Scout Notes

Scout Notes – Gameweek 35 – Saturday

Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson both bag a brace as Liverpool annihilate Newcastle at St James’ Park. Romelu Lukaku grabs a goal and a pair of assists as West Brom batter Southampton, Sergio Aguero finds the net upon his return for City, Gareth Bale racks up the points once more for Tottenham, while Wigan’s defensive concerns grow ahead of double Gameweek 36.

Sturridge Sparkles in Suarez Absence
With Luis Suarez serving the first of a 10-match suspension, the former Chelsea man was tasked with grabbing the goals as Liverpool headed to Newcastle. Sturridge served up a quite devastating display as the Reds registered their most emphatic win of the season – two goals and an assist helped him register back-to-back double figure hauls, after last week’s strike and assist against the Blues. Drafted in by over 50,000 FPL managers last week, Sturridge has now produced seven goals and six assists in just 11 appearances since moving to Merseyside in January and looks set for major investment ahead of a weekend Merseyside derby with Everton at Anfield. With six other sides facing doubles, though, many may choose to avoid him until the following week – showdowns with Fulham and QPR in the last two Gameweeks certainly look hugely promising for Brendan Rodgers’ flourishing side.

Reds Midfield Thriving
Steven Gerrard’s owners will be hugely frustrated by yesterday’s showing, though. The Liverpool skipper failed to produce any attacking returns whatsoever and was withdrawn on 71 minutes for the fit-again Fabio Borini; the first time this season Gerrard has failed to complete the full 90 minutes. Instead, it was Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho and Stewart Downing who all plundered the points as Liverpool allayed any fears of struggling without Suarez by handing Newcastle their heaviest home defeat in Premier League history. Henderson’s brace and assist helped the former Sunderland man to a 16 point, pre-bonus haul, while Downing and Coutinho both chipped in with a pair of assists apiece – the latter dropped 0.3 in price in FPL last week but has now produced 46 points in nine starts since arriving at Anfield, with two goals and five assists to his name so far. Rodgers had this to say on his young Brazilian playmaker, post-match…

“I think he’s [Coutinho] a top player already, considering he’s 20 years of age. He might be small in stature but you can see his strength. Technically, if you look at him, he’s got all the passes in the bag. He makes some wonderful passes and the weight of his passing is incredible. Look at his strength for the third goal, where he outmuscles Hatem Ben Arfa on the line and then dinks the ball between two defenders. After that, Sturridge’s finishing was awesome. Coutinho’s a wonderful player, who fits well with what we’re trying to do and the great thing is that he’ll only get better.”

City Back to Full Strength
The injury worries are lessening as City approach double Gameweek 36, with Sergio Aguero and David Silva both returning from recent hamstring problems to start against West Ham. It was Samir Nasri, however, who staked a real claim for our consideration with assists for both the hosts goals against West Ham – the Frenchman has now started each of the last five and has producing returns in four of those appearances.

Yaya Toure’s strike for City’s second also brought the Ivorian onto Fantasy radars – he has also struck a vein of consistency of late with attacking returns in three of his last five and is similarly priced at 8.0 in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) game. Somewhat reassuringly for those eying up Aguero’s acquisition, the Argentine played the full 90 minutes and grabbed the opener for Mancini’s men. Aguero was acquired by just 22,000 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers last week compared to Carlos Tevez’s 209,00 new owners and, with an ownership of 6% to Carlos Tevez’s 29%, looks a real differential contender ahead of next week’s matches against Swansea and West Brom.

Platt Plays Down Hart Back Problem
With Costel Pantilimon set to feature in next month’s FA Cup final against Wigan, Joe Hart’s security of starts suggest the stopper in nailed-on over the last four matches of the season. Hart suffered a back problem while attempting to make a clearance late on and with City having used all three subs, the keeper stayed on the pitch only to make an error which led to West Ham claiming a consolation. Post-match, David Platt dismissed any notions of a long-term problem – allaying fear for Fantasy managers eyeing up his acquisition for next week’s double and beyond:

“I think Joe’s back spasmed as he kicked a ball. He is a bit blocked up and will be a bit sore tomorrow but he will be OK on Monday. It possibly affected him with the way he conceded the second. If you look at the ball when it has gone in he can’t get down to it. Most keepers, because they are throwing themselves about left, right and centre during the week will have issues around things like that. It is not much of an issue. It is a 24-hour thing.”

Carroll’s Streak Continues
Having kept out their opponents in six of the last seven at the Etihad, City looked a strong shout for a clean sheet yesterday but the hosts were denied by a last-minute consolation from Andy Carroll. West Ham’s on-loan forward maintained a superb run of form which has produced attacking points in each of his last five appearances, with four goals and a pair of assists accrued over that period. Home games against Newcastle and Reading look set to offer Carroll further opportunities to plunder the points and while a trip to Everton is a little tricky, he showed yesterday he’s more than capable of breaching the most resilient of backlines in his current form.

Toffees Resilience
It’s four straight clean sheets at Goodison now for Everton after yesterday’s narrow win over Fulham. While Marouane Fellaini faltered against the Cottagers, Leighton Baines’ defensive returns not only extended his lead at the top of the FPL defender rankings, they also helped him edge past the Belgian as the top scoring player for David Moyes’ side so far. While a Gameweek 37 home clash against West Ham may appeal, the Hammers showdown is sandwiched between trips to Liverpool and Chelsea – owners of Everton players may be reconsidering their options, with Fellaini’s central midfield role against the Cottagers a real cause for concern.

The Belgian was again given a deeper role with Nikica Jelavic and Victor Anichebe starting in tandem. Fellaini shifted further forward when Jelavic was replaced and actually missed a gilt-edged opportunity to add to his season goal tally. Even so, Fellaini’s versatility is obviously being explored by Moyes for this stage of the season, as the Everton boss continues to hand Jelavic the opportunity to restore his confidence up top.

Berbatov Worry for Jol
Yesterday’s defeat continued a dire run of form as Fulham limp over the finishing line. Martin Jol’s side have now produced just one goal and a single point in their last five league matches and the Cottagers hopes of improving were hardly helped by the early withdrawal of Dimitar Berbatov. The Bulgarian lasted just 29 minutes of the Goodison encounter before being replaced by Mladen Petric and post-match, his manager admitted his concern, with Berbatov possible set to miss the next fortnight:

“I think Dimitar has got a little tear in his calf, but hopefully not. He could be out for a couple of weeks.”

Lukaku Runs Riot
We highlighted the West Brom forward in last Wednesday’s Versus article for members and he duly backed up our findings as West Brom swept aside Southampton in an ill-tempered match at St Mary’s. Starting up top along with Shane Long and Marc-Antoine Fortune as Steve Clarke moved to 4-3-3, the Belgian battered the Saints into submission with a goal and pair of assists to continue an outstanding run of form which has seen him score or assist in nine of his 11 starts since the turn of the year. While many have fretted over rest and rotation up front for the Baggies, Lukaku has started all but two of the league fixtures he has been available for since January 1 and with maximum bonus looking sewn up, he approaches double Gameweek 36 on the back of his highest haul of the season – up to 6.4 from 6.2 last week in FPL, the bandwagon looks set to kick into overdrive.

Lukaku’s potential profits may rely on Steve Clarke’s chosen formation for the remaining matches. With injuries in midfield limiting the options, Clarke admitted that the change in formation to a 4-3-3 was the key factor in the St Mary’s victory:

“We used the three to chase the game against Newcastle last week and it worked really well. I was a little bit short of midfielders this week and, although it was little bit of a gamble going away to such a difficult place, it works out well for us. The shape of the team behind the front three was good. But the front three were a handful. The movement was good, all of them individually were a threat and there was some good combination play.”

With Marc-Antoine Fortune now suspended for the remainder of the season, Clarke’s ability to adopt a 4-3-3 may well be limited, unless he welcomes Peter Odemwingie back into the starting lineup for the remaining matches. The Nigerian was on the bench for yesterday’s clash.

Potters Defensive Upturn
As the season winds down, Stoke are finally rediscovering the resilience that made their backline such popular Fantasy picks earlier in the season. Prior to last weekend’s 2-0 win at QPR, Tony Pulis’ side had kept out their opponents just once in 15 Gameweeks – despite Marc Wilson’s failure to recover from a hamstring injury, the Potters continued to produce at the back yesterday with a narrow 1-0 triumph over Norwich. Asmir Begovic has now returned to the top of the FPL keeper standings and with trips to Sunderland and Southampton in the next three, could be set to profit once again.

Bale Produces Yet Again
Jermain Defoe got the nod ahead of Emmanuel Adebayor as Andre Villas-Boas retained the 4-3-3 system that swept aside City last Sunday but once more it was Gareth Bale who was the goal hero for Tottenham. Handed a place on the right, the Welshman needed just nine minutes to continue his remarkable season by firing home the opener at the DW, while his Fantasy owners will remain optimistic of further points for his role in Tottenham’s second. Bale seemed to get a touch on a Tom Huddlestone corner, prior to Emmerson Boyce deflecting the ball into his own net. While his participation in the goal was minimal and no more than the ball skimming his leg on its way to Boyce, we’ve seen the merest of touches rewarded with assists before now.

Latics Backline Worries
Having lost Antolin Alcaraz to a hamstring injury last week, Roberto Martinez looks set to be without Maynor Figueroa for next week’s double and potentially the rest of the campaign after the Honduran was subbed off injured on 35 minutes. According to the Wigan boss:

“The initial reaction is that Figueroa should be out for the season. It is a groin strain. It was (a great tackle), but the groin got stretched and the rest of the body pulled apart. We need to see the extent of the problem, but he is on crutches at the moment. We will assess him.”

The news has a significant impact on Wigan’s defensive potential for the upcoming games against West Brom and Swansea and while Emmerson Boyce is likely to appear on Fantasy radars after grabbing the Latics’ first, his potential looks dented by Martinez’s change in formation. Typically used on the right of midfield in a 3-4-3, Boyce was moved to right-back in a 4-3-3 with Jean Beausejour at left-back – if Martinez keeps the same system, many may think twice over investing. Ronnie Stam, at just 3.8 in the FPL, could now be a factor – the Dutchman replaced Figueroa in yesterday’s draw.

Paul Is certain he won't make the same mistakes next season. Follow them on Twitter

1,462 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Gobigorgohome
    • 12 Years
    11 years, 2 months ago

    Hello Everybody. Please let me post my full team and ask some suggestion.
    Current Line up for DGW is.

    Azpi**, Segna, Baines
    Mata**, Bale**, Michu**, Walcott
    Kone**, Tevez**, Benteke

    Sub: Boruc, Davies**, Fellaini, G Johnson.

    I am playing Baines& Segna over Davies** bcoz of fixtures. So only 7 DGWers.
    still having 1 ft and I am thinking about saving it.
    Any suggestion to improve my team is welcomed and greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.

    Open Controls
    1. Margarido
      • 11 Years
      11 years, 2 months ago

      So you are hoping Baines (90min@LIV) outscores Davies (180min)?
      Are you thinking that Taylor will be eating his minutes?

      Up front, Ba-Aguero-Defoe all have the possibility of not playing the 180min.
      I would choose from Aguero-Defoe (already have Lukaku and Tevez)

      Open Controls
  2. Plagued by indecision
    • 13 Years
    11 years, 2 months ago

    OK, another flop of a week on the cards, so I'm doing my transfers early just to feel something other than disappointment.

    DDG > Hart
    Cameron > Vertonghen

    Who should I get for RVP? Lukaku or Aguero? I already have Tevez.

    Open Controls
    1. Margarido
      • 11 Years
      11 years, 2 months ago

      Lukaku and Vert.

      Who is your 2º Keeper?

      Open Controls
  3. turd ferguson
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    11 years, 2 months ago

    mata goals please.....

    Open Controls
  4. Adrian Chiles
    • 11 Years
    11 years, 2 months ago

    Hello, just testing the waters.

    Open Controls
  5. Camenzuli
    • 13 Years
    11 years, 2 months ago

    Hello fellas.
    Sh*tting myself about this upcoming DGW. Tied for 1st in my ML and number 527 overall.
    I still have my WC and the guy I`m tied with doesnt. He will at the very most have 8 DGW players.

    So unsure about what to do. Go for 11 DGW players to try to create some separation( this will include selling RVP) or create the best team possible for the three remaining GW`s?

    Tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Open Controls
  6. waqasanjum
    • 11 Years
    11 years, 2 months ago

    Huddlestone assist hs been confirmed. seriously guys? Bale did get a touch it was a serious deviation on the ball. i mean how can u just not see that?

    Open Controls
  7. nygunner
    • 11 Years
    11 years, 2 months ago

    Howdy Men.

    Let me just ask a silly question and let your answers piss me off even more than I already am

    Open Controls
  8. Mini Mahouse
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    11 years, 2 months ago

    BALE - MALONEY - MATA - MICHU - walcott
    TEVEZ - rvp

    Caps = DGW

    What do you guys think? Took -8 point hit

    Open Controls