The Scout Squad are back to pick their best players for Double Gameweek 19 – fresh from the recent changes to the fixtures.
The assets listed will then be narrowed down to a squad of 15 (with the starting XI not exceeding a total cost of £83.0m) for the weekly Scout Picks selection ahead of the FPL deadline at 11:00 GMT on Saturday.
In each writer’s squad, 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 also 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||Lukasz Fabianski||Edouard Mendy||Sam Johnstone||Sam Johnstone|
|Edouard Mendy||David de Gea||Emiliano Martínez||Alphonse Areola|
|Bernd Leno||Emiliano Martínez||Alisson||Illan Meslier|
|DEF||Rúben Dias||Andrew Robertson||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Rúben Dias|
|João Cancelo||João Cancelo||João Cancelo||Andrew Robertson|
|Andrew Robertson||Rúben Dias||John Stones||João Cancelo|
|Ben Chilwell||Ben Chilwell||Vladimir Coufal||Vladimir Coufal|
|Vladimir Coufal||Vladimir Coufal||Aaron Wan-Bissaka||Reece James|
|MID||Kevin De Bruyne||Kevin De Bruyne||Mohamed Salah||Kevin De Bruyne|
|Mohamed Salah||Bruno Fernandes||Kevin De Bruyne||Bruno Fernandes|
|Bruno Fernandes||Mohamed Salah||Bruno Fernandes||Sadio Mané|
|Ademola Lookman||Christian Pulisic||Tomas Soucek||Tomas Soucek|
|Hakim Ziyech||Tomas Soucek||Anwar El Ghazi||Ademola Lookman|
|FWD||Jamie Vardy||Jamie Vardy||Jamie Vardy||Jamie Vardy|
|Harry Kane||Michail Antonio||Callum Wilson||Michail Antonio|
|Patrick Bamford||Edinson Cavani||Ollie Watkins||Harry Kane|
|Michail Antonio||Roberto Firmino||Michail Antonio||Patrick Bamford|
|Anthony Martial||Ollie Watkins||Anthony Martial||Edinson Cavani|
Most popular picks: João Cancelo, Vladimir Coufal, Kevin De Bruyne, Bruno Fernandes, Jamie Vardy, Michail Antonio (four), Rúben Dias, Andrew Robertson, Mohamed Salah, Tomas Soucek (three).
I’ve doubled up on Manchester City’s defence again this week, ahead of back-to-back home games against Crystal Palace and Aston Villa. Pep Guardiola’s side have now given up just three goals in their last 14 matches in all competitions, and are yet to concede with Ederson, Rúben Dias and John Stones in the line-up. João Cancelo is also given the nod, and though he isn’t assured of two starts, is worth the risk given his attacking numbers.
West Ham United also get a defensive double-up from me, via Lukasz Fabiański and Vladimír Coufal. The Hammers have proved difficult to break down in recent matches, while their double includes games against Burnley and West Bromwich Albion, two of the worst attacking teams in the league.
Keepers Edouard Mendy and Bernd Leno, plus defenders Andrew Robertson and Ben Chilwell complete the picks at the back.
Further forward, it’s hard to overlook Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah, Bruno Fernandes and Jamie Vardy, and their inclusion needs little explanation, so I’ll focus on some of my other picks.
Ademola Lookman is something of a left-field inclusion given his fixtures, but if Fulham are going to get anything from this double, he’ll be involved, while West London rivals Chelsea are perhaps being overlooked. They’ve come in for some criticism after a run of one win in six league games, but overall performances haven’t been too bad. Hakim Ziyech has now started back-to-back games, and when fit is the one who can make things happen.
I’m also backing Michail Antonio. Though he looks short of match fitness, he needs games, and as West Ham United’s only recognised striker, should see enough minutes across the two fixtures. However, including him means there is no room for team-mate Tomáš Souček, which is a little unfortunate. It goes without saying I think he’s a quality option though.
The squad is completed by Harry Kane and Patrick Bamford, who despite having just the one fixture have the potential to outscore most other forwards this week, plus Anthony Martial.
It is not often you come up with a squad to submit and find yourself trying to put in more than three West Ham players. They arguably have the best set of fixtures in Gameweek 19 – Burnley (home) and West Brom (home).
Michail Antonio is a bit of a favourite of mine and now he’s fit and got through 90 minutes I can’t leave him out. He’s averaging 0.47xG per 90 minutes so fat this season. It’s down on 2019/20, but still excellent given his price. The fixtures are too good to ignore defensively as well.
No-one has scored fewer goals than Burnley’s nine so far, with West Brom only scoring two more with 11. A double-up on defence is certainly an option but with Tomas Soucek taking up a cheap spot in midfielder I’ve only picked Vladimir Coufal.
In their last six matches Coufal has created 11 chances, that’s six more than Aaron Cresswell.
We’re still waiting on news of a potential injury to Anthony Martial after limping off against Burnley, but if he does miss the next couple of games it would seem very likely that Edinson Cavani will play as central forward.
We’ve seen limited minutes from the Uruguayan so far but he’s shown promising numbers with 0.59xG per 90 minutes. The Liverpool game is tough for anyone but if he could nick a goal there he’d then look to top up the FPL points for the week against Fulham.
There is obviously a risk with picking Aston Villa players because we don’t know who may have tested positive and won’t be available but given they are now playing Newcastle I’ve added a couple into the squad for consideration with Emiliano Martínez and Ollie Watkins.
No regularly playing goalkeeper has a higher points per match than Martínez at 5.5, and with save potential against Manchester City followed by a Newcastle fixture you’d expect a clean sheet in there’s lots to be gained from him.
Despite only scoring one goal against Brighton it’s difficult to not triple up on Manchester City again with Kevin De Bruyne being the only attacker I’d be confident of predicting a start for. They are showing no signs of stopping when it comes to defensive returns and I think Cancelo owners will be hopeful of an attacking return soon enough.
Interestingly he only created one chance against Brighton and had one shot in the box, but seeing his positioning from the eye test, he’s sure to be involved soon.
Barring any future Double Gameweek 19 fixture changes, my selections come from teams with two fixtures in the round; whether or not my picks will start both fixtures is, as always, unclear.
I continue to look for value in my goalkeepers to enable a stronger attack: Sam Johnstone and Emiliano Martinez are therefore my top picks before I look to Alisson, who has the highest points potential.
Trent Alexander-Arnold looks the best option in defence with hugely promising underlying stats, particularly over the last 4 games. João Cancelo continues to look threatening and should see attacking returns soon, and City have two strong Double Gameweek 19 fixtures. John Stones, Vladimir Coufal, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are also worthwhile options.
Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne are the top midfield picks this week, slightly ahead of Bruno Fernandes and his four yellow cards. Tomas Soucek is a strong pick and will insultingly be called a ‘no-brainer’ by many pundits, while Anwar El Ghazi is another budget enabler.
In attack I first look to Jamie Vardy, who I expect will be fit and will score well – while not a captaincy option for me, as I’ll look to my midfield, he may be a shrewd armband contender for those looking for a punt. Callum Wilson, Ollie Watkins, and Michail Antonio look a nicely-priced trio, while Anthony Martial is a differential for those looking to United for a double in the Double.
I am expecting Sam Johnstone and Alphonse Areola to use their respective pair of fixtures to rack up the saves in Double Gameweek 19.
The two goalkeepers are both inside the top five for stops this season (74 and 59) and face opponents that are sure to create chances against them.
I will be keeping my eye on injury updates from West Ham on Friday though. If David Moyes rules out Lukasz Fabianski then I will be very keen on the kindly-priced Darren Randolph.
Manchester City have conceded three goals in their last 13 matches in all competitions which is why a defensive double-up of Rúben Dias and João Cancelo is so appealing, especially as I’m not particularly taken with attacking options outside of Kevin De Bruyne.
Vladimir Coufal has incredibly kind home fixtures against low-scoring Burnley and West Bromwich Albion. He has also created more chances than any West Ham player over their last four matches.
Reece James looks set for a return to the Chelsea starting line-up ahead of facing Fulham and Leicester. Over his last four matches, he is joint-top among Blues assets for big chances created, the most of any Chelsea defender in that time too.
De Bruyne is an obvious inclusion considering his nailed-on role in the Manchester City team for those appealing home matches.
The fact that Raheem Sterling missed a late penalty against Brighton, in my view, reinforces the Belgian’s place in the spot-kick pecking order.
Speaking of penalties, Liverpool and Fulham have both given up five each this season – only Leeds (six) and Brighton (seven) have conceded more at the time of writing.
The fact that Bruno Fernandes faces both of those sides in Double Gameweek 19 makes his credentials seriously worth considering, especially as he is set for two road trips. The Portuguese international has pulled in 54.5% of his FPL points away from home this season.
Considering Mohamed Salah’s problems in front of goal recently, I am going for his team-mate Sadio Mané in my selection.
Over their last four matches, the Senegalese international has outshone Salah for touches in the box, key passes, big chances created and shots in the box.
Crucially, Mané also has matched Salah’s output for attacking returns over the same period (three) for a cheaper price and has fewer blanks during that time too.
I am very willing to take a risk on Michail Antonio ahead of West Ham’s appealing fixtures considering their decision to sell Sebastien Haller to Ajax on a permanent deal.
I also really fancy the single Gameweek fixtures of Harry Kane and Patrick Bamford and will be taking them both into Double Gameweek 19 to face Sheffield United (away) and Brighton (home) respectively.
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