There are three more Gameweek 6 matches from Sunday to review in the latest Scout Notes article.
The key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Brighton and Hove Albion v Bournemouth, Liverpool v West Ham United and Sheffield United v Newcastle United are discussed.
TRIPPIER’S HAT-TRICK OF ASSISTS
Newcastle headed to Bramall Lane as favourites to beat Sheffield United, but few could have predicted a record-breaking 8-0 away victory, a result that sent shockwaves through the Fantasy community.
Eddie Howe’s side ran riot with eight different goalscorers, including the most-bought defender for Gameweek 6, Sven Botman (£4.7m).
However, the Dutchman’s 12-point haul was eclipsed by Kieran Trippier (£6.6m), who claimed 18 points, courtesy of three assists, a clean sheet and maximum bonus.
Trippier created five chances on Sunday – the joint-most in Gameweek 6 – despite being afforded a bit of rest, having been replaced by Tino Livramento (£4.4m) on 69 minutes.
While few could have foreseen three assists, the nature of them was perhaps easier to predict, given that Sheff Utd were rock-bottom for headed chances allowed and efforts from set plays conceded going into this fixture, a stat which might be of interest to James Ward-Prowse (£6.2m) owners in Gameweek 7.
As for Newcastle, Trippier and co will feel confident of adding more clean sheets to their collection in the coming weeks. A home clash with Burnley at St James’ Park next weekend is followed by meetings with West Ham United, Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
BARNES INJURY UPDATE
Harvey Barnes (£6.4m) started just his second Premier League match for Newcastle on Sunday but left the ground in a protective boot after injuring his toe early on.
On the injury, Howe said:
“It doesn’t look too good. I think he has a toe problem. He pushed off and felt something in his toe. Early signs are there’s probably an injury there, but we don’t know what it is at the moment.” – Eddie Howe on Harvey Barnes’ injury
His replacement, Anthony Gordon (£5.6m), put in an electric display from the bench, claiming his fourth and fifth attacking returns of the season. He teed up Sean Longstaff (£4.9m) for the first of Newcastle’s eight goals, before scoring the fifth when he cut in from the left flank and curled his shot beautifully into the far corner.
“I think that’s probably his best game for us. I thought he was very, very good, very direct. His goal was outstanding, he assisted at least one that I can remember. He just looked a real threat. He has so much ability and so much to give. And he has the attitude to go with it. His desire to improve, I see it every day in training. He’s usually one of the last off the training pitch and it’s great to see him rewarded.
“I’m sure Gareth [Southgate] is aware of him and I’m sure he’s been aware of him for a long time. All Anthony can do is just keep performing, like he has, keep his mentality as strong as it’s been. He’s been a joy to work with and he’s reaping the benefits.” – Eddie Howe on Anthony Gordon
Gordon could benefit from Barnes’ toe injury and has favourable fixtures on his side, but he has already picked up four bookings this season, meaning he’s just one away from a ban.
As for Sheff Utd, they were “outfought and outrun” by Newcastle and rank bottom for all the key defensive metrics so far this season, including goals, shots and big chances conceded.
SUB MITOMA SCORES TWICE
Roberto De Zerbi delivered on his promise to make “a lot” of changes in Gameweek 6, with nine alterations to his starting XI from Thursday’s UEFA Europa League defeat by AEK Athens.
That meant, most notably, a return for Lewis Dunk (£5.0m) and Evan Ferguson (£6.0m), but Kaoru Mitoma (£6.6m) and Solly March (£6.5m) were benched having racked up considerable minutes in midweek.
Pascal Gross (£6.3m), meanwhile, was a rare absentee, as he missed out with a muscular problem which is expected to keep him out until after the next international break.
However, after an underwhelming first-half display, Mitoma was sent on and it took him less than 20 seconds to put Brighton ahead, exchanging passes with Mahmoud Dahoud (£4.8m) before finishing into the far corner.
He then wrapped up the victory with a late header from Pervis Estupinan’s (£5.3m) cross, in a display that earned 14 Fantasy points, his biggest-ever haul.
Meanwhile, Bournemouth played well in the first half and grabbed the lead when Dominic Solanke (£6.4m) curled home the opener, his third goal in six, but they remain without a win and face Arsenal next.
“Today we played the worst game in my time. In two or three situations we were lucky. It is the first time we have played after a European game. We have to get used to playing a lot of games in a row. I changed a lot of players because we need to give one game on the bench for the players. We can’t lose a player like Pascal Gross or Lewis Dunk the last game. We have to adapt. We didn’t play well but showed character. We spoke at half time and that the attitude was not enough. We have to push more and attack more with intensity and be stronger. Mitoma is a great player for us but today we suffer without March. Gross is a unique player for us and to lose him is very tough. For new players it is tough to play with the same qualities of other players.” – Roberto De Zerbi
SALAH EXTENDS RUN
Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) opened the scoring for Liverpool in their 3-1 home victory against West Ham, winning and converting an early penalty.
He should have come away with an assist, too, only for Darwin Nunez (£7.4m) to miss a decent second-half chance.
The Uruguayan did, however, atone with an excellent finish for Liverpool’s second and it’s worth noting he’s averaged more big chances per 90 minutes (2.95) than any other player in the Premier League so far this season.
“Massive steps in the last few weeks. He is a threat. You all saw the goal, it was probably pretty good, right? That was really strong. He was always available for us, it is super-important for us that we have now – I am not sure it’s the right word – a ball player. Chip the ball there, get it on the chest and play from there, like we scored the third at Wolves for example. I think that was a similar situation and super-important for us. The defensive work he puts in now, that’s probably the main difference. He always wanted, but it was less coordinated. Now that looks much better and we found a way how we can do it around him. Curtis [Jones] and Dom [Szoboszlai] help there a lot with how flexible they are in that way. Really good, absolutely.” – Jurgen Klopp on Darwin Nunez
As for Salah, he has now scored or assisted in 12 consecutive Premier League games, a period that has seen him rack up 15 attacking returns and five double-digit hauls.
He might not be ‘essential’ anymore, especially with so many other midfielders performing well, but his consistency is to be admired and Liverpool have a great run of fixtures from Gameweeks 9 to 16, when they sit top of the ticker.
There might even be a few opportunities to captain Salah over Erling Haaland (£14.1m) during that run:
West Ham, meanwhile, drew level with Jarrod Bowen (£7.1m) heading home Vladimir Coufal’s (£4.5m) cross, a goal that maintained his record of scoring in every away game so far this season.
He was the Hammers’ main threat throughout despite struggling to train last week having suffered a stomach bug which caused him to miss Thursday’s Europa League group-stage win against TSC Backa Topola.
Bowen attempted three shots in the box and faces Sheff Utd next in Gameweek 7.
“He’d been ill since the weekend — we’d come back after the game and he’d not trained. He was in on Friday and trained on his own and then yesterday he joined us. We’re needing him. He had a chance with a header as well in the second half.
“Jarrod is a lot better than maybe he is given credit for. He’s got a lot of things he’s improving on and he’s getting quicker and stronger. He’s in good form and we need him, like we did at the end of last season. He’s started the campaign really well.” – David Moyes on Jarrod Bowen