In an entertaining clash in east London, a Jack Harrison (£5.5m) hat-trick saw a depleted Leeds United side produce a 3-2 win over West Ham United.
Our Scout Notes article reflects on the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from the fixture.
HARRISON NETS HAT-TRICK
Jack Harrison had not scored twice in the same game for Leeds in his previous 135 appearances for the club, but netted an impressive hat-trick against West Ham on Sunday afternoon.
The winger has now produced four goals in his last two starts, having supplied just one assist across his previous 15 Premier League outings this season.
“I’m very happy for him because he puts in a lot of effort. Today, the performance of Raphinha, Harrison and Dan James was good. They complimented each other very well and we had an offensive capacity we didn’t have in the last game.” – Marcelo Bielsa on his front trio’s performance
For Harrison, it’s a timely return to form, with a home tie against Newcastle United up next in Gameweek 23, which could potentially turn into a double, though that is purely speculation at this point.
Even if that doesn’t come to fruition, the longer-term prospects look pretty good regardless, as sixth-placed Tottenham Hotspur are the highest ranked team Leeds will face right through up until mid-April.
Harrison’s whopping 20-point haul – which surpassed his previous high of 16 away to Burnley last season – shouldn’t detract from the performance of Raphinha (£6.5m), however, who was unfortunate to leave the London Stadium with just six-points, after hitting the woodwork and also supplying the assist for Mateusz Klich’s (£5.2m) disallowed goal.
The Brazilian has now played a direct hand in 10 of Leeds’ 24 Premier League goals to date, emphasising his talismanic status at the club.
It’s also worth noting that the Brazilian created three big chances for his team-mates against West Ham, whilst also attempting three shots himself.
Above: Raphinha created seven chances against West Ham United on Sunday, a Gameweek-leading total so far
Meanwhile, Leeds’ injury crisis was highlighted by the fact Scottish 15-year-old Archie Gray (£4.5m) was once again on the bench, whilst during the match, they lost another two players to hamstring injuries inside 20 minutes: Junior Firpo (£4.7m) and Adam Forshaw (£4.5m).
As for Patrick Bamford (7.7m), the forward didn’t travel to the capital, with Marcelo Bielsa providing an update on his fitness shortly after the full-time whistle:
“He has not reinjured himself, but we thought it would be premature he came back. For example, Rodrigo coming on is also linked to not competing in a long time and if he had come on in the first-half it would have been too long for him. That’s why we split his time with Bate. One thing is to be healthy and another is to be on form.
It gets complicated because players come back and then we lose others. We will see how we can solve it. Bamford could be an option (for the next game), but also after a long period of inactivity and slightly less chance Shackleton and Roberts.” – Marcelo Bielsa
BOWEN DELIVERS AGAIN
Jarrod Bowen (£6.7m) found the back of the net once again on Sunday, with today’s goal taking his tally to six for the season.
It could have been more, however, as his late miss – which he really should have headed – denied West Ham a late equaliser.
Above: Jarrod Bowen’s late miss against Leeds United carried an xG value of 0.82
Elsewhere, Aaron Cresswell’s (£5.3m) performance stood out, as he once again bossed the bonus and is averaging six-points per match since his return, whilst Michail Antonio (£7.9m) also bagged an assist, his seventh of the campaign so far.
However, he did look a little leggy towards the end, which David Moyes touched on after the game:
“We noticed that as well. But it is difficult when you have to play. He is one of our key goalscorers. We were chasing the game from 15 minutes in and it was really difficult to change him. He was out on his legs after the game but again what can we do?” – David Moyes on Michail Antonio looking tired
The West Ham boss also offered an update on Tomas Soucek (£5.7m) and Kurt Zouma (£5.4m), both of whom are recovering from Covid:
“He could be in contention but everybody coming back from Covid you are not sure of their ability, how they are feeling or what their symptoms are. So, those things make it very difficult to make a judgment. You also check every day to see if somebody else is going to get it.” – David Moyes on Tomas Soucek
“Not at all as he is just recovering from Covid” – David Moyes on Kurt Zouma’s chances of playing in Double Gameweek 22
West Ham United XI: Fabianski, Coufal, Dawson, Diop (Perkins 87), Cresswell, Lanzini, Rice, Bowen, Fornals (Yarmolenko 69), Vlasic (Masuaku 61), Antonio
Leeds United XI: Meslier, Dallas, Ayling, Struijk, Firpo (Hjelde 23), Forshaw (Bate 22, Rodrigo 65), Koch, Klich, Raphinha, Harrison, James
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