Manchester City and Arsenal form the spine of the Blank Gameweek 18 Scout Picks.
Ahead of matches against Brighton and Crystal Palace, we have chosen three players from Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta’s squads respectively.
We line up in a 3-5-2 formation, which comes in at £80.4m, £2.6m under our budget of £83.0m.
Hugo Lloris (£5.6m) strikes an appealing balance between clean sheet and save potential for Blank Gameweek 18. Spurs have six clean sheets in their last 11 Premier League outings while Fulham have failed to find the net in three of their last five. Meanwhile, Lloris’ 53 saves this season is the sixth-highest in the division and the most of any so-called ‘big six’ goalkeeper.
João Cancelo (£5.8m) is our chosen Manchester City defender considering his managed minutes in the FA Cup and the fact Kyle Walker played a full 90 minutes against Birmingham City. Pep Guardiola’s men have conceded just three goals in their last 12 matches in all competitions and, over the last six Gameweeks, Cancelo ranks top among all FPL defenders for expected goal involvement (xGI).
Fresh from back-to-back clean sheets, Kieran Tierney (£5.4m) has explosive potential in Blank Gameweek 18. Discounting their 5-1 win over West Bromwich Albion in Gameweek 11, Crystal Palace have just six goals in their seven remaining away matches this season (0.9 per game). Meanwhile, no Arsenal player has created more chances than Tierney in their last four matches.
With Dominic Calvert-Lewin out injured for Everton, Romain Saïss (£5.1m) has potential at both ends of the pitch in Blank Gameweek 18. The welcome return of Leander Dendoncker should further boost Wolves’ defensive potential considering they have no clean sheets without him this season and four in matches when he played 90 minutes. Meanwhile, Saïss ranks top among all defenders for attempts on goal over the last four matches and Everton are inside the bottom four for highest number of headed chances conceded.
A more advanced false-nine role for Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m) against Chelsea helped him to a third double-digit haul since Gameweek 10. While we expect him to be a number 10 against Brighton, a home match against another possession-based side looks perfect for the Belgian to post another big score. No Premier League player has created more big chances than him over their last four matches while only one Blank Gameweek 18 midfielder has managed more attempts on goal than De Bruyne in the same period.
Bruno Fernandes (£11.3m) is that midfielder, having registered 16 shots over his last four. With just one blank away from home this season, trusting the Manchester United man on the road has been easy in 2020/21. No Premier League player has been afforded more big chances than the Red Devils’ penalty taker over their last four matches either.
Son Heung-min (£9.8m) is our chosen representative from the Spurs attack as they face a hastily arranged meeting with Fulham. The South Korean offers a cheaper route into this match than Harry Kane and a better balance of goal and assist potential based on recent form. Over Spurs’ last four matches, Son is ahead of his English colleague for big chances, key passes and big chances created and level with him for efforts on target.
Ilkay Gündogan (£5.4m) could provide excellent value for his owners in Blank Gameweek 18. The midfielder has enjoyed a new number eight role recently, which has helped him outperform both De Bruyne and Sterling in several key areas over the last four matches. During that time, the German international has registered more shots in the box and big chances than his colleagues and his five efforts on target are level with De Bruyne and one more than Sterling, despite less pitch-time than the Englishman over the selected data period.
Bukayo Saka (£5.3m) can benefit from a weakness in Crystal Palace’s defence on Thursday night. Over their last six matches, the Eagles have conceded the joint-fourth-most number of chances down their left-hand side. Saka has operated on the right of Arsenal’s attacking midfield in each of their last three league matches and has two goals and two assists to show for it.
Alexandre Lacazette (£8.3m) is also in excellent form as he prepares to face a Crystal Palace side with the worst expected goals conceded (xGC) score over the last four matches. The striker himself ranks joint-top for big chances since Gameweek 14 and is behind only Anwar El Ghazi for efforts on target during that time too. Despite playing 217 minutes in the selected period, Lacazette has produced four goals.
Callum Wilson (£6.6m) may be without a goal since Gameweek 14 but his record against lesser opposition this season suggests he can get something at Sheffield United. In seven meetings with teams inside the bottom nine since joining Newcastle, the former Bournemouth man has accrued four goals and four assists, producing 7.1 points per game in such matches.
- Karl Darlow (£5.0m)
- Luke Shaw (£4.8m)
- Federico Fernández (£4.7m)
- Chris Wood (£6.2m)
We choose the Scout Picks captain using a four-way vote between our Scout Squad pundits.
Because we use Fantasy Football Scout data 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 Blank Gameweek 18:
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 team by the largest margin will win a £100 Amazon Voucher and a place in our Moderators and Contributors League for the following season.
Due to the short turnaround, there was no Community Champion for Gameweek 17, although the Scout Picks had an impressive week with an 85-point score.
AA33 is the current leader, defeating the Scout Picks by a 53-point margin in Gameweek 2.