The Fantasy Football Scout content has been building to a boil as the weekdays pass and, now, late on Friday night/early on Saturday morning (depending on how you choose to see things), we’ve put out just about all we can give you ahead of the coming weekend. Here follows our “Catch-Up” of all that goodness ahead of Gameweek Six…
Teamsheet Talking Points
The big bombshell undoubtedly came on Friday afternoon, when Dimitar Berbatov was ruled out by Martin Jol for “10 days to two weeks” after sustaining hip and thigh problems in training on Thursday. Drafted in by nearly 200,000 Fantasy managers over the last fortnight, the Bulgarian leaves us with a real quandary up front. If Jol’s prognosis is correct, the next time we can expect to see Berbatov in action is October 20, when Fulham host Villa after the upcoming international break in Gameweek 8.
The Manchester clubs dominate our thoughts as we plan for the coming Gameweek and it was as far back as Tuesday that begun to get Fantasy managers in a tizzy one way or another.
A midweek cup tie at home to Aston Villa was a good chance for Roberto Mancini to give his first team a bit of rest early into a long season – Sergio Aguero, just back from injury, absent entirely from his squad as a testament to this – so the sight of Carlos Tevez in the starting XI for City’s Capital One Cup tie has sent shivers down the spine of many Fantasy Premier League Managers. Then the game went to extra time and Tevez (as well as fellow striker Mario Balotelli) subsequently played a full 120 minutes.
Everyone knows that Carlos Tevez is able to start two games in five days and kit up at Fulham on Saturday but whether his manager gives him the chance to do that is another matter entirely. There has been lots of debate over exactly what Tuesday’s decision means and we’re currently leaning towards the Argentinian failing to start his second league game in a row. If that proves to be the case, then it’s more than a bit of a pickle for the half of the FPL population who currently have him in their squads.
While City have a smorgasbord of attacking options to worry about, their rivals from across the way have exactly a dilemma in reverse. Team captain Nemanja Vidic has been ruled out injured for eight weeks.
A United defence that has looked far from resolute to date, and that doesn’t know who’ll be in goal from one week to the next, will surely feel the pinch in the coming weeks. But as my colleague Granville pointed out there could be a silver lining for those Fantasy managers on a budget. If Alexander Buttner stakes a real claim for the left-back spot at United then we could see a backline from a title contending team with every player costing less than 6.0 in FPL. Whether reduced cost is reflected in the results to come is, however, something only time can tell.
Our newest recruit, Facer, has had his first official article published under the banner of his own name this week. “From the Physio” is our latest regular article where Facer provides a remote assessment of the new injuries that have cropped up in the last week and breaks down exactly what that could mean for player and Fantasy manager alike. We’re certain it’ll fast become on of your new favourite reasons to visit our Fantasy Football compendium.
Our Team News and Injuries & Bans pages have both had the expected thorough updates with all the information from the week on each and every team and player in the league we could glean on your behalf.
Talking of every team and player in the Premier League, it wouldn’t be build up to another Gameweek without another dose of Frisking The Fixtures and Watchlist Updated articles. Teams and players alike have been ranked as we look at their short to mid-term investment interests. They’re all just commodities.
Given his strong start under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger we felt we had to highlight Santi Cazorla that little bit more and Jonty duly obliged with the words this week. We also welcomed Scout Contributor Stilicho back for his first article of the season with a look at the quiet and unassuming figure of Luis Suarez up at Liverpool…
“In terms of shots on target and chances created over the last two weeks Liverpool are in the Champions League spots, and whilst new acquisition Joe Allen and youth team graduate Raheem Sterling have gelled seamlessly in Rogers’ favoured 4-3-3, the comparatively innocuous exploits of Fabio Borini only serve to cement Suarez’s role as the indispensable spearhead of the Liverpool attack.”
The users subscribed to our annual Members program got a triple dose of content this week. Fantasy Managers are currently bending over backwards to get Everton coverage with their form and fixtures colliding into a perfect storm of Fantasy potential. Two key figures of interest, Steven Pienaar and Marouane Fellaini, have been assessed under the microscope of our Opta fuelled stats database in a Versus article for you to run the rule over.
While the spotlight shines on Everton this September the team of the month in August was most definitely Swansea and the beneficiary of nearly all that love was bargain summer signing Michu. We checked in on him with a Monitor article to see exactly how he was doing, after a couple of weeks without returns for the Spaniard.
Rickie Lambert may have the guts and the goals, Adam Lallana may have guile and the captain’s armband while Gaston Ramirez has the price-tag and an abundance flair but the latest in Chris Glover’s Moneyball series takes a peek at the other man currently laying claim to a spot in Southampton’s front four. That would be the rock bottom priced option of 4.4 FPL man Jason Puncheon.
In the Technical Area this week Paul set aside just a fraction of his brainpower to look at Roberto Di Matteo’s Chelsea 2.0 and the integration of the new signings Eden Hazard and Oscar together with Juan Mata and Fernando Torres for the first time. The average position of the Blues front four against Stoke was a particularly intriguing quirk to be found. The 40+% of Eden Hazard owners might not need be so worried, either…
“The Belgian was our Captain Poll favourite for Gameweek 5 but lasted just 62 minutes before making way for Victor Moses… A look at his average positions in the first five Gameweeks, however, show that he was actually further forward when on the ball last weekend than in any match so far.”
Our weekly preview over on the Fantasy Premier League site, meanwhile, continues to power ahead at full steam with all the goodies you come to expect from “The Scout” every Thursday. We’ve got our usual five strong band of “Ones to watch” as well as a look at the numbers behind the game and some of the recent tactics on display.
The Scout Selection Committee have painstakingly predicted a whole new team of players to shine this weekend and the end result was the cherry on top of the week known to you and me as The Scout Picks. How many of the squad have you got in your team this Gameweek?
If you are a Fantasy Manager with a penchant for a player more out of left-field maybe you’ve even got a man or two from our Spot The Differential trio.
And, finally, far as your Fantasy captaincy goes -poll to be found in the middle toolbar on the home page- it looks like we have a photo finish on our hands this week. Both Robin Van Persie (home to Spurs) and Leighton Baines (home to Southampton) are duking it out for top spot just a whisker away from each in those polled to date. The dominant Marouane Fellaini (also home to Southampton) and efficient Steven Fletcher (home to Wigan) look set to be the canny alternatives this time round judging by their numbers.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
Next Six Ticker
|No Change||Hart||MCI||B, Vs|
|Up||Robles||WIG||C, Vs, £|
|No Change||Lloris||TOT||C, Vs|
|No Change||Foster||WBA||C, Vs|
|No Change||Vorm||SWA||C, Vs|
|No Change||Mignolet||SUN||B, Vs|
|No Change||De Gea||MUN||A|
|Up||Boruc||SOT||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Kompany||MCI||B, Vs, Rest|
|No Change||Vertonghen||TOT||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Luiz||CHE||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Boyce||WIG||C, Vs, OoP|
|No Change||Cuéllar||SUN||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Rangel||SWA||C, Vs|
|Up||Clyne||SOT||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Mata||CHE||C, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Hazard||CHE||B, Vs, Rest, Inj|
|Up||Maloney||WIG||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Y Touré||MCI||B, Vs|
|No Change||Silva||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Tevez||MCI||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Koné||WIG||B, Vs, £|
|Down||van Persie||MUN||A, Vs|
|Up||Lukaku||WBA||B, Vs, Rest|
|Down||Aguero||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Rodriguez||SOT||A, Vs, £|
|Up||Defoe||TOT||B, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Ba||CHE||C, Vs, Rest|
|A, B, C||Current Form|
|Inj||Injured/Returning from Injury|
|OoP||Out of Position|
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