Manchester United 3-3 Everton
- Goals: Edinson Cavani (£7.9m), Bruno Fernandes (£11.5m), Scott McTominay (£4.9m) | Abdoulaye Doucoure (£5.2m), James Rodriguez (£7.7m), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.6m
- Assists: Marcus Rashford (£9.6m), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.5m), Luke Shaw (£4.9m) | Calvert-Lewin, Doucoure, Michael Keane (£5.1m)
- Bonus Points: Calvert-Lewin x3, Cavani x2, McTominay x1
Everton players warmed up for their Double Gameweek 24 with a stirring comeback not once, but twice, at Old Trafford.
And the architect of those fightbacks just happened to be the Toffees’ most popular player in Fantasy Premier League, Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.6m).
Dom Da Bomb
A net 19,382 Fantasy managers sold the striker heading into the Manchester United clash; a strange decision when he’d scored his first goal in eight starts on Wednesday.
And further pain could be incoming should the England international prosper in home matches with Fulham and Manchester City.
Calvert-Lewin set up Everton’s first goal, when they were 2-0 down, and then scored a dramatic late equaliser to make it 3-3.
The maximum bonus award meant he brought in 12 points for his 39.6% ownership – his third double-digit haul of the season, but his first since Gameweek 9. That, just out of interest, came against Fulham.
James Rodriguez (£7.7m) made it two goals in three starts and, having played no part in Gameweek 22’s win at Leeds, could be a tempting investment for the upcoming double header.
Toffees manager Carlo Ancelotti’s post-match comments did raise certain injury concerns, however:
James felt his calf was tight at the end of first half but he could play, although not all the game. He scored a fantastic goal, then we took him out to avoid problems.
Defensively, it was a sixth straight match without a clean sheet for Everton and a barren one, attack-wise, for Lucas Digne (£6.1m), the 6.7%-owned left-back with seven assists to his name this season.
Digne didn’t create a single chance all match, although he was top for crosses (eight), as Ancelotti’s side sat deep and played on the counter at Old Trafford.
United We Stan
No Double Gameweek for United, but matches against West Brom and then Newcastle look promising, as does the form of their key assets.
FPL’s most popular player, Bruno Fernandes (£11.5m and 58.8%), scored for the second game running, as did Edinson Cavani (£7.9m), who now has two more goals than Anthony Martial (£8.7m), but from nearly 500 minutes less pitch-time.
A third straight clean sheet eluded the backline, although full-backs Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.5m) and Luke Shaw (£4.9m) chipped in with assists.
Paul Pogba (£7.7m) returned to the starting line-up but lasted just 38 minutes, with his manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer providing a non-committal update:
It looks like a muscle injury, thigh, so we’ve just got to check him tomorrow (Sunday) and have a scan and get him treatment. Hopefully he’ll recover quickly.
Man United XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Shaw, Maguire, Lindelöf, Wan-Bissaka; Pogba (Fred 39), McTominay; Rashford, B Fernandes, Greenwood (Tuanzebe 90+3); Cavani.
Everton XI (4-3-3): Olsen; Digne, Godfrey, Keane, Holgate; Davies (Iwobi 75), Gomes, Doucouré (King 81); Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, Rodríguez (Sigurdsson 69).
Fulham 0-0 West Ham United
- Bonus Points: Kenny Tete (£4.3m) x3 Aaron Cresswell (£5.7m) x3 Joachim Andersen (£4.5m) x1
A generally awful London derby between Fulham and West Ham ended goalless but harmful for the 20.5% of FPL managers with Tomas Soucek (£5.4m) in their teams.
The Hammers midfielder was given a straight red card for what was (to nearly everyone but referee Mike Dean) an accidental elbow on Aleksandar Mitrovic (£5.5m).
He’ll now serve a three-match ban, pending an appeal that gives the Premier League a golden opportunity to reverse one of the worst decisions in recent memory.
It was a measure of the match that Soucek’s misfortune, which took place in the 98th minute, was the major event of a turgid affair during which the two sides managed a mere three shots on target between them.
Fantasy interest was centred on West Ham’s increasingly popular mid-price assets but there was also an audition of sorts for Fulham players ahead of the Cottagers’ Double Gameweek 24.
They’ll travel to Everton and then Burnley and any temptation to invest in their players will probably revolve around defenders, unless new signing Josh Maja (£5.5m) – on as a late substitute in this one – proves to be the answer to the goalscoring woes that has seen Fulham score just six goals in their last dozen outings.
Scott Parker’s team have kept a so-so five clean sheets this campaign, but two of those have now come in the last four Gameweeks.
Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola‘s (£4.5m) 77 points is a top ten tally, while his 77 saves puts him in the top five.
Then again, he’ll be facing two teams with some of the lowest shots totals in the league – Burnley are second-worst with 196 and Everton only three places higher on 215.
Meanwhile, full-backs Kenny Tete (£4.3m) and Antonee Robinson (£4.4m) have no attacking returns to their names, although the former was awarded maximum bonus on Saturday for a fine all-round display.
West Ham’s FPL favourites were kept quiet by a combination of Fulham’s tenacity and their own sluggishness; a galling state of affair for those managers who made Michail Antonio (£6.7m) and Jesse Lingard (£6.0m) two of the top five for Gameweek 23 transfers in.
But the 24.2% who own Aaron Cresswell (£5.7m) were treated to maximum bonus and a nine-point haul that keeps him at the top of the FPL defenders chart.
Antonio signalled to be substituted late in the game but boss David Moyes wasn’t too concerned, saying:
I don’t think it’s anything serious for Michail Antonio. I think he just felt as if he was beginning to fatigue.
Fulham XI (4-3-2-1): Areola; Adarabioyo, Andersen, Tete, Robinson; (Maja 79), Lemina (Mitrovic 79), Reed, De Cordova-Reid (Zambo Anguissa 83); Lookman, Loftus-Cheek; Cavaleiro.
West Ham XI (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Cresswell, Ogbonna, Dawson, Coufal; Rice, Soucek; Benrahma (Yarmolenko 56), Lingard, Bowen (Noble 56); Antonio (Fredericks 74).
Newcastle United 3-2 Southampton
- Goals: Joe Willock (£4.7m), Jan Bednarek (£4.9m) own goal, Miguel Almiron (£5.6m) | Takumi Minamino (£6.0m), James Ward-Prowse (£6.0m)
- Assists: Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.1m), Almiron | Ryan Bertrand (£5.0m), Che Adams (£5.8m)
- Bonus Points: Almiron x3, Willock x2, Ward-Prowse x2
Nine-man Newcastle won a thriller against Southampton, with impressive debuts and injury worries adding extra spice to already tasty proceedings.
There is a school of thought that loan signings could prosper in this season of major fixture congestion as the relative inactivity which prompted their moves should mean they’re fresher than most.
Such a notion wasn’t harmed by events at St James’ Park, with loanees Joe Willock (£4.7m) and Takumi Minamino (£6.0m) both scoring and catching the eye.
Willock was especially impressive, earning two bonus points in a Newcastle side currently re-inventing itself as a genuine attacking force.
The Magpies scored three goals in a match for only the second time this season, Miguel Almiron (£5.6m) leading the way with a brace on his way to a season’s best 15-point haul, while Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.1m) – playing up front – chipped in with two assists.
But the three points came at a price.
Jeff Hendrick (£4.5m) was sent off for two yellow cards, Fabian Schar (£4.9m) was stretchered off with a knee injury that will keep him out for a number of months and the 24.1%-owned Callum Wilson (£6.8m) and full-back Javier Manquillo (£4.2m) both succumbed to muscle injuries.
Boss Steve Bruce was understandably downbeat despite the victory:
Unfortunately, it looks as if we’ve picked up an awful injury with Manquillo, Fab Schar’s looks a bad knee injury and of course Callum Wilson now has a hamstring too, so in that respect in the cold light of day tomorrow, I’ll assess it all.
As for Southampton, they did everything but score an equaliser against the depleted Magpies, but there was at least a crumb of comfort thrown the way of defender Jan Bednarek (£4.9m) and his 8.9% ownership.
His red card given against Man United was rescinded, enabling him to play on Saturday. Having made an FPL-record -7 score in midweek, he was initially credited with a second straight own-goal. That harsh decision was later reversed, his Gameweek 23 total soaring to zero as a result.
While the Saints were better offensively than they have been in a goal-shy couple of months, concerns still linger at the back ahead of their Gameweek 25 double-header – Ralph Hasenhuttl’s troops have shipped 18 goals in their last five matches, with even an easing of the injury crisis and a line-up that was something nearing full strength failing to stem the flow of goal concessions.
Newcastle United XI (4-2-3-1): Darlow; Lewis, Schär, Hayden, Manquillo (Krafth 24); Shelvey, Hendrick; Saint-Maximin (Dummett 67), Willock, Almirón; Wilson (Joelinton 36).
Southampton XI (4-4-2): McCarthy; Bertrand, Vestergaard, Bednarek, J Stephens; Minamino, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Redmond; Ings, Adams.
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