More of Saturday’s Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Gameweek 2 action is dissected in the latest Scout Notes.
The match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is the focus here.
- READ MORE: FPL Gameweek 2: Saturday’s goals, assists, bonus points + stats
- READ MORE: FPL notes: Alexander-Arnold injury + Salah pen miss
MADDISON INJURY SCARE
James Maddison (£7.6m) handed his new and existing owners a fright on Saturday evening after being spotted on crutches and in a protective boot.
Maddison reportedly told journalists that those measures were just “precautionary”, to slightly ease those fears. But there’ll still be trepidation all the way up to Ange Postecoglou’s pre-Gameweek 3 press conference on Friday.
The former Leicester City man had hit the deck for a minute or two in the second half, appearing to suffer an impact injury when being challenged by Lisandro Martinez (£5.0m).
He did at least recover to last the whole 90 minutes but time will tell if his protective boot was covering mere post-knock swelling/bruising or something more serious.
James Maddison was seen leaving Tottenham’s stadium wearing a protective boot 👇pic.twitter.com/sJ7PPvd5uF
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 19, 2023
Maddison has already been bought by over 66,000 FPL managers since Friday’s Gameweek 2 deadline passed.
£4.5m SARR SCORES, RICHARLISON FRUSTRATION
Maddison was at the heart of many of Spurs’ attacks, if not creating the chances directly himself (there were two key passes here, down from the six of last week).
For all of the exciting attacking football that the Lilywhites are promising under Ange Postecoglou, their front three haven’t impressed all that much in 2023/24 so far. That goes especially so for the ‘out of position’ Richarlison (£7.0m), who didn’t manage a single shot all game. His frustration was visible when he was hooked midway through the second period, with Son Heung-min (£9.0m) moving up front.
The players behind the attacking trio, including Maddison, have instead been catching the eye.
Budget midfielder FPL Pape Matar Sarr (£4.5m) was handed a start in the engine room and was superb, not only doing the required off-the-ball work but bombing forward to rack up five shots. One of those was the 49th-minute deadlock-breaker.
Postecoglou decided last weekend’s line-up wasn’t attacking enough so brought Pedro Porro (£4.9m) in for Emerson Royal (£4.5m), with the Spaniard and Destiny Udogie (£4.5m) getting forward plenty. Forget Pep’s boring old 3-2-5; this is 2-3-5 in possession, with the full-backs moving into central midfield.
While Udogie and co look like they will get a few attacking returns this season (Porro hit the bar here), there are still question marks over the defence. This clean sheet arrived mostly through luck, wasteful finishing and some fine Guglielmo Vicario (£5.0m) goalkeeping. Spurs have allowed 4.29 expected goals (xG) in their two matches so far, while Vicario has already got three save points to his name.
FROM PENANDES TO POINTS-DODGER
Bruno Fernandes’ (£8.5m) inability to turn promising underlying numbers into tangible FPL returns was a cause of frustration last season.
He’s carrying on where he left off.
While Marcus Rashford (£9.0m) was again ineffectual up top barring an early saved effort, Fernandes was at least in the thick of things.
The Portuguese playmaker missed a huge six-yard sitter of his own before being denied an assist when the woeful Antony (£7.0m) struck the post.
It’s probably last-chance saloon time for many FPL managers in Gameweek 3, when Nottingham Forest – the team with the worst away record in 2022/23 – visit Old Trafford.
While retaining one or two United players might be a go-er, anyone with an attacking double-up from the Red Devils will need to see something special against Forest to hold both assets beyond that fixture. Arsenal and Brighton follow in Gameweeks 4 and 5, with visits of Brentford and Manchester City a little further ahead.
We’ll again point out that United also had a sluggish start to last season before going on a four-match winning run in which Liverpool and Arsenal were conquered. They’ll need a similarly quick about-turn to stop FPL managers’ minds from wandering elsewhere.