Scout Scribbles – Ba Fires Blues Top

Filed under: Scout Notes - Posted by: Paul

Demba Ba grabs the winner as Chelsea make it through to the Champions League knockout stages as group winners, while Arsenal also qualify despite losing at Napoli. Christian Eriksen and Danny Rose could return for Spurs tonight, Wilfried Bony is back in the Swansea squad and Leighton Baines is hopeful of returning for Everton before the turn of the year:

Ba Proves the Difference as Jose Rotates

Jose Mourinho made seven alterations from the side that lost 3-2 to Stoke last Saturday, with only John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, John Obi Mikel and Eden Hazard retaining their starting berths. Fit-again Oscar and David Luiz were amongst those handed a start and replaced Juan Mata and Gary Cahill, whilst Demba Ba got the nod as the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1. Oscar provided the assist for Ba’s solitary strike before making way on 67 minutes, while Hazard was fielded for the entire 90 minutes in a 1-0 win that saw the Blues top Group E.

The Scout Says: With a home clash against Palace on Saturday’s agenda, Hazard’s owners will be a little frustrated by his manager’s decision to play him for the entire match. If anything, though, it seems a clear indication that, amongst his attacking options, Mourinho views the Belgian as his one “Untouchable” and is simply the only form player he can ill-afford to be without. Oscar’s immediate impact also bodes well for an instant return against the Eagles – a brief absence has seen him transferred out by many Fantasy managers, which has resulted in a price drop to 8.8, with Hazard now 9.8 and rising, by comparison. Last night’s match also saw Andre Schurrle recover from the calf complaint that forced him off late on at the Britannia – the German was handed a second-half sub role and, having notched twice against Mark Hughes’ side, may well get another chance to impress this weekend. Given that the likes of Willian is also back in the mix after missing out through illness at the weekend, Mata’s chances of earning a fourth straight league start on Saturday look increasingly slim.

Ramsey Handed Sub Role As Gunners Squeeze Through

The Welshman’s Fantasy owners will be delighted with Arsene Wenger’s decision to hand him no more than a 23-minute run out in last night’s trip to Naples. Ramsey came on as a second-half sub for Santi Cazorla, while the likes of Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud were both afforded the full 90 minutes in a game that saw Mikel Arteta sent off with just less than 15 minutes on the clock. Wenger started Tomas Rosicky as part of the attacking midfield three, leaving Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere on the bench in the 2-0 defeat.

The Scout Says: The result is hardly ideal preparation ahead of Saturday lunchtime’s trip to the Etihad – all the more so after City’s morale-boosting win in Bayern on Tuesday evening. Ramsey can expect to return to the Gunners XI, then, whilst Rosicky’s stating berth suggests it’s likely to be a straight fight between Walcott and Wilshere for the role on the right – the latter has started three of the last four but has now produced returns in just two of his 14 league appearances, while Walcott has provided assists in two of the last three via brief sub appearances off the bench. From a City perspective, the fact they’ve had an extra 24 hours rest, in addition to a tough night for the Gunners against Rafa Benitez’ side, may bode well for the hosts at the Etihad. Sergio Aguero currently sits fifth in this week’s Captain Poll but many may just be tempted to hand him the armband in light of the past two evenings’ action.

Injuries Ease for Swans

Ahead of their crucial Europa League match against Swiss side St Gallen this evening, Michael Laudrup has included Michel Vorm, Wilfried Bony and Angel Rangel in the Swansea travelling squad.

The Scout Says: While it’s still uncertain whether any of the trio will be fit enough to make the starting line-up or take part in the action, the news is certainly a step in the right direction as the Welsh club brace themselves for a testing run of matches. After this weekend’s trip to Norwich, Swansea face Everton, Chelsea, City, United and Spurs in the subsequent six Gameweeks – a dire-looking schedule that’s set to deter most from investing. Bony’s return to the fold, allied with Michu’s comeback from injury on Monday against Hull, looks a little ominous for Jonjo Shelvey owners already – if fully-fit, the duo would be expected to knock Shelvey into a more withdrawn role in front of the back-four and lessen his chances of continuing the form that has produced attacking returns in four of the last five Gameweeks. Furthermore, Vorm has confirmed he is set to undergo minor knee surgery in January which is expected to sideline the Dutchman for four to five weeks and bring Gerhard Tremmel into the picture as a potential cut-price keeper option.

Baines Optimistic of Quick Return

In an interview with the Everton official website, the left-back revealed he is on the mend from a toe injury and hopes to play some part in the hectic upcoming festive fixtures:

“I’ve not been able to do a lot to treat it [the toe] because it’s a break, so I’ve just sort of tried to see how it heals really and take it a day at a time. The manager said early on it’s quite a broad time frame that you can be looking at. We thought about different things -¬ injections and stuff -¬ but we didn’t know whether that would set us back further, so we are just trying to let it heal naturally at the moment. Obviously the schedule thickens up around Christmas and New Year so you like to think you would be back and available to help the team at that point, but it’s just one of those things. You have to wait and see.”

The Scout Says: Baines originally picked up the problem in the Gameweek 12 Merseyside derby on November 23, with the prognosis suggesting anything up to six weeks on the sidelines. Given that this coming Saturday will be mark three weeks since the injury, he’s not quite ready yet – indeed, Robert Martinez confirmed earlier this morning that the defender is still a “couple of weeks away” from fitness. Certainly, the form of deputy Bryan Oviedo suggests there’s no need for Martinez to hurry the England international back. With four home games in six, Everton look primed for investment but a return for the New Year (Gameweek 20) would see Baines miss four more league games, boosting the appeal of Seamus Coleman or bonus-magnet Phil Jagielka as a route into a defence that has already racked up eight clean sheets in 15 games under their new manager.

Eriksen and Rose Boost for Villas-Boas

The Spurs boss had some positive injury news in defence and midfield ahead of this evening’s Europa League game against Anzhi:

“We will look to try and give Danny Rose a couple of minutes in this game and Christian Eriksen is also selected, so there is the possibility that he could play some minutes as well.”

Villas-Boas also reported Vlad Chiriches has “a good chance” of making the weekend home game against Liverpool, before revealing the club are using a blood spinning technique on Jan Vertonghen’s ankle ligament injury in order to speed up the Belgian’s recovery period:

“”We will have the player in a boot for one to two weeks to try to settle it. We want to avoid surgery so we will use PRP treatment to try to get him back as soon as possible. We’ve had outstanding results with PRP treatment and we will do that again now.”

The Scout Says: With Younes Kaboul also sidelined due to a quad injury, Villas-Boas only has one fully-fit centre-half, Michael Dawson, at his disposal right now – hardly the ideal scenario as Luis Suarez prepares to roll up to the Lane on Sunday. Etienne Capoue will continue at centre-half against the Reds if Chiriches fails to make it, while Rose could be in line to replace Kyle Naughton at left-back at the weekend in his first start since Gameweek 4 – Rose’s classification as a midfielder in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) game all but kills off any interest, though. Eriksen’s return will no doubt catch the eye. With just a single assist to his name in seven league appearances, the Dane has been a major disappointment since arriving from Ajax but there’s no doubt he’s a class act. Now down to just 7.1 in FPL, he reappears at a time where Spurs seem to have rediscovered their eye for goal, scoring twice in each of the last three league games – if he proves his fitness, a run of three home matches in four from Gameweek 18 (WBA, STO, CPL) may well be enough to persuade those willing to roll the midfield dice.

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  1. Pieters dropping today :(

    On the plus side, Barfa is down to 6.5, could be a decent pickup if/when he gets back in the Newcastle team

    I still believe!

    1. i love barfa, just needs a long run in an attackin pos...

      1. Probably my favourite player in the league, on his day he is mesmerising

  2. Pick 3 from 6 to play (spoilt for choice this week):

    G Johnson

    1. At the moment I have them in this order:

      Chester, Coloccini, Lallana, Collins, Johnson, Brady

      1. Always do what you think. If you listen to others and it goes wrong you'll never forgive yourself.


    One of the great Christmas tunes, Stop the Cavalry.

    Happy Christmas one and all :-)

    1. My 2 favourites are Mike Oldfield "In Dulci Jublio" & The Waitresses "Christmas Wrapping"

  4. Mignolet
    Coleman, Chester, Johnson
    Walcott,Ramsey,Lallana, Hazard


    0.0 in bank. 2 FT.
    Shopping list: Howard, Silva
    Have Wally at 9.1 and Mignolet at 5.5. Want rid of Johnson.

    Any ideas lads?

    1. For some reason I did Johnson to Zabaletta this week. Still unsure why...

    2. Koscielny?

  5. Posted from bottom of last page....

    Is this move pure madness?

    G.Johnson + Ramsey = Ward + Silva

    1. yep madness

    2. Yes. Wouldn't get rid of Ramsey

      1. Its either Ramsey or Wally for Silva.......

    3. madness. Silva may not even start

      1. Silva will start. Pelle said so after subbing him after 70 min yesterdya

      2. For next week (should have prob specified this)

  6. Ridiculous they aren't giving Suarez's goal and Cout's assist! Very lame fantasy rule...

    1. They were acknowledged but the League had been updated already I think.

    2. If we get a petition together we can get them to change the rules.

        1. so that's 2.
          Who else?

            1. nah. i don't have cout and am happy with the suarez points.

    3. Don't see what the big deal is, he still got a 15 point haul and everyone owns him!

      1. couthino owners suffer

        1. Who you captaining this weekend Forca?

        2. they deserve to suffer for buying him

        3. Just put it down to bad luck and get on with it. No point in dwelling on last weeks points, 2 days to go!

      2. Yeah cost me 5 points is utter nonsense, they surely have an logarithm that does the recalculations. It's not like it's manual work. FPL are utter lazy ba*sta$rds!

        1. The problem with this are the cup ties

          1. Thought the FPL official cup starts GW 18? I could understand if it perhaps overlapped with another GW. But the fact that it happened within a week and that they can't just change two data boxes and re-run their update script is bollox.

        2. its not hard at all, but they have to put a time limit or it messes up leagues n h2hs..... imagine if 3 weeks down the line they awarded a goal to your rival and they retroactively knocked you out of a league....youd be fuming, plus by then the permutations would be hard to work out

          1. Yeah but the fact it didn't clash with another GW is my problem. I agree with you, but they haven't given a reasonable time period.

        3. I've had a couple of assists not awarded earlier this season that have "cost" me points but then had a dubious assist awarded to me the other week (Hazard i think it was).

          It all balances out no point in getting wound up over a few points.

  7. Evening fellas.

    Finally did Gerrard to Redmond earlier as my diffrential punt
    and have the funds to do Ravel to Silva next week.

    Team this week is

    Coleman Ivanovic Walker
    Hazard Ramsey Redmond Ravel
    Suarez Aguero Lukaku

    RMT out of 10?

  8. Good to go? :)

    Bench:Harper ¤ Kim ¤ Ward ¤ Vlaar

    1. Yes! :)

      1. you need to sell kim

  9. Replace Gerrard for a hit or go with this?


    Mcauley Terry Chester Burner

    Whittingham Ramsey Hazard

    Lukaku Suarez Aguero

    Davis Brady Gerrard Shaw

    1. Who are you planning to get in?

      Do you have a 'planned' transfer next week?

      1. I would probably do Silva or Oscar!! Was planning on putting Cabaye in next week but worried that my teams not strong enough this week(worried over hazard n terrys starts)

        1. If you;re gonna do the Cabaye transfer regardless, then mind as well do the Gerrard to Silva move now.

          1. Silva better punt than Oscar?

          2. Could you please put a Santa hat on your potato?

  10. I have a forward line of Suarez - Rooney - Negredo.
    A total of five players in the Man City - Arsenal game.
    1 FT.
    Can someone talk me out of selling Negredo for Lukaku?

    1. Seems obvious to me.

    2. good swap imo

    3. I would definitely do that move

    4. Negredo is a tasty differential I would keep

      1. Yeah, and that kinda appeales to me..
        But Lukaku cant really wrong since everybody else have/is getting him. If he fails, I'm not alone.

    5. because he has good fixtures.

    6. do it, nothing wrong at all with keeping it simple

  11. Migs (Lewis)

    Terry Mertesacker Coleman (Vlaar, Rosenior)

    Ozil, Hazard, Fer, Morrison, ( JWP)

    Aguero, Suarez, Lukaku

    Thinking of the following double switch

    Terry - > Jenkinson (or a 4.4m max def)
    Morrison -> Silva

    atm I have 2.1 in the bank.

  12. Silva and Redmond are coming in for Gerrard and Brady in the next 2 weeks..
    Who do i get first though? Give Silva a week so he can get back to full fitness and get redmond this week or get Redmond in next week and Silva in this week?

    1. Silva.

    2. I did Redmond first. Good fixtures.

  13. i have the curse of injured defenders..nasty, rangel, kolo, chester now tomkins..ffs
    Who would you play between wes brown or olsson?

    1. which olsson?

        1. olsson
          sunderland are poor away

    2. I would probably hang my FPL boots up if that was a decision I was needing to make.

      Go for olsson.

  14. Would you rather you're team won the league, or you won FPL?

    Personally, although I have a chronic addiction to FPL, I'd much rather see Watford promoted

    1. of course id rather see pool win the league, tho i think i have more chance of winning fpl ;)

      1. That's extremely pessimistic. The best odds you can get against Liverpool winning the League & FA Cup double are only 50 to 1, but your chances of winning FPL are probably more than 10,000 to 1 against.

      1. Well you can't have both

        1. is not that hard for chelsea to win the league ;)

    2. West Brom to win the Premier League.

    3. I'd rather win in FPL...
      and they can win the CL.

    4. Southend winning League Two isn't much fun so I'll win FPL please. And all the glory and prestige that comes with it.

    5. FPL by a mile

  15. Who would you bench this weekend Mcauley, Ramsey or Caulker!??

    1. Probably the away defender

    2. mcauley

  16. Any chance Ryan Bennett's getting his place back?

    Seems unlikely right

  17. Is Ramsey to Schurrle worth a free transfer this week?

    1. Stay away from Schurrle

    2. No way.. A nailed on player, top of the midfielder rankings for a rotation risk.. No thanks.

    3. i think it's probably worth keeping Rambo. still seems like decent value

    4. Why would you even think about that??

      1. Just a short term punt for this week.Ramsey has City away while Schurrle could make merry against Palace

  18. nude post

    1. Got to have a full team of non rotators over Xmas. That's a big differential to get ahead of your competitors.

  19. Is Sterling worth having a look @4.9 till February when Sturridge is injured? The only question is whether he is nailed on or not.Liverpool fans please help!

    1. he will play a lot. i thought about tat too

  20. Mertesacker -> Chester this week

    Sessegnon -> Silva next week for Fulham

    Chico -> Distin the week after for SUN

    a good plan? cheers

  21. Best Goalkeeper choice aside Migs?


    1. I meant aside from Howard *

      1. There are no stand outs atm. Everton arsenal Cardiff villa and newcastle (short term) are all reasonable

    2. Tremel or Davis. Not worth spending money on goalkeepers

  22. Is Ridgewell to Distin worth a -4?

  23. I would love if Everton won the title

    1. is it possible ?

Scout Picks

For Gameweek 34

  • Speroni
  • Zabaleta
  • Coleman
  • Shawcross
  • Mirallas
  • Eriksen
  • Y Touré
  • Lallana
  • Suárez
  • Lukaku
  • Aguero
  • Fonte
  • Puncheon
  • Lambert



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Next Six Ticker



Last updated: 15 Apr, 2014 5:24pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Hart MCI B, Vs
Up De Gea MUN C
No Change Cech CHE A, Vs
No Change Szczesny ARS B
No Change Mannone SUN B, £
Up Foster WBA B
No Change Guzan AVL B
Up Stockdale FUL B, £


Last updated: 15 Apr, 2014 7:35pm
Player Club Factors
Up Terry CHE A
No Change Zabaleta MCI B, Vs
Up Koscielny ARS B, Vs, Inj
Up Skrtel LIV A
Up Evra MUN B
Up Kaboul TOT B, Vs
No Change Alonso SUN C, OoP, £
Down Coleman EVE B, VsX
No Change Vlaar AVL C, Vs, £
Up Ridgewell WBA C, OoP, £
Up Caulker CAR A
Up Heitinga FUL B, £


Last updated: 16 Apr, 2014 11:06am
Player Club Factors
No Change Silva MCI A, Vs
Up Eriksen TOT A, Vs
Up Mata MUN A
Up Gerrard LIV A
Up Lallana SOT B
Up Sterling LIV A, £
Up Ramsey ARS B, Vs
Down Hazard CHE C, Vs, Inj
No Change Johnson SUN C
Up Amalfitano WBA A, £


Last updated: 14 Apr, 2014 1:03pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Suárez LIV A
Up Aguero MCI C, Vs, Inj
Up Adebayor TOT B, Vs
No Change Dzeko MCI B, Vs, Rest, £
Down Lukaku EVE B, VsX
Up Giroud ARS C, Vs
No Change Lambert SOT B
Down Sturridge LIV B, Inj
No Change Rooney MUN A, Inj
Up Rodallega FUL A, £

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

Suspension Tightrope

Player Team YC
Ramires CHE 9
Barry EVE 9
Gerrard LIV 9
Zabaleta MCI 9
Tioté NEW 9

“A hit a week every week and finish in the top 50k is just fine and dandy for me. I play the game for the fun and how it improves watching Stoke vs Cardiff on a Monday night in November.”

Wakey on his fantasy management style