Fantasy Premier League 2015/16 game week 36 Review (Part 3 of 3) rounds up the reviews revolving around the results concerning the title. WallaceFC looks at Leicester’s valuable point against Man United and ChorleyRocks looks at what went wrong for Spurs against Chelsea, as well as Man City’s hiccup against Southampton.
Lead: Morgan or Huth.
Chase: Man United Defense, Mane and Iheanacho.
Special Mention: Avoid Chelsea (see Chorley for justification) as well as Costa & Dembele.
Man United 1-1 Leicester
Tactical Expectation & Observations
- The home side lined up in a blend between a 4-1-4-1 and 4-3-3 formation, a set up in which Rooney lined up as a midfield player alongside Fellaini and ahead of Carrick. This tactic allowed Van Gaal to start the attacking trio of Lingard, Rashford, and Martial.
- The midfield served as a platform that led to the win. Rooney had an impressive showing from a Fabregas-esque role (of course in a more advanced position) and he kept defenders honest, which allowed for the Englishman to notch a game-high seven shots as well as thirteen accurate long balls out of sixteen attempted. Carrick played the holding passing role which led to a dominating win in possession for United; the front were clever on the wings, but lacked a vital breakthrough moment.
- It took multiple defenders at times to halt Mahrez while on the dribble; without the blistering pace of Vardy to break on the counter, the central trio of Blind, Smalling, and Carrick did well to deal with the majority of threats posed by Leicester’s. Defending set pieces was the more troublesome issue for the Red Devils, as Morgan was a constant threat, even after scoring early in the first half.
- In what turned being Leicester’s last match before clinching the title, the Foxes lined up with Okazaki and Ulloa up front once again while Schlupp remained in the starting eleven ahead of Albrighton.
- With only 29% possession throughout the course the game, Leicester were the most dangerous from corners and set pieces. Morgan won several other aerial battles in the opposition penalty box, as well as Ulloa, albeit the Argentine lacking the accuracy that Morgan managed in the clustered box. Lacking the pure speed of Vardy from open play, their usual long diagonal balls were aimed at Mahrez; the Algerian did manage to contribute four key passes and echoed Vardy’s role in being persistently energetic.
- Morgan was active in the air on the defensive side also, which allowed Huth to clean-up frequently, leading to the German’s game-high twelve clearances. Schmeichel was an absolute menace in his sweeper-keeper moments, making up for poor positioning from his backline on occasions by bravely clearing balls outside of the area when players such as Martial and Lingard were on the charge.
Wes Morgan £4.5m / Christian Fuchs £5.2m DEF
Although Leicester has now clinched the title, it is difficult to fathom the Foxes taking their foot off of the pedal in these last few weeks. Facing Everton next week at the KP Stadium next week, the Toffees are a side that has only scored once in their past three away fixtures; a stat that bodes well for a Leicester clean sheet.
Morgan’s aerial attacking prowess was on display this weekend and Fuchs registered his fifth maximum bonus point game of the season – factors which all suggest either player represents strong value for their respective prices. Although Leicester does not have a double game week, it is most sensible to hold Leicester defenders along with Mahrez.
Man United Defense
A double game week, which includes a matchup with Norwich is on the plate for the Red Devils in the penultimate week of the season. Both fixtures are away versus Norwich and West Ham; with West Ham being particularly strong in attack this campaign, it is difficult to envision United keeping two clean sheets, but if looking for a reasonable punt at the back for the double next week, consider adding De Gea or Smalling. Darmian has had impressive performances this season, but due to a lack of game time security, it makes sense to pay a bit more for assured starts.
[sc name = “WallaceFC”]
Southampton 4-2 Manchester City
Tactical Expectation & Observations
- 4-2-3-1 with Martina in for Cedric, Clasie in for Oriol Romeu Vidal and Mane in for Jay Rod.
- Southampton focused on working the ball between the lines using diagonal passes from the central defenders to the wide attackers. This had the largest impact on the right where Davis had a lot of success crossing after getting behind Zabaleta. With this scoring momentum, FPL managers will now be looking at Mane due to his 3 goals, but van Dijk is worth a mention with two shots on target.
- In defence, Southampton’s back line successfully held the final quarter of the pitch, particularly from attacks from the right made by Sterling and Kolarov because Mane helped out. The defence struggled against Nasri, Zabaleta and substitute Navas on the left when incursions happened; Southampton’s key player was Fonte, who was excellent in clearing dangerous balls.
- Silva and Yaya were out though injury. A 4-4-2 with Aguero, Navas and Fernando benched, KDB rested as the request to bring the game forward 24 hours because of Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg failed. In came Bony and a brand new midfield of Fernandinho, Delph, Sterling and Nasri.
- There was not much to report in attack: there was an adoption of the “economical shooting model” promoted by rival LvG, with 5 shots on target from a lowly 6 shots in total, reason being Southampton worked to prevent any long range attacking pass meeting the man, limiting City to sideways ball-work.
- In defence, City could not use the usual excuse that the attacking midfielders are too far forward of the back line, as Southampton contained the majority of the play in the central 3rd of the pitch. Otamendi was slow, and Mangala struggled to track Tadic and Mane; once the ball was lost City did not work to win it back, making only one successful tackle in the final 3rd of the pitch.
- After losing this game, City will need to win the last two games to guarantee Champions League football next season, and as a consequence we can expect less rotation than in previous weeks.
Recommendations for league chasers
Iheanacho £4.8m FWD
Another excellent display by Kelechi Iheanacho who added another two goals to his already impressive tally this campaign. He has scored 12 goals from just nine starts in all competitions, but what is floating my boat is that this is these consecutive 90 minute appearances resulting in 4 goals. One for the league chasers who want to free up cash for other moves. My only caveat is wait until after the Champions League game before making any move, particularly as the last two games are Arsenal then Swansea.
Mane £7.4m MID
Mane has picked up 36 FPL points in 3 games in a period when most of us will have been thinking of double game week players rather than the more obvious players with easy fixtures. Next week Mane faces the crestfallen Spurs, followed by Palace at home. One for the manager looking to have some fun at the end of the season.
[sc name = “ChorleyRocks”]
Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham Hotspurs
Tactical Expectation & Observations
- 4-2-3-1: Begovic; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Mikel, Matic (Oscar 77); Willian, Fabregas, Pedro (Hazard 46); Costa.
- Chelsea recognised that a key turnover move for Spurs was the Vertonghen to Rose pass, so they set up to pressure the receiver of the following pass from Rose. In the first 40 minutes it did not work and Spurs were 2-0 up.
- Riled by the late first-half scrap, the newly introduced Hazard scored the title-deciding goal an played well. The lesson here is if Hazard is not sold to PSG, we can expect him to have a good start to next season. Moreover, given the bad run this year he should be at a good price.
- Chelsea played to not let Spurs win the league. For example, at 2-2 Chelsea had a free-kick in a good goal-scoring position. Willian took the kick but instead of shooting to win the game, he passed into corner to run down the clock. Chelsea would never have done that in seasons forgone; although to be fair, roles would have been reversed.
- 4-2-3-1: Lloris (c); Walker, Alderweireld (Chadli 90+1), Vertonghen, Rose (Davies 82); Dembele, Dier; Son (Mason 64), Eriksen, Lamela; Kane. Son in for the suspended Alli.
- Chelsea’s goading worked to undo Spurs, evidenced by the scrap just before half-time. Spurs did not have an on-pitch leader to focus players on “the war not the battle”; in particular, Dembélé, Walker and Lamela were all lucky to stay on the pitch. Given the suspension of Alli and the risk of more cards this weekend, managers should avoid investing in Spurs until the last game of the season when we know who will avoid suspension.
- This was another instance of a lead lost like against Stoke, Newcastle, Arsenal, West Brom and Leicester. Spurs lost the league because they were unable to hold onto a lead once earned, which is ironic given this season Spurs set a new club record for the fewest defeats in a top-flight season. If City win and Spurs lose next week, then Spurs could be an interesting buy for GW38 as they will have something to play for, giving us another reason to avoid buying into Spurs for GW37.
Recommendations for Leaders
Avoid Costa and Dembele
The first half scrap between Danny Rose and Willian flared up and involved nearly every player. While Rose and Willian were penalised on the night, Costa and Dembele’s tussle was missed by officials, in particular a scene where Dembele appeared to scratch Costa. Therefore, both players could miss this coming weekend’s games and managers thinking of Costa for the DGW should exercise caution.
I know many managers will be looking for tips for the double game week. However, I don’t feel confident tipping any of them.
Pedro was bobbins, Fabregas was excellent but too deep to pick up FPL points, Willian worked hard but had few highlights while Costa may be banned.
Terry looked slow and defended a small area of the pitch, leaving others to distribute the ball. Cahill may have scored, but his distribution was suspect; his pass accuracy was only 64% which is dangerously low for a defender.
Ivanovic set up Son’s goal, and overall looked slow with the ball and slow into the tackle; Azpilicueta did OK against Eriksen and might be the best bet of the lot next week.
[sc name = “ChorleyRocks”]
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