The Scout Squad panel have submitted their player longlists for the coming weekend.
In this recurring feature, our four regulars – editorial staff Paul, David and Neale plus community manager Geoff – each proposes an 18-man squad of Fantasy assets for the coming Gameweek and explain their notable inclusions/omissions.
The 72 nominations listed below will then be narrowed down to a squad of 15 (with the starting XI not exceeding a total cost of £83m) for the weekly Scout Picks selection ahead of the Gameweek 14 deadline at 11:30 GMT on Saturday.
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.
With three sets of fixtures to contend with in a short space of time, the Scout Squad article will take a backseat next week and return ahead of Gameweek 17.
We’ll still be bringing you the Scout Picks feature ahead of every Gameweek deadline, however.
The selections below were mostly made ahead of Chelsea’s match with Valencia on Wednesday night and the fitness of Tammy Abraham (£8.0m) is still to be determined ahead of the Blues’ clash with West Ham United.
|GK||Nick Pope||Nick Pope||Nick Pope||Nick Pope|
|Kasper Schmeichel||Ederson||Kasper Schmeichel||Paulo Gazzaniga|
|Paulo Gazzaniga||Dean Henderson||Rui Patricio||Kasper Schmeichel|
|DF||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Trent Alexander-Arnold|
|Serge Aurier||Matt Doherty||Andrew Robertson||Andrew Robertson|
|John Lundstram||Ben Chilwell||Ben Chilwell||Serge Aurier|
|Fikayo Tomori||Serge Aurier||Serge Aurier||Harry Maguire|
|Charlie Taylor||Kurt Zouma||Matt Doherty||Fikayo Tomori|
|MF||Christian Pulisic||Sadio Mane||Sadio Mane||Sadio Mane|
|Mohamed Salah||Kevin De Bruyne||Christian Pulisic||Raheem Sterling|
|Sadio Mane||Christian Pulisic||Son Heung-min||Anthony Martial|
|Son Heung-min||Lucas Moura||Anthony Martial||Christian Pulisic|
|Harvey Barnes||Jack Grealish||Dwight McNeil||Harvey Barnes|
|FW||Marcus Rashford||Jamie Vardy||Harry Kane||Tammy Abraham|
|Jamie Vardy||Gabriel Jesus||Jamie Vardy||Marcus Rashford|
|Tammy Abraham||Marcus Rashford||Marcus Rashford||Jamie Vardy|
|Chris Wood||Tammy Abraham||Raul Jimenez||Danny Ings|
|Gerard Deulofeu||Chris Wood||Danny Ings||Ashley Barnes|
Most popular picks: Nick Pope, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Serge Aurier, Sadio Mane, Christian Pulisic, Marcus Rashford, Jamie Vardy (four), Kasper Schmeichel, Tammy Abraham (three)
Burnley are still yet to concede at Turf Moor this season when hosting sides from outside of last season’s top six.
That fills me with confidence that they can keep a shut-out against goal-shy Crystal Palace in Gameweek 14, so I’ve doubled-up on the Clarets’ defence with Nick Pope and Charlie Taylor.
Trent Alexander-Arnold simply cannot go another week with a blank considering his underlying statistics, so a home meeting with Brighton is the perfect opportunity for him to come good finally.
Serge Aurier has looked like a great attacking threat under Jose Mourinho so I’ve got my eye on the £4.8m defender.
Christian Pulisic, if he can navigate the rotation threat at Chelsea, could be the top points-scorer when West Ham come to Stamford Bridge.
The American has scored in all but one of his last four starts and blanking at the Etihad Stadium is hardly something to put me off.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané could both run wild against a Brighton defence that has struggled away from home this season while Harvey Barnes is my cheap punt in midfield.
Marcus Rashford looks the best striker to own for Gameweek 14 based on his excellent form.
In the last four Gameweeks, no player, not even Jamie Vardy, has registered a better minutes-per-expected goal involvement (xGI) score.
Aston Villa’s defence has been incredibly obliging this season, which should set the scene for more Manchester United goals.
Meanwhile, the aerial presence of Chris Wood could exploit Crystal Palace’s recent problems defending headers while Gerard Deulofeu could quietly do well at Southampton – he is a player that almost exclusively only delivers when away from home at relegation-threatened sides.
This is perhaps the most keenly anticipated Gameweek of the season so far, given the appealing nature of the fixtures that so many of the well-owned Fantasy assets enjoy.
In a Gameweek where I can overlook Harry Kane, Raul Jimenez and Anthony Martial despite all three enjoying eminently winnable home games, there really is a wealth of choice for the Scout Picks on Friday – and a dilemma for the captaincy.
Many of this week’s selections need little explanation, as a result.
Newcastle’s vulnerability to set plays makes me plump for Kevin De Bruyne over Raheem Sterling, while Gabriel Jesus’ aerial prowess – the Brazilian has had the most headed chances among FPL forwards – could be key on Tyneside.
West Ham are in dire straits as they head to Stamford Bridge and things could get even worse on Saturday, with Issa Diop suspended and Roberto set to continue between the posts.
The Hammers, like Newcastle, have also shipped a boatload of chances from corners and free-kicks over the last six Gameweeks. Kurt Zouma has been on the end of seven dead-ball deliveries for Chelsea this season (the most in the Blues squad) so the Frenchman gets my vote in defence.
Christian Pulisic is the Blues’ man in form in midfield, while I await further news on Tammy Abraham‘s fitness after his withdrawal in the draw with Valencia on Wednesday – I’ve left him in my picks on the off-chance he recovers from a knock to his hip, as a home fixture against the desperate Hammers is too good to overlook.
I remain slightly cautious on Spurs assets for now, despite the Lilywhites plundering seven goals in two matches under Jose Mourinho.
The north London club were abject in the first 45 minutes against Olympiakos on Tuesday and some consideration has to be given to the fact that they played perhaps the worst team in the Premier League on current form in Mourinho’s first match in charge.
Still, I’ve seen enough to be sufficiently impressed by Serge Aurier, who has been operating almost as a right-winger under Mourinho as Ben Davies/Danny Rose stay at home on the opposite flank.
With one eye on our budget, I’ve opted for the cheapest of Spurs’ front four in Lucas Moura, who was presented with three big chances at the London Stadium last weekend – although the spectre of rotation perhaps looms large given the Lilywhites’ bloated squad.
While Jimenez doesn’t get the nod in my Gameweek 14 squad, teammate Matt Doherty does.
There were some attractive stats on the Irish wing-back in our Big Numbers piece and he looks a real threat when playing in tandem with Adama Traore, resembling the player we all lauded in 2018/19.
Even if attacking returns aren’t forthcoming, Wolves’ impressive underlying defensive numbers from Gameweek 6 onwards, plus Sheffield United’s modest goal threat, could see Doherty bank a clean sheet at the bare minimum.
While Wolves have improved defensively of late, Manchester United have flattered to deceive and are eight matches without a clean sheet in the top flight.
The loss of Scott McTominay is a big blow and they were cut apart by Sheffield United in the first half last Sunday, with David de Gea a busy man before the break.
I expect the likes of Marcus Rashford and co to fill their boots against Dean Smith’s side but there could be joy at the other end, too, with Jack Grealish‘s talismanic status and more advanced role in the Villa attack translating into regular FPL returns in the last two months.
We’re spoilt for choice when assessing our Gameweek 14 options, with Liverpool, Leicester, Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester United all set for favourable home fixtures.
The first three merit attention at both ends of the pitch, with Serge Aurier offering a differential route into Jose Mourinho’s backline.
Sitting in just 3.1% of squads, the Ivorian has a goal and assist in Spurs’ two matches under their new head coach.
His defensive contribution further raises his appeal in FPL when it comes to bonus points.
Aurier made 14 recoveries against West Ham last weekend, double the number of all but Son Heung-min’s 10 for Spurs.
That helped the right-back earn two bonus and took his total to nine for the season – just one fewer than John Lundstram’s ten among FPL defenders, despite starting just eight matches.
I’m also backing the delivery of Dwight McNeil to play a big part for Burnley against Crystal Palace.
The Clarets’ wide man has supplied 23 successful crosses, more than any team-mate.
That’s helped Burnley register 33 headed attempts, the fourth-top record in the first 13 Gameweeks.
Palace, meanwhile, have been particularly weak in the air, conceding 38 such efforts – a total better than just two other sides.
Owned by just 1.2%, McNeil has bagged a goal, assist and 14 points in his last two at Turf Moor.
Danny Ings is another modestly owned player, sitting in 4% of squads for Southampton’s home clash with Watford.
Despite that lack of interest, Ings has been one of FPL’s most consistent players in recent matches, scoring in five of the last seven Gameweeks.
Indeed, only Jamie Vardy, with nine goals, has been more prolific.
The Hornets arrive at St Mary’s on the back of three defeats in their last four in all competitions.
Having been involved in 70% of his side’s goals when on the pitch this term, Ings looks well-set for more points on Saturday.
With clean sheets in every home game against a non-traditional top-six opponent this season, I back Nick Pope as my first-choice goalkeeper.
Elsewhere, I’m betting on Jose Mourinho to sort out the Spurs defence sooner rather than later – this could be the week for Paulo Gazzaniga to get his first clean sheet of the season.
In defence, Trent-Alexander Arnold and Andrew Robertson lead the way, ahead of Serge Aurier, who is thriving so far under Mourinho. With strong fixtures all around, I’ve taken Spurs players at the back rather than in my attacking slots.
Mohamed Salah came close to making this week’s list with eight goals in as many home games in all competitions this season but I instead opt for the consistent form of Sadio Mane, with Salah’s lingering ankle injury playing into my thinking here.
Raheem Sterling has great numbers when Gabriel Jesus is in the team, and Anthony Martial has every chance to continue the home form that’s brought him four attacking returns in three starts at Old Trafford.
With seemingly so many good options to choose from this week, I’ve opted for strong form and consistency with Tammy Abraham (if fit), Marcus Rashford and Jamie Vardy up front. Whether you like form or fixtures, these three look appealing this Gameweek.
In a week without any heavyweight clashes, the captaincy debate looks wide open. While my other attacking picks (Harvey Barnes, Danny Ings and Ashley Barnes) likely won’t be highly captained, I see seven options for the armband in my attacking picks this week. And that’s before any rogue captaincy shouts for my Liverpool defensive double-up.
THE COMMUNITY CHAMPION
In Gameweek 13, the Scout Picks lost 44-56 to Dr. Mantis Toboggan.
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.
Gameweek 13 – FPL Match Reports
- West Ham United 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur
- Arsenal 2-2 Southampton
- AFC Bournemouth 1-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Brighton & Hove Albion 0-2 Leicester City
- Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool
- Everton 0-2 Norwich City
- Watford 0-3 Burnley
- Manchester City 2-1 Chelsea
- Sheffield United 3-3 Manchester United
- Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle United
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