Attacking double-ups for Chelsea and Everton form the spine of the Gameweek 9 Scout Picks XI.
They face Newcastle and Fulham respectively in two of the most favourable fixtures this weekend.
As ever, we have chosen our team from David, Neale, Tom and Andy‘s Scout Squad submissions, released earlier this week.
We line up in the traditional 3-4-3 formation, coming in bang-on our budget of £83.0m.
Vicente Guaita (£5.0m) gets his first Scout Picks appearance of the campaign ahead of a Monday-night trip to Turf Moor. Will it prove to be his happy place? Well, Burnley remain this season’s lowest scorers after eight Gameweeks and, over the last four, are bottom of the league for shots on target (eight).
During that same period, no club has registered fewer total attempts on goal than Newcastle (27), boosting Chelsea’s clean sheet chances in Gameweek 9. The Blues themselves have secured shut-outs in three of their last five while no Premier League defender can match Ben Chilwell (£6.0m) for key passes since Gameweek 5.
No team has conceded fewer big chances in the last four matches than Manchester United, which is why we’ve chosen Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.4m) for the Gameweek 9 Scout Picks. He stands in for Harry Maguire, who we initially chose but had to replace due to an injury doubt. Either way, Wan-Bissaka still stands to benefit from United’s improved defence and the fact that West Bromwich Albion are bottom of the league for big chances of their own since Gameweek 5.
Aaron Cresswell (£5.1m) went close to match Chilwell’s creativity output over the last four matches, registering just one fewer key pass than his Chelsea counterpart. A role in corners and free-kicks for West Ham is good news considering upcoming opponents Sheffield United have given up the most chances from set-plays and the second-most headed attempts since Gameweek 5.
Naturally, the Gameweek 9 captain poll winner Bruno Fernandes (£10.6m) makes it into the Scout Picks for a home match against West Bromwich Albion. Since Gameweek 2, no midfielder created more chances than Manchester United’s key man and he remains a persistent shooter, registering the third-highest number of shots over the same period.
Hakim Ziyech (£8.2m) has made a blistering start to life in the Premier League. In just two starts he already has four goal involvements, three of those assists. That output has looked sustainable too, considering that, in the last four matches, Ziyech is joint-top of the league for big chances created – and he’s only started two in that period. Meanwhile, he faces a Newcastle side in Gameweek 9 that has conceded the third-highest number of chances from set pieces in 2020/21.
James Rodríguez (£7.9m) could be back with a bang in Gameweek 9 as he faces a Fulham defence that has conceded at least twice in three of their four home matches this season. Crucially, no team has given up more headed attempts than them since Gameweek 5, perfect for Everton’s corner and free-kick taker.
Only Son Heung-min and Mohamed Salah have more points among midfielders than Jack Grealish (£7.5m) this season and we expect him to continue his impressive form against Brighton. The Seagulls’ possession-based style means they don’t give up many chances, but their susceptibility to the counter-attack means they still only have two clean sheets from a possible eight this season. Meanwhile, Grealish has created the joint-highest number of big chances in the last four matches and is joint-third for big chances of his own.
Jamie Vardy (£10.1m) could benefit from Liverpool’s defensive shortages in Gameweek 9. The Reds are missing key personnel at the back right now while Leicester’s main man is joint-top of the league for big chances in the last four matches. On top of that, only two players have registered more shots on target than Vardy in that time.
Timo Werner (£9.4m) is really starting to find his feet at Chelsea. In the last four matches, just two players have boasted superior xG non penalty figures than the German international, who has recently secured spot-kick duty anyway. He faces a Newcastle side that has averaged two goals conceded per match since Gameweek 5 and who have given up more chances down their right-hand side than any other Premier League club in that time,
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.8m) could have an enjoyable Gameweek 9 meeting with Fulham’s defence, which looks tailor-made to suffer at his hands. as already mentioned, the Cottagers have conceded the joint-most number of headed attempts in the last four matches, while the majority of Calvert-Lewin’s shots this season have come from the air.
Selected by three of our Scout Squad pundits for Gameweek 9, top-scoring FPL goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez (£4.8m) takes a place on the bench.
Matt Targett (£4.5m) is a cheaper alternative route into the Aston Villa back-line. None of his defensive colleagues has matched his five key passes over the last four matches.
Vladimir Coufal (£4.5m) is another way to invest in West Ham’s defence for a trip to Sheffield United. He is second-only to Cresswell for crosses among all Hammers players over the last four matches.
Diogo Jota (£6.5m) looks more nailed-on to start than ever with Salah absent from Liverpool’s Gameweek 9 plans. The former Wolves man has found the net in each of his last three Premier League matches at Anfield.
We choose the Scout Picks captain using a four-way vote between our Scout Squad pundits.
Because the use of Fantasy Football Scout data is used so heavily in this process, the skipper we choose each Gameweek is known only to those with a valid Fantasy Football Scout subscription and revealed to the public only when the deadline has passed.
Here’s how we voted for Gameweek 9:
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 team by the largest margin will win a £100 Amazon Voucher and a place in our Moderators and Contributors League for the following season.
THFC4LIFE managed 62 points for the Community Champions in Gameweek 8 but the Scout Picks went 6-2 up for the season with a healthy score of 78.
claretparrot takes us on for Gameweek 9, opting for a 3-5-2 line-up of Guaita; Zouma, Cresswell, Wan-Bissaka; B Fernandes (vc), Rashford, Grealish, Richarlison, Ziyech; Calvert-Lewin (c), Vardy.
AA33 is the current leader, defeating the Scout Picks by a 53-point margin in Gameweek 2.