Fantasy Football Gameweek 28 as it happened

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Riyad Mahrez was backed heavily to return in Gameweek 28 but the Foxes’ winger could not get past Jack Butland.
Riyad Mahrez was backed heavily to return in Gameweek 28 but the Foxes’ winger could not get past Jack Butland.

Gameweek 28 was frustrating for most fantasy managers with just two clean sheets from the weekend’s nine games. Adding to the frustration, the goals which prevented the clean sheets were not scored by some of the most backed players of the Gameweek including Theo Walcott, Callum Wilson and Riyad Mahrez.

Liverpool’s now fab-three all scored a goal-a-piece and Mohamed Salah even got added another assist to his tally to bring him to 10 assists for the season, in addition to the 23 goals he has put away. Meanwhile, those backing Kane were left frustrated despite the Englishman’s goal. He may be leading the Golden Boot race, but his sole assist for the season, earned in Gameweek 9, has left him trailing his Egyptian rivals in terms of total fantasy points earned.

Elsewhere, the early kick-off left a sour taste in many mouths, following a lack of returns from the much-touted Riyad Mahrez. Although it wasn’t for lack of trying. The Algerian fired off six shots in the game, three of which were expertly pawed away by Jack Butland as he racked up nine saves in the match.

Lunchtime KO – Saturday


The Gameweek started with plenty of optimism (as it always does), with Riyad Mahrez expected to put a few past Stoke.


But it was Stoke who scored the first goal of the weekend, with Xherdan Shaqiri scoring for the third week in a row.


News of a Leicester goal opened thousands of Livescore apps, but all closed the app in frustration after seeing Leicester goalscorer, the prolific ‘own-goal’. It would not be the last time he scored in Gameweek 28.


For some managers, news of a Xherdan Shaqiri goal and a Riyad Mahrez blank was too much to bear.

3pm KOs – Saturday

 


Liverpool finished the game on 104 goals for the season, with a triple Liverpool attack looking more appealing every time they thrash an opponent.



Liverpool’s first goal sparked songs in the heads of fantasy managers up and down the country.


Liverpool had two clean sheets in the three games prior to the West Ham game, but it was too good to be true when they were 3-0 up at home as Michael Antonio punished them for losing the ball in the middle of the park.


Dwight Gayle scored for the first time since Gameweek 16 in the 16th minute and then did it again just before the half to give Newcastle a 2-0 lead. The Magpies had not scored twice since Gameweek 19 but the Bournemouth defence duly obliged. The Cherries have now conceded eight goals in three games against Stoke, Huddersfield and Newcastle.


A triple Liverpool attack paid off as Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino all scored. Is is worth tripling up on their attack at the expense of having Liverpool defenders?



Shane Duffy scored his fourth own goal of the season, equalising the record for most own goals ‘scored’ in one season with Martin Skrtel (2013-14). His blunder also means Brighton have conceded one goal in their previous four games. It may not have cost them any points this game but with five of the top-six to come before the end of the year, patience in Brighton’s defence is running thin.



West Brom’s ‘Lads Holiday’ in Spain did not rejuvenate the Baggies as they lost for the fourth game in a row at home to Huddersfield. @OilySailor discovered that Alan Pardew has now only won seven of his last 52 games as a manager across stints at West Brom and Crystal Palace. West Brom’s abysmal form could force them into their second managerial change of the season and the longer they keep Pardew the worse it could get. The Baggies started the weekend five points adrift of 19th and fell another point behind Stoke after the Potters drew with Leicester.

Evening kick off – Saturday


Three weeks of no returns for Walcott has frustrated the swathes of mangers who were excited by his brace against Leicester in Gameweek 25. The former Arsenal man has had four shots and created a further three during his three-week dry-spell. Everton’s away form continues to hold him back: they have scored just nine in 14 trips away from Goodison. So despite Burnley (A), Brighton (H) and Stoke (A) in the next three, managers are already looking elsewhere.


Richarlison started the season so promisingly, scoring or assisting eight goals between Gameweeks six and 13, but The Brazilian has now has failed to score since Gameweek 12 and has had no returns since Gameweek 21.


Meanwhile, Troy Deeney helped himself to his second goal in three weeks.


Watford were the only team with a clean sheet on Saturday, despite Liverpool, West Brom, Burnley, Brighton, Leicester and Bournemouth (every other home team) all having a greater chance of a clean sheet than the Hornets.


We all know how this feels.

Sunday’s action


Those without Harry Kane went into the Sunday lunch-time kick off hiding behind the sofa, with Harry Kane expected to pepper the Crystal Palace goal.


Crystal Palace were let off with a few contentious penalty decisions. Penalties which Harry Kane would have likely buried.



Harry Kane missed a big chance late in the second half, volleying wide from six yards out.


But he duly delivered in the 88th minute with a header from a Christian Eriksen corner.



And what is a Spurs game without a Dele Alli special (although there was some contact this time).


Chelsea dominated much of the first half but they could not capitalise on their dominance, as Romelu Lukaku scored an equaliser against the run of play.



Jesse Lingard went on a spell of scoring seven goals in nine games not long ago but failed to return in the last five weeks, and in the process, fell off the radar of many fantasy managers. He scored off the bench against Chelsea this week, a feat he achieved in Gameweek 20 when he scored twice from the bench in 45 minutes against Burnley. If you have Lingard, don’t get your hopes up unless he’s absent from the starting lineup.



Arsenal conceded early in the Carabao Cup final after Shkodran Mustafi forgot that ‘goal-side’ means standing between your own goal and the opposition, not between the opponents’ goal and the opposition. Once the ball flew over his head, Aguero stood his ground and ran through unopposed to the Arsenal goal, but not before David Ospina made the finish easier for him by standing in no-mans land. Arsenal have now kept just two clean sheets in 14 games since just before Christmas.


@davidoff_7 came up with an idea to fix Arsenal’s defensive problems.


Three goals from City was a let-off for Arsenal, with Gary Neville saying that Manchester City were not even playing their A-game and at best produced a B+ performance. But that was enough to sweep aside the Gunners.

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