FPL Gameweek 2 review: Williams’ threat and why Chilwell didn’t start

Having already brought you the statistical summary of Sunday’s Gameweek 2 action, we now turn our attention to the wider Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from the day’s fixtures.

The numbers and heatmaps you see in this article are from our Premium Members Area, where you can access Opta player and team data for every single Premier League fixture.

In a fiery encounter, Tottenham Hotspur twice came from behind to earn a point at Stamford Bridge, thanks to a stoppage-time equaliser from Harry Kane (£11.4m).

The England international went into Gameweek 2 having been sold by over 800,000 FPL managers, but ended up outscoring Erling Haaland (£11.6m) by three points, despite facing the tougher fixture.

Kane headed in from substitute Ivan Perisic’s (£5.4m) corner, one of three shots registered, while midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (£5.5m) also found the net with a long-range drive.

Meanwhile, Ryan Sessegnon (£4.5m) made his second successive start at the expense of Perisic but had a tough afternoon and was beaten too easily down his flank in the first-half. As a result, he came off before the hour mark for Richarlison (£8.5m) as Antonio Conte switched to a more attacking 4-4-2 formation. That system change saw Son Heung-min (£12.0m) move into a wider wing role, where he struggled to influence proceedings.

“We are working to try to reduce this gap between us and Chelsea – today was a difficult game and I think that with the ball we could do much better. But at the same time, the speed was good, the personality to stay in the game was good. We conceded two goals – for sure we have to improve, the first goal from a corner, the second goal we had changed the system to play 4-4-2 and then something was wrong positionally and Chelsea exploited this to score.

We have to understand that in every game you have to try to kill the opponent in a sporting way, otherwise the opponent is going to kill you. When we started to understand this, I think we are ready to take another important step. But in only eight months I think we did a lot of steps with these players and I have enjoyed a lot of work with them.

Last season I was really frustrated because in three games we showed zero per cent possibility to get a result against Chelsea. Now we played a game with a different confidence. We still have to improve a lot because there is still a difference between us and them.” – Antonio Conte

For Spurs, they are only two games into the new season but have already won four points from losing positions, and now embark on a kind run of fixtures that sees them sit second on our Season Ticker from Gameweeks 3 to 6.

Chelsea played a back-three system with wing-backs to counteract the pace in the Spurs team, with Reece James (£6.0m) starting out as a right-sided centre-back.

That meant Ruben Loftus-Cheek (£5.0m) was deployed at right wing-back, from where he would often tuck into the half-space, allowing James and Raheem Sterling (£10.0m) to supply most of the width down that side.

“We go for Reece (James) in the back three to match the speed of Son Heung-min, and Ruben (Loftus-Cheek) played wing-back in pre-season and in many matches last season. You need five to defend the aggressive wing-backs of Tottenham.” – Thomas Tuchel

However, in an eventful afternoon in keeping with the match itself, James was booked but then switched to a wing-back role in the second-half, where he found the net and almost supplied an assist for Kai Havertz (£7.9m).

Elsewhere, Kalidou Koulibaly (£5.5m) scored from one of his three shots in the box, while Marc Cucurella (£5.0m) was preferred at left wing-back, with Ben Chilwell (£6.0m) clearly still not up to speed following injury.

“He is a very intelligent player, he does good choices, very safe on the ball, good by playing through the lines, very calm. I have the feeling he (Cucurella) has a bit more of a feeling for the rhythm and for the intensity of the matches than Ben (Chilwell) for the moment. We keep Chilwell for substitutions because he’s a high speed, intense runner, but after his long injury he lacks a bit of rhythm and feeling for the matches. That’s my belief.” – Thomas Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel gave an update on N’Golo Kante (£5.0m) after full-time, who hobbled off late on.

“It seems like a muscle injury, a hamstring. He said he feels it pretty strong, so not good.” – Thomas Tuchel on N’Golo Kante

Chelsea XI: Mendy; James, Thiago Silva, Koulibaly; Loftus-Cheek, Kante (Gallagher 85), Jorginho (Azpilicueta 73), Cucurella; Havertz (Broja 90), Mount, Sterling (Pulisic 84)

Tottenham Hotspur XI: Lloris; Romero, Dier, Davies; Royal (Moura 82), Hojbjerg, Bentancur (Bissouma 79), Sessegnon (Richarlison 57); Kulusevski, Son (Perisic 79), Kane

It’s been a busy summer at Nottingham Forest with 15 new signings arriving at the City Ground to date. As a result, no one can be quite sure how long it will take those new arrivals to settle, but on Sunday’s evidence alone, the signs are good.

Eight new recruits were handed starts by Steve Cooper in Gameweek 2, including Taiwo Awoniyi (£5.9m). The former Bundesliga forward was dangerous throughout and opened his Forest account, scoring from close range. He did fade in the second-half but made a real impact during his time on the pitch, with his team-mates always looking to find his runs in behind.

“Taiwo’s (Awoniyi) in because he’s the type of profile of nine that we want for this game. Sam (Surridge) hasn’t done anything wrong, you look at a game plan and think what might be needed the most and it’s the football decision we’ve made.” – Steve Cooper on his decision to start Taiwo Awoniyi over Sam Surridge

“I’m really happy about the goal – it was a dream for me to score and for the team to win. As a striker you just have to be ready for anything around the goal. It’s all about getting ready whether you are starting or coming on from the bench. The win will give more confidence to the team, it will keep us going for the next game. I believe we will have a great season as a team.” – Taiwo Awoniyi

Forest were a real threat going forward, thanks in part to some wonderful wing-play by Neco Williams (£4.0m). Notably, the Welshman was on set-pieces and ended the match with some eye-catching underlying stats, which included four goal attempts, two shots in the box, nine attempted crosses and two created chances. His crossing, especially in the early stages, impressed, while he also registered an Opta-defined ‘big chance’ when his close-range effort was kept out by Lukasz Fabianski (£5.0m).

Above: Neco Williams’ passes received heatmap v West Ham United in Gameweek 2

Elsewhere, another new signing Dean Henderson (£4.5m) followed up his seven saves in Gameweek 1 with a massive 14-pointer, courtesy of a penalty save, clean sheet and maximum bonus.

It must be said that the immediate schedule for Forest does look a bit daunting, with a trip to Everton followed by games against Tottenham Hotspur and champions Manchester City. However, from Gameweek 6 onwards, things improve with successive fixtures against Bournemouth, Leeds United and Fulham.

On the injury front, Moussa Niakhate (£4.5m) pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring problem, and despite trying to carry on was taken off immediately following his return. Cooper also addressed the reason for Jack Colback‘s (£4.5m) absence.

“He’s sick. He has been all week really. We were hoping that he might get through it with a couple of days to go, but he’s still at home. Disappointing for Jack, he’s a big part of our dressing room and what we do here.” – Steve Cooper on Jack Colback

As for West Ham United, they were wasteful in front of goal at the City Ground, with Declan Rice (£5.0m) missing a second-half penalty. The England international has now missed two of the three penalties he’s taken in the Premier League and the last two in a row, so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if someone else steps up next time.

Elsewhere, Pablo Fornals (£5.5m) and Said Benrahma (£6.0m) both hit the woodwork (the latter also saw a goal ruled out for a foul in the build-up), while Michail Antonio (£7.5m) was hooked early again and replaced by new signing Gianluca Scamacca (£7.0m) after 69 minutes.

“We defended really poorly, quite often, and we didn’t do that well enough. It cost us a goal through very poor defending, and gave them a chance. We have to blame ourselves. Maybe we could have scored three or four goals. But it wasn’t to be today.” – David Moyes

Nottingham Forest XI: Henderson; Worrall, Niakhate (Cook 79), McKenna; Williams, Mangala (Cafu 84), O’Brien, Toffolo; Lingard; Johnson, Awoniyi (Surridge 72)

West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Coufal, Zouma, Johnson, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen (Cornet 85), Fornals (Lanzini 69), Benrahma; Antonio (Scamacca 69)

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