The last Gameweek before the November international break is almost upon us and the Scout Squad panel have each submitted their Fantasy Premier League player longlists ahead of Friday’s deadline.
In this weekly feature, our four regulars – editorial staff Paul, David and Neale plus community manager Geoff – each propose an 18-man squad of Fantasy assets (with the focus exclusively on the coming Gameweek) and explain 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 12 deadline at 19:00 GMT on Friday.
There are requirements for at least one sub-£5.0m goalkeeper, at least one defender under £5.0m, 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, as is the case in FPL.
We will again be adding a captaincy to the Scout Picks, with details of that revealed on Friday.
|GK||Nick Pope||Ben Foster||Paulo Gazzaniga||Nick Pope|
|Ben Foster||Nick Pope||Martin Dubravka||Paulo Gazzaniga|
|Dean Henderson||Martin Dubravka||Nick Pope||Rui Patricio|
|DF||Diego Rico||Cesar Azpilicueta||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Trent Alexander-Arnold|
|Fikayo Tomori||Diego Rico||Jetro Willems||Fikayo Tomori|
|Matthew Lowton||Lucas Digne||Serge Aurier||Serge Aurier|
|Daryl Janmaat||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Emerson Palmieri||Harry Maguire|
|John Lundstram||Serge Aurier||Diego Rico||Diego Rico|
|MF||Mohamed Salah||Willian||Sadio Mane||Sadio Mane|
|Christian Pulisic||James Maddison||Christian Pulisic||Christian Pulisic|
|James Maddison||Anthony Martial||Anthony Martial||Anthony Martial|
|Anthony Martial||Emi Buendia||James Maddison||James Maddison|
|Emi Buendia||Richarlison||Emi Buendia||Emi Buendia|
|FW||Jamie Vardy||Jamie Vardy||Tammy Abraham||Tammy Abraham|
|Tammy Abraham||Tammy Abraham||Raul Jimenez||Raul Jimenez|
|Diogo Jota||Raul Jimenez||Jamie Vardy||Jamie Vardy|
|Ashley Barnes||Gerard Deulofeu||Ashley Barnes||Teemu Pukki|
|Gerard Deulofeu||Chris Wood||Danny Ings||Danny Ings|
Most popular picks: Nick Pope, Diego Rico, Anthony Martial, James Maddison, Emi Buendia, Tammy Abraham, Jamie Vardy (four), Serge Aurier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Christian Pulisic, Raul Jimenez (three).
Despite conceding seven goals in their last two matches, I believe there is still plenty to like about Burnley when they are at home against sides outside the so-called top-six.
In three such matches at Turf Moor this season, against Southampton, Norwich and Everton, the Clarets are yet to concede even once, which is why I’ve gone with both Nick Pope and Matt Lowton.
Meanwhile, Bournemouth are now on a three-match clean sheet streak ahead of travelling to a Newcastle side that is bottom of the league for goals at home this season.
That’s good news for Diego Rico, whose role in set pieces could come in handy to his owners. In the last four Gameweeks, no other Premier League club has conceded more chances from dead-ball situations than the Magpies.
John Lundstram also gets a mention even though Sheffield United travel to Spurs. The Blades continue to have the joint-best defence in the division, with only eight goals conceded and five clean sheets.
No player has had more shots on target than Mohamed Salah over the last four Gameweeks, which encourages myself as an owner ahead of a meeting with Manchester City.
The Citizens may be joint-top of the league, level with Lundstram’s lads, for clean sheets this season but they have shown their ability for defensive wobbles at times and Anfield has never been a nice place for them to visit. I can see goals in this encounter, especially from Liverpool’s attacking assets.
Christian Pulisic comes into my Scout Squad selection, joining Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori in a Chelsea triple-up.
The centre-forward and centre-back are pretty self-explanatory inclusions but, for me, Pulisic is fast making a case for Fantasy investment.
His four goals in two matches might look like a flash in the pan to some, but his eight shots on target since Gameweek 8 suggest his output is sustainable.
Furthermore, the American has played just 209 minutes in that time, making his volume of shots really ominous if Frank Lampard does, as is expected, hand Captain America more time in the Chelsea first-team.
Jamie Vardy and James Maddison are my picks in the Leicester attack as they take on an Arsenal team I do not trust right now.
The Foxes’ talismanic centre-forward has eight goals in as many league starts against the Gunners.
Diogo Jota looks like he could be back in lane to start for Wolves again and was very unfortunate not to score against Arsenal in Gameweek 11.
With some looking at Raúl Jiménez’s price and thinking they can’t afford him, the cheaper forward option could provide some value in Wolves’ favourable fixtures.
Manchester City and Liverpool assets are conspicuous by their absence in my squad this week. Would I ditch many of my own players just because of their involvement in this top-of-the-table clash? Not likely. But do they represent the most appealing picks for this Gameweek alone? Probably not.
It’s tough to call which way Sunday’s clash at Anfield will go, although my gut is leaning towards more the tense affair of last season than the seven-goal epic of 2017/18 – City can scarcely afford to lose this, while I imagine Jurgen Klopp will be happy to maintain a six-point gap given the more attractive fixtures ahead.
Either way, dead-ball specialist Trent Alexander-Arnold represents my sole selection from either club. Joint-top among FPL assets for chances created in home games, he’s capable of delivering returns whether it be 0-0, 4-3 or anything in between. The diminutive nature of City’s squad and their patchy record at set plays could prove significant at Anfield.
James Maddison‘s set-piece deliveries caught the eye last weekend, too, so he joins Jamie Vardy in my Gameweek 12 longlist given that only Aston Villa have conceded more attempts from dead-ball situations than Arsenal in 2019/20.
Norwich City right-winger Emi Buendia and Bournemouth left-back Diego Rico have taken their fair share of corners and free-kicks this season and also make the cut.
The Cherries’ improving backline meets Newcastle’s unconvincing attack (who look better in away games when playing on the break) on Tyneside this Saturday and the Magpies are bottom for crosses conceded from their right flank.
Watford, meanwhile, have the opposite problem: they’ve allowed more chances from their left flank than any other club, with that record particularly bad since Quique Sanchez Flores’ arrival.
I do think it’ll be a cagier affair than many are predicting at Carrow Road on Friday night, with both teams bang out of form in front of goal – hence my Ben Foster pick.
That said, pressure on both sides to win this six-pointer could lead to some openings on the break, where Norwich, in particular, have looked vulnerable in recent weeks.
This seems like one of those games where Gerard Deulofeu, joint-second among FPL forwards for shots on target since Sanchez Flores’ arrival, is either hooked off at half-time or bags a double-digit haul.
I was unsure about a Chelsea triple-up given that Palace will provide stubborn opposition but the Eagles have yet to keep a clean sheet on the road this season.
With Roy Hodgson’s side in the bottom three for chances allowed from their left flank, Willian – top among FPL midfielders for chances created over the last four Gameweeks – and Cesar Azpilicueta get the nod.
How do Southampton approach Gameweek 12? They came out fighting at the Etihad last week, producing a gutsy backs-to-the-wall display against Manchester City that almost earned them a point.
It’s probably fair to say that they’ll show a mite more attacking ambition and perhaps revert back to their usual high-pressing style when Everton visit St. Mary’s on Saturday, with the 17th-place Toffees, who are winless away from home this season, there for the taking.
It’s precisely for that reason that I’m backing Richarlison – some may disagree but I actually think he’s looked a threat up front in recent weeks and I could see him getting some joy in behind the Saints’ defence.
The Brazilian has, rather quietly, risen to third among FPL midfielders for shots in the box this season.
Liverpool’s clash with Manchester City may well influence how we assess the Gameweek 12 picks.
There’s less inclination to back players from both sides’ attacks, a tactic so typical in our selections for the vast majority of Gameweeks.
As a result, Chelsea and Leicester’s form players could be the way to go instead.
As usual, I’ll focus the majority of my words on some standout differentials elsewhere.
Newcastle’s Jetro Willems is one such example.
The wing-back’s average of 5.0 points per match has been bettered by just four other defenders this season, yet he is owned by just over 1% of FPL managers.
Willems has created eight chances over the last four Gameweeks – that total ranks third among defenders and is more than any team-mate.
At home to a Bournemouth side with one goal in four fixtures, he offers strong potential at both ends of the pitch.
Emiliano Buendia is also owned by just over 1% for the visit of Watford on Friday evening.
The Norwich right-winger racked up all four of his assists in the first five Gameweeks but has drawn blanks ever since.
Yet the underlying statistics show he’s been very unfortunate – Buendia has created 15 chances in the subsequent six Gameweeks, a total bettered only by Kevin De Bruyne (21) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (19).
Crucially, he can profit from a clear weakness in the Hornets’ defence.
Since the return of Quique Sanchez Flores in Gameweek 5, Watford have conceded 38 chances down their left flank – more than any other side. By comparison, they have conceded just 19 chances down the right.
Ashley Barnes has dropped to less than 4% ownership for Burnley’s home clash with West Ham.
The Clarets’ frontman has failed to score since Gameweek 3 yet an upturn in big chances can revive his potential.
Since returning from injury in Gameweek 10, Barnes has recorded four such opportunities.
Not only is that total joint-top with Anthony Martial in the last two rounds of fixtures, it matches Barnes’ four big chances over the opening nine Gameweeks.
West Ham, meanwhile, have conceded 17 big chances on their travels – more than any other side.
Nick Pope leads my goalkeeper picks with strong home form against sides not in the traditional big six. Rui Patricio also has a strong fixture on home soil and so does Paulo Gazzaniga, who I back to stop Sheffield United for his first clean sheet of the season.
Manchester City is a tough fixture but Trent Alexander-Arnold is at home, and has enough attacking potential to keep him as my first defensive pick.
Fikayo Tomori and Chelsea have two straight home clean sheets, and host Crystal Palace in Gameweek 12.
Serge Aurier is my second Spurs player, just ahead of Harry Maguire who, despite only scoring more than two points twice this season, had those returns at home and could return from a set-piece.
My fifth pick is Sergio Rico who travels to a Newcastle side with only three goals in their five home games this season.
Sadio Mane is my Liverpool player of choice, followed by the in-form Christian Pulisic.
The ‘OOP’ Anthony Martial has attacking returns in four of his five starts this season and is followed by set-piece specialist James Maddison and RMT favourite Emiliano Buendia in my midfield line-up.
My five forward picks play at home, starting with Tammy Abraham: he has strong form and definite captaincy credentials.
Raul Jimenez and Jamie Vardy are included due to their fixtures and form, ahead of early-season favourite Teemu Pukki. Many are selling Pukki but ahead of a Friday night home kick-off with Watford, I see value and points – at least this week.
Rounding off my picks is Danny Ings, who has three of Southampton’s last four goals and very high goal involvement so far this season.
THE COMMUNITY CHAMPION
In Gameweek 11, the Scout Picks beat Tea & Busquets 62-56.
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.
Irfansheikh and AK’s 17-point winning margins from Gameweek 6 and 10 remain the current targets to beat.
Our Scout Picks article on Friday will have further details on who is representing the community this week.
Lessons learned from Gameweek 11
- Bournemouth 1-0 Manchester United
- Arsenal 1-1 Wolves
- Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool
- Brighton 2-0 Norwich
- Manchester City 2-1 Southampton
- Sheffield United 3-0 Burnley
- West Ham United 2-3 Newcastle United
- Watford 1-2 Chelsea
- Crystal Palace 0-2 Leicester City
- Everton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
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