We start with Brighton and Hove Albion v Newcastle United.
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Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1 Newcastle United
- Goals: Leandro Trossard (£6.4m) | Isaac Hayden (£4.5m)
- Assists: None | Ciaran Clark (£4.4m)
- Bonus: Trossard x3, Hayden x3, Clark x1
HOW LONG IS SANCHEZ OUT FOR AND WHO WILL REPLACE HIM?
Robert Sanchez (£4.6m) will miss Gameweek 12 as a result of his sending off in Saturday’s draw with Newcastle.
It’s only a one-match ban, however: the denial of a clear goalscoring opportunity carries the lowest possible punishment for a red card, with foul and abusive language (two-game suspension) and serious foul play/violent conduct (three-match ban) penalised more severely.
For those FPL managers with a playing goalkeeper substitute and with fires to fight elsewhere, it’s an easy-ish hold: the following fixtures are reasonable enough and on a par with many of the alternative £4.5m shot-stoppers.
As for who will line up between the posts at Villa Park in a fortnight’s time, it’s good news for Fantasy bosses who backed up their Sanchez pick with understudy Jason Steele (£4.0m).
It already looked very likely that Steele would deputise for his teammate, as he had been on the bench in every league fixture this season and has played in the Carabao Cup, and Albion boss Graham Potter confirmed on Monday that the £4.0m goalkeeper would be between the posts against the currently managerless Villans.
“Jason has played in the Carabao Cup so he will be in goal and Kjell [Scherpen] will support him.
“Jason has never let us down, he’s a fantastic guy and he will take the opportunity. His distribution is fantastic, he makes saves. He knows the guys, works with us every day so no problems with Jason. That’s what he’s there for, to wait for an opportunity and to be ready and I know he will do that.” – Graham Potter
The Seagulls’ head coach also had words of encouragement for Sanchez.
“It’s the life of a goalkeeper. It’s the life of a young goalkeeper that you have to take some adversity at times, some challenging moments. It’s always about how you respond.
“A career isn’t built on success only, it’s built on moments like today, moments where confidence isn’t as high or form isn’t as good. That’s how young players develop and grow and we’ll support him and have the utmost faith and belief in him.
“We love him for what he has done with us. He has been fantastic. It’s upsetting for him at the moment but he’ll get back stronger.” – Robert Sanchez
LAMPTEY ‘OUT OF POSITION’, WEBSTER GETS FIRST MINUTES
Above: Brighton’s average position map (left) and Tariq Lamptey’s touch map (right) in Gameweek 11
Isaac Hayden‘s (£4.5m) second-half strike ensured that Brighton’s clean sheet went up in smoke in a flat display against Newcastle but there was a positive to take with the first Premier League start of the season for Tariq Lamptey (£4.4m).
Effectively deployed “out of position” on the right flank for the hosts, the former Chelsea defender was a bright spark and got into some threatening positions, narrowly failing to divert a cross home midway through the first half before racing onto a Sanchez punt shortly after the interval to produce a tame shot from inside the visitors’ area.
Occasionally the most advanced player in the Albion attack (as his heatmap above indicates), his total of eight penalty box touches was only beaten by two other FPL defenders in Gameweek 11.
He’s back on the FPL radar but his injury history, coupled with the congested Christmas schedule, may well see Potter use him sensibly and sparingly over the coming two months – indeed, the Brighton boss suggested after full-time that he is still not fully fit.
“A little bit of using Tariq’s qualities to help the team as much as we can while we are in a stage where he is not 100% because we are building minutes up.
“We wanted to use his attributes and stretch the backline. We thought they [Newcastle] would be quite deep, we thought we would need runners in behind them, we thought we’d need to challenge their backline in terms of width.
“And obviously it’s easier for Tariq to do that if he doesn’t have quite so much to do defensively, but he can do both.” – Graham Potter
The threat to popular FPL budget defender Shane Duffy‘s (£4.4m) place grows by the week, especially with Adam Webster (£4.4m) now free of injury and getting his first bit of Premier League game-time since September as a late substitute on Saturday. Webster’s ball-playing ability from the back – something that Duffy lacks – was arguably missed against Newcastle’s deep defence, while the Irishman’s shortage of pace was exposed in the incident that led to Sanchez’s dismissal. Duffy has generally been excellent this season and there is room for him and Webster in the same side but with Lamptey fit, the versatile Joel Veltman (£4.4m) adept at playing at centre-half and Dan Burn (£4.4m) set to return over the international break, Albion will soon have a full complement of defenders available for selection to give Potter a welcome headache at the back.
Duffy and Veltman are, incidentally, both a booking away from a one-match ban.
TROSSARD ON PENALTIES?
Leandro Trossard (£6.4m) is one of just three ever-present starters for Brighton this season and has completed 90 minutes in each of the last nine Gameweeks.
He moved joint-tenth among FPL midfielders for points with his goal against the Magpies and was arguably the star of the show at the Amex, again leading the line as Neal Maupay (£6.5m) was forced to make do with a place on the bench for the second week running.
The Belgian was top among the players involved in this fixture for penalty box touches, shots and chances created.
Is he now on penalties, too?
It’s too early to be drawing conclusions: Pascal Gross (£5.9m), Maupay, Danny Welbeck (£6.0m) and Alexis Mac Allister (£5.4m), who have all taken spot-kicks before him in this season or last, were all off the field at the time of Albion’s penalty award on Saturday.
Newcastle will likely be under the stewardship of Eddie Howe by the time Gameweek 12 comes around, as the former Bournemouth man was in the director’s box at the Amex for the evening kick-off.
The performances have been marginally better under Graeme Jones over the last three Gameweeks but they’ve all been safety-first, with the interim Newcastle boss adopting a conservative 3-5-2/5-3-2 set-up.
Howe favoured a more attacking 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 system at Bournemouth and there may be interest rekindled in the talismanic Callum Wilson (£7.3m) – who would have scored his fifth goal in eight matches had he not been felled by Sanchez in the red card incident – as a result.
The reunited boss and player will have a very decent first four matches to look forward to after the international break, three of which are at home.
Brighton and Hove Albion XI: Sanchez, Veltman, Duffy, Dunk, Lamptey (Webster 75), Mwepu (MacAllister 46), Bissouma, Cucurella, March (Maupay 65), Lallena, Trossard.
Newcastle United XI: Darlow, Murphy, Krafth (Gayle 90+4), Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Almiron (Joelinton 74), Hayden, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin, Wilson.
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