Tottenham Hotspur’s Impressive Start Continues with Hard-Fought Win over Crystal Palace
Tottenham Hotspur extended their unbeaten start to the season with a gritty 2-1 victory against Crystal Palace on Friday. In this Scout Notes summary, we highlight the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from the match.
Son Heung-min Shines Once Again
Son Heung-min (£9.5m) continues to prove unstoppable, netting another goal in Friday’s match. Since transitioning from a winger to a central striker in Gameweek 4, the South Korean has scored eight goals in seven matches. Despite having limited involvement in the first half against Crystal Palace, Son was in the right place at the right time in the second half, scoring after a brilliant combination play involving substitute Brennan Johnson (£5.8m) and playmaker James Maddison (£8.1m). Manager Ange Postecoglou compared Son’s transition to that of Cristiano Ronaldo, praising his intelligence, movement, and finishing abilities. Son has been dominant since his position change, leading all players in FPL points (67) and ranking first or second in shots, shots on target, big chances, and non-penalty expected goals (NPxG). Furthermore, he played the full 90 minutes for the first time since Gameweek 3, indicating his improving fitness levels.
Maddison Continues to Shine
James Maddison played a key role in Tottenham’s victory, as his shot deflected off Joel Ward (£4.5m) for an own goal that opened the scoring. Maddison has been exceptional away from home, registering attacking returns in all six of Tottenham’s away matches. With his impressive performances, he has climbed to third place in the FPL midfielder standings and has created the most chances of any Premier League player in the 2023/24 season.
Elsewhere, Destiny Udogie (£4.9m) missed the match due to muscle tightness in Gameweek 10. Ben Davies (£4.3m) replaced him in the first half but seemed uncomfortable in an unfamiliar role and was substituted for Emerson Royal (£4.4m) at half-time. No injury update has been provided on Udogie at the time of writing.
Tough Tests Ahead for Spurs
While sitting at the top of the table, Tottenham is set to face tougher challenges in their next six matches, with five of their opponents currently in the top half. According to the Season Ticker, their fixture run from Gameweeks 11 to 16 is rated as the fifth-worst. However, the absence of European and Carabao Cup matches gives Tottenham the valuable advantage of rest when other top clubs are in action. Midfielder Dejan Kulusevski (£7.0m) highlighted the benefits of this schedule, mentioning the physical and mental advantages gained from the reduced workload.
Crystal Palace Struggle without Key Players
Crystal Palace took a defensive approach in Gameweek 10 following their heavy defeat to Newcastle. While they had a couple of chances early on, they only managed 0.64 expected goals (xG) overall. Jordan Ayew (£5.4m) did provide a late consolation goal, assisted by Joachim Andersen (£4.9m), but Crystal Palace clearly missed the influence of Eberechi Eze (£6.1m) and Michael Olise (£5.8m). Manager Roy Hodgson expressed his desire to have these key players back in the team, as their quality and organization would make them more potent in the attack. Despite their struggles, Crystal Palace did well to contain Tottenham for large portions of the match. However, they suffered a blow when Tyrick Mitchell (£4.5m) had to be substituted due to injury. Looking ahead, Crystal Palace have more favorable fixtures against Burnley, Luton Town, and Bournemouth in the next five matches.
Michael Johnson is your soccer guru, providing extensive coverage of soccer. With a global perspective, he delivers match reports, player interviews, and insights into the beautiful game, ensuring readers stay connected to the world of soccer.