Scout Notes

Ronaldo delivers but defensive issues remain at Man Utd

Manchester United swept aside Burnley in the only Gameweek 20 match of the day, after Everton v Newcastle United was postponed earlier in the week.

Our Scout Notes article reflects on the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from the fixture.


Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick made six changes to his starting XI in Gameweek 20, in an attempt to get back on track after an underwhelming display at Newcastle United on Monday.

Two of those changes arrived up front, with Jadon Sancho (£8.9m) and Edinson Cavani (£8.4m) replacing the suspended Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m) and Marcus Rashford (£9.4m).

“Since we only played three days ago in an away game, when we got back very late, in the middle of the night, we could not train very much. So, we tried to prepare the team in the locker room with regard to what the game-plan should look like. Tonight is all about energy and raising the energy level.

When Edi (Cavani) came on at half-time at Newcastle, not only did he score the equaliser but he also had another two great opportunities. He is in good shape so, for me, it was logical to play him and Cristiano (Ronaldo) together. Yes, the other changes are just due to the fact that we only played three days ago. It is all about energy and fresh legs.” – Ralf Rangnick

As a result, the Red Devils showed more of an attacking edge right from the off, as they went on to score three goals in the first-half for the first time since January and record 18 goal attempts overall.

For Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.5m), the Portuguese is now into double-figures for Premier League goal involvements, with tonight’s goal and assist taking him to eight and three respectively for the season. That means he is now averaging over five points per match, a team-leading total. Notably, he also avoided his fifth yellow card of the campaign – which would have resulted in a one-match ban – and now has just one more fixture to navigate without a caution before the threshold increases to 10.

Following the 3-1 win, Rangnick remains unbeaten in his five games since replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the end of November, despite disruptions caused by Covid, with Wolverhampton Wanderers up next on Monday.

“The whole team performance was a lot better, I was pleased with the performances of our wingers. Jadon (Sancho) did well and Mason (Greenwood). Edi (Cavani) and Cristiano (Ronaldo), the work effort was amazing.” – Ralf Rangnick


Elsewhere, two further changes saw Diogo Dalot (£4.5m) and Alex Telles (£5.0m) drop to the bench, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.1m) and Luke Shaw (£5.0m) starting their first league games under Rangnick.

And Shaw was especially impressive, as he ended the match with 33 final-third touches, 11 crosses (he took five corners) and three created chances, all match-leading totals. It’s also worth noting that he would have been handed an assist for Sancho, had it not gone down as an own-goal.

However, defensive issues remain at United, which will need to be rectified if he is to become a genuine option for our FPL sides.

Against Burnley, it was another nervous display at the back, especially in the first-half when they were carved open a number of times, with the Clarets ending the match with 10 shots which carried an expected goal (xG) value of 1.18.

Burnley’s xG shot map v Manchester United in Gameweek 20


Burnley have games in hand, four in fact, and the timing of those Double Gameweeks will be absolutely key in determining just how much Fantasy interest they are afforded. Without them, the fixtures remain mixed at best:

  • Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur (weather)
  • Burnley v Watford (Covid)
  • Aston Villa v Burnley (Covid)
  • Burnley v Everton (Covid)

However, if do see one or two of those previously postponed matches added to Gameweeks 21 or 22, the likes of Matthew Lowton (£4.4m) and Chris Wood (£6.7m) could provide value.

Prior to kick-off, Sean Dyche confirmed that Nick Pope (£5.4m), Kevin Long (£4.0m), Josh Brownhill (£4.3m) and Jay Rodriguez (£5.2m) have all tested positive for Covid-19, while Maxwel Cornet (£5.9m), Ashley Barnes (£5.2m) and Connor Roberts (£4.5m) also missed out through injury.

“We intend on getting on with things. A couple of bodies might come back because of the Covid situation and Maxwell Cornet might get around the squad. We will wait and see.” – Sean Dyche on Covid and injuries

Manchester United XI: de Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Bailly (Varane 66), Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Matic, Greenwood (Dalot 81), Sancho, Cavani, Ronaldo (Fred 90+3)

Burnley XI: Hennessey, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, McNeil (Pieters 84), Westwood, Cork (Stephens 58), Gudmundsson, Lennon (Vydra 74), Wood

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1,003 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Hotdogs for Tea
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 18 days ago

    Is Foden potentially going to be deployed as a traditional striker now rather than a false 9, seemed to be playing that way in the last game? could be FPL gold

    1. The 12th Man
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 18 days ago

      Wherever he plays, he starts 1 in 3 or 4 and maybe hauls once in every 4 games.

      Is he really worth it?
      I don't doubt that he's a great player but feel that he needs to be nailed before consideration. That's me anyway.
      Enduring cameos and no shows for an occasional double digit score.

      1. Hotdogs for Tea
        • 6 Years
        4 months, 18 days ago

        It may be wishful thinking on my part 🙂 but he did start 7 games on the bounce before he was injured.

        He is the sort of pick i& price n that if you catch him early for a run of games he can really drive your rank up..

      2. St Pauli Walnuts
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 17 days ago

        Taking injuries and naughty step out of it, he's started every league game this season. Not sure where 1 in 3 is coming from. 3 cameos this season, 2 of which were part of easing back in. There's no doubt he is part of City's strongest 11 and he has been best false 9 candidate by far.

  2. Hotdogs for Tea
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 18 days ago

    I wonder if is it possible the GW22 & GW23 start deadlines could be dragged forward and all the GW21 extra games fall in GW22 and the GW22 extra games fall in to GW23? Gives more time to allocate the games to a game week without adding them post deadline …

  3. white heart pain
    • 11 Years
    4 months, 18 days ago

    Been a rough fee weeks 100k to 600k. Thanks COVID.

    Cancelo Trent James*
    Son Jota Foden Bowen
    CR7, Antonio, Broja

    Steer Tsimikas Martinelli Liveramento*

    1FT 0.2
    A) hold
    B) James >regulion
    C) James> shaw

    1. FOMFF
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 18 days ago

      I'd be pretty happy with that lot except James. B. Definitely not C

  4. FOMFF
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 18 days ago

    Been out the loop for a couple days, Covid Christmas has been a drag! Could use some advice on my 2FT's.

    Considering a -4 for Salah, Lacca, James > KDB, Kane, Targett. But, with points so tight and schedules uncertain, a -4 isnt ideal. Any other suggestions on this lot?

    Sanchez, Steele
    TAA, Cancelo, Rudiger, James, Livra,
    Salah, Jota, Bilva, Gallagher, Bowen
    Lacca, Watkins, Scarlett

    1. Hotdogs for Tea
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 18 days ago

      Salah, James & Scarlett to .... Son, Dennis & Targett?

  5. The K-Man
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 18 days ago

    If DGWs aren't confirmed before the deadline, do you think we should plump on....

    a) Brentford defence

    b) Aston Villa defence

    According to Crellin, Brentford have a slightly better chance of a DGW in 21 than Villa


    1. Hotdogs for Tea
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 18 days ago

      maybe the GW 22 deadline will be brought forward and the games go there and we don't have any extra games in 21 😉

  6. The K-Man
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 17 days ago

    just looking at Crellin's spreadsheet, Ivan Toney could be a good bet again actually assuming you FH in 22. You get a possible double in 21 and then can always FH him out for the tough fixture and then he goes into Wolves at home. He already has had COVID and starts every game when fit

  7. SoulShakinTex
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    4 months, 17 days ago

    Who do you prefer to add in midfield now? Plus minus 6M. Plan was Maddison (or Tielemans) before postponement.
    1) Gray
    2) Ward-Prowse
    3) Raphinha
    4) Other?
    Already have Bowen, thinking of losing Gallagher or Martinelli or both. Cheers!

  8. klipp klopp
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 17 days ago

    Reguilon or Emerson royal