A bit of a rarity but I actually got to attend a Premier league match this week. Even better, it was at Turf Moor to watch my beloved Burnley take on the giant slaying Canaries. There’s a lot of negativity about Burnley players as fantasy assets I find, which combined with the current love for Delia’s boys makes it a fascinating encounter to look at from a RealFF perspective.
Burnley won 2-0 thanks to a couple of Chris Wood strikes, Pukki kept quiet and VAR kept even quieter. But from a RealFF perspective what did the game tell us? I’ll try and break down each team’s performance and how it might help you in fantasy, whilst trying not to wax lyrical about Dwight Mcneil too much (a hard task!). Let’s start with Norwich:
Overall I’d say 100% stay away from Norwich defenders, same for Tim Krul, until they start to get first choice assets back from the treatment room
Hopeless, clueless, inept, League One level. That’s being generous. There seems to be a trend in modern football to try and play out from the back all the time, which Norwich dutifully employed. Not a great idea with Burnley constantly maintaining a high press whilst Norwich’s reserve defenders tried to play passing football they’re not capable of. Jamal Lewis, despite actually being first choice, looked especially inept and gave the ball away multiple times. Amadou in central defence clearly not suited to the style deployed. Overall I’d say 100% stay away from Norwich defenders, same for Tim Krul, until they start to get first choice assets back from the treatment room.
Buendia pops up everywhere and delivers a cracking set piece
Loyal readers will remember me praising Buendia whilst suggesting Cantwell is overhyped. This game backed up that opinion. Buendia pops up everywhere and delivers a cracking set piece. He looked absolutely forlorn whilst trying desperately to generate attacks for his team in the second half, a feeling he’ll have to get used to given he’s on a completely level to his colleagues. Cantwell was bright early on but seemed to fade into obscurity for much of the game, getting quite petulant in his tackles and referee remonstrations late on. Stieperman was somewhat advanced positionally, but certainly not from a generating fantasy returns perspective.
Pukki has been on fire this season and has shown that good finishing translates to any level of football. However in this game he was kept pretty quiet, always willing to make a run but not often found. He had a very good chance early on and opened his body up really well to take it, Nick Pope in the Burnley goal made a save that many keepers wouldn’t make. If I was a Pukki owner, and I am in one league, I’d certainly hold onto him unless you can get top trade value.
Resolute, organised, outstanding. Pieters and Lowton were both very sound at full back, with Pieters especially whipping in some lovely crosses. They both look to have the jobs nailed down for now and I’d certainly look at them as good pick-up options if they’re on your waiver wire. Similar for the centre backs, who constantly quelled Buendia’s creative genius, and kept Mr Pukki the quietest he’s been in months.
Dwight Mcneil was amazing, he’s amazing every time I see him play. So assured on the ball, pacy but with height and surprising strength. He’s top drawer, and how Man Utd released him given their current plight I’ll never know. From what I’ve seen of Chong, Gomes, Mctominay etc they definitely released the wrong player. The fact he’s a forward on RealFF limits his appeal somewhat, but certainly a valid third striker choice.
The surprise of the game for me was Ashley Westwood
The surprise of the game for me was Ashley Westwood. He took a good number of set pieces and looked dangerous throughout the game. I thought on occasion last season he looked a viable fantasy option, this game backed that opinion up. A fully viable option as fifth midfielder in RealFF this season.
Wood and Barnes are nailed on, work brilliantly together, and both should be owned. Little more to say. I’d expect them to end up on similar goal tallies edging into double figures. I’d maybe give Barnes the edge, but it’s close. Both looked good against Norwich.
Trade for – Mcneil, Buendia, Pukki
Pick up if available – Burnley defenders, Wood, Barnes, Westwood
Sell high - Cantwell
Dump – any Norwich defenders!!!
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