We start our Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Gameweek 8 write-ups with analysis of Everton v West Ham United.
For a shorter summary of all of Saturday’s action, click here.
EVERTON 0-1 WEST HAM UNITED
- Goals: Angelo Ogbonna (£5.0m)
- Assists: Jarrod Bowen (£6.3m)
- Bonus (projected): Ogbonna x3, Kurt Zouma (£5.4m) x2, Aaron Cresswell (£5.5m) x1, Ben Johnson (£3.9m) x1
ANTONIO AND BENRAHMA BLANK
After Michail Antonio (£8.1m) and Said Benrahma (£6.6m) failed to deliver an attacking return for their second and third consecutive matches respectively, is it perhaps time to sell the West Ham duo?
Antonio is currently the most-selected forward in FPL, and is also the second highest-scoring player in his position, averaging 7.1 points per match.
However, at Goodison Park on Sunday, the 31-year-old picked up a needless early yellow card for simulation and looked off the pace in front of goal, despite registering three shots in the box.
There is also a demanding UEFA Europa League campaign to navigate, plus a particularly testing forthcoming Premier League schedule (see below). In fact, between Gameweeks 9 and 15, the Hammers’ sit second-bottom of our season ticker for fixture difficulty.
With the likes of Callum Wilson (£7.3m) now back on the FPL radar following his goal in Gameweek 8, plus Ivan Toney (£6.4m) and Raul Jimenez (£7.6m) embarking on kinder runs of fixtures, there is an argument to move on.
Despite that, and as highlighted by Neale in his recent ‘Is Michail Antonio a fixture-proof pick in FPL?’ article, he does have a decent record against the traditional Premier League elite, while his next opponents – Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa – haven’t exactly been watertight at the back in recent matches.
That does suggest that selling right now probably isn’t a priority, but his performances moving forward should of course be monitored closely.
As for Benrahma, it’s now just one goal in the last six Gameweeks, and during that time he has been outperformed by team-mate Jarrod Bowen (£6.3m), both in terms of FPL points and the underlying numbers.
Said Benrahma (left) v Jarrod Bowen (right) Gameweeks 3 to 8
With Raphinha (£6.6m) available at the same price, plus cheaper options like Bryan Mbeumo (£5.5m) emerging, moving Benrahma on certainly looks like a viable option right now.
Elsewhere, Tomas Soucek (£5.9m) had a goal disallowed for offside, while Angelo Ogbonna’s (£5.0m) headed winner from a Bowen corner again highlighted how effective David Moyes’ side have been from dead-ball situations since his appointment.
EVERTON STRUGGLE IN THE FINAL-THIRD
In a game low on quality, Everton lost their first home match of the season after three consecutive wins, with the absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.0m) and Richarlison (£7.4m) felt up front.
With limited attacking options in reserve, their return can’t come soon enough for the Toffees’, who have now scored just three goals in their last four matches, and worryingly, have registered just nine shots on target and 3.95 non-penalty expected goals (xG) during that time.
In the battle of the budget midfielders, Demarai Gray (£5.8m) put in a couple of teasing balls into the box that Calvert-Lewin would surely have taken advantage of had he been fit, while Andros Townsend (£5.6m) failed to register a single effort on goal, but did whip in 11 crosses, five of which were successful.
Next up for Everton is a home match against Watford, before their fixtures toughen significantly after, with back-to-back games against Wolverhampton Wanderers (a), Tottenham Hotspur (h), Manchester City (a), Brentford (a), Liverpool (h) and Arsenal (h) right up until Gameweek 15.
Vladimir Coufal (£4.9m) failed to recover from the groin injury that kept him out of international duty, and was replaced by Ben Johnson (£3.9m) in West Ham’s starting XI at right-back.
Prior to the match, Moyes said:
“He’s just had an injury which he picked up in the Cup game against Manchester United, and he’s never really been right since then. He played against Leeds after it, but is just not quite right.”
As for Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, Rafa Benitez revealed in his post-match interview that the Brazilian was the closer of the two to making a comeback.
Everton XI: Pickford, Coleman, Godfrey, Keane, Digne, Townsend, Doucoure, Allan, Iwobi (Gordon 79), Gray, Rondon
West Ham XI: Fabianski, Johnson, Zouma, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Soucek (Dawson 79), Rice, Bowen (Yarmolenko 90+4), Benrahma (Lanzini 87), Fornals, Antonio