Raheem Sterling’s (£7.0m) brace and a goal from Nicolas Jackson (£7.1m) handed Chelsea their first win under Mauricio Pochettino, as they defeated Luton Town 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.
We look at the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from this game in our first Scout Notes summary of Gameweek 3.
Any numbers and graphics 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.
Raheem Sterling was the star of the show in Friday’s Gameweek 3 opener, as he scored twice and provided a Fantasy assist, earning 19 points, the biggest individual haul of the 2023/24 season so far.
The England international was the best Chelsea player on the pitch last weekend, prompting us to include him as one our differential picks, but stepped it up a level v Luton, with a mesmerising display full of driving runs into the box and, most importantly, end product.
He attempted five shots in the box overall – the most he’s managed in a single game since joining Chelsea – and certainly looks to be playing with more freedom and a smile on his face under Pochettino.
“He has the quality and he can provide the team goals and assists. I’m so pleased for him. He told me last season was a difficult season for him, but I am very pleased when the player is happy. And when an offensive player can score or assist, for us it’s the best feeling.” – Mauricio Pochettino on Raheem Sterling
“It’s a target I had to set myself [being Chelsea’s top scorer this season], it’s something I know I can do. If I’m 100% at something, I know what I can do and that’s what I’m doing this year, just 100% focus on scoring goals and helping my team.” – Raheem Sterling
RELIEF FOR JACKSON OWNERS
After a sloppy first half, Nicolas Jackson improved after the break, holding the ball up well, creating chances and getting the goal his game deserved.
His 19.7% ownership will be relieved he is finally off the mark, claiming seven points, yet it could have been so much more, with Ben Chilwell (£5.7m) and Sterling both wasting decent opportunities he’d provided for them.
Still, Jackson has been presented with five big chances of his own in his first three matches, a league-leading figure so far, an encouraging stat ahead of next week’s home meeting with Nottingham Forest.
“We are not asking for him to run a lot and press and recover the ball, he does it because it’s his quality. We saw when we signed him. That is fantastic because his work ethic is amazing, and then to have the quality because he is fast, runs in behind the defensive line and has the quality to get the ball into the feet.
It was only a matter of time before he was going to score goals as well. It’s difficult to find a player like him in the market. For me he has the potential to be one of the great Premier League strikers. He only needs time and we won’t rush him, we will give him time and space to grow. His qualities are fantastic.” – Mauricio Pochettino on Nicolas Jackson
GUSTO HAULS/CHILWELL DENIED
Malo Gusto (£4.0m) twice provided an assist for Sterling on Friday, overshadowing fellow wing-back Ben Chilwell (£5.7m), who had a frustrating night at Stamford Bridge.
Chilwell wasn’t really in the game in the first half but had a huge opportunity to double Chelsea’s lead after the break. However, instead of shooting from 10 yards, he tried to find Sterling, but his pass was off and intercepted.
He almost earned an assist, too, when his cutback found Conor Gallagher (£5.5m), but the midfielder’s effort was comfortably saved by Thomas Kaminski (£4.5m).
Chilwell at least claimed a clean sheet, but Gusto’s 14-point haul takes some of the shine off it. The defender got forward and contributed more in the final-third this week and looks like a solid pick, at least until Reece James (£5.4m) returns.
Pochettino handed new signing Moises Caicedo (£5.0m) his first start for Chelsea, which freed Enzo Fernandez (£5.0m) up to play a more advanced role, closer to Sterling and Jackson.
Able to roam forward, he was hugely creative and a real goal threat playing as a no. 10, racking up four shots and one big chance. One of those efforts saw him denied by the post after a nice cross from Sterling.
He also took four of Chelsea’s six corners, with Chilwell claiming the other two.
It’s unlikely this position will stick once the Blues’ injuries ease, but for now, he looks lively.
Above: Chelsea’s average position map v Luton Town, featuring Enzo Fernandez (no. 8)
LUTON STRUGGLE AGAIN
With regards to Luton, their first two matches suggest they will really struggle this season.
Yes, they have had to visit Brighton and Hove Albion and Chelsea, but both opponents have carved through them far too easily, racking up 27 and 19 shots respectively.
There were moments when Elijah Adebayo (£5.0m) and Carlton Morris (£5.5m) were a handful, while wing-backs Issa Kabore (£4.0m) and Ryan Giles (£4.5m) also showed glimpses of their quality, but they lacked any real composure in the final-third and are still yet to score from open-play so far this season.
They are at least back on home turf in Gameweek 4 when they host David Moyes’ West Ham United.
“We know we want to win games and we know we want to get points, but I saw an improvement from the game at Brighton and I think everyone can agree with that. I saw us compete with a top team for massive parts of the game, that’s a huge thing to be proud of. What we need to do now is to continue to work very hard, those moments at both ends of the pitch are really important now.” – Rob Edwards
Chelsea XI: Sanchez, Disasi, Thiago Silva, Colwill, Gusto, Gallagher, Caicedo, Chilwell (Maatsen 86), Sterling (Burstow 90+2), Fernandez, Jackson (Ugochukwu 83)
Luton Town XI: Kaminski, Burke (Andersen 77), Lockyer, Bell, Kabore (Doughty 70), Chong (Ogbene 77), Nakamba, Barkley (Mpanzu 77), Giles, Adebayo (Brown 70), Morris