We round up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Sunday’s Gameweek 32 fixtures in our Scout Notes summary.
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GOALS, ASSISTS AND BONUS
INJURIES AND BANS
Kurt Zouma (£5.4m) failed to make the half-hour mark at Brentford on Sunday as he trudged off with an ankle injury.
The Frenchman will have a scan to determine the incision of the injury, but David Moyes said he was unsure how bad it was immediately after the game.
“Kurt has twisted his ankle. We don’t know how bad it is. We’ll get him checked but I’ve not gotten a chance to speak to the medical team yet. Coming off is not a good sign but hopefully it’s not too bad.” — David Moyes on Kurt Zouma
Team-mate Craig Dawson (£4.9m) also required treatment after taking a blow to the face but managed to continue.
“We thought he broke his nose on Thursday and in the first minute he got caught on his nose. He was in real pain throughout the game with it. He battles on Daws, great credit to him.” — David Moyes on Craig Dawson
Mark Noble (£4.3m) missed out completely, with Moyes saying he felt “… a bit under the weather so we didn’t take any chances”.
Tyrick Mitchell (£4.5m) was taken off after just 33 minutes at Leicester, with Patrick Vieira later suggesting they will have to wait till tomorrow to see how bad it is.
“He felt something on his calf. So we do not want, of course, to take any, any risk. And that’s why we make a decision just to take him off. But we’d have to wait tomorrow to see how bad it is.” — Patrick Vieira on Tyrick Mitchell
Will Hughes (£4.7m), meanwhile, didn’t make the matchday squad after picking up a knock, while Billy Gilmour (£4.3m) Pontus Jansson (£4.4m) missed their teams wins through illness.
FPL TALKING POINTS
DE BRUYNE’S GOALS
Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m) has long been the king of the assists, but he is now starting to add more goals to his game.
The Belgian stepped up once again on Sunday when his deflected strike opened the scoring at the Etihad, meaning he has now scored nine Premier League goals in his last 14 outings.
In that time, he is averaging eight points per match and has returned an impressive 112 points.
“I like that he is a player who does not just make a lot of assists, he is scoring a lot. I told him he has to score more goals to reach another stage. He is scoring a lot of goals and making chances, knowing the position he is playing is so difficult against Liverpool because they are so narrow. And his vision for the last pass is exceptional. It’s true he struggled in the first part of the season a lot with the injuries from the Champions League final and the European Championships. He has been at this level many times. The year we made 100 points at that level Kevin was incredible.” — Pep Guardiola on Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne is reaching peak form at just the right time for City, and for FPL managers, he still represents a real differential, with his ownership sitting at just 8.4% at the time of writing.
Brentford’s purple patch continued on Sunday as they came out on top against a weary West Ham side, with Bryan Mbeumo (£5.2m) Ivan Toney (£6.8m) on the scoresheet.
As a result, Thomas Frank’s side have now won four of their past five games, a period which has seen the in-form Toney bag six goals and two assists, averaging 9.0 points per match.
In fact, only Son Heung-min (£11.0m) has scored more Premier League goals than Toney’s eight in 2022, while he is also level with Harry Kane (£12.6m) despite playing 332 fewer minutes:
Notably, that upturn in form has coincided with the return to action of Christian Eriksen (£5.6m) following his cardiac arrest last summer. The Bees have won all four Premier League matches that the Dane has started, with the playmaker adding a little more craft and guile in the middle of the park.
With no forthcoming ‘doubles’ for Brentford, it’s unlikely their assets will receive too much Fantasy conversation attention, although for those planning a late-season Bench Boost, they could still perhaps enter the, given that they finish up with Southampton, Everton and Leeds .
As for West Ham, it was a tired display, as their efforts against Lyon on Thursday caught up with them, while another blank for Michael Antonio (£7.5m) means that his Premier League drought now extends to 12 games.
“We need to keep trusting in him, which we have done, keep giving every encouragement that goals will come. There were signs a few weeks ago his form was coming back but he hadn’t quite got the goals. It’s a long time. We need him to score. Let’s be fair, it’s not our goalscoring at the minute. Our goalscoring has been good whether they’ve come from Jarrod (Bowen) or whoever. We’ve been able to cover Mic’s lack of goals recently. But when you get into where it really matters, the bits of quality in a season, you need your center forwards to come up trumps with goals for you.” — David Moyes on Michail Antonio
ROTATION HITS HARD AT LEICESTER
Brendan Rodgers made a whopping seven changes from the side that drew 0-0 with PSV Eindhoven on Sunday, as he continues to shuffle his pack in an attempt to keep his squad fresh for Europe.
With Gameweek 32 sandwiched in-between two Europa Conference League quarter-finals, only Kasper Schmeichel (£4.8m), Yourri Tielemans (£6.4m), Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (£4.4m) James Maddison (£6.9m) kept their place from Thursday.
That meant the likes of Wesley Fofana (£4.3m), Timothy Castagne (£5.3m), Harvey Barnes (£6.6m) Kelechi Iheanacho (£7.1m) all had to settle for places on the bench, highlighting the issues facing Fantasy managers ahead of Double Gameweek 33.
And the schedule doesn’t get any less congested, too, especially if they remain in Europe:
- Thursday 14 April: Europa Conference League quarter-finals – PSV (a)
- Sunday 17 April: Gameweek 33 – Newcastle United (a)
- Wednesday 20 April: Gameweek 33 – Everton (a)
- Saturday 23 April: Gameweek 34 – Aston Villa (h)
- Thursday 28 April: Europa Conference League semi-finals
- Saturday 30 April: Gameweek 35 – Tottenham Hotspur (a)
- Thursday 5 May: Europa Conference League semi-finals
Dewsbury-Hall, meanwhile, was excellent as he made the first goal and scored the second, and could perhaps be a nice enabler for those on a Gameweek 33 Bench Boostwhile Ademola Lookman (£5.9m) took his chance in the XI well, scoring his first goal since February.
“Kiernan has been waiting for his Premier League goal, it was a wonderful strike and he showed energy throughout the game. Since he’s broken into the team I felt throughout the season it was what we were missing. Just in terms of intensity. The team was missing intensity and pressure and he has brought that. He typifies everything we want to be. He has good industry, a cultured left foot and he’s very honest.” — Brendan Rodgers on Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall
“He was excellent. He’s been unfortunate. He’s better on the left than on the right but Barnes plays there. He was competitive today. That’s what you need to be at the highest level. He makes great movement. He was aggressive, he was pressing.” — Brendan Rodgers on Ademola Lookman
Also, there was good news for Wilfried Zaha‘s (£6.8m) owners, as Vieira confirmed after the match he would remain on penalties despite his miss.
“Yes. It’s the same way we are performing. I think he missed the penalty. But we’re just looking at the last one. If you look at his record on penalties, it’s been really good. And it’s like the team performance. I will not change Wilfried because he missed today as he is our penalty taker, and if there is one in the next game, he will be the one taking it.” – Patrick Vieira when asked if Wilfried Zaha will take the next penalty
Following Sunday’s loss, Burnley have now won only one of their 15 Premier League away games in 2021/22, a 3-0 victory at Brighton in Gameweek 26.
In that time, they have managed just 12 goals, which is a worry for those holding Wout Weghorst (£6.4m) ahead of next weekend’s Double Gameweek 33 opener at West Ham.
The towering Dutchman had another off-day at Carrow Road and was replaced after 56 minutes, with his place in the starting XI now seemingly under threat from Matej Vydra (£5.2m).
“With Jay (Rodriguez) and Wout (Weghorst) they are similar types of players so we just tried to affect it. We were wondering about getting Vyds (Vydra) on at half time, we are trying to bring him into the team and be effective. Wout is still adapting, he hit the ground running and he is having a dip. At the minute he is almost thinking too much about the team but we almost need him to think about his game.” – Sean Dyche on Wout Weghorst’s early substitution
As for Connor Roberts (£4.4m), the budget defender lost his place to Matthew Lowton (£4.4m), with Sean Dyche suggesting after the match that his days may be numbered as a Fantasy option.
“I thought he did well today and he has a bit more experience. Connor (Roberts) is learning as he goes in the Premier League, he’s had 11 appearances and I thought he had had a couple of quieter ones and was finding it a bit tougher the other night against Everton. Lowts (Lowton) has been waiting and I thought he delivered a good performance today.” — Sean Dyche on bringing Matthew Lowton into the starting XI
Norwich, meanwhile, put in a solid showing and have now delivered back-to-back clean sheets ahead of Saturday’s trip to Old Trafford.
Having a midfield diamond formation at Brighton last time out, they rolled out a 4-2-3-1 on Sunday, although they did still give up plenty of space down the flanks. Burnley’s wide players were unable to take advantage, with Lowton particularly wasteful with his crossing, but it does suggest United’s full-backs and winers could perhaps get some joy in the wide areas next weekend.
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