Brighton 3-0 Newcastle
- Goals: Leandro Trossard (£5.8m), Danny Welbeck (£5.5m), Neal Maupay (£6.2m)
- Assists: Joël Veltman (£4.4m), Trossard, Pascal Groß (£5.8m)
- Bonus points: Trossard x3, Maupay x2, Veltman x1
Leandro Trossard (£5.8m) is emerging as a key asset in Brighton’s attack after scoring and assisting in Blank Gameweek 29.
The Belgian midfielder has produced 10 attacking returns in 2020/21 although five of those have come in his last nine Premier League appearances.
No other Brighton asset has been involved in as many goals during that time, perhaps unsurprising considering how long this season’s top goalscorer Neal Maupay (£6.2m) had to go between his seventh and eighth strike (10 league matches).
However, Trossard has also been keeping company with some of the best value assets in the Premier League too.
Between Gameweeks 21 and 29, just four FPL midfielders priced £8.0m or under have involved themselves in more goals than him, Ilkay Gündogan (£6.1m), Phil Foden (£6.1m), Jesse Lingard (£6.1m) and Raphinha (£5.6m).
THE FIRST JOËL
Joel Veltman (£4.4m) overcame potential positional disadvantages to continue his good form against Newcastle.
The Brighton defender provided the assist for Trossard’s first-half goal, his second attacking return since Gameweek 25.
Veltman had impressed in the six matches previous to Saturday, registering the highest expected goal involvement (xGI) score of any Brighton defender over that period.
However, there were some concerns over his ability to sustain that output considering most of it had been achieved as a right wing-back.
After Dan Burn‘s (£4.2m) forced withdrawal against Southampton, Veltman moved to the left-hand side of a back-three, the same role he took up against Newcastle with his previously stricken colleague only fit enough for the bench. Central midfielder Jakub Moder (£5.0m) held down the left wing-back position on Saturday.
Despite less of a marauding role on Saturday, Veltman’s range of passing was still on offer, as he found Trossard with a searching forward ball, which the Belgian converted from distance with aplomb.
Those who went for a different route into the Brighton defence still got exactly what they hoped for against Newcastle.
The Seagulls restricted their unadventurous visitors to very little, Ryan Fraser (£5.6m) striking the post just after half-time the only real scare of the evening.
It was Brighton’s first clean sheet since Gameweek 24 although, as already explained, it was not much of a surprise considering Newcastle had blanked twice in their previous four matches.
Meanwhile, after failing to register a shot on target in the reverse fixture back in Gameweek 2, Steve Bruce’s men failed to register a single accurate effort in Blank Gameweek 29 too.
While very few teams will present as easy an opportunity for a clean sheet as Newcastle moving forward, there are further opportunities to start Brighton defenders in the coming weeks.
Trips to Manchester United and Chelsea in Gameweeks 30 and 32 respectively are particularly off-putting but between Gameweeks 31 and 34, the Seagulls face Everton (home), Sheffield United (away) and Leeds (home).
The Gameweek 33 trip to Bramall Lane bears the most obvious appeal considering the Blades have scored the fewest goals of any Premier League team this season (16).
Everton and Leeds arguably offer more potential for Lewis Dunk (£5.0m) than other members of the Brighton defence.
Over the last six matches, they both sit inside the bottom-three for chances conceded from set plays while John Stones (£5.3m) is the only FPL defender with more goals since Gameweek 17 (four) than Dunk (three).
WIN YOUR SPURS
Owners of Tottenham Hotspur assets will have particularly enjoyed Newcastle’s performance against Brighton.
In a season with little to celebrate, the fact that this was one of their worst Premier League performances of 2020/21 is significant indeed.
After keeping things tight against Wolves, West Brom and Aston Villa, this was the second time in the last five Gameweeks that Newcastle conceded three goals.
In their last eight Premier League outings, the Magpies have shipped at least two goals on five occasions.
Considering Spurs have just 11 goals in their past 12 Premier League away games, Newcastle’s poor form should encourage anyone currently in possession of Harry Kane (£11.5m), Gareth Bale (£9.6m) and Son Heung-min (£9.5m).
Bruce will likely have to field a side without Isaac Hayden (£4.6m) too, who was stretchered off with a potentially serious knee injury in the first half against Brighton.
Brighton and Hove Albion XI (3-5-2): R Sánchez; Veltman, Dunk, White; Moder (Pröpper 89′), Trossard (Mac Allister 79′), Lallana, Bissouma, Groß; Maupay, Welbeck (Zeqiri 83′).
Newcastle United XI (4-2-3-1): Dúbravka; Dummett, Clark, Lascelles, Manquillo; Hayden (Hendrick 45+2′), Shelvey; Fraser, Willock (Murphy 62′), Almirón (S Longstaff 76′); Joelinton.
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