Southampton 1-1 Leicester
- Goals: James Ward-Prowse (£5.8m) | Jonny Evans (£5.6m)
- Assists: Stuart Armstrong (£5.5m) | Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.2m)
- Red cards: Jannik Vestergaard (£4.7m)
- Bonus points: Ward-Prowse x3, Evans x2, Alex McCarthy x1 (£4.4m)
Jamie Vardy‘s (£10.3m) audition for a place in Double Gameweek 35 squads did not go as well as his last Premier League trip to Southampton.
18 months on from that famous 9-0 victory, Leicester’s veteran forward continues to suffer in front of goal, with one Premier League strike since Gameweek 25.
After spending the early exchanges of Friday night shaking off a knock, he had some chances but was denied by Alex McCarthy (£4.4m) late on.
The Foxes face Newcastle (home) and Manchester United (away) in Double Gameweek 35; arguably a mixed bag before we consider how Vardy stacks up against other forwards with two fixtures next round.
As you can see from the table above, of forwards who have two fixtures in Double Gameweek 35, nine of them have scored more often in their last six matches.
All such forwards are cheaper than Vardy, while top of that list is, of course, his in-form colleague Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.2m).
The Nigerian international played less of a pivotal role in Leicester’s latest outing, mostly due to Southampton’s compact formation following Jannik Vestergaard‘s (£4.7m) first-half red card while Vardy was also stifled for large portions of Friday night’s game.
“There was no real change (Southampton going down to 10 men). It’s an advantage in that situation and normally we can take advantage but the game was too slow. It was not quite at the tempo you would want to see. We didn’t really start to play with that tempo until we got the equaliser. Fourth games in 13 days probably meant we were just a fraction out of the speed of our game.” – Brendan Rodgers
“We had a couple of really good chances with Jamie where he went close. Alex has made a great save from one or two others but we didn’t have enough clear chances other than that and that’ll disappoint us.” – Brendan Rodgers
Still, Ihenacho managed to extend his run without a blank to four matches with his impressive assist for Jonny Evans (£5.6m) in the second half.
Provided Newcastle can manage to keep 11 men on the field when they travel to the King Power Stadium on Friday, Iheanacho should have more space in key areas for his burgeoning ownership, now up to 24.7% worldwide and 95.0% inside the top 10,000 Fantasy managers.
James Ward-Prowse‘s (£5.8m) second-half penalty ensured Leicester’s less-than-impressive defensive run continued into Gameweek 34.
Brendan Rodgers men still have just two clean sheets since Gameweek 24, which could restrict interest in their defensive assets for the Double Gameweek, especially with Manchester United and a revitalised Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.1m) on their upcoming schedule.
Some Leicester defenders have belied the lack of clean sheets of late, of course.
Timothy Castagne (£5.8m) remains the second-most-popular Fox at this end of the pitch, behind only Kasper Schmeichel (£5.4m), and had a chance to grab a winning goal against Southampton before he hooked his far-post effort wide.
He has a goal and an assist in each of his last three Premier League appearances although his differential colleague Jonny Evans (£5.6m) should not be overlooked.
The former Manchester United man has produced an attacking return in each of his last three, amassing a total of 30 points in a period where the Foxes kept just one clean sheet. By contrast, Castagne has 22 points since Gameweek 32, eight fewer than Evans.
“He’s been incredible, he showed great determination to get on the cross. He hurt himself towards the end of the game. Haven’t seen him afterwards to see how good or bad he is. We’re very lucky to have him.” – Brendan Rodgers
With the early red card, there was plenty of chopping and changing from both sides to entertain the tactical enthusiasts on this site.
Southampton lined up in their 4-2-2-2 formation initially, having to tuck into a 4-4-1 following the sending off.
FPL midfielder Nathan Tella (£4.3m) was the unfortunate party, replaced by Mohammed Salisu (£4.3m) after just 15 minutes playing as an out-of-position centre-forward alongside Che Adams (£5.7m).
Salisu’s introduction was a straight swap with Vestergaard, seeing him operate at centre-back after playing left-back against Spurs. Jack Stephens (£4.6m) assumed that role on Friday night.
Rodgers responded to Southampton’s red card by stacking his Leicester deck with more attacking options.
After lining his side up in a 3-4-1-2, the Foxes’ boss brought Ayoze Pérez (£6.0m) on for Wesley Fofana (£5.0m) at half-time to play a possession-based 2-4-1-3 system featuring the former Newcastle man on the right of a front-three, Iheanacho through the middle and Vardy on the left.
As we saw against Crystal Palace, Luke Thomas (£4.1m) staffed the left wing-back role for the first 68 minutes before Marc Albrighton (£5.2m) came on to add some extra threat, pushing Castagne from the right to the left.
“We had a lot of the ball on the sides because they were blocking the middle of the field. So we took off the defenders to put some attacking impetus into the game. We arrived in some dangerous positions but we didn’t have precision on the final pass or timing when we got in there.” – Brendan Rodgers
Southampton XI (4-4-2): McCarthy, Walker-Peters, Vestergaard, Stephens, Bednarek, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong, Redmond, Minamino (Diallo 76′), Tella (Salisu 15′), Adams (N’Lundulu 90+1′).
Leicester City XI (3-4-1-2): Schmeichel; Fofana (Pérez 46′), Soyuncu, Evans; L Thomas (Albrighton (69′), Tielemans, Ndidi, Castagne; Maddison; Iheanacho, Vardy.
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Source : www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk – https%3A%2F%2Fwww.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk%2F2021%2F05%2F01%2Fvardy-struggling-to-command-place-on-double-gameweek-35-radar%2F