Watchlist

The Watchlist – Shane Long

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.

Jonty Community manager, Scoutcaster and writer. Tweets stats and stuff via @FFScout_Jonty” Follow him on Twitter

1,612 Comments Post a Comment
  1. LordCisse
    4 years, 10 months ago

    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?

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    1. Captain Shirokov
      4 years, 10 months ago

      I would ship him out but not sure it's worth a -4.

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      1. Ashley ♥
        4 years, 10 months ago

        Who is that in your Grav? Looks very similar to my cousin.

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        1. Captain Shirokov
          4 years, 10 months ago

          Salmon from The Hardy Bucks.

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    2. HuttonDressedasLahm
      4 years, 10 months ago

      He will come back to good IMO, Benitez will open up soon and also realise Mata plays behind the striker or not at all!

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      1. LordCisse
        4 years, 10 months ago

        Cheers. Think i'm gonna hang on for one more week. If he doesn't return anything then his times up!

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    3. Doctor X
      4 years, 10 months ago

      One more week and he's out for me. Whether he produces or not.

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      1. Evans
        4 years, 10 months ago

        Same here

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    4. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      4 years, 10 months ago

      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.

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    5. Nopli
      4 years, 10 months ago

      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 🙂

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  2. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    4 years, 10 months ago

    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?

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    1. HuttonDressedasLahm
      4 years, 10 months ago

      Can get rotated, but shouldn't, good option imo

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    2. Paolo Di Laernu - low rep r…
      4 years, 10 months ago

      Because he is too often a risky short term transfer?

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    3. rdpx
      4 years, 10 months ago

      Because he is made out of string and balsa wood.

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  3. Nopli
    4 years, 10 months ago

    Sterling (C) DONE DEAL!!!!!!!!!! 😉

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    1. mossy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      4 years, 10 months ago

      ballsy!

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      1. Tommy Tynans Left Shin Pad
        4 years, 10 months ago

        +50000

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  4. MJ6987 (Denver)
    4 years, 10 months ago

    Who to play...

    Fellaini or Michu

    The bookies make Michu slightly more likely to score anytime.

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    1. Chu Young Ping Pong
      4 years, 10 months ago

      Both. Who are ur other mids?

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      1. MJ6987 (Denver)
        4 years, 10 months ago

        Bale, Cazorla and Sterling.

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    2. Captain Shirokov
      4 years, 10 months ago

      Both of them, preferably.

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    3. phy5tij
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      4 years, 10 months ago

      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

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      1. MJ6987 (Denver)
        4 years, 10 months ago

        That defies logic surely?

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        1. sminkypinky
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          4 years, 10 months ago

          I'll bench Michu. Same dilemma.

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  5. M\'Lord
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    4 years, 10 months ago

    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.....

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    1. MICHELIN
      4 years, 10 months ago

      Michu

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      1. M\'Lord
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        4 years, 10 months ago

        That's where I was leaning, thank you.

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  6. MICHELIN
    4 years, 10 months ago

    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.

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  7. Doctor X
    4 years, 10 months ago

    My rival had Nelsen, Routledge off the bench, A Fonte assist added and Snodgrass as (VC) with Tevez (C) :/

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    1. JK - Grabbangladesh Manager…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      4 years, 10 months ago

      my 2 main rivals 1 got the Fonte assist, one got Routledge and Sidwell off his bench

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    2. MJ6987 (Denver)
      4 years, 10 months ago

      How awesome is our team? What transfers are we doing this week?

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    3. HuttonDressedasLahm
      4 years, 10 months ago

      Lucky lucky!

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    4. Stan The Man
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      4 years, 10 months ago

      Remember to play your own game - don't let your rivals decisions/luck cloud your judgement. Mistake I made repeatedly last year.

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  8. JK - Grabbangladesh Manager…
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    4 years, 10 months ago

    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

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    1. Whazza
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      4 years, 10 months ago

      baines might be out

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    2. Doctor X
      4 years, 10 months ago

      Not worried about an RVP rest then?

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      1. JK - Grabbangladesh Manager…
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        4 years, 10 months ago

        no chance he will be rested, we have Cluj midweek, he can be rested for that ready for the Derby. Thoughts overall?

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    3. Chu Young Ping Pong
      4 years, 10 months ago

      Dont get long for a hit imo

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      1. JK - Grabbangladesh Manager…
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        4 years, 10 months ago

        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

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    4. Red Viper
      4 years, 10 months ago

      so much money in defence!! get a better striker/midfielder!!

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      1. JK - Grabbangladesh Manager…
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        4 years, 10 months ago

        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?

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  9. JT's Dog
    4 years, 10 months ago

    New post

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  10. JT's Dog
    4 years, 10 months ago

    New article has landed

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  11. TheSharpeEnd
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    4 years, 10 months ago

    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

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  12. phy5tij
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    4 years, 10 months ago

    Does anyone know wtf is going on with Fellainis price? Protected?

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    1. Evans
      4 years, 10 months ago

      What do you mean ?

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    2. ashish.patel
      4 years, 10 months ago

      I think he will rise tonight.

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  13. Krisbee
    4 years, 10 months ago

    Play Cuellar or Cameron?

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    1. Evans
      4 years, 10 months ago

      Cuellar

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  14. Captain Shirokov
    4 years, 10 months ago

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4frqj40slk

    The 'soon to be' greatest movie of all time.

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    1. 4vets
      4 years, 10 months ago

      😆

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  15. Doctor X
    4 years, 10 months ago

    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! 🙁

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    1. JK - Grabbangladesh Manager…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      4 years, 10 months ago

      I'm planning to play both and benching Ramirez

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    2. Athletico Timbo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      4 years, 10 months ago

      Bench michu

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    3. Evans
      4 years, 10 months ago

      Playing both

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    4. lavernm
      4 years, 10 months ago

      Same problem I am facing.

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  16. Athletico Timbo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    4 years, 10 months ago

    I take it there's been no more news on Baines yet?

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    1. Evans
      4 years, 10 months ago

      I don't think he will play

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    2. Jax
      4 years, 10 months ago

      he has a hamstring injury.

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  17. Evans
    4 years, 10 months ago

    Best goalkeeper ?

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    1. Epic Fail 墅 ⚽ Bolivia G…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      4 years, 10 months ago

      Buffon.

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  18. Torreslove
    4 years, 10 months ago

    rafael or nastasic??

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    1. ccc
      4 years, 10 months ago

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

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  19. unitednations
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    4 years, 10 months ago

    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

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    1. ccc
      4 years, 10 months ago

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

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  20. ashish.patel
    4 years, 10 months ago

    Who to bench ?

    Fellaini vs. Man City or
    Morrison vs. Swansea

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    1. Jax
      4 years, 10 months ago

      morrison vs stoke you mean

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      1. ashish.patel
        4 years, 10 months ago

        Oops.

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    2. Jax
      4 years, 10 months ago

      fellaini

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  21. footiemad101
    4 years, 10 months ago

    Mata -> Caz or Walcott?

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    1. ccc
      4 years, 10 months ago

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

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  22. ccc
    4 years, 10 months ago

    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 > ?

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    1. james 101
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      4 years, 10 months ago

      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.

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  23. Warrior FC
    4 years, 10 months ago

    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!

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  24. james 101
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    4 years, 10 months ago

    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

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  25. chocolove
    4 years, 10 months ago

    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?

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    1. lavernm
      4 years, 10 months ago

      Good

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  26. lavernm
    4 years, 10 months ago

    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.

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