We’re back with Part 2 of The Review Series for Gameweek 13, analyzing the remaining five games of the weekend. You can read part 1 of the review here.
Arsenal vs Southampton –
It was a tale of two atrocious defenses when Arsenal welcomed Southampton to the Emirates as the two struggling sides faced each other trying to get some form under their belt. Arsenal started the game with a 3-4-1-2 formation, with Özil in the hole behind Lacazette and Aubameyang up front. Nicolas Pépé was again benched by Unai Emery as both Bellerín and Tierney started as wingbacks for the Gunners. Danny Ings opened the scoring for the Saints after the entire Arsenal defense switched off following a quick free-kick taken by Ryan Bertrand upon which Ings pounced with a superb near-post finish. Lacazette then equalized for the Gunners after Aubameyang’s initial shot was blocked following good play on the left-wing by Tierney.
Southampton regained the lead through a penalty after Ings was fouled by Tierney in the penalty area and James Ward-Prowse scored the rebound after his initial penalty was saved by Leno. The Saints had numerous chances of scoring but bad finishing and some scrappy defending by Arsenal kept the score at 2-1 before Lacazette scored the equaliser in the 96th minute.
Ward-Prowse and Ings could provide great value for Fantasy managers with the Saints now enjoying a kind fixture list. With hardly any promising performances from Arsenal, there’s no standout pick despite the Gunners having some easy matches ahead. However, Lacazette could be a good differential with an ownership of below 3%.
Leicester City vs Brighton and Hove Albion –
Jamie Vardy maintained his brilliant scoring streak as Leicester beat the Seagulls for their fifth successive Premier League win to strengthen their hold on the second spot, a point above the reigning champions Manchester City and three clear of fourth-placed Chelsea. Vardy has been key to the Foxes’ form and he once again was the shining light on a dark, rainy day on the south coast. Ayoze Pérez was set up by the English striker for the 64th-minute opener following a swift counter-attack and then added a second from the spot, after his initial spot-kick, saved and headed in by James Maddison, had to be retaken for encroachment.
No player in gameweek 13 had more goal attempts, shots in the box, big chances or shots on target than Jamie Vardy, further strengthening his case for inclusion in Fantasy Managers’ teams. The Leicester midfielders looked threatening as well and on any other day could’ve easily had their names on the score sheet as well. The Foxes’ goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was failed to be tested once by the home side, as the Leicester defense continue their solid form at the back. Ben Chilwell was the best of the lot yet again as Leicester now enjoy a kind run-in before they face City in gameweek 18.
Manchester City vs Chelsea –
Defending champions Manchester City got back to winning ways after coming from behind to beat in-form Chelsea in an entertaining game. Mason Mount was benched for the visitors as Lampard opted for a midfield 3 in a 4-3-3. N’Golo Kanté opened the scoring for Chelsea after he latched on to a Mateo Kovačić long ball, running through City’s high line and sliding the ball past Ederson.
The hosts rallied and equalised when Kevin de Bruyne’s shot hit Kurt Zouma and wrongfooted goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. Riyad Mahrez then put the reigning champions – who move above Chelsea into third place – ahead with a fine finish after cutting in from the right-wing. Both sides could have scored more in a chaotic first half, with City going closest when Sergio Agüero hit the crossbar after a poor clearance by Kepa. However, the Argentine hobbled off the pitch in the second half with Pep now confirming that the City star will be sidelined for a few weeks. Raheem Sterling thought he had scored a late third for City but it was ruled out by the VAR in a very tight offside call.
Agüero’s injury could make way for Gabriel Jesus and Fantasy Managers looking for a differential could opt for the Brazilian. Although Sterling was disappointing yet again, the absence of Aguero could make him a better option as the English winger usually performs better in fantasy terms without the Argentine. Mount should be back for Chelsea against West Ham after being benched against the Cityzens.
Manchester United vs Sheffield United –
A controversial Oli McBurnie equalizer in the 90th minute salvaged a point for the Blades in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Manchester United at Bramall Lane. The match started with an hour of dominance by Sheffield United, where the Blades went 2-0 up against the Red Devils after goals from John Fleck and Lys Mousset. The first goal came courtesy of awful defending from Phil Jones, after John Lundstram’s effort was saved by De Gea, only for Fleck to score the rebound. Mousset scored the second one, courtesy of yet another defensive error after Fleck’s through ball was scalped on by the former Bournemouth striker.
However, Brandon Williams’ first Manchester United goal 18 minutes from the full-time whistle sparked a late collapse from the hosts that saw substitute Mason Greenwood (Rashford Assist) and Marcus Rashford (James Assist) score in the space of seven minutes to make the score 3-2 in United’s favor. But, it was McBurnie who scored in stoppage time to steal a point from the Red Devils who were in touching distance of victory and the match ended 3-3.
No player had more goal attempts than the man, the myth, the legend that is John ‘The Lord’ Lundstram. He had 4 attempts on goal followed by Rashford’s 3. Martial owners would be disappointed though, with no goal involvement despite Manchester United scoring 3. With Villa next, however, staying put on the Frenchman could be profitable for Fantasy Managers.
Aston Villa vs Newcastle United –
Grealish came back on the FPL radar after an eye-catching return from injury against the Magpies. Villa’s 2-0 victory was a story of Conor Hourihane’s dead-ball expertise and the visitors’ inability to deal with it. The first half-hour of the game had a 0-0 written all over it with Steve Bruce’s side parking the bus until Hourihane struck a superb freekick past Dubravka after Grealish was fouled at the edge of the box. Villa doubled the lead as the first goal scorer Hourihane turned provider after when assisting El Ghazi from another setpiece situation. The Irish could’ve had another assist but only for Wesley missing a sitter from point-blank range.
No other side in 2018/19 has allowed more headed attempts on goal than the Magpies showing this susceptibility towards set-piece situations. Although Villa don’t have an appetizing fixture list ahead, they could come into Fantasy Managers’ thinking come gameweek 18. After his assist yesterday, Jack Grealish has five attacking returns in six matches since moving to the left-wing that could enhance his appeal. John McGinn blanked for the fifth time in six gameweeks yesterday, however, he was a threat in the latter stage of the second half when the game opened up. For Newcastle, Maximin was the only little spark in what looked like a lethargic performance by the Magpies and avoiding FPL assets from Newcastle would be advisable for the near future.
Written by Samson Baretto
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