The Scout Squad panel are back to offer their long-list of candidates to be considered for our regular Scout Picks selection on Friday afternoon.
The 72 nominations will be whittled down to a squad of 15 (with the starting XI not exceeding £83m and no club represented by more than three players) ahead of the Gameweek 11 deadline at 11:30 GMT on Saturday.
Our three in-house regulars – Az, Joe and Paul – are joined again this week by Peter Kouwenberg, who has three top 500 finishes to his name.
Gameweek 10 saw only two players receive four nominations but there is more unanimity this week, with nine players being backed across the board.
Intriguingly, each member of our panel has gone for a different Manchester City midfielder.
Pep Guardiola’s side and Watford are the only two clubs to have a player nominated in each of the four positions.
With the likes of Marcos Alonso, Benjamin Mendy, Eden Hazard, Mohamed Salah and Sergio Aguero very strong candidates to be included in our final Scout Picks, budget buys such as Lukasz Fabianski, Fabian Balbuena, Kiko Femenia and Isaac Success might well be called upon to ensure we finish under budget.
|GK||Jordan Pickford||Jordan Pickford||Jordan Pickford||Ederson|
|Lukasz Fabianski||Lukasz Fabianski||Lukasz Fabianski||Ben Foster|
|Ben Foster||Ben Foster||Ederson||Lukasz Fabianski|
|DF||Marcos Alonso||Benjamin Mendy||Benjamin Mendy||Benjamin Mendy|
|Benjamin Mendy||Marcos Alonso||Marcos Alonso||Marcos Alonso|
|Harry Maguire||Lucas Digne||Andrew Robertson||Lucas Digne|
|Michael Keane||Fabian Balbuena||Fabian Balbuena||Kieran Trippier|
|Kiko Femenia||Harry Maguire||Lucas Digne||Matt Doherty|
|MF||Eden Hazard||Eden Hazard||Eden Hazard||Eden Hazard|
|Kevin De Bruyne||Mohamed Salah||Mohamed Salah||Mohamed Salah|
|Mohamed Salah||David Silva||Raheem Sterling||Riyad Mahrez|
|Gylfi Sigurdsson||Gylfi Sigurdsson||Gylfi Sigurdsson||Gylfi Sigurdsson|
|James Maddison||Roberto Pereyra||James Maddison||Roberto Pereyra|
|FW||Sergio Aguero||Sergio Aguero||Sergio Aguero||Sergio Aguero|
|Marko Arnautovic||Marko Arnautovic||Marko Arnautovic||Jamie Vardy|
|Jamie Vardy||Jamie Vardy||Jamie Vardy||Marko Arnautovic|
|Aleksandar Mitrovic||Romelu Lukaku||Callum Wilson||Callum Wilson|
|Isaac Success||Isaac Success||Isaac Success||Aleksandar Mitrovic|
Most popular picks: Lukasz Fabianski, Benjamin Mendy, Marcos Alonso, Eden Hazard, Mohamed Salah, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Sergio Aguero, Jamie Vardy, Marko Arnautovic (four), Ben Foster, Jordan Pickford, Lucas Digne, Isaac Success (three)
Along with a list of usual Scout Squad contenders, I’ve gone for Kevin De Bruyne as my preferred Manchester City midfielder.
After being eased back into action with a pair of substitute appearances, the Belgian could be set to start at home to Southampton on Sunday afternoon.
De Bruyne has an incredible record in meetings with the Saints, too.
He has been involved in eight of the nine league goals Man City have scored against them while he has been on the pitch.
That has led to two goals and six assists over five outings.
At the other end of the price bracket, Watford’s trip to Newcastle could deliver some intriguing differentials this week.
Kiko Femenia and Isaac Success offer in-form picks in defence and attack.
At £4.2m, Femenia has 18 points in the last two Gameweeks, thanks to two clean sheets and an assist.
Another shutout looks on the cards, too, as the Magpies have failed to score in four of their previous five league outings.
Success has the numbers to make a mockery of his £4.5m price tag at St James’ Park.
On the scoresheet in last weekend’s win over Huddersfield, the Nigerian has impressed since securing a starting role in Gameweek 9.
His totals of five shots and four chances created both rank among the top five forwards in the last two rounds of fixtures.
This week looks perfect for bargain hunters, with plenty of cheap options having favourable matches.
West Ham assets look particular appetising for frugal managers ahead of Burnley’s visit. I’m hoping at least one of Lukasz Fabianski (£4.5m) or defender Fabian Balbeuna (£4.4m) makes the cut.
Both have started every league match and offer additional points aside from just clean sheets, with the Polish stopper earning save points in all but one of his games and the Paraguayan international scoring last time out.
Up front for the Hammers, Marko Arnautovic also offers value at £7.0m, despite missing Gameweek 10 through illness. With 12 shots – eight from close range – over his last three starts, he looks primed for points against the Clarets. No side has conceded more shots away from home than Sean Dyche’s troops.
I’ve also included Watford’s £4.5m striker Isaac Success Ajayi as a possible enabler should we need to free up funds. He also scored in Gameweek 10 and should earn a start away to Newcastle if Troy Deeney fails to recover from injury.
Everton’s well-priced rearguard should also be represented, with stopper Jordan Pickford and full-back Lucas Digne my favoured options. Visitors Brighton have the worst away record in terms of shots and only Liverpool and Manchester City have conceded fewer goal attempts at home than the Toffees.
Such savings will be needed to squeeze in a wealth of premium picks this week, with Sergio Aguero and Benjamin Mendy looking shoo-ins for Southampton’s visit.
Eden Hazard, if fit, at home to Crystal Palace looks impossible to ignore, as does a rampant Mohamed Salah, whose Liverpool side travel to Arsenal. Over the last four Gameweeks, only Burnley have shipped more big chances than the Gunners.
My frustrating FPL week pales in comparison to what went on at the weekend, with such a tragic loss of life for all those involved in the Leicester helicopter crash. RIP Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, Eric Swaffer, Izabela Roza Lechowicz, Nursara Suknamai, and Kaveporn Punpare.
On to more trivial things. Gameweek 10 was a tricky one to navigate, but Gameweek 11 looks more straightforward with Chelsea and Manchester City both having excellent fixtures, and West Ham United and Everton also having strong-looking home ties. It’s made my decisions a lot easier as I’ve picked a core group of players from these sides.
I lost Jordan Pickford from my own side in Gameweek 7 and he has gone on to score 34 points in four games: to say I am bitter is an understatement. Everton look to be slowly improving, despite their result against Manchester United, and I can see a win here – although Brighton off the back of three consecutive wins and clean sheets may make it a bit tricky. I fancy Gylfi Sigurdsson to carry on his good run, however, as he continues to make a case for inclusion over Richarlison. I did that at the start of the season and that too has conspired against me, as things look to have shifted back.
I’ve gone expensive in defence as the “RAM” continues to flatten all in its path. Picking between Benjamin Mendy and Marcos Alonso for top spot was tough this week – Mendy was poor on Monday night and Alonso finally delivered some attacking returns against Burnley – but in the end, I’ve chosen Mendy and I’d be amazed if he didn’t make the final picks. He has not blanked once all season when he’s played, which is incredible.
In midfield, there is nothing too exciting. Eden Hazard looks set to be unleashed against Crystal Palace, Mohamed Salah goes up against an Arsenal side who have conceded more chances than Cardiff City, and Raheem Sterling, if he plays, looks a fantastic shout against Southampton.
Up front, Sergio Aguero has the fixture and even with limited minutes should wreak some havoc. Marko Arnautovic should shake his illness bug and is a viable captaincy option this week if you are worried about Hazard’s back and Aguero’s game time.
I’m hoping Jamie Vardy and the whole Leicester City team overcome the emotion of their trip to Cardiff and get a big win here. I’m also amazed there is talk of selling Bournemouth assets, as they have been incredible this season. I don’t think there is a chance that Manchester United keep them out – hence the Callum Wilson pick.
With the exceptions of the Etihad and Stamford Bridge juggernauts, there are some tricky ties to call this week. Having listed some familiar faces from the Sky Blues and the Blues above, my remaining selections require somewhat more justification.
Historically, clashes between Liverpool and Arsenal are high-scoring affairs, but a similar historical pattern was challenged by the recent goalless draw between the Reds and Manchester City. In any event, I can’t resist Mohamed Salah, despite Arsenal’s excellent recent home record.
Analysing recent home and away defensive and offensive team form throws up interesting options. Wolves have been fairly resilient having conceded just three goals in their last four home fixtures, a figure matched by their visitors, Spurs, on their recent travels.
No other defender can match Kieran Trippier’s nine chances created in his last four matches, whilst Matt Doherty has fired off the same number of attempts himself. Both players, then, could contribute if there is any breach of their opponent’s robust defence on Saturday night.
The team statistics also suggest that the Magpies may struggle to trouble the Hornets, whilst the Hammers have a decent chance of shutting out the Clarets, as reflected by my goalkeeping choices from those games. No doubt Fabian Balbuena will also be a popular choice to repeat last week’s goalscoring feats, although he just misses out on my shortlist.
Instead, I’ve gone with Lucas Digne, who has created six opportunities and fired off five efforts of his own in the last four matches and whose Everton side welcomes a Brighton team which boasts only three goals on the road all season. Sadly for the Seagulls, I foresee goals at the other end too and Gylfi Sigurdsson – on penalties and with 14 chances created in his last four matches, albeit only one big chance – seems poised to profit.
My final midfield slot was between the creativity of James Maddison and the goal threat of Roberto Pereyra but I’ve plumped for the Argentinian, allowing me to “cover” the Foxes’ attack with Jamie Vardy. Cardiff City have conceded an average of three goals a game in their last four home matches and I anticipate that the England man will be restored to the starting line-up for an emotive fixture following the tragic events of last Saturday.
The Community Champion
Last week’s champion, fclackless, thrashed our Scout Picks 77-44 with his line-up of Foster (9); Holebas (0), Lovren (2), Bertrand (6); Salah (15), Sterling (6), Martial (9), Mane (15); King (0), Lacazette (2), Wilson (13).
fclackless‘s winning margin of 33 points is, unsurprisingly, now the target to beat.
The community champion who has the best lead over the Scouts during 2018/19 will win a £100 Amazon voucher.
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