This weekly forerunner to the Scout Picks article sees our four-man panel champion the standout Fantasy Premier League assets for the upcoming Gameweek.
Fantasy Football Scout community manager Geoff, deputy editor Neale, video content manager Andy and Pro Pundit Tom will each put forward an 18-man squad of players and explain their notable inclusions and omissions below.
The nominations listed will then be whittled 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 Saturday’s FPL deadline at 11:00 BST.
There are requirements for at least:
- One goalkeeper costing £5.0m or less
- One sub-£5.0m defender
- One midfielder listed at £6.5m or below
- One forward priced at £7.5m 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.
|GK||Vicente Guaita||Nick Pope||Aaron Ramsdale||Ederson|
|Aaron Ramsdale||Aaron Ramsdale||Mathew Ryan||Aaron Ramsdale|
|Mathew Ryan||Vicente Guaita||Sam Johnstone||Sam Johnstone|
|DF||Trent Alexander-Arnold||James Tarkowski||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Trent Alexander-Arnold|
|Timothy Castagne||Timothy Castagne||Ben Chilwell||Ben Chilwell|
|Reece James||Romain Saiss||George Baldock||Sergio Reguilon|
|George Baldock||Tariq Lamptey||Sergio Reguilon||Stuart Dallas|
|James Tarkowski||Stuart Dallas||Tariq Lamptey||Luke Ayling|
|MF||Mohamed Salah||Raheem Sterling||Son Heung-min||Son Heung-min|
|Son Heung-min||Mohamed Salah||Mohamed Salah||Mohamed Salah|
|Marcus Rashford||Son Heung-min||Kevin De Bruyne||Raheem Sterling|
|Riyad Mahrez||Wilfried Zaha||Marcus Rashford||Christian Pulisic|
|Daniel Podence||John Lundstram||Leandro Trossard||Matheus Pereira|
|FW||Harry Kane||Harry Kane||Harry Kane||Harry Kane|
|Jamie Vardy||Jamie Vardy||Jamie Vardy||Jamie Vardy|
|Raul Jimenez||Chris Wood||Timo Werner||Timo Werner|
|Neal Maupay||Aleksandar Mitrovic||Raul Jimenez||Neal Maupay|
|Chris Wood||Richarlison||Chris Wood||Rhian Brewster|
Most popular picks: Aaron Ramsdale, Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-min, Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy (four), Trent Alexander-Arnold, Chris Wood (three).
While I normally look only to £4.5m-rated goalkeepers, Vicente Guaita could have a big day at home to Brighton, ahead of a nice run of fixtures for Crystal Palace. Aaron Ramsdale and Mat Ryan have only one clean sheet in eight games between them this season, but both have fixtures that could see them return in Gameweek 5.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is almost perpetually my top pick because of his chances of getting a 20+ point return in any given match. While Andrew Robertson is the favourite right now for many, I’m sticking with Alexander-Arnold and expect him to come good again – even if Alisson’s injury and the 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa weakens my faith in the Liverpool backline.
Timothy Castagne has an impressive four attacking returns in as many Gameweeks this season and I don’t expect Aston Villa to score seven again when they head to Leicester.
Elsewhere, Reece James could be in line for a start with Ben Chilwell being a doubt. George Baldock and James Tarkowski are also both excellent picks this week and fill out my defensive five.
In midfield, Mohamed Salah is the top selection and a very good captaincy selection against an Everton side who should concede given the ongoing woes of the man between the posts.
Son Heung-min will have chances against West Ham, while Marcus Rashford makes the cut above Mason Greenwood for an Anthony Martial-less Manchester United against Newcastle.
Riyad Mahrez is available at a nice price and could be poised for a big Gameweek, with injury doubts hanging over a number of Manchester City’s attacking assets.
Harry Kane leads the line against West Ham and is in strong form, while Jamie Vardy will look to keep pace in the race for the Golden Boot.
Raul Jimenez has arguably disappointed so far this season but two goals in four games hints at more to come and he seldom goes on a long run without finding the back of the net. I think a start for Daniel Podence could also help him to his first goal away to Leeds.
Neal Maupay and Chris Wood round off my selections, both away from home but both with enough to get on the scoresheet.
With flags of varying hue littering FPL and players slowly returning to their clubs after a busy week of international football, there’s every chance that one or two of my selections in this article will subsequently be ruled out when the Premier League managers face the media ahead of Gameweek 5.
It’s a tough enough job without the injuries this week as there aren’t too many stand-out games, with fixtures that would have been deemed bankers a month ago (Spurs v West Ham, Leicester v Aston Villa, Newcastle v Manchester United) anything but based on the evidence of a rollercoaster first four Gameweeks.
The Merseyside derby is another tough one to call, with an Alisson-less Liverpool reeling from their demolition at Aston Villa.
Most of us would expect a reaction from the Reds and the return of key bodies in central midfield should help shore things up but Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold were – not for the first time – repeatedly exposed a fortnight ago and Richarlison could make hay down Liverpool’s right.
Everton might be top of the league and unbeaten but so long as Jordan Pickford remains between the posts, Mohamed Salah and co should be optimistic of attacking returns at Goodison Park. The Toffees, indeed, have already conceded on four occasions on home soil against Brighton and West Brom.
I temper my picks of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min with the caveat that West Ham have actually been excellent over the last three Gameweeks, so this could be Spurs’ toughest test between the October and November international breaks.
The same goes for Jamie Vardy and Timothy Castagne, with Leicester at home to a Villa side still boasting a 100% record.
Leeds v Wolves may well be a close affair, with Nuno Espirito Santo proceeding with caution following the thumping at West Ham and the Whites involved in two tight matches in Gameweeks 3 and 4 following the stat-busting goal fests of the opening fortnight.
Wolves have still conceded more chances from their right flank than any other team this season, however, so Stuart Dallas will fancy his chances of exploiting the gaps left by the attack-minded Nelson Semedo and/or Adama Traore.
Speaking of team weaknesses, Sheffield United have allowed more headed opportunities than any other Premier League club in 2020/21 and look set to be without the commanding John Egan and Jack O’Connell this weekend.
Aleksandar Mitrovic, who boasts the most headed chances of any player this season, could prosper at Bramall Lane, then, providing Fulham can actually supply him with decent service.
I’ve gone for John Lundstram as my maverick, budget punt in the middle of the park – I noticed in games against Leeds and Villa that the Cottagers seem to be susceptible to players ghosting into dangerous positions from midfield, so the former ‘OOP’ defender, who can’t be beaten for shots, big chances, efforts on target or attempts in the box among his teammates, gets the nod.
The first 38 games of the 2020/21 Premier League season has seen a flood of goals, which makes predicting clean sheets far from straightforward.
That being said, I’m more than happy to select Trent Alexander-Arnold and, fitness permitting, Ben Chilwell, due to their attacking threat.
I’m also backing Sheffield United’s defence, via Aaron Ramsdale and George Baldock. It’s been a miserable start to the season for the Blades, losing all four games. That of course, means no clean sheets, but I’m tipping them to get back on track against a Fulham side who have suffered three straight defeats in all competitions, failing to score on each occasion.
Brighton and Hove Albion are another side who have struggled to put points on the board, but have still impressed with their approach. The 3-4-2-1 formation they’ve often used means the wing-backs provide the width in advanced areas, which makes Tariq Lamptey an excellent option. Crystal Palace’s ongoing lack of goal threat suggests Mathew Ryan could be in the points too.
They’re joined at the back by Sam Johnstone, mainly for his ability to rack up save points, and Sergio Reguilón, who should be able to get at West Ham United’s weaker right flank.
Further forward, the inclusions of Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne (if passed fit) largely speak for themselves, so I’ll dedicate a bit more time to some of my other selections.
A home tie against West Ham United sees Son Heung-min and Harry Kane take the top spots in both of their respective categories. The Hammers have actually looked pretty good so far, but will find it tough to shut out a Spurs side full of confidence.
My continued faith in Timo Werner may be an early sign of madness, but there have been glimpses of why he can be so dangerous against Brighton and Spurs in the Carabao Cup. That first Premier League goal has eluded him thus far, but Werner is best on the transition, and against Southampton, there should be enough space for him to run into. Chelsea’s home form is good too: they’ve won seven of their last eight Premier League matches at Stamford Bridge, netting 18 goals and conceding just four.
Elsewhere, I’ve included forwards Raul Jiménez and Chris Wood.
Wolverhampton Wanderers haven’t been thrilling to watch this season, but a game at Leeds United might just suit them. On their day, they are one of the best counter-attacking teams in the division, and should have opportunities to break quickly with Leeds willing to commit bodies forward. If Jimenez can get a bit more support in and around him, I’m tipping him to return.
Another team who have not been performing at the standards they have previously set themselves are Burnley, but an away trip to West Bromwich Albion gives them an opportunity to get back on track. The Baggies have looked vulnerable defending set plays so far, and with Burnley likely to see plenty of the ball, I believe Wood can cause problems.
The offensive list is completed by Marcus Rashford, differential favourite Leandro Trossard and Jamie Vardy.
This is a Scout Squad picked with press conferences fully on my mind and the likes of Ben Chilwell, Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic would only make the final cut based on positive news from their respective managers. Probably more than any Gameweek this season so far, press conferences are key.
There’s been no clean sheet for West Brom so far in 2020/21, and with the worst expected goals conceded (xGC) total in the league, there may not be any for a while. But if you’re ever going to back a defence, it’s against an attack like Burnley’s. If all else fails, you can usually rely on saves from Sam Johnstone: he’s already second in the league for stops with 19, just one behind Karl Darlow.
I’m giving Timo Werner one more chance to show me he has goals and FPL points in him. It feels as though there have been too many things we’ve been waiting on for things to really click at Chelsea but perhaps this Gameweek is it. Christian Pulisic got minutes in Gameweek 4 and Hakim Ziyech played over the international break, so the Blues are slowly getting back to full strength. Perhaps this is what Werner needs, or maybe he just needs this infamous Southampton “high line” defence to be the highest the Premier League has ever seen.
The hype around Rhian Brewster is probably a little much at the moment considering he’s never played in the Premier League before but there’s clearly some potential there which made Liverpool want a buy-back clause. It doesn’t get much better than making a debut against Fulham, who have already conceded 11 goals this season – although given their xGC is 6.02, they might consider themselves a little unlucky. If Sheffield United are ever going to get a win though, they’ll need Brewster to start quickly and you’d assume he’ll be thrown straight in.
I can’t believe I’m saying this but over the first four Gameweeks, West Ham have one of the best defences in the league. I’m not sure I’m ready to accept that as normality just yet though so I have to back Son Heung-min Son and Harry Kane. While I do think both have overperformed so far, I still see them as great options over the coming weeks, starting in Gameweek 5.
With Sergio Reguilón providing another option in attack, and Gareth Bale potentially making his second debut, it’s an exciting time to be a Spurs fan and there could be a lot of points in this one.
THE COMMUNITY CHAMPION
Each week, one of the Fantasy Football Scout community takes on the Scout Picks by pitting their chosen XI against ours.
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 Moderators and Contributors League for the following season.
In Gameweek 4, Gazpilicueta lost 43-32 to the Scout Picks.
AA33‘s winning 53-point margin in Gameweek 2 is the target to beat.
Our next Scout Picks article on Friday will have further details on who is representing the community this week.
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