We round up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Sunday’s Double Gameweek 23 fixtures.
GOALS, ASSISTS AND BONUS
INJURIES AND BANS
Takehiro Tomiyasu (£4.7m) missed out for Arsenal today with a calf injury, despite featuring against Liverpool on Thursday, and has subsequently been pulled out of international duty with Japan.
“Well, Tomiyasu had an injury and we didn’t have anybody to play in that position against Liverpool. He really wanted to push, he tried and he played the 90 minutes, and he felt it again. So, he will be out for a couple of weeks. Right now, he needs to recover, his only focus has to be to have the best possible treatment. To look after himself, and try to be available for us as quickly as he can. He will be out for a few weeks.” – Mikel Arteta on Takehiro Tomiyasu’s absence
Elsewhere, Sean Dyche suggested Charlie Taylor (£4.4m) could be fit for Watford, in the second match of Burnley’s Double Gameweek.
“I would hope so but you can never know so we will see how the next four or five days go. He’s got a knock on his foot in a training game. That cost him today and we will see how that settles down.” – Sean Dyche on if Charlie Taylor will be fit for Watford
However, there was no mention of an injury to fellow full-back Matthew Lowton (£4.4m), who was an unused substitute at the Emirates, though Sean Dyche did suggest after the match that we’d be seeing more of his replacement, Connor Roberts (£4.5m), in the future.
“Connor has done well, he’s only had 60 minutes of an Under-23 game in weeks but he is a very fit lad. We’ve got to look at what we’re doing as staff. What can activate a change and give you something different. Connor was one of them, we have to start using him and looking at him.
We want that demand from the group. Bardo (Bardsley) is right in the hat as well but he’d only trained for a day this week because he’d had an injection in his lower back.” – Sean Dyche
On the suspension front, Burnley will be without Josh Brownhill (£4.3m) against Watford, after he received his fifth booking of the campaign on Sunday.
GAMEWEEK 23 TALKING POINTS
ALONSO DROPPED AS TUCHEL OPTS FOR BACK FOUR
Thomas Tuchel dropped Marcos Alonso (£5.7m) for Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, with the Spaniards late cameo blocking bench points for many of his FPL owners.
Discussing his decision to switch to a 4-1-4-1 formation, the German tactician said:
“Trevoh (Chalobah) had only one training session and Andreas Christensen, a key player, was not available. For a back-three, you need three central defenders and two wings-backs.
We thought today that we could play in a 4-1-4-1 to cause them problems. The deal did well and it gives us another option so well done.”
The system change allowed the Blues’ to dominate the midfield battle against Antonio Conte’s narrow 4-4-2, with Hakim Ziyech (£7.3m) in particular thriving in the new set-up and scoring again, whilst also registerting five shots, a match-leading total.
“It was one of his best matches today because he was very reliable. It was also maybe his best position to be on the wing. We had the wide position on the right-wing, that position does not normally exist in that particular manner when we play 3-4-3, it is more of a wing-back.
Maybe we can think about doing this. It was good because it gave him the opportunity to take risks where it was possible to take risks. He was very reliable on the ball in moments where it is necessary.
The work rate was always outstanding. You can always rely on him on work rate and counter-pressing. So yes, well done and he needs to keep on going like everyone else.” – Thomas Tuchel on Hakim Ziyech
LIVERPOOL DOMINATE ASSIST CHARTS
In the absence of Liverpool’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) representatives, the Reds’ have now managed back-to-back wins over Brentford and Crystal Palace, scoring six and conceding just one.
Sunday’s performance at Selhurst Park was far from perfect, after starting brightly but becoming sloppy as the match wore on. However, Alisson (£6.0m) and Andrew Robertson (£7.1m) were the standout performers, with the latter registering his seventh and eighth assists of the campaign so far.
MOST FPL ASSISTS 2021/22:
As for Liverpool, they can now look forward to the returns of Mohamed Salah (£12.7m), Sadio Mane (£11.7m) and Naby Keita (£5.0m), though it is worth noting that Liverpool’s Gameweek 24 clash against Leicester City is just four days after the AFCON final, with Egypt, Senegal and Guinea all in knockout action this week.
“You are right that we did it without them, but that made it so intense. You have to create, if you want, kind of a new football because if you don’t have that maximum speed on the wing, which obviously Sadio and Mo have, if you don’t have that all of a sudden you have to change how you get there in these areas. And the boys did really well. Ox again on the scoresheet, massive one. Diogo, not to stop more or less in a lot of situations. Bobby’s work-rate is second to none. The boys really put a proper shift in and I’m more than pleased about that.” – Jurgen Klopp on remaining unbeaten without Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita
EDOUARD’S HOME FORM
Despite Crystal Palace having won only one of their last four home league games, Odsonne Edouard (£6.4m) continues to offer real value.
The former Celtic man has now produced an impressive three goals and four assists during that time, averaging nine points per match.
EDOUARD – LAST FOUR HOME MATCHES:
|Metric||Total||Rank v other Premier League players|
|Shots in the box||16||2nd|
Elsewhere, goalkeeper Vicente Guaita (£4.6m) returned in goal, replacing Jack Butland (£4.4m), ahead of a nice run of fixtures for the Eagles’, which sees them take on Norwich City (a), Brentford (a) and Burnley (h) in their next four.
JUSTIN RETURNS TO STARTING XI
After featuring as a second-half substitute against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, James Justin (£4.9m) made his first Leicester City start in nearly a year against Brighton and Hove Albion.
Lining-up on the right of a back-four, the 23-year-old featured for the full-90 minutes and largely impressed, with several surging runs into the opposition box.
Notably, amongst team-mates, only Ademola Lookman (£6.0m), James Maddison (£7.0m) and Youri Tielemans (£6.4m) received more passes in the final-third, whilst he also created two chances.
“We’re so glad to have him back, he was great. You can see in the first-half, when he was playing as that right-sided full-back, getting forward, his running was incredible. Then, he played as a third centre-half in the second half and was fantastic. He did great to get through the game.” – Brendan Rodgers on James Justin
Elsewhere, Patson Daka (£7.1m) continued his fine form with another goal, and now has five attacking returns (three goals, two assists) in his last four Premier League appearances. However, with games against Liverpool (a), West Ham United (h) and Wolverhampton Wanderers (a) up next, followed by a blank in Gameweek 27, it’s debatable just how much Fantasy attention he’ll be afforded, especially with Jamie Vardy (£10.3m) due back in March.
Meanwhile, at Brighton, Tariq Lamptey (£4.5m) is becoming increasingly difficult to own after another benching, whilst Lewis Dunk (£4.8m) featured as a substitute after a long spell on the sidelines.
DOUBLE-DIGITS FOR POPE AS BURNLEY SHOW RESILIENT SIDE
A resilient defensive showing from Burnley got their Double Gameweek off to a solid start on Sunday, as they held Arsenal to a goalless draw at the Emirates.
After a dismal defeat at Leeds United in their last Premier League game, back in Gameweek 21, the Clarets were much-improved, and despite lacking in forward areas, their defensive showing offered encouragement.
James Tarkowski (£4.9m) performed well at the back and helped himself to a couple of bonus points, but it was Nick Pope (£5.4m) who hit double-digits, with five saves and maximum bonus taking him to 10 FPL points. The Burnley stopper is certainly on the pricier side, but given how many games Burnley have in hand over others, he might just be worth a look.
“It is a building block and we want to move in the right direction. We felt it was appropriate to get back to the basics, especially against teams like this when you are going to have to defend well and do it from a good shape. We worked hard and I was pleased with that. The challenge all season has been finding the big moments and we had three or four when we were in very good positions and couldn’t find the right pass or run. But you need a building block and that is another one. It gives us a nice platform to build on, the mentality today was spot on.” – Sean Dyche
Arsenal completely dominated at the Emirates, ending the match with 76% possession and 20 goal attempts, but they were blunt in attack and resorted to throwing in crosses against an organised Clarets’ outfit. As a result, it’s now four games without a goal in all competitions, with a busy schedule plus Covid and injuries clearly taking its toll on the squad.
“We didn’t create that quality we needed. We are at the moment depleted and the lads have played a lot of minutes, I don’t want to make any excuses. We have time to regroup now.” – Mikel Arteta
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