Scout Squad

The Scout Squad’s best FPL players for Gameweek 30

The Scout Squad panel reassemble after a fortnight’s breather to pick out the most appealing players for Gameweek 30.

The final international break of 2020/21 came to a close on Wednesday evening but the assortment of World Cup qualifiers and friendlies will still have a significant say on the selections, with injury and fatigue factors to consider.

For those new to this feature, Fantasy Football Scout editor David, deputy editor Neale, video content manager Andy and Pro Pundit Tom each put forward an 18-man long-list of players and explain their notable inclusions and omissions below.

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.

GKEmiliano MartinezEdouard MendyEdouard MendyEdouard Mendy
Edouard MendyEmiliano MartinezHugo LlorisEmiliano Martínez
Robert SanchezFraser ForsterFraser ForsterLukasz Fabianski
DFCesar AzpilicuetaMarcos AlonsoMarcos AlonsoCésar Azpilicueta
Antonio RudigerLuke ShawLucas DigneAntonio Rüdiger
Lucas DigneLucas DigneLuke ShawLuke Shaw
Matt TargettStuart DallasStuart DallasStuart Dallas
Luke ShawCraig DawsonKyle Walker-PetersLucas Digne
MFRaphinhaSon Heung-minSon Heung-minRaphinha
Jesse LingardBruno FernandesBruno FernandesSon Heung-min
Bruno FernandesRaphinhaKevin De BruyneKevin De Bruyne
Gareth BaleRiyad MahrezRaphinhaLucas Moura
Son Heung-minLucas MouraKai HavertzBruno Fernandes
FWHarry KaneHarry KaneHarry KaneHarry Kane
Patrick BamfordPatrick BamfordPatrick BamfordPatrick Bamford
Dominic Calvert-LewinDominic Calvert-LewinDominic Calvert-LewinDominic Calvert-Lewin
Michail AntonioMichail AntonioDanny IngsOllie Watkins
Ollie WatkinsChe AdamsOllie WatkinsMichail Antonio

Most popular picks: Edouard Mendy, Luke Shaw, Lucas Digne, Raphinha, Son Heung-min, Bruno Fernandes, Harry Kane, Patrick Bamford, Dominic Calvert-Lewin (four), Emiliano Martinez, Stuart Dallas, Michail Antonio, Ollie Watkins (three)


Aston Villa and Chelsea are my favourite defences for Gameweek 30 as they prepare to host West Bromwich Albion and Fulham respectively.

Sam Allardyce’s men have scored in just two of their last seven league matches while Chelsea have conceded the fewest goals of any top-flight team in their last six.

Considering the goals have not flowed with the same regularity as clean sheets, I’m tripling-up at the back with Edouard MendyCesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rüdiger, Chelsea’s three most-nailed-on defensive assets.

As for Aston Villa, they face a Fulham outfit who have failed to find the net in three of their last five outings, which bodes well for Emiliano Martínez and Matt Targett.

Lucas Digne is top among all Everton defenders for expected goal involvement (xGI) over the last six matches, suggesting he is the best to consider from the Toffees backline in Gameweek 30. 

Crystal Palace are his upcoming opponents, who are bottom of the whole Premier League for expected goals (xG) over the last six matches.

I am expected a lot of goals when Leeds host Sheffield United in a Saturday afternoon Yorkshire derby.

The Blades are still managerless since the departure of Chris Wilder and, over the last six matches, are bottom of the league for expected goals conceded (xGC) by quite a considerable margin.

Raphinha and Patrick Bamford are about as must-have as it gets for Gameweek 30, each one arguably in the captaincy conversation, too.

Jesse Lingard remains joint-top of the league over the last six matches for shots on target so I am backing the West Ham midfielder to continue his recent form against Wolves.

Newcastle look in serious danger of the drop right now, especially considering they sit in the division’s bottom five for xGC over the last six matches. They have also given up at least two goals in eight of their last 12.
That bodes well for Harry Kane and Gareth Bale, who should have the creative force of Son Heung-min back in the team for Gameweek 30.

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace are joint-worst in the Premier League over the last six matches for headed attempts conceded, so Dominic Calvert-Lewin should enjoy his Monday-evening meeting with the Eagles.


A two-week breather is no guarantee of a start this weekend, nor does considerable playing time during the international break necessarily mean that a benching is on the cards.

That is especially true of Manchester City assets, with Pep Guardiola having previously talked of the importance of “rhythm”.

Riyad Mahrez hopefully falls somewhere in the middle, with a decent rest preceding his one and only run-out for Algeria on Monday.

Mahrez has started eight of City’s last ten league matches and while next Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund further muddies the waters, I’m hoping that his recent form and track record against his old employers (four attacking returns in as many games) counts for something.

He has four goals and as many assists over his last six matches and is joint-top among FPL midfielders for shots in the box during that time.

Thomas Tuchel is proving to be just as hard to second-guess as Guardiola and again, it’d be naive to think that we can 100% count on the likes of Marcos Alonso just because of his fortnight off.

But with positional rival Ben Chilwell returning late after three hours of playing time with England (bear in mind that Chelsea are in action in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off) and that Alonso’s physicality might be a better match for Sam Allardyce’s Baggies, I’m taking a punt on the Spaniard.

Alonso has had more penalty box touches and shots in the opposition area than any other FPL defender in their last six matches, so he’s due one of his bi-annual hauls.

There will be no prizes awarded for originality by going big on Leeds United, Everton, Spurs and Chelsea this week, so I won’t waste much time in trying to justify why, for example, Raphinha is a shrewd acquisition ahead of the visit of managerless, bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United.

As for the less obvious picks, Craig Dawson gets the nod as my budget defender. As I discussed in my recent article, Wolves are both toothless in attack and prone to conceding from crosses and set plays – so that could be a match made in heaven for the West Ham centre-half.

Up top, I’ve plumped for Che Adams as my fifth forward.

On the scoresheet for Scotland in midweek and with three goals in as many Premier League matches to his name, Adams will be facing a Burnley side who have uncharacteristically kept just four clean sheets in their last 17 matches – only three teams have worse records from Gameweek 14 onwards.


I’ve doubled up on Chelsea’s defence ahead of their Gameweek 30 meeting with West Bromwich Albion.

In Thomas Tuchel’s ten league matches, the Blues have conceded on just two occasions – one of them being an own-goal from Antonio Rüdiger. Added to that, they have kept eight clean sheets with another four in their cup matches.

Edouard Mendy and César Azpilicueta are probably the safest routes in, but as a one-week punt, I like Marcos Alonso, who I fancy to start given Ben Chilwell’s involvement for England over the international break.

I’ve also called up Lucas Digne and Luke Shaw.

Everton’s opponents, Crystal Palace, have conceded 91 headed attempts this season, which is at least 12 more than any other side. That suggests Digne’s delivery from wide areas could be key, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin the likely beneficiary. Shaw has the potential to deliver points at both ends of the pitch too, having developed into one of Manchester United’s most important attacking outlets.

They’re joined at the back by goalkeepers Hugo Lloris and Fraser Forster, plus Stuart Dallas and Kyle Walker-Peters.

In midfield, Bruno Fernandes and Kevin De Bruyne are obvious inclusions, but it’s Son Heung-min I like most this week.

This season, Newcastle United have conceded a lot of chances from their right, so it was no surprise that two of Brighton and Hove Albion’s goals came from that side last time out. The data suggests it’s a weak spot, which is something Son can capitalise on, providing he is fit. It’s also worth noting that Steve Bruce’s side have managed just a single clean sheet in 14 attempts at St James’ Park this season, which backs up my decision to double up and include Harry Kane as my top forward pick.

Elsewhere, Kai Havertz also has the potential to do well if he avoids Tuchel’s rotation. The 21-year-old has had more success since being deployed closer to goal, where he has the freedom to roam and drop into pockets of space between the lines. And if he can get a bit more support in and around him, I’m backing him to return on Saturday.

The offensive list is completed by Leeds United duo Raphinha and Patrick Bamford, along with Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins.


Over the last six matches, no team has a better expected goals conceded (xGC) total than Chelsea’s 2.56. They were already a good defensive side under Frank Lampard and now they are at an elite level in the Thomas Tuchel era. West Brom won’t have an easy time scoring. I’d have liked to have opted for a punt on Marcos Alonso with my picks, but I’ve played it safe with those that I think are pretty much guaranteed to start.

Over that same timeframe, Sheffield United have conceded 14.01 expected goals. To show how poor that is, Crystal Palace are in second place with 9.74. Tripling up on Leeds United seems like a no-brainer. Only four players – not one of them a midfielder – can better Raphinha’s 3.86 xGI over their last six matches.

If Gareth Bale hadn’t missed out in Gameweek 29 then he’d easily be in my squad but I’m worried about his starting place now. Lucas Moura, by contrast, has started five of the last six and may have done enough to warrant a consistent starting spot. Over those last half-dozen matches, he’s had 10 shots in the box and created 11 chances. He might not be as explosive as Bale, but he feels like a safer starter at this point.

244 Comments Post a Comment
  1. AJ24
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    6 months, 24 days ago

    Good to go this GW?

    Dallas, Shaw, Rudiger
    Bruno (VC), Lingard, Bale, Gundog
    Kane (C), Bamford, Watkins

    Johnstone, Cancelo, Lookman, Coufal

    1 FT (looking to Wildcard in next 1/2 weeks) and £6.3m ITB

    Unsure if i was to punt who to replace...

    1. artvandelay316
        6 months, 24 days ago

        I was thinking of bringing in Rudiger too, but many are saying he is a doubt to start, as he played a lot in international matches. Maybe worth playing Cancelo instead?

        1. Little Red Lacazette
          • 5 Years
          6 months, 24 days ago

          Or Azpi

      • Bennyboy1907
        • 1 Year
        6 months, 24 days ago

        Lookman to KDB, Son or even Raphina? In case of a bale no show

    2. Bennyboy1907
      • 1 Year
      6 months, 24 days ago

      0.5 ITB 0 FT
      Dallas Cancelo AWB
      Son Lingard Bruno Raphina
      Kane(c) Bamford DCL

      Johnstone Bale Stones Veltman

      First 11 and bench order correct? Still have WC

      1. AJ24
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        6 months, 24 days ago

        Looks good - i am torn between Bale and Cancelo as well (team above)..
        I went other way, but unsure

    3. Jebiga
      • 9 Years
      6 months, 24 days ago

      Is son recovered ?

      1. Tonyawesome69
        • 2 Years
        6 months, 24 days ago

        Mourinho presser tomorrow

    4. Fred the Red
      • 9 Years
      6 months, 24 days ago

      Mount to Lingard

      Yay or Nay?

      1. Mufc202020
        • 2 Years
        6 months, 24 days ago


      2. artvandelay316
          6 months, 24 days ago

          Take both if you can

      3. Magic Hamster
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        6 months, 24 days ago

        I am planning on using BB this week.. And I guess the best value gained from a BB is really if your sure (or as sure as you can be) all your players will start.

        May plan was always to transfer tossard to fernandes or mount giving me a bench of mendy dunk, mee, B.Traore

        However I have Stones in my team and I'm not sure he's going to start. So do I...

        A. Tossard > fernandes or mount (or another) and BB and take the stones risk
        B. Stones > azpi and BB with mendy, mee, dunk, tossard
        C. Something else

        Plan is to wc in 31/32


      4. Mufc202020
        • 2 Years
        6 months, 24 days ago

        Konsa Vestergaard Alonso DIGNe
        Neto Bruno KDB
        Watkins Kane DCL
        Johnson Gunda Saka Pereria

        1FT 0.1m ITB

        Really feel like I need a Leeds player for the Sheffield game but they have such a poor run after that. Would you bring any of them in?

        Other thoughts are to either do Ederson to Mendy or perhaps Pereria to Dallas and bench Neto??

        1. Mufc202020
          • 2 Years
          6 months, 24 days ago

          Or just bank the FT! Thoughts appreciated

      5. Catastrophe
        • 10 Years
        6 months, 24 days ago

        Help appreciated chaps, 1 FT and 0.6 ITB. No chips left.

        Shaw, Dallas, Konsa
        KDB, Fernandes, Bale, Gundogan, Raphinha(c)
        Kane, Lacazette

        (Sanchez, Watkins, Cresswell, Dunk)


        GW30 - Dunk -> Rudiger (bench Konsa!?)
        GW31 - Save FT
        GW32 - KDB -> Jota
        GW33 - Bale -> Lingard
        GW34 - x2 City...


        1. pingissimus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          6 months, 24 days ago

          Not sure that I wouldn't hold the FT this week and make the moves next time.

          You've got a mighty strong bench and by this time next week Bale might be looking very poor if it's a no show this week. If you're worried about Konsa I'd just play Cresswell who I think is probs better anyway.

          Also Dunk if you can bench him looks very solid in 33 and preferable to Dallas then and you're likely short with City Spurs and no FH.

          1. Catastrophe
            • 10 Years
            6 months, 24 days ago

            Cheers - good feedback! I'm quite happy with Konsa, although I'd play Rudiger over him. On the basis a few folks hinting Rudiger could potentially be benched, and I can't afford Azpi, think I'll save and wait for more info.


          2. pingissimus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            6 months, 24 days ago

            Do you mean Bale to Lingard in 33? WH have Chelsea that week no? Ideally I'd be choosing to bench Spurs that week anyway given SHU in 34.

      6. quayle99
        • 4 Years
        6 months, 24 days ago

        Azpi Cancelo Targett Dallas
        Lingard Fernandes Rafinha
        Kane(c) Watkins Bamford

        Sanchez Gundo Auba Tierney

        Bench feels odd. Would you change it?

        1. Pukki Blinders
          • 2 Years
          6 months, 24 days ago

          I’d start Auba over Targett

        2. artvandelay316
            6 months, 24 days ago

            I'd go with Gundo over Targett.

        3. Pukki Blinders
          • 2 Years
          6 months, 24 days ago

          Aerola Dias Azpi Tross

          This worth a BB? WCing next week if that changes anything...

        4. Pep Roulette
          • 4 Years
          6 months, 24 days ago

          Sell one. No WC remaining.

          A. Dunk
          B. Targett

          1. Pukki Blinders
            • 2 Years
            6 months, 24 days ago

            Both need to go. A first

        5. HashAttack
          • 4 Years
          6 months, 24 days ago

          Struggling with who to bench this week, which player should I bench (The other 4 will be playing with Bruno, Raphinha and Kane)

          a) Son
          b) Bale
          c) Auba
          d) Watkins
          e) Antonio

        6. Jimjam
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          6 months, 24 days ago

          Who to bench:

          (A) Gundogan (lei)
          (B) Salah (ars)
          (C) Antonio (wol)

          Currently on Gundogan...

          1. Sparky6670
            • 9 Years
            6 months, 24 days ago

            Rest of your team must be looking healthy if one of them is sitting out lol

            Gundogan most likely to be benched and make a cameo so id go for him as well

        7. Hryszko
          • 4 Years
          6 months, 24 days ago

          Trossard > KDB for -4?

        8. NoThomasNoPartey18
          • 1 Year
          6 months, 24 days ago

          1) Is forster going to play?
          2) who has a bigger chance of playing out of stones and cancelo? I'm planning on selling cancelo for shaw today before price rise. On BB. No mendy or Rudi but shaw has a higher ceiling and the 0.1m matters.

        9. Couch Potato
          • 2 Years
          6 months, 24 days ago


          Subs: Pope/Dias/Gundog/4.0D

          *Dunk > Chelsea defender, not sure which one yet

          Otherwise GTG?

        10. Christina.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          6 months, 24 days ago

          Bruno, Son and Coady my next 3 trades.
          We move.

        11. Newsman70
          • 9 Years
          6 months, 24 days ago


          Mendy Forster
          Dias Creswell Cancelo Targett Veltman
          Gündogan Bruno Lingard Bale Raphinha
          Bamford Kane Antonio

          Big questions?

          Who to bench?
          Forster Veltman Cancelo Gündogan?

          BB before Wc to then get money off bench or bb after wc sets up double game week(wait for fixtures i guess)

          Thanks for any ideas and what are you doing with your remaining chips if any?

        12. Fpl_elstatto
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          6 months, 24 days ago

          We’ve taken this idea one step further and built a Wildcard squad from GW30 onwards. So not just picking players for this week but also with upcoming weeks in mind.

        13. Milkman Bruno
            6 months, 24 days ago

            Bench order correct here?

            Shaw, Rudiger, Digne
            Salah, Bruno, Mahrez, Jota, Gundogan
            DCL, Werner

            Martinez, Cancelo, Struijk, King 0ft .7itb

          • Bonus magnet
            • 4 Years
            6 months, 24 days ago


            Now or never

          • ididnt
            • 10 Years
            6 months, 23 days ago

            Trossard > Raphina. Yay or nay?