Welcome to the Fantasy Football Scout Guide to Gameweek 36+. Today’s deadline is at 19:15 BST – still time to consider those all important transfer and captaincy decisions.
Following a Gameweek in which many differential options scored well, managers are on the lookout for the next opportunity to help them climb the ranks.
The two outstanding bets appear to be a flutter on the Pep Roulette or a fired-up Chelsea against an already-relegated Norwich City.
A total of six players from these teams feature in the Scout Picks.
Since the restart, Manchester City have been creating by far the best chances of any Premier League side. Their expected goals total of 19.21 is way ahead of the second-best team for this statistic, Chelsea, on 12.73.
But we don’t need stats to tell us City are a good bet – the problem is picking the right player.
Joe stunned Az and Andy on the Scoutcast this week when the typically safe and unadventurous manager revealed he is looking to sign and captain David Silva.
And Joe is not alone in coveting El Mago.
Gran Canaria’s most successful footballing export is picked out by Pro Pundit Tom Freeman in his regular differentials piece.
After being omitted from the starting line-up against Brighton, he is fancied to start against a Bournemouth side missing influential centre-back Nathan Aké.
Since the restart, and bearing in mind he’s been limited to just four starts, Silva has had more opposition half touches than any other teammate. He also sits top for successful passes in the final third, and second for chances created and big chances created.– Pro Pundit Tom Freeman
At under five per cent ownership, the Spanish playmaker looks to be this week’s standout differential.
However, in David’s Captain Sensible article, it’s the Brazilian Jesus who tops a number of key stats.
Over his last four matches, Az’s favourite player has taken 16 shots inside the box, including six big chances.
And while opponents Bournemouth have been better at the back in recent games than one might expect, that really shouldn’t put us off:
The four teams who have most recently faced Manchester City are all in the bottom half for this statistic, especially Brighton and Newcastle, whose xGC scores took a battering during a battle with Guardiola’s relentless attackers.– David
Of course the big question is who will start for City?
As mentioned, David Silva is widely expected to be named in the starting XI but nothing is certain with Señor Guardiola.
To help us, site moderator Legomané has put together a useful colour-coded matrix:
Detailing the minutes played by each key asset, it gives us a clue about what we might expect against Bournemouth.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that following their outing against the Cherries on Wednesday, Pep’s troops have just two days rest before their important cup semi-final against Arsenal. A match in which the rotating Catalan is sure to name his strongest line-up.
Chelsea to bounce back?
Frank Lampard was fuming after his side’s defeat at Sheffield United.
They were better than us physically, in the mind and with the ball, so you lose the game. They were stronger than us. We don’t have crowds at the minute so you hear every voice and all I could hear was Sheffield United voices, so they were stronger in that sense.– Frank Lampard
Fair to say we can expect a reaction against Norwich City.
And following Daniel Farke’s side’s capitulation at the hands of West Ham – and a delighted Michail Antonio in particular – the Blues are expected to profit.
Willian and Christian Pulisic would appear to offer the best routes into the Chelsea attack. David notes:
If Willian is going to play, he seems the most complete Chelsea asset when weighed up across all the categories. He is the most creative, competes reasonably with Pulisic and the two forwards for shots in the box but gets bigger chances and is more accurate than the American.– David
Managers could benefit from early team news ahead of today’s deadline, and that could bring Olivier Giroud or Tammy Abraham into the equation.
The pair have shared minutes since the restart. But a place in the first XI for either would surely mark them out as an enticing differential, albeit not one that would be a reliable starter for the remainder of the season.
And let’s not forget West Ham and Antonio. The out-of-position midfielder is thriving in the centre-forward’s role, and his promising underlying stats ahead of the Canaries clash persuaded well-known Scoutcasters to invest.
Greyhead was his usual puntastic-self in the latest installment of The Great and the Good. The chronicler of the FPL Rat Pack reported on the positive rank swings for Az and Andy, who both benefited from Antonio’s incredible haul. The Hammers’ talisman remains a differential at just 3.4 per cent ownership.
Southampton scored the last goal of Gameweek 35+ to level the scores at Old Trafford. The Saints started strongly with Stuart Armstrong scoring the opening goal of the evening.
But while the Scot has been putting in some excellent performances of late – producing attacking returns in four of his last six matches – the focus for many is on Danny Ings.
Still in the race for the Golden Boot – four goals behind Jamie Vardy – he has the backing of his manager Ralph Hasenhuttl. Speaking after the win over Watford in Gameweek 32+, the Saints boss enthused:
I think anything is possible [with regards to the race for the Golden Boot]. We will play with him the last six games and then he will have six chances to score. If he gets the chance you can see how fantastic his finishing is at the moment. He seems fitter than ever. He was very hard working in the shutdown and that gives him now fantastic physical options.– Ralph Hasenhuttl (speaking after victory over Watford in Gameweek 32+)
However, the demands of the fixture schedule is giving FPL managers pause for thought.
Pro Pundit Zophar updated us on the varying rest periods for Premier League teams in this latest offering. Southampton’s “harsh schedule” could make the six-time top 5,000 boss reconsider his planned move:
I was originally thinking of doing the Jamie Vardy to Ings move but the Saints’ congested schedule has me a bit worried. Ings has been a machine of late but his fitness issues in the past are well documented and will they possibly flare up again with matches so close? The Saints’ pressing style could suffer too with low recovery periods. Something to ponder.– Pro Pundit Zophar
Vardy Party, Manchester Six and Misfiring Salah
Selling Jamie Vardy is a dilemma for many in the community.
Maximus Bonimus Pointimus sought opinion in a hot topic – Leicester’s fixtures and a number of first-team absentees could potentially see the Golden Boot leader shown the door.
Compared to Pep’s squad spinning, Ole Gunnar Solskjær is wonderfully reliable. The Norwegian named an unchanged side for the fifth game running against Southampton.
Although selecting the right three to own still requires some thought, with a number of options vying for a place in our squads. Pro Pundit Sam invited opinion on the ideal trio in the comments section.
Meanwhile, TheFantasyFreÆK shared his insights in his regular Gameweek review. Top of the agenda was just how unlucky Mohamed Salah-owners had been:
Salah recorded as many big chances as Sterling (two each) and in fact, fared better for shots in the box (four vs three) and minutes per expected goal involvement (66 vs 74).– TheFantasyFreÆK
With impressive underlying stats – the Egyptian tallied eight shots in his previous outing against Brighton – Salah remains a contender for the captaincy.
Lastly, a heads up that the penultimate FPL deadline of the season is this coming Saturday at 16:30 BST.
A full round-up of community competitions will follow this article.
The Head-to-Head leagues have been updated for Gameweek 35+, results and tables are currently showing on the main Head-to-Head page.
The fixtures for Gameweek 36+ are below:
May your arrows be green!
Become a Member and get unrestricted access to our data and articles
Full-year memberships are now available for the price of £19.99. Monthly subscriptions also cost just £2.99. A FREE trial is now available during December.
Join now to get the following:
- Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
- Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
- Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
- Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
- Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
- Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
- Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
- View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
- Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.