Our Scoreboard series rounds up the key goings-on from the day’s Gameweek 13 fixtures, from injury news to stats analysis.
With the swift turnaround between Fantasy Premier League (FPL) deadlines, the Scoreboard articles for Saturday and Sunday will take the place of the usual Scout Notes this week.
GOALS, ASSISTS, PROJECTED BONUS
INJURIES AND BANS
Bukayo Saka (£6.3m) produced an excellent display and was on the scoresheet as Arsenal defeated Newcastle United in the lunchtime kick-off.
But the winger’s afternoon was curtailed just after the hour-mark, with even entry-level lip-readers able to deduce that Saka had a problem around his hip.
“It was an action where he said that he felt something. He wasn’t comfortable to continue and we’ll have to assess him tomorrow and probably scan him to see if there’s any injury there.” – Mikel Arteta on Bukayo Saka
Daniel Podence (£5.5m) missed Wolverhampton Wanderers’ draw with Norwich after testing positive for Covid-19 on Friday, so he will also sit out Gameweeks 14 and 15 as he isolates.
The Canaries lost Mathias Normann (£4.5m) to a first-half injury, which appears to be a recurrence of an old problem.
“I think it’s a recurrence of his pelvic injury that he’s had. He said he was feeling pain there so he had to come off and I’m aware that he’s had an injury there before. We’ll assess him and see how he goes.” – Dean Smith on Mathias Normann’s injury
Ralph Hasenhuttl confirmed that Ibrahima Diallo (£4.5m) couldn’t face Liverpool because of an ankle injury, while Moi Elyounoussi (£5.5m) was attending the birth of his child and Moussa Djenepo (£5.3m) was again absent for personal reasons.
Joachim Andersen (£4.5m) missed Crystal Palace’s defeat to Aston Villa because of a hamstring injury. Patrick Vieira told reporters that he doesn’t yet know the extent of the problem but is hoping to find out more after scans on Monday.
On the suspension front, Newcastle duo Jamaal Lascelles (£4.4m) and Matt Ritchie (£4.9m) and Wolves’ Ruben Neves (£5.3m) picked up their fifth bookings of the season and will miss out in Gameweek 14.
GAMEWEEK 13 TAKEAWAYS
LAMPTEY IMPRESSES AGAIN
Circumstances are conspiring against Tariq Lamptey (£4.4m) when it comes to FPL demand at present. With the premium defenders in such good form and Tino Livramento (£4.6m) the budget benchable option for many of us, there aren’t many defensive slots open right now – particularly for an injury-prone full-back whose manager may well decide to handle him carefully over the forthcoming rush of matches.
It’s a pity because otherwise he is in eye-catching form. He was the standout player of Brighton and Hove Albion’s tepid goalless draw with Leeds United, again being stationed high up the right flank and creating five chances (the highest among defenders in Gameweek 13 so far).
Another downside to Lamptey, of course, is that he has got some profligate finishers on the end of the opportunities he carves out: Albion are the division’s joint-lowest scorers over the last seven Gameweeks, with Neal Maupay (£6.4m) particularly wasteful against Leeds.
SALAH AND MANE AVAILABLE UP TO AND INCLUDING GAMEWEEK 21?
The worst-case scenario for Premier League clubs affected by Africa Cup of Nations call-ups is an exit after Gameweek 19.
However, Jurgen Klopp indicated in his post-match press conference on Saturday that Liverpool were in discussions with the relevant parties to delay the departures of their star players, allowing them to face Chelsea in Gameweek 21.
“Not really, it’s early for that. We’re still talking. Yes [we are hoping].” – Jurgen Klopp on if he knows whether Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah can play against Chelsea in GW21 before departing for the AFCON
THE HAVES AND THE HAVE-NOT-GOT-JOTAS
With Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) captained by pretty much all and sundry, every single forward blanking on Saturday and the two most popular goalkeepers in the upper echelons of FPL – Aaron Ramsdale (£4.8m) and Robert Sanchez (£4.7m) – both keeping clean sheets, the main difference maker was Diogo Jota (£7.6m).
The ‘out of position’ midfielder scored a brace and plundered 14 points in Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Southampton and is on course for a further price rise and ownership boost as the most-bought player of Gameweek 14.
Substituted with 10 minutes to go as Salah and Sadio Mane (£12.0m) lasted the course, his prospects of starting in the Merseyside derby, which were already boosted by Roberto Firmino‘s (£8.8m) absence, were perhaps given a further lift.
Jota had as many goal attempts (seven) as Mane and Salah combined on Saturday and as a result of the stats posted in that game, is now ahead of even the Egyptian for minutes per expected goal involvement (xGI) in 2021/22.
VILLA SOLID, YOUNG OOP
Dean Smith left an Aston Villa side in defensive disarray when he departed earlier this month, with Steven Gerrard priortising improvements at the back when he first addressed the media.
The Villans were seconds away from posting back-to-back clean sheets when Marc Guehi (£4.5m) prodded in a late consolation for Palace but were otherwise relatively untroubled against an Eagles side who were undefeated on home soil before Gameweek 13.
One of their ‘defenders’ in FPL wasn’t part of the backline at Selhurst Park but instead stationed very much out of position just off Ollie Watkins (£7.4m) – the veteran, Ashley Young (£4.7m).
Young impressed as a substitute last week and clearly has a good relationship with his new boss, having been brought into the starting XI on Saturday and heavily involved at direct and indirect set-piece situations, one of which led to an assist for Matt Targett‘s (£4.7m) strike.
“He’s been brilliant since I’ve walked in the door, but I expected nothing else. I’ve play with Ash, I know what his standards and his levels are like.
“He’s earned that start. I thought he came on last week and did really well. He trained well, he backed that up. He deserved his start today. Everything we’ve asked for, to the letter, he’s done.” – Steven Gerrard on Ashley Young
NORWICH NOT THE WHIPPING BOYS THEY WERE?
A 7-0 pasting at Chelsea aside, Norwich have shown some improvement at the back over the last seven Gameweeks. Discounting that hammering, the Canaries have kept three clean sheets and conceded only four goals in six matches.
They might still be fodder for the bigger clubs but they are starting to hold their own against sides around them, losing only one of their six recent meetings against Burnley, Brighton, Leeds, Brentford, Southampton and Wolves.
Bruno Lage’s troops were reduced to just five shots on goal in Gameweek 13, the lowest of any side on Saturday, with Hwang Hee-chan (£5.8m) in particular struggling to make any sort of impact.
STAT WATCH – GAMEWEEK 13
Jota was a country mile ahead of any other player for xGI on Saturday, also top for shots in the box and big chances.
There was a bit of encouragement for Emile Smith Rowe‘s (£5.9m) legions of new owners despite the blank; he picked up a couple of decent shooting positions to see a goalbound volley blocked and a six-yard header saved, with only a shocking Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£9.9m) miss from a yard depriving him of a Fantasy assist for the latter.
Producing one of his best performances for a while was the returning Andy Robertson (£7.0m), who carved out four opportunities on Saturday, two of which were ‘big chances’.
With Salah departing for Africa in January and many FPL managers presumably doubling up on Jota and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.8m), a third Liverpool spot may be up for grabs in many of our teams and Robertson will be a front-running candidate given that we’ll have all that money to spend – although keeping an easy route back to Salah will be at the forefront of any transfer.
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