The Gameweek 37 analysis is wrapped up with Scout Notes on Thursday’s clash between Manchester United and Chelsea.
Any numbers you see in this article are taken from our Premium Members Area, where you can access Opta player and team data from every single Premier League fixture.
SHAW AND ANTONY INJURY LATEST
Man Utd booked their UEFA Champions League place for next season thanks to a 4-1 victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford, with goals from Casemiro (£4.9m), Anthony Martial (£6.3m), Bruno Fernandes (£9.5m) and Marcus Rashford (£7.2m).
However, it was not all good news for the hosts, as Antony (£7.3m) had to be stretchered off after suffering a serious-looking foot injury, while Luke Shaw (£5.3m) was withdrawn at half-time with a “slight” back issue.
“It’s difficult always to say, straight after the game, but, yeah, Antony is serious. Luke Shaw, we have to see. I don’t think it’s too bad but we have to wait 24 hours. We’ll have a diagnosis and we will know more.” – Erik ten Hag
FPL managers will now be anxiously awaiting a further update on Shaw, but a start on Sunday is in doubt, given that Man Utd only have two full days of rest before Gameweek 38, with an FA Cup final against Manchester City to follow.
TEN HAG: “WE SHOULD’VE SCORED MORE“
Rashford started as a substitute on Thursday, having missed the past two games through injury and illness, but was introduced off the bench earlier than expected on 28 minutes, replacing Antony.
It was a lively performance, too, as he racked up five shots (more than any other player on the pitch), scoring his first goal since Gameweek 33 in the second half.
Meanwhile, Fernandes rattled the woodwork when he should have scored just after the break but made amends, slotting home a penalty having won it himself.
As for Casemiro, he got the winning goal against Bournemouth at the weekend and was at it again on Thursday, scoring in successive league fixtures for the first time since February 2019 while at Real Madrid. It means the Brazilian ends Gameweek 37 as FPL’s joint top-scoring player, claiming 16 points.
Erik ten Hag was clearly pleased with his side’s attacking efforts against Chelsea, having created a whopping seven big chances and 5.13 expected goals (xG).
“Chelsea have outstanding players but in the counter attacks, we were really good, really dangerous. We scored four in the end. We should’ve scored more but they could score as well.” – Erik ten Hag
Man Utd had kept a clean sheet in each of their last six Premier League home matches but conceded a late consolation to Joao Felix (£7.1m). However, they have certainly turned Old Trafford into a fortress again: they haven’t lost at home in the Premier League since the opening day.
CHELSEA’S TOP HALF PROBLEM
Chelsea had started pretty well at Old Trafford, with Mykhailo Mudryk (£6.4m) missing a big chance inside five minutes, but they looked very open again in a back four, something Frank Lampard touched on in his post-match interview.
“Our goal count for the season shows it’s a problem we don’t score enough goals. We gave them some threats in the first half but not many in the second. Some of the defending in the second half showed why we play a back five at times.” – Frank Lampard
Lampard made three changes to the side that lost to Man City on Sunday, with Thiago Silva (£5.4m) and Raheem Sterling (£9.7m) among those dropping out.
“He [Sterling] had a small feeling in his hamstring at Manchester City at half-time but carried on so it’s not a major issue but he hasn’t trained since that game so he is out and we are hoping he is involved at the weekend.
Thiago [Silva] has played a lot of games. There is no doubt he could play two games in three days and finish the season but at the same time I think it’s good for him to sit out and be ready for the weekend.” – Frank Lampard
Nine of Chelsea’s starting XI against Man Utd were aged 23 or under, with one of those youngsters – Lewis Hall (£4.3m) – impressing at left-back, creating two big chances for both Mudryk and Kai Havertz (£7.4m). He got into some great positions and received maximum bonus.
Still, it has been a rotten season for Chelsea, who will end the campaign somewhere between 11th to 14th, with Thursday’s result continuing their poor run against sides above them in the table this season. Owners of Newcastle United players, take note.
|Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Goals scored||Goals conceded||Points|
Above: Chelsea’s Premier League record against the top 10 in 2022/23
Lampard, meanwhile, has overseen just one win in eight Premier League games since returning to the manager’s seat, with Mauricio Pochettino expected to be confirmed imminently as the manager for next season.
GAMEWEEK 38 – WHAT IS LEFT TO PLAY FOR?
As we approach the final Gameweek of the 2022/23 season, the title and the UEFA Champions League race is already sorted, as is the UEFA Europa League.
However, Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur and Brentford are all competing for one UEFA Europa Conference League spot, while two of Everton, Leicester City and Leeds United will join Southampton in being relegated to the Championship.
Above: The Gameweek 38 fixtures