West Ham 1-0 Burnley
- Goals: Michail Antonio (£6.3m)
- Assists: Pablo Fornals (£6.1m)
- Bonus points: Antonio x3, Aaron Cresswell x2 (£5.4m), Fornals x2
YOU’RE SO FINE
Michail Antonio (£6.3m) got West Ham’s part in Double Gameweek 19 off to the best possible start as he scored the only goal of a 1-0 win over Burnley.
The Fantasy Premier League forward was signed by 500,000+ managers in the build-up to the weekend’s action and he made an immediate impact.
The sale of Sebastien Haller (£6.1m) to Ajax had all but implied Antonio was fit and ready to lead the Hammers’ line again and his performance against Burnley certainly suggested that was true.
Not only did the striker find the net nine minutes into his first start since Gameweek 10, but he also lasted 90 minutes for only the third Premier League match in 2020/21.
Provided that can continue, Antonio can go on to become West Ham’s greatest threat for their appealing upcoming schedule, rather than Tomas Soucek (£5.3m) who did not muster an effort on goal on Saturday afternoon.
By contrast, Antonio has registered a shot every 30.2 minutes this season, the best of any Hammers asset ahead of meetings with Crystal Palace (away), Liverpool (home), Aston Villa (away), Fulham (away) and Sheffield United (home) – all after their second Double Gameweek 19 match at home to West Bromwich Albion, of course.
Crucially, as things stand, the direct competition for Antonio’s place amounts to none – until David Moyes can find a new striker.
Ademipo Odubeko was an unused substitute against Burnley but the West Ham manager has been unequivocal in his desire for reinforcements in this area.
“I’d like some pace and someone who can run in behind. Because Micky gives us that just now, and if we don’t have him through injury or have to rest him at any time, we would like that type.” – David Moyes
SCORES ON THE DAWS
West Ham’s defence is also looking ripe for investment ahead of those aforementioned appealing fixtures as they recorded a third successive Premier League clean sheet against Burnley.
That is something the Hammers have not achieved since September 2019, their recent improvements in this area helped by Craig Dawson (£4.5m).
The centre-back is yet to concede a single league goal this season, starting and contributing to a shutout in every match since Gameweek 16 and was also present for a clean sheet in the FA Cup win over Stockport County.
“(Dawson) has played four games and kept four clean sheets. If you’re a centre-half and you come into a team it’s like being a striker and having four games with four goals. He should be really pleased with his performance. He’s had to be patient. We’ve got competition for places like Issa Diop waiting to come in and Aaron Cresswell has played as a third centre-back for us as well. The competition is there. They’re setting the standards now. Sometimes you do have to win 1-0 in these games.” – David Moyes
It would appear that Dawson has nailed down his place in the West Ham back-four now, especially with Issa Diop (£4.3m) an unused substitute against Burnley and Fabian Balbuena (£4.4m) self-isolating.
Whether or not Dawson can offer Fantasy value of his own rather than boosting his colleagues remains to be seen.
The centre-back was a prolific penalty box presence for Watford during Project Restart but is yet to register an effort on goal for West Ham.
Vladimir Coufal (£4.7m) and Aaron Cresswell (£5.4m) have nine attacking returns between them this season so they look the more likely to get returns at the other end of the pitch.
That said, the latter was spared an own goal only by the offside flag on Saturday afternoon and the pair combined for just one key pass.
And those without West Ham defensive coverage, especially for upcoming meetings with Crystal Palace (Gameweek 20), Fulham (Gameweek 23) and Sheffield United (Gameweek 24) could do worse than selecting Dawson for his attractive price.
BOTTLE OF CLARET
In failing to find the net against West Ham, Burnley recorded a 10th blank of the campaign, solidifying them as clean sheet fodder.
No team has failed to score in that many games this season as they registered their 28th 1-0 defeat in the Premier League, the Clarets’ most common scoreline in the competition.
That is encouraging news for Fantasy managers targetting their upcoming opponents such as Aston Villa, Chelsea and Manchester City between now and Gameweek 22.
West Ham United XI (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Cresswell, Ogbonna, Dawson, Coufal; Rice, Soucek; Fornals, Benrahma (Lanzini 68′), Bowen (Yarmolenko 82′); Antonio.
Burnley XI (4-4-2): Pope; Pieters, Mee, Tarkowski, Lowton; Brady, Westwood, Brownhill, Gudmundsson (McNeil 46′); Wood (Rodriguez 72′), Barnes (Vydra 63′).
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