We will score more than you. That’s the philosophy several teams seemingly took in the Premier League this weekend, and as such is it the philosophy of our Gameweek 2 Team of the Week. The defence is a horror show, but the midfield and attack is filled with more flair and firepower than any single Premier League manager can muster from their squad. In a week that featured 44 goals as well as four red cards, we revisit some of the most interesting and influential performances.
Sam Johnstone – total payout 12p; base payout 12p
Alisson was close to claiming this spot for a second week running – he was the best performing goalkeeper in GW2 with a 50p payout, helped by smartly saving Jorginho’s penalty. A goalkeeper making saves is less entertaining than one conceding shedloads of goals, though, so we’ve instead opted for Sam Johnstone, the unfortunate man between the sticks for West Brom. Kieran Gibbs’ red card just before half time paved the way for Everton to launch an all-out assault on the WBA goal, and Johnstone was only able to make two saves while conceding five goals. This gave him a total payout of just 12p. Fortunately for the Man United academy product, he’s not the worst performer in this week’s lineup.
Shout out to Kepa here, who earned a reasonable 37p payout in Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool, despite handing them a goal and probably ending his Chelsea career, with the Blues on the brink of signing Edouard Mendy from Stade Rennais.
Kieran Gibbs – total payout -6p; base payout -6p
West Brom’s left-back earned the first negative SportStack payout of the season, and it’s fair to say his red card – which you wouldn’t really expect of someone with as much experience as Kieran Gibbs – had a lot to do with it. In stoppage time in the first half, with Everton already 2-1 down, he raised his hand to James Rodriguez’ face, and we all know what’s coming when that happens. West Brom proceeded to collapse from here, and Gibbs earned equal and total base payouts of -6p.
John Egan – total payout 5p; base payout -15p
Egan didn’t last as long in his fixture as Gibbs did, but at least his dismissal had something to do with football. His 12th-minute tussle with Ollie Watkins, which was judged to have been a last man foul, earned him a red card before his game had really got started. He won a single tackle before giving up the foul (-2p), earning the straight red (-15p) and Sheffield United conceding in the second half (-5p). This all amounted to a final payout of 5p – this could’ve been much worse if Wilder’s men hadn’t defended so well – and a base payout of -15p.
Ezri Konsa – total payout 77p; base payout 37p; 1 goal
The image of Ezri Konsa holding his hamstring before the second half started at Villa Park proved to be one of the greatest red herrings we’ve seen on SportStack. Traders rushed to short him for a marginal gain with the expectation he would soon be subbed. Konsa stayed on, though, and put in a performance that would’ve been impressive for a player without any nagging pains. He scored what proved to be the winning goal in the second half, and collected another 19p after the break, primarily from fouls won, tackles, ball recoveries and CBIs. His base payout of 37p is attractive, although there will not be many more games this season where Villa have that amount of control.
Sadio Mane – total payout 88p; base payout 33p; 2 goals
Now we move into what is quite likely the most attacking midfield we have selected thus far. Sadio Mane lines up on the left side having bagged both goals in Liverpool’s comprehensive 2-0 victory over Chelsea. He earned an 88p payout with a base payout of 33p, and although he wouldn’t earn any significant credit for it on SportStack, he drew the foul from Andreas Christensen that earned him a red card and swung the game clearly in Liverpool’s favour. Mane earned 4p each from ball recoveries, CBIs and passes made, as well as 8p from fouls won and 6p from successful dribbles.
Dani Ceballos – total payout 73p; base payout 41p; 1 assist
Dani Ceballos’ performance this weekend is perhaps the purest in the team – no red cards, just a single assist to his name, and a really strong base payout. His work ethic compliments Granit Xhaka’s solidity and passing range perfectly; Ceballos had 8p from ball recoveries, 18p from CBIs and 11p from passes made. His burst into the box late in the game to assist Eddie Nketiah for the winner was really the icing on top of a strong all-round cake, and Ceballos is looking like a real asset, both to Arsenal and on SportStack.
Kevin De Bruyne – total payout 103p; base payout 56p; 1 goal, 1 assist
It wasn’t the first max payout of the season, but trust Kevin de Bruyne to not to let anyone leave him out of the conversation. Wolves are being talked about as top-four contenders, and having beaten Man City twice last year, the onus was on City to take the game to their hosts. De Bruyne led the charge, earning and converting a penalty just 20 minutes in. He went on to produce a phenomenal performance, recording a base payout of 56p. He earned 10p for winning the penalty, 15p from shots on target, 9p from ball recoveries, 6p from CBIs and 7p from passes made. He also made contributions in terms of tackles, dribbles and corners won, and topped off his performance with a last-minute assist for Gabriel Jesus.
Son Heung-Min – total payout 107p; base payout 28p; 4 goals
As for the first max payout this year, that award goes to Son Heung-Min. He was having a reasonably quiet game against Southampton until he opened his account for the season on the stroke of half time. He then exploded in the second half, clinically finishing three more chances and putting the game well out of Saints’ reach. Although Son’s payout is the highest this week, there is no denying that he owes his goals to his skipper, and we will address this shortly.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – total payout 91p; base payout 27p; 3 goals
Facing a West Brom side that showed little in their opening game against Leicester, Dominic Calvert-Lewin probably fancied his chances of adding to his winning goal at Spurs the previous week. DCL neatly finished his first chance with his heel to bring the scores level, before Gibbs was shown red and Everton began to batter West Brom. Calvert-Lewin was on hand to finish a couple more chances from close range and kill the game off with more than 20 minutes to go. His payout/minute ratio of 1.28 was the highest in what was a bumper weekend.
Harry Kane – total payout 95p; base payout 18p; 1 goal, 4 assists
Striker-turned-quarter-back Harry Kane put together an unreal performance as Spurs destroyed Southampton at St Mary’s. While Son took the headlines with his four goals, Kane perhaps took the headlines back, for the fact that he assisted every single one of them. His delivery both from deep and wide areas made Son’s task in finishing his chances much easier, and Kane got his goal to round the performance off. It’s only one game so we don’t want to make any judgements too quickly, but throwing Gareth Bale into the mix when the Spurs attack is operating that well is potentially a very scary thought.
Neal Maupay – total payout 91p; base payout 26p; 2 goals, 1 assist
To round off the attack, Neal Maupay lines up on the right-hand side. He had two goals inside six minutes at St James’ Park, first tucking away a penalty and then finishing with a really deft touch, shocking Newcastle. The Magpies never really got back into the game, and Maupay rounded off his performance by assisting Aaron Connolly late on. Maupay’s performance was, as is often the case, a little light on defensive work, but he did have 4p from ball recoveries, 4p from CBIs and 3p from passes made.
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