The Scout Picks returns to reveal which players from our midweek Squad article have made the cut.
There looks to be plenty of clean sheet potential this week, as well as value in midfield, so we’re rolling out a 4-4-2 formation with a pair of big-hitters leading the line.
In goal, that means a place for West Brom’s Ben Foster (4.4) as he prepares to welcome a Brighton side that last scored away from home in Gameweek 11’s 1-0 victory over Swansea City.
The former England stopper’s inclusion is further strengthened by save points in each of his last three matches and the fact that the Baggies and the Seagulls have both ‘enjoyed’ four 0-0 draws this season – more than any other teams.
Marcos Alonso (7.3) is a shoo-in after notching three goals, an assist, four clean sheets and six bonus points over his last six matches.
That run of form highlights how the Chelsea left wing-back is now arguably the complete Fantasy asset, while a visit from Leicester City boosts his stock further as no team has conceded more crosses (287) and chances (97) from the right side of defence than the Foxes.
The fact that Alonso scored 21 points from a brace of goals in a 3-0 win at Leicester last year doesn’t exactly harm his appeal either.
Another attacking defender to impress us is Tottenham’s Ben Davies (5.5), who should start with his left-back rival Danny Rose sidelined through injury.
His prospects of points at both ends of the pitch look strong as visitors Everton have the lowest shot tally (53) in the Premier League over their last six run-outs, while the Welshman has registered an impressive two goals and four assists in 14 starts.
He’s also created 33 chances thus far this season – more than any other defender.
Passed fit by Rafa Benitez earlier today, we’re backing Jamaal Lascelles as Newcastle welcome Swansea to St James’ Park.
The Magpies have upped their resilience in recent matches, claiming back-to-back shut-outs against Brighton and Stoke, while their visitors sit bottom for shots (75), efforts in the box (37) and attempts on target (21) away from home.
Newcastle defeated the south Wales outfit 1-0 at the Liberty back in Gameweek 4 – Lascelles was the standout performer that day, bagging a goal and maximum bonus for a season-high 15-point return.
We’ve handed places to Manchester United’s Phil Jones (5.7), who has secured more bonus points (13) than any of his team-mates, and Jesse Lingard (6.3), who has dominated his side’s attacking play in recent Gameweeks.
No defender has been signed by more managers than the 140,000+ who have gone for Jones this Gameweek. He’ll be looking to make it three straight clean sheets against a Potters attack that has hit just three goals in their last five away trips.
As for Lingard, since cementing a starting berth in Gameweek 14 he has mainly played in a number 10 role and has been involved in more than half (53%) of United’s league goals. His underlying statistics over that period also demand our attention – only Spurs striker Harry Kane has had more shots on target during that time frame.
With 412,000+ transfers in, Lingard is by some margin this week’s most popular player in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) market.
There is further value to be found in midfield from Watford winger Richarlison (6.4), who goes head-to-head at home with a Southampton side that has a solitary clean sheet over the previous 13 Gameweeks.
While he hasn’t found the net since Gameweek 13, three assists in his last six outings gives us cause for optimism, and his 55 shots in the box is the second highest figure among midfielders.
Leicester’s poor away form, conceding 18 and earning just one clean sheet, sees us double up on Chelsea assets.
As well as Alonso, we’ve gone for Eden Hazard (10.7).
Even though the Belgian has scored just one goal since Gameweek 15, his underlying statistics suggest further attacking returns are imminent – he’s had 10 close-range efforts over his last six league matches.
Marko Arnautovic (7.0) is back in contention after shrugging off a hamstring injury in time for West Ham’s trip to Huddersfield.
The Austrian has been instrumental in an upturn in fortunes for the Hammers since David Moyes took charge, producing five goals and an assist in his last six starts.
That form could well continue against a Terriers defence that rank joint-bottom for big chances conceded (12) over the last four Gameweeks.
Harry Kane (12.9) hosts an Everton outfit that has conceded more shots (81) than any side over their last quartet of matches.
The Spurs frontman has netted six times in that period and also ranks first for shots (24), efforts in the box (17) and attempts on target (10).
Kane’s home shot tally of 77 is unrivalled in the Premier League, prompting more than 200,000 FPL managers to buy him in this week.
The Tottenham talisman has scored a brace in each of his last two league encounters against the Toffees, with the most recent arriving in Gameweek 4.
Romelu Lukaku returns to our line-up for Man United’s home encounter with Stoke.
A head knock sustained early on against Southampton in Gameweek 21 means that the big Belgian has played just 59 minutes in his side’s last three matches in all competitions.
Yet a second-half appearance against Derby in the FA Cup saw him deliver a goal and assist, suggesting he’s benefitted from that enforced, and long-overdue, rest.
Up against a Stoke defence that’s leaked more goals on the road (27) than any side, tomorrow’s Old Trafford match bodes well for Lukaku, whose total of 13 big chances at home is level with Kane.
Brighton centre-back Shane Duffy (4.5) takes a bench spot. He has four clean sheets in 11 away matches and looks long overdue a goal – only Alonso and Crystal Palace’s Scott Dann have had more close-range efforts among defenders this season.
With two goals and as many assists in his last four, Heung-min Son (8.1) is a little unlucky only to earn a spot among our subs for the visit of Everton.
The South Korean’s record at Wembley is particularly strong, having found the net in all but one of his last seven home outings.
Our final bench place goes to Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson (5.7) ahead of a visit from an injury-hit Arsenal rearguard that has conceded 16 goals on the road.
He looks the best third striker option on current form – over the last four Gameweeks, the Cherries frontman has scored twice and fired more shots than any other striker priced at 8.5 or below.
The Community Champion
The Community member who beats our picks by the biggest margin over the campaign will win a £100 Amazon Voucher and a place in our Contributors and Moderators League for the following season.
This week’s champion is Meppelfield, who has opted for a 3-5-2 formation of: Lloris; Azpilicueta, Vertonghen, Alonso; Pogba, Mata, Eriksen, Richarlison, Lanzini; Lacazette, Morata.