The Scout Picks selection for Gameweek 9 has gone heavy on mid-price options in midfield and attack.
Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers have endured a difficult few weeks as the premium assets have failed to deliver.
For that reason, we have looked at the mid-price players who have been pulling the points in of late.
After sifting through the Scout Squad selections submitted by David, Neale, Paul and Geoff, we have come up with the best XI for Gameweek 9.
We line up in the traditional 3-4-3 formation and are bang on our £83.0m budget.
Arsenal may be without a clean sheet since their opening weekend trip to Newcastle, but a visit to Sheffield United on Monday night gives them as good a chance as any to get themselves another one. Over the last four matches, the Blades have been in the bottom five for total shots, efforts on target and big chances while Bernd Leno (£5.0m) is top of the league for saves made in 2019/20 (34).
As we say almost every week, Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.2m) is very much an auto-include for the Scout Picks. Given Manchester United’s recent troubles, such as ranking bottom of the league for xG from open play since Gameweek 5, Liverpool’s clean sheet potential at Old Trafford is relatively strong. Meanwhile, Alexander-Arnold himself remains joint-top for assists among defenders this season (three).
Marcos Alonso (£6.2m) is our chosen representative from the Chelsea defence as Gameweek 9 could see the return of a previous Fantasy legend. Newcastle come to Stamford Bridge bottom of the league for big chances in away matches this season, while Frank Lampard’s men sit in the top-five for fewest shots in the box conceded at home. Furthermore, Alonso himself has registered more penalty box touches than any other defender over the last four Gameweeks and his aerial ability could punish Newcastle’s vulnerability to crosses.
Currently level with Alexander-Arnold for total FPL score (40), Ricardo Pereira (£6.2m) gets into the Scout Picks ahead of a home meeting with Burnley. Leicester’s defence has shown plenty of promise in recent weeks, facing the fewest number of shots on target in their home matches this season. Meanwhile, Pereira himself has a goal in each of his last two Premier League outings at the King Power Stadium.
We are backing a return to Premier League form for Raheem Sterling (£12.1m) in Gameweek 9. After his impressive and inspiring performance for England in Bulgaria on Monday night, Pep Guardiola is likely to turn to him to get Manchester City’s season back on track. Crystal Palace might be tough to break down at home, but Sterling still managed to score twice on his most recent trip to Selhurst Park in April.
There was some support for Leicester attack in the Scout Picks, but we did not have the room in our packed forward line (more to come on that soon). We, therefore, turned to James Maddison (£7.2m) as the next best thing, as he has goals in each of his last two starts and has a better minutes per shot in the box than colleague Jamie Vardy this season.
Mason Mount (£6.8m) continues to offer great value this season. As Newcastle coming to Stamford Bridge with a relatively poor record on the road this season (2.75 goals conceded per game), we are expecting more big things from the Chelsea man. Of midfielders priced under £7.0m, only one has managed more shots on target than Mount, and just four have created more chances.
The only midfielder priced under £7.0m with more shots on target than Mount? That would be birthday-boy John McGinn (£5.8m), who is set to face Brighton this weekend. The Aston Villa man scored a hat-trick for Scotland over the international break and has two in his last three Premier League outings.
While Harry Kane (£10.9m) has not impressed many in recent weeks, he still has attacking returns in four of his last five Premier League matches. It’s not blistering form by any means but a home meeting with Watford could be the ideal fixture to help Spurs get back on track. The Hornets are yet to register a clean sheet away from home this season and have conceded the highest number of big chances on the road too.
Meanwhile, no team has given up as many big chances as Norwich in the last four Gameweeks, paving the way for Callum Wilson (£7.9m) to join the Scout Picks. The Bournemouth man has attacking returns in every match bar one this season and since Gameweek 5, is joint-top of the league for big chances received.
Only Manchester City have fashioned more big chances than Chelsea over the last four Gameweeks, which is why we’ve gone with a double-up on Lampard’s attack for the visit of Newcastle to Stamford Bridge. Tammy Abraham (£7.7m) is a pretty impressive Fantasy asset right now, top of the league for shots on target over the last four Gameweeks.
While Spurs’ defensive potential has not been too strong in recent weeks, Watford are struggling to find the net even after their managerial change. For that reason, an injury to Spurs’ captain should see Paulo Gazzaniga (£4.4m) present an interesting option this weekend.
We had originally planned to double-up on the Chelsea defence by selecting Fikayo Tomori (£4.7m) in the starting XI but dropped him to the bench so we could have both Mount and Abraham.
Diego Rico (£4.2m) has been included on the bench for what he can do going forward rather than defensive. Over the last four Gameweeks, the Bournemouth left-back sits behind only Alexander-Arnold for chances created and has actually fashioned more considered to be big by Opta than the Liverpool man.
Neale’s differential selection Adama Traoré (£5.0m) makes it onto the Scout Picks’ bench for a meeting with Southampton. The Saints have been defensive unreliable once again this season while Traoré should get the chance to start again after his match-winning performance at Manchester City.
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.
Representing the community against the Scout Picks in Gameweek 9 is Hasselbaink Forever.
They have gone for a 3-4-3 of Schmeichel; R Pereira, Chilwell, Azpilicueta; Sterling, de Bruyne, Hudson-Odoi, McGinn; Kane, C Wilson, Abraham (c).
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 win for the Community Champion in Gameweek 8 as Vobinho in Wengerland won by a 48-40 scoreline.
irfansheikh‘s winning margin of 16 points from Gameweek 7 is the latest score to beat for the 2019/20 season.
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