The Fantasy Premier League (FPL) takeaways from two more of Saturday’s matches are covered in our latest Scout Notes article of Gameweek 9.
This time we’re looking at Bournemouth v Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brentford v Burnley.
NETO’S GREAT START
After a couple of years of persistent injury problems, Pedro Neto (£5.8m) is currently one of the best performers in the Premier League.
The Portuguese looked dangerous every time he ran at Bournemouth’s defence on Saturday and his assist for Matheus Cunha’s (£5.5m) equaliser was his seventh in 2023/24 – no player has more.
The number 7 also smacked the crossbar from the edge of the box, one of his four attempts at the Vitality Stadium.
However, it’s his role as a creator which is really catching the eye.
Indeed, only Kieran Trippier (£6.9m), Bruno Fernandes (£8.4m) and James Maddison (£8.1m) have created more chances than Neto this season, while he also sits eighth for non-penalty expected goal involvement (xGI).
Above: All players sorted by chances created (CC) in 2023/24
Can he maintain it? Next up at Molineux is Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, but Wolves’ forthcoming away trips carry more potential, with Sheffield United in Gameweek 11 and Fulham in Gameweek 13. The former sit bottom for chances conceded from their left flank, meanwhile.
Another player who’s had a blistering start to the season, Hwang Hee-chan (£5.4m), claimed his first assist of the campaign at Bournemouth but fluffed two ‘big chances’.
As for the performance itself, the half-time introduction of Tommy Doyle (£4.4m) – who did steal some of Neto’s corners in the second half – helped turn the tide Wolves’ way, in an encouraging display that saw them rack up 21 shots and 2.35 expected goals (xG).
“We needed a little bit more control with the ball. A little bit more quality with the ball. Joao Gomes has done fantastically well for us this season, but Mario [Lemina] wasn’t there today, so it was a new partnership, and I thought maybe Tommy [Doyle] and Bouba [Traore] would complement each other slightly better.
We switched Cunha and ‘Channy’ [Hwang] as well to move Cunha to the ten and he scored a great goal from there, then Sasa [Kalajdzic] comes on and gets a great goal. Some of the changes had an impact, but no credit to me, the lads have gone and put a real good display at a tough place to go.” – Gary O’Neil on the substitutes making a difference
CHERRIES REMAIN WINLESS
After Saturday’s loss, Bournemouth remain winless after nine Premier League games.
The Cherries have faced a very tough run of fixtures and have drawn against Chelsea, Brentford and West Ham United, but defeat puts real pressure on new boss Andoni Iraola.
The Spaniard’s front-foot, Marcelo Bielsa-inspired tactics have helped talisman Dominic Solanke (£6.4m), who netted his fourth league goal of the season with a delightful back-heel on Saturday, but their defence continues to suffer.
Regularly getting into trouble with their desire to play out from the back, Bournemouth now sit bottom for expected goals conceded (xGC), even below Sheffield United.
Manchester City and Newcastle United face the Cherries in the next three Gameweeks, meanwhile.
“Nobody should be concerned about Andoni Iraola, I’m concerned about Bournemouth winning games. It’s like this and it has to be like this. I haven’t talked [to the board], but it’s not a matter of me or my situation. It’s a matter of how can we solve this the best way.” – Andoni Iraola
MBEUMO HITS BACK
Brentford claimed their first league win since Gameweek 2 on Saturday, with their new-look front three thriving against Burnley.
Yoane Wissa (£5.9m) broke the deadlock in the first half, turning in Bryan Mbeumo’s (£6.8m) loss cross at the far post, before the latter steered Neal Maupay’s (£4.9m) pass into the top corner.
Saman Ghoddos (£4.5m) then completed the scoring with just a few minutes remaining.
Wissa was responsible for three of Brentford’s 23 shots on goal while Mbeumo – who is now up to third in the midfielder standings despite four blanks in a row prior to Gameweek 9 – attempted six.
“The front three looked very sharp and good together. The first goal was fantastic: we win it back high, Neal [Maupay] plays in Bryan [Mbeumo], then under to Wissa who scores. The second goal was also a fantastic goal, and then the third goal from Saman [Ghoddos] was goal of the day.” – Thomas Frank on front three Bryan Mbeumo, Yoane Wissa and Neal Maupay
Above: Brentford’s average position map v Burnley, featuring Mbeumo (19), Wissa (11) and Maupay (7)
Brentford’s win was well-deserved and they may feel they should have won by an even bigger margin after creating 3.24 xG, with Burnley ‘keeper James Trafford (£4.5m) producing a string of fine saves to keep his side in the match before half-time.
Elsewhere, Mark Flekken (£4.5m) returned in goal, helping his side keep their second clean sheet of the season, although he only had to make one save.
BURNLEY’S POOR SHOWING
It’s been a difficult start for Burnley this season, having lost seven of their opening nine matches.
At the Gtech, they were undone by familiar defensive frailties and, in truth, Brentford should have been out of sight by half-time had it not been for Trafford.
The Clarets gave away possession far too easily and were reduced to 10-men when Connor Roberts (£4.5m) was sent off for a second yellow card.
Lyle Foster (£5.0m) did at least pose a threat at the other end of the pitch, with his pace in behind causing a few problems, and Burnley do at least have some slightly better fixtures on the horizon, starting with a trip to Bournemouth in Gameweek 10.
“Simple. Overall, not good enough. In the first half, losing 1-0 was flattering to us. In the second half, I thought we came out and looked like we should have done in the first half. We played really well for that spell, but moments we don’t take – and they did take – put the game past us. But you can’t have 45 minutes like that in the Premier League.” – Vincent Kompany