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Scout Notes

Guardiola keeps Fantasy managers guessing with Carabao Cup team selection

We round up the key Fantasy talking points from Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup ties in our latest Scout Notes article.

Manchester City 3-1 Southampton

  • Goals: Nicolas Otamendi (£5.5m), Sergio Aguero (£12.1m) x2 | Jack Stephens (£4.3m)
  • Assists: Bernardo Silva (£7.9m), Kyle Walker (£5.9m), Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m) | James Ward-Prowse (£5.8m)

Sergio Aguero (£12.1m) scored twice as Manchester City swept past Southampton and into the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.

Seeing the words ‘Sergio’ and ‘Aguero’ pretty much anywhere in a League Cup report is never likely to delight Fantasy managers, but these days he’s not even the biggest gamble in the ever-vexing game that is Pep Roulette.

Just under two million Fantasy Premier League (FPL) teams currently involve the Argentinian. That equates to 26.2%, well down on City’s main men this season, Kevin De Bruyne (£10.2m and 39.2%) and the 38.9%-owned Raheem Sterling (£12.1m).

The Belgian watched the tie from the bench, while Sterling wasn’t even in the squad last night. As a result, both look like shoo-ins for Gameweek 11 inclusion, also at home to Southampton.

Then again, Pep Guardiola moves in mysterious ways, his rotations to perform, so nothing can ever be entirely taken for granted.

And Aguero’s shrinking ownership – he’s currently the second-most sold player this week, with close to 200,000 getting rid – should not necessarily assume the worst.

The striker played the full 90 minutes against the Saints and did the same in the Champions League demolition of Atalanta last Tuesday.

But a mere 14 minutes of Premier League action over the last two Gameweeks gives him plenty of scope for inclusion at the weekend, particularly as his rival for the forward slot, Gabriel Jesus (£9.5m), also played 87 minutes last night.

That makes it 267 minutes of pitch-time in the last ten days for the Brazilian, so if something’s got to give, it might be Jesus. Alternatively, Guardiola could field them both again in Gameweek 11. We’ll find out for sure at 2pm on Saturday, by which time most managers will have handed the captain’s armband to either De Bruyne or Sterling, you suspect.

The City boss made nine changes to the team that beat Aston Villa in Gameweek 10, with only Jesus and Bernardo Silva (£7.9m) surviving.

The Portugal international set up the opening goal when he received a short corner and dinked it into the area for Nicolas Otamendi (£5.5m) to head home.

That exposed the defensive shortcomings of a Southampton side with five members of their 9-0 drubbing by Leicester City involved, but little could be done about City’s second, a sweeping move which Aguero finished when he volleyed in a Kyle Walker (£5.9m) cross.

The tie was essentially over not long after the break, Aguero reacting quickest to Riyad Mahrez‘s (£8.5m) shot being charged down, and a Jack Stephens (£4.3m) header from James Ward-Prowse‘s (£5.8m) corner was the very definition of a consolation goal.

But such was the severity of last Friday’s mauling by Leicester that a 3-1 defeat had elements of positivity about it for the Saints, even if it took them 65 minutes to fashion a shot on goal.

They sat deep and sucked up the pressure for long periods, a tactic almost certain to be used again at the weekend and which could be seen as further evidence that Guardiola might field both of his strikers for a second time.

Guardiola gives little away about his selections, and his post-match comments about the pair were suitably cryptic.

The City boss said:

It was also a good opportunity to play Sergio and Gabriel Jesus together, playing closer to the goal. Gabriel is an incredible fighter defensively.

You could interpret that as an endorsement of Jesus’ qualities for away games against tougher opponents, and yet he’s now started the last two matches, at home, against Villa and Southampton.

Second-guessing Pep’s plans remains the stuff of madness. What is sure for now is that De Bruyne is regarded as the key asset by Fantasy managers as he’s the only player in the top five for transfers-in who didn’t beat the Saints 9-0 last Friday.

A repeat of that scoreline in Gameweek 11 looks increasingly unlikely, with Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl happy enough despite the latest loss.

The Saints boss said:

It was a defeat but a reaction and after a very, very difficult night on Friday to come here and play against one of the strongest sides on this planet, you can think about easier challenges to have.

In the second half, you could see that we got a little bit more self-confidence, we pressed a little bit higher, had a few good moments and also with the ball we had more calmness, and we showed that we could also play football.

They’ll have to play a lot more football to avoid another defeat on Saturday, but there was enough in last night’s performance to suggest the Leicester debacle has been partially exorcised, which is not the greatest of news for managers betting the house on big hauls from City players.

Man City XI: Bravo, Walker (Cancelo 65), Otamendi, Garcia, Jose Angelino (Stones 79), Bernardo Silva, Doyle, Foden, Mahrez, Aguero, Jesus (Bernabe 87).

Southampton XI: McCarthy, Valery, Stephens, Bednarek, Danso, Ward-Prowse, Romeu (Vokins 90+1), Hojbjerg, Armstrong, Long (Redmond 68), Boufal (Adams 69).

Burton Albion 1-3 Leicester City

  • Goals: Kelechi Iheanacho (£5.7m), Youri Tielemans (£6.5m), James Maddison (£7.3m)
  • Assists: Tielemans, Dennis Praet (£5.3m), Demarai Gray (£5.2m)

Leicester City booked their place in the last eight with a win that was only truly sealed in the final few minutes of an entertaining tie.

Only Jonny Evans (£5.1m) and Youri Tielemans (£6.5m) kept their places from the side that humiliated Southampton, but the Foxes remained slick and dangerous despite the overhaul and should have put the game to bed long before Demarai Gray (£5.2m) set up substitute James Maddison (£7.3m) to make it 3-1 in the last minute of regular time.

They certainly started well enough, Tielemans’ ball across goal handing Kelechi Iheanacho (£5.7m) a tap-in after just seven minutes, with the in-form midfielder then doubling the advantage not long afterwards from a Dennis Praet (£5.3m) pass.

That made it three goals and two assists from the last three matches in all competitions for Tielemans. Small wonder, then, that he is one of four Leicester players in the top five for purchases this week.

The other three, Jamie Vardy (£9.3m), Ben Chilwell (£5.5m) and Ayoze Perez (£6.1m), played no part in last night’s tie, and only Vardy made the squad.

For the 6.3% of managers with Tielemans in their sides, the fact that he played the full 90 minutes at Burton should be of little concern. The Belgium international is clearly a go-to guy for manager Brendan Rodgers as he’s played all but nine minutes of every single league and cup match this season.

Maddison has been used more sparingly, with last night’s seven-minute cameo allowing him to make it back-to-back goals – and four in the last five matches in all competitions – for the 15%-owned asset.

The form of both midfielders bodes well for Gameweek 11’s trip to Crystal Palace, as it does for Harvey Barnes (£5.9m), who was given a 24-minute run-out against Burton, although he couldn’t add to his run of five assists from his last four matches.

Despite missing some good chances to seal the victory long before Maddison’s clincher, the Foxes are clearly in a very good place at the moment, as assistant manager Chris Davies stressed post-match.

Davies said:

You saw the strength of the squad tonight and the performance was good. We’ve not done it just to give them a bit of game-time, we’ve done it because we trust them. There’s a lot of belief at the moment and the confidence is really high.

Palace will provide a far sterner test than either Burton or Southampton this weekend, but Leicester’s schedule is still attractive up to Gameweek 18’s trip to Manchester City and investment in their key players is currently looking like a very wise long-term strategy.

Leicester City XI: Ward, Justin, Morgan, Evans, Fuchs, Choudhury (Ndidi 88′), Praet (Maddison 83′), Tielemans, Gray, Albrighton, Iheanacho (Barnes 66′).

Everton 2-0 Watford

  • Goals: Mason Holgate (£4.4m), Richarlison (£7.9m)
  • Assists: Theo Walcott (£6.2m), Cenk Tosun (£5.7m)

Everton bounced back from their VAR-inspired woes of the weekend with a solid victory over fellow Premier League strugglers Watford.

The win was just reward for a much-improved second-half display from the home side, but it came at the cost of another injury to centre-half Yerry Mina (£5.4m), who managed only 41 minutes before a knee issue required Michael Keane (£5.5m) to take his place.

Another change, at half-time, was the key to the victory, however.

Manager Marco Silva had opted to start out-of-sorts striker Moise Kean (£6.5m) wide on the right against the Hornets. It didn’t work, and Theo Walcott (£6.2m) replaced him after the interval, a move which Silva saw as a turning point.

The Everton boss said:

Theo had a big impact again, the change we made had a big impact on our second half. Theo was always a really important player for me, he knows that. He is in a good moment and will help us in the next games as well.

Walcott remains a major Fantasy troll to many, so Everton’s second goalscorer on the night, Richarlison (£7.9m), is likely to catch more eyes.

The 6.5%-owned midfielder has been used as a striker in recent league outings and has now produced attacking returns (a goal and two assists) in three straight matches in all competitions, with last night’s goal set up by substitute Cenk Tosun (£5.7m).

He was one of six players to keep their places from Saturday’s bruising 3-2 loss at Brighton, with another, Mason Holgate (£4.4m), possibly in line for another start in Gameweek 11 should Mina’s injury not clear up in time.

The former England U21 international provided an assist at the weekend and opened the scoring against Watford when he turned in Walcott’s cross for his first Everton goal.

But anyone tempted by his lowly price tag and newly-found taste for attacking output should only be in it for the short term.

Spurs will bring a poor away record with them to Goodison Park at the weekend, and the next two fixtures, at Southampton and home to Norwich, look favourable. But then it gets much, much worse, with a five-match run involving Leicester, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.

That should usher in further sales of the side’s most popular player, the 19.4%-owned Lucas Digne (£5.9m), who played the full 90 minutes last night and was unlucky when a trademark free-kick hit the woodwork.

Alex Iwobi (£5.8m), again preferred to Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.5m) in the number 10 role, also hit the frame of the goal as Everton hit their stride after the break. They were helped to a large degree by the central midfield partnership of Andre Gomes (£5.3m) and Fabian Delph (£5.4m), who were starting together for only the second time this season.

That partnership brings a work-rate and durability to the Toffees that will be needed in abundance once that tough run kicks in from Gameweek 14.

As for Watford, manager Quique Sanchez Flores made eight changes from the team that drew 0-0 with Bournemouth in Gameweek 10.

They failed to make it three clean sheets from their last four outings in all competitions last night, and their continued toothlessness up front – they managed just the one shot on target – means there is little Fantasy excitement to be had in their ranks at present.

Flores’ midfield options weren’t helped by an injury to Domingos Quina (£4.4m) that forced him off after 39 minutes at Goodison.

Everton XI: Pickford, Holgate, Mina (Keane 41′), Coleman, Digne, Andre Gomes, Delph, Kean (Walcott 45′), Iwobi, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin (Tosun 80′).

Watford XI: Gomes, Cathcart, Prodl (Kabasele 65′), Mariappa, Femenia, Hughes, Quina (Doucoure 39′), Chalobah, Foulquier, Gray, Pereyra (Deulofeu 67′).

Lessons learned from Gameweek 10

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437 Comments Post a Comment
  1. KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
    • 4 Years
    13 days, 10 hours ago

    a) Save a FT?
    b) Masuaku > Rico

    Pope
    TAA, Tomori, Lund
    KDB, Sterling (VC), Salah, Mount
    Wilson, Tammy, Jimi (C)

    Button, Kelly, Dend, Masuaku

    0.1 itb

    1. KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
      • 4 Years
      13 days, 10 hours ago

      First comment wan....

    2. Cahill
      • 9 Years
      13 days, 10 hours ago

      a

      1. germanyozil10
        • 2 Years
        13 days, 10 hours ago

        A

    3. Lignja
      • 2 Years
      13 days, 10 hours ago

      I would C. Sterling

  2. lilmessipran
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    13 days, 10 hours ago

    Any update from Pep on Salah? 😉

    1. Devo-McDuff
      • 1 Year
      13 days, 8 hours ago

      Don't get it

  3. germanyozil10
    • 2 Years
    13 days, 10 hours ago

    Repost so sorry

    Ederson Button
    TAA Tomori Soy Lund Rico
    Salah Sterling KDB Mount Dendoncker
    Vardy Abraham Wickham

    Happy with this team, but Liv fixtures after week14 make me want to hv 3 Liv players.

    Should I make below 4 changes to ensure I hv 3 Liv 3 Mc and Vardy at the same team? 

    Ederson -> Alisson
    Tomori -> Stones
    Salah -> Mane
    Wickham -> Connolly

    Do you like below team after week14? 
    Alisson (Button)
    TAA Stones Soy Lund (Rico)
    Sterling Mane KDB Mount (Dendoncker)
    Vardy Abraham (Connolly) 

    Need your help, thanks!

    1. Cahill
      • 9 Years
      13 days, 10 hours ago

      stones...yuk

    2. KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
      • 4 Years
      13 days, 10 hours ago

      If Pool start keeping some cleanies then yes these are good moves. Can't see it though with Matip out and Lovren being Lovren. Pool double up is probably enough for now

      Tomori looks more secure than Stones
      Salah > Mane I think a lot of people are watching
      Wickham > Connolly you could do whenever

  4. Óró Sé…
    • 5 Years
    13 days, 10 hours ago

    Anyone know how Doherty’s stats are looking? Anyone considering for a punt with good fixtures coming?

    1. Jarvish Scott Talent
      • 4 Years
      13 days, 10 hours ago

      Should have scored more than he has (eye test). Is a risk at his price and Wolves' form but if they improve with their improved fixtures it could pay off.

      1. Óró Sé…
        • 5 Years
        13 days, 9 hours ago

        Yeah, I hear you.

        I have free spot with 6m to spend moving to a 442 so thinking him or Maguire/Chilwell or someone for a few weeks. If it doesn’t pay off will look to double up on Pool or get Mendy then.

        Would be great if he happened into a bit of form!

  5. Lignja
    • 2 Years
    13 days, 10 hours ago

    Is this ok for save ft? Will get Salah next week when i sell Aguero after his ht.

    Pope
    Taa, Soyuncu, Lundstram
    Sterling(c), Kdb, Miun, Cho
    Aguero, Vardy, Abraham

    Rico, Kelly, Dendoker

    1. Lignja
      • 2 Years
      13 days, 10 hours ago

      Miun is Mount...

  6. Marouaninho
    • 1 Year
    13 days, 10 hours ago

    A or B? Or any other suggestions

    2FT, £0.0 ITB

    Ryan (McGovern)
    Lund - Robbo - Soy (Rico - Kelly)
    KDB - Salah - Sterling - Mount (Dendo)
    Vardy - Abraham - Pukki

    A) Pukki + Dendo > Tielemens + Connolly (play Tielemens, bench Connolly)
    B) Pukki > Connolly (play Connolly + free up funds for Dendo > Tielemens next GW)

    Thanks in advance

  7. SkekTek (AKA: AnzhiBabakin)
    • 4 Years
    13 days, 9 hours ago

    Kun owners - getting rid after this week?
    What's the plan? Likely to sell as part of 3 moves myself (-4)

    1. Rasping Drive
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      13 days, 8 hours ago

      Most likely, yes. Vardy’s on the (very) shortlist.

    2. The_Socca_Philosopha
      • 5 Years
      13 days, 8 hours ago

      Do you reckon Kun starts this weekend?

      1. Skull And Gnomes 9 SCOTT TA…
        • 2 Years
        13 days, 8 hours ago

        I was 100% sure he would start last week and the week before.
        I'm 100% sure he starts this week though.

      2. ZICO SENNA
        • 8 Years
        13 days, 8 hours ago

        No, reckon he’ll be benched.

  8. Pieterke30
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    13 days, 8 hours ago

    With Fernandinho suspended and Rodri injured, Pep is surely gonna start Otamendi this weekend. Right?

    ... or did he sub Walker off after 60ish mins because he wants to try a back four of Cancelo-Walker-Stones-Mendy?

    1. Devo-McDuff
      • 1 Year
      13 days, 8 hours ago

      Why surely? Stones started ahead of him the last league game in the same scenario.

      1. Pieterke30
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        13 days, 8 hours ago

        Not the same scenario. Fernandinho was available and played next to Stones. This weekend Fernandinho is suspended

        1. Devo-McDuff
          • 1 Year
          13 days, 8 hours ago

          What Pras said below. It’s one of Ota or Stones with Fern, more likely Stones.

    2. Pras Scott Talent
      • 7 Years
      13 days, 8 hours ago

      Fernandinho is not suspended this weekend

      1. Pieterke30
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        13 days, 8 hours ago

        Is he not?

        His one game ban was yesterday? Thought the cards in the league only counted in the league, not in different competitions

        1. Pras Scott Talent
          • 7 Years
          13 days, 8 hours ago

          Yes he was banned last night.

          Yellows do - reds don’t.

          1. Pieterke30
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            13 days, 8 hours ago

            That’s weird. But ok then, thx

  9. Absolutely Flabulous
    • 1 Year
    13 days, 8 hours ago

    Triple Captain Sterling this GW?

    Yay or nay?

    In previous years I’ve always saved it for the doubles but it’s always disappointed and I need to jump start my campaign, so why not...?

    1. Pras Scott Talent
      • 7 Years
      13 days, 8 hours ago

      There is whole hot topic for that. You may want to read a whole range of opinions there rather than a couple of random comments here.

  10. cheeky moses
    • 4 Years
    13 days, 8 hours ago

    Last decision for the GW, play one of:
    A) Soy
    B) Rico

    1. The_Socca_Philosopha
      • 5 Years
      13 days, 8 hours ago

      I have the same dilemma, but decided for Soy boy

      1. cheeky moses
        • 4 Years
        13 days, 8 hours ago

        cheers. also on him atm

  11. The_Socca_Philosopha
    • 5 Years
    13 days, 8 hours ago

    Start McGinn or Cantwell?
    Yes, quite the wealth of options here *sigh*

  12. United2603
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    13 days, 8 hours ago

    A. KDB & Haller (already have Sterling)
    B Martial & Vardy

    1. Firefoxed
      • 2 Years
      13 days, 8 hours ago

      B for sure and for the long run

  13. sonsational
    • 1 Year
    12 days, 20 hours ago

    okay guys. will mahrez play?..

    1. Niho992
      • 1 Year
      12 days, 20 hours ago

      I dont think so