The key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Sunday’s two Gameweek 5 matches are discussed here.
Bournemouth v Chelsea and Everton v Arsenal are the games in question.
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MUDRYK IN, CHILWELL OUT
Ben Chilwell (£5.8m) was replaced by Mykhailo Mudryk (£6.4m) in the Chelsea starting XI at Bournemouth, with Mauricio Pochettino favouring a “more offensive” player on the left wing.
The England international had started each of the Blues’ first four matches but had been hooked on the hour mark in Gameweeks 2 and 4.
“I think we are going to play with Mudryk in the position that we normally have been playing Chilwell. We will play with a more offensive player and keep the back four.” – Mauricio Pochettino
Chilwell did appear off the bench on 80 minutes when he replaced Levi Colwill (£4.5m) at left-back, producing a lovely cross for Nicolas Jackson (£7.1m) shortly after, but he was later booked for a cynical pull-back deep into injury time.
Meanwhile, Mudryk has struggled since joining Chelsea from Shakhtar Donetsk in January, only ever completing 90 minutes in the Premier League once. However, he did create a couple of good chances on Sunday before he was brought after an hour.
Above: Chelsea’s lopsided 4-2-3-1 formation v Bournemouth in Gameweek 5
Chelsea could only manage a draw on the south coast as their struggles in front of goal continued.
The Blues looked a bit disjointed but they were the better team for most of the match, with Raheem Sterling (£7.2m) and Jackson both denied by the woodwork. Colwill also had a goal ruled out for offside.
Still, they need to become much more efficient in front of goal, having scored only five times from 10.13 expected goals (xG) this season.
Sterling has started 2023/24 in decent form, taking four shots and creating three chances on Sunday, but Chelsea’s other forwards need to step up.
Indeed, Jackson has already been transferred out by over 100,000 managers this week, with his latest blank compounded by a fourth booking of the season. One more and he’ll receive a one-match ban.
“Because he’s a striker and he needs to score. He is disappointed and frustrated, when something happens sometimes he complains, and today the rules about complaining to the referee is directly a yellow card. It’s a rule and we need to accept it.” – Mauricio Pochettino on why Nicolas Jackson has been booked so often
Above: Nicolas Jackson has only converted one of his seven big chances in 2023/24
Elsewhere, Moises Caicedo (£4.9m) missed out for Chelsea after picking up “… a knock on his knee” while he was away with Ecuador, adding to a mounting injury list.
It meant six of their nine substitutes on Sunday had not made a Premier League appearance, although Reece James (£5.3m), Benoit Badiashile (£4.4m) and Armando Broja (£4.9m) are at least back on the grass at Cobham.
Next up for Chelsea is a home clash with Aston Villa, who it’s worth noting face a midweek jaunt to Poland to face Legia Warsaw in the UEFA Europa Conference League.
“We know what we need to do, we are strong in our belief. We have had bad luck. We had 12 injured today, plus Madueke [muscle problem], Cucurella [fever] and Caicedo [knee]. Then we have three, four young guys and two keepers on the bench. Okay am I going to cry, am I going to complain? I need to accept this, the challenge and keep being positive.” – Mauricio Pochettino
As for Bournemouth, they had their chances with Dominic Solanke (£6.5m) forcing a Robert Sanchez (£4.5m) save and heading wide.
Meanwhile, Antoine Semenyo’s (£4.5m) sub-par display two weeks ago meant he was benched, with Marcus Tavernier (£5.4m) and Dango Ouattara (£4.8m) preferred on the flanks.
Gabriel Martinelli (£7.9m) suffered a suspected hamstring injury during Sunday’s win over Everton, just moments after he thought he had opened the scoring, only to see his goal ruled out for offside by VAR.
The severity of the issue remains unclear, but it does make Martinelli an early doubt ahead of next weekend’s highly anticipated north London derby.
“He felt something in his hamstring so he will need to be assessed. He felt, I think, something in the action in the run for the goal. He’s not normally a player to have muscular issues, but he had to come off. Let’s see.” – Mikel Arteta on Gabriel Martinelli’s injury
Martinelli was replaced by the eventual matchwinner, Leandro Trossard (£6.6m), who could be handed a more prominent role in the starting XI if the Brazilian is ruled out for a while.
Having produced two goals and 10 assists in 23 Premier League appearances since making his Arsenal debut, the situation is one to monitor.
RAYA’S DEBUT/VIEIRA IMPRESSES
The big team news at Goodison Park was David Raya (£4.8m) taking over from Aaron Ramsdale (£5.0m) in goal for Arsenal.
The Spaniard had to make just one save but was composed in possession and received two bonus, in part thanks to his 31 successful passes/94% pass completion rate.
The other change saw Fabio Vieira (£5.4m) receive a deserved start at the expense of Kai Havertz (£7.2m) in midfield.
Deployed in a left-eight role, Vieira was superb, constantly rotating with his left winger and attempting four shots in the box.
Above: Fabio Vieira was responsible for four of Arsenal’s nine shots in the box in Gameweek 5
“The same rationale that Fabio [Vieira] played here or that Eddie [Nketiah] played ahead of Gabriel Jesus. I haven’t had a single question on why Gabriel hasn’t started – he has won more trophies including me in that dressing room but they don’t [ask why]. It is something that historically is done like this but I cannot have two players in this position and not play them. David [Raya] has tremendous qualities like Aaron [Ramsdale] has and Karl [Hein] has, but we have to use them and it is like this.
I am a really young manager, I have only had three and a half years in the job and I have few regrets. It was on two occasions, that after 60 minutes and at 85 minutes in two games in this period I could have changed the keeper in that moment, and I didn’t do it. I didn’t have the courage to do it, but I am able to take a winger or a striker and put a central defender at the back to make a back five and hold that result. We drew those games and I was so unhappy.
Someone is going to do it, and it’ll be strange and you’ll ask why, but tell me why not? If you have all the qualities in another goalkeeper to do something, or if something is happening and you want to change the momentum, then do it. It is a regret that I have and now my feeling is to get everybody engaged in the team that they have to play, regardless of the competition – this is my message.” – Mikel Arteta on why he opted to start David Raya
EVERTON FAIL TO SCORE… AGAIN
Everton have now failed to score in four of their five Premier League games this season, losing all three of their home matches 1-0.
Prior to Sunday, profligacy could be blamed, given that they’d underperformed their xG by a whopping 5.28.
However, against Arsenal, they offered very little in attack and were desperately short of quality, something Sean Dyche addressed after the final whistle (see below).
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£5.8m), sporting a protective mask, did at least make his return after missing two league games with a cheek injury.
Now, you’d expect him to immediately put pressure on Beto (£6.0m) for a start in Gameweek 6, given that their new signing failed to muster a single effort on goal on Sunday.
“The defensive side worked very hard to limit their chances, but on the attacking side, we were never really near. We can talk about styles and ways of playing, but at the end of the day, the two boxes are most important, and we’re getting punished in one and not taking advantage in the other. We defended resolutely with the shape of the team, and you often have to give up possession against these sorts of teams. They’re a very good side and we know that, but we never really got to grips with the ball.
You have to get the first pass away on a turnover, and you if can’t get that away, then the team can’t play effectively on the counter, and we thought today would be a counter-attacking game. Against these sides, your biggest chance to put them on the back foot is when you turn the ball over, but we gave it away and played into their hands so many times. When we did get a chance to get the ball and play, we played it backwards, so we didn’t ask questions.” – Sean Dyche