Antonio the most-sold FPL player of Gameweek 5 as one-match ban looms
We’ve got Scout Notes from another Gameweek 4 match in this article, rounding up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Southampton v West Ham United.
For a briefer recap of Saturday’s games, our Scoreboard summary here has all the main talking points.
SOUTHAMPTON 0-0 WEST HAM UNITED
- Bonus: Angelo Ogbonna (£5.0m) x3, Aaron Cresswell (£5.5m) x2, Mohamed Salisu (£4.5m) x2
- Red card: Michail Antonio (£7.9m)
The highest-scoring and most-owned forward in FPL will miss Gameweek 5 as a result of his sending off on Saturday.
Michail Antonio (£7.9m) will be suspended for one match after being dismissed for two bookable offences against Southampton and the Fantasy exodus has already begun, with a remarkable 700,000 managers offloading the striker by Monday morning.
Jarrod Bowen (£6.3m) will now presumably lead the line against Manchester United next weekend, having deputised for Antonio last season.
For those still weighing up whether to keep or sell the in-form forward, the Hammers’ schedule isn’t atrocious from Gameweek 6 onwards (see above) but favourable fixture swings for the likes of Patrick Bamford (£7.9m) and Raul Jimenez (£7.4m), plus the form of the premium picks, will turn more heads between now and Friday’s deadline.
Of longer-term concern may be Said Benrahma (£6.4m). The match stats look encouraging – he was joint-top for chances created and shots, with two of each – but he was, in reality, anonymous and eventually hooked after an hour. He’s now had just one touch in the box over the last two Gameweeks.
“I thought today we played some really good football in the first half but the mid to forward area we did not connect.
“It looked like that had all been away, Pablo, Said, Mic so it looked like we lacked a real connection.” – David Moyes
It was just one under-par game, of course, but with the UEFA Europa League about to get underway, Nikola Vlasic (£6.0m) now pushing for a start, Benrahma’s underlying numbers being so-so, and Moyes’ track record for being lukewarm on the Algerian, having an exit plan might not be the worst idea.
SAINTS CHANGE SHAPE
One other thing to factor in regarding West Ham is that, after their whirlwind, high-scoring start, other teams may be changing their plans in order to frustrate them.
That happened on Saturday, with Ralph Hasenhuttl paying the Hammers the ultimate compliment by tweaking his usual 4-2-2-2 to a more defensive 4-1-4-1.
“The goal was very clear. They have their biggest threat with deliveries from the half-channel or from the side in the box. We forced them to play a little bit more to the centre and try to play there.
“Yes, we had less possession but no we didn’t have less chances to win the game. I think we have never been so close to win against them.
“This was always a team we were really struggling against, today I must say, especially the defence work from all of the team was amazing. This is the key of staying in the game and having a chance to win it.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl on his formation change
“They have by far played their best game against Antonio. We were always struggling against him in the past and today he was sent off and the red card frustrated, because there was no chance for him.
“This was exactly their job and it’s good to see they have this quality because this is what I want to see.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl on his two centre-halves
The tactical switch is one to monitor going forward: it may have been a one-week only decision but if not, James Ward-Prowse (£6.5m) could enjoy more attacking freedom playing ahead of – and not alongside – Oriel Romeu (£4.5m).
It might also help boost the assist potential of budget FPL asset Tino Livramento (£4.1m), who earned his fourth straight start on Saturday. Saints, who kept their first Premier League clean sheet in six months here, didn’t concede a single big chance to their visitors.
BUDGET FORWARD BROJA IMPRESSES
FPL managers have been starved of sub-£5.5m forward options this season but Armando Broja’s (£5.0m) cameo on Saturday brought the Albania international to attention.
The ex-Chelsea striker caused the West Ham backline plenty of problems in less than 20 minutes of pitch-time, hitting the post from distance before seeing a headed effort cleared off the line.
“He was a slow starter when he was coming in but in the last three weeks it’s impressive how quick he learns and how quick he wants to do it better.
“On Saturday I have seen why we signed him and why the scouts wanted him to sign and this is good. The first two weeks, I was looking what he has to give for me and I can see now, to be honest.
“I had some very serious conversations with him to tell him what I want to see and he’s been a bit of a slow starter, you need to push him a little bit I think, and now he’s moving in the direction I want to see and definitely shown his qualities he has so far in this moment. This is very positive for me.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl on Armando Broja
If Hasenhuttl persists with one starting striker, that’s an immediate dent in Broja’s appeal but he’s one to monitor ahead of Gameweek 8, when Saints’ fixtures turn for the better.
One other thing to note was the Southampton boss saying post-match that the omission of Che Adams (£7.0m) was due in part to wanting to use players who hadn’t been away on international duty, although a number of capped players did feature from kick-off.
Southampton XI: McCarthy, Livramento, Stephens, Salisu, Perraud, Romeu (Diallo 53), Ward-Prowse, Elyounoussi, Djenepo, Redmond, Armstrong (Broja 74).
West Ham United XI: Fabianski, Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Rice, Soucek, Bowen (Yarmolenko 82), Fornals, Benrahma (Vlasic 63), Antonio.
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