Having drawn back the dull curtain of the international break, we can now bask in the light of domestic football once more, whilst taking time out to “catch-up” on fortnight’s coverage here on the Scout…
Teamsheet Talking Points
The break has, once again, been tortuous when it comes to injuries. Having faced Robin Van Persie’s knock in the last hiatus, this time around it was Marouane Fellaini and David Silva who fell foul of setbacks with both now absent for the weekend. There were the usual string of squad withdrawals to sift through but today’s team news and updates to the injuries and bans table should provide you with a guide to the full landscape going into the deadline.
With a fortnight’s window, Facer took to the magic sponge to deliver a couple of reports “From The Physio” – first looking at the mechanics of Gaston Ramirez’s dead leg, before switching attention to David Silva earlier this week – delivering a spot-on prognosis of the Spaniard’s situation prior to City’s update today.
Zooming to January, and with the African Cup of Nations lineup now decided, we also took time out to assess those players likely to be involved and therefore absent from our Fantasy reckoning in the New Year.
First we frisked the fixtures, with Stoke City, Arsenal and Newcastle earmarked as purple patch teams for the weeks to come. Once the schedule had been eyed up, we moved on to recommending players for the month ahead as the Watchlist got the regular refresh. There then followed no less than five Watchlist articles over the break as Olivier Giroud, Dimitar Berbatov, John Arne Riise, Jon Walters and Hatem Ben Arfa all got the treatment.
Here’s just a sample of Stilicho’s take on Giroud’s potential…
“Whilst long-term there is the possibility that Wenger will adopt the same horses-for-courses approach with his forwards as he has with his centre backs, it seems profoundly unlikely that he would puncture Giroud’s newly inflated confidence with a return to the bench over a run of fixtures that looks rosy for Arsenal’s attacking assets (nor, QPR, mun, RDG, TOT).”
Our members have enjoyed a rare old fortnight. Not only have we produced three “Numbers Game” articles that analysed the goal threat on offer across the defenders, midfielders and forwards, we also managed to roll out our new Custom Stats Tables feature to open up our Opta powered database.
If you’ve yet to get the beef on what’s involved, this little article, together with this movie should demonstrate the power of this technological terror. Our members area has been awash with new stats tables made available in the public gallery right here and with the Projections updated and Chris Glover hitting home with another Moneyball article today, there’s been plenty of numbers to digest.
It seems such a long time ago but, as always, Paul scratched our tactical itch after the dust had settled on Gameweek 7 by analysing United’s diamond midfield that was so effective in their 3-0 win at Newcastle. Here’s a concluding snippet from our latest Technical Area…
“While the tactical spotlight has mainly centred on Chelsea since the arrival of Eden Hazard and Oscar, United’s shift of system over these last few games certainly hints at another evolution under Ferguson. Whether it’s to protect the shaky defence or find a solution to integrate the two summer signings alongside Rooney or perhaps a combination of both, the diamond affords a definite alternative to the usual 4-4-2 and gives United another dimension to their style of play as Ferguson attempts to wrestle the title back from Roberto Mancini’s City.”
Friday’s Scout Picks perhaps brought few surprises with the big guns firmly expected to deliver this weekend. Mid-price hopefuls Kevin Nolan and Michu are again backed to deliver with strong home fixtures, while Dimitar Berbatov’s return to fitness had him slot straight back into our lineup.
If you’re looking for something different, we delivered that just a few hours ago – Paul drilled deeper on the potential offered by Olivier Giroud and mid-price midfielders – Leon Osman and Adel Taarabt.
That saw us into Saturday morning and brought an end to the fortnight’s coverage, leaving only the Pre-match preamble to see us over the line.
If you’re still left wanting more, don’t forget to check out this week’s ScoutCast, offering and audio walkthrough the break and the regular preview of the weekend action. Thanks for listening.
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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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