Scout Notes

European Scout Notes – Tuesday

Manchester United and Chelsea sweep past Basel and FK Qarabag respectively to get their Champions League campaigns off to a fine start.

But while it’s plain sailing for the Blues, Jose Mourinho’s night is marred by an injury to star midfielder Paul Pogba.

Here are the notes from Tuesday’s European action.

The Pogba fallout

It took less than 20 minutes for Paul Pogba’s fine start to the season to come to an abrupt halt, taking the best-laid plans of many a Fantasy Premier League manager with it.

The midfielder, at 38.2% the second most popular player in the FPL game, sustained a muscular injury – thought to be a hamstring issue – that threatens to keep him sidelined possibly through to the second international break in early October.

Jose Mourinho’s initial reaction, while guarded, suggested as much.

“I don’t know. I just know from experience it’s a muscular injury. In my experience, muscular injury stops you from playing for a few weeks, I think.”

That could mean Pogba misses home matches with Everton and Crystal Palace and a trip to Southampton, as well as further Champions League and Carabao Cup duties.

The Fantasy fallout is intriguing.

The obvious solution for managers keen to maintain their United coverage is to move ownership to Henrikh Mkhitaryan (23.7%), and 21,000+ have already done just that.

Both players cost 8.3 and are separated by a mere three points, with the Frenchman edging it through his two goals and three assists to his team-mate’s five assists.

Mkhitaryan blanked for the first time this season in the 2-2 draw at Stoke City after Mourinho moved from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3 to accommodate Ander Herrera in the centre of the park.

The Armenian is likely to be the creative fulcrum once again in Pogba’s absence, although we can perhaps question whether Mourinho’s attack will be as well served without the Frenchman’s pace and power.

The United manager has also gone out of his way to publicly praise the worth and impact of Marouane Fellaini in his squad, and the big Belgian not only replaced Pogba against Basel last night, but then opened the scoring with a header from an Ashley Young cross.

Priced at 4.9 and owned by just 0.5% of managers, Fellaini had been used as an impact sub thus far, scoring in a 16-minute cameo against Leicester City in Gameweek 3.

Should he be handed up to three league starts, Fellaini offers a cut-price route into an in-form unit.

Spare a thought, however, for the 27,589 managers who reacted swiftly to Sadio Mane’s red card at Man City by bringing in Pogba.

They are now left between a hit and a hard place.

A total of 496,000+ managers owned both Mane and Pogba after Gameweek 4 – some of those will now doubtless be pondering Wildcard action.

Lukaku keeps on scoring…

…and so does Marcus Rashford.

Romelu Lukaku made it six goals in as many matches for United when he headed home a Daley Blind cross before the young England international sealed the win against the Swiss from a Fellaini cut-back.

The Belgian’s huge 57.3% ownership makes him the most popular player in FPL, but it is a base that has been slowly dwindling over the past week.

While most Gameweek 5 transfer business has involved the shedding of Mane now that his three-match ban has been confirmed, a subtle shift from Lukaku to Spurs’ striker Harry Kane has also been ongoing, with just over 15,000 managers finding the extra 0.7 to tap into the 12.4-priced England man.

Kane is currently in the top 10 for transfers-in, with 83,000+ new managers this week, whereas Lukaku sits tenth for sales, having lost more than 46,000 backers so far.

It’s a close call, but Spurs’ immediate schedule – SWA whu hud BOU – looks rather more attractive than United’s.

Those making the switch also seem to be banking on Kane being the more explosive of the two.

But Lukaku’s consistency – he’s blanked in only one match in all competitions this season – and cheaper price make selling him fraught with risk.

Rashford has been almost as effective for United.

His goal from the bench against Basel sits alongside the two he’s managed, to go with an assist, in the league thus far.

He’s now scored in his last three matches and the fact that Anthony Martial was chosen ahead of him last night suggests that Mourinho is looking to start Rashford in Sunday’s home match against Everton.

He’s not a nailed-on starter like Lukaku, and his role out wide on the left also counts against him, but just 7.5 gets you a United attacker in excellent form – he has 20 points already.

Should the Lukaku to Kane exodus gather pace, Rashford could emerge as a mid-priced third striker for teams happy to ditch the Belgian, but less comfortable without some kind of United coverage at the business end of the pitch.

Competition at the back, calmer up front

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte made five changes from the side who beat Leicester City 2-1 at the weekend for the visit of Qarabag.

Most notable was a first start for defender Davide Zappacosta, the right wing-back marking his full debut by galloping the length of the pitch and scoring with an attempted cross.

The goal, which provided keeper Thibaut Courtois with (presumably) his one and only assist of the season, capped an all-action display from the Italian that will leave FPL managers keen to tap into Chelsea’s defensive resources with much to ponder.

Zappacosta, at 6.0, represents a (relatively) cheap way into the Blues’ wing-back resources. His direct competitor for the role, Victor Moses, costs 6.5, while 21.3% of FPL managers are currently prepared to fork out the premium price of 7.1 to own the proven performer that is Marcos Alonso.

For a club that apparently endured a terrible summer of transfer business, Chelsea seem to have plenty of options all over the pitch, allowing Conte to talk contentedly of his squad post-match.

“If we think like last season to play with only 13 players, we are crazy. We have to improve all these players to try to create a positive competition between them.”

That competition looks particularly intense, thanks to Zappacosta, at right wing-back, leaving risk-averse Fantasy managers to seek out to more nailed-on assets such as Cesar Azpilicueta for their Chelsea defensive coverage.

The Spaniard started his fifth straight match of the season last night, and followed up back-to-back assists in the league with a goal against the outclassed Azerbaijanis.

Up front, Conte opted to rest the 17.2%-owned Alvaro Morata, who currently sits stop the FPL strikers’ standings with 30 points.

Michy Batshuayi started his first match since Gameweek 1 and scored once, but he will surely be back on bench-warming duties again, with Morata expected to start Chelsea’s massive Gameweek 5 clash at home to Arsenal.

It would also upset many an FPL boss – the Spaniard is currently the most purchased forward of the Gameweek, with more than 103,000 new owners.

Midfield now a minefield

Competition is also hotting up in the middle of the park.

Eden Hazard was again given a run-out from the bench, with Conte urging caution with regards to the Belgian.

“We must have a bit of patience with him and to try to give the possibility for Eden to recover very well. We must be calm and to do the best for the player and for the team. Otherwise we risk a bad injury to delay the situation. This is the right way. This process is good for him.”

In his absence, many managers looked to Willian (16.7%) for their midfield points from Chelsea, but the Brazilian has been off the pace domestically, serving up just the one assist from three starts and a 27-minute cameo at Leicester last time out.

He produced another assist against Qarabag, however, while the 5.6%-owned Cesc Fabregas set up Azpilicueta’s goal and new signing Tiemoue Bakayoko was also on the scoresheet, emerging from the bench to supply a goal and assist.

As if to underline the riches available in midfield, Pedro was another to find the net last night, leaving Conte and us with all manner of in-form Chelsea options to choose from as the Blues embark on a league run that mixes tough home matches against Arsenal and Man City with rather more appealing fixtures involving Stoke City, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth away and a visit from Watford.

Including the Qarabag tie, Chelsea will play seven matches over the next 21 days.

Rotation looks inevitable, with their midfield a particularly fluid area at present.

1,046 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Duka021
      5 months, 14 days ago

      have both pogba and mane :/
      what would you advise? (have firmino+hazard+kane+alli from heavy hitter list):

      1.both to siggy+silva
      2.both to siggy+mkhi
      3.both to mkhi+silva
      4.both to kdb+antonio
      5.pogba to silva and keep mane (don't have 0.1 for mkhi straight swap)

      1. Duka021
          5 months, 14 days ago

          oh yeah,first 4 choices are with -4

        • PKW - Mbokani Faso
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          5 months, 14 days ago

          2 or 3

        • Spike ⚽️
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          5 months, 14 days ago

          3

        • Spike ⚽️
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          5 months, 14 days ago

          4 is also a good choice

          1. Duka021
              5 months, 14 days ago

              Seems like a good differential combo and high scoring one but would leave me with least amount of money itb 0.3 compared to 1-1.3 from other combos and less space for future transfer maneuvers.

        • olidooley
            5 months, 14 days ago

            Feedback on this Wild Card team?

            Foster Elliot
            Alonso Davies TAA Mee Lowe
            Eriksen Mkhi Gross Doucore Carroll
            Kane Lukaku Firmino

            1. nevins84
                5 months, 14 days ago

                Mids looks a bit light

                1. olidooley
                    5 months, 14 days ago

                    I know....its the price of Firm as 3rd striker and Alonso at the back. Mids arent speaking out to me tho....D Silva got nothing from 5 goals last time. Siggy needs to settle in too.

                2. Prof
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  5 months, 14 days ago

                  Similar to what I would go to at present but prefer De Gea and Kola.

                3. stachman
                    5 months, 14 days ago

                    Such cheap midfield should allow you to have some man utd defence cover...

                4. Strchld
                    5 months, 14 days ago

                    I need help!
                    What to do with this squad?
                    De Gea
                    Alonso - Bavies - Daniels
                    Pogba* - Salah* - Tadic - Ritchie
                    Lukaku - Kane - JRod
                    (Elliot - Mee - Carrol - Hunemeier)
                    0 FT 0.0ITB
                    Hope that Salah play next weekend and get just Pogba out? Who is the best replacement?
                    Or use a WC and get JRod, Tadic, Pogba, Daniels, De Gea to cheaper GK out? Or wait until second internatiol break? Cheers guyus!

                    1. Caravagio
                        5 months, 14 days ago

                        People seem to think Salah be ok. Just get rid of Pogba. Maybe for D.Silva?

                        1. Strchld
                            5 months, 14 days ago

                            Probably Silva or Antonio whos more nailed.

                      • Lord Bendtner, TGSTEL
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        5 months, 14 days ago

                        Want in on the Davies Band wagon

                        Forster / Elliot
                        Löwe - Stones - Kolasinac - Daniels - Long
                        Eriksen - Ramsey - Mkhitaryan Ramsey Carrol RCL
                        Kane - Lukaku - Firmino

                        0.4 ITB
                        2FT
                        WC not used

                        So want Davies in for sure, and might want Kolacinac next GW.
                        So I can do straight swap with stones this week, and then maybe next week

                        Downgrade Daniels to 4.5m that rotates with löwe, and upgrade Bertie to Kolasinac.
                        OR
                        Downgrade Forster to 4.5 (or even to 4.0 until WC) and get Kolasinac in and have 0.2 or 0.7m ITB for the future, and keep Daniels. He rotates okay with Löwe anyways.

                        What would you have done?

                      • HARLEY
                          5 months, 14 days ago

                          a)Gabbi+Pogba -> Joselu+Miki (-4)

                          b)Gabbi+Pogba+Ince -> Joselu+Miki+Silva (-8)

                          c)Gabbi+Pogba -> Rashford+Eriksen (-4)

                          d)Kaku+Pogba -> Jesus+Miki (-4)

                          1. Lord Bendtner, TGSTEL
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            5 months, 14 days ago

                            Joselu stats guud, but will them really score more than saints?

                            Rashfrod not nailed.
                            Silva also risk of rotation.
                            Which leaves you with D. which is a bit brave but could work.

                            1. Caravagio
                                5 months, 14 days ago

                                Silva not missed a minute of PL so far.

                          2. Prof
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            5 months, 14 days ago

                            If you have Alonso and Firmino you can get away with only 2 big hitters in Mid-field. There still isn't a cheap outstanding midfield option.

                            Concur?

                            1. olidooley
                                5 months, 14 days ago

                                Thats what Im on yeah

                                1. Prof
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  5 months, 14 days ago

                                  Great minds and all that. 🙂

                              • Kopkloppers
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                5 months, 14 days ago

                                What I have but doubts over rotation will may require more

                              • ZoumasBloomers
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                5 months, 14 days ago

                                How about if all your strikers are the lower end premiums? Jesus/Morata/Lacazette/Firmino/Vardy

                            2. olidooley
                                5 months, 14 days ago

                                1) Bertrand, Antonio, RLC
                                2) Alonso, Gross, Doucore

                                1. Caravagio
                                    5 months, 14 days ago

                                    2!

                                2. TH 14
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  5 months, 14 days ago

                                  Need to get rid of Pogba, looking at my options:

                                  Eriksen / Mkhi / Pogba / Brady / Chalobah
                                  Lacazette / Morata / Firmino

                                  Have 2.7m itb as I was planning Laca to Kane this week which I think I will probably still do.

                                  So I have 8.8m for a Pogba replacement.

                                  Was thinking of bringing in Sigurdsson next week so I could bring that forward to this week, or is there a better option? Silva nailed or Sane could be good options but not sure.

                                  Any thoughts?

                                3. Cube
                                    5 months, 14 days ago

                                    I have 2 FTs, 0.0 ITB. I need to take a -4 hit. Which option is better and why?...Thanks in advance

                                    A. Lukaku >>> Rashford
                                    Pogba >>>> Mkhitaryan
                                    Chicarito >> Jesus

                                    B. Alonso >>> Daniels
                                    Pogba >>> Mkhitaryan
                                    Chicarito > Firmino

                                    Really need to ship out Chicarito as I already have Antonio.

                                    1. tsintisin
                                        5 months, 14 days ago

                                        B

                                        1. Cube
                                            5 months, 14 days ago

                                            Why do you think so Tsintisin?

                                            1. Doosra - ☭Bolivia Giroud…
                                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                              5 months, 14 days ago

                                              MCY : wat 432 CPL 494

                                              1. Cube
                                                  5 months, 14 days ago

                                                  What does that mean Doosra?

                                          • WatchMen
                                              5 months, 14 days ago

                                              A

                                              1. Cube
                                                  5 months, 14 days ago

                                                  Why so Watchmen?

                                                  1. WatchMen
                                                      5 months, 14 days ago

                                                      Because Alonso is essencial..

                                                      maybe would do like this instead of invest on Rashford:

                                                      Lukaku >>> Vardy
                                                      Pogba >>>> Mkhitaryan
                                                      Chicarito >> Firmino

                                                      1. Cube
                                                          5 months, 14 days ago

                                                          Oookk

                                                • Sims
                                                    5 months, 14 days ago

                                                    Finally a WC side im satisfied with

                                                    Elliot Gomes

                                                    Jones Davies Alonso

                                                    Mkhi Alli Salah Chuppo-Moting

                                                    Lukaku Kane(c) Hemed

                                                    Subs: Carrol, Naughton, 4m

                                                  • olidooley
                                                      5 months, 14 days ago

                                                      Ok...WC team. Changes from above
                                                      Gtg?

                                                      Foster Elliot
                                                      Alonso Davies Jones TAA Mee
                                                      Eriksen Mkhi Gross RLC Carroll
                                                      Kane Lukaku Firmino

                                                    • Butters
                                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                      5 months, 14 days ago

                                                      Quick draft question:
                                                      If I do Chupo in - Ayew out,
                                                      Can I put in for example Jese in - Ayew out as well?
                                                      In case the first transfer doesn't go through

                                                    • Bob_the_builder
                                                        5 months, 14 days ago

                                                        Has Lowe's starts come under threat with the early substitution last game ?

                                                      • snuthea
                                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                        5 months, 14 days ago

                                                        Hi guys,

                                                        Which one is the best:

                                                        Pogba -> brady
                                                        Pogba -> chupo-moting

                                                        Both allows me to replace abrahgam by firmino

                                                        1. LSP FC
                                                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                          5 months, 14 days ago

                                                          Gross allows that too

                                                          1. Arctic_Orangutans
                                                              5 months, 14 days ago

                                                              Chupo over gross all day

                                                        2. DiegoCostaFortune
                                                            5 months, 14 days ago

                                                            Any thoughts on the options I'm considering below? Thanks

                                                            A. Pogba to Alli (have cash ITB)
                                                            B. Pogba to Salah
                                                            C. Pogba / Kaku to Hazard / Jesus (bit random but really want to get Hazard in)

                                                            Other midfield / strikers are Kane, Abraham, D Silva, Willian, Richarlison, Carroll

                                                            1. LSP FC
                                                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                              5 months, 14 days ago

                                                              i wouldn't be in a rush to get Haz. I also would not sell Lukaku.

                                                              I'd rather have Salah than Alli.

                                                          • Gudjohnsen
                                                              5 months, 14 days ago

                                                              Go Pogba to Antonio now for a -4? Or just wait until next week?

                                                              1. LSP FC
                                                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                                5 months, 14 days ago

                                                                i wouldn't take a hit for Antonio.

                                                                Surely you have someone else that can play?

                                                                1. Gudjohnsen
                                                                    5 months, 14 days ago

                                                                    Loftus-Cheek is my fifth midfielder and Tammy Abraham is my third striker.

                                                              2. The Head-Ake
                                                                  5 months, 14 days ago

                                                                  DDG - Elliot
                                                                  Ake - Kolasinac - Davies - Clark
                                                                  Alli - Salah - Mooy - Carroll
                                                                  Kane(c) - Lukaku (0.0 ITB, -4)
                                                                  (Hunemeier - Pogs - Elliot - Quaner)

                                                                  So obviously I was a little hasty with the transfers due to the price rises. Pogba is "the" slap on the face. Can I go ahead with this team for this week or should I take a -8 for anyone?

                                                                • Arctic_Orangutans
                                                                    5 months, 14 days ago

                                                                    Don't see the Silva appeal tbh

                                                                    1. HashAttack
                                                                        5 months, 14 days ago

                                                                        Had him for the first 3 week .. always good performances but disappointing results - he seems to be the nearly man each week

                                                                      • KHAN IS BACK
                                                                          5 months, 13 days ago

                                                                          I take it you don't watch much football then?

                                                                      • Tomorrow Never Knows
                                                                          5 months, 14 days ago

                                                                          A week isn't just a long time in politics! I transferred out Lukaku to Kane using free transfer (as planned), figuring Pogba and Mkhitaryan were good to cover Man Utd. Taken a punt tonight for a 4 point hit to replace Pogba with Mahrez. Tomorrow Never Knows, right?

                                                                        • angelov21
                                                                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                                          5 months, 13 days ago

                                                                          Hemed, Tammy or Joselu ?

                                                                          1. Emp
                                                                              5 months, 13 days ago

                                                                              joselu

                                                                          2. Invincibles
                                                                              5 months, 13 days ago

                                                                              Need to get rid of Pogba, will be -4 after doing Bertrand > Davies..
                                                                              A) Pog > Sane (more minutes after brace)
                                                                              B) Pog > Silva (not convinced with deeper role)
                                                                              C) Save and do 2 transfers for miki next week.

                                                                            • FPLMatt
                                                                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                                              5 months, 13 days ago

                                                                              Foster
                                                                              Jones Davies Hegazi
                                                                              Miki Salah Alli Mooy
                                                                              Morata Kane Firmino

                                                                              Elliott, Carroll, Zanka, Mbemba

                                                                              0.2 ITB with 1 FT

                                                                              All set for the weekend?

                                                                              Also... I want to roll over the FT. Any suggestions on 2 good transfers to make next week.. I'd like to get rid of Mooy

                                                                            • No Kane No Gain
                                                                                5 months, 12 days ago

                                                                                Best budget midfielder? Gross Richarlison Chupo??

                                                                              • angelov21
                                                                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                                                5 months, 1 day ago

                                                                                Kane + Silva or Eriksen + Aguero