The Gameweek 25 Scout Picks harks back to Fantasy Premier League days gone by with plenty of money spent on strikers.
Ahead of this weekend’s fixtures, two premium forwards have been included in the line-up and just one midfielder priced over £10.0m.
We spent much time deliberating over the Scout Squad submissions made by David, Neale, Paul and Geoff over the last few days before coming up with the final team.
As ever, we shape up in 3-4-3 formation and at £83.6m are £1.4m inside our budget of £85.0m.
Vicente Guaita (£5.1m) was the most popular goalkeeper in our Scout Squad selections for Gameweek 25, chosen by three of our pundits. Crystal Palace may be without a clean sheet since Gameweek 16 but this weekend they face a Sheffield United side that sits in the bottom five for shots in the box and attempts on target in their last four matches. Furthermore, in that time, just four Premier League goalkeepers have made more saves than Guaita.
As already mentioned this week, you have to go back to Gameweek 16 for the last time Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.6m) blanked and even then, it was a match he didn’t start. If we factor starts into the equation, the last time the Liverpool man did not register a clean sheet, assist or goal having featured from the beginning was the Gameweek 13 win at Crystal Palace – that was in November. A Gameweek 25 meeting with Southampton certainly seems unlikely to end that run.
Enda Stevens (£5.1m) was tipped by three of our pundits ahead of Sheffield United’s trip to Crystal Palace. Selhurst Park has produced fewer goals than any other stadium this season while only Liverpool have kept more clean sheets than the Blades. Meanwhile, Stevens, now more assured of starts than John Lundstram, is second only to Oliver Norwood for chances created among Sheffield United players over the last four matches.
There was plenty of support for a Newcastle defensive asset in the Scout Squad but, as ever, the January transfer window messed with our plans. Matt Ritchie was originally pencilled in for a spot in the Scout Picks XI but the signing of Danny Rose from Spurs put paid to that. Instead, we’ve gone with the nailed-on centre-back and extreme budget option of Jamaal Lascelles (£4.2m). Away from home, Norwich have the worst attack in the Premier League, by some considerable distance. They have scored just six goals on the road this season, four fewer than joint-second-worst sides Bournemouth (10) and West Ham (10).
Fresh from his 16-point haul in Double Gameweek 24, Mohamed Salah (£12.6m) is now the standalone key Liverpool midfielder for the meeting with Southampton. Sadio Mané’s injury has ensured the spotlight remains firmly on the Egyptian, who has averaged 8.2 points per match since Gameweek 16.
Buoyed by booking a place in the EFL Cup final, Jack Grealish (£6.7m) faces an obliging Bournemouth defence on Saturday afternoon. The Cherries have allowed 11 big chances in their last four matches, the fourth-worst in the Premier League while Grealish himself has a total of 23 points across his last two away trips.
While Jamie Vardy has struggled to rediscover his early-season form, Ayoze Pérez (£6.2m) has played a big part in carrying Leicester. The former Newcastle man has three double-figure hauls in the last five matches and has topped the charts among his colleagues for shots in the box, big chances and shots on target in that time. Furthermore, if Vardy is unable to start or has to be substituted off, we now know that Pérez will be on the penalties.
Harry Wilson (£5.8m) has had more shots on goal than any other Bournemouth player this season, making him the most likely to capitalise on any defensive issues in Aston Villa’s defence this weekend. Dean Smith’s men remain in the bottom two for shots allowed in the box and big chances conceded over their last four matches.
Sergio Aguero (£12.0m) looks in incredible form coming into Gameweek 25. The Argentinian is top or joint-top of the league for shots in the box, big chances and shots on target over the last four matches and is set to face a Spurs side with only one clean sheet at home since Jose Mourinho took over. Furthermore, in their last four, when they faced Norwich, Watford, Liverpool and Southampton, Spurs conceded 39 shots in the box – only Burnley and Aston Villa allowed more than that.
The Clarets’ ongoing obliging nature is one of the key reasons why Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.7m) gets into the Scout Picks. He was name-checked by all four of our pundits having found the net three times in the four matches leading up to his Gameweek 22 suspension.
Raúl Jiménez (£7.6m) has punished his recent doubters by scoring three goals in his last two outings, against the relatively high-performing defences of Southampton and Liverpool. With that in mind, and some impressive underlying numbers to match, it seems likely that Jiménez can continue his impressive record against the big-six when he travels to Manchester United on Saturday. The Mexican recorded an assist on his last league visit to Old Trafford.
Martin Dubravka (£5.0m) is an alternative route into the Newcastle defence for their appealing meeting with Norwich. No goalkeeper has made more saves than him this season (97).
Jack O’Connell (£4.6m) is a cheaper route into the Sheffield United defence ahead of their trip to Crystal Palace. The over-lapping centre-back has actually created the same number of big chances as Stevens since Gameweek 21.
Matt Targett (£4.4m) has a decent chance of some attacking returns against that obliging Bournemouth defence this weekend. Since Aston Villa started playing with a back-three he has the same minutes per shot in the box as Grealish and is top among all colleagues for minute per touch and minute per pass received.
Adama Traoré (£5.8m) has played more key passes that led to big chances than any other player in the Premier League over their last four matches.
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 is usually known only to those who have signed up to Membership for the 2019/20 season and revealed to the public only when the deadline has passed.
However, as we are running a Members Articles Unlocked promotion this week, this section will be FREE for everyone to view for Gameweek 25.
Here’s how we voted:
- David: Aguero, Salah, Grealish
- Neale: Salah, Aubameyang, Aguero
- Paul: Salah, Aubameyang, Aguero
- Geoff: Salah, Aubameyang, Aguero
Here are the results:
- Salah – 11 points
- Aguero – 6 points*
- Aubameyang – 6 points
- Grealish – 1 point
Therefore, Salah is handed the captaincy for Gameweek 25 with Aguero wins the tie-breaker to be selected as the vice-captain, with more top votes than Aubameyang.
Representing the community against the Scout Picks in Gameweek 25 is gwitbrock.
They have gone for a 3-5-2 of Fabianski; Alexander-Arnold, van Dijk, Ritchie; Snodgrass, Salah (c), H Wilson, Grealish, Son; Vardy, Aubameyang.
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 Rude Reviewer was defeated by the Scout Picks in Gameweek 23, losing by a 39-33 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.
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