Three Tottenham Hotspur players have been heavily backed by this week’s Scout Squad panel, with assets from Wolverhampton Wanderers, Brighton and Hove Albion, Aston Villa and Liverpool also in demand.
For the uninitiated, 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 editor David, 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.
There is a bit more uniformity this week, with the number of players getting three or four nominations more than doubling from a divisive Gameweek 5.
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 the earlier-than-usual FPL deadline at 18:30 BST on Friday.
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.
*NOTE: This Scout Squad article was compiled before Carlo Ancelotti revealed that James Rodriguez is set to miss Everton’s match against Southampton.
|GK||Emiliano Martinez||Mathew Ryan||Rui Patricio||Mathew Ryan|
|Mathew Ryan||Vicente Guaita||Mathew Ryan||Emiliano Martinez|
|Rui Patricio||Emiliano Martinez||Emiliano Martinez||Rui Patricio|
|DF||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Andrew Robertson||Andrew Robertson||Andrew Robertson|
|Andrew Robertson||Romain Saiss||Romain Saiss||Trent Alexander-Arnold|
|Sergio Reguilon||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Sergio Reguilon||Romain Saiss|
|Conor Coady||Tariq Lamptey||Joao Cancelo||Tariq Lamptey|
|Adam Webster||Sergio Reguilon||Tariq Lamptey||Sergio Reguilon|
|MF||Mohamed Salah||Sadio Mane||Mohamed Salah||Mohamed Salah|
|Son Heung-min||Raheem Sterling||Sadio Mane||Son Heung-min|
|Raheem Sterling||Son Heung-min||Son Heung-min||Raheem Sterling|
|Ross Barkley||Jack Grealish||James Rodriguez*||James Rodriguez*|
|Leandro Trossard||Ademola Lookman||Ross Barkley||Ross Barkley|
|FW||Harry Kane||Harry Kane||Harry Kane||Harry Kane|
|Dominic Calvert-Lewin||Neal Maupay||Sergio Aguero||Sergio Aguero|
|Neal Maupay||Dominic Calvert-Lewin||Raul Jimenez||Neal Maupay|
|Raul Jimenez||Raul Jimenez||Neal Maupay||Raul Jimenez|
|Ollie Watkins||Danny Ings||Danny Ings||Dominic Calvert-Lewin|
Most popular picks: Mathew Ryan, Emiliano Martinez, Andrew Robertson, Sergio Reguilon, Son Heung-min, Harry Kane, Neal Maupay, Raul Jimenez (four), Rui Patricio, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Romain Saiss, Tariq Lamptey, Mohamed Salah, Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley, Dominic Calvert-Lewin (three)
I will continue to insist that Emiliano Martínez is the best budget goalkeeper around right now, with a balanced ability to collect clean sheets, saves and bonus.
Even though he’s played one fewer game than most other shot-stoppers in the division, the Aston Villa man has the most points of any other player in his position (31). That’s come from three clean sheets that were supplemented by three additionals for saves and bonus in two matches. At this point, it doesn’t even matter the opposition, in my opinion.
While Liverpool’s defence was experiencing issues even before Virgil van Dijk’s long-term injury, a home meeting with Sheffield United should give them some respite.
The Blades have scored just twice this season and find themselves in the Premier League’s bottom three for shots on target over the first five Gameweeks – hence why I’m going for the double-up on Liverpool’s defence with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson.
Burnley are another goal-shy outfit at this stage of the campaign, level with Sheffield United on 14 shots on target (3.5 per game). With Spurs attack firing on all cylinders and Sergio Reguilón‘s crossing ability forming a part of that I fancy the left-back at both ends of the pitch in Gameweek 6.
While there is a clamour for £4.1m defender Max Kilman, I’m holding my horses until I see what impact the new left-backs at Wolves have on Romain Saïss’ position. As I highlighted in this article, we could see the Moroccan return to the back-three for a trip to Newcastle if injury-returnee Marçal or new man Rayan Aït-Nouri are preferred at left-back. Nuno Espirito Santo may then have to choose between Saïss or Kilman for that third centre-back slot and, right now, I couldn’t tell you who would win.
So, for that reason, and because I fancy Wolves defence to keep a fourth clean sheet from six when they host Newcastle, I’m selecting their most nailed-on starting defender Conor “Did He?!” Coady.
Sadio Mané has been tracking closer to Mohamed Salah‘s underlying statistics than usual but I still prefer the latter when pressed to choose one Liverpool midfielder, considering he is also on penalties and still carries greater assist potential to the conversation.
Raheem Sterling is the only Manchester City attacker I feel confident including for the Gameweek 6 trip to West Ham considering the latest injury updates on other key players. The England international, of course, scored a hat-trick during his last league visit to the London Stadium.
Ross Barkley just edges it when looking for an Aston Villa midfielder. On Friday night, Dean Smith’s men will host a Leeds side short of key defensive midfielder Kalvin Phillips and maybe first-choice centre-back Liam Cooper too. While Grealish has more all-round potential, the cheaper Barkley looks the more likely goalscorer, already sitting on more shots on target this season than his club captain despite playing fewer minutes (220 to 360). Ollie Watkins is top for this statistic out of all Villa players, so he goes in for my double-up on their attack.
Even though Burnley’s defence has posted some decent enough underlying statistics recently, I still think the form of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min can burst through.
The former is top of the league both for big chances created and shots on target, making him the best all-round option for goals and assists right now. Kane also has four goals across his last two league trips to Turf Moor. Meanwhile, Son has been involved, either as an assister or goal-scorer, for eight of Kane’s last 12 attacking returns.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is still top of the league for big chances and expected goals non-penalty so it’s at the point where it doesn’t who the opposition is with him. Even then, Southampton have conceded at least three times on two occasions this year, usually when facing the big clubs, which Everton are on their way to becoming as league leaders.
While Branislav Ivanovic made an instant impact on West Bromwich Albion’s ailing defence against Burnley, Brighton’s attackers have shown great potential recently. With the Serbian still bedding in, I’d expect Neal Maupay and Leandro Trossard to get something in Gameweek 6.
State-the-bleeding-obvious picks abound in my Scout Squad selection this week but it’d be perverse to overlook the likes of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min given their form and fixtures.
Although Trent Alexander-Arnold makes my 18-man long-list and Mohamed Salah’s credentials need little explanation, I’d prefer to see Sadio Mane paired with Andrew Robertson if we’re limited to a Liverpool double-up in the Scout Picks. Sheffield United’s tendency to concede chances and crosses from their right flank plays into Robertson’s hands, while Mane’s aerial ability (coupled with his eye-catching expected goals stats) could help him exploit a Blades backline that has surprisingly allowed more headed chances than any other Premier League team this season.
While I have nagging doubts that I could have saved myself over £1.0m and opted for Ross Barkley over Jack Grealish when I bought the latter last week, I’ll stick to my guns with the Aston Villa talisman for now given that much of the Villans’ play flows through him and considering that his penalty box touch count is superior to all other FPL midfielders from Gameweek 2 onwards.
The old adage of the league table never lying doesn’t seem to hold true with Brighton this season, who have been worth more than four points based on their displays over the last month.
Despite a tricky run of games, no side has allowed fewer shots in the box and only Liverpool have registered more attempts on goal than the Seagulls. A home fixture against West Bromwich Albion, who have carved out just one big chance all season and conceded a joint-high 13 league goals, fills me with confidence with the triple-up on Mathew Ryan, Tariq Lamptey and Neal Maupay.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a Wolves-heavy Scout Picks this Friday either, although settling on a nominated defender may prove that bit trickier. Max Kilman is obviously available at a very attractive price and his emergence on the left-hand side of defence does give cause for concern for Romain Saiss owners going forward. The Moroccan, however, is currently enjoying a stint at left wing-back, and with Emil Krafth allowing a lot of chances from the Newcastle right over the last two Gameweeks and with the Magpies always susceptible to conceding attempts from set plays, I’ll take a leap of faith with Saiss ahead of Sunday’s match.
Finally, a word on my customary curveball pick. While Vicente Guaita’s selection underscores my trust in Palace against the top-flight also-rans, Ademola Lookman has made a big impression since signing for Fulham. A very positive cameo on his debut was followed up by a goal and three key passes against Sheffield United last weekend and he could cause a lot of problems for Joel Ward, who still looks like a weak link in that Eagles backline.
I’ve doubled up on Wolverhampton Wanderers’ defence ahead of their Gameweek 6 meeting with Newcastle United, via Rui Patrício and Romain Saïss. Nuno Espírito Santo’s men have now kept back-to-back clean sheets, while the Magpies have managed just 12 shots on target across the opening five Gameweeks.
Brighton and Hove Albion also get a defensive double-up from me. So far this season, the Seagulls have managed just one win. However, looking at their performances I think it’s fair to say they’ve been a bit unlucky, and were the better team in most, if not all of those matches. Their opponents, West Bromwich Albion, rank bottom for shots in the box and 18th for chances created. That lack of goal threat suggests Mat Ryan and Tariq Lamptey could be in the points on Monday.
They’re joined at the back by Emiliano Martínez, Andrew Robertson, Sergio Reguilón and João Cancelo.
Cancelo is something of a left-field inclusion but looked the part against Arsenal, often moving infield, and was one of the key players in the game. With Benjamin Mendy set to miss out again, I expect him to line-up on the left on Saturday, which would allow him to attack West Ham United’s weaker right flank.
Further forward, it’s hard to overlook Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane right now, and their selections need little explanation, so I’ll focus on some of my other picks.
Sergio Agüero was dropping deeper than usual as he made his long-awaited return from injury in Gameweek 5, almost acting as a false nine, but this weekend I’m convinced he’ll be back in his natural centre-forward role. Owned by just 2.1% of FPL managers, he’s a huge differential.
I’m also backing Ross Barkley in midfield. He’s amassed 18 points in just two appearances since signing for Aston Villa, scoring in both matches. Leeds United have looked reasonably tight so far, but have given up 53 shots in the box, more than any other side, while Kalvin Phillips will be a big miss.
The list is completed by forwards Raul Jiménez, Neal Maupay and Danny Ings.
I’m not ready to write the Liverpool defence off just yet, despite injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Alisson. Sheffield United have had the fourth-lowest amount of shots in the box so far this season, and although the narrative is set for Rhian Brewster to open his goalscoring account this weekend, I’d be backing clean sheets and potential attacking returns for both Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Only six players have higher non-penalty expected goals than Neal Maupay at 2.64. Considering he does have penalties in his locker as well he looks a great bet against one of the whipping boys of the league who are conceding on average 9.6 shots in the box per game.
It’s only a small sample size of two matches but Ross Barkley looks like he could be the one to get goals in the Aston Villa midfield. In the two matches they’ve all played together he has had more shots than John McGinn and Jack Grealish combined. He’s not creating as many chances but for those on a budget, he could be the one to go for.
Looking at the last two matches, Sergio Reguilón has come into the Spurs side and created five chances already. That’s the same as Robertson over the same time span and is only beaten by Reece James, Aaron Cresswell and Ben Chilwell. In fact, in terms of expected assists, he’s the highest. I still have concerns over Spurs’ defensive frailties, but he was eight minutes away from a 10 or 11-pointer against West Ham, and this week I’ll hope Burnley don’t have the same fight.
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.
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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