We round up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Sunday’s Gameweek 34 fixtures in our Scout Notes summary.
GOALS, ASSISTS AND BONUS
INJURIES AND BANS
Reece James (£6.4m) missed Chelsea’s narrow win over West Ham United on Sunday, with Thomas Tuchel confirming that he had felt some discomfort in his hamstrings.
The German coach, however, did say that it is not a reoccurrence of the injury that kept him out of action for the early part of 2022, and that it was a precautionary measure.
“Reece (James) felt some discomfort in his hamstrings and so he misses out today. It isn’t a new injury or a reoccurrence of an old injury. We checked the medical images and there is absolutely nothing but he didn’t feel totally comfortable. He felt like something could happen if he took that risk, and we absolutely do not want to have a reinjury, so we’ve taken the safe route today and left him out. With Reece individually, having only just come back from injury a short while ago, there really is no choice for us today but to be safe and leave him out. He will use this time to have a little bit more time to recover.” – Thomas Tuchel on Reece James
Andreas Christensen (£4.6m) also dropped out due to a stomach cramp, despite initially being named in the starting XI, with Trevoh Chalobah (£4.7m) later drafted in.
After a lengthy stoppage, Tino Livramento (£4.3m) was given oxygen and stretchered off the pitch at the Amex with a serious injury.
“It’s not good looking. It’s a pity to say that this is serious. We don’t know it yet, but no matter how long he is out, he will come back even stronger. He is very, very down, but this is understandable. I think we will definitely see him coming back even stronger.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl on Tino Livramento
Maxwel Cornet (£5.9m) was absent for Burnley against Wolverhampton Wanderers with a “niggly knee”, while Jay Rodriguez (£5.2m) – who shifted to a wider role in his absence – will be monitored.
“He is struggling a little bit with his calf. We wanted to give him as long as we could because we didn’t want to make too many changes too early. Fingers crossed he will be okay.” – Mike Jackson on Jay Rodriguez
Graham Potter has confirmed that Tariq Lamptey (£4.5m) has a slight knee issue after he missed out against Southampton, and that he did not want to take any risks with the 21-year-old, given his previous injury problems
At Anfield, Ben Godfrey (£4.7m) tweaked a quad muscle in the warm-up with Michael Keane (£4.7m) taking his place, while Yerry Mina (£4.9m) was left out as a precaution after only recently returning from injury.
“Bad luck, muscle injury. I never second guess them, same as Donny (van de Beek). No idea (on length of Godfrey’s injury). We’re hoping it’s minor.” – Frank Lampard on Ben Godfrey
Craig Dawson (£4.9m), meanwhile, was sent off for West Ham late on at Stamford Bridge and will now miss Gameweek 35.
FPL TALKING POINTS
ALONSO HAULS BUT CHELSEA’S ATTACKERS DISAPPOINT
Marcos Alonso (£5.6m) provided a rare bit of quality with his assist late on at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, but it was a frustrating afternoon for Chelsea’s trio of attackers Mason Mount (£7.7m), Kai Havertz (£7.9m) and Timo Werner (£8.7m), all of whom blanked.
Mount – the most transferred in player of Gameweek 34 – was the liveliest of the three, although the best chances fell to Werner.
The German came close to opening the scoring with an effort that hit the side netting, and he was then denied by Lukasz Fabianski (£5.0m) from close range. The end product was once again an issue, however, but he is at least getting chances.
Havertz, meanwhile, was used for much of the contest out on the right-flank and only managed one shot all afternoon.
Above: Kai Havertz’s touch heatmap v West Ham in Gameweek 34
However, it was Alonso who stole the show, with his late assist ensuring a double-digit haul ahead of Thursday’s visit to Old Trafford.
The assist was paired with a clean sheet, a welcome relief for Tuchel, having seen his side concede four goals in consecutive home league games leading up to Gameweek 34.
SAKA A DIFFERENTIAL CAPTAIN FOR GAMEWEEK 35?
West Ham will be without the suspended Craig Dawson (£4.9m), plus the injured Kurt Zouma (£5.4m), Angelo Ogbonna (£4.9m) and Issa Diop (£4.2m) for next weekend’s visit of Arsenal.
Added to that, their Gameweek 35 clash is sandwiched in-between two Europa League semi-finals, which may see David Moyes rotate: he made six changes on Sunday with Declan Rice (£5.0m), Jarrod Bowen (£6.9m) and Michail Antonio (£7.4m) among those sitting on the bench.
The Hammers aren’t in the best shape, either, losing six of their last 12 most recent games in all competitions.
As a result, Bukayo Saka (£6.8m) – providing he can overcome his injury – is an intriguing differential captaincy shout, with the Gunners in decent attacking form over their last two matches.
“It’s a difficult thing (being without three centre-backs), which maybe you can get for one game, but I don’t know if you can get by for two or three or four.” – David Moyes
WARD-PROWSE’S AWAY FORM
James Ward-Prowse (£6.4m) served up his fourth double-digit haul of the campaign on Sunday, and is now up to nine goals and four assists for the season.
And it’s his away form that stands out, with 11 of those 13 goal involvements arriving on the road.
In fact, amongst all players, only Mohamed Salah (£13.2m) has netted more away from home in 2021/22:
Above: only Mohamed Salah has scored more away goals than James Ward-Prowse in 2021/22
“We all know he is the best in the world from free-kicks and he will be, in the future, the best in the Premier League, for sure.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl on James Ward-Prowse
BURNLEY REMAIN UNBEATEN UNDER JACKSON
Burnley got a great result against Southampton on Thursday and followed that up with another win in Gameweek 34, a result which has seen them climb out of the relegation zone.
And whatever happens next, Mike Jackson deserves a lot of credit for taking seven points from his three games as the Clarets’ caretaker boss.
Simple changes like playing out from the back, allowing Dwight McNeil (£5.5m) to be more creative and letting the wingers stay further up the field has helped revitalise their season, with an appealing run of fixtures up next.
Key to that form has been the improved attacking displays of Wout Weghorst (£6.4m), who has claimed two attacking returns under Jackson, registering seven shots in the box and three big chances in three appearances.
From Gameweek 13 onwards, Andrew Robertson (7.3m) has produced a whopping 25 returns, at least five more than any other player in FPL.
The Scots’ two goals, 10 assists and 13 clean sheets means he is averaging 7.7 points per start in that time, a remarkable figure given that his ownership still sits at a modest 10.7%.
Following today’s derby win, Liverpool have lost only one of their past 26 matches in all competitions, while the last English team to beat them was Leicester City in Gameweek 20.
As for Everton, their dismal away form continues: they have now lost eight games in a row on the road in all competitions and won just six Premier League points on their travels all season, the fewest of any top-flight side.
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