Calvert-Lewin injury latest as Everton’s budget FPL midfielders catch the eye
We continue our Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Scout Notes from Gameweek 4 with analysis of Everton v Burnley.
EVERTON 3-1 BURNLEY
- Goals: Michael Keane (£5.0m), Andros Townsend (£5.4m), Demarai Gray (£5.6m) | Ben Mee (£4.9m)
- Assists: Townsend, Abdoulaye Doucoure (£5.5m) x2 | Johann Berg Gudmundsson (£5.5m)
- Bonus (projected): Townsend x3, Doucoure x2, Keane x1
Everton manager Rafa Benitez confirmed shortly before kick-off that Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.2m) could be out for “two or three weeks”, but did warn it could be longer.
“He has broken his toe. He was training with problems and playing with pain. He had an injury the other day to his quadriceps and we have to wait two-to-three weeks, maybe more.”
Calvert-Lewin had been playing through the pain barrier but the England international now faces a spell on the sidelines, with Everton facing Aston Villa (a), Norwich City (h) and Manchester United (a) before the next international break in October.
EVERTON CHANGE SHAPE AS BUDGET MIDFIELDERS IMPRESS
As a result of Calvert-Lewin’s injury, Benitez switched to a back three formation with Richarlison (£7.5m) leading the line, flanked by Demarai Gray (£5.6m) and Andros Townsend (£5.4m).
However, Everton struggled in their new shape and lacked intensity until they moved to a 4-3-3 on the hour mark. That signalled an instant improvement, with Townsend and Gray adding to Michael Keane’s (£5.0m) earlier strike.
It’s now three goals in as matches for Gray this season, though it is worth noting that they have arrived from just three shots on target, while Abdoulaye Doucoure (£5.5m) produced two assists and also had a goal disallowed for offside.
Demarai Gray’s goal attempts in 2021/22 (shots on target in green)
Meanwhile, it was a quiet night for Richarlison, who ended the match with just one goal attempt and was replaced by new-signing Salomon Rondon (£6.0m) on 81 minutes.
The Toffees won their opener against Southampton once Benitez switched his system at half-time, and his tactical changes were key to Everton remaining unbeaten once again.
BURNLEY STRUGGLE WITH EVERTON CHANGES
A well drilled Burnley side impressed for 60 minutes at Goodison Park, but struggled to cope after Everton’s changes.
Before that, Ben Mee (£4.9m) had converted from a Johann Berg Gudmundsson (£5.5m) cross, netting on his 200th Premier League appearance.
Elsewhere, Chris Wood (£6.9m) missed an early big chance, as he couldn’t get a head on a lovely Dwight McNeil (£5.9m) cross, though his off the ball movement and running in behind was good for the opening 45 minutes.
Following the defeat, Burnley are still without a win and sit 18th in the table with just one point from their opening four matches.
“We are quite a wise group and they know you have to make it happen. We had a mad six minutes which cost us. We did not respond to their leveller and it killed our performance. A lot of it was right.
The challenge you have in football is that you are searching for the first win but if you come off it a little bit, give the ball away cheaply and they score. The yardages are important when you are on top, you keep up the pressure.
Last year home and away form changed, we kept the stadium quiet but our group is wise enough to know fans change quickly. That is part of being in the Premier League.
Last season we had injuries and were stretched. The performances are not far away but the margins are tight. We are performing well as a team but we cannot keep having a soft 10 minutes against Brighton and a soft six minutes here.” – Sean Dyche
EVERTON XI: Pickford, Godfrey (Gomes 61), Keane, Mina, Coleman, Allan, Doucoure, Digne, Gray (Iwobi 88), Townsend, Richarlison (Rondon 81)
BURNLEY XI: Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Gudmundsson (Lennon 76), Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil, Barnes (Vyrdra 76), Wood (Rodriguez 86)
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