We look at the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) takeaways from not just West Ham United’s win over Norwich City but also the EFL Cup semi-final second leg between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea in our latest Scout Notes.
GOALS, ASSISTS AND BONUS
BOWEN HITS A CENTURY AS ANTONIO TOILS
Jarrod Bowen (£6.7m) passed a century of FPL points in spectacular fashion on Wednesday, delivering his biggest-ever FPL haul in a single match and rounding off Double Gameweek 21 with 21 points.
Bowen was widely captained in the Gameweek just gone, with his effective ownership in excess of 100% in each tier in the top 300k, and those handing the armband to Michail Antonio (£7.9m) over the midfielder had a chastening evening as the striker blanked and Bowen scored twice.
The winger also struck the woodwork on two occasions and had a goal chalked off for offside at the London Stadium, bossing the underlying stats yet again:
Bowen has outscored Antonio by 109 points to 54 from Gameweek 4 onwards, and beats him for pretty much every attacking metric when we compare the two over that period:
A BAD DAY FOR B. JOHNSON
Another budget defender bites the dust, for now at least.
Ben Johnson (£4.0m) ended Double Gameweek 21 with zero points and didn’t even get on the field against Norwich, with Vladimir Coufal (£4.7m) and Aaron Cresswell (£5.3m) returning from absences of varying lengths to reclaim their full-back spots.
Coufal supplied the assist for Bowen’s first goal but Cresswell really caught the eye in some very advanced positions, registering 47 final-third touches compared to Coufal’s 21, Bowen’s 26 and Antonio’s 18.
MOYES ON SOUCEK’S ABSENCE
The double-digit hero of the first half of West Ham’s Double Gameweek 21, Manuel Lanzini (£5.8m), didn’t get much of an opportunity to add to his brace at Crystal Palace as he was fielded in a deeper role alongside Declan Rice (£5.1m) against Norwich.
That was because Tomas Soucek (£5.7m) was absent, along with Mark Noble (£4.4m), with David Moyes hinting that the Czech Republic international was the latest Hammer to test positive for coronavirus:
“We hope it is quick but there are a lot of different things going around at the moment. So we’re hoping that Tomas is in good health. He’s been a great player for us. We will miss him when we don’t have him. But as I said many times there is COVID at lots of clubs, so everybody has to deal with it.” – David Moyes
OPERATION: TARGET NORWICH
The initial ‘bounce’ that Dean Smith brought to Carrow Road has given way to six straight league defeats by a combined score of 16-0.
Anyone who backed Everton assets ahead of their curtailed Double Gameweek 21 may find some consolation in the fact that it’s the toothless and porous Canaries up next.
It’s worth looking a bit further ahead at Norwich’s fixtures as they’re once again becoming a bit of a whipping boy to target, with Emmanuel Dennis (£6.1m) enjoying a home match against Smith’s troops after his ‘double’ and then Manchester City and Liverpool lying in wait a bit further down the line.
BLANK GAMEWEEK 27 TAKES SHAPE
As West Ham’s routine win over Norwich was taking place, Chelsea were booking their place in the EFL Cup final with a 3-0 aggregate semi-final win over Tottenham Hotspur.
That final clashes with Gameweek 27, so Chelsea v Leicester City follows Arsenal v Liverpool in needing to be rescheduled.
Eliminations from the FA Cup by the fifth-round stage would allow for these fixtures (or any other outstanding matches) to be moved to the midweek after Gameweek 27 but, given that Chelsea host Plymouth Argyle in round four of the competition, that looks unlikely for Thomas Tuchel’s troops.
The Blues now look set to blank in Gameweeks 24, 25 and 27 as a consequence.
Absent from the Spurs line-up for the third cup match in a row was Sergio Reguilon (£5.4m), who now hasn’t featured for the Lilywhites since New Year’s Day and who has been missing from the matchday squad in the last two fixtures.
There was no word from Antonio Conte after full-time on the Spaniard’s whereabouts and the last we heard from the Spurs boss on the wing-back was this update after Sunday’s win over Morecambe:
“About Sergio Reguilon, he was a bit tired, and we preferred to keep him out of the game.” – Antonio Conte
In Son Heung-min‘s (£10.7m) absence, Conte turned to Double Gameweek 22 differential Lucas Moura (£6.5m) to partner Harry Kane (£12.2m) in a 3-5-2.
Lucas managed only one shot to Kane’s five, however, and was part of a Spurs side that were again outclassed when coming up against elite opposition.
Leicester and Arsenal might not be quite at Chelsea’s level but they’ll pose more of a test than the vast majority of the Lilywhites’ Gameweeks 11-21 opponents, so there’s growing trepidation about lumping on Spurs players for the upcoming double.
“I think that in this moment we can’t compare the two situations, the Chelsea situation and the Tottenham situation. I think it’s not fair to compare the two situations, because it’s impossible to compare.” – Antonio Conte
CHELSEA IN A BACK FOUR AGAIN
Slightly concerning for owners of Marcos Alonso (£5.7m) was Thomas Tuchel’s adoption of a back four for the second time in a week and Malang Sarr‘s (£4.9m) deployment at left-back over the benched Spaniard.
Successive breathers in the domestic cups may serve as a boost to Alonso’s game-time prospects in Double Gameweek 22 but it’s worth mentioning that Sarr was excellent at left-back against Spurs and, if Tuchel replicates the tactics in the coming week, he is a more defensive-minded option for the daunting trip to the Etihad especially on Saturday.
“If it makes sense and we think it makes sense we can see it again. We have played it now twice and in both games we were very committed to the structure and very disciplined.” – Thomas Tuchel on the move to a 4-2-2-2
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