With the return of Fantasy Premier League this weekend it’s time for the Scout Picks to make a comeback.
For the first time in 2019, we’ve been aided by our Scout Squad crew of Paul, Joe, Az and Peter with their submissions of potential players earlier this week.
Now that price rises have taken hold of most of the usual suspects, we have increased the budget to £83.5m, which we have hit bang-on this week.
Vicente Guaita (£4.2m) continues to offer an excellent price in Crystal Palace’s goal which is why he has been chosen for the Scout Picks once again. The Spaniard received the backing of two of our pundits, Paul and Joe, ahead of Watford’s visit to Selhurst Park. The Eagles have conceded just nine goals at home this season, only Liverpool and Chelsea have been breached fewer times in front of their own fans. Furthermore, Guaita has earned an additional point for saves in three of his last four outings.
David Luiz (£5.9m) goes into the Scout Picks as the most expensive defender to act as cover for the slightly more popular Marcos Alonso. The latter was chosen by Joe and Peter, but we’ve gone with Az’s choice of the Brazilian centre-back to save some money. The Chelsea defence looks in good shape to keep a clean sheet this week, with Newcastle the lowest scorers in the Premier League since the beginning of December. Meanwhile, the Magpies are especially susceptible to set pieces, and Luiz has more attempts from dead-ball situations than any other Chelsea player.
After being the talk of the town for much of the gap between Gameweeks 21 and 22, Ricardo Pereira (£5.3m) makes it into the Scout Picks. The Leicester man looks likely to start on the flanks of attacking midfield again when Southampton come to the King Power Stadium, which should give him the potential for another double-figure haul. Only one FPL defender has had more goal attempts than Pereira in the last four Gameweeks, while the Saints rank bottom of the league for shots in the box during that time.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.2m) is our representative from the Liverpool defence in Gameweek 22, as the cheapest option likely to start against Brighton. There was support for the Reds’ back-line from our Scout Squad with Paul, Az and Peter asking for some coverage. Despite losing their last two matches (in all competitions), Liverpool still have the best defence in the Premier League, which means they stand a good chance of keeping a clean sheet when facing a Brighton side that has slipped into the bottom five for big chances in the last four Gameweeks.
Mohamed Salah (£13.3m) is a highly sought-after Fantasy asset right now, with three double-figure hauls in his last four matches. Only four players have registered more shots on target than him since Gameweek 18, while he has been creating a chance every 45 minutes for his team-mates, and that’s in a run which included Arsenal and Manchester City. Salah does come to an Amex Stadium defended by a Brighton side with an in-form back-line, which may put some off giving him the captain’s armband. However, we are backing the Egyptian to prove he is powerful enough to break down lesser opposition, even if they prove a stern test.
Eden Hazard (£11.1m) has frustrated his owners in the last two league outings, blanking against both Crystal Palace and Southampton in that time. We believe it will be different in Gameweek 22 when Newcastle come to Stamford Bridge. Only two players have touched the ball in opposition penalty boxes more often than Hazard in the last four Gameweeks and he has taken more shots there than Salah, playing more key passes than the Egyptian in that time too. Meanwhile, Newcastle are currently in the bottom six for shots conceded in the box across the last four away matches.
Leroy Sané (£9.5m) gets into the Scout Picks after Joe and Az selected him for their squads. The midfielder also acts as our Manchester City representative after heavy support for Sergio Aguero, who didn’t make it due to budget constraints. The German offers a nice balance of both creativity and goal threat for a cheaper price, while Aguero and Sterling seem only to promise one or the other on current form. While Wolves are typically harder to break down away from home, they are still averaging at least one goal conceded per road trip this season and have just two clean sheets from a possible 10 outside of Molineux. Furthermore, Matt Doherty’s forward runs down his side of the pitch may open things up for Sané.
We are backing Richarlison (£6.9m) to get his first attacking returns since Gameweek 19 on Sunday afternoon as Bournemouth come to Goodison Park. Just Fulham has conceded more in away matches than the Cherries in 2018/19, with only the Cottagers allowing more big chances than them on the road in the last four Gameweeks. Factor in injury problems all over the pitch for Eddie Howe’s men and it looks like Everton could record a routine victory with Richarlison at the heart of it.
Callum Paterson (£5.1m) gets back into the Scout Picks after earning himself the backing of Joe and Peter ahead of Gameweek 22. Cardiff are hosting a Huddersfield side who rank worst in the league for big chances conceded since Gameweek 18 and they are proving especially vulnerable through the middle. Paterson may have played out wide against Spurs but we’d expect him to return to his centre-forward spot in time to punish the Terriers in south Wales.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.4m) comes into the Scout Picks after all four of our pundits put him in their Scout Squad entries. No player has recorded a higher expected goals score over the last four Gameweeks as the Arsenal forward, who has been firing off shots in the box at a quicker rate than both Salah and Hazard. Meanwhile, West Ham still have just one clean sheet at home this season and have slipped towards the wrong end of the table for attempts conceded in the box since Gameweek 18, only four teams allowing more in that time.
If we are selecting Aubameyang this week, then Ashley Barnes (£5.6m) simply had to join him. The Burnley forward has registered the same number of big chances as his Arsenal counterpart in the last four Gameweeks, while only two players have had more accurate efforts than him in that time. Barnes has the fortune of going up against Fulham and their obliging defence in Gameweek 22. As we’ve already mentioned, the Cottagers have allowed more big chances than any other side across their last four away matches.
Sean Morrison (£4.7m) gets a place on the bench ahead of Huddersfield’s trip to the Cardiff City Stadium. The centre-back is one of Paul’s tips, who currently ranks third out of defenders for shots in the box this season (19). Only Fulham and Cardiff themselves have scored fewer times in away matches in 2018/19, so there’s the possibility of a clean sheet too.
David Brooks (£5.1m) could end up as the main man for Bournemouth this weekend if Ryan Fraser, Callum Wilson and Josh King miss the game through the injuries. Everton are without a clean sheet since Gameweek 13, while Brooks has three attacking returns in his last four outings.
Marcus Rashford (£7.3m) is a man in form with eight attacking returns in his last six matches and could continue that run when Manchester United travel to face Spurs at Wembley in Gameweek 22. Due to the quality of the opposition and his price, we couldn’t put Rashford in the Scout Picks XI but found a place for him on our bench.
Representing the community against the Scout Picks in Gameweek 22 is FPL_SUNNY. He has opted for a 3-4-3 formation of: Guaita; Luiz, Pereira, Alexander-Arnold; Richarlison, Salah, Sané, Son; Barnes, Aubameyang, Rashford.
The community member who beats our picks by the biggest margin over the campaign will win a £100 Amazon Voucher and a place in our Contributors and Moderators League for the following season.
fclackless‘s winning margin of 33 points (77-44) in Gameweek 10 is the current target to beat.
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