We have spent the big bucks on our Manchester City attacking assets this week as they face a Norwich defence in dire straits.
This week the Scout Picks XI features three players priced over £12.0m but we have still managed to stick to our £83.0m budget.
Our 3-5-2 formation comes in at £82.9m, £0.1m inside the limit.
Adrian (£4.6m) was not selected by any of our Scout Squad pundits this week, but we’ve brought him in as an enabler. There was overwhelming support for a double-up on the Liverpool defence but we only had enough in our budget for one of their premium options. With Alisson still out injured, Adrian should keep his place in goal.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.1m) was the most popular Liverpool defender among our Scout Squad pundits. David, Paul and Geoff all selected him as the best option in this price bracket, Neale choosing him in second place. The right-back heads into an appealing meeting with a goal-shy Newcastle side and three assists in his first four matches. The potential for a double-figure haul, made up from returns at both ends of the pitch, continues to be high for Alexander-Arnold.
The inclusion of Matt Lowton (£4.5m) was a way of granting the request from our Scout Squad for Burnley defensive cover. Nick Pope was a popular choice but we had to go with Adrian in goal. Lowton comes in based on Burnley’s clean sheet potential for a trip to Brighton, and having created more chances than any of his defensive colleagues so far this season.
John Lundstram (£4.2m) continues to make a useful budget enabler for Fantasy managers. Sheffield United remain one of the tightest-looking defences in the Premier League, having allowed just 22 shots in the box across the first four Gameweeks (fifth-best). Meanwhile, Lundstram himself is behind only two players in the top flight for big chances created.
Despite a blank against Brighton, Raheem Sterling (£12.3m) is straight back in the Scout Picks. After the first four matches of the season, the Manchester City midfielder is still just one behind the current Golden Boot front-runner with five goals and during that time, no player has been afforded more big chances. Meanwhile, Norwich’s defence looks in tatters for Gameweek 5. They have conceded more than any other side so far and are likely to be without at least three centre-backs in Ben Godfrey, Christoph Zimmermann and Timm Klose this weekend. Furthermore, right-back Max Aarons has been ruled out, Grant Hanley is unlikely to be able to feature from the beginning and Tim Krul is also a doubt to start now.
Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) was the most popular midfielder for Gameweek 5, tipped as the best in this position by three of our pundits, David selecting him in second place. In both of his Premier League matches at Anfield this season, the Egyptian registered a double-figure haul and he will be fancying his chances against Newcastle. The Magpies might have the ability to frustrate top six sides, as they did at Spurs in Gameweek 3, but Salah still got three attacking returns against them last season.
Mason Mount (£6.4m) is one of a handful of mid-price midfielders who appear to have the ability to offer decent value this season. He has two goals so far and could have arguably had more than that. Ahead of a trip to Wolves, the Chelsea midfielder has registered the same number of shots on target as Sterling, and more than any other option priced at £6.5m or below.
The absence of some key personnel for Manchester United should both help Daniel James‘ (£6.1m) chances of starting and increase the need for him to deliver. In the last two matches, the value midfield option has had seven shots inside the box, the second-most in the whole division. With Leicester yet to keep a clean sheet on the road so far this season, James looks a good bet for more attacking returns this weekend.
John McGinn (£5.6m) is the final member of our value midfield trio as he prepares to face West Ham on Monday night. With attacking returns in two matches so far this season, the box-to-box option will fancy his chances against a Hammers’ defence that has conceded more big chances than any other side so far.
Our Scout Squad panel was unanimous in selecting Sergio Aguero (£12.1m) as the best forward option for Gameweek 5. That decision was reached even before the Norwich defensive situation got worse on Friday afternoon. The Argentinian has scored in every match this season, currently leading the Golden Boot race, and is likely to deliver even if he has his minutes managed in light of Gabriel Jesus’ return from fitness simply because Norwich’s problems at the back are so bad.
Sébastien Haller (£7.5m) completes our line-up ahead of a trip to face Aston Villa on Monday night. Dean Smith’s men have allowed more shots than any other side so far this year, while Haller has three goals in his last two matches.
Nick Pope (£4.6m) was the most popular budget goalkeeper in our Scout Squad submissions but we had to bench him to accommodate our Liverpool defensive double-up.
We were also able to work in some Manchester City defensive cover so Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.6m) has to be content among the substitutes. With Norwich unlikely to park the bus against them, there is perhaps still a slight chance that they find a way through.
Manuel Lanzini (£6.5m) gets a place on the bench as a cheap alternative West Ham’s centre-forward. The midfielder has created more chances than any of his colleagues so far this season.
Ashley Barnes (£6.7m) has impressed in the early part of the campaign but we ran out of money to get him in the Scout Picks starting XI.
As we have mentioned many times since the season began, the Scout Picks now has a captain for the 2019/20 campaign.
This skipper is chosen using the conclusions of the latest Captain Sensible article and a four-way vote between David, Neale, Paul and Geoff.
Because the use of Fantasy Football Scout data is used so heavily in this process, the captain we choose each Gameweek will be known only to those who have signed up to Membership for the 2019/20 season.
It will be revealed to the public only when the deadline for the Gameweek has passed.
The Community Champion
Representing the community against the Scout Picks in Gameweek 5 is Warby84.
They have gone for a 4-3-3 of Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Otamendi, Maitland-Niles, Lundstram; De Bruyne, Salah (c), McGinn; Aguero, Haller, Vardy.
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.
It was a defeat for the Scout Picks in Gameweek 4 as InsaneFC won by a 75-64 scoreline.
That makes his winning margin of 11 points the new score to beat for the 2019/20 season.
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