Saturday was the first time since the opening day of the season that all the Chelsea loanees in the Premier League were involved in their teams’ matches, with all but Kasey Palmer starting.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek played 90 minutes for Crystal Palace last mid-week in their “derby” clash against Brighton and Hove Albion, once again deployed as a winger rather than a central midfielder. He did the same against West Brom on Saturday, as Palace kept their first two clean sheets in the league this season (both goalless draws). After a relatively ineffectual first-half, Roy Hodgson moved Loftus-Cheek to a more central role and Wilfried Zaha out wide instead, resulting in Palace controlling the game. Who’d have thunk it?
Upcoming fixtures: Bournemouth (H, December 9)
Izzy Brown replaced Pascal Gross in the 82nd minute against Crystal Palace and won a few headers, before making his third start of the season on Saturday against Liverpool. Brown’s last start was as a center-forward against Arsenal but this time around, he was a left-winger. Understandably, Brown didn’t share much cohesion with his partner on the left flank, Gaetan Bong, but displayed great tenacity in the game and gave Liverpool’s young right-back, Trent Alexander-Arnold a tough time throughout.
On another day, Brown would’ve had two assists to his name but it was not to be, as two of his crosses at the beginning of either half found Glenn Murray in prime positions to score but the veteran striker failed to convert them. The second miss even resulted in a direct counter-attack leading to Liverpool’s third goal of the eventual 5-1 win. Brown, along with right-winger Anthony Knockaert, was taken off in the 70th minute for Jose Izquierdo (and Solly March) but remained Brighton’s best attacker on the day. He’s done his chances of starting the next game against Huddersfield no harm.
Izzy revealed Chris Hughton’s assessment of his performance against Liverpool to the Eastbourne Herald and affirmed his commitment to the Albion cause week after week, whether from the start or the bench.
"When I came off, he (Hughton) said I was excellent today. I just want to try to play week in, week out. It hasn't happened like that so far but hopefully my performance today is going to change the manager's mind.
"If next week I start on the bench, I'll still give 100 per cent for the team but I want to be playing football as much as I can.
"The boys have been doing so well, so I can't complain. They've been excellent and have been getting the results they needed, so I've been happy coming on and helping the team when I can but to get the start today was great for me because I've been working hard in training and giving 100 per cent.
"I haven't let my head drop when I haven't been in the team. To lose today is disappointing for me but I thought my overall performance was good. I made some good crosses but the most important thing was the win and we didn't get it today, so I'm upset."
- Izzy Brown; Source: Eastbourne Herald
Upcoming fixtures: Huddersfield (A, December 9)
Kasey Palmer made his first appearance for Huddersfield Town since late August, brought on for Collin Quaner at half-time against Everton. Huddersfield were rather woeful in the second half and their attacks tended to bypass the midfield altogether, when they did manage to retain the ball at the back. Kasey certainly showed signs of graft, not hesitating to dive into tackles and do the dirty work off the ball. He looked a little rusty but raring to go, and we’ll certainly be seeing more of him in the weeks to come.
Upcoming fixtures: Brighton (H, December 9)
Tammy Abraham endured a frustrating afternoon despite being paired alongside Wilfried Bony up front, in their 2-1 loss to Stoke City. Swansea have now lost 7 of their last 8 in all competitions, scoring only three goals while doing so.
Upcoming fixtures: West Brom (H, December 9)
Kurt Zouma assumed his regular place in the right side of Stoke’s three-man backline for the aforementioned game, and Stoke’s 3-0 loss to Liverpool last Wednesday, as well.
Upcoming fixtures: Tottenham (A, December 9)
For only the second time this season, Ola Aina did not start a league game for Hull City. While his previous absence could’ve been explained as a rest, this time it seemed more as if he had been dropped by Leonid Slutsky for Hull’s must-win game against Sheffield Wednesday. Max Clark slotted back in at left-back, while Fikayo Tomori kept his place at right-back. Michael Hector, on the other hand, was not involved at all. The Tigers drew the game 2-2 after an equaliser at the eleventh hour by Michael Dawson, but it was not enough to keep Slutsky in the job. He departed the club via a “mutual agreement”, and this is sure to have some sort of effect on the Chelsea loanees at the club. All three were brought in presumably at Slutsky’s behest, and have spent significant time playing in a very leaky defence.
Ike Ugbo played the first half of Barnsley’s 3-0 loss against Reading, and was then an unused substitute in their 3-1 defeat to Bolton Wanderers.
Tomas Kalas played the whole 90 minutes as 10-man Fulham crumbled to a 3-1 derby loss against Brentford.
Lewis Baker was left out of the Middlesbrough 18 yet again.
Jamal Blackman started in goal for Sheffield United, who were beaten 3-1 by Milwall. The blades have failed to win any of their last 3 games whilst shipping 8 goals but still sit fourth in the league table.
Jeremie Boga played the whole 90 for Birmingham City against league leaders, Wolves, but couldn’t make any telling impact on the game. The Blues may have only lost 1-0, but were utterly dire and will have a lot of work to do if they want to stay up this season.
Jay Dasilva started and played well in Charlton Athletic’s 2-2 draw against Peterborough. He also played the entirety of their 3-1 loss to AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup.
Doncaster made it past Scunthorpe in the FA Cup and set up an FA Cup 3rd round clash against Rochdale but they did it without Jordan Houghton, who picked up a knock last week and despite returning to training, was not involved.
Brad Collins started for Forest Green Rovers, who drew 3-3 with Exeter City in the FA Cup and will have the added incentive of hosting West Brom in the next round, should they triumph in the replay. Collins also helped his side to a 1-0 win against Swindon in the EFL Trophy.
Nathan Baxter returned from injury and started for Woking, who earned a heroic 1-1 draw against Peterborough. Woking are on a historic run in the cup, and have already knocked out League One side, Bury. Should they do the same to Peterborough, they’ll face a trip to Villa Park in the third round.
Jared Thompson started in Chippenham Town’s 2-1 win over Whitehawk.
Mason Mount, Fankaty Dabo and Matt Miazga all played 90 minutes as Vitesse Arnhem suffered a frustrating 1-0 loss to Feyenoord. Charlie Colkett was an unused substitute.
Upcoming fixtures: OGC Nice (H, December 7), Sparta Rotterdam (A, December 10)
Marco van Ginkel’s PSV beat Sparta Rotterdam 1-0, and are pretty much running away with the title.
Upcoming fixtures: Ajax (A, December 10)
Todd Kane was an unused substitute for Groningen and Cristian Cuevas started at left wing-back for FC Twente, who battled to a 3-3 draw against Ajax.
Upcoming fixtures: Roda (A, December 10)
Mario Pasalic made his first league start for Spartak since September, playing 90 minutes in a 0-1 win against Arsenal Tula after scoring last week against Zenit. He also played the last half-hour at Anfield, where Spartak were absolutely thrashed, 7-0.
Josimar Quintero is still yet to feature for FC Rostov.
Victorien Angban completed 90 minutes for Waasland-Beveren in a 4-1 loss to Kortrijk and a 2-0 win against KAS Eupen that took them to the quarter-finals of the Belgian cup.
Danilo Pantic played 89 minutes for Partizan in a 1-0 win against Vozdovac, and lasted the whole of a 1-1 draw against Vojvodina.
Kenneth Omeruo did not feature in Kasimpasa’s mid-week cup game but started at Fenerbahce, where his team lost 4-2.
Nathan missed out for Amiens due to injury, although he hasn’t really been getting a look-in, even when fit.