Our Scoreboard series rounds up the key goings-on from Thursday’s Gameweek 14 fixtures, from injury news to stats analysis.
With the swift turnaround between Fantasy Premier League (FPL) deadlines, the Scoreboard articles will take the place of the usual Scout Notes for this midweek round of action.
GOALS, ASSISTS, BONUS
INJURIES AND BANS
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.2m) missed tonight’s win over Arsenal with a hand injury after Callum Hudson-Odoi (£5.3m) trod on it in Gameweek 13.
Caretaker manager Michael Carrick also provided an update on several other first-teamers, including Nemanja Matic (£4.5m) and Luke Shaw (£5.1m), in an interview with MUTV:
“Nemanja (Matic) has picked up a little niggle, he felt his hamstring.
Hudson-Odoi stood on Aaron’s (Wan-Bissaka) hand the other day, so he’s in a fair bit of pain, it was touch and go but he didn’t make it for today.
Harry (Maguire) is back in the team, Eric (Bailly) did ever so well the other day but it’s a decision I had to make.
We’re just being careful with Luke (Shaw) and assessing it day by day, hopefully he won’t be too far away.”
Elsewhere, Bukayo Saka (£6.3m) made the bench after his muscle problem, and replaced Emile Smith Rowe (£6.0m) after 70 minutes, suggesting there are no further issues ahead of this weekend’s clash at Everton.
On the suspension front, it was a quiet night with the only booking arriving at Old Trafford, where Scott McTominay (£5.4m) picked up his third caution of the season.
GAMEWEEK 14 TAKEAWAYS
RONALDO ON PENALTIES AHEAD OF FIXTURE SWING
With Ralf Rangnick watching on from the stands, Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.3m) produced an impressive display against Arsenal, with his second-half brace taking him up to 12 goals in 16 appearances in all competitions since his Old Trafford return. Notably, it was the Portuguese superstar who stepped up to take United’s 70th minute penalty, which he comfortably converted with Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m) watching on, in an excellent audition ahead of the Red Devils’ fixture swing:
Man Utd’s remaining fixtures in 2021
On Ronaldo taking the penalty, Fernandes said:
“We didn’t have a chat. I missed the last one so I trust him in the same way I trust myself. It was time for Cristiano to take the penalty because I took the last one and missed it. It doesn’t matter who gets on the penalty.”
However, the playmaker was able to get in on the act, sweeping home his first goal since Gameweek 4. Without penalties, he is certainly a harder sell given his premium price tag, but it is worth noting that all five of his goals this season have arrived from open-play, while his 2.93 expected assists (xA) figure ranks second amongst all outfield players, only trailing Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.0m).
SON SHINES AS CONTE INFLUENCE STARTING TO SHOW
It is still early in Antonio Conte’s reign, but Tottenham Hotspur are becoming more difficult to play through. As a result, it’s now two clean sheets in three since the Italian tactician’s appointment, with the advanced Sergio Reguilon (£5.1m) – who has now recorded a goal and assist in his last two appearances – averaging over eight points per match during that time.
This wasn’t a complete Spurs performance by any means, but they showed more resilience at the back, while their 2.16 expected goals (xG) total is the most they have achieved in a single Premier League match in 2021/22. Key to that attacking display was Son Heung-min (£10.4m), who netted his fifth league goal of the campaign and was perhaps unfortunate not to return more, having been involved in the opener.
As for Harry Kane (£12.3m), the England captain registered a couple of goal attempts, including one big chance, but it does feel that regardless of what happens against Norwich City on Sunday, most of his owners are probably already eyeing a switch to a certain Portuguese forward.
“I am not worried about Harry Kane. He played a really good game. He had chances to score, but the goalkeeper was very good. He was in every offensive situation and the point of reference. To have a player like this and to play with his commitment, desire and passion makes me very happy with his performance. It doesn’t matter if he scores as long as he plays in this way – I am delighted. Tottenham is the first thing we need to think about.” – Antonio Conte discussing Harry Kane’s performance after the game
MBEUMO BLANKS AGAIN AS BRENTFORD STRUGGLE TO CREATE
After tonight’s blank, Bryan Mbeumo (£5.5m) has now failed to find the back of the net since his visit to West Ham United in Gameweek 7. Across that run of six starts, the budget midfielder has attempted seven shots in the box, though none have been big chances, while his 0.63 xG total is bettered by five Brentford team-mates, including defenders Pontus Jansson (£4.6m) and Rico Henry (£4.5m).
There is no doubt Mbeumo has been a tad unfortunate this season, hitting the woodwork on six separate occasions, though his goal threat has notably dried up. However, there is an argument – mainly due to his budget price tag – to persist a little while longer, with Brentford set to take on Leeds United and Watford next.
Bryan Mbeumo’s xG shot map since his last goal in Gameweek 7
STAT WATCH – GAMEWEEK 14
A couple of big names end the Gameweek at the top of the expected goal involvement (xGI) table, with Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) and Cristiano Ronaldo registering a whopping four and three big chances respectively.
Sergio Reguilon also features, with his cross for Son’s goal key to him being so high, just ahead of Raphinha (£6.7m) and Callum Wilson (£7.4m), both of whom benefitted from penalties.
Elsewhere, Raheem Sterling (£10.6m) and budget midfielder Douglas Luiz (£4.5m) both created five chances, with Bruno Fernandes just behind on four, taking his tally to 42 for the season, more than any other player.
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