November
29

The Watchlist – Shane Long

Filed under: The Watchlist - Posted by: Jonty

Among the most eye catching statistics that have defined Shane Long’s excellent season is that he has scored or assisted in every one of West Brom’s seven home games. The entire team’s outstanding Hawthorns form under manager Steve Clarke has been a key factor in helping Long achieve this feat, while keen competition for places up front is also keeping the Irishman on his toes, with Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku, Marc Antoine-Fortune and Markus Rosenberg all waiting in the wings.

Although Long is clearly the top choice striker and has played more minutes than his attacking rivals, Gameweek 14 served as a timely reminder that no one in the West Brom ranks is free from a slap in the face from the fickle hand of rotation. An unused sub during that game, Long watched on as his team suffered a 3-1 away defeat to Swansea.

In all likelihood, this is down to a hamstring issue that has been plaguing the player all season. Despite Clarke’s declaration that he has no concerns over his fitness, it’s likely that this weekend’s home derby against Stoke had a significant bearing in his team line-up last night:

“I’ll make the changes from game to game as and when I think I should make the changes. If Shane has to play 90 minutes he can play 90 minutes no problem. He can play two in four days and three in a week if I need him but then I’d have to manage the training.”

The Baggies subsequent defeat at Swansea may just persuade Clarke that Long is a player he cannot afford to rest or rotate. The last time he failed to make the starting 11 in a Premier League fixture, during the Gameweek 5 home victory with Reading, he came on as a 65th minute sub to register an assist for the game’s only goal, suggesting that even if dropped he still has a chance to shine.

The standing of the opposition also fails to dent Long’s confidence at home, with Champions League holders Chelsea falling to the West Brom sword in Gameweek 11, when he racked up 12 points in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) game after scoring and assisting in a valiant 2-1 victory. He also accrued maximum FPL bonus points that week.

As if such home reliability wasn’t enough to tempt managers, there are signs that Long is also able to produce on the road. Two of his five goals this campaign have come away from the Hawthorns, with his strike against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light during West Brom’s 4-2 victory in Gameweek 13 the latest to prove Long may deserve to start every game.

Already this season Long is the sixth best striker in the Sky Sports game, where he is priced at 7.7m and sits on 64 points. In the FPL game he is priced even more generously at 6.3m and has 63 points, making him the eighth best striker and the joint best West Brom asset alongside midfielder James Morrison. Despite his consistency, he is owned by just over 6% of FPL managers, though the Republic of Ireland international clearly offers a strong mid-price alternative to the likes of Steven Fletcher, Dimitar Berbatov and Rickie Lambert up top.

With three home games in the next four gameweeks (STO, ars, WHU, NOR) Long looks to be a safe bet for points in the short term. Even West Brom’s Christmas matches from Boxing Day to New Year’s Day (qpr, man, FUL) offer the prospect of points. Clearly, this is shaping up to be the Irish international’s best season yet – he has already matched last term’s bonus tally of nine in the FPL game and is well on course to surpass his final FPL points total for 2011/12 of 97.

About The Author

“Fantasy Football Scout general manager and occasional Yaya Toure owner.”

Jonty @newsandfeatures

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  1. What's the overall opinion on Mata then? People shipping him out or giving him another GW? I need some extra in the bank for my lack luster midfield and getting shot would free up funds. Thoughts?

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
    1. I would ship him out but not sure it's worth a -4.

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
      1. Who is that in your Grav? Looks very similar to my cousin.

        • 1 year, 12 months ago
        1. Salmon from The Hardy Bucks.

          • 1 year, 12 months ago
    2. He will come back to good IMO, Benitez will open up soon and also realise Mata plays behind the striker or not at all!

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
      1. Cheers. Think i'm gonna hang on for one more week. If he doesn't return anything then his times up!

        • 1 year, 12 months ago
    3. One more week and he's out for me. Whether he produces or not.

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
      1. Same here

        • 1 year, 12 months ago
    4. he will probably start this gameweek but chelsea under benitez just do not look a threat going forward. The tactics are incredibly negative and thus I can't see mata really making a major impression right now fantasy wise.

      They have 2 tricky games on paper v west ham and sunderland away then off to japan for the world club championship.

      Rotation is a major factor too, Benitez is known for this. Plus the fact they have a major CL game in mid-week and world club championship GW17 I can see mata being rested for sunderland away.

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
    5. He is a season keeper IMO. Last season there was no Mata love on here but i had him all season long and its going to be the same this term as well. Big point haul on the horizon :)

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
  2. why do people say walcott is risky short term transfer?

    Looking to ship mata but I keep getting this response. Is it because he is injury prone or because his gametime will be limited or perhaps both.

    Wenger confirmed on arsenal.com he should be fine for saturday and walcott said he will only sign a new contract if he is guaranteed starts. Sounds like he will start more often and become a regular now?

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
    1. Can get rotated, but shouldn't, good option imo

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
    2. Because he is too often a risky short term transfer?

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
    3. Because he is made out of string and balsa wood.

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
  3. Sterling (C) DONE DEAL!!!!!!!!!! ;)

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
    1. ballsy!

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
        • 1 year, 12 months ago
  4. Who to play...

    Fellaini or Michu

    The bookies make Michu slightly more likely to score anytime.

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
    1. Both. Who are ur other mids?

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
      1. Bale, Cazorla and Sterling.

        • 1 year, 12 months ago
    2. Both of them, preferably.

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
    3. Tough one to call, guessing u have sterling as ur 5th mid? I'd actually favour playing Michu and Fellaini over sterling if that's the case

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
      1. That defies logic surely?

        • 1 year, 12 months ago
        1. I'll bench Michu. Same dilemma.

          • 1 year, 12 months ago
  5. So, who to bench:
    Sessegenon v. NOR (A)
    Sterling v. SOU (H) - also have Enrique and Saurez...
    Michu v. ARS (A)
    What to do, what to do.....

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
    1. Michu

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
      1. That's where I was leaning, thank you.

        • 1 year, 12 months ago
  6. Evening all,
    current lot is:

    Bego Schwarzer
    Demel Gorkss Baines Rafael Cuellar
    Sterling Maloney McAnuff Santi Bale
    RVP Tevez Fletcher
    0.2 in bank, 2 FTs

    and thinking of Schwarzer & Baines out, Szczesny & Enrique/Wisdom in for GW15.
    Would appreciate any thoughts.
    Cheers.

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
  7. My rival had Nelsen, Routledge off the bench, A Fonte assist added and Snodgrass as (VC) with Tevez (C) :/

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
    1. my 2 main rivals 1 got the Fonte assist, one got Routledge and Sidwell off his bench

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
    2. How awesome is our team? What transfers are we doing this week?

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
    3. Lucky lucky!

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
    4. Remember to play your own game - don't let your rivals decisions/luck cloud your judgement. Mistake I made repeatedly last year.

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
  8. what do we think of this team for the weekend? would cost -8 to do it

    Migs

    Baines, Rafa, Enrique

    Bale, Fellaini, Sterling, Michu

    RvP (c), Berba, Long

    Foster, Ramirez, Huth, Shorey

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
    1. baines might be out

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
    2. Not worried about an RVP rest then?

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
      1. no chance he will be rested, we have Cluj midweek, he can be rested for that ready for the Derby. Thoughts overall?

        • 1 year, 12 months ago
    3. Dont get long for a hit imo

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
      1. Hits will be for Enrique and Fell

        I have 2 FTs I will have to use tonight. It will be Mata and Jelly to Bale and Long

        • 1 year, 12 months ago
    4. so much money in defence!! get a better striker/midfielder!!

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
      1. Bale, Michu and Fellaini are all big hitters

        Bar RvP (who I have) and Suarez (who I don't want) name me another big striker who is delivering the same effectiveness as Berba and Long?

        • 1 year, 12 months ago
  9. New post

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
  10. New article has landed

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
  11. With a front 8 of

    Fellaini, Michu, Silva, Sterling (Maloney)
    RVP, Berbs,Tevez

    what's the best move? Any move will cost me -4

    Silva -> Walcott
    Tevez -> ???

    I want Bale asap but Silva -> Bale is 0.1m too expensive. FML

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
  12. Does anyone know wtf is going on with Fellainis price? Protected?

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
    1. What do you mean ?

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
    2. I think he will rise tonight.

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
  13. Play Cuellar or Cameron?

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
    1. Cuellar

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
    • 1 year, 12 months ago
      • 1 year, 12 months ago
  14. Benching dilemma between Michu and Fellaini.

    I have a feeling one of them is going to end up with a 2 pointer, just have to guess which one! :(

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
    1. I'm planning to play both and benching Ramirez

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
    2. Bench michu

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
    3. Playing both

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
    4. Same problem I am facing.

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
  15. I take it there's been no more news on Baines yet?

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
    1. I don't think he will play

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
    2. he has a hamstring injury.

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
  16. Best goalkeeper ?

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
    1. Buffon.

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
  17. rafael or nastasic??

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
    1. ccc

      Rafael. Way less of a rotation risk and gets in some advanced positions up the pitch.

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
  18. Begovic (Mannone)
    Rafael Baines demel Cuellar Davies
    Michu cazorla bale Fellani sterling
    Rvp berba fletcher

    Have 0.2m....what shd I do??
    Baines to Enrique?? Bt Baines is meant to be a season keeper. Any other way I can bring in Enrique?
    Also I need to improve my goalkeeper

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
    1. ccc

      I'd focus on your GK. Tremmel looks likely to rise tonight or tomorrow.

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
  19. Who to bench ?

    Fellaini vs. Man City or
    Morrison vs. Swansea

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
    1. morrison vs stoke you mean

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
        • 1 year, 12 months ago
    2. fellaini

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
  20. Mata -> Caz or Walcott?

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
    1. ccc

      I'm thinking Walcott. Value and more of FPL threat, from what is seems.

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
  21. ccc

    I have 2 FT & 1.2m in the bank. I bought Mata @ 8.9m, so I am hesitant to sell him. Any tips? Thanks.

    Bego/Jaask
    Rafael/Shawcross/Cameron/McCartney/Gorkss
    Mata/Silva/Cazorla/Fellaini/Sterling
    RVP/Ba/Berb

    A. Cazorla > Walcott
    B. Cazorla > Bale
    C. Gorkss > ?

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
    1. I'd definitely find a way to pick up Bale.

      And Mata could be the way, despite it being painful!

      Caz has some good fixtures coming up, and I think should come good.

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
  22. First year playing, could use some advice on transfers I should make. My team is:

    GK - Begovic; Jaaskelainen

    DEF - Rafael, Shawcross, McAuley, Bassong, Reid

    MID - Michu, Mata, Sterling, Nolan, Morrison

    FWD - Suarez, Tevez, Giroud

    I have 3.3m in the bank.

    Any suggested transfers I should make? I have 1 FT this week. Is it worth it to take a point deduction for multiple transfers?

    Any help appreciated!

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
  23. Any thoughts on who to bench for this week?

    Pity to bench Hernandez, but who to swap out for him...

    And am thinking of playing Jaas over Bego, what do you think?

    Begovic WBA (A)
    Jose Enrique SOU (H)
    Bassong SUN (H)
    Garrido SUN (H)
    Santi Cazorla SWA (H)
    Fellaini MCI (A)
    Sterling SOU (H)
    Bale FUL (A)
    Suarez SOU (H)
    Van Persie RDG (A)
    Fletcher NOR (A)
    Jaaskelainen CHE (H)
    Huth WBA (A)
    Gorkss MUN (H)
    Hernandez ARS (A)

    Also, anyone you’d trade out there? (Other than Gor)

    Cheers

    James

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
  24. i did my 2FT transfers yesterday and today
    mostly based on price changes and fixtures

    yesterday hazard -> bale and today jelavic -> suarez

    good or bad transfers?

    • 1 year, 12 months ago
    1. Good

      • 1 year, 12 months ago
  25. I am still undecided who to bench this week.
    Michu or fellaini?
    Want to play mata, due to score or assist this wk.
    Sterling - good fixture, bale - best form.

    • 1 year, 12 months ago

Scout Picks

For Gameweek 12

  • Begovic
  • Azpilicueta
  • Bertrand
  • Clichy
  • Sánchez
  • Tadic
  • Moses
  • Hazard
  • Aguero
  • Diego Costa
  • Austin
  • Clyne
  • Zaha
  • Kane

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The Watchlist

Goalkeepers

Last updated: 25 Nov, 2014 11:26am
Player Club Factors
No Change Courtois CHE B, Vs
No Change Adrián WHM B, Vs
Up Fabianski SWA B, Vs
No Change Guzan AVL B, Vs
Up Green QPR C, Vs
Up Krul NEW A, VsX
Up Heaton BRN B, Vs
Up Foster WBA B

Defenders

Last updated: 27 Nov, 2014 2:16pm
Player Club Factors
Up Ivanovic CHE B, Vs
Down Baines EVE B, Inj
Up Taylor SWA B
No Change Cresswell WHM B, Vs
Up Hutton AVL C, Vs
Up Yun QPR C, Vs, £
No Change Dummett NEW B, VsX, £
Up Trippier BRN B, Vs
No Change Chambers ARS B
Down Bertrand SOT A, VsX
Up Dawson WBA C

Midfielders

Last updated: 25 Nov, 2014 2:16pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Sánchez ARS B, OoP
No Change Hazard CHE A, Vs
Up Sigurdsson SWA B, Vs
Up Di María MUN B, Vs
No Change Oscar CHE B, Vs
Down Downing WHM B, Vs, Inj
Up Y Touré MCI A
Up Bolasie CPL A
Down Chadli TOT B, Inj
Down Sterling LIV C, Vs
Up Sissoko NEW B, VsX
No Change Barkley EVE C, Rest
No Change Boyd BRN C, Vs, £

Forwards

Last updated: 24 Nov, 2014 2:33pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Aguero MCI A
No Change Diego Costa CHE A, Vs, Sus
No Change Austin QPR B, Vs, £
Up Rooney MUN A, Vs, £
Up Bony SWA A, Vs
Down Sakho WHM B, Vs, Inj
Up Kane TOT B, Rest, £
Up Ings BRN A, Vs
Down Pellè SOT B, VsX, Sus
Up Giroud ARS B, Inj
Down Berahino WBA C, VsX, £
Up Lukaku EVE B

Selection Factors

A, B, C Current Form
Vs Favourable Fixtures
VsX Unfavourable Fixtures
Rest Rotation Risk
Inj Injured/Returning from Injury
OoP Out of Position
£ Potential Bargain
Sus Suspended/Near Suspension

The Suspension Tightrope

Player Team YC
Weimann AVL 4
Diego Costa CHE 4
Fábregas CHE 4
Barry EVE 4
Naismith EVE 4
Huddlestone HUL 4
Livermore HUL 4
Robertson HUL 4
Moore LEI 4
Skrtel LIV 4
Colback NEW 4
Janmaat NEW 4
Sissoko NEW 4
Pellè SOT 4
Schneiderlin SOT 4
Mame Biram Diouf STO 4
Taylor SWA 4
Williams SWA 4

“Last year was quite open for me, I was in good positions, but I was quite lucky because I was getting free kicks and some penalties as well.”

Yaya Toure Manchester City midfielder