The Scout Squad panel return to offer their long-list of players to be considered for our regular Scout Picks feature, which will be published on Tuesday ahead of the upcoming set of Premier League fixtures in midweek.
The 72 nominations listed will be whittled down to a squad of 14 (with the starting XI not exceeding a total cost of £83.5m) ahead of the Gameweek 23 deadline at 18:45 GMT on Tuesday.
Joe, Peter, Paul and Az – who have five top 1,000 finishes between them – expand on their notable selections and omissions in the article below.
Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United can each boast two assets with unanimous backing this week, while there is plenty of support for Wolves players too.
|GK||Hugo Lloris||Ederson||Rui Patricio||Alex McCarthy|
|Sergio Rico||Bernd Leno||Jordan Pickford||Rui Patricio|
|Alex McCarthy||Alex McCarthy||Ederson||Sergio Rico|
|DF||Andrew Robertson||Andrew Robertson||Sead Kolasinac||Andrew Robertson|
|Sead Kolasinac||David Luiz||Lucas Digne||Sead Kolasinac|
|Lucas Digne||Sead Kolasinac||Luke Shaw||Lucas Digne|
|Matt Doherty||Matt Doherty||Andrew Robertson||Luke Shaw|
|Ashley Young||Luke Shaw||Matt Doherty||Aaron|
|MF||Mohamed Salah||Mohamed Salah||Mohamed Salah||Mohamed Salah|
|Paul Pogba||Eden Hazard||Raheem Sterling||Paul Pogba|
|Leroy Sane||Paul Pogba||Paul Pogba||Eden Hazard|
|Gylfi Sigurdsson||Leroy Sane||Eden Hazard||Leroy Sane|
|Ryan Babel||Diogo Jota||Diogo Jota||Diogo Jota|
|Marcus Rashford||Roberto Firmino||Sergio Aguero||Marcus Rashford|
|Fernando Llorente||Marcus Rashford||Marcus Rashford||Alexandre|
|Raul Jimenez||Raul Jimenez||Roberto Firmino||Roberto Firmino|
|Aleksandar Mitrovic||Danny Ings||Wilfried Zaha||Raul Jimenez|
Most popular picks: Andrew Robertson, Sead Kolasinac, Mohamed Salah, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (four), Alex McCarthy, Lucas Digne, Matt Doherty, Luke Shaw, Leroy Sane, Eden Hazard, Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino, Raul Jimenez (three)
Similar to the previous Gameweek, the value on offer in defence and up front can help free up cash for our Scout Picks midfield.
Along with the list of the usual names and players finding form ahead of Gameweek 24, I’ve added three differentials.
Sead Kolasinac could prove a productive option for Arsenal’s home clash with Cardiff.
The left-back has delivered six or more points in four successive matches at the Emirates.
Indeed, since his first start of the season in Gameweek 11, only Lucas Digne (28 to 21) has created more chances among FPL defenders.
Kolasinac has four favourable matches in the next five, which includes a visit from Southampton in the reduced Gameweek 27.
Ryan Babel impressed on his debut down the Fulham left flank in Gameweek 23.
Despite being limited to 54 minutes, the Dutchman fired three efforts on goal, more than any team-mate.
He now welcomes a Brighton defence that have conceded in each of their last seven road trips.
In all likelihood, this is the only time we’ll be able to put forward Fernando Llorente’s name for an article this season.
Although the return of Son Heung-min places
Only Paul Pogba (eight to six) has fired more shots in the box over the last two Gameweeks than the Spaniard, who was on the scoresheet against Chelsea in the EFL Cup last Thursday.
On last week’s Scoutcast, I strongly advocated doubling up on attacking assets from teams with strong fixtures as a way of climbing the rankings.
Gameweek 24 looks a perfect time to put this strategy to the test with Liverpool, Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers offering a wealth of goal threat as they take on favourable opposition.
Costing less than £17.0m between them, Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford are already a popular attacking double-up. Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over in Gameweek 18, they have amassed an incredible ten goals and seven assists between them in the league. They take on a Burnley side that is the third-worst for conceding shots in the box over their last six away matches.
Pairing Mohamed Salah with Roberto Firmino or Sadio Mane looks set to be another fruitful move. The Brazilian striker gets my vote after scoring five goals over his last four league run-outs. Visitors Leicester look particularly obliging after letting in four against Wolves last time out and having the second-worst record for conceding close-range efforts over their last six away days.
Meanwhile, Wolves’ Diogo Jota (£5.9m) and Raul Jimenez (£6.5m) look an ideal combination as we look to squeeze as much quality as we can into our budget. The Portuguese midfielder has double-digit points hauls in two of his last four league appearances, while his Mexican team-mate has found the net six times and assisted a further seven goals this campaign. They host a West Ham outfit with only one clean sheet in their last six league matches.
Another tragedy underpins an FPL Gameweek and I’d like to express my sympathy after the events that have once again shocked us all – my condolences to the families of Emiliano Sala and David Ibbotson.
On to happier things, and midweek games are a favourite of mine and many others in the FPL community. The Double Gameweek looks set to have people considering their transfers even more so than usual but before that, we have a single Gameweek to attend to and some fantastic fixtures to try and reap the benefits from.
Arsenal looks a tough test for Cardiff this week and the overshadowing events add an extra layer of uncertainty as to how Cardiff will perform. I think a comfortable home win will be likely for Arsenal and Sead Kolasinac, a favourite of mine, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has flattered to deceive recently, should reward owners with good hauls.
I also like the look of Wolves vs West Ham, where West Ham
I also see great potential in the Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United games, with all four teams playing sides with suspect defences. Add in Everton versus a beleaguered Huddersfield side and I can’t see this being anything but a high-scoring week. Should be a good one!
In amongst the excitement of Double Gameweek speculation and, in one case, confirmation, we mustn’t overlook the importance of setting up our sides to accumulate bread-and-butter points in single weeks such as this. Of course, free transfers become particularly precious as canny managers start building for the future but my selections are solely built on form, the Gameweek 24 fixtures and, as always, a degree of gut instinct.
The budget takes a battering this week with no fewer than 11 selections drawn from the current top six sides (though none from a Spurs team which has a series of alluring fixtures but which I was struggling to trust even before Sunday’s FA Cup defeat to Palace).
When Ole Gunnar Solskjær took the helm at Old Trafford before Gameweek 18, Marcus Rashford immediately joined my selections, albeit that I advocated a wait-and-see approach generally. Since then, he’s had more attempts on goal (27) than any other striker and has five goals to his name, a goal tally matched by team-mate Paul Pogba, who is equally as near-essential on current form as Burnley come to town.
The Red Devils’ latest victims, Arsenal, entertain a Cardiff side which recently shipped three goals at St James’ Park. I’ll be at the Emirates on Tuesday and fully expect to see the attacking combination of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette – with six goals and three assists between them in the last six matches – inflict further woe upon the Bluebirds. Sead Kolasinac’s attacking threat has been well-documented and I’m hopeful that he can add to his four assists for the season in a game where he may well spend more time in the opposition half than in his own.
In truth, very few (if any) of my selections this week are particularly left-field, though Lucas Digne can be thankful that Huddersfield’s form (a single point from the last six games) is marginally worse than his own side’s (two wins and four defeats during the same period).
There is at least a nice circular narrative in Diogo Jota’s inclusion. Like many, I included him in both my first Scout Squad of the season and my own team and watched in dismay as the Portuguese racked up blank after blank. I don’t expect his hat-trick heroics against Leicester to be a regular thing but as the excellent recent Scout article on the midfielder concluded: “Jota certainly has the underlying stats to back up his recent form.”
The Community Champion
This week’s contender is Joax2, who is currently ranked 19,831st in the world and who hasn’t finished outside the top 15k in his two seasons as an FPL manager.
The Community Champion who has the best lead over the Scouts during 2018/19 will win a £100 Amazon voucher (currently we can only offer Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com vouchers).
Last weekend, Athletico Timbo was
fclackless’s Gameweek 10 victory over the Scout Squad crew by a score of 77-44 remains the deficit to beat.
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