We have double-up on Liverpool and Chelsea assets for Gameweek 23 in our latest Scout Picks XI.
Every week we chose our optimum line-up for the upcoming round of Fantasy Premier League action.
We spend some time deliberating over the Scout Squads submitted by David, Neale, Paul and Geoff earlier in the week to find the best selection.
For Gameweek 23 we are lining up in a 3-4-3 formation and come in at £83.0m, £2.0m under our budget of £85.0m.
Recent improvements at Arsenal have opened new options for Fantasy managers including goalkeeper Bernd Leno (£5.0m). During Mikel Arteta’s time in charge of the Gunners, only three teams have conceded fewer big chances than them, a far cry from how they looked at the back under Unai Emery. Furthermore, during that same period, upcoming opponents Sheffield United are second only to Burnley for shots on target.
Liverpool have kept six clean sheets in a row now and sit top of the Premier League for fewest shots in the box conceded during that time. Meanwhile, no player has fashioned more big chances than Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) during that period.
Chelsea’s trip to Newcastle could produce returns at both ends of the pitch for Reece James (£5.0m). Having started each of the last two matches, the right-back put up 10 crosses in Gameweek 22, more than any other defender. Meanwhile, only four teams have allowed fewer goal attempts in the box than Chelsea since Gameweek 19, a period in which Newcastle sit inside the bottom four for shots on target.
There was plenty of interest in the Brighton defence for Gameweek 23 in our Scout Squad submissions. Lewis Dunk (£4.8m) is the man who makes the final selection. Upcoming opponents Aston Villa have blanked in two of their last three away trips so there is clean sheet potential for the Seagulls this weekend. Meanwhile, given how poor Villa’s defence is, it could serve Dunk well that he has had more headed attempts than any of his colleagues in 2019/20.
Liverpool do often struggle when they face Manchester United but their attacking assets come into Gameweek 23 in fine statistical form. We’ve gone with Mohamed Salah (£12.3m) as our chosen representative as he has been displaying goal threat and creativity in equal measure over the last four Gameweeks.
Kevin de Bruyne‘s (£10.7m) creativity has made him a hugely reliable asset of late and the return to form of those around him has only boosted him further. Having fashioned three big chances in the last four Gameweeks (the joint-second-highest in the league), we expect more returns against Crystal Palace. The Eagles may prove hard to break down but they are still without a clean sheet on the road since Gameweek 16.
James Maddison (£7.7m) comes into the Scout Picks as a late change following Richarlison’s reported injury on Friday afternoon. We thought about replacing him with a fellow Everton colleague but the Brazilian missing out on Gameweek 23, as well as Gylfi Sigurdsson, may well reduce their attacking potential at West Ham. Instead, Maddison comes in ahead of a meeting with Burnley’s obliging defence. In the last four Gameweeks, only two sides have conceded more goal attempts from set plays than the Clarets.
Todd Cantwell (£4.9m) and his Norwich colleagues are fortunate enough to face Bournemouth at their lowest ebb in Gameweek 23. The Cherries have conceded 10 goals in their last four matches while Cantwell has registered a 10-point haul in each of his last two starts at Carrow Road.
We expect Jamie Vardy (£10.1m) to get back to his earlier season form in a Gameweek 23 trip to Burnley. While he has struggled recently, the Leicester man’s last three outings were against Manchester City, Liverpool and Southampton, who it turns out are now one of the best defences in the league. By contrast, Burnley have given up 23 goals in seven matches against last season’s top-six in 2019/20, more than any other side. While that mantle does not technically apply to Leicester, they have played like a team of this quality for much of the campaign and should make life very hard for the Clarets.
Tammy Abraham (£7.8m) has been creeping under the radar to some extent recently, producing attacking returns in each of his last three outings. This weekend he faces a Newcastle defence that has conceded the second-highest number of big chances over the last four Gameweeks.
No player has had more shots in the box than Danny Ings (£6.8m) over the last four matches, suggesting his incredible run of form is sustainable. Gameweek 23 pits Southampton against a Wolves side flagging a little as their relatively small squad struggles to compete on so many fronts this season. We are expecting Ings to extend his current run which stands at five goals in as many matches.
Mathew Ryan (£4.9m) is an alternative option in the Brighton defence with 13 saves in the last four Gameweeks.
It’s three clean sheets in the last five for Everton so we’ve included budget option Mason Holgate (£4.4m) on our substitute’s bench.
Jack Stephens (£4.3m) is a cheap route into the Southampton defence which has impressed recently.
Leandro Trossard (£5.8m) makes it onto the Scout Picks bench ahead of facing that hugely obliging Aston Villa defence on Saturday afternoon.
The Scout Picks 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.
Here’s how we voted for Gameweek 23:
Representing the community against the Scout Picks in Gameweek 23 is Rude Reviewer.
They have gone for a 3-4-3 of Schmeichel; R James, Mendy, Dunk; Sterling (c), de Bruyne, Son, Richarlison; Abraham, Vardy, Maupay.
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.
Community Champion Pep Pig was defeated by the Scout Picks in Gameweek 22, losing by a 72-64 score-line.
The current winning margin of 17 points recorded by irfansheikh in Gameweek 7 and AK in Gameweek 10 remains the score to beat.