Not even 24 hours after the completion of Gameweek 19, the Scout Picks are back ahead of the weekend’s fixtures.
As usual, we have chosen our best 11 players for the forthcoming Gameweek, with a formation of 3-5-2 favoured given the wealth of in-form midfield options available to us.
Our starting XI comes well under the £83m budget and features only two players priced over £8.0m at the time of writing.
Because of the tight turn-around from Gameweek 19, 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.
Kasper Schmeichel (£5.0m) makes a rare appearance in our Scout Picks, as our selections elsewhere mean we have the luxury of nominating a goalkeeper outside of the usual budget price bracket.
Leicester City are this weekend up against Cardiff City, who rank 19th for attempts on goal and shots on target in away matches this season. No Premier League side has scored fewer goals on the road than the Bluebirds, who may be without Callum Paterson and Kenneth Zohore up front when they visit the King Power Stadium.
Only two sides have allowed fewer big chances, shots in the box and shots on target than the Foxes on home soil in 2018/19.
Kieran Trippier‘s (£6.1m) owners had to painfully watch on as Kyle Walker-Peters racked up three assists, a clean sheet and maximum bonus at Wembley on Boxing Day, but the rested England right-back is a strong bet to return to the Spurs starting XI for the visit of Wolves on Saturday.
Liverpool are the only side to have kept more clean sheets than the Lilywhites this season but Trippier’s appeal is less about his defensive qualities than what he can deliver at the other end of the field.
Only two FPL defenders have recorded more successful crosses and indeed assists than the former Burnley full-back in 2018/19.
Nuno Espirio Santo’s side have kept only one shut-out in 11 league games, meanwhile.
Jose Holebas (£4.8m) delivered his first assist since Gameweek 4 in the defeat to Chelsea on Boxing Day but the Watford left-back would have made the Picks regardless this week.
The veteran defender has taken more corners than any other defender this season and the Hornets are this weekend up against a Newcastle side who have conceded more headed chances and attempts from set pieces than any other club in the division.
From a clean sheet perspective, no club has scored fewer goals than the Magpies over the last six Gameweeks.
Need we give any justification for our Lucas Digne (£5.1m) pick? A 17-point haul in Gameweek 19 is but the tip of his appeal and his underlying stats suggest further sizeable returns in the weeks and months ahead.
Brighton have been an obliging defence of late and haven’t kept a clean sheet since Gameweek 10. The Seagulls will also be missing goalkeeper Mathew Ryan after his departure for the Asian Cup.
Digne meanwhile has recorded more key passes and crosses than any other defender in 2018/19 and no player in his position has supplied as many big chances, either. Three goals from set-piece situations is a relevant statistic too, given that Brighton have committed more fouls than any other top-flight club this season.
Arsenal’s backline is still ravaged by injury but even if their defenders were all fully fit, who would back against Mohamed Salah (£13.2m) continuing his purple patch at Anfield on Saturday?
The Gunners have yet to keep a clean sheet on the road this season, while only Manchester City have scored more goals than Liverpool on home soil.
Salah has three double-digit hauls in his last four Gameweeks and no player has been presented with more big chances than the Egyptian on their own turf in 2018/19.
Roberto Pereyra (£6.2m) is another Watford asset who would have likely been in the Scout Picks mix this weekend even before his sensational strike against Chelsea on Boxing Day.
Just four midfielders have recorded more shots in the box over the last six Gameweeks, while only Cardiff have conceded more chances than Newcastle from their right flank (Watford’s left) over that period.
The Bluebirds’ weakness at set pieces over the last six Gameweeks prompts our inclusion of James Maddison (£6.8m), taker of 72 corners for Leicester this season.
Cardiff’s overall defensive statistics have worsened dramatically over this same period and despite their clean sheet at Selhurst Park, they rank bottom for shots in the box and efforts on target conceded.
Felipe Anderson (£7.3m) banked a fifth double-digit FPL haul of the season at Southampton last night, which is more than Salah, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane have managed.
The Hammers put four goals past Burnley in the reverse fixture, a match which kickstarted the Brazilian’s current excellent run of form.
No player has scored more Premier League goals than Anderson since the beginning of November.
Sean Dyche’s side meanwhile shipped five against Everton on Boxing Day and rank bottom for a clutch of defensive statistics (big chances allowed, shots in the box conceded etc).
Paul Pogba (£8.0m) has scored 28 FPL points in the last two Gameweeks and looks reborn under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s stewardship.
The Frenchman has recorded more shots on target than any FPL midfielder in home matches this campaign.
No top-flight team has shipped more goals than the Cherries in the last six Gameweeks, meanwhile, and their right flank (Pogba lines up on the left-hand side of central midfield) is considerably weakened with the season-ending injuries suffered by Adam Smith and now Simon Francis.
Harry Kane (£12.5m) has delivered an attacking return in each of his last eight Premier League starts, averaging 7.75 FPL points per match in those fixtures.
No FPL forward has scored as many goals as the Spurs man since the start of November – a run that began with a strike against this weekend’s opponents, Wolves.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last five away league fixtures and could have conceded at hatful against Fulham on Boxing Day, with our next pick having seven shots against them in the first half alone.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.7m) has only two goals in 13 Premier League appearances but he was superb against Wolves, with luck not on his side as he somehow emerged with a blank.
No FPL forward has registered as many shots on goal or headed attempts as the Serbian striker over the last six Gameweeks.
The Cottagers are this weekend up against Huddersfield Town, who have not kept a clean sheet in their last half-dozen matches and who have conceded more big chances than all teams bar Everton during that time.
Two words to shock and appal you in equal measure: Calum Chambers (£4.2m).
We haven’t checked back through the records but a Fulham defender might be a first for the Scout Picks this season, which isn’t a surprise given their form at the back for much of the campaign.
The Cottagers have conceded only one goal in the last two matches, however, only failing to record successive clean sheets when a scruffy 85th-minute Romain Saiss equaliser denied them all three points on Boxing Day.
Fulham are this weekend up against Huddersfield, who have carved out fewer big chances than any Premier League side on the road this season.
Chambers himself is playing “out of position” in central midfield and only Virgil van Dijk has attempted more shots than Chambers among FPL defenders in the last six Gameweeks.
Richarlison (£7.0m) was rested on Boxing Day and seems set to return to the Everton side for the trip to Brighton, possibly displacing Dominic Calvert-Lewin up front.
The Brazilian has form against the Seagulls: his highest score of the season was against Chris Hughton’s side in Gameweek 11, when he scored twice and registered maximum bonus.
Marcus Rashford (£7.2m) narrowly missed out on our Scout Picks in Gameweek 19 and has done so again this week.
The possible return to fitness of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez is a slight concern, though we’d expect the England forward to keep his place up front for this Gameweek at least given his form in recent weeks.
No FPL asset has had more shots on target than Rashford in the last six Gameweeks and he found the back of the net when United visited the south coast in the reverse fixture in Gameweek 11.
Due to the quick turnaround, there is no Community Champion for Gameweek 20.
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