We conclude our round-up of the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Gameweek 27 in our Scout Notes series.
The Wednesday night games, Southampton v Brentford and Brighton and Hove Albion v Crystal Palace, are the focus here.
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TONEY ON NINE YELLOW CARDS
Arguably the main takeaway from last night is something we’ve already covered in the Suspension Tightrope article, namely Ivan Toney‘s (£7.8m) stoppage-time booking.
That took the Brentford striker to nine cautions for the season, one away from a two-match ban.
He’ll only be in the clear after the Bees’ 32nd Premier League fixture, so here’s what would happen if he’s booked in any of the next six scheduled games:
|If he’s booked in…||…he’ll miss|
|Gameweek 28: Leicester (h)||Both Double Gameweek 29 fixtures|
|Gameweek 29: Brighton (a)||The second Gameweek 29 fixture away at Man Utd + Gameweek 30|
|Gameweek 29: Man Utd (a)||Gameweeks 30 + 31|
|Gameweek 30: Newcastle (h)||Gameweeks 31 + 32|
|Gameweek 31: Wolves (a)||Gameweeks 32 + 33|
|Gameweek 32: Aston Villa (h)||Gameweeks 33 + 34|
On a more positive note, Toney made it 20 attacking returns for the season with a goal and assist in Brentford’s 2-0 win. That’s as many as Bukayo Saka (£8.5m) has managed in three more appearances, while only Erling Haaland (£12.1m) and Harry Kane (£11.7m) have more.
He’s also now got more points to his name than he managed in the whole of 2021/22.
Above: FPL assets sorted by points per start in 2022/23
BRIGHTON MIDFIELDERS: LITTLE IN IT
After all the recent head-to-head analysis and ‘A or B’ comments-section conundrums, there was – perhaps predictably – precious little to separate the three much-discussed Brighton midfielders for FPL points at the end of Double Gameweek 27.
An assist for Kaoru Mitoma (£5.5m), a goal for Solly March (£5.1m) and a blank for Alexis Mac Allister (£5.5m) in the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace meant that the trio ended the Gameweek on 12, 11 and 10 points respectively. March’s owners, of course, will vehemently argue that they should have had more.
With Brighton blanking in Gameweek 28 and the direct comparisons done to death over the last month, we won’t waste too much time in re-evaluating this triumvirate of budget gems.
In a nutshell, though, Mac Allister – despite Wednesday’s blank – continues to look the biggest goal threat in his advanced role playing behind the central striker, racking up as many shots in the box as his two teammates combined in Gameweek 27:
|Name||Cost||App||Mins||Pen Tchs||Shots||Shots in the box||Big chances||Shots on target||Chances created||Expected goal involvement (xGI)|
ARSENAL AND SPURS’ GAMEWEEK 28 OPPONENTS
As was the case in Gameweek 27, the chief role that Crystal Palace and Southampton will be playing in Gameweek 28 will be that of opposition to the players that we Fantasy managers own.
Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur assets are leading the captaincy conversation ahead of Friday’s deadline, with the Gunners entertaining Palace and Spurs travelling to Southampton in the upcoming Gameweek.
Goalscoring is these two sides’ main problem: Palace and Saints are ranked 20th and 19th respectively for goals scored and xG per game since the Boxing Day restart.
The Eagles came out flying against Brighton, forcing Jason Steele (£3.9m) into three early stops, but then retreated back into their shells soon after: roughly 80% of their xG in the M23 derby came in the opening 10 minutes. They hadn’t had a single shot on target in their three preceding games.
Southampton meanwhile had just three efforts in the box all game against Brentford.
“I think we defended well and managed to win the ball in some really important parts of the field, but what let us down was our offensive play. Not taking the opportunities we created let us down today.” – Patrick Vieira
“I think we were structured, we had some of our principles, but unfortunately we didn’t make the last bit in the final third.” – Ruben Selles
At the other end of the pitch, the two sides haven’t actually been doing all that badly of late.
Palace’s last 10-game run has only featured teams in the top 11 yet they’ve conceded one goal or fewer in all bar one of those matches:
Saints, meanwhile, have three clean sheets in five since Ruben Selles took over and are ranked a respectable 10th for minutes per expected goal conceded (xGC) in that time.
Palace may have teenage goalkeeper Joe Whitworth (£4.0m) between the posts at the Emirates this weekend. The youngster made his debut against Brighton in the absence of the injured Vicente Guaita (£4.4m), who Patrick Vieira doesn’t know will be fit enough to feature in Gameweek 28.