In the opening match of Double Gameweek 22, Brighton and Hove Albion grabbed a late equaliser to earn a draw against Crystal Palace in a lively M23 derby.
Our Scout Notes article reflects on the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from the fixture.
GALLAGHER HITS 100 POINTS
Conor Gallagher’s (£6.1m) opener at the Amex on Friday means that he is the eighth FPL player to hit 100 points this season, following Mohamed Salah (£12.8m), Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.4m), Joao Cancelo (£7.0m), Jarrod Bowen (£6.7m), Son Heung-min (£10.7m), Bernardo Silva (£7.5m) and Diogo Jota (£8.3m).
The Chelsea loanee has seen his ownership drop to 17.4% after missing successive matches against Norwich City and West Ham United, but now back in the starting XI, netted his seventh Premier League goal of the season against Brighton, with an instinctive strike against the run of play in the second-half.
“Conor Gallagher has got that energy and understands when to get in the box with that timing and he will continue to keep scoring goals for us.” – Patrick Vieira
However, Gallagher’s goal was Palace’s only shot in the box all night, as they once again failed to offer much threat in the final-third.
Crystal Palace’s xG shot map v Brighton and Hove Albion in Double Gameweek 22
Despite that, tonight’s 1-1 draw does at least end a run of three away matches without scoring, after failing to find the back of the net against Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Leeds United.
Patrick Vieira, meanwhile, named six players aged 23 or younger in his starting XI, including Eberechi Eze (£5.9m) – making his first Premier League start of 2021/22 – and the talented Michael Olise (£5.4m), who has been directly involved in five goals as a substitute this season.
In truth, both players failed to make much of an impact, but will surely be handed further opportunities to impress in the coming weeks, with wingers Wilfried Zaha (£6.8m) and Jordan Ayew (£5.8m) both currently representing their countries at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
In his pre-match press conference, Patrick Vieira had said that Vicente Guaita (£4.6m) “wasn’t fit enough” to feature against Millwall in the FA Cup last week and would “hopefully” be back against Brighton.
However, the Spaniard only made the bench, with reserve keeper Jack Butland (£4.4m) impressing in his absence and saving a penalty, whilst also drawing plenty of praise from his manager after the full-time whistle.
“Jack Butland was the man of the match. I am delighted for him. He is working hard every single day. He needed a chance and he was at his best today and that allowed us to go home with the point.
He had been training all week. It was a good save in the first half, he came for crosses, he saved the penalty. He showed all his potential. He deserved it for the way he has been working and waiting. I am glad for him.” – Patrick Vieira
HARD TO BEAT BRIGHTON
The Seagulls have lost just four games all season – only the top three have lost fewer – and were much the better side against Palace, but failed to keep a clean sheet despite limiting their opponents to just one shot in the box and 0.47 expected goals (xG).
With Chelsea up next, followed by an away trip to Leicester City and a blank, owners may be looking to move on their assets, though it is worth noting that from Gameweek 25 onwards, they embark on a kind run which includes back-to-back matches against Watford (a), Burnley (h), Aston Villa (h) and Newcastle United (a).
Surprisingly, despite two successive rests, Tariq Lamptey (£4.5m) started on the bench against Palace, with Joel Veltman (£4.2m) preferred at right-back. However, the youngster was heavily involved upon his introduction on 56 minutes, receiving 18 passes in the final third – only Jakub Moder (£4.5m) had more.
After tonight’s draw, Brighton are unbeaten in their last four matches, taking eight points in that time, as many as they managed in their previous 11 top-flight fixtures.
Brighton and Hove Albion XI: Sanchez, Veltman (Welbeck 73), Webster, Burn, Cucurella, Moder, Gross (March 73), Lallana (Lamptey 56), Mac Allister, Trossard, Maupay
Crystal Palace XI: Butland, Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell, Hughes, Schlupp, Gallagher, Olise (Benteke 81), Eze (Milivojevic 66), Edouard (Mateta 66)
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