We continue to assess the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Gameweek 25 in our Scout Notes series.
Here, we focus on Everton v Aston Villa.
The numbers you see in this article are taken from our Premium Members Area, where you can access Opta player and team data from every single Premier League fixture.
FIVE IN FIVE FOR WATKINS
Ollie Watkins (£7.2m) found the net for a fifth successive Premier League game at Goodison Park.
The in-form forward has now amassed 40 points from Gameweek 21 onwards, more than any other player bar Marcus Rashford (£7.2m) and Erling Haaland (£12.2m).
Aston Villa’s Gameweek 28 match v Bournemouth is not at threat of postponement due to the FA Cup, while they also have a Double Gameweek 29, boosting their players’ appeal.
“I’ve been frustrated in the past because I know I can hit these sorts of levels. Maybe I was trying too hard because I know I’m capable of it. It’s nice that I’m showing people what I’m capable of doing and long may it continue.” – Ollie Watkins
Watkins’ second-half penalty put Aston Villa ahead, with substitute Emiliano Buendia (£5.7m) wrapping up the points late on. The Argentine had picked up a slight knock earlier in the week but was introduced just after the hour mark, taking his goal well.
With neither Buendia or Philippe Coutinho (£6.6m) fit enough to start, Leon Bailey (£4.4m) was recalled to the first XI, partnering Watkins up top, but failed to make much of an impact, with the visitors much more dangerous after his withdrawal. The Jamaican still hasn’t scored a goal away from home in the Premier League this season.
As for Coutinho, he isn’t expected back until Gameweek 29 after pulling his hamstring in training last week.
“Coutinho is injured and it’s longer than one week. It’s a muscular injury. I think he’ll be out for one month, more or less. Yes, after the international break.” – Unai Emery
VILLA’S AWAY FORM
Aston Villa travelled to Merseyside having lost their last three games, conceding 11 goals against Arsenal, Manchester City and Leicester City.
They were under the cosh for large periods at Everton, too, but prevailed as they continued their fine away form Unai Emery, with the latest win making it four victories in five away Premier League matches under the Spaniard. That’s in stark contrast to their seven points from 18 at Villa Park.
At Goodison Park, Tyrone Mings (£4.3m) was excellent, winning all eight of his aerial duels and making six clearances.
“After the last three matches, where we’ve conceded a lot of goals, we were worried about it and we spoke about how much we wanted to win today. Through a clean sheet we can try to win. The team was very focused in 90 minutes to do it, and we achieved it because the players have good spirit.” – Unai Emery
“We were speaking before the match and today, of course the target was to win but to also keep a clean sheet and try to be again organised and defensively strong. We need to defend and defend the long balls of course, we needed to keep possession and take our time and we did it. We are not playing well at home and playing matches really didn’t control the game like we want, but I think it’s a process and we are being competitive. We are taking a lot of points away but I really want to show with our supporters of course, and be strong with them.” – Unai Emery
DYCHE ON MCNEIL
After back-to-back wins to-nil over Arsenal and Leeds United at Goodison Park, Sean Dyche tasted his first home defeat as Everton manager.
Neal Maupay (£5.9m) had an effort cleared off the line, while Amadou Onana’s (£4.8m) header from an Alex Iwobi (£5.4m) cross was tipped over the bar.
Dyche named an unchanged first XI, which meant Maupay retained his place leading the attack, flanked by Iwobi and Dwight McNeil (£5.1m).
The latter was Everton’s main attacking outlet from out wide and dovetailed nicely with Vitalii Mykolenko (£4.3m), who was particularly advanced. No FPL player has attempted more crosses than McNeil (13) in Gameweek 25 so far, who clearly impressed his manager.
“I thought Dwight McNeil was excellent today. He kept working and he probably deserves something for his performance. We have to keep knocking on the door and eradicate the soft moments. No disrespect to Burnley, but Dwight’s come to a bigger club, it’s a different environment. He’s still relatively young and he’s played a lot of football for a young player. It’s probably been a bit of a fresh start with me coming in, and some familiarity. The crowd can see what he’s doing and they get behind him, and you can see he’s becoming the player that I always believed he was. We want him to keep up that level of performance.” – Sean Dyche on Dwight McNeil
After full-time, Dyche confirmed Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.9m) is unlikely to feature against Arsenal on Wednesday, in the second part of Everton’s Gameweek 25 double-header. The striker has not featured since he played the first hour of Gameweek 22 and watched Saturday’s defeat from the directors’ box along with Nathan Patterson (£3.9m).