Welcome to a slightly earlier than normal Fantasy Football Scout Gameweek Guide ahead of Saturday’s 11:30 GMT deadline.
After a divisive Double Gameweek in which many suffered from Triple Captaining Sadio Mane, we’ve had wise words from several of our Pro Pundits. In his Meet the Manager interview with Joe, Utkarsh Dalmia (aka Pro Pundit Zophar) reminded us:
Evaluate the decision, not the outcome.– Pro Pundit Zophar
Clearly Mane was an excellent choice and it’s extremely unlucky he went off injured after just 33 minutes against Wolves.
Referencing Poker in his latest piece Lateriser cautioned that it would be very easy to go ‘on tilt’ after facing a bad beat. He echoed the words of fellow Pro Pundit Simon March, who has spoken in the past about the “What the heck? Effect” – where we are more likely to take risks following a loss:
Keeping your temperament in control is incredibly important.– Pro Pundit Lateriser
This week, in his article discussing the ‘sunk cost fallacy’, former FPL winner Simon brought us more thoughtful advice:
Literally, the only thing that matters in this game are the points you score going forward so we’d do well to ensure that we make our decisions on that basis, no matter how loudly our past decisions might continue to echo in our ears.– Simon March
So what moves should we be considering ahead of Gameweek 25?
The Scoutcast trio of Joe, Az, and Lee were unanimous in their recommendation of switching Mane to Salah, if you don’t already own the Egyptian.
Joe and Lee both feel that with a crunch Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid following hot on the heels of their Gameweek 26 trip to Norwich, Mane is unlikely to get many minutes even if he is fit to play.
However, for managers who already own Salah, the options to replace the Senegal international in our squads – in the words of Pro Pundit Ash – look bleak.
Raheem Sterling is similarly priced but is lacking in form. While Son Heung-min has had the second-highest number of goal attempts (14) this calendar year among midfielders but embarks on a poor run of upcoming fixtures, with the exception of Aston Villa in Gameweek 26.
Shifting funds to our front lines may be the way to go.
Pro Pundit Holly Shand points out that Aguero is making a compelling case to be included in our Fantasy squads when she cast her eye over the goal threat, creativity and clean sheets for January. While Aubameyang is tempting Pro Pundit Andy. The Arsenal forward faces Burnley (away), Newcastle (home), and Everton (home) in his next three matches.
And a cut-price striker has caught the attention of several managers. Pro Pundit Tom Freeman highlights Chris Wood in his differentials article:
With Arsenal, level with Burnley on 30 points, due at Turf Moor on Sunday, Wood’s aerial ability could be key. His five goals from set plays are more than any other player this season, whilst only Newcastle United have conceded more attempts from dead ball situations than the Gunners.– Pro Pundit Tom Freeman
And Pro Pundit Zophar also talked up the Kiwi when disclosing his plans for his FPL team.
Finally keep an eye on the moves of The Great and The Good. Greyhead was in pun-tastic form as he brought us a light-hearted look back on the Double Gameweek. Many of these managers boast excellent track records, and it’s somewhat reassuring to know that they suffered like millions of others.
Mohamed Salah is the runaway leader in our captain poll following his Double Gameweek heroics with over 56% of the vote.
But as David reported in his usual in-depth Captain Sensible article, Liverpool’s upcoming opponents could provide a stiff examination of their attacking credentials:
Southampton have been in fantastic shape, which may cause some slight concern for those hoping to trust Salah with the armband. Over the last four matches, when the Saints have faced Spurs, Leicester, Wolves and Crystal Palace, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men have conceded just 22 shots in the box, just 5.5 per game. Considering that Southampton will be away from home against Liverpool, this data suggests that if they, as suspected, park the proverbial bus, it could limit Liverpool’s attack.– David
He offers up Aguero as a viable alternative for our armband affections:
Aguero comes into this weekend in better statistical shape than the Egyptian (as far as goal threat is concerned) with superior figures for shots in the box, big chances and shots on target. Furthermore, the defensive data of recent matches suggests that Spurs could actually be easier to penetrate than Southampton at Anfield.– David
However if the threat of Pep Roulette makes you feel uneasy, Salah is undeniably a good option. He comfortably tops this site’s Rate My Team and his prowess can be explained by his home form. Neale’s analysis of the key underlying stats revealed:
45 attempts on goal, 38 shots in the box, 22 efforts on target, 13 big chances and ten goals recorded by Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) at Anfield this season. No FPL midfielder can surpass any of those totals in home fixtures. Liverpool face Southampton on Merseyside this weekend.– Neale
The FA Cup and League Cup results are beginning to shape the landscape for FPL managers.
David reviewed the current permutations for Blank Gameweek 31: two matches will definitely be postponed while the FA Cup replays due to take place on February 4th and 5th will lead to further fixture disruption.
The League Cup final will be contested by Aston Villa and Manchester City, meaning their fixtures against Sheffield United and Arsenal will be rearranged. Therefore highly-owned players such as Kevin De Bruyne, John Lundstram, Dean Henderson and Jack Grealish will all blank in Gameweek 28.
Of course these same players will also benefit from a yet-to-be-announced Double Gameweek.
Among this week’s press conferences was the news that Willy Boly is ready to return to action.
The Scoutcast trio found his price of £4.7m enticing. The Wolves defender could be a good replacement for Soyuncu or possibly Lundstram, should the Sheffield United star find his starting role under threat.
To add to his appeal the Frenchman scored three goals from headers last season. Tom Freeman highlighted the importance of set-piece threat in his latest article. Newcastle United offer a few budget options ahead of fixtures against Norwich and Arsenal.
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For those interested in the Head-to-Head Leagues, the main page can be linked to here. The fixtures for Gameweek 25 can be found below:
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Once the Gameweek starts, if you click on your opponent’s name you will be linked to their team on the FPL website.
May your arrows be green!
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