Erling Haaland (£11.5m), Gabriel Jesus (£8.0m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£12.0m) were amongst the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) names in action on Sunday as more pre-season friendlies were staged.
We’ve got all the goal, assist and line-up information you need in this latest Scout Notes article.
We’re also keeping tabs on the minutes played in all of these warm-up fixtures, with Premium Members of Fantasy Football Scout able to access this information at the bottom of this article.
ARSENAL 4-0 CHELSEA
- Goals: Gabriel Jesus, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, Albert Sambi Lokonga
- Assists: Granit Xhaka (x2), Gabriel Martinelli, Cedric
The early hours of Sunday morning brought mixed emotions for Arsenal and Chelsea fans after a hefty Gunners win in Orlando.
Early on, Gabriel Jesus scored his fourth goal of pre-season with a cool chip over Edouard Mendy (£5.0m) to send his ownership beyond 60%, before contributions from Martin Odegaard (£6.5m), Bukayo Saka (£8.0m) and Albert Sambi Lokonga (£4.5m).
Head coach Mikel Arteta handed a debut to Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.0m) at left-back, in the absence of Kieran Tierney (£5.0m), with Ben White (£4.5m) starting at right-back instead of Takehiro Tomiyasu (£4.5m).
It was another good display from young centre-back William Saliba (£4.5m), raising questions over which cheap Arsenal defender will be most nailed-on for starts.
“I am really pleased to see the way he is playing, the way he has adapted to the team, the maturity that he’s shown at 21 years old, carry on doing it. We will keep developing him, he has huge potential, he is already a top player and we have to make him even better.” – Mikel Arteta on William Saliba
In midfield, Gabriel Martinelli (£6.0m) continues to look exciting after a performance that brought one assist and a separate big chance creation, only to see Saka’s shot saved by Chelsea’s Mendy. Arteta says Jesus is fine after a first-half knock.
“Yeah he [Jesus] got a knock in the first half in his quad I think it was and it wasn’t very comfortable to continue and obviously we didn’t take any risks today.”
As for Thomas Tuchel’s side, Raheem Sterling (£10.0m) made his first start and there was a debut cameo for centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly (£5.5m). A back-four system was utilised here, although it’s still unknown whether this is Tuchel’s seasonal plan or just a tactic until more defenders get signed.
“The worrying part is that the level of commitment physically and mentally for this match was far higher for Arsenal than for us. I cannot guarantee we will be ready in two weeks. I saw today a team that had an idea of how to play to a level of physical commitment that we could not match, and also a level of mental commitment which we lack because we have a lot of players who think about leaving. I think this at the moment is obvious.” – Thomas Tuchel
FPL managers will be looking closely at how Chelsea’s final fortnight of pre-season develops, with Tuchel unhappy, at least one more centre-back needed and uncertainty over whether Reece James (£6.0m) will be a wing-back or full-back.
Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale (Turner 76′); White (Cedric 76′), Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko (Tavares 46′); Partey (Elneny 76′), Xhaka (Maitland-Niles 76′); Saka (Marquinhos 76′), Odegaard (Lokonga 76′), Martinelli (Pepe 76′); Jesus (Nketiah 57′)
Chelsea XI (4-3-3): Mendy; James (Hudson-Odoi 73′), Chalobah (Sarr 44′), Thiago Silva (Koulibaly 73′), Emerson (Alonso 46′); Gallagher (Kovacic 46′), Jorginho, (Ampadu 73′), Mount (Ziyech 64′); Sterling (Pulisic 46′), Havertz (Batshuayi 64′), Werner (Azpilicueta 46′)
BAYERN MUNICH 0-1 MANCHESTER CITY
- Goal: Erling Haaland
- Assist: Jack Grealish
With Jesus, Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) and Harry Kane (£11.5m) amongst pre-season scorers, it’s only natural that Erling Haaland netted on his Manchester City debut. In the 12th minute, he slid home from six yards after a Jack Grealish (£7.0m) assist.
It headlined a stop-start night that revolved around heavy rain and lightning storms in the Green Bay area. After initially delaying the match, players were taken off the field immediately after Haaland’s goal before returning an hour later. As a result, the game was reduced to 40-minute halves.
The Norwegian forward already seems to have good chemistry with Grealish and he had the ball in the net a second time but it was harshly ruled out by the assistant referee.
“He’s good. He has to get better and I have to get better, but this is a good link-up and I like the vibe around him, so it’s going to be fun.” – Erling Haaland on Jack Grealish
Yet the main concern that FPL managers may have over Haaland is a potential easing-in period. It has already been suggested in The Athletic that Man City convinced him to sign because of a promise that he won’t be pushed to play when needing a rest. Judging from Pep Guardiola’s post-match words, he may not even start in Gameweek 1.
“The first minutes, he needs more rhythm and time but already he had 45 minutes which is good for him. We’ll see how he reacts to the niggles that he had in the previous weeks. After we come back we have long weeks to prepare every weekend game. In those two or three weeks we will get the best form.” – Pep Guariola on Erling Haaland’s match fitness
At the back, Guardiola opted to play the young Josh Wilson-Esbrand (£4.0m) at left-back rather than start Kyle Walker (£5.0m), which could deter managers who see Walker as a cheap alternative to Joao Cancelo (£7.0m). Especially if they do indeed sign Marc Cucurella (£5.0m) from Brighton and Hove Albion.
Furthermore, the absence of Phil Foden (£8.0m) on this USA trip meant that Riyad Mahrez (£8.0m) played 69 minutes here. Those going without Haaland in their initial FPL squad are surely assessing the credentials of both Mahrez and Grealish.
Man City XI (4-3-3): Ederson; Cancelo, Dias (Walker 57′), Ake, Wilson-Esbrand (Lewis 81′); Rodri, De Bruyne, Bernardo (Phillips 69′); Mahrez (Palmer 69′), Haaland (Alvarez 41′), Grealish
BLACKPOOL 2-4 EVERTON
- Goals: Vitalii Mykolenko, Tom Davies, Dele Alli (x2)
- Assists: Nathan Patterson (x2), Salomon Rondon, Vitalii Mykolenko
Just days after a 4-0 defeat to Minnesota United, Everton found a way to overcome Blackpool thanks to a brace from Dele Alli (£5.5m).
He has a long way to go until gaining the FPL community’s trust but the attacking contributions of wing-backs Vitalii Mykolenko (£4.5m) and Nathan Patterson (£4.0m) could be of interest.
“A five can be seen as more defensive with more bodies behind the ball. At times you need that, depending on your opponent. But when you want to have the ball, the wing-backs – and the width they offer – are a huge part of what you are doing. I was really pleased with that today.” – Frank Lampard
The pair combined for the opening goal, before both added an assist later on. Conceding twice to Blackpool proves why Everton defenders hold very little appeal but Patterson, in particular, could be a shrewd purchase.
“He’s a good young player and just as I was about to give him an opportunity last year he got injured, so it’s great for me to be able to play him in these kind of games.” – Frank Lampard
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.0m) and Demarai Gray (£5.5m) sat out the clash.
Everton XI (3-4-3): Pickford; Tarkowski (Price 80′), Godfrey (Keane 46′), Mina (Holgate 46′); Patterson (Warrington 80′), Doucoure (Welch 80′), Davies (Allan 72′), Mykolenko; Gordon (Mills 80′), Dele (Dobbin 80′), Rondon (Iwobi 61′)
BESIKTAS 0-3 WOLVES (SATURDAY)
- Goals: Raul Jimenez, Daniel Podence, Pedro Neto
- Assists: Rayan Ait-Nouri, Daniel Podence
WOLVES 1-2 VILLARREAL B (SUNDAY)
- Goal: Yerson Mosquera
- Assist: Connor Ronan
Bruno Lage fielded two separate line-ups over a pair of weekend meetings in Alicante. Saturday saw a strong XI comfortably beat Besiktas, whilst a largely under-21 team lost to Villarreal B the next day.
The Pedro Neto (£5.5m) bandwagon didn’t need any more fuel but he provided some anyway, scoring his second pre-season goal to make it 3-0. His cheap FPL price practically removes all interest in forward Raul Jimenez (£7.0m), despite the Mexican’s friendly price point allowing sideways transfers after Wolves face Leeds United (a) and Fulham (H).
Meanwhile, with Conor Coady (£5.0m) assigned to play in the second match, Lage once again opted for a four-man defence. Not that it restricted the attacking performance of left-back Rayan Ait-Nouri (£4.5m).
Wolves XI vs Besiktas (4-2-3-1): Smith; Jonny (Lembikisa 86), Collins (Mosquera 86), Kilman (Coady 64), Ait-Nouri (Bueno 86); Neves (Griffiths 86), Moutinho (Ronan 86), Gibbs-White (Corbeanu 86); Podence (Hodge 86), Jimenez (Dendoncker 35), Neto (Cundle 77)
Wolves XI vs Villarreal B: Storer, Lembikisa, Mosquera, Coady, Boly, Bueno, Griffiths, Ronan, Hodge, Cundle, Corbeanu
ESTORIL 1-3 FULHAM
- Goals: Aleksandar Mitrovic (x2), Joao Palhinha
- Assists: Andreas Pereira, Harry Wilson, Aleksandar Mitrovic
Newly promoted Fulham concluded their pre-season tour of Portugal with a comfortable win over Estoril.
It was the Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.5m) show, with two corners headed home by the Serbian, before laying off a pass for Joao Palhinha‘s (£5.0m) long-range strike.
Considering a lot of the FPL community’s pre-release drafts included Mitrovic, he has seemingly been overlooked ever since Gabriel Jesus arrived at Arsenal and was priced generously. Just eight per cent have Mitrovic, although the opening fixture with Liverpool will have affected this.
What will excite managers is the set-piece duties of bargain midfielder Andreas Pereira (£4.5m). For the second time this week, his corner was nodded in by Mitrovic, although it should be noted that he is sharing these with Harry Wilson (£6.0m).
Fulham XI (4-2-3-1): Rodak; Tete, Adarabioyo, Ream, Robinson; Palhinha (Chalobah 74′), Reed (Francois 74′); Wilson, Decordova-Reid (Harris 74′), Pereira (Stansfield 66′); Mitrovic (Muniz 74′)
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