We have chosen our best XI players for Gameweek 19.
Because of the tight turn-around since Gameweek 18, this line-up was not chosen by our Scout Squad this week.
Instead, it was assembled by a select few within the Fantasy Football Scout editorial team.
We are, as ever, under the £83m budget and line-up in the classic Fantasy formation of 3-4-3.
Vicente Guaita (£4.2m) has started the last two Crystal Palace matches filling in for the injured Wayne Hennessey. Given the short space of time between their win at Manchester City and their Boxing Day match, plus the lack of up to date information, we expect the Spaniard to be in net once again in Gameweek 19. Crystal Palace’s chance of a clean sheet this week are fairly strong as they host Cardiff City, who have scored fewer away goals than any other Premier League side this season.
Matt Doherty (£5.2m) gets into the Scout Picks based largely on his attacking potential. He has pulled in offensive returns in three of his last four Premier League outings and should benefit playing against the poor Fulham defence on Boxing Day. Furthermore, Fulham have had their struggles going forward recently, while Wolves are typically more defensively sound away from home than at Molineux. Therefore, a double-figure haul for Doherty this week is not entirely out of the question.
Luke Shaw (£4.9m) is selected ahead of Huddersfield Town’s trip to Old Trafford. The Manchester United left-back faces the division’s lowest scorers in the Terriers, while also offering some attacking potential of his own now that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has unshackled the Red Devils.
Dejan Lovren (£4.9m) is chosen as the cover for Liverpool’s hugely impressive defence in Gameweek 19. The Reds have conceded just two league goals at home this season while Newcastle are particularly goal-shy away from home. Only Fulham and Huddersfield have found the net fewer times on their travels this season.
After his recent displays, there was no way we couldn’t include Mohamed Salah (£13.2m). Just one player has recorded more shots on target than the Egyptian in the last four Gameweeks, hence why he has found the net four times in that time. Furthermore, he is comparing very favourably with his 11 chances created too, offering a spread of points. In truth, he looks fully responsible for the functionality of Liverpool’s attack right now. We were initially concerned about his 90-minute spell against Wolves in Gameweek 18, but assessing the form of his colleagues and the five-day gap between that Friday night encounter and Boxing Day’s meeting, we’re confident of a starting role.
We are keeping faith in Eden Hazard (£11.0m) in spite of his blank against Leicester in Gameweek 18. The Chelsea man continues to offer excellent creativity compared to the rest of the league and is also a threat in front of goal. While he will probably be shifted to a wider role against Watford, he should be able to capitalise on the fact that the Hornets have slipped into the whipping boy bracket. In the last four Gameweeks, only Burnley have conceded more shots in their penalty box than Watford.
Paul Pogba (£7.9m) is our chosen representative from the Manchester United ranks for their Gameweek 18 meeting with Huddersfield. We believe he is the most likely to start given the seeming lack of competition for his place and Solskjaer’s clear admiration for his abilities. Only Rashford had more shots than Pogba against Cardiff, while Anthony Martial was the only Red Devil to create more chances. The Frenchman obviously claimed three assists from the trip to South Wales and we expect his influence on this new-look Manchester United team to continue in Gameweek 19.
Richarlison‘s (£7.0m) trip face Burnley fills us with confidence that he will get some attacking returns. As already mentioned, the Clarets remain the division’s worst side for shots allowed in the penalty box, which will give Everton the perfect opportunity to make up for their 6-2 thrashing at the hands of Tottenham on Sunday. We’d expect Richarlison to return to the centre-forward position after playing on the left-wing in Gameweek 18, perfect for him to build on his three attacking returns in his last four.
Harry Kane (£12.5m) returns to the Scout Picks on the back of his 15-point haul against Everton. In the last eight Gameweeks, he has averaged 7.13 points per game and has been recording underlying statistics that suggest his form is sustainable. This week he faces a Bournemouth defence that has kept just clean sheets away from home this season and conceded an average of 1.75 goals on their travels in 2018/19. While they have seen a reduction in their goal attempts conceded in the box over the last four Gameweeks since being thrashed by Liverpool, they were up against Brighton in Gameweek 18, who are particularly poor on their travels themselves. Based on the form over the last month or so, we expect Spurs to score heavily again.
Raúl Jiménez (£6.2m) comes back into the Scout Picks in light of Wolves travelling to face Fulham’s defence. He has had 10 shots in the last four Gameweeks, a figure which was somewhat diminished by facing that tough Liverpool defence last time out. Going into that Friday night encounter he ranked joint-third for efforts inside the box. That translated to six attacking returns in Jiménez’s seven Premier League outings prior to the Liverpool game, which is certainly fine form for a Fantasy asset at his price point. With little competition for the centre-forward position at Wolves, it’s hard to see him being benched for this one.
Danny Ings (£5.6m) completes our line-up ahead of Southampton’s Thursday night meeting with West Ham. The forward has been in sensational form since Ralph Hasenhüttl took over the Saints. In his last two matches he has found the net three times and is proving the poster boy for the new manager’s high-pressing tactics. Meanwhile, the Hammers are still struggling for clean sheets, with just three this season.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£4.3m) was originally our cover for the Crystal Palace defence, losing out only because the Eagles’ goalkeeper was £0.1m cheaper. Those who own the defender should seriously consider starting him this week as Palace set to host the Premier League’s worst away-day attack in Cardiff.
Felipe Anderson (£7.4m) gets into the Scout Picks as he continues to offer strong underlying statistics. He and his West Ham colleagues were unfortunate not to score against Watford in Gameweek 18 and will be keen to get back to winning ways at Southampton. The Saints are still waiting for their first clean sheet since Gameweek 10.
Marcus Rashford (£7.0m) came close to getting into our starting XI but lost out for budgetary reasons when compared with the other forwards we picked. The youngster should start against Huddersfield with Romelu Lukaku reportedly still out of the fold for personal reasons and has two goals and two assists in his last five Premier League outings.
Due to the quick turnaround between Gameweeks, there is no Community Champion for Gameweek 19.
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