Leon Bailey (£5.0m) continued his fine pre-season form on Saturday as Aston Villa came from a goal down to beat Rennes 2-1, while West Ham United were held to a draw by Lens.
We’ve got the goals, assists, line-ups and Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from these matches in our Scout Notes.
Reports on the day’s other games are linked below, with more to follow.
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.
STADE RENNAIS 1-2 ASTON VILLA
- Goals: Bailey, Carlos
- Assists: Digne, Young
Aston Villa wrapped up their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 win in northern France, which saw £5.0m midfielder Leon Bailey net his third goal of the summer and underline his differential potential.
The Jamaican’s volley bounced into the ground before finding the top corner via a Lucas Digne (£5.0m) cross after 14 minutes.
And he almost made it two on a couple of occasions, which included a one-on-one blocked by Steve Mandanda and a curled effort that was narrowly off target in the second half.
Bailey has had an excellent pre-season, scoring against Walsall, Manchester United and now Rennes, whilst also producing a pair of assists, and has surely done enough to force his way into Steven Gerrard’s starting XI at Bournemouth in Gameweek 1.
“My body feels good. I trust my body more. This is what I’ve always wanted to be able to do for the club and I’ll always try and give my 100% anytime I get the chance to do so. The pre-season has helped a lot to give me confidence, confidence in my body because last year was rough with my injuries. I feel good about this season.” – Leon Bailey
As for Digne, he carried a real threat down his flank, linking well with Philippe Coutinho (£7.0m) in Steven Gerrard’s 4-3-3 formation. It’s also worth noting that both of Villa’s goals against Rennes arrived from crosses, as have a large number of the team’s goals in pre-season, raising the appeal of the Frenchman and fellow full-back Matty Cash (£5.0m).
Elsewhere, Diego Carlos (£5.0m) nodded in a late winner and looks a certain starter next week, although it’s unclear who will partner him, with Ezri Konza (£4.5m), Calum Chambers (£4.5m) and Tyrone Mings (£4.5m) all in contention. The latter two, meanwhile, are understood to have been in action in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Fulham on Friday.
Aston Villa XI (4-3-3): Martinez; Cash (Young 71), Konsa (Iroegbunam 64), Carlos, Digne (Augustinsson 71); Kamara, Douglas Luiz (Sanson 64), McGinn (Ramsey 71); Bailey (Ings 71), Coutinho (Feeney 86), Watkins (Archer 79)
RC LENS 0-0 WEST HAM UNITED
Jarrod Bowen (£8.5m) hit the woodwork late on for West Ham on Saturday evening, but the Hammers’ were unable to find a goal against Lens in their final pre-season friendly.
In a tightly-contested affair, genuine chances were hard to come by for the visitors, and it’s that overall lack of creativity which is a bit of a concern ahead of next weekend’s season opener against champions Manchester City.
In fact, West Ham have scored only four goals in their last five friendly matches against Boreham Wood, Reading, Rangers, Luton Town and now Lens.
“We were looking for elements we worked on this week to be reproduced in a really highly-competitive game today. We probably felt in the first half we had a lot of giveaways on the ball unnecessarily. We couldn’t really retain it as well as we wanted to, but I think you saw in the second half we made a few adjustments to our shape and got much more dominant in the game, and that gave us the biggest chance right at the end.” – Paul Nevin (West Ham United first-team coach)
However, it is worth noting that both first-choice forwards were absent in France, with Michail Antonio (£7.5m) carrying a minor knock and Gianluca Scamacca (£7.0m) continuing to work on his fitness back in London.
“The work he’s done this week has been fantastic and we kept him at Rush Green to continue his pre-season while we had this game, in light of trying to prepare him as quickly as we can.” – Paul Nevin on Gianluca Scamacca
Elsewhere, Nayef Aguerd (£5.0m) was absent having undergone ankle surgery earlier this week.
West Ham United XI (3-4-3): Fabianski (Areola 46); Zouma, Dawson (Lanzini 61), Johnson; Coufal, Rice, Soucek (Downes 86), Masuaku (Coventry 75); Bowen, Benrahma (Vlasic 75), Fornals