We roll out the final Scout Picks of the 2013/14 season this morning, as Fantasy managers assess their final trades before tomorrow’s deadline. Unsurprisingly, we stock up on City and Liverpool options with the title still on the line, whilst we also turn to Tottenham as Tim Sherwood’s side look to clinch Europa League qualification:
Vito Mannone welcomes Swansea to the Stadium of Light off the back of three clean sheets in succession. Gus Poyet may have hinted at making some changes to his XI, but with the Black Cats’ tails up after securing survival, Mannone’s chances of another shut-out look strong against a Swans side that has failed to find the net in three of their last five.
Everton’s trip to Hull looks all the more promising after Steve Bruce rang the changes for the midweek meeting at United. The Hull boss clearly has one eye on the upcoming FA Cup Final, and with that in mind, we turn to Leighton Baines’ points potential at both ends of the pitch – the left-back has scored or assisted in three of the last four now, and with spot-kicks and set-pieces also in hand, could be set to prosper again.
A trip to relegated Cardiff offers Chelsea the chance to deliver their nineteenth clean sheet of the season. With John Terry looking likely to miss out according to his manager, we turn instead to Branislav Ivanovic as our Blues’ backline option – the big Serbian will be looking to add to his current tally of three goals and an assist against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s out-of-sorts side.
Pablo Zabaleta delivered an 11-point haul in his previous home appearance against Villa in midweek. As City look to clinch the title in style against West Ham at the Etihad, the Argentine’s raids from right-back could be set to flourish once again, and with Sam Allardyce’s side failing to score in two of their last three, a clean sheet could also be on the cards for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
The return of Daniel Sturridge saw Raheem Sterling shifted to the tip of Liverpool’s midfield diamond for Monday’s trip to Palace. Sterling served up an assist in the 3-3 draw, and with the Reds set to go on the offensive against a Newcastle side that has lost six of their previous seven, he looks a real value option at just 6.3.
Tottenham welcome Villa to the Lane still needing a point to clinch Europa League qualification. Tim Sherwood’s side have found the net 11 times in their last three home fixtures and, with three goals and five assists, Christian Eriksen has played a part in eight of those strikes – bringing his owners 18, 15 and 11 points respectively.
The relentless Yaya Toure is an obvious choice for City’s home clash with the Hammers. Having delivered his tenth double-figure return of the season in Wednesday’s 4-0 win over Villa, the Ivorian will carry the armband hopes of many heading into the final Gameweek as he look to add to his current Fantasy Premier League haul of 235 points.
Two goals, a pair of assists and seven bonus points in the last four Gameweeks underlines Marko Arnautovic’s strong finish to the season. Priced at just 5.1, the Austrian looks a real in-form budget option as Stoke roll up to face a West Brom side that have conceded three times in all but one of their last four at the Hawthorns.
Handed a role off the bench in last week’s disappointing draw at home to Norwich, Eden Hazard looks poised for his first league start since Gameweek 33 as Chelsea make their way to Cardiff. The Belgian has already delivered an 18-point haul against the Bluebirds earlier this season, and with their relegation already confirmed, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have no need to operate defensively – offering Jose Mourinho’s men the chance to return to winning ways on Sunday.
Runaway leader of the Captain Poll, Luis Suarez is expected to wreak havoc against Newcastle at Anfield. The Merseysiders look poised to take out their frustrations on a porous Magpies backline that has shipped eight goals in their last three road trips, with the Uruguayan, as always, the chief tormentor.
Five goals in his last three matches underlines the potential of Edin Dzeko. Whilst Sergio Aguero has been passed fit to face the Hammers, it’s uncertain whether Manuel Pellegrini will start with the Argentine – on the other hand, Dzeko looks certain of getting the nod and is far more likely to be handed the full 90 minutes to maintain his outstanding recent run of form.
Tottenham’s home game against Villa brings budget option Kyle Naughton onto the bench. The visitors continue to struggle without the presence of Christian Benteke up front and, with just two goals scored in their last four road trips, could hand the home side the chance of picking up another clean sheet to see out the season.
Jason Puncheon warms the bench as Palace make their way to London neighbours Fulham. Tony Pulis’ side will be on a high after Monday’s sensational comeback draw against Liverpool, and up against a backline that has shipped 83 goals this season, the Eagles wide man will fancy his chances of serving up the points again.
Harry Kane offers Fantasy managers a cut-price option for Tottenham’s home clash with Villa. Coming in at just 4.4, the youngster has found the net three times in five starts under Tim Sherwood and looks likely to get amongst the goals once again as the north London side go on the attack.