The Scout Squad team have submitted their selections ahead of Gameweek 6.
In this piece, our four regular panelists – editorial staff Paul, David and Neale plus community manager Geoff – each submit an 18-man squad of Fantasy assets (with the focus on the coming Gameweek) and elaborate on their notable inclusions/omissions.
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) for the weekly Scout Picks selection ahead of the Gameweek 6 deadline at 19:00 BST on Friday night.
There are requirements for at least one sub-£5.0m 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.
Each panelist is restricted to no more than three players from the same team.
We will also be adding a captaincy to the Scout Picks this season, with details of that revealed on Friday.
|GK||Martin Dubravka||Vicente Guaita||Martin Dubravka||Martin Dubravka|
|Vicente Guaita||Angus Gunn||Vicente Guaita||Vicente Guaita|
|Mathew Ryan||Martin Dubravka||Mathew Ryan||Mathew Ryan|
|DF||Lucas Digne||Lucas Digne||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Lucas Digne|
|Trent Alexander-Arnold||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Lucas Digne||Trent Alexander-Arnold|
|Ainsley Maitland-Niles||Sead Kolasinac||Nicolas Otamendi||Nicolas Otamendi|
|Patrick van Aanholt||Nicolas Otamendi||Fabian Schar||Ainsley Maitland-Niles|
|Lewis Dunk||Dan Burn||Gary Cahill||Jamaal Lascelles|
|MF||Raheem Sterling||Kevin De Bruyne||Raheem Sterling||Raheem Sterling|
|Kevin De Bruyne||Mohamed Salah||Mohamed Salah||Sadio Mane|
|Mohamed Salah||Dwight McNeil||Richarlison||Nicolas Pepe|
|James Maddison||Richarlison||Manuel Lanzini||Todd Cantwell|
|Todd Cantwell||Dani Ceballos||Dwight McNeil||Manuel Lanzini|
|FW||Sergio Aguero||Sergio Aguero||Sergio Aguero||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang|
|Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||Teemu Pukki|
|Teemu Pukki||Ashley Barnes||Teemu Pukki||Ashley Barnes|
|Tammy Abraham||Jamie Vardy||Callum Wilson||Joshua King|
|Ashley Barnes||Teemu Pukki||Chris Wood||Sergio Aguero|
Most popular picks: Martin Dubravka, Vicente Guaita, Lucas Digne, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Sergio Aguero, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Teemu Pukki (four), Mathew Ryan, Nicolas Otamendi, Mohamed Salah, Raheem Sterling, Ashley Barnes (three)
As I mentioned on Tuesday’s episode of the Scoutcast, I am not that inspired by many defensive assets on offer right now.
I fancy Newcastle, Crystal Palace and Brighton to have a decent chance of keeping clean sheets in Gameweek 5 which is why I’ve gone for Martin Dubravka, Vicente Guaita and Mat Ryan.
As for defenders themselves, I’ve tried to keep it all about attacking potential given the generally poor clean sheet potential around the league.
Lucas Digne and Trent Alexander-Arnold have both offered plenty of threat from set-pieces in recent weeks, and are the two top options for chances created in the last four Gameweeks among defenders.
The Everton man seems the more likely of the two to keep a clean sheet though, given Sheffield United have misfired a little of late and Liverpool face a Chelsea side with goals in them.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles has had more touches in the box than any Arsenal defensive colleague and has two assists so far this season ahead of Aston Villa’s trip to the Emirates Stadium.
Patrick van Aanholt faces a Wolves side that has largely uninspired following European commitments in 2019/20 and has had the joint-most shots in the box of any Palace defender.
Finally, Lewis Dunk poses a threat from set-pieces against a Newcastle side that has generally struggled against dead ball situations since the start of last season.
I am keeping faith in the Manchester City midfield by selecting both Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne for the visit of Watford.
The Hornets may be under new management, but their defence has been woeful since January and I can’t see Sanchez Flores being able to affect that too much in his short time back at the club so far.
Rested from the Norwich game, De Bruyne should be back in the side, while Sterling was unfortunate not to get something against Norwich.
I’m backing Mohamed Salah over Sadio Mané for Liverpool’s trip to Chelsea as last season he was the more reliable asset away from home.
James Maddison has been somewhat unfortunate not to produce more attacking returns in recent weeks. Over the last four Gameweeks, he has been afforded the same number of big chances as Pukki, Haller and Mané, whilst creating seven of his own. While Spurs were heavy winners against Palace, I expect Leicester to cause a few more problems.
Finally, Todd Cantwell has to be included in my submission given that he is in the process of being promoted from a fifth-midfielder to a fourth after another attacking return triggered more price rises this week. It’s Burnley up next for him.
Up front, I’m sticking with Sergio Aguero for this week as I’d expect him to get some minutes against Watford – and you’ve already seen what I think of their back-line.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is yet to blank this season and a home match against a Villa side with no clean sheet on the road so far this season looks unlikely to stand in the way of that trend continuing.
Meanwhile, Teemu Pukki and Tammy Abraham are both inside the top five for shots inside the box over the last four Gameweeks, which suggests their goal-scoring form is sustainable for at least another round of action.
After the euphoria of the victory over Manchester City, who better to bring Norwich City back down to Earth than Sean Dyche’s no-nonsense Burnley side.
The Canaries conceded one headed goal last weekend and a lot more chances in the air besides, continuing a season-long trend: no Premier League team has allowed as many headed opportunities as the Canaries or have allowed more crosses from their right flank.
With that in mind, I’m backing Burnley left-winger and cross-machine Dwight McNeil to collect another assist, with the likes of Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes and the Clarets’ two centre-backs to aim at.
As a Raheem Sterling owner, I have glass-half-full concerns over the City winger’s game-time against Watford after his ninth successive start for club and country in Ukraine on Wednesday.
Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero have both had breathers in the last seven days, however, and I’m backing the league’s leading big chance-creator and joint-leading shot-taker against a Watford team without a clean sheet since February; Quique Sanchez Flores has miracles to work if he is to steer his Hornets side to a shut-out at the Etihad.
Chelsea’s left-hand side could be seriously weakened if Mason Mount and Emerson Palmieri are sidelined for the visit of Liverpool and the thought of Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold up against Marcos Alonso is enough for me to overlook Sadio Mane and Andrew Robertson on the opposite flank.
Arsenal’s defensive problems are well-documented but in Aston Villa, they are up against one of the limpest attacks in the division.
Dean Smith’s side have conceded the second-highest number of chances and crosses from their right flank, too, so there are prospects of returns at both ends for Sead Kolasinac.
On top of that, no side has conceded more attempts from set plays than the Villans – so I’m backing Dani Ceballos to end his three-game drought in a game that should suit his skill-set a lot better (i.e. Arsenal bossing possession) than the Watford fixture did.
Whether he’s stationed at left wing-back (as in the Burnley game) or marauding forward from centre-half, Dan Burn has the potential to deliver against Newcastle.
The Magpies have the lowest xG in the division so far this season and only Norwich have allowed more headed opportunities, so the 6’7″ stopper – who has had more attempts on goal than Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk combined – could prosper at either end of the pitch. He’s a Geordie, too, so Fenton’s Law dictates that a goal is inevitable.
A distinct lack of resilience throughout the Premier League means my five defenders are mainly selected for their attacking potential.
Fabian Schar – if fit – can be an ideal differential with a mere 2.1% ownership ahead of a visit from Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Newcastle United centre-back scored three goals at home last term and found the net in his previous fixture at St James’ Park.
Schar claimed 16 points over Gameweek 3-4 prior to the Magpies’ loss at Liverpool last weekend.
A return to form earns Richarlison a place in midfield for Everton’s home clash with Sheffield United.
The Brazilian has two goals and an assist in the last two Gameweeks, including a 15-point haul in his previous match at Goodison Park.
Since moving to the right flank and playing as an inverted winger from Gameweek 29 last season, Richarlison has recorded 31 shots in the box – level with Sadio Mane and bettered only by Raheem Sterling and Mohamed Salah among FPL midfielders.
Burnley pair Dwight McNeil and Chris Wood also get my backing at home to Norwich City.
The Canaries’ weakness in the air is a big factor in choosing Wood over his fellow frontman, Ashley Barnes.
Daniel Farke’s men have conceded 23 headed efforts, at least eight more than any other side.
That also bodes well for McNeil, whose share of set-pieces raises his potential for assists.
The winger’s ten successful crosses rank top for the Clarets and have been bettered by just four other midfielders.
Hosting Brighton in Gameweek 6, I look to Martin Dubravka and Newcastle for my first goalkeeping spot. With clean sheets in both home games this season, Vicente Guaita hosts Wolves, and though we’ve only had three games end 0-0 this season I predict a fourth, with Brighton’s Mathew Ryan picking up clean sheet points.
While Everton are on a three-game run without clean sheets, Sheffield United at home looks promising for Lucas Digne at both ends of the pitch. I again include Trent Alexander-Arnold, before looking for a response from Manchester City, where Nicolas Otamendi has some threat from corners. With the most assists for Arsenal this season I’m hoping for more from Ainsley Maitland-Niles, and I’m doubling down on the Newcastle defence with Jamaal Lascelles.
While Raheem Sterling once again finds the top midfield spot I back Sadio Mane over Mohamed Salah this week. Nicolas Pepe assisted in his last home game and a home game against Aston Villa could be the week he breaks out for a big score. Budget darling Todd Cantwell plays Burnley, with Manuel Lanzini following behind in fifth position hosting Manchester United, who have yet to keep a clean sheet away from home.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has attacking returns in every Gameweek and has five of the eight goals scored by Arsenal players, while Aston Villa have yet to keep a clean sheet away from home. Teemu Pukki is close to an automatic pick due to his form, while Ashley Barnes and Joshua King are selected due to their favourable fixtures. Occupying a perhaps surprising fifth position, Sergio Aguero must look at those ahead of him with mounting motivation. Writing before Manchester City’s Champions League fixture, I fear Aguero won’t get a full 90 against bottom-of-the-table Watford. Though always a dangerous option, I see value in other, less expensive forward options this week.
The Community Champion
Representing the community against the Scout Picks in Gameweek 6 will be irfansheikh, who is currently sitting very nicely at 3,929th in the world.
Last week, we had an unusual occurrence: Warby84 drew 43-43 with the Scout Picks with a 4-3-3 line-up of Adrian (2); Alexander-Arnold (2), Otamendi (1), Maitland-Niles (4), Lundstram (2); De Bruyne (1), Salah (c – 18), McGinn (3); Aguero (6), Haller (2), Vardy (2).
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.
InsaneFC‘s Gameweek 4 winning margin of 75-64 is the score to beat for the 2019/20 campaign.
Lessons learned from Gameweek 5
- Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle
- Brighton 1-1 Burnley
- Man Utd 1-0 Leicester
- Sheffield Utd 0-1 Southampton
- Spurs 4-0 Crystal Palace
- Wolves 2-5 Chelsea
- Norwich 3-2 Man City
- Bournemouth 3-1 Everton
- Watford 2-2 Arsenal
- Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham
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