Our recap of the Gameweek 26 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) action concludes with some takeaways from Brentford v Fulham.
The numbers and graphics you see in this Scout Notes article are taken from our Premium Members Area, where you can access Opta player and team data for every single Premier League fixture.
TONEY ON TARGET
Brentford kept their long unbeaten run going thanks to a 3-2 derby victory over Fulham, with Ivan Toney (£7.7m) on the scoresheet.
The 26-year-old maintained his 100% penalty-scoring rate for The Bees and is now up to 15 Premier League goals this season. Just two players – Erling Haaland (£12.2m) and Harry Kane (£11.7m) – have scored more.
Toney managed just one penalty box touch – his spot-kick – against Fulham but carried a real threat throughout. He forced Bernd Leno (£4.5m) into an early save, hit the bar from a free-kick and nearly scored from the halfway line.
Crucially, he also avoided a yellow card and remains on eight for the season, two off the suspension threshold.
“I take all the praise, it is solely me. No it is Ivan, that is the technique he had when he arrived at Brentford. He is the best penalty taker in the world for a few reasons, his strategy, he practices it and he is very cool. He keeps doing it all the same. It is a unique skill with him. I think in general before this situation with the case going on before that unique ability to focus on games and training and he has kept doing that so that doesn’t surprise me. He doesn’t like the situation but he has top focus. He is a special footballer, I think his character is unique in terms of leadership and driving his team. His link-up play and the way he sees his team-mates around in terms of combinations and then his ability to score goals. He is an all-round football player.” – Thomas Frank on Ivan Toney
The hosts’ early pressure paid off with Ethan Pinnock’s (£4.4m) shot deflecting into the net from an Aaron Hickey (£4.9m) assist. Fellow defender Rico Henry (£4.5m) was a bit unfortunate not to return, too, with Bryan Mbeumo (£5.8m) missing a sitter from his cross following an inventive set-piece routine.
In an attacking line-up, Mikkel Damsgaard (£5.0m) replaced Josh Dasilva (£4.1m) in Thomas Frank’s 4-3-3 and made a real impression in the engine room alongside Christian Norgaard (£5.3m) and goalscorer Mathias Jensen (£4.8m).
“It was very pleasing to see Mikkel do very well today. I played him because Mikkel has trained very well for the last three or four weeks – he’s looking sharp and played with intensity. It was the moment to play his type as the no. 8 and he did well. He looked sharp on the ball and did well in the pressure. He got us out of tricky situations. It was pleasing to see. We’re very privileged to have a player of Mikkel’s talent. He was out for almost a year and it takes time, but of course he’s a bit impatient, I’m a bit impatient, everyone is a bit impatient.” – Thomas Frank on Mikkel Damsgaard
As for Jensen, he has produced attacking returns in five of his nine post-World Cup matches, and feels like a decent differential shout for Brentford’s Double Gameweek 27, given that he’s created more chances than any other player at the club across the season.
BRENTFORD’S UNBEATEN RUN
Despite having much less possession (36%), Brentford made it count and are now unbeaten in 12 Premier League matches, a run that stretches all the way back to 23 October.
They have lost only one of their 13 Premier League home fixtures this season, a 3-0 defeat against Arsenal in Gameweek 8, yet both of their next two games are away from the Gtech Community Stadium at Everton and Southampton.
Here’s a quick comparison of their home v away stats in 2022/23:
SOLOMON SCORES AGAIN
Fulham weren’t at their best at Brentford but found the net against the run of play in the first half courtesy of Manor Solomon (£4.9m).
After scoring in each of the previous three Gameweeks off the bench, the Israeli winger was rewarded with his first start, duly repaying Marco Silva with yet another goal as his remarkable run continues.
However, it’s worth noting Solomon has scored with each of his last four shots in the Premier League, so he’ll surely need to up that output if his goalscoring form is to carry on.
Above: Manor Solomon has found the net four times from five shots so far this season
Elsewhere, fellow budget midfielder Andreas Pereira (£4.4m) supplied a pair of assists, taking his tally to ten for the season – only Kevin De Bruyne (£12.2m) has more.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.8m) also started for the first time since Gameweek 23 but had a quiet night and picked up a needless yellow card for dissent.
ARSENAL UP NEXT FOR FULHAM
Joao Palhinha (£4.9m) was absent at Brentford on Monday through suspension, and will now serve the second match of his ban against Arsenal in Double Gameweek 27.
The influential midfielder is often the one who makes Fulham tick, and it was notable that Harrison Reed (£4.4m) looked a bit lost without his teammate alongside him.
Palhinha’s replacement, Sasa Lukic (£4.5m), actually did okay, even if he was fortunate to escape without a second yellow card.
Still, Brentford racked up 14 shots and four big chances, a potentially good sign for those starting their Arsenal attackers this weekend.
“Disappointing night for us, disappointing performance as well. It was clearly our fault, we cannot play a derby away from home and start the way we started both halves. We knew how they are aggressive, how they can always punish you with their runs in behind, linking with the striker or even straight away in behind you. We were sloppy the way we started the first half and we were sloppy again the way we started the second half.” – Marco Silva