We continue our Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Gameweek 8 write-ups with analysis of Leicester City v Manchester United.
LEICESTER CITY 4-2 MANCHESTER UNITED
- Goals: Youri Tielemans (£6.4m), Caglar Soyuncu (£4.9m), Jamie Vardy (£10.6m), Patson Daka (£7.1m) | Mason Greenwood (£7.6m), Marcus Rashford (£9.4m)
- Assists: Kelechi Iheanacho (£7.0m), Ayoze Perez (£5.8m) x2 | Bruno Fernandes (£11.8m), Victor Lindelof (£4.8m)
- Bonus: Tielemans x3, Vardy x2, Daka x1
VARDY AND IHEANACHO THRIVE IN 3-5-2
Leicester City ran out 4-2 winners against Manchester United on Saturday, in a fully deserved win which saw Jamie Vardy (£10.6m) continue his excellent goalscoring start to the season.
In doing so, they also ended their opponents’ 29-game unbeaten run away from home.
As for Vardy, it’s now seven goals, one assist and 12 bonus points in eight Premier League appearances this season, and as a result, he ranks second amongst all players for FPL points, with 56.
Interestingly, manager Brendan Rodgers switched to a 3-5-2 formation for the first time in the Premier League this season. That allowed Kelechi Iheanacho (£7.0m) to partner Vardy up front, a role he thrived in during the second half of 2020/21, with James Maddison (£6.7m) and Youri Tielemans (£6.4m) pulling the strings from deeper areas. It’s also worth noting that the latter now has three attacking returns in his last four appearances, and ranks top amongst all midfielders for expected assists (xA) during that time.
The formation change also meant a start for budget defender Daniel Amartey (£4.0m), his first since Gameweek 3, alongside Jonny Evans (£5.4m) and Caglar Soyuncu (£4.9m) at the back.
Leicester City’s average position map v Manchester United in Gameweek 8, featuring Kelechi Iheanacho (no. 14) and Jamie Vardy (no. 9)
If Leicester are to continue in this shape, it could have FPL implications for Harvey Barnes (£6.7m) and Ademola Lookman (£6.0m), who are unlikely to start regularly in a 3-5-2.
“I thought we started well, their central players weren’t pressing so we could be patient and work the ball through the pitch, we got into some really good areas and put pressure on their backline.
Mason scored an unbelievable goal, we can be better but you can’t take away from the quality of his strike.
We came in at half-time in a good place. It was just about reinforcing our aggression in the game, that’s when we’re at our best, once we’re pressing well and being that aggressive, in particular the second half we were very good.
That’s much more like how you’re used to seeing us play, being really aggressive, being a really difficult team to play against. We pressed well, and that takes the tempo up, allowing us to create opportunities.
We created opportunities, scored four, could have had some more, our concentration levels were high. That was much more pleasing in terms of performance level.” – Brendan Rodgers
UNITED’S STRUGGLES AT THE BACK ENHANCE SALAH CAPTAIN CREDENTIALS IN GAMEWEEK 9
In a match where Man Utd struggled to exert any real control, the overall performance was perhaps as disappointing as the result, particularly at the back.
United, missing the injured Raphael Varane (£5.4m), welcomed back Harry Maguire (£5.4m), but were disorganised in defence throughout, a theme that has been apparent in their last four matches against Leicester City (a), Everton (h), Aston Villa (h) and West Ham United (a).
The underlying numbers during that time also suggest that captaining Mohamed Salah (£12.8m) at Old Trafford in Gameweek 8 might not be such a bad idea, despite others having better fixtures, at least on paper.
MANCHESTER UNITED DEFENSIVE STATISTICS – LAST FOUR GAMEWEEKS:
|Metric||Total||Rank v other Premier League teams|
|Shots in the box conceded||33||11th=|
|Shots on target conceded||20||16th=|
|Big chances conceded||9||15th=|
Luke Shaw’s (£5.4m) numbers during that run are also worth touching on.
Between Gameweeks 5 and 8, the England left-back has accumulated just four FPL points, and ranks 25th amongst all defenders for expected goal involvement (xGI).
Elsewhere, Mason Greenwood (£7.6m) scored an excellent long-range strike and Marcus Rashford (£9.4m) – included in a matchday squad for the first time this season – also netted from a lovely Victor Lindelof (£4.8m) pass.
However, Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.5m) cut a peripheral figure, ending the match with just a couple of efforts in the box.
“We didn’t deserve a point. We got the lead, Mason showed his quality and then we give them a goal. All the goals we conceded were disappointing in the way we conceded. It wasn’t just the midfield, but we were too easy to play through. Maybe we gave too much space, but that’s the whole team. I agree we didn’t defend well enough. Today, we just didn’t do things well enough.
Today, the goals we conceded were disappointing, the timing of them and the way they were conceded. We weren’t good enough in the second balls, the 50/50s, the things that make you earn the right to win a game of football. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get it our way. It says everything when David [De Gea] was our best player and we concede four goals. We were not good enough – with and without the ball. You have to run, block and tackle and we didn’t do that enough.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Leicester XI: Schmeichel, Amartey, Evans (Vestergaard 68), Soyuncu, Pereira, Tielemans, Soumare, Castagne, Maddison (Perez 73), Iheanacho (Daka 77), Vardy
Man Utd XI: de Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Matic (McTominay 80), Pogba, Greenwood (Lingard 80), Fernandes, Sancho (Rashford 65), Ronaldo