachieve based on ‘expected goals’ (xG) data.

Doucoure and Townsend are now joint-third among FPL midfielders for points, with Gray – who was a threat on Saturday despite his blank – not far back in joint-ninth.

Townsend last week discussed the work he was doing under Rafael Benitez to get closer to the goal and he was top of the pile for shots in the box at Old Trafford on Sunday.

But it’ll be interesting to see how the winger’s game fares once Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.0m) and Richarlison (£7.4m) are back to fitness, given the aerial prowess of both players and the remit perhaps more likely to be ‘supply’ rather than ‘shoot’.

Townsend has been drifting more centrally in Calvert-Lewin’s absence (see below), registering 10 penalty-box touches compared to the one he recorded in Gameweeks 1-3, with Rondon more battering ram and decoy than a target for crosses.

Calvert-Lewin was front and centre of the Toffees’ attack in Gameweeks 1-3, racking up 11 shots in the box to Gray’s two and Townsend’s zero, so it’s one to watch.


Manchester United XI: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Varane, Shaw, Fred (Pogba 70), McTominay, Greenwood, Fernandes (c), Martial (Sancho 65), Cavani (Ronaldo 56).

Everton XI: Pickford, Keane, Allan, Gray (Dobbin 91), Digne (c), Mina, Townsend, Doucoure, Godfrey, Gordon (Davies 72), Rondon.

377 Comments Post a Comment
  1. cam
    • 12 Years
    15 days, 23 hours ago

    does anyone know the qualifying scores for last man standing games 1-7?

    1. TorresMagic™ - 6dcode
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 12 Years
      15 days, 23 hours ago

      Scores after hits needed are 71,57,50,49,47,37,33 for GW1-7

      http://torresmagiclms.simplesite.com/

      1. Mozumbus
          15 days, 23 hours ago

          Interestingly, it's a continuous decline

          1. bitm2007
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            The coming weeks going to be interesting then !

          2. TorresMagic™ - 6dcode
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • Has Moderation Rights
            • 12 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            Expect an increase if Chelsea/City keep a CS & Salah(c) hauls.

            1. Mozumbus
                15 days, 23 hours ago

                What was the average for last year?

                  1. Mozumbus
                      15 days, 23 hours ago

                      Thanks. last year, in the first 7 GWs, 29 was the lowest score, and 5 out of 7 times, cut-off was lower than 40.
                      So we're not living in extraordinary times!

                      1. TorresMagic™ - 6dcode
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • Has Moderation Rights
                        • 12 Years
                        15 days, 23 hours ago

                        The template was pretty weak last season at the beginning & many captain fails were had.

            2. Fulchester's New Centr…
              • 4 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              Pretty much my score each week

            3. cam
              • 12 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              Thanks. Missed out on gameweek3 scored 49 needed 50, only week i have missed the target

        • Sgt Frank Drebin
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          15 days, 23 hours ago

          Now I'm thinking about it, maybe the decision to wildcard was a bit rushed. The main concerns were TAA, Alonso (don't be too harsh, I was strongly considering WCing soon, so took the gamble), Shaw and Ronaldo, but I could just do TAA to Cancelo and Lukaku for Ronaldo next week and this team isn't suddenly so bad. But on the other hand there is a possibility to jump on Brentford assets early and maybe get Son (or Grealish), so it may turn out good after all.

          1. Sgt Frank Drebin
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            Or maybe even go without Lukaku. Transferring him in just to captain in a single GW doesn't sound like the best trade deal in the history of trade deals. Especially when Salah is in such a form. Thoughts?

            1. Konstaapeli
              • 5 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              Lukaku should do well in the next few GW's being the flat track bully he is. Don't know about captaincy when Salah is banging them in every week tho.

            2. FOO FIGHTER
              • 2 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              I did not cap Lukaku once before getting rid this week and had him for 3 weeks. Did not cap Ronaldo in the same period either.

              Salah is autocap material.

          2. Goonsquad245
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            Lukaku is easily the best captain for GW9 and I'd go so far as to say you need him from a risk management point of view. His ownership is already crazy.

            Aside from that he's dispensable.

            1. Sgt Frank Drebin
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              True, that was my concern too. Already this week his ownership was very high, so us non-owners got a bit lucky with that blank.

          3. Fulchester's New Centr…
            • 4 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            Can you cancel WC? I mean, in general terms, is it possible?

            1. Don Van Vliet
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              Don't believe so.

              1. Fulchester's New Centr…
                • 4 Years
                15 days, 23 hours ago

                Thank you

        • Konstaapeli
          • 5 Years
          15 days, 23 hours ago

          Help me out fellow managers. Got few places to fill on my WC.

          Ramsdale
          TAA - Cancelo - Rudiger
          Salah - Raph - X - X
          Lukaku - Antonio - X

          Foster - Livra - Manquillo - Brownhill

          A) Son, Townsend, Toney
          B) Foden, ESR, Jesus

          Currently on A but kinda feels like missed opportunity to go without city attackers on wildcard. Their next 3 are as good as it gets.

          1. bitm2007
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            Not tempted by a mixture of the two ? Kaku out, Son, Toney, Foden Jesus in.

          2. Fulchester's New Centr…
            • 4 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            A of those

          3. cravencottage
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            I would take B, with the usual caveat of MC rotation. I do prefer Townsend to ESR

        • JY84
          • 6 Years
          15 days, 23 hours ago

          Would u WC this team??
          Sanchez (Foster)
          TAA Christensen Shaw (Cresswell, Amartey)
          Salah Sarr Raphina Benrahma (Bissouma)
          Antonio CR7 Jimenez

          My main problem is rebuilding my defence n introducing more Chelsea players but do u think there is a need to WC?

          1. Mozumbus
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              You'd like to have city defense, which does not necessarily need WC

            • JY84
              • 6 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              Noted... Thanks for e advice! Ya... Wanted to remove Amartey n Shaw for a City defender n someone like Livramento! In that case, will not WC! Thanks!

          2. C_G
            • 6 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            keep Jota another week?

            1. MagicMessi
              • 9 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              Yea vs Watford have to give him last chance

            2. Indpush
              • 3 Years
              15 days, 22 hours ago

              I'm keeping him in

          3. Lightbody
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            Scout team - for paying members, can you please update the table that lists the players with the most number of headed attempts from set plays in 2021/22?

            1. TorresMagic™ - 6dcode
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • Has Moderation Rights
              • 12 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              What table are you using?

          4. Rash
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            Exact money to do Sarr ronaldo to de bruyne & jesus?

            Sanchez
            Trent Rudiger Duffy
            Salah benrahma Raphinha Sarr*
            Antonio Ronaldo* Jimenez

            Foster semedo bissouma liv

            City constantly beat Burnley 5.0 so think now is a good time to tap into the attack?

          5. C_G
            • 6 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            pick one:

            A) Alonso + Jota ----> Son + Laporte/Rudi/Walker (-4)

            B) Alonso + King ----> Cancelo + Jiminez (-4)

            C) Alonso + Jota ----> Foden + Cancelo

            1. Debauchy
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              Tough A though

              1. C_G
                • 6 Years
                15 days, 23 hours ago

                this is so tough!!

                1. Debauchy
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 8 Years
                  15 days, 23 hours ago

                  Aye "smile"

                  1. Debauchy
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 8 Years
                    15 days, 23 hours ago

                    🙂

                    1. Big_Andy_GAWA
                      • 10 Years
                      15 days, 23 hours ago

                      You have Josh King!? 😮

          6. F4L
            • 6 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            People still talking about 3 premiums, honestly right now the best 3 look like Salah/Mane/Son

            1. FOO FIGHTER
              • 2 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              Salah, Son, Vardy here. Makes the threemium more affordable as well.

              1. F4L
                • 6 Years
                15 days, 23 hours ago

                Vardy looks in such great form, but Leicester honestly look dreadful, and if they want to stay in the Europa League Vardy will have to start playing Thursday nights already.

            2. NateDog
              • 1 Year
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              On the basis of one afternoon/evening in hindsight, sure. After GW4 it was definitively SLR. If Mane and Son blank next GW it'll be Salah and 2 different premiums again.

              1. F4L
                • 6 Years
                15 days, 23 hours ago

                meh, it's the more you watch Chelsea, the more it does seem that Lukaku is isolated and not being given the service he wants. CR7 has now been shown to be liable to rotation.

                Mane is playing more centrally this year, it seems Liverpool are prioritising that right hand sided triangle of Salah/TAA + 1 providing the width, Mane then is making runs centrally in front of the CBs, like his goal yesterday and one vs Burnley. It's just a shame he was priced @12mil this year, instead of 11.

                Then the only issue with Son was Nuno playing defensive football, if he allows Spurs to play freely like yesterday, Son is as good an option as ever.

                Lastly, premium mids are just historically at an advantage, CS points, one more point for goals, the strikers have to get extra returns just to keep up.

                1. FOO FIGHTER
                  • 2 Years
                  15 days, 23 hours ago

                  Son £'s and high ceiling better option than Lukaku with no penalties and in a team which does not seem to be the right fit.

                2. NateDog
                  • 1 Year
                  15 days, 23 hours ago

                  I agree about Lukaku but I think they'll iron that out. Mount will help and I think if Chilwell gets a run in the side it'll make a difference too. I'm actually thinking playing with Werner isn't so great for him but is good for Werner, he attracts the attention while Werner has someone else to play him into the extra space he has.

                  I thought before the season started that Mane would have a great season, he's done well so far but is still being incredibly wasteful on too many occasions (the Leeds game being a prime example, the amount of goals and assists he should have left with was incredible). I'd normally say a player getting into those positions (even if being wasteful) is a good sign but for 12m in FPL I don't know it I think that's worth backing, over the course of the season it absolutely should be but there could be a lot of lean periods in that which means jumping on and off could be disastrous.

                  Son is excellent, but I just don't know if I can believe Spurs will keep playing attacking football. Kane is still far away from his usual self, and apart from City (and the blank v Chelsea), they've had games that they should be doing a lot better in considering their squad. They were a lot better against Villa but it's one game and the couldn't really have played any worse than they did in that first half against Arsenal (who themselves showed at the weekend that they're not suddenly any great shakes either just because they beat Norwich and Burnley). I'd always back Son to do well but will they do well against a team that will be more likely to control the midfield battle and the ball more like West Ham (and possibly even Everton) probably will? Luckily for them they have Newcastle and ManUtd on either side of those and then a decent run too so maybe it is a good time for him, I just don't know if I can trust that Spurs have suddenly turned a corner.

                  1. Camera308
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 10 Years
                    13 days, 7 hours ago

                    Thanks for this good analysis.

            3. Fulchester's New Centr…
              • 4 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              Townsend, Gray, Doucoure

          7. Karan14
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            Best option out of these?

            A) Dias
            B) Laporte
            C) Rudiger
            D) Azpi
            E) Chilwell

            1. F4L
              • 6 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              Chilwell if you have Livra/Duffy on the bench. Dias otherwise

            2. FOO FIGHTER
              • 2 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              Dias

            3. Winston.
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              AC

              1. cravencottage
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                15 days, 23 hours ago

                Why Rudiger over Azpi? Just curious

            4. MagicMessi
              • 9 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              DCABE

          8. MagicMessi
            • 9 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            Plz lads new and old timers which you like more ;
            Cr7 / Pogba/ Antonio TO

            A -Kane/Son/ Toney. 0.1
            B- Kane / Townsend / Vardy 0.5

            Thxx!!

            1. MagicMessi
              • 9 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              Guaita
              Cancelo Livra Alonso / Duffy Amartey
              Salah Douco Pogba * Sissoko Gallagher
              Antonio+ Lukaku ronaldo *
              O.2 itb

            2. Fulchester's New Centr…
              • 4 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              Easy B

              1. MagicMessi
                • 9 Years
                15 days, 23 hours ago

                Thaaaanks!!!! Thats what i like too i thought its not easy because of Sonny but i dont like him anyway 😀 Also Mbeumo can cover Toney when their fixtures turn greener.

          9. Andy_Social
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            Hello, seen this?

            Adam Newson
            @AdamNewson
            ·
            EXCL: Understand Ben Chilwell is to replace Reece James in the England squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary

            1. F4L
              • 6 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              Must hurt Southgate, what will he do now with one less right back 😛

              But for real, at least it's something to hold onto for Alonso owners

              1. Andy_Social
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 9 Years
                15 days, 23 hours ago

                You could also see it as Chilly (and Stones) getting plenty of minutes to make them match-ready for their clubs.

                1. F4L
                  • 6 Years
                  15 days, 23 hours ago

                  fair point

          10. TKC07
            • 2 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            A) TAA + Semedo to Cancelo + Rudiger
            B) Ronaldo + Gallaghar to Vardy + Raph
            C) Any other suggestions?

            2 FT, 0 ITB, No WC.

            Sanchez (4.0)
            TAA, Christensen, White, Semedo Livra
            Salah, Sarr, Gallaghar, Gray, Gilmour
            Lukaku, CR7, Antonio

            Wishlist: Getting Dias/Cancelo & Rudiger. Fix my midfield.

            1. Fulchester's New Centr…
              • 4 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              B

              1. TKC07
                • 2 Years
                15 days, 23 hours ago

                Thanks!

          11. smix
            • 5 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            Lukaku & Gallagher to Son (c) & Maupay for -4? Looking for some differentials to move up the rankings . Or look at some other moves.

            1. Winston.
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              No

            2. Vlad Tepes
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              this is probably the reason why you falling down in ranks if you make these kind of transfers.

            3. Debauchy
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              No move is also a move

              1. Fulchester's New Centr…
                • 4 Years
                15 days, 23 hours ago

                A. Yoda
                B. Sun Tzu
                C. Miyamoto Musashi
                D. None

                1. TorresMagic™ - 6dcode
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • Has Moderation Rights
                  • 12 Years
                  15 days, 23 hours ago

                  Confucius

            4. F4L
              • 6 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              wouldn't want Lukaku long term, but Norwich Newcastle Burnley makes him worth keeping + you want to captain Son ahead of Salah next GW?

            5. MagicMessi
              • 9 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              I think thats a downgrade

          12. MagicMessi
            • 9 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            Chelsea fans what you think of Thiago Silva at 5.4 is he nailed ?
            Looking to downgrade Alonso to save 0.5 or just too kneejerky ?

            1. smix
              • 5 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              TSilva not worth it. Not much upside & will be rested frequently

            2. Fulchester's New Centr…
              • 4 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              Not the one you are looking for

            3. jackruet
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              Don't go there. I am a sad christiansen owner

              1. MagicMessi
                • 9 Years
                15 days, 23 hours ago

                I feel you ... Iam cursed i got TAA for a hit he is out then i sold him to Cancelo Alonso for hit they both got big zeros 😀

          13. Winston.
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            Best combo?
            A. Lukaku + Jota
            B. Jimenez + KDB

            1. Fulchester's New Centr…
              • 4 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              A

          14. ClassiX
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            Now we know who FPL sold their old game servers to before the start of this season...

          15. tricpic
            • 11 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            Lukaku owners. Keeping the faith?

            1. MagicMessi
              • 9 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              Stuck with him and keeping the faith only problem is Werner i fancy a double up vs Norwich 😀

            2. Fulchester's New Centr…
              • 4 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              Patience

            3. Indpush
              • 3 Years
              15 days, 22 hours ago

              Keeping

          16. Inazuma X1
            • 4 Years
            15 days, 23 hours ago

            Who's capping someone who is not named Salah for next GW? Who?

            1. MagicMessi
              • 9 Years
              15 days, 23 hours ago

              I might Captain Kane just because of the early kickoff.