We have submitted our Scout Squad selections for the much-anticipated Gameweek 5.
In this regular piece, our four members of staff – editorial’s Paul, David, and Neale as well as community manager Geoff – each
The 72 nominations listed below will then be narrowed down to a squad of 14 (with the starting XI not exceeding a total cost of £83m) ahead of the Gameweek 5 deadline at 11:30 BST on Saturday morning.
As we discussed last week, we are making some slight tweaks to the way we do Scout Squad and Scout Picks this season.
We have placed stricter regulations on our panelists: there are requirements for at least one £4.5m goalkeeper, at least one £4.5m or cheaper defender, at least one midfielder priced £6.0m or below and at least one forward priced at £7.0m or lower.
As was the case last year, each panelist is restricted to no more than three players from the same team.
We have also be added a captaincy to the Scout Picks this season, with details explained on Friday.
|GK||Dean Henderson||Hugo Lloris||Hugo Lloris||Hugo Lloris|
|Nick Pope||Nick Pope||Dean Henderson||Dean Henderson|
|Kepa Arrizabalaga||Dean Henderson||Nick Pope||Nick Pope|
|DF||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Virgil van Dijk||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Trent Alexander-Arnold|
|Andrew Robertson||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Andrew Robertson||Andrew Robertson|
|Oleksandr Zinchenko||John Lundstram||Oleksandr Zinchenko||Nicolas Otamendi|
|Lucas Digne||Aaron Wan-Bissaka||Lucas Digne||Lucas Digne|
|John Lundstram||James Tarkowski||John Lundstram||John Lundstram|
|MF||Raheem Sterling||Mohamed Salah||Mohamed Salah||Mohamed Salah|
|Mohamed Salah||Raheem Sterling||Raheem Sterling||Raheem Sterling|
|Daniel James||David Silva||Christian Eriksen||Christian Eriksen|
|Mason Mount||Mason Mount||Richarlison||Gylfi Sigurdsson|
|Nicolas Pépé||John McGinn||John McGinn||John McGinn|
|FW||Sergio Aguero||Sergio Aguero||Sergio Aguero||Sergio Aguero|
|Ashley Barnes||Diogo Jota||Raúl Jiménez||Sébastien Haller|
|Sébastien Haller||Alexandre Lacazette||Sébastien Haller||Raúl Jiménez|
|Jamie Vardy||Sébastien Haller||Ashley Barnes||Wesley|
|Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||Ashley Barnes||Wesley||Ashley Barnes|
Most popular picks: Dean Henderson, Nick Pope, Trent Alexander-Arnold, John Lundstram, Raheem Sterling, Mohamed Salah, Sergio Aguero, Ashley Barnes, Sebastien Haller (four), Hugo Lloris, Lucas Digne, Andrew Robertson, John McGinn (three)
Selecting a goalkeeper for the Scout Squad seems to get harder and harder each week.
For Gameweek 5, I’ve gone with Dean Henderson as the marginally best option ahead of Southampton’s visit to Sheffield United.
The Blades’ goalkeeper has got a good record for saves and his side has largely kept things tight so far this season.
In defence, I’ve gone with a double-up on Liverpool options in their most favourable fixture for some time.
Newcastle come to Anfield with very few goals to their name so far in 2019/20 (three), while we saw glimpses of the Reds returning to their best at the back against Burnley last time out.
I’m not completely convinced Manchester City will keep a clean sheet at Norwich but if they are to do so, Oleksandr Zinchenko has shown in recent weeks that he is a good option.
The same games for Lucas Digne as I think Bournemouth’s attack will cause Everton some problems, but the left-back has enough offensive potential to make up for it.
John Lundstram completes my defensive submissions given his clean sheet potential and creativity so far this season as a central midfielder.
In midfield, I’ve gone with Raheem Sterling as the best option, despite his poor showing against Brighton. He showed just how much of a world-class option he is on international duty and ultimately, I think he’s got the much better fixture than Mohamed Salah this week.
While Newcastle demonstrated the ability to frustrate with banks of bodies behind the ball in their Gameweek 3 win over Spurs, Norwich are yet to show any defensive know-how this season and have by far the worst record at the back so far.
Daniel James has impressed me with his penalty box presence and other goal threat underlying statistics, while Mason Mount looks like Chelsea’s most likely to score points in midfield.
If I was Wildcarding this week, I’d go Kevin de Bruyne over Sergio Aguero, but as we are only selecting for one Gameweek with the Scout Squad, I’ve gone with the Argentinian in my selection.
Despite limited minutes this season (which is part of my concern long-term), Aguero is level with Salah for shots in the box and just one behind Sterling for shots on target. Given how poor Norwich’s defence is, I’d expect him to rack up the points here.
Ashley Barnes is also a great inclusion ahead of a trip to Brighton based on his eight shots on target thus far this season, only Teemu Pukki has more.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pépé are included as my outside bets as I think the change of management at Watford has occurred too late for them to prevent Arsenal scoring big at Vicarage Road.
I was talked out of a Manchester City attacking triple-up when it came to the Scout Picks last week but I’m not wasting a City slot on a defender in Gameweek 5, particularly with Aymeric Laporte sidelined and with Norwich unlikely to curb their attacking instincts too much when Pep Guardiola’s side visit Carrow Road.
Kevin De Bruyne was irresistible on Monday night and I own the Belgian midfielder myself in FPL but I’m a mite concerned that he could be handed a well-earned breather over the coming week (hopefully in the Champions League), so for that reason alone I’ve gone with the rested David Silva along with the obligatory duo of Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero – ‘El Mago’ has the same xA as De Bruyne this season and is the only fit attacking midfielder on City’s books who didn’t represent their country over the international break.
Liverpool look the likeliest source of a clean sheet this weekend and I’ve opted for Virgil van Dijk alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold, with Newcastle’s vulnerability to set-piece situations and headed chances (they were bottom of the table for both in 2018/19) the logic behind that double-up. The two defenders, indeed, combined for a goal at St. James’ Park in May.
Outside of Liverpool, I struggled for defenders this week.
John Lundstram is the obvious budget pick given that a well-organised Sheffield United defence are up against Nathan Redmond-less Southampton, who have scored from just one of their nine big chances this season. Che Adams, meanwhile, has yet to register a shot on target.
Manchester United’s defence hasn’t been that bad this season: they have the second-best xGC in the division and no side has conceded fewer big chances.
Should he be fit and up against James Maddison (as I suspect might happen), Aaron Wan-Bissaka should get plenty of tackles in to aid his cause on the Bonus Point System. Stop Maddison and Leicester’s creativity suffers, so I’m taking a leap of faith with the United right-back given his history of nullifying in-form wide midfielders.
Burnley have coped very well against wing-back systems this season (a clean sheet against Southampton and only a last-gasp penalty conceded against Wolves) so I’ll root for one of the save-accumulating Nick Pope or the goal-threatening James Tarkowski against a potentially Trossard-less Brighton in the Scout Picks – two players we discussed at length in this week’s Scoutcast.
I’m hoping Mason Mount gets a run-out on the left flank this weekend, as he’ll be up against Adama Traore at Molineux – the pacy wing-back is excellent going forward but leaves a lot to be desired defensively, while Wolves will also be without the suspended Willy Boly.
Chelsea’s defensive problems are well-documented and I can see goals in this fixture, with a relatively rested Diogo Jota (no start in his last three games for club and country) capable of wreaking havoc in the visitors’ backline with his driving runs.
Alexandre Lacazette should be fit for Sunday’s trip to Watford and, as the central striker in Arsenal’s attack, I’m backing the Frenchman over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in my Scout Squad: Lacazette had six shots to Aubameyang’s one while both players were on the field in the north London derby and has the best minutes-per-chance average among FPL forwards who have played more than 100 minutes this season.
Pinpointing the best options among the Liverpool and Man City contingents could be decisive as both have very favourable Gameweek 5 fixtures.
I’m backing both sides at both ends of the pitch, with Oleksandr Zinchenko’s attacking potential a big factor in his selection.
The City left-back has been far more creative on his travels in the opening four matches.
Away from home, his six key passes ranks top among FPL defenders, compared with his single chance created at the Etihad Stadium.
The influence of Christian Eriksen could be vital if Spurs are to break down a stubborn Crystal Palace side.
Despite starting only two of the first four Gameweeks, the Dane’s five shots on target and eight chances created both rank top for Spurs.
Added to his appeal is Eriksen’s goal and assist in a 2-0 home win over the Eagles last season.
I’m backing Raul Jimenez to extend his return to form at home to Chelsea.
The Wolves striker has scored in each of the last two Gameweeks and has a decent record against his visitors, netting in both their meetings last season.
Despite a collective lack of faith that has earned him over 618,000 transfers out, Jimenez is level with Roberto Firmino, for example, for both shots on target (five) and expected goals (1.79).
Goals look on the agenda at Villa Park on Monday evening.
Both Aston Villa and West Ham have conceded 46 shots inside the box – only Norwich, with 47, have been less resilient.
Sebastien Haller seems the attacker most likely to profit, though the hosts’ frontman Wesley is a decent cut-price differential with ownership under 2%.
The Brazilian bagged a goal and maximum bonus in his last home fixture and has fired seven shots in the box, more than any team-mate.
Hugo Lloris has a good chance at his first clean sheet against Crystal Palace, who failed to score in Gameweek 1 against Everton and Gameweek 2 against Sheffield United.
With that clean sheet against Crystal Palace in Gameweek 2, Dean Henderson has a 50% clean sheet return rate at home, and hosts Southampton who have failed to score in 50% of their away games.
Nick Pope is my third pick despite failing to keep a clean sheet in the last three matches. He did, however, play teams from last season’s top seven over that period, keeping a clean sheet against Southampton on opening weekend.
I’m going with a Liverpool defensive double up at home to Newcastle, opting for the attacking threat of Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson.
While Zinchenko looks a good option I’m banking on attacking threat from Nicolás Otamendi, after Laporte’s injury.
Lucas Digne already has two clean sheets this season and I predict that will continue away to Bournemouth. John Lundstram rounds out my defence as a nice OOP budget option at home to Southampton.
Mohamed Salah and Raheem Sterling shouldn’t surprise anyone at the top of my list. Fellow Scout Paul has convinced me of the merits of both Christian Eriksen and Gylfi Sigurdsson this week: a look at Eriksen’s shots on target and chances created, and Sigurdsson’s key passes and shots on target, is quite convincing.
John McGinn has attacking returns in two out of four Gameweeks, and West Ham have already conceded nine times this season.
Up-front, I’m counting on a Sergio Aguero start, with Norwich’s injury problem growing by the week. With three goals in the last two matches, Sébastien Haller claims my second slot. Three strikers with good fixtures round out my picks: Raúl Jiménez, Wesley Moraes, and Ashley Barnes.
Become a Member and access our data
Memberships for the 2019/20 campaign are now available for the price of £17.50.
Join now to get the following:
- Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
- Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
- Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
- Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
- Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
- Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
- Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
- View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
- Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.