Leeds assets punish doubters ahead of FPL run-in fixture-swing | fpl.wiki


Leeds 3-1 Spurs

  • Goals: Stuart Dallas (£5.2m), Patrick Bamford (£6.3m), Rodrigo (£5.7m) | Son Heung-min (£9.5m)
  • Assists: Ezgjan Alioski (£4.3m), Raphinha (£5.4m) | Dele Alli (£7.4m)
  • Bonus points: Bamford x3, Rodrigo x2, Dallas x1

An entertaining match at Elland Road saw goals from Patrick Bamford (£6.3m), Stuart Dallas (£5.2m) and Rodrigo (£5.7m) give Leeds United a 3-1 win, extinguishing Spurs’ ambitions for Champions League football.

It was a deserved win for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, regaining the lead after Son Heung-min’s (£9.5m) equaliser and a close VAR call that could have put the visitors in front had Harry Kane (£11.8m) not been deemed offside.

Leeds’ only five draws this season have been at home to supposed ‘Super League Six’ opponents and here they expertly completed the set unbeaten.

“Considering the fortitude of the opponent and the way in which we attacked and defended and the possibility to play pretty much on even terms, it is one of the best of the season. We could have scored more but we also could have conceded some more as well. I think the difference of two goals is adequate and fair.” – Marcelo Bielsa

LEEDS BACK ON THE RADAR

As the season concludes, Bielsa’s team don’t look tired – a recognised symptom from the head coach’s previous clubs – with a promising set of fixtures against Burnley (away), Southampton (away) and West Bromwich Albion (home) to end on.

That’s why Fantasy Premier League managers will be pleased to see two returns – winger Raphinha (£5.4m) and the goal scoring of Bamford. The most transferred-out player of the week after one goal from nine games, Bamford reminded the community that he is the focal point of an incredibly attacking team.

His seven shots from the previous five matches was poor. It suggested that Bamford had peaked, having been replaced early on numerous recent occasions.

Yet an early left-footed shot in the seventh minute showcased his capabilities, a low attempt pushed wide by Hugo Lloris (£5.6m). The England hopeful then gave Leeds a half-time advantage by tapping in an assist from Ezgjan Alioski (£4.3m), the left-back overlapping Jack Harrison (£5.4m) to provide the pass.

Bamford will be confident of replicating the two goals and two assists from the reverse meetings against Burnley, Southampton and West Brom.

DALLAS DOES IT AGAIN

Northern Ireland international Dallas continues to show how fixture-proof an FPL asset he can be. Following his 17-point haul away to Manchester City and a clean sheet against Manchester United, Dallas scored the opener after 13 minutes by following-up a Lloris save that prevented Sergio Reguilon (£5.6m) from scoring an own goal. 

It was his eighth goal of the season which, alongside three assists and ten clean sheets, makes him comfortably the highest-scoring FPL defender of the season. The versatile Dallas has mostly been used in midfield and will could be classified as one next season. 

Here, he started proceedings on the right flank before playing centrally once Raphinha came on. A late, stoppage time chance almost gave him another brace, if it wasn’t for Lloris again getting in the way.

Raphinha was only on the pitch for 32 minutes but found time to assist the decisive third goal. Sent down the left flank, his cross was finished by fellow substitute Rodrigo and judged fine by VAR’s offside check.

The exciting Brazilian has been a hit in Yorkshire and made a mockery of his FPL price by providing four goals, five assists and eye test success during his previous 13 games, until having to miss three matches with a thigh problem. He looked threatening during this cameo and could be an appealing midfield differential for the final weeks.

“Key moments went against us, and we weren’t as clinical as we would have liked to have been. Their goalkeeper pulled off two great saves, Harry hit the crossbar, the offside decision is also a big moment at 1-1 and, look, it’s a disappointing afternoon because we lost.” – Ryan Mason

SON SHINING AGAIN

In a match full of the season’s most well-owned assets, Son scored his fourth goal in five matches to coincide with his dip in popularity amongst the FPL community. Just when his time looked over, scoring only once in the 11 games that followed January’s reverse win over Leeds, a Double Gameweek 32 was announced for Spurs. 

Now there has been an upturn in form, tallying up 38 points from five matches. Throughout the season, Son has outperformed his poor expected goal involvement (xGI) figures so consistently that it actually boosts his appeal for the final three matches against Wolves (H), Aston Villa (H) and Leicester (a).

Joining Son and Bamford as the most-sold players heading into Gameweek 35, Kane can consider himself unlucky not to have provided returns here. The league’s top scorer netted twice but both were offside, later hitting the crossbar with a 72nd minute free kick. 

Although Gareth Bale (£9.1m) has contributed nine goals and two assists, they tend to come in short splurges during comfortable wins. Therefore, although managers may be concerned that Kane also blanked during the 4-0 win over Sheffield United, he remains the standout premium striker. Along with Son, he has carried Spurs through the season. The outstanding pair have a combined 61 goals and assists for the season.

“I think he (Alli) produced a moment that created a goal for us in the first half so as a Number 10 that’s part of your job and that’s what you need to do in that attacking third of the pitch. I said all along we’ve got many attacking players competing for places so it’s a big training game coming up.” – Ryan Mason

THE THREAT OF ALLI

Bale was anonymous at Elland Road and was replaced in a 68th minute double substitution with Dele Alli (£7.4m). The latter actually played well in the first half, dinking the pass for Son’s equaliser and setting up Kane’s first disallowed goal. Alli could be an interesting punt to end the season on, especially with Euro 2020 squads being increased from 23 to 26 men.

Elsewhere, both goalkeepers made some impressive saves. Lloris added more when tipping over right-footed shots from Harrison and Mateusz Klich (£5.2m). Young stopper Illan Meslier (£4.7m) reacted well to save a heavy deflected Spurs shot, later using a leg to deny Giovani Lo Celso (£6.9m).

Bargain defender Pascal Struijk (£4.0m) played again, despite captain Liam Cooper’s (£4.3m) return from a three-match suspension. Bielsa confirmed that Cooper missed out because of a slight knock to the gluteus.

Struijk has started 18 of the last 21 league matches, although he plays in an odd defence that has kept ten clean sheets but leak chances. The only team to have both scored and conceded over 50 goals, just three sides have conceded more shots but just four have created more.

Leeds have certainly been a breath of fresh air since promotion. With a trio of favourable games to conclude the season, it is time to buy their players again.

LEEDS UNITED XI (4-1-4-1): Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Struijk, Alioski; Koch; Dallas, Klich (Phillips 89’), Roberts (Raphinha 58’), Harrison; Bamford (Rodrigo 79’)

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR XI (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Lo Celso (Ndombele 80’); Bale (Lucas Moura 68’), Alli (Lamela 68’), Son; Kane

Triple Gameweek 35 so far…

Christian Benteke (£5.5m) opened the scoring as Crystal Palace beat Sheffield United 2-0 on Saturday afternoon.

It was his third goal in his last five away matches and he could have walked away from Bramall Lane with more to his name.

The former Liverpool man had one fine effort blocked before the woodwork denied him in the second half.

However, Eberechi Eze (£5.8m) proved to be the star of the show, registering an assist and scoring in the second half to claim maximum bonus points.

By contrast, Wilfried Zaha (£7.2m) was relatively peripheral, stationed on the left-hand side of attacking midfield rather than in in his usual out-of-position centre-forward berth.

Meanwhile, there was a clean sheet for Crystal Palace’s defenders, Gary Cahill (£4.5m) benefitting the most thanks to his assist for Eze’s goal while Joel Ward (£4.3m) picked up a first-half yellow card.

Edouard Mendy (£5.2m) was the latest Triple Gameweek 35 option to punish his Free Hit sellers on Saturday.

He was the beneficiary of a woeful Sergio Aguero (£10.3m) penalty as Manchester City hosted Chelsea.

The centre-forward did manage to get an assist for Raheem Sterling‘s (£11.0m) first-half goal but is struggling to convince many of his worth between now and his Gameweek 38 bow.

Hakim Ziyech (£7.9m) netted the equaliser for Chelsea, allowing César Azpilicueta (£5.9m) to extend his lead among his colleagues for points since Thomas Tuchel took over (79 pre-bonus).

Marcos Alonso (£5.7m) finally delivered on his admittedly dwindling Fantasy appeal in the dying stages.

Making just his second start since Gameweek 32, the left wing-back netted his second goal of the season.

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