Our write-ups of the Gameweek 11 action continue with the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Sunday’s fixtures.
The numbers you see in this article are from our Premium Members area, where you can access Opta player and team data for every single Premier League fixture.
Mohamed Salah (£12.7m) scored the only goal of the game to earn Liverpool a much-needed victory over Manchester City, just in time for Blank Gameweek 12. The Egyptian was deployed in a central role and looked far more threatening, as he racked up three shots which included two Opta-defined ‘big chances’.
Salah returned eight points, but it could have been more, having missed an earlier opportunity, while Darwin Nunez (£8.8m) really should have found him in acres of space in a late three-on-one situation for Liverpool.
“Yeah, Mo [Salah] played an exceptional game. Absolutely outstanding. Yes, obviously he was one of two strikers in the centre together with Bobby [Firmino]. Great, an absolutely top performance. The goal was world-class. Again, a colleague of yours asked me if I think we were a bit lucky in that moment because [Joao] Cancelo missed the ball. I didn’t see a player missing the ball, I saw a player using his body extremely well and being there in the one-on-one situation with the goalie. So, a top-class goal. The situation immediately before was really unlucky that he didn’t score there already. Apart from that, good on the ball, a constant threat in behind, working extremely hard, an outstanding performance, honestly. It was really good.” – Jurgen Klopp
On the injury front, Liverpool’s problems are mounting, as Diogo Jota (£8.9m) was carried off on a stretcher late on and looks set to miss Wednesday’s home clash with West Ham United.
“Diogo [Jota], I wish I wouldn’t have to talk about it. I saw it on the side on the screen, I am the first who saw it. When I saw he goes down and there was not a lot of contact, you can see a little bit that somebody kicks his foot and maybe the muscle got overstretched, 96 minutes, that’s not good for the muscle. He felt it immediately and now we have to wait to see how bad it is.” – Jurgen Klopp
The Reds were handed a boost, however, with the earlier-than-expected return of Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.2m), who appeared as a late substitute, replacing Salah.
After returning either a goal or assist in nine consecutive league outings, Erling Haaland (£12.2m) blanked for the first time in Gameweek 11. The Norwegian was perhaps lacking his usual, clinical edge, but did fire off six shots in the box, forcing two saves from Alisson (£5.4m).
Phil Foden (£8.3m), meanwhile, thought he’d put his side ahead in the second-half, but his goal was ruled out by VAR for Haaland’s foul in the build-up.
“The referee came to the coaches and said play on, play on. There were a million fouls. But after we scored a goal, he decided it is not play on. This is Anfield. We had [enough] chances. We had some fantastic chances. All the game we were brave, we played the game we should play and I don’t have any complaints or regrets over how we have done it. We had chances but not enough to do it. We made a good process to not allow them transitions. In general the back three was brilliant.” – Pep Guardiola
As for Man City, today’s defeat remarkably marked their first away league loss since losing 1-0 at Tottenham Hotspur on the opening weekend of last season. Now, they blank in Gameweek 12, before facing Brighton and Hove Albion (h), Leicester City (a), Fulham (h) and Brentford (h), at which point we pause for the winter World Cup.
Mason Mount (£7.6m) netted his first two goals of the season as Chelsea continued their unbeaten start under Graham Potter in Gameweek 11. It’s now back-to-back double-figure hauls for the attacking midfielder, who from Gameweek 9 onwards (Potter’s first match in charge), ranks joint-third among all midfielders for shots in the box and created chances, with eight and seven respectively.
“For Mason [Mount] I think it’s about the team, about his role in the team. He works so hard for the team always. He’s got the quality, he’s got the ability to score and assist. Sometimes players go through little dips if the team isn’t functioning that well and maybe the team wasn’t functioning as well as it maybe can. As a result of that individuals don’t play to the same level. But the effort’s always been there from my perspective and once he can get into the space we want to get him into, he has the quality to execute and we saw that today.” – Graham Potter
At Villa Park, Potter’s tactical flexibility was best summed up by Raheem Sterling (£9.9m), who performed in three different positions during the match: right wing-back, winger, and as striker. It did have implications, however, with Marc Cucurella (£5.1m) withdrawn at half-time.
“We tried to be a back three on the ball and a back four defensively, with Raheem [Sterling] on the right. We started the game quite well in the first 15 minutes but in the end we lost a bit of momentum and they were putting pressure on us with second balls and getting behind us, so I felt we had to make a change at half-time and the boys did really well. So we’ve got options there. Like anything, you have to look at the balance of the team. Marc Cucurella was the left centre-back, which can work but didn’t work so much today. We had to adjust that quickly and moved Raheem high and wide in advanced positions. Clearly the balance of the team is one we have to look at and find the right solutions.” – Graham Potter
Chelsea’s 2-0 victory marked their second league clean sheet in a row, with Kepa Arrizabalaga (£4.4m) pretty much the sole reason behind it. The Spaniard made a number of fine saves, which earnt him a share of the bonus.
“It was a world-class performance, especially in the first half. I’m really pleased for him, he has had a tough period for us at times but he contributed to the game.” – Graham Potter
BAILEY: VILLA’S BEST ATTACKER
Leon Bailey (£4.6m) was Aston Villa’s best attacker on Sunday, as he featured in a new-look frontline alongside Ollie Watkins (£7.2m) and Danny Ings (£6.7m). The Jamaican was withdrawn after 66 minutes, but it sounds like Steven Gerrard would have kept him on for longer if he could.
“The medical advice for Leon [Bailey] was 30 [minutes] or 60 tops. Leon has been one of our brightest players this year and I decided to go with the 60 rather than the 30. In a selfish world, I didn’t really want to take him off but Leon’s health, body and medical advice is more important to what I want at that moment.” – Steven Gerrard
Only Wolverhampton Wanderers have scored fewer Premier League goals than the seven by Aston Villa this season, but there were positives for the hosts against Chelsea, while for owners of Bailey, his chances of another start in Gameweek 12 look promising.
“We were much better today, we created lots and lots of chances, the way we played in and out of possession, the intensity. The first hour was how I want this team to look. We made a costly mistake and they punished us. The performance was outstanding up to the second goal, which knocked the wind out of us. Up to that point we dominated large parts of the game and on another day could have had a handful of goals. We have to keep performing. If we have that level of performance I have every confidence and belief in the players. We hit the woodwork three times, the goalkeeper had made a number of saves, we gave everything to the game. We need to turn these results into wins and try to move up the table. For me it’s about protecting the players. There will be criticism and I need to take the responsibility away from the players. If we can replicate that [first] 60 minutes we will move up the table quickly as Chelsea could not live with us.” – Steven Gerrard
SAKA ON GW13 RADAR
Arsenal may blank in Gameweek 12, but once that is out of the way, interest in Bukayo Saka (£7.9m) is set to pick up. The England winger’s goal at Elland Road means that he has now produced eight attacking returns (three goals, four assists) in his last seven league outings, a period which has seen him average 7.4 points per start. For context, that’s well ahead of Gabriel Martinelli (£6.7m) and Gabriel Jesus’ (£8.0m) seasonal totals of 5.8 and 5.4 respectively.
“He is full of confidence, top quality, a really difficult execution from that angle, that’s what we want from our players.” – Mikel Arteta on Bukayo Saka
Above: From Gameweek 4 onwards, Saka has produced eight attacking returns – no midfielder has more
As above, Arsenal blank in Gameweek 12, before facing Southampton, Nottingham Forest, Chelsea and Wolves before the World Cup. Three of those fixtures are away, although it is worth noting each of their last four Premier League clean sheets have arrived on the road, raising the appeal of their defensive assets.
ONE DEFEAT IN 10, BUT ‘HUGE INJURY BLOWS’ FOR NEWCASTLE
Following Sunday’s goalless draw at Old Trafford, it’s now just one defeat in 10 games for Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United.
In that time, Kieran Trippier (£5.6m) has blanked just twice, producing a return (be it a goal, assist or clean sheet) in each of his last five appearances. As a result, among all FPL defenders, only Joao Cancelo (£6.3) has a superior points per match total.
“Yeah you’d take that. It’s been a very positive start to the season, the players have given everything and that’s all you can ask for. The team spirit is very high at the moment. Every team needs a solid base. I also have to compliment the guys in front, we have some really good athletes who break up play. You want goals at the other end but I believe we have players that can hurt teams.” – Eddie Howe on one defeat in 10 games
However, Howe did deliver some bad news on the injury front, involving Aleksandar Isak (£6.8m) and Allan Saint-Maximin (£6.3m).
“Isak has injured his thigh. We probably won’t see him again before we break for the World Cup.” – Eddie Howe
“Maxi [Saint-Maximin] has a very slight irritation of his hamstring. On its own, that would be very small and would probably just be a few days out, but the problem we have is that because it’s the third time he’s done it now, we’re going to have to be very careful with his return to play. That’s a blow.” – Eddie Howe
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