The Scout Squad have all selected six players as part of their top picks for Gameweek 20.
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 16:30 GMT on Tuesday.
In each 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 Tuesday.
|GK||Emiliano Martínez||Emiliano Martínez||Nick Pope||Emiliano Martinez|
|Alex McCarthy||Robert Sánchez||Emiliano Martínez||Robert Sánchez|
|Robert Sanchez||Illan Meslier||Edouard Mendy||Lukasz Fabianski|
|DEF||João Cancelo||Harry Maguire||João Cancelo||João Cancelo|
|Vladimir Coufal||Rúben Dias||Rúben Dias||Lewis Dunk|
|Harry Maguire||Ben Chilwell||Harry Maguire||Aaron Cresswell|
|Matt Targett||Lewis Dunk||Reece James||Ben Chilwell|
|Stuart Dallas||Stuart Dallas||Adam Webster||Vladimir Coufal|
|MID||Bruno Fernandes||Bruno Fernandes||Bruno Fernandes||Bruno Fernandes|
|Ilkay Gündogan||Raheem Sterling||Marcus Rashford||Mohamed Salah|
|Phil Foden||Ilkay Gündogan||Ilkay Gündogan||Son Heung-min|
|Harvey Barnes||Jack Grealish||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||Ilkay Gündogan|
|Bukayo Saka||Wilfried Zaha||Jack Harrison||Bukayo Saka|
|FWD||Patrick Bamford||Patrick Bamford||Patrick Bamford||Harry Kane|
|Michail Antonio||Edinson Cavani||Michail Antonio||Patrick Bamford|
|Edinson Cavani||Harry Kane||Neal Maupay||Michail Antonio|
|Harry Kane||Michail Antonio||Harry Kane||Callum Wilson|
|Tammy Abraham||Danny Ings||Dominic Calvert-Lewin||Neal Maupay|
Most popular picks: Emiliano Martínez, Bruno Fernandes, Ilkay Gündogan, Patrick Bamford, Harry Kane, Michail Antonio (four), Robert Sánchez, João Cancelo, Harry Maguire (three).
Emiliano Martínez and Matt Targett are easy inclusions as Aston Villa prepare to face Burnley.
Eight of Aston Villa’s nine clean sheets this season have come against sides inside the bottom half of the Premier League table this season while the Clarets remain the division’s joint-lowest scorers with 10 goals.
With Aymeric Laporte back in the picture and rests in the first Double Gameweek 19 fixture and the FA Cup, João Cancelo is the Manchester City defender I am most confident of a start for at West Brom.
The versatile full-back has been painfully close to a big haul in recent weeks and a trip to the Premier League’s worst defence feels like the right time for it to come.
West Ham have the second-best expected goals conceded (xGC) figure over the last four matches, behind only Manchester City, which is why I fancy Vladimir Coufal to do well at Crystal Palace. He has created more chances than any other member of West Ham’s first-choice back-four during that time.
Manchester United have kept three clean sheets in their last five so a home match against a goal-shy Sheffield United outfit makes Harry Maguire an easy inclusion, especially considering his obvious goal threat, which nearly paid off against Burnley.
Meanwhile, Bruno Fernandes is top among all Premier League players for shots on target in the last four.
Since Gameweek 13, no Manchester City player has registered more shots in the box, big chances or shots on target than Ilkay Gündogan.
Considering he is on penalties and is preparing to face the Premier League’s worst defence, he could even be considered a key captain candidate for Gameweek 20.
I am also including Phil Foden as part of a double-up on Manchester City’s midfield as he has three attacking returns in his last three Premier League starts.
I prefer Harvey Barnes over James Maddison right now because I believe him more capable of sustaining the current level of output.
Over the last four matches, the latter has shot just three times in the box while Barnes has let off a total of eight, three of which have been big chances.
Newcastle’s ongoing problems at the back have not been helped by a supposed commitment to so-called ‘more attacking’ football and an injury crisis at centre-back.
That’s why Patrick Bamford feels a perfect choice for Leeds’ trip to St. James’ Park on Tuesday evening. The striker has been involved in nine goals on the road this season.
Over the last four matches, no FPL forward can boast a superior figure for minutes per expected goal involvement (xGI) than Michail Antonio, which is why he is a sure inclusion in my squad.
A clean sheet looks likely for Manchester United this week, with opponents Sheffield United failing to find the back of the net in four of their last five away trips. Given the Blades’ ongoing issues defending set-pieces (only Leeds have conceded more from either a corner or free-kick), Harry Maguire looks like an excellent option. The England international has now registered 16 headed attempts from set-plays, comfortably more than any other player in the division.
Brighton and Leeds’ fixtures also stand out defensively, so Robert Sánchez, Lewis Dunk, Illan Meslier and Stuart Dallas all get the nod.
The statistics suggest Brighton have been a bit unlucky this season, conceding 29 goals from an expected goals conceded (xGC) total of 20.97, while Marcelo Bielsa’s troops will be boosted by the return of Kalvin Phillips, and will be up against an unconvincing Newcastle United side who often struggle to create chances.
Rúben Dias, Ben Chilwell (if Frank Lampard starts a proper holding midfielder, the defence should be fine) and Emiliano Martínez complete the picks at the back.
Further forward, Bruno Fernandes’ ability from dead-ball situations could be key, as could teammate Edinson Cavani’s aerial threat. The Uruguayan is yet to get off the mark at Old Trafford, but has already made some telling contributions on the road, and providing he’s benched in tomorrow’s FA Cup fourth-round tie against Liverpool, looks a good bet this week.
Ilkay Gündogan also has the potential to do well, and should be on penalties with Kevin De Bruyne out. The German’s connection with Phil Foden on the left really stood out against Aston Villa in Gameweek 20, and is something to monitor moving forward. If he is to continue in a more advanced role, which I expect him to, he’ll offer real value. However, Raheem Sterling is also on my radar, and is my favoured route into City’s attack for this fixture, if funds allow it.
Elsewhere, I’m backing Jack Grealish, Wilfried Zaha (if fit) and Patrick Bamford to score their first goals of 2020, while Harry Kane, Michail Antonio and Danny Ings complete the forwards list.
As our very own Paul said on Twitter, Nick Pope now has more double-digit hauls (five) than Mohamed Salah this season. The return of Ben Mee in Gameweek 8 has been a key part of that. Aston Villa have been in great attacking form this season but Burnley have shown against both Manchester United and Liverpool recently just how hard it is to break them down.
Even with Kevin De Bruyne missing for 4-6 weeks it would feel wrong going into a game against West Brom without three Manchester City players. It’s one of those games where a one week punt on Raheem Sterling feels perfectly viable, but you can’t look past the value Ilkay Gündogan provides, especially when he’s likely to be on penalties.
Over the last six Gameweeks, Gündogan has had 13 shots in the box compared to Sterling’s nine. We will have to wait and see how De Bruyne’s absence potentially alters the City lineup, but Gündogan will hopefully continue to rampage into the box.
We are potentially starting to see some return to form for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Since he came back into the side in Gameweek 16 only Bruno Fernandes (3.42) has a higher expected goal involvement than Aubameyang (2.88) out of all midfielders. He’s also had 11 shots in the box which is the second highest. Hopefully, he will be ready to play Gameweek 20 after missing out on the FA Cup for personal reasons.
Arsenal are starting to look improved with Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka playing a big part combining for 17 chances created over the last four Gameweeks. That puts them both in the top 9 for midfielders.
Despite Leeds United offering very little against Brighton in Gameweek 19, it’s difficult to write them off before they play a poor Newcastle side. In the last six Gameweeks only West Brom (12.39) have a worse expected goals conceded than Newcastle’s 10.51.
Patrick Bamford is still taking plenty of shots, with 13 in the last 6 Gameweeks. Jack Harrison is a little behind that with 7, but he also has 7 chances created. I think Leeds will be too much for Newcastle who haven’t won a game since Gameweek 12.
Harry Maguire and Adam Webster are both in because of their goal threat. Maguire (20) and Webster (13) are in the top three for shots in the box for defenders this season with Romain Saiss (14) taking the other spot. Both Maguire and Webster face teams who are in the bottom 7 for expected goals over the last six weeks.
Emiliano Martinez, Robert Sánchez, and Lukasz Fabianski all look fair value, and each have a shot at a clean sheet in Gameweek 20.
Manchester City have an incredible eight clean sheets in 10 games, and João Cancelo’s attacking threat makes him the best City defensive option. Lewis Dunk has two goals in the last five games, and Fulham have conceded many headed chances in the last four Gameweeks, while Aaron Cresswell is perhaps surprisingly the 2nd highest scoring defender this season, thanks to his potential for points at both ends of the pitch. I include Ben Chilwell for his attacking threat, and Vladimir Coufal’s West Ham have only conceded 1 goal in 4 games, with Coufal’s attacking threat helping him get an assist over that period.
Bruno Fernandes is the standout midfield pick, with impressive shot totals in the last four Gameweeks. Mohamed Salah has worrying form but I still trust him enough to warrant inclusion, and Son Heung-min will counter Salah’s Liverpool on the break. Ilkay Gündogan has impressive form and offers superb value, while Bukayo Saka has three goals in his last five games for an improving Arsenal.
Harry Kane has scored in three straight games, is the top-scoring player in FPL this season and will have chances against Liverpool. Patrick Bamford doesn’t quite have Kane’s form but has every chance for returns away at Newcastle. With two straight starts and a goal in each game, Michail Antonio looks strong value against Crystal Palace. Callum Wilson and Neal Maupay round out my Gameweek 20 picks
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