We round up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Sunday’s Gameweek 29 fixtures in our Scout Notes summary.
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GOALS, ASSISTS AND BONUS
INJURIES AND BANS
Michael Antonio (£7.5m) Aaron Cresswell (£5.4m) were both forced off in Sunday’s win over Aston Villa, with the former holding his hamstring.
However, David Moyes refused to disclose the severity of the injuries in his post-match press conference:
“I don’t really know yet but if I did I would not tell you because I am not going to let Sevilla know any idea whether they’re going to be fit or not.” — David Moyes
With Jarrod Bowen (£6.8m) also currently on the sidelines, the Hammers squad is certainly stretched at the minute.
Meanwhile, for the visitors, Lucas Digne (£5.1m) picked up a hamstring injury after a sprint upfield.
“He says it is a small muscle injury. We will analyze it with an MRI scan. I am positive in what Lucas (Digne) has said to me but he is obviously a major doubt for the Arsenal game.” — Steven Gerrard
Updates were also provided on Douglas Luiz (£4.4m) Calum Chambers (£4.2m):
“There is going to be a bit of facial reconstruction in terms of Douglas Luiz. He has a nasty gash in the mouth and will need surgery there. It’s a mouth injury and we’ve done our best for the short term in terms of stitching him up. He’s going to need expert help in order to make him look as good as he does but, listen, there will certainly be no kissing from Douglas, let me tell you! But it was very impressive that he carried on and it’s a side of his game nobody gives him enough credit for.
Elsewhere, Calum (Chambers) is in a similar situation to Dougie off a forearm smash. There are a lot of ice packs about as well. It goes to show it was a tough physical game.” — Steven Gerrard
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.7m) missed out for Everton due to illness, with Frank Lampard refusing to be drawn on if he will be available to face Newcastle United on Thursday.
“He is not well, so we will see.” – Frank Lampard
Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Hwang Hee-chan (£5.4m) had to be replaced in the 16th minute of the match against Everton with a back issue, after taking a couple of heavy challenges.
Elsewhere, key players Joe Willock (£5.8m) Jonjo Shelvey (£5.3m) were both absent for Newcastle United through illness, while Grant Hanley (£4.4m) missed out for Norwich City after a positive Covid-19 test.
However, there was better news in regards to Tino Livramento (£4.4m), who failed to make Southampton’s matchday squad, with Ralph Hasenhuttl later confirming his absence was planned:
“After his long injury break, he needs a bit of a break and that’s the reason why he was not involved.”
Patrick Bamford‘s (£7.7m) half-time withdrawal was also precautionary, although Rodrigo (£6.2m) had some tightness in his quad, which Jesse Marsch touched on after the game:
“Patrick is fine it’s just the pace of the game was so frenetic I didn’t feel he could go more. I think he delivered a really good first half performance for us.
Rodrigo had some tightness in his quad.” — Jesse Marsch
On the suspension front, Jonjoe Kenny (£4.4m) will miss Thursday’s match against Newcastle after his red card for two cautions.
FPL TALKING POINTS
It’s now four Premier League starts in a row for Kai Havertz (£7.8m), a period which has seen him produce four goals and one assist, averaging 8.75 points per match.
The German came alive late on for Chelsea on Sunday, netting an 89th minute winner, before he was denied a second as Martin Dubravka (£4.4m) pushed his shot onto the woodwork.
Next up for Chelsea is a Gameweek 30 blank, but a kind run follows which will surely see interest in Havertz pick up.
“Maybe the manager showed some balls with his decisions. We started in a 4-1-4-1 as Azpilicueta and Reece James were out and Christian Pulisic came from some days of feeling sick. We struggled to find a real right wing-back and Marcos Alonso also struggled with his coronavirus times so we were not sure if he could make it.
In the second half it was a back five and of course then Malang (Sarr) is good in defending but we took the risk in the end even on the left side to be more offensive, and defend against the strikers more or less in a three versus three.” – Thomas Tuchel on his decision to switch to a back-four
However, it is worth noting that Thomas Tuchel’s side could only muster three efforts on target in Gameweek 29, although that’s an indication of just how much Newcastle United have improved defensively of late.
For large periods, Chelsea found it difficult to play through them, as Eddie Howe shifted to a compact 3-4-3 formation, with Jamaal Lascelles (£4.4m) lining up alongside Fabian Schar (£4.3m) Dan Burn (£4.4m) at the back.
Despite losing at Stamford Bridge, today marked the Magpies’ first Premier League loss of 2022, as they continue to impress following their new managers arrival.
RAPHINHA LEAVES IT LATE
After four successive blanks, Rafinha (£6.5m) produced a late assist at Elland Road on Sunday, although it could have been so much more for his owners.
The Brazilian twice hit the woodwork and produced numerous opportunities for his team-mates against Norwich City, with his 1.60 non-penalty expected goal goal tally comfortably more than any other player in Gameweek 29 so far:
With Bamford back leading the line, at least in the first-half, Leeds certainly carried more threat, which offers further encouragent for Raphinha’s owners ahead of their Gameweek 30 trip to Molineux.
ARSENAL DELIVER IN DGW29 OPENER
Arsenal got their Gameweek 29 double-header off to the perfect start on Sunday, as they beat Leicester City 2-0 at the Emirates.
As a result, they have now won their last five Premier League matches in a row, strengthening their grip on fourth place in the table.
Aside from Bukayo Saka (£6.6m) Martin Odegaard (£5.5m), the other popular Fantasy assets emerged with points against the Foxes, with Gabriel Martinelli (£5.3m) lively on the left-flank. In fact, the Brazilian was their most advanced player on the day, with Alexandre Lacazette (£8.4m) regularly dropping into deeper areas.
Above: Arsenal’s average position map v Leicester City in Gameweek 29, featuring Gabriel Martinelli (35)
“We appreciate and understand the work he does for us in certain areas and today we are happy he has been able to score.” – Mikel Arteta on Alexandre Lacazette’s first goal since Gameweek 19
As for Leicester, their assets are certainly of interest with Brentford up next in Blank Gameweek 30, the issue is pinpointing exactly who to invest in.
With Jamie Vardy (£10.3m) injured and Patson Daka (£7.1m) out of form, Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.9m) led the line in Gameweek 29. The Nigerian notched 90 points with 11 goals in the final 12 matches of 2020/21, but has managed just two in the league all season.
That suggests our best bets probably lie in midfield, with Harvey Barnes (£6.5m) James Maddison (£6.7m) two of the more interesting options.
However, having conceded yet another goal direct from a corner today, Brentford’s dead-ball specialist Christian Eriksen (£5.5m) could also come onto the radar for their Gameweek 30 clash.
“We started well and in general played okay, but gave away a sloppy goal from a set piece, which has been a common theme, and then the penalty. It was a slow start, they were pinning us in, but for the last 25 minutes of the first half we were camped in their half – we just didn’t create enough clear-cut chances. We went out there and gave it our all, but fell short.” — Harvey Barnes
THREE DEFEATS IN A ROW FOR SAINTS
After losing just one of their previous 13 matches in all competitions, Southampton have now suffered three straight defeats by an aggregate score of 8-2:
- Southampton 1-2 Watford
- Southampton 1-2 Newcastle United
- Aston Villa 4-0 Southampton
It was a woeful performance against Watford on Sunday, especially in the first-half, when they conceded two poor goals to the in-form Cucho Hernandez (£5.0m).
Their form is certainly worth keeping an eye on, too, with seemingly little to play for in the league and a tough run to follow their trip to Leeds United in Gameweek 31.
As for Armando Broja (£5.5m), it’s now six matches without a goal, with today’s benching a concern for his owners.
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