FPL review: Fulham score three but Mitrovic blanks

We round up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Friday’s two Gameweek 8 fixtures in our Scout Notes summary.

The graphics and numbers below are taken from LiveFPL, Ragabolly’s excellent and ever-improving website, and our own Premium Members area, where you can access Opta player and team data for every single Premier League fixture.

Fulham scored three goals in a wild six minutes to come from behind and beat Nottingham Forest 3-2 at the City Ground.

However, there were blanks for Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.9m) – the fourth-most-transferred in player of Gameweek 8 – plus popular budget midfielder Andreas Pereira (£4.6m), who was called upon by many FPL managers in light of this weekend’s postponements.

Instead, the likes of Harrison Reed (£4.5m) and Willian (£5.5m) were amongst the goals and assists, with the latter notably taking away some of Pereira’s set-pieces.

Mitrovic Andreas
Shots 4 2
Shots in the box 3 0
Shots on target 1 1
Created chances 0 2

It is the second Premier League match in a row Forest have thrown away a lead after their 2-0 advantage over Bournemouth ended in another 3-2 defeat two weeks ago.

The result means they have now conceded six goals to Fulham and Bournemouth combined and 17 overall.

They are also the only side to have faced more than 100 shots on goal in the Premier League this season and sit bottom for expected goals conceded (xGC, 12.90).

“A lot of it is self-inflicted I think. We are not managing conceding that first goal very well. We are not settled enough after it. There has been a few occasions now that we look vulnerable. We were OK in the first half and were fairly in control out of the ball. I thought we started the second half well but then they got a corner, scored from it, then the second goal. We need to look at ourselves first. It’s as simple as that really.

There are elements of our game where we don’t quite look like a team yet and that will come with time and experience which we don’t have yet because of the nature of the summer. There’s some good bits of play then other times we don’t look like a team and we are getting punished in those moments. This is the Premier League so there is scrutiny and we are no different. We need to sort ourselves out quickly.” – Steve Cooper

Forest’s next game is at Leicester City in Gameweek 9, which will surely see interest in James Maddison (£7.9m) pick-up during the international break, especially if the Foxes show signs of improvement against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday evening.

Nottingham Forest XI: Henderson; Boly (Worrall 63), Cook (Lingard 63), McKenna; Williams (Dennis 88), Yates, Freuler (O’Brien 70), Lodi; Gibbs-White; Johnson, Awoniyi (Surridge 70)

Fulham XI: Leno; Tete, Adarabioyo, Diop, Ream; Reed, Palhinha; Willian (James 70), Andreas (Cairney 83), Reid (Kebano 90+1); Mitrovic (Vinicius 90)

Two teams with iffy starts to the season went head to head at Villa Park on Friday, with the home side coming out on top thanks to Jacob Ramsey’s (£5.2m) first-half goal.

The youngster pounced quickly after Gavin Bazunu (£4.5m) had tipped Ollie Watkins’ (£7.3m) effort onto the crossbar, and has now recorded attacking returns in successive fixtures, adding to his assist against Manchester City in Gameweek 6.

In that time, Ramsey has featured as a central midfielder and inside forward, highlighting his versatility and importance to manager Steven Gerrard.

Leon Bailey (£4.7m), meanwhile, lost possession too often and lasted just 67 minutes before he was replaced by Emiliano Buendia (£5.9m). However, he did manage a couple of shots in the box, and despite lacking conviction early on, did grow into the game. The fact Villa have avoided defeat in both of their last two matches, which Bailey has started, suggests he will be unfortunate to lose his place when he visits Elland Road in a couple of weeks’ time.

Defensively, the game marked Villa’s first clean sheet since April, with defenders Tyrone Mings (£4.3m), Ezri Konsa (£4.4m) and Lucas Digne (£4.7m) all amongst the bonus. It’s also worth noting that they limited Southampton to just seven shots which carried an expected goals (xG) value of only 0.28.

“It’s how you build consistency by defending your box well. I’ve been critical about this group and the detailing of defending at times but there were a lot of bodies on the line today. Maybe we tried to force it a bit tonight but as we move up the table maybe that’s when the pretty stuff will come. It has been a tough period but I’ve wanted to step forward and protect my players. I’ve tried to fight and move up this table. We have accepted a lot of criticism and it’s about reacting and that is what we have done tonight.” – Steven Gerrard on his side’s clean sheet

In truth, there was little in the way of chances between both sides at Villa Park, but the pressure has now eased slightly on Gerrard, with a kind run of fixtures to come for Villa after the international break.

As for Southampton, they have now conceded in their last 13 Premier League matches, the longest run of any current side. In fact, they have managed just three shut-outs in their last 34 matches in the competition, a worrying statistic given that they currently offer so little in the final-third.

In an attempt to get more from his misfiring attack, Ralph Hassenhuttl shifted his troops into a 4-3-3 formation at the break, with James Ward-Prowse (£6.5m) at the base of the midfield three and Joe Aribo (£5.4m) and Mohamed Elyounoussi (£5.3m) either side. However, it failed to have the desired effect, as the Saints struggled to build any real momentum.

“With the last pass or finish, we are not dangerous enough at the moment. We need more punch in the front. We need to create more chances. We have to find the players who can give you that.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl

Aston Villa XI: Martinez; Young, Konsa, Mings, Digne; Kamara (Douglas Luiz 44), Ramsey (Dendoncker 67), McGinn; Bailey (Buendia 67), Coutinho (Ings 84), Watkins

Southampton XI: Bazunu; Walker-Peters, Bella-Kotchap, Salisu, Perraud (Larios 45); Diallo (Aribo 45), Ward-Prowse; Elyounoussi (Edozie 79), Djenepo, A Armstrong (S Armstrong 71); Adams (Mara 71)