Our next round-up of Fantasy Premier League’s (FPL) Gameweek 11 action covers three more Saturday matches.
We’re looking at Everton v Brighton and Hove Albion, Burnley v Crystal Palace and Sheffield United v Wolverhampton Wanderers.
ANOTHER PALACE CLEAN SHEET
By winning 2-0 at Burnley and keeping their fifth clean sheet of the season, Crystal Palace move into the league’s top half. The Clarets actually thrashed Palace 17-4 when it came to attempts but the visitors amassed the same number of big chances (three) and a higher expected goals (xG) tally of 1.30, showing that it’s about quality, not quantity.
Over two million FPL managers own Joachim Andersen (£5.0m) and, despite the successful shut-out, there’ll be frustration that his big chance didn’t go in at the other end, finishing on five points because of a yellow card. Centre-back partner Marc Guehi (£4.6m) was also booked.
This allowed Tyrick Mitchell (£4.5m) to take the plaudits instead, banking a late goal and 15 points. It means that two of FPL’s four highest-scoring defenders belong to the south London side. Five saves and two bonus points put Sam Johnstone (£4.6m) on nine for the afternoon, yet just 4.5% own the game’s joint-best goalkeeper.
EZE ASSISTS ON HIS COMEBACK
Further good news for Palace fans came with the re-appearance of key midfielder Eberechi Eze (£6.1m). Missing for the previous three Gameweeks due to a hamstring injury, the England international’s cameo began in the 58th minute.
Above: The players with most attempts up until Gameweek 7
It didn’t take long for him to get involved either. In stoppage time, Eze’s perfectly weighted pass was slid home by Mitchell, meaning the 25-year-old ended with an assist. Between Gameweeks 1 and 7, he ranked third throughout the league for shots (27), so returning in time for such a brilliant run of upcoming fixtures may see a sharp uptake in ownership that nears his opening weekend popularity.
NETO-LESS WOLVES IN LATE DEFEAT
Several cheap midfielders joined Eze in delivering FPL attacking goods in a largely disastrous Gameweek 11. Kaoru Mitoma (£6.5m), Jordan Ayew (£5.4m), Bryan Mbeumo (£6.8m) and Anthony Gordon (£5.7m) had a solid score and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Hwang Hee-chan (£5.5m) did it for the seventh time in eight matches.
Only four players entered the weekend on more goals than Hwang’s six but, with influential team-mate Pedro Neto (£5.7m) injured, there was some doubt as to whether his run was sustainable with so much creativity now sidelined. Still, roughly 360,000 managers bought him for the nice-looking trip to Sheffield United.
He set up four chances and had one for himself but there’ll perhaps be some disappointment that he ‘only’ ended with an assist and five points.
In Neto’s absence, Gary O’Neil moved forward Matheus Cunha to the flank, allowing Sasa Kalajdzic (£4.9m) to start. A final output of 10 shots was one of the team’s worst of the season but the 1.33 xG sits somewhere in the middle. There’ll be a slight temptation to bench Hwang when Spurs visit next Saturday.
MANAGERS HOPING FOR ARCHER AUTOSUB
A late Oliver Norwood (£4.8m) penalty resigned Wolves to defeat and gave Sheffield United their first win of the season.
Yet it was the first Cameron Archer (£4.5m) goal that will frustrate many within FPL. Back in the starting XI after a tactical switcharound at Arsenal, there are 828,588 managers with the cheap enabler’s nine points stuck on their bench. Unless you own the unused Martin Odegaard (£8.4m), Marcus Rashford (£8.6m) or Alexander Isak (£7.4m), Archer’s success will likely remain stuck on benches.
In such a desperately low-scoring week, there’ll even be some owners of Spurs and Chelsea attackers hoping for a surprise absence tonight.
BALDOCK + BEYER BACK IN ACTION
Meanwhile, there were other returning names to interest the FPL community alongside Eze.
Defenders George Baldock (£3.8m) and Jordan Beyer (£4.0m) started for the first time since Gameweek 4 and Gameweek 7 respectively. The pair experienced mixed fortunes. While Beyer was at fault for Crystal Palace’s first goal, Baldock – playing in a back three rather than at wing-back – won a penalty and FPL assist.
Above: The teams with most goals conceded
However, Sheffield United and Burnley are amongst the worst three backlines for conceding goals and shots on target. Interest in the newly promoted duo is low and perhaps now Charlie Taylor (£4.0m) has overtaken Beyer as Burnley’s cheap starter of choice.
The two teams face each other in Gameweek 14, so maybe their players will finally see some marginal consideration. It follows the Blades’ hosting of Bournemouth – of interest to both Archer and Baldock.
BRIGHTON’S FADING ATTACK
Elsewhere, Roberto De Zerbi’s side are now winless in five league matches. Their 1-1 draw at Everton brought no big chances for either side, as no player exceeded 0.22 expected goal involvement (xGI).
What may start to concern owners of Mitoma and Simon Adingra (£5.0m) is that Brighton have gone from being one of the league’s most attacking outfits to one whose last three matches have dipped.
|GW3||Lose||West Ham (h)||1||25||10||2||1.48|
|GW5||Win||Man Utd (a)||3||10||8||3||1.70|
|GW7||Lose||A Villa (a)||1||11||3||3||1.71|
|GW9||Lose||Man City (a)||1||5||3||3||0.83|
Limited to one goal in each, Saturday was their lowest xG (0.51) of the season. They rank mid-table between Gameweeks 9 and 11 for attempts (30), on target (11) and xG (2.76).
But the saving grace for owing Seagulls assets is that they’re at home to Sheffield United next. Those who avoid De Zerbi’s rotation, that is!