Mount and Rodriguez injury updates as Watkins hits good form ahead of Gameweek 35 |

Everton 1-2 Aston Villa

  • Goals: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.5m) | Ollie Watkins (£6.5m), Anwar El Ghazi (£5.2m)
  • Assists: Lucas Digne (£6.1m) | Bertrand Traore (£5.8m)
  • Bonus Points: Digne x3 Watkins x2 Calvert-Lewin x2

Some key Fantasy assets warmed up for Double Gameweek 35 with a Goodison Park audition involving one of the more breathless first halves of the season.

The score was 1-1 at the interval, with the goals coming from FPL favourites Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.5m) and Ollie Watkins (£6.5m).

But it needed a stellar Jordan Pickford (£4.8m) performance and the frame of his goal (twice) to deny Aston Villa going in at half-time with a deserved lead before a late Anwar El Ghazi (£5.2m) strike secured the points for the visitors.

Ollie Jolly, Emi Less So

Both teams have two Gameweek 35 fixtures as they’ll face each other again once Everton have travelled to West Ham and Villa entertained Manchester United next Sunday.

Crucially, the sides also have a Gameweek 36 match, with Dean Smith’s men going to Crystal Palace and the Toffees at home to Sheffield United.

All of that ramps up the appeal of their main players, which only serves to highlight the curious case of Watkins in recent weeks.

The Villa striker is found in 25.6% of FPL squads, but his net ownership has dropped in four of the last five Gameweeks even though he’s produced attacking returns in every single one of them.

He was sharp and hungry at Goodison, forcing Mason Holgate (£4.8m) into the error that led to the first goal and only being denied further joy by the excellence of Pickford.

Watkins is comfortably in the top four for points among FPL strikers and is in far better form than the two players – Jamie Vardy (£10.3m) and Patrick Bamford (£6.4m) – directly above him.

His relative lack of appeal is odd, therefore, although Saturday night’s star turn has meant an early, if modest, upturn in owners for the Double Gameweek to come.

FPL’s most popular goalkeeper, Emi Martinez (£5.4m and 40%), has also experienced a slight drop in owners while bringing in 13 points to Watkins’ 33 over the same time frame.

Villa have kept just one clean sheet in eight matches now, with managers relying on save points and the odd bonus morsel to justify their investment in a keeper who doesn’t even offer a cheap price tag these days – only four stoppers cost more.

Dignety At All Times

Ownership levels on Merseyside have been a bit more explicable, with Calvert-Lewin way down on his 4.7 million peak when averaging a goal a game across the first 11 Gameweeks.

His strike against Villa was only his second since Gameweek 23, but he’s actually scored twice in his last four starts – relatively promising form for the pair of fixtures to come.

Midfielder James Rodriguez (£7.7m) had also been showing some potential following his latest return from injury, with a goal and an assist across the previous four matches, but he picked up a calf issue during the warm-up on Saturday to frustrate his 8.9% ownership.

Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti seemed unconcerned about the issue post-match, however:

I think he had a little problem. He was not comfortable to play. I think he is going to play in the next game. It was a really small problem.

At the back, Lucas Digne (£6.1m) was the stand-out option on display, if only because of his attacking threat.

The full-back’s corner, which led to Calvert-Lewin’s goal, produced the Frenchman’s first assist since Gameweek 24, although he has brought in five sets of clean sheet points since then to pay some of his Fantasy way.

Shutting down West Ham or a not yet beach-ready Villa might be beyond Digne in Gameweek 35, but his attacking threat remains – only Aaron Cresswell (£5.6m) can better him for assists (10 v 9) this season.

Everton XI (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Coleman, Godfrey, Holgate, Digne; Allan, Andre Gomes (Delph 70); Richarlison, Iwobi (Bernard 76), Sigurdsson (King 82); Calvert-Lewin.

Aston Villa XI (4-2-3-1): Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Douglas Luiz, McGinn; Traore (Ramsey 88), Barkley, El Ghazi (Davis 90+2); Watkins. 

Chelsea 2-0 Fulham

  • Goals: Kai Havertz (£8.2m) x2
  • Assists: Mason Mount (£7.3m), Timo Werner (£9.2m)
  • Bonus Points: Havertz x3 Andreas Christensen (£4.7m) x2 Thiago Silva (£5.6m) x1

Kai Havertz (£8.2m) made a belated pitch for Fantasy relevance with a clinical display against nearly-relegated Fulham.

The Germany international scored twice from two shots to double his goals tally for the season and continue his impressive form as a false nine in coach Thomas Tuchel’s current tactical set-up.

Kai Fidelity

Keeping faith in Havertz has certainly proved fruitful for his 3.3% ownership, with a second double-digit haul in three Gameweeks, although a net 3,244 managers chose to sell him on this week to miss out on 16 points.

Their logic, while ill-timed, was sound enough. 

Tuchel’s liking for rotation has meant the midfielder being in and out of the starting line-up despite his recent uptick in form (he has five attacking returns from as many starts).

And although Chelsea do have two fixtures in Gameweek 35, they’re against Manchester City and Arsenal, with the schedule that follows – a blank, Leicester and then Aston Villa – barely ramping up the allure.

That will likely stifle interest in Blues assets across the board. Not that there was a great deal of that to begin with.

The side’s most popular player, Mason Mount (£7.3m), set up the first goal to bring in a second assist in four Gameweeks for his 20.2% ownership before leaving the fray in the 75th minute with what looked like an injury.

Tuchel played down the extent of that after the game:

It was my decision to take him off. There was not any doctor or physio who told me to take him off. I saw him landing hard, but it was the moment anyway when we wanted to take him off if we had the chance, at around 70 minutes. So there was a bit of playing it safe with him, but I haven’t been given any new information about a problem for him, so he should be fine for Wednesday.

Wednesday refers, of course, to the Champions League tie against Real Madrid that is tipped, slightly, in Chelsea’s favour.

Tuchel made five changes to the team with that in mind, the most hurtful probably being the rest for Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.9m), whose 8% ownership missed out on a third straight clean sheet and a league-leading 18th (equal with Manchester City) for the season.

At least both Chelsea’s Double Gameweek opponents will also be in continental action, so current owners of Blues stars are unlikely to ditch their men until the blank that follows, while new investors might just steer clear altogether.

As for Fulham, the end gets ever nigher and although their first-half display on Saturday probably warranted a goal or two, the lack of a cutting edge and a six-match run without a clean sheet keeps their players way off the Fantasy radar.

Chelsea XI (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Christensen, Silva, Zouma; Chilwell (Alonso 81), James, Gilmour, Mount (Abraham 76); Havertz, Ziyech (Kante 66); Werner.

Fulham XI (4-2-3-1): Areola; Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Robinson; Lemina (Carvalho 78), Anguissa; Decordova-Reid, Lookman, Cavaleiro (Onomah 78); Maja (Mitrovic 81).


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