We continue our Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Gameweek 8 write-ups with analysis of Southampton v Leeds United and Norwich City v Brighton and Hove Albion.
SOUTHAMPTON 1-0 LEEDS UNITED
- Goal: Armando Broja (£5.0m)
- Assist: Nathan Redmond (£5.9m)
- Bonus: Redmond x3, Broja x2, Romain Perraud (£4.9m)
WHY RAPHINHA WAS LEFT OUT
It was always going to be a tough ask for Raphinha (£6.6m) to start in Gameweek 8 after racking up 71 minutes of pitch-time for Brazil on Friday morning and, in the end, the Leeds winger didn’t even make Marcelo Bielsa’s matchday squad, let alone the starting XI.
The Leeds boss said of his star midfielder after full-time:
“Raphinha, we had decided that he was going to fly after his game, without knowing how many minutes he was going to play on the Friday. In the end, he played 70 minutes, flew 15 hours and today at midday he wasn’t in conditions to take on board even a part of the game. Given that he wasn’t in conditions to respond, we didn’t risk because it’s possible in circumstances like this, injuries can occur.”
Leeds were abject in the absence of the influential trio of Raphinha, Patrick Bamford (£7.8m) and Kalvin Phillips (£4.9m), registering only three shots on goal throughout.
The Brazilian winger should at least return in Gameweek 9 and on Saturday’s viewing, much rests on his shoulders against Wolves.
BUDGET BROJA A THREAT
Budget defensive gem Tino Livramento (£4.2m) banked a third clean sheet in the space of five matches for his owners but it was another bargain-bin FPL buy from Southampton who stole the headlines in Gameweek 8.
Armando Broja (£5.0m) was handed his first Premier League start for the Saints and scored the game’s only goal, striking up a fine partnership with Nathan Redmond (£5.9m) up top – something that doesn’t bode well for Adam Armstrong‘s (£6.0m) chances of an instant recall after Ralph Hasenhuttl’s surprise omission of the striker against Leeds.
There’s a dearth of attractive sub-£6.0m forwards in FPL this season, with Hwang Hee-chan (£5.6m) the erstwhile hipster’s choice after his brace in Gameweek 7.
Broja’s goal brings him into spotlight now, especially with some more favourable fixtures ahead for the Saints.
Hasenhuttl’s wealth of alternatives in the ‘number 10’ roles and up front does make pretty much every Southampton attacking midfielder and forward a rotation risk, however: not one of them is an ever-present this season, with only Armstrong of the offensive options registering more than five starts.
The Southampton boss continues to be lukewarm in his praise of Broja, meanwhile, sounding much like David Moyes does when he speaks of Said Benrahma (£6.6m):
“Against Sheffield, I was not so happy with his performance. Today it was much better.
“I think the goal in the international break has definitely given him confidence and he has something you can use to be a threat around the box.
“I also had the feeling when he has the ball that he is a threat. He has the speed to go over a player and to have a clear shot. There were other good scenes where he can score, but I must say it was a good performance, yes.
“Che Adams was injured and we needed a big striker up front. Armando is a striker who scored in the international break. I think it is time for him also to show he can play 90 minutes good.
“Today I think he worked quite hard, also against the ball much better, which in our game is very important.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl on Armando Broja
At £5.0m, though, he looks like a good an option as any for those FPL bosses playing a 3-5-2/4-4-2 and requiring only the occasional cameo as an emergency substitute, with Broja having registered minutes in each of the last five matches he has been available for.
Above: Broja wasn’t beaten for goal attempts or penalty box touches at St Mary’s on Saturday
Southampton XI: McCarthy; Livramento, Bednarek, Salisu, Perraud; Elyounoussi (Tella 90), Diallo, Romeu, Djenepo (S. Armstrong 59); Broja (Walcott 81), Redmond
Leeds United XI: Meslier; Llorente, Struijk, Cooper; Klich (Gelhardt 77), Shackleton, Dallas, Roberts (Summerville 81); Harrison, Rodrigo (Forshaw 64), James.
NORWICH CITY 0-0 BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION
- Bonus: Lewis Dunk (£5.0m) x3, Tim Krul (£4.5m) x2, Dimitris Giannoulis (£4.4m) x2
Many FPL managers will be slapping the armband on Romelu Lukaku (£11.7m) this weekend ahead of Chelsea’s appealing-looking home fixture against Norwich.
The Canaries will go into that Gameweek 9 clash in slightly better shape than they would have a month ago, however.
Daniel Farke’s side have kept two clean sheets since shifting to a 3-5-2 in Gameweek 6 and were largely successful in nullifying Everton’s offensive threat last month, shooting themselves in the foot with the concession of two self-inflicted goals.
Still, it has to be stressed that they’ve faced attacks featuring the likes of Salomon Rondon (£6.0m), Jay Rodriguez (£5.3m) and Neal Maupay (£6.6m) in that time, and a Lukaku-led Chelsea frontline will be the acid test of the new-found relative solidiity; Norwich indeed lost 3-0 when they trialled this new formation against Liverpool in the EFL Cup in September.
Maupay ought to have done better with two clear openings on Saturday, while Leandro Trossard (£6.4m) – who is now sixth among FPL midfielders for shots in the last six Gameweeks – saw an effort tipped onto the bar.
“We have ticked many boxes today, we wanted to get off the mark in a home game which we did, we wanted to get the next clean sheet, which we did.
“We were rock solid in terms of defending and wanted to take the next step by winning points but sadly we have to accept that it’s just a small step with one point and not the big step that we would have, of course, liked even more.
“The final bit to be clinical to score was missing again. We created enough scenes to score today but sadly we didn’t bring the ball over the line.” – Daniel Farke
Albion, meanwhile, will be no pushovers for Manchester City in Gameweek 9: this was their fourth clean sheet of the season, a tally beaten by just three clubs.
Above: Brighton are ranked joint-third or better for fewest big chances, shots in the box and expected goals conceded in 2021/22
This was one of their less convincing clean sheets, however, with Teemu Pukki (£5.9m) and especially Josh Sargent (£5.4m) – who produced a tame effort with the goal gaping – missing glaring chances to break the deadlock.
Tariq Lamptey (£4.4m) registered his first league minutes of the season as a second-half substitute, replacing Joel Veltman (£4.4m) shortly before the Dutchman could bank clean sheet points. Veltman is now just one booking away from a one-match ban, too.
“It’s been a long way back for Tariq. It’s not easy to pick up the speed and the intensity of the Premier League quickly, so it was great to have him on the pitch.” – Graham Potter
Lewis Dunk (£5.0m) is now second among FPL defenders for bonus points this season after collecting another three at Carrow Road but while Shane Duffy (£4.4m) is still in the side and hogging the set-play attempts (14 to Dunk’s four), justifying the extra outlay is tough.
Norwich City XI: Krul; Aarons, Kabak, Hanley, Gibson, Giannoulis; McLean, Normann (Rupp 81), Lees-Melou; Sargent (Rashica 75), Pukki (Idah 90).
Brighton & Hove Albion XI: Sanchez; Duffy, Dunk, Burn; Veltman (Lamptey 57), Gross, Lallana, Moder (Mac Allister 83), Cucurella (March 65); Maupay, Trossard.
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW FROM GAMEWEEK 8
- Saturday summary in brief
- Watford 0-5 Liverpool: Is it time to sell Jota?
- Aston Villa 2-3 Wolves: Why Jimenez was benched in Gameweek 8
- Leicester 4-2 Man Utd: United’s defence abysmal ahead of Salah test
- Man City 2-0 Burnley
- Norwich 0-0 Brighton: Canaries defence improving ahead of Gameweek 9 Chelsea clash
- Southampton 1-0 Leeds: Why Raphinha was missing as £5.0m Broja enters FPL radar
- Brentford 0-1 Chelsea: Rudiger injury news as Lukaku blanks again
- Everton 0-1 West Ham: Is it time to sell Antonio and Benrahma?
- Newcastle 2-3 Spurs: Kane and Wilson on FPL differential radar